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“An amazing resort that you never want to leave”
Review of W Koh Samui

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W Koh Samui
Ranked #6 of 30 Hotels in Mae Nam
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 4, 2012

A superbly sleek resort that WOWed us from start to finish. Unfortunately we didn't have the chance to make use of the pool in the villa due to the rainy weather. However, the view at first sight when you enter the lobby was a definite WOW. Everything was done perfectly, and not over the top that I was simply constantly smiling.

Also, it was low season when we were there, which also meant everything was really quick, including calling for a buggy.

Pluses:
How sleek, and well kept the resort is... although a relatively spacious resort, it was impecably maintained. We hardly saw staff upkeeping the resort
Staff were very friendly, they remembered our name, their English was fantastic, and we constantly stopped to chat with the staff.
The room was impeccable, 2 staff took only a short while to clean up our entire room, and they were in and out real quick
The little touches in the room was modern, clean cut and simply wow.
Loved the little red bear on the bed, would be nice if there was a mini one for keeps.
The little touches of Sweet Spot (complimentary drinks and ice creams) were a nice touch.
Nomu - the Jap restaurant was fantastic too - service was great, and staff were not over intrusive.
Breakfast was stunning... there was simply too many choices to pick from. We were enjoying the view with an outdoor breakfast and totally enjoyed the little smoothies/juices that came by every so often.

Minuses
The Thamazcal experience wasn't quite what we expected, and that was quite a letdown. It simply felt like being put in a hot stones (closest encounter would be sauna) room, with some scrub to scrub yourself or your partner with, followed by an outdoor shower of hot, warm then cold water.
The weather... that was about it.... can't think of anything else

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JazzyJas
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 January 20, 2012

Hello JazzyJaz,

Thank you for taking the time to give your important feedback and of course, we are so happy to know you had a great stay with us.

Thank you as well for your thoughts on our newly launched Thaimazcal experience in our Away Spa. We adapted this facility from the original Temazcal concept which is indeed a traditional form of "sweat lodge" and actually already in use at W Mexico City.

Temazcal was originated with pre-Hispanic Indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica. In ancient Mesoamerica it was used as part of a curative ceremony thought to purify the body after exertion such as after a battle or a ceremonial ball game.

Of course, we would prefer to have a bit more fun with this, preferring not to take ourselves too seriously. As such, we adapted the principle and have tried to add some distinctly W Hotels and Thai flavour to the experience, including some unique and fun body scrubs for use on your partner.

I would also admit that in addition to adding some key design changes which are in process as I write this, we are still fine-tuning the overall guest experience and feedback such as yours certainly assists.

Despite the above, I am truly happy that you found the rest of your experience WOW at the Retreat. Needless to say, we will continue to strive for perfection in everything we do.

Thank you again for your honest and open feedback. Please do let me know when back on the island and it would be our pleasure to show you the ongoing Thaimazcal experience development.

Until then, warm wishes,
Nick Downing
General Manager
nicholas.downing@whotels.com

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Reviewed January 1, 2012

From start to finish a superb hotel. Special thanks to Nick the GM, Lucky & Tom in the lobby and Redina in the Kitchen Table restaurant. All the staff however were superb.

The immediate WOW as you walk into the hotel and see the view, to the room, restaurants, gym, spa, pool, buggy service, taxi service etc etc.

The room is fantastic. We were in a hillside sea view villa. They really think of everything and we were incredibly comfortable.

We stayed for the New Year's party and it was amazing. A real party with an awesome DJ and entertainment after a superb dinner.

Namu, the Japanese restaurant is a definite must. If there are just two of you then definitely book at the counter and interact with the chefs and watch them prepare the food. Best Japanese I have had.

Breakfast can't be matched anywhere - they offer you everything possible!

I also had the best massage at the spa. The hotel basically offered the best of everything with more than one WOW moment.

It is a 5 star hotel and priced as a 5 star but we felt it was reasonable compared to other hotels we have stayed in considering the service your receive and the ease of our stay.

It really is Whatever, Whenever.

Room Tip: If you want to use your private pool then you are best with a pool facing west. The ones in the East...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank RMHH
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 January 20, 2012

Hello RMHH,

What Wonderful comments to share and high praise indeed. Thank you.

It was a pleasure to have you both stay with us and I am delighted that you found so many areas of the Retreat at WOW level.

Definitely agree with you regarding Namu, it is always fun to sit at the counter and chat with the team there. My "insider" recommendation is just to let them choose what to prepare for you, sit back and enjoy the journey.

Of course, you were also with us over our special Festive Season celebrations. The team did a magnificent job of arranging extraordinary experiences and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Let's hope we can welcome you back for next year and raise the bar even higher.

Thank you again for you generous comments and please do reach out to me if I can help arrange a return visit in the future.

Have a wonderful 2012.

Warm wishes
Nick Downing
General Manager
nicholas.downing@whotels.com

ps. apologies for the delay in reply as I was attempting to comply with Tripadvisor's newly implemented business verification policy.

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Reviewed December 31, 2011

This hotel is gorgeous, stunning property with so much potential. It's not close to town (Chawang) which is nice and they have shuttle if you wanna go - wouldn't recommend it unless you want mass tourists, Fisherman's village is closer and better. The rooms are huge, modern and what you would expect from a W. The main restaurant on property is great - amazing breakfast buffet! And the Asian restaurant is delicious as well. Very beautiful and relaxing place to enjoy a quiet vacation!

Room Tip: Pretty sure all base rooms "jumgle" are amazing and only get better as you go up, "tr...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank FunSunGoddess
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 January 20, 2012

Hello FunSunGoddess,

Thank you for taking the time to rank us so highly and for providing your feedback.

You are right that the Jungle Oasis rooms at the base of our hillside receive very positive feedback. Of course, you are also correct that the views get "better" as you go higher up the hill to the Ocean View Escapes. It's a very personal decision whether people prefer the views from the Ocean View Escapes or prefer the larger private courtyards of the Tropical Oasis retreats closer to the beach. We will always do our best to advise when people contact us for recommendations.

Otherwise, I am delighted to see you had a wonderful stay with us. I see you found Fisherman's Village only five minutes away which is filled with lots of local shops, casual restaurants and bars. It is certainly one of my favourite places on the island although people still like to see the local town "Chaweng" about 20-25 mins away for all of the hustle and bustle that "town" provides.

Again, thanks for your open feedback and I hope 2012 is off to a wonderful start for you.
Hope to see you return soon.

Warm wishes,
Nick Downing
General Manager
nicholas.downing@whotels.com

ps. apologies for the delay in reply as I was attempting to comply with Tripadvisor's newly implemented business verification policy.

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Reviewed December 26, 2011

We've recently enjoyed our honeymoon travelling all around Southeast Asia keeping the best till last, the W Retreat Koh Samui. And the reward was worth it. This lovely place is aWesome, but after all, one of the most important things is the way the staff take care of their guests and they treated us very well!! They pay great attention to detail.
We travel all we can and this hotel is only comparable with W Retreat Vieques.
Nomu restaurant is a must on this hotel, a japanese fusion kitchen managed by a very nice chef who share part of his knowledge with his clients (highly recommended to book at the counter to look how your food is being prepared by the sushimen)
Another tip, if you like playing golf and would like to play while you are visiting this beautiful island you have to try at Santiburi Golf & Country Club, so beautiful!
Thank you guys, we won't forget it!
Francisco

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Francisco S
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 January 20, 2012

Hello Francisco S.

Thrilled to hear such positive comments about your recent honeymoon with us at W Retreat Koh Samui.

We take special pride in ensuring extraordinary experiences to couples traveling on such a special adventure.

We feel honoured to be compared with W Retreat Vieques (one of only three other W Retreats worldwide including Maldives and Bali). I have heard nothing but amazing stories about Vieques as well.

And good to hear you enjoyed the local professional golf course, run by Santiburi. It is really world class and luckily only minutes away. I just wish I had time to go play there myself!

Thanks again for your amazing feedback and rest assured I am waiting for your email to say you wish to return for your first anniversary!

Have a wonderful 2012.

Warm wishes,
Nick Downing
General Manager
nicholas.downing@whotels.com

ps. apologies for the delay in reply as I was attempting to comply with Tripadvisor's newly implemented business verification policy.

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed December 25, 2011

W Retreat is just the place to go when you need to recharge and unwind with your loved one. All rooms are Villas with an adjoining private plunge pool. We stayed in a Tropical Villa. The bathroom includes a great oversized tub, indoor rainshower and outdoor rain shower (which we used everyday - it's great to shower in the warmth of the tropical air). The bed was wonderful. Room decor is modern with some nice quirks - like the teddy bear that gets dressed each night as part of turndown service, and the fun that the housekeeper had to also put a cap on his head one day, and sunglasses another - awesome! Rooms have a wine fridge (regrettably ours wasn't working and wasn't repaired even though we reported it) and an espresso machine. Breakfast at the restaurant is great, with the chefs also offering to do some special orders as well.

Many of the staff were amazing. From pre-arrival email confirmations, through to service throughout our stay. We were acknowledged by name and made to feel special throughout. We did find the resort very quiet - a combination of suspected low occupancy and the private layout - so it's ideal for a couple wanting private time together but not ideal if you're the sort of person that likes to mingle with others.

The Japanese restaurant is excellent - awesome sushimi, sushi and tepanyaki (at reasonable prices). We also had a private BBQ in our villa but this turned out to be a disappointment as the chef didn't fully cook some of the seafood so one of us didn't feel too well the next day... in some ways unfair to judge on this though.... but suggest the staff use more lighting when cooking the private BBQ.

There's a fantastic gym which we used every day - modern equipment and also some free classes you can attend. One issue we had multiple nights is the gym aircond turns off around 7.30pm and no matter how many times we tried to get it turned back on, we failed (despite promises).

Above the gym is a full sized report pool with horizon edge and bar service. Great views of the ocean and you can lie on the slightly submerged decking to stay cool but work on that tan!

There's also a lovely private beach - comfy lounges, bar service, hammocks, palms swinging in the breeze....gorgeous!

We didn't use the spa services and were disappointed that theThaimazcal wasn't operational during our stay.

The resort is a fair distance from the township but there is a bus that runs a few times per day if you would like to explore, go for a foot massage or eat somewhere different.
Thanks to the staff for your personalised service throughout our stay. I'm sure we'll be back again in the future.

If you're a platinum guest, be aware that this hotel doesn't offer all platinum privileges that you may receive in other Starwood properties...mind you, most aren't necessary!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MangoRacin
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 January 20, 2012

Hello MangoRacin,

Thank you for your very open and honest feedback regarding your recent stay with us, especially as a Platinum SPG member (more of SPG later).

I note a few small issues which were not perfect and rest assured we have taken notice already and will do our best to improve in these key areas. Reported issues should always be followed up and I was disappointed to hear we didn't manage to get your wine fridge working during your stay.

Also disappointed to hear we the BBQ didnt go quite to plan. We have already addressed the lighting issue and hope this will assist to avoid such issues in the future.

Regarding the air-conditioning in SWEAT (our aptly named fitness center!), again, apologies, but this has now been addressed also and will not be an issue in the future.

And as you may have since noticed, we have now officially launched our Thaimazcal facility. Although, despite initial positive reaction, we are still working on raising this to even higher levels of guest service and satisfaction.

And finally, rest assured that even though we are recognised as an "all suite" hotel within the SPG program, we always do our utmost to treat SPG members with the special treatment they definitely deserve. We consider it an honour that they continue to return to us time and time again and will always continue to do our best to impress.

Again, thank you for taking the time to write such open feedback. It is only with such feedback that we can continue to strive for that perfection we all desire here.

Rest assured that Teddy Bear and the rest of the talent at W Retreat Koh Samui is looking forward to welcoming you back in the future.


Warm wishes
Nick Downing
General Manager
nicholas.downing@whotels.com

ps. apologies for the delay in reply as I was attempting to comply with Tripadvisor's newly implemented business verification policy.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2011

We absolutely loved the resort. The resort is beautiful. The view from the lobby is breathtaking. The staff are exceptional. They are courteous, attentive and more than willing to do whatever it takes to make your vacation enjoyable. (Nick has a great staff and they all do a great job). Contrary to a previous review, there is no shortage of staff. They make you feel at home and take the time everyday to check in and make sure you are well cared for. I have nothing but praise for Nick and his entire staff.
The rooms are beautifully designed and spacious. I did like our room on the hill much better than the ocean view ones because the high up ones get a better view of the ocean than the ones right by the ocean.
The grounds are well kept and you always feel that it is your own private retreat. They offer you free soft drinks and all the ice cream you want. Also just like any luxury hotel should do, Internet is free. If you like a traditional looking hotel where they charge you for the air you breath, then you should pick Four Seasons but otherwise in my opinion W is the place to be in Koh Samui.
As far as the surrounding area of the hotel, there is basically not much. As soon as you leave the hotel grounds, it is terrible. There are no good restaurants, non that we were told about. Fisherman's village and Chaweng are extremely tacky and horrendous. So bad that we went there to eat and turned around and went back to the hotel.
The only thing I would recommend to the hotel is to improve their knowledge about recommending good restaurants with good food, good atmosphere, and location. The concierge was ill informed on knowing good places to eat. Also as another reviewer suggested, the menu is the same for all areas of the resort except Namu so if you are not leaving the place, it gets really boring. Namu had great food.
Overall, a wonderful experience. Thank you Nick. You do a wonderful job running the place.

Room Tip: If you are traveling with children, the showers are designed in a way that there is no privacy. Ther...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Likeitniceandclean
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 January 20, 2012

Hello likeitniceandclean (and i certainly hope we were!),

It is always wonderful to read about praise for our wonderful team of talent. They endeavour to provide extraordinary experiences every day and I have nothing but admiration for the effort they put in every day. So thank you for taking time to recognise them.

I would agree that we appeal to guests looking for a new side of Thailand and not a traditional Thai resort. A great deal of effort has gone into designing an experience which provides a new way of experiencing the island and I delighted you enjoyed it. Although you are also right, we are not really designed with children in mind.

I agree that we have not been the best at recommending some key places around the island in the past. To address this, we recently recruited Tom our new W Insider and he is working on compiling the latest list of What's New and What's Next around the island. We will make sure our guests get the inside information about the best that Koh Samui has to offer!

Again, thank you for your kind comments and for ranking us so highly.

Wishing you a wonderful 2012!

Warm wishes
Nick Downing
General Manager
nicholas.downing@whotels.com

ps. apologies for the delay in reply as I was attempting to comply with Tripadvisor's newly implemented business verification policy.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2011

W Hotel Koh Samui

A hotel room is a transient space you arrive, you stay and you leave. By definition it is never yours. 

The (only) one year old, W Koh Samui defies this principle. 

For the first time ever, I felt sad leaving a hotel room, a room so wonderful with all it's attention to details, quirky bouyance and gadgets galore. I did not want to leave, yet I had to cause it wasn't home, yet it was home. 

This was my first experience at the W and the first time in Koh Samui. The property from the moment you arrive and enter the lobby gives you a taste of what is to come. The wide open spaces, the colour changing installations, the beautiful view of the sea outlined by the Woobar which has sunken seats in water. 

The room itself is one of the best and most functional rooms I have ever stayed in. I immediately decided to get my next bedroom in the next house made in the same format as the W room. The room I had was an ocean haven which has direct access to the beach. it is a single block of bed, sofa, tv, mini bar, outdoor shower, indoor shower and a lovely bath tub with a private lap pool outside. The view to the ocean was limited but I had direct access to the beach. 

The 3 nights that I spent there were full of things to do both outside and within the hotel. The hotel offers a wonderful spread of breakfast and a clean lively private beach. 

What is truly exceptional is the service levels. The staff is "Perceptive". To me that is the greatest luxury in the world. I have stayed at the Ritz, Mandarin Oriental, Hyatt, Aman, Four Seasons etc. across the world but never before have I experienced service levels such as this. For instance - I got out of the ocean after a swim and started looking for a towel, could not find one, but saw a staff member running towards me with one. The chef at the breakfast knew of what I had the previous day and made the same thing for me again without even asking him to. To me these small touches are what personify luxurious service. Most of the best hotels in the world have a great building and have full amenities it is only the service which differentiates the success of one hotel over another.

The food is not exceptional but is very good, Namu is a great Japanese restaurant the desserts (strawberry sobiyan and chocolate molten cake) are to die for. Breakfast is a full spread - you think it you will have it.

The only dampner (minor one though) on the stay was when my wife fell ill and I had to go to the pharmacy - the hotel quoted an exorbitant price for literally a 10 min cab ride back and forth. They also refused to call an outside meter taxi citing security issues. I fortunately had the number of a cab guy and I called him and he charged me 20% of what the hotel was quoting. The next day (late at night) I needed go to the pharmacy again - Nick the GM of the hotel was around and he immediately arranged a van for me to go to the pharmacy which was much further away - he was compassionate and understood the difference between an urgency and forego the commercial gains to the hotel by not even charging me for the transport. Like I said it was but a minor momentary dampner when the car was not arranged the first time. 

All in all, will I stay at the hotel again? For sure. Having seen six senses also over a dinner on this trip, The W stands out. It is more relevant to my age group and more my style then the rustic old world charm of the Six Senses. Will I stay in the same room? Perhaps not - at almost double the price I paid over the base category room the only benefit I get is direct beach access. The regular rooms are located on the hillside. There is absolutely no other difference between the room size, private pool etc. between the base category room and the ocean front haven. For me the base category then makes for a better value proposition.

An excellent stay at the W, Loved Koh Samui.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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5  Thank theacompany
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 January 20, 2012

Hello theacompany,

What a wonderful review of your stay with us.

You mention a key point that I have raised many times with my wonderful team of Talents here at the Retreat...it is "easy" to build a beautiful hotel, but it is the team and they service they provide which make a hotel truly special. I am delighted to see that we made that come true for you in particular. And very high praise indeed to compare us with the likes of Four Seasons and Aman.

We know we dont always get it 100% perfect, but as I often say, that should never stop us from attempting to be.

Thank you again for writing such detailed feedback. Rest assured we always take note and also please know that we hope to welcome you back again in the future. Please do contact me directly and will do my best to allocate the best room according to your wishes.

Until then, I hope that 2012 has started wonderfully for you and your family.

Warm wishes
Nick Downing
General Manager
nicholas.downing@whotels.com

ps. apologies for the delay in reply as I was attempting to comply with Tripadvisor's newly implemented business verification policy.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about W Koh Samui

Address: 4/1, Moo 1, Mae Nam, Ko Samui 84330, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui > Mae Nam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Mae Nam
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Mae Nam
#5 Spa Hotel in Mae Nam
#6 Family Hotel in Mae Nam
#6 Luxury Hotel in Mae Nam
Price Range: $685 - $1,588 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — W Koh Samui 5*
Number of rooms: 74
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On Koh Samui Thailand's most pristine beach whose golden sands give way to the Island's most idyllic sunsets, W Retreat Koh Samui is the quintessential escape, with 74 private retreats - each with its own dive pool. Explore new levels of refreshment at AWAY(R) spa, and enjoy insider access to worlds of culinary WOW at our 2 signature restaurants. Then wink your way across Samui's most scenic playground - WOOBAR(R) - where W lights up the night with peerless mixology, live DJs, and signature W Happenings celebrating our passion for fashion, music and design. Whether for a wedding or a wish, Whatever/Whenever(R) has arrived. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
w Retreat Koh Samui Hotel Mae Nam
W Koh Samui Ko Samui, Thailand

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