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Reviewed September 15, 2011

Lovely rooms, wonderful food at Kitchen Table (we didn't eat at the Japanese restaurant), helpful & attentive staff.

And everything down to the last detail, like the welcome mat at reception is changed 3 times a day to say "Good Morning", "Good Afternoon", or "Good Evening"

Date of stay: September 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank NickOrloff
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WRetreat, General Manager at W Koh Samui, responded to this reviewResponded September 27, 2011

Hello NickOrloff (GREAT name by the way!)

It was a pleasure to meet you during your recent stay with us.

We appreciate you taking the time to add your voice to your growing support we have recently.

We will continue to work on those little details. As you know, in the end, they all add up to a wonderful exeprience for our guests.

Please come back soon.

Warm wishes,
Nick Downing
General Manager.

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Reviewed September 13, 2011

This was our first trip to Koh Samui. Be warned, in comparison to Bangkok - Koh Samui is a LOT more expensive when you're taking taxis, buying souveniers and trinkets as well as getting massages and booking tours. W Ko Samui was a wonderful, hideaway escape on the island. It is definitely a retreat. Below are my comments:

Accommodation - I would recommend booking a tropical villa in the hills as we did as you get a lovely view over the ocean and resort and if you're lucky, get to witness beautiful sunsets from your own pool everyday. The beach villas aren't as private as I would like and you don't really have a view unless you walk out onto the beach. But the villas in general are brilliant - large, well laid-out, really good sized pools - you can actually swim laps - not just dip in. Bathrooms are a good size and you can choose to have a bath in a great tub, go natural in an outdoor rainforest shower or just enjoy the great indoor shower! Great amenities from Bliss and plentiful in case you forget your own toiletries. My only critique - if only the curtains were automated - we could lay in bed and open them instead of physically dragging them but its a small price to pay for such amazing views!

F&B: Lychee Moo-Hee-Toes are delicious at the Lounge Bar and what an amazing space. You could just sit, eat and drink there till 1am in total bliss. Kitchen Table's Pad Thai is the best i've ever had and it was presented beautifully as well with massive juicy king prawns! This was my daily lunch on the beach in my hammock on beach bed. Dinner at NAMU was wonderful - great sushi - try the soft shell crab rolls (plenty!), Beef cheeks and Duck Salad and make sure to sit outside! Breakfast was amazing - what a spread - anything you could want and the omelette chef was always ready to create something super for us. Make sure to ask and try the 'local' omelette - it has everything in it and is scrumptious. And every so often, they come by with a little taster of something be it smoothies or breakfast canapes of some sort if you want to try and our advice is - do try!

SPA: Wonderful spa - it was our honeymoon so one of our friends booked us the Bubble of Love Package which had a champagne bubble bath, a wrap/scrub (you can decide) and an hour massage. Everything was very well-executed and the therapists were very professional and the massages were fantastic. Great facilities like a thaimazcal area and there's even a healthy bar called Tonic!

Service: They couldn't do enough - service was fantastic and nothing was ever an issue. They helped give us change so we could smaller bills, arranged taxis and buggies whenever/wherever. Super friendly and always with a smile.

Facilities: The Hotel pool is fantastic - do try it, gives a good view point over whole resort and is usually empty so you also have it to yourself. The beach is great - one side is calm, other side rougher and its not very deep so great for just swimming around and chilling. Clean beach, great sun beds and loungers. Only one hammock! They should have more! And they have these Sweet Spots stocked with free ice-cream and drinks/water for all guests which we attacked whenever we crossed one. A Nice touch.

Tips: Make sure to not run around 'exposed' with the curtains open as you never know who can see you. Order the Pad Thai! Order a Lychee MooHeeToe. A taxi to Chaweng is 600 THB and to BoPhut is 400 THB. On the way back, its cheaper - so bargain. You can use the APPLE computer and printer in the lobby to check-in and print out your boarding passes easily. Get to the beach early to secure the hammock - there's only one!

Overall, its pricey but it is definitely worth it for a special occassion and for us, it made our honeymoon into an unforgettable experience.

Room tip: Tropical Oasis Villas on the Hill are best choice cause you get amazing views as well as a quick buggie ride down to the beach!
Date of stay: September 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank HotHospitality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WRetreat, General Manager at W Koh Samui, responded to this reviewResponded September 26, 2011

Hello HotHospitality (cool name, by the way!)

Firstly, thank you for taking the time to detail the impressions of your experiences here at the Retreat. Some fantastic points indeed.

I totally agree that many guests love to have the Ocean Views from their private pool retreats. For that reason, I would want to let future guests know that while some of the hillside Jungle Oasis Retreats have limited ocean views (such as your retreat did), some do not. So we still advise those people who want to have such views guaranteed, it is worth the extra to reserve one of our Ocean View Escapes on the higher levels of the hillside.

Great idea by the way....I'll have to add the "auto curtain opening" feature to my wishlist for the next renovation.

Also great feedback regarding our culinary team and their efforts. The soft shell crab rolls at Namu are another great insider tip of mine as well.

I also consider Tonic a hidden gem of the Retreat. Often overlooked, it is a peaceful haven in the Away Spa and stay tuned, we will be expanding our healthy culinary options there shortly.

Hammocks? Your desire is our command. We have recently installed many more along the beach! Plenty more locations to choose from when you next return, which hopefully will be soon.

So again, thank you for your comments and suggestions. As you know by now, we take notice and we do our best to continually improve and innovate. Overall we are thrilled that you enjoyed your "magical" W Retreat experience with us here in Samui.

I look forward to welcome you back and creating more magic when you return to the edge of Wonderland soon.

Warm wishes,
Nick Downing
General Manager.

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Reviewed September 7, 2011

We stayed at the W for the first week of our honeymoon - we had been counting down the days for the last year and the W did not disappoint.
Yes, it's expensive but it's a luxury hotel so what can you expect? The villas are absolutely fabulous, as are the mojitos and the breakfast buffet. The staff is quite accommodating and we had great service all week - they made dinner reservations and cab reservations each night for us without issue. There isn't a big selection of restaurants in the hotel, though Namu was great the one night we went there. It's easy to get a cab and go to plenty of great restaurants within 15 minutes of the hotel. It was rather empty when we were there which was perfect for us, but if you're looking to meet new people on holiday, this is not the place for you. We had massages at the Spa which was nice, but nothing extraordinary. I think the resort will be even more beautiful as it is finished and the trees and shrubs grow a bit more. Overall I'd highly recommend.

Date of stay: August 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank leefrog99
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WRetreat, General Manager at W Koh Samui, responded to this reviewResponded September 26, 2011

Hello leefrog99,

Thank you for taking the time to let everyone know about your stay with us. I am so happy you enjoyed the first week of your honeymoon.

Namu is certainly a favourite escape for couples to enjoy a special dinner and it seems you had a great experience there too.

I agree that our landscaping is still coming up in some areas. However as mentioned in previous recent reviews, we continue to plant more and more. Over 20,000 plants of all shapes and sizes within the past two months alone.

And as just mentioned in previous reviews, we are doing our best to pry people out of their private pool villas/retreats with more events, happenings and activities to create more atsmosphere at certain times. We will keep you posted on the progress of this!

I hope the remainder of your honeymoon was just as special as the first part and I hope that we have the chance to welcome you back for your first year anniversary. Please contact me directly when you make plans and we will do our best to impress once more.

Thank you again and warm wishes,
Nick Downing
General Manager

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Reviewed September 4, 2011

It's a WOW when my girlfriend and I first arrived at the W Retreat, a warm welcome from the friendly staff (from the porter to Christian, the Manager) followed by the spectacular view from the lobby. Even though I had some problem connecting my iPad with the WiFi, Christian promptly fixed the problem and delivery it to my room in person with his great smile.

We stayed in the Tropical Oasis room, it's very cozy and everything was neat and tidy with a touch of taste, such as the change of lighting, decoration inside the room and, oh, the teddy bear. However, my advice is not to open the glass door to the private pool for an extended period because most likely your room will fill with mosquitos and you will get some nice bites from them when you try to get a sweet dream!

Food is excellent, we had breakfast and room service during our stay and everyday was a new experience. Omelette on the hot pan on the first day was a WOW , everything was fresh and the taste is just right. We were offered different kinds of drinks and food throughout our 2-hours breakfast chill-out everyday and they just tickled our taste bud with joy. Oh, don't forget the hamburger, it's very fresh and juicy, I prefer more onion and pickle though. I know Phad Thai is a no-big-deal dish in Thailand but this is the one you must try in W. Don't forget to try out the Japanese restaurant as well and you can enjoy a breezy night along the beach after the Jap dinner!

I had a great time in W and I am sure I will be back for my holiday.

Zach
Hong Kong

Date of stay: August 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank ZachAuyeung
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WRetreat, General Manager at W Koh Samui, responded to this reviewResponded September 26, 2011

Hello Zach,

Thank you for writing such a lovely review. Always good to know when we get things right and make such a positive impression.

I agree with all your insider tips to fellow readers. The Phad Thai always receives rave reviews and I have to admit that we have the biggest and juiciest prawns I have tasted since being in Australia! We have already noted your comments for more pickles and onions on your hamburger next time too.

So some pesky mosquitos wanted to join you and Mr Teddy for the evening? We will certainly look into this as we normally dont have such an issue at the Retreat...luckily! Sorry if this did cause you any discomfort on that evening however.

Zach, thank you again for your review and please feel free to contact me or Christian directly when planning your next island escape. And say hi to everyone at W Hong Kong for us!

Warm wishes,
Nick Downing
General Manager

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Reviewed September 4, 2011

So I'm about to check out of the W Retreat. I heard about in the mags and on reviews here and was definitely psyched to check out this (new) place and Koh Samui, I love the islands...stayed in Phuket, as well as Bali and Fiji. Now have you ever gone to a hotel and thought that the room was AWESOME but that the hotel (including F&B) needs help? Well, welcome to the W. This place was built/planned before the global recession. You can tell. The villas are huge. Awesome. Best I've seen. But getting around the facilities is ridiculous. You can tell that it wasn't planned out in the owner's attempts to get it done (which by the way, are in trouble financially). This place is a graveyard and it's kind of sad. Employees will linger over you. You'll have every facility to yourself. And why is this? Well, first off, the location isn't v. good. The beach is at best average. V. little area. Sand isn't great. Sure, it's great to not have to fight for space, but you literally are in a dead zone. Next the restaurants are lacking. Choice? nope. Is this place close to the island's many other options. Not at all. Your taxi driver which will have no idea where and what this is WILL get lost. so be prepared to pay. Finally, and the most alarming is that the prices are a joke. Now, yeah, this place is nice and you get what you pay for. This i prob the best hotel/villa rom I've ever had and I've stayed at some great places. But $70 USD for A SINGLE GLASS OF champagne, that they try and sell to you? What? I understand why foreign wine is so expensive in Thailand because of taxes. But what's the point? Don't even bother. Further, peanuts or any nuts for $15? A soda for $5? I mean when you have limited options, no little store to buy such items and no place to get sundries in the vicinity this is excessive. What bothers me is that you're forced to pay ridiculous amounts. And true I can afford it and so can you if you're considering this place, but there's a difference between splurging/indulging burning money. It's a waste. And as I love champagne, there's no way i'll pay $300 or $70 USD for something that's $15 or $50 anywhere in NYC...which is where I live. So the employees here are great. What else can they do? But keep in mind that you will have a hotel that is AT BEST 30-40% occupied (this place must be hemorrhaging money). So, will I stay here again? Nope...the Conrad is brand new...might as well try that one out. And there are so many options with better locations. This place is sharp, modern and the rooms are awesome. Otherwise, you will spend 20 minutes walking to anywhere at the hotel (elevator system was poorly developed...and why waste so much room on a juice bar and the gym when you could have implemented further F&B options?). I'm in the real estate business so I know a few things about great hotels and planning. And this one smacks of a hotel built during the "bubble".
Oh and another point, I pointedly told the front desk that I wouldn't mind upgrading for an ocean view. The darn place is dead...why the heck not upgrade me to a room that is sitting empty???? What is wrong with the management here? Oh, that's right, they're busy pacing upstairs wondering how they'll make payroll. Sorry if I sound a little angry, but I can't stand when someone in the service industry doesn't endeavor to make a valued guest happy. Instead the ocean view rooms sit empty. Oh well

Room tip: go for the ocean view. And get ready to pay.
Date of stay: September 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank smrpenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WRetreat, General Manager at W Koh Samui, responded to this reviewResponded September 26, 2011

Hello smrpenn,

Thank you for taking the time to detail your thoughts and experiences at W Retreat Koh Samui. Obviously we are always disappointed when we dont get things 100% right and I assure you that we do take note of such comments.

As you mentioned, there are times that despite being 60-70% occupied, the Retreat "feels" quiet as many of our guests spend so much time in their pool villas/retreats. So, we are certainly now creating more happenings and events to encourage our guests to mix, mingle and play in our different venues. For example, we have already noticed a big increase in our guests enjoying events such as Mo-Hee-Toe Madness on Friday evenings at Woobar during sunset. And there is more to come in the next few months.

I would also agree that our prime secluded location at the tip of exclusive Maenam Bay (only 5 mins from all the lively selection of restaurants at Fishermans Village and 20 mins from all the activity of Chaweng Beach) can be a little challenging to find from the main road, so we have recently organised much larger signage which should be installed in the coming weeks.

I am sorry that it appears as though we didnt do a better effort in connecting you with the surrounding areas of the Retreat. Our new W Insider, Khun Tom will be doing his best to highlight those hidden (and sometimes not so hidden) gems of the island for our guests who want to explore the island so that they really enjoy themselves.

Regarding for the costs of the champagne, I realise it is more expensive than downtown New York. While we have always showcased more premium level champagnes, we are looking to introduce some other options which will increase both the variety and the different price points. I apologise for this selection/pricing leaving such a bad impression.

Overall I am certainly disappointed that we didnt make a better impression. As you noticed, our team does their best to ensure a memorable stay for all the right reasons. I assure you that we are always striving to improve and impress. I can only hope that you will return in the future to see another side of W Retreat Koh Samui.

Sincerely and with warm wishes,
Nick Downing.

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