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“Watch out for the cats.”
Review of The Waterfront

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The Waterfront
Ranked #16 of 186 Hotels in Bophut
Certificate of Excellence
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Watch out for the cats.”
Reviewed October 2, 2012 via mobile

The Waterfront

Firstly, a word of caution: The cats that you will see around are not owned by the hotel. One or two cats were usually present at breakfast during our 6 night stay. It wasn't until 30 minutes prior to checkout, when our 3 year old was playing with a cat, that we were told to "watch that cat, it's not very friendly. There is rabies in this area and you need watch out" when we asked if the cat in question belonged to the hotel we were advised not and then it was promptly chased away by Michael, the owners' son. The Waterfront is very much a family establishment and we were shocked and a little annoyed to have received this warning so late and hitherto that point that we had seen no attempt by staff to discourage the cats from hanging around at the breakfast tables or elsewhere. An issue that needs addressing.

Following a last minute cancellation of another trip (to Boracay) we booked 6 nights at The Waterfront with ease. A few emails with Robin, the owner, and we'd agreed rates and two nights in room 7 (family bungalow) and two nights in room 10 (family suite). Both rooms had two bedrooms, one with a king size and the other with two singles. Room 7 is a bit larger and the lounge is more spacious. Both lacked sufficient drying space for pool/beach gear and would have benefited from a small clothes stand/rack immensely. A small no-slip stool or stand would have been a nice touch in the bathrooms too - so that little people can reach the sink/taps for hand washing and teeth cleaning without having parents lift them or balance them on ad hoc platforms. Room 7 feels more private and has a beach frontage allowing kids to play on the sand whilst parents kick back on the terrace. The outside seats at both rooms were not, in our opinion, comfortable. The fit of the windows (yes, we made sure they were properly shut) was not great and this could have contributed to the number of Mosquitos in room 7. Also, outside the room to the left boundary of the property is a tap and hose. Here we found a large pottery pot full of water... and mosquito larvae. My wife and I have over 30 years of living in Asia and standing water is best avoided for this reason. We tipped the pot up to empty the water. On this note the aforementioned pool/beach toys (very good they are, see below) are kept in two large baskets by the pool. Again, each of these had stagnant water in the bottom - ideal mosquito breeding places.

The small pool is ideal for kids. We were there in a quiet period and never felt it was overly busy. This might not be the case in peak periods when the hotel is at capacity. This aside, toys, balls and inflatables are provided for your use. We loved this point.

The beach is great for everything apart from swimming as that part of the coast is a little silty and is has small stones and coral rather that soft sand. If its soft sand you want you can have trips to the sandy beaches along the eastern coast.

The staff at the hotel are pleasant enough. Our only gripe was their apparent keenness to have us either sign up for tours/trips or to use their various family members for taxi alternatives. We did this once but is was nearly as expensive as the local taxi (despite their non-meter usage). For the independent traveller we would urge a ten minute to the main road (out past 7-11 and The Happy Frog) where you can flag down one of the very frequent pickup trucks that serve as taxis to the locals. You can get to Chaweng for THB50 each and if you swap trucks on to Lamai for then other THB50. Bargain. One night we were in Lamai and were hit by a rainstorm and needed to get back to Bophut. Even in this potentially rip-off predicament we got back to Boput from Lamai for THB150 per adult.

Food at The Waterfront is ok. We had four dishes other than breakfast and enjoyed each one except the chicken satay which was served with a 'unique' sauce covering the satay. We sent it back and were given the very same satay back sans sauce and it was quite clear that they had just sliced of the outer layer of chicken to get rid of the sauce.

Bohout is cool. Friday nights sees the Main Street given over to a street market. See our separate review for more. As far as food goes we want to give special mentions to La cabanon, The Hut, The Happy Frog and Karma Sutra. We have written reviews for each for those that want to read more. La Cabanon is fantastic for family meals with a view. The seat go above and beyond. The Hut is opposite the hotel and serve very good Thai food at very reasonable prices. They will even give you a lift across the road to your room with your takeaways. Karma Sutra has very good ice cream and a fine espresso.

Would we return? Quite likely were we to revisit Bophut. However, my wife first visited Samui in 1994 and is keen to find and explore some of the 'old' Samui she remembers. Enjoy.

Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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hobart
Level 6 Contributor
247 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2012

My wife and I spent 7 nights at the Waterfront in late August/early September and only moved from the hotel for evening meals, massages or shopping.
It is a quiet, relaxing property...exactly what we were looking for... ideally located right on the beach looking across at Koh Phangan.
Sue and Robin, from our initial email contact, until the day we left, were professional, very helpful and unobtrusive as our hosts.
The cleaning staff , reception staff and chefs were all fantastic to deal with and the food prepared in the kitchen was first class.
The facilities available here are very very good. Hammocks around the property...nearly always occupied, probably some of the best poolside furniture I have come across, and free transfers...not that we used them...all added up to a very pleasant relaxing stay.
Bophut is a very different area from Chaweng Beach and provides a multitude of eating options...all very good...a great Friday night market, good shops and tailors, banks and atm's , the expected 7/11 and excellent massage/foot reflexology centres around.
All within walking distance.
This place has a real family feel about it.
The beach, as mentioned, is on the property boundary and good swimming is available a few metres up towards the jetty....little shallow just in front of hotel.
Keep up the good work Sue and Robin and your staff..we will be back
Rob and Wendy Australia

Room Tip: Preference would be on the rightside of the property facing the beach
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank ushy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
138 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2012

We stayed at The Waterfront for one night last year and loved it so much that we decided to come back for a week. Robin & Sue, plus all their staff, are lovely friendly people. They even decorated our bed with flowers spelling out our names to welcome us back.

My sister and I had one of the twin bed rooms in the wing leading down towards the beach - peaceful & quiet without any noise from the road.

We spent our days alternating between swimming in the sea and floating in the pool; or dozing on the sun loungers, or reading in the hammocks; or collecting quartz crystals from the beach.

The sea directly in front of the resort is quite shallow with rocks underfoot. Walk to the left for 1-2 minutes until you're close to the new floating 'wharf'. The sea here is beautifully deep. It's also possible to jump off the blue floating wharf into the sea (swim to shore or use the low rusty ladder + stringy rope to haul yourself back up).

The Hut restaurant opposite The Waterfront has lovely Thai food and is far more reasonably priced than the expensive beachfront restaurants further into Fisherman's Village. Personally, I loved their whole fish; my sister loved their beef salad. We both agreed that their coconut shakes (with fresh coconut flesh on top) is super yum!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank NixieNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2012

My girlfriend and I booked four nights at the waterfront. After a rather nasty motorcycle accident, we wanted four days and nights of pure relaxation with a few added extras. The waterfront supplied all this an more during our stay!

From the first interaction with Robin, we knew we were going to enjoy our time there in bophut. We felt looked after by the owners and their staff, an no request was to small or insignificant for them to help us out with.

The room itself was just what was needed. A large bungalow room comprising a big double bed, shower room and toilet, tv, minibar and fridge. Little extras such as toiletries, dvd's, beach and bath towels were all most welcome.

The setting of the property is right on the beach itself. Although not being able to swim there, the scenery is picturesque, and lounging on the beach or in the hammocks was fantastic. There happened to be a little pool there which we didn't use, but saw a few people have a splash around in!

Breakfast each morning was set out like a buffet: all kinds of juices were available, fresh fruit, cereal and a vast combination of eggs, bacon and sausages to fulfill anyone's appetite. This was all washed down by generous cups of freshly ground coffee which was a welcoming sight when first being inducted into the resort.

All in all, we couldn't fault what we got for the money we paid. Agreed it was a little more than our previous resort we stayed at, but it was far superior with many added extras which were definitely worth paying that little bit more for.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank jonnyray21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 29, 2012

In july 2012 we stayed for 11 days at The Waterfront, Koh Samuie, a hotel run by Sue and Robin. Both the hotel and location are fantastic. It was our third visit there. The staff are very friendly, the room is nice and clean and the chef makes an excellent breakfast every morning. Morover, the bar and swimming pool never close. This is the place to relax! Sue and Robin make you feel verry welcome. We plan to return next year with friend.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Stig R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2012

My partner and I needed a break and decided 7 nights in Koh Samui would be relaxing. We liked the idea of a staying at a smaller hotel, something more intimate, on the beach. The Beachfront ticked all the boxes and turned out to be the ideal choice. Stayed in the honeymooon/superior suite, the perfect choice with a large room, large bathroom, good a/c and fan, tv/dvd/fridge and nice balcony for sitting and staring at the water and islands at our doorstep. Plenty of lounging spots by the pool or near the water. Staff were helpful and friendly without being intrusive. The pool was great for cooling off dips a few times a day (we were lucky with very warm days and nights). Although very handy to everything (the village is quite small) the location was ideal as it was quiet and felt secluded. Food choices were plentiful with numerous restaurants (very cheap to moderate) within walking distance or a short taxi ride away. The Friday night street market was a fantastic experience and right out the front of the hotel. We would recommend the hotel and would stay again.

Room Tip: Honeymoon/superior was a great room.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank yank7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorkshire
Level 6 Contributor
177 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2012

I chose the Waterfront (thanks to Trip Advisor) when I found out that the hotel I had booked in Koh Samui was not suitable for me due to its noisy location and the layout of its rooms. A little research got me down the road on my scooter to check out the Waterfront - and within a few minutes I had shaken hands with Robin and he arranged for Michael to pick my gear up a little later when I had sorted it out and then I would come up on my scooter.

The Waterfront is down the end of the interesting Fisherman's Village in Bophut - a long strip of restaurants, shops, bars and other amenities - but it is away from any noisy location and I found the peace and quiet I needed. The room I chose was one of the bungalow type rooms at the back of the property - clean, tastefully furnished and with all amenities. Shower room and toilet at the back - no hot water to washbasin - this is very typical of nearly all hotels in Koh Samui. Electric shower - again this is common - but it would be nice to stay in a hotel this trip with a powerful hot shower! Sleep quality was excellent - no complaints.

Other reviewers have commented on the friendly and gracious welcome by the owners - Robin and Sue - Robin I met on my reconnaissance trip - and Sue greeted me and two other guests when I checked in a little later. I felt a little dishevelled and scruffy having hopped up the dusty road on my scooter - whereas Sue was elegant and immaculately dressed! Her welcome was warm and thorough.

This is a small family run hotel - and many of the guests at this time of year were young couples with toddlers. There is a small pool near the outside bar area which was popular with the young families. The noise of children playing round the pool by day does not bother me and they were in bed early in any case.

The hotel (as its name suggests) is right by the beach - with lovely views across the bay - and there are sun loungers and shade can be found underneath coconut palms if the sun gets y hot. You have to walk a little way (not far) to swim in the sea - this is the Gulf of Thailand not the clear waters of the Andaman Sea - but I found the water quality wasn't bad.

Breakfast was served to order - and supplied by "Cooking" the chief lady cook and a jolly soul - and was fine. Food was available through the day but not after 6:30 pm. This is not an issue as there are so many places to eat on the road at the back of the hotel. The bar stays open as long as anyone wishes to sit there - but was fairly quiet when I was there - popular at sunset and maybe for a nightcap - where you can chat to other guests if you want to.

WiFi - was free and the connection round by the main reception area was good - but a bit hit and miss in my room. This is a common problem - and of course the speed of the connection depends on the number of users - and with most people these days travelling with laptops I pads and the like - if they all decide to go on line - then there is limited bandwidth. Just an inevitable annoyance.

Travel and tour arrangements are all easily done through the front desk - and there is a local affordable laundry collection and delivery service which was really appreciated - as quite often hotel laundry prices are silly.

The downside for me was that it was more expensive than the hotel I had to vacate - still value for what I got I thought and affordable at low season prices. If it had been high season I think I would have had to think twice. Koh Samui is not cheap compared to Chiang Mai, but on a par with Phuket and Bangkok - for some things a bit more expensive than Bangkok.

I felt like a welcome guest so I would recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Some rooms are suitable for couples - others for families - you can see quite easily from the websit...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank David W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Waterfront

Property: The Waterfront
Address: 71/2 Moo1, Bophut, Ko Samui 84320, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui > Bophut
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in Bophut
#12 Romantic Hotel in Bophut
#15 Best Value Hotel in Bophut
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Bophut
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Waterfront 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Family run, small, select and peaceful, yet only steps away from excellent restaurants, bars and boutiques.All rooms are beachfront and the view of the sea and outlying islands is spectacular. Many guests extend their stay, recommend us to others or return themselves, often to meet other guests who have now become friends. Its like coming home, they say. Lots of little touches to make you feel welcome including free pick-up and free internet. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Waterfront Hotel Bophut
Waterfront Hotel Bophut
Waterfront Bophut
The Waterfront Ko Samui/Bophut

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