Booked this based on the many good reviews on this site and for the fact they had one of the best dive shops on the island.
Initial impressions were good, welcoming staff then we were whisked off across the main road to our delux room.
Room was spacious with large bathroom, however there is nowhere, not even a drawer to put any clothes. We literally lived out a suitcase. There is hanging space for a few shirts and that is it. This is an utter disgrace for a 4+ star family resort.
You have to stay in the delux rooms. If you book standard to skimp on costs then forget it - look elsewhere. There are standard rooms that overlook the busy road. You have been warned, so don't complain on here on your return! The delux rooms however are across the main road from the main complex which is not ideal. It is a bit of a trek. The plus point was that there is a private pool area for these rooms which the masses do not know about and is much quieter.
It rained... alot. The hotel is not designed for rain. Everyone pours into the small bar area from the beach and main pool area as it is the only place to go. I hate to be discriminatory, but I was not expecting the type of clientel here. The other guests would appear to be more at home on an all inclusive in the Med [Tatoos, drinking, reserving sun loungers before breakfast and so on] Even If you want to sit outside on you room balcony while it is raining, forget it, you will get soaked as the covering/roof is poorly designed.
They have 1 internet station which is slow and barely useable. You are blocked from using anything with a password so checking emails/face book or even checking in for a flight is off limits. At least it keeps the kids off, but you can't do much with it either.
The dive shop was good and helpful. There is zero diving and snorkelling around the island itself though. The best place is at Koh Tao which takes an hour and a half to get to in their boat. The journey is ROUGH. Due to the rain, visability while diving was next to hopeless. If diving is your goal go to Cancun for the same money [and a direct flight to boot]. Due to the long speed boat trip it was also pricey at £100 for 2 dives.
The Beach and sea at the hotel is hopeless. Dirty, very Shallow, you are only up to your knees if you swim 100 metres out. Because of this there is zero visability. None whatsever. You can't even see your hand infront of your face.
The best part was the beach bars next door to the hotel. Chaweng itself is an absolute dump - NOT what I expected. Head to the beach bars for a cold beer and fresh seafood at the end of the day.
No complaints re food at the breakfast buffet or at the bar.
We hired a car from the hotels tour desk, although he never once asked to see driving licences or take credit card details. We just handed him the cash and drove off! You will see on your drive round the islands much better places to stay and better beaches on the west and north coast - you will wish you had booked those.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cushioned by soft white sands and sparkling waters, Amari welcomes you to one of the most idyllic islands in the Gulf of Thailand. A gem set apart from the rest of the world, Amari Palm Reef Koh Samui on Koh Samui invites you to live out your days on island time, where there is always time for another dip in the pool or another walk on the beach. Turn off your clock, enter our time zone, and let Amari take care of the rest. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Amari Palm Reef Koh Samui Hotel Chaweng
- Amari Palm Reef Hotel
- Amari Palm Reef Resort
- Amari Palm Reef Koh Samui Ko Samui/Chaweng, Thailand