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“Amazing, great food”
Review of W Koh Samui

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W Koh Samui
Ranked #6 of 30 Hotels in Mae Nam
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 22, 2013

This was our first stay at a W-property and we were not disappointed. We chose the W Retreat based on the modern design and the large pools (plus a relatively attractive rate) and were not really sure what to expect since we normally go for a more classic style.

As others have noted, the view when you enter the resort through the main entrance for the first time just blows you away (if the weather is nice, that is). It is a very nice area to sit in the evening and enjoy a cocktail, although during our stay it was mostly very quiet. Towards the end it got a little bit busier but for the most part the resort was maybe half full by my reckoning (the staff dodged the question) which made the common areas feel kind of dead. This also went for one of the restaurants (Kitchen Table) and the Sip-bar af the beach. On most evenings we were the only ones there, sometimes with one or two other couples. The overall atmosphere is very relaxed and laid back, and this is mirrored by the staff who are friendly and greet you on a personal level.
There was a VERY busy party related to the DJLab-event organized by W on friday night which was very cool (allthough you had to wait about 20 minutes to get you drinks order)

We had one of the Ocean Front Havens, a massive room right on the beach. The beach is not entirely private though, you share it with adjoining rooms so sometimes your neighbours will walk in front of your villa. The private pool is a lot more than just an plungle pool, about 12 meters in length and 2,5 meters wide. It is a nice addition but we found that personally we prefered to use the communcal pool - it was very quiet and had an amazing view over the ocean.

The room itself was more than spacious enough with a huge bathroom, both indoor and outdoor showers and a very comfortable tub. The bed is large and comfortable and there is ample storage space. The upkeep could be better: Of course, being very sunny and close to salt water it is a very harsh environment, but for such a newly built resort we were surprised to see lots of weathered wood and some rust on metal surfaces.

The food is amazing: we usually stay on the property if we go to a luxury resort, which means eating at the on site restaurants every day. Special mention goes to the breakfast buffet: very extensive, fresh, amazing taste and if you have special wishes, the chefs will happily make it for you. We had dinner a few times at Namu and the food there is even better. Also here the chefs will create special dishes for you that aren't even on the menu. To add to the experience, as returning guests we got complimentary drinks and dessert. The Kitchen Table has a wider selection with both Thai and Western dishes (pizza, pasta, burgers etc) which we found a bit weird, but is it excellent for lunch.

The Spa and gym are as you would expect, competent but not world class. The treatments are reasonably priced compared to other 5-star hotels though.

To round off this review a few random remarks:
- The sweet spots (scattered fridges with soft drinks and ice-cream etc) are a nice idea but the freezers just can't keep up with the heat. Maybe just placing a small selection of soft drinks in the rooms would be better.
- Be aware that wine is already very expensive in Thailand, and the prices for champagne are downright ludicrous: a bottle of standard Veuve goes for about 250 Euro, a champagne cocktail starts at about 60 Euro. Stick to beer or the excellent cocktail selection.
- Very large selection in the mini bar, with even a small wine fridge. Too bad that this can only keep one temperature, so you'll have either warm white wine or cold red wine.

All in all we were very happy with our stay, and will certainly be back to a W retreat elsewhere in the world.

Room Tip: Ocean Front Havens are very large en close to beach but due to orientation the pool doesn't get...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank danielkegel
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 November 1, 2013

Dear Daniel,

Many thanks for taking the time to provide such a detailed review to the Tripadvisor community. Great to know your stay was amazing and you enjoyed the facilities and talent.

I appreciate your constructive feedback on retreat configuration and styling. It is probably helpful to point out to others reading these reviews that the room type Ocean Front Haven does have unobstructed views of the beach and ocean. As all beaches in Thailand are accessible to the public this would not be the most appropriate choice if complete privacy is a priority. Although we do not get a great amount of foot traffic on the beach, Jungle or Tropical Oasis retreat types would be more suitable for complete privacy.

I have passed along your impression of the food quality to our culinary team who are delighted you enjoyed their efforts- both menu items and impromptu creations.

Thanks again Daniel and we look forward to seeing you soon again at w.

All the best,

B.

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Reviewed October 17, 2013

W HK was our first W experience this year, and it was there I proposed to my wife. This trip was a toss up between returning to W HK or trying out Samui as we needed to escape from the hustle and bustle as well as getting our wedding photos/videos done. Samui won, and the location was set.

As per many others before us, we were wow'ed by the view upon entering the property, and were immediately ushered to the lounge while the checking in process was sorted out. A breeze. We were then brisked to our ocean view escape, and were again wow'ed by the unit's design/views. The next 3 days were just spent in a mixture of shots on and off location, relaxing on the beach and exploring the island as we hired a car to drive around.

Overall the stay was very good, the property amazing, but leaves much to be desired on the service front.

PLUS
Great location.
Fantastic lay out.
Beautiful design.
Convenience - Carts at your disposal, valet etc.
Sweet Spot.
On check-out day we were also given day use of a tropical oasis, very impressed with this.

TO BE IMPROVED
Mixed service.
Communication between hotel staff.
Weathered wood in rooms (probably need a fresh coat of laquer).
Inconsistent WIFI - We couldn't connect easily, and even if we could, pages wont load. Could be an issue with the standard W-router, as our day-use room had a HP router and internet worked fine.

One notable between W HK and W Samui was that during our trip at the former, we had a Welcome Agent which made all the difference. She was attentive, and not sure whether it was by coincidence but we were always greeted in the morning where we were asked whether anything else was required for the rest of the day. Even the other welcome agents at W HK knew who we were and were equally as attentive, as we presume it was already well communicated at the back end. In W Samui however, it is unfortunate that I don't even know who our Welcome Agent was.

We feel communication between staff still has room for improvement, as we informed the hotel prior to our trip on our intention to shoot our wedding photo/video on location and were told it won't be a problem. During our visit however, we were asked twice on separate occasions who gave us permission to shoot and whether or not we were guests of the hotel. Didn't impress me a all. Would've blown my top if it weren't for the wife.

Make no mistake though, we shall return. This place is still amazing. We do however hope that the service level can be raised a notch by then. And then it shall be perfect.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank kchin29
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 November 1, 2013

Dear kchin29

Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts on your recent visit to Retreat Koh Samui, good to know that you enjoyed your time with us particularly the design and convenience.

I have taken note of the areas where you feel we fell short and have shared with our team. Due to our island location internet is a constant focus for us. Where we have found relatively few problems with dropped connections page load speeds can be variable from time to time. Over the course of the coming months we will be upgrading the Wifi access points across the resort which should mitigate some of these issues.


Due to the panoramic vistas at W, in particular from the WooBar and Welcome areas we are are a popular location for photography. We do, as a matter of policy, restrict non-guest photographic access to these areas as our guests have found this to be intrusive in the past. I apologize that our team did not correctly identify you as resort guests, we will pay more attention to this in the future.

We hope to see you soon again at W.

Best wishes,

Brian Segrave
General Manager

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Reviewed October 15, 2013

i wouldnt rate it excellent , but good would do , the service is very very good though, staff do go to the next level to serve you , always smiling, recognising your face , personal touches that really makes it very good. they surprised us with a birthday gift. which was really really nice
the rooms are very clean and make up service is fantastic , everytime we enter and leave our room is shining

food can be better though, it lacks a bit in that area, same goes with room layout , had the ocean front , the toilet consumed alot of the space giving the bedroom and living room attached to each other with only one sofa and two lazy chairs. that was a huge turn off for me, they should take some of the space of the toilet and seperate or give much more area for seating. and besides the couch there should be a single sofa seater, not just lazy beds. the bed itself was very hard.

overall its a very good hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank 80lzr
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 November 1, 2013

Dear SultanQs,

Many thanks for your review of W Retreat Koh Samui, so glad to hear you found the service and personal touches to your liking.

We have taken note of your comments on food variety, retreat configuration and bed firmness which we are reviewing with our team.

All the best,

Brian Segrave
General Manager

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Reviewed October 14, 2013

Our second time to the beautiful W Koh Samui did not disappoint.

The service continues to be impeccable and the staff are accommodating, helpful and simply divine.

The assistant manager Jean is fantastic and nothing is ever too much trouble. He was welcoming and although he wasn’t working the evening we arrived, he made a point to find us during our second day at the property. The W Insider Tom was outstanding at providing information and places of interest to visit in Samui! He was generous with his time and had a wonderful attitude to life! The W Insiders are wonderful throughout the world and it one of the drawcards for this Starwood group that we love and keeps bringing us back! Cee the head of the food and beverage areas was beautiful and friendly each day greeting everyone and remembering each guest. Our first night having arrived late into Samui we didn’t want to venture far for dinner and decided to eat at the Kitchen Table. An array of options on the menu but Cee suggested that if we had any special Thai dishes we wanted she would see if she could get the chefs to make them! Sure enough they were able to make our special requests! The service never disappoints! Namu the Japanese restaurant is wonderful with fresh produce. The staff are wonderful and the food just stunning!



The pool, spa, gym are wonderful and always with helpful staff! Chai who mainly works in the gym but will pop up at the beach and by the pool taking the daily activities that varies was wonderful. Travelling with a ten year old Chai was simply fabulous looking after him often entertaining him! This will be someone he will remember forever!



The daily free shuttle bus into Chaweng is a brilliant service and it is great way to see the town and to experience the culture of Samui especially the evening service.



A wonderful stay again and a perfect getaway!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Asnldjn
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 November 1, 2013

Dear Asnldjn,

Many thanks for sharing your thoughts on your visit to W Koh Samui- so glad to hear your second stay with us was as wonderful as the first.

We are very fortunate to have Jean, Tom, Sea and Chai on the team and that they created memorable experiences for you- it is great that their individual contributions are recognized.

Looking forward to welcoming you back to W Retreat Koh Samui for a third time, hopefully soon.

All the best,

Brian Segrave
General Manager

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Reviewed October 14, 2013

The hotel was very modern and very cool. The lobby area was very nice. The room was very spacious. The little teddy bear on the bed was a great touch and with his little PJ's was adorable.

I love the breakfast, it's amazing. Those fresh juices and fruit are fantastic.

If you like something's modern and funky then this is the place for you.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Air-Thai-Life
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 October 22, 2013

Dear Air-Thai-Life,

Many thanks for your review, so glad you enjoyed your visit to W Retreat Koh Samui (including the bears :-)

Great photos, thanks for sharing those.

Best wishes,

Brian Segrave
General Manager

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Reviewed October 10, 2013

We went for drinks at this stunning property. It was amazing. The views and architecture are the best I have seen for a bar. Fantastic veins in a very contemporary setting. Full of surprises you will love it. We had cocktails, wine and fries all served to perfection.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jude W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2013

After exploring Samui and the surrounding islands, we moved from another hotel to W to enjoy a nice end of our Samui stay. The moment you first stepped into the lobby, you are greeted with a WOW scenery and perhaps, one of the most photographed scene of Samui!

Service-wise, it was very good. Whatever Whenever service is very prompt to all our requests. With the famed Sweet Spot being a popular treasure chest to be ransacked by guests, we made requests to Whatever Whenever for delivery of certain items that were not re-stocked in a timely fashion. However, we also noticed that some times, it could be a deliberate attempt not to re-stock the Haegan Daz ice-creams!

With W being located at the tip of Mae Nam, you get to choose your view - sunset/sunrise. It was perfect. Only issue was the coral shells on the beach which made it difficult to walk but this was already expected. The sunloungers and cabanas provided were perfect for a relaxing time. Certain areas of the beach had perfect wi-fi signal too,

We stayed in the Tropical Oasis villa. We were offered a free upgrade when we checked-in but refused as we wanted to be near the beach. The villa was wonderful and the privacy is protected (except if you peeked through the trees). The outdoor shower was wonderful and the actual bathroom leads you out to the private pool.

Prices of drinks are definitely more expensive than the eateries outside (again, expected). As we preferred to stay in the retreat most of the time, we had lunch on a daily basis at the Kitchen Table. Breakfast is also at the Kitchen Table. As we eat less for lunch, we were able to choose wisely on the type of meals we wanted and the food prices are reasonable (eg. around AUD10-12 for a burger and fries). Being SPG members, we were lucky to be provided with free wine for the month of September. Breakfast was amazing with a wide selection. The only issue we had was with a rude waitress who rudely stopped us from bringing our unfinished drink (juice) outside - we were told we can only drink it at the Kitchen Table. I find this ludicrous for a 5 star establishment to be extremely picky on nitty-gritties.

For dinner, we had a meal one night in Namu - the famed Japanese fusion restaurant. Unfortunately, my partner and I experienced diarrhea after the meal - perhaps from a bad raw fish. I would not be rating the retreat based on this experience and would rate it in a seperate review for the restaurant itself.

W also provided free shuttle to town. We made use of it a couple of nights to enjoy dinner elsewhere. Timing may not be great but we had our driver drive us back to the resort.

As some have pointed out, the resort is really located in quite a secluded area of Mae Nam. You can possibly walk outside to the main road but it may take a good 15 minutes and you probably wouldn't want to walk at night. There are no convenience stores around but around 5 minutes walk from W, you would find small home owners selling drinks.

My partner utilised the SPA and found it to be amazing. The gym was great too!

We also conversed a fair bit with Tom, the W Insider. He was a very friendly and accommodating person.

Another let down was on the last day when we had to check-out. As our flights were late afternoon, we requested for late-checkout which we were told by a lady at the start of our stay that it would be done. However, on the day itself, we were told we cannot do a late check-out. We even negotiated an extra 30 minutes but they would not even provide that. They did provide us to use the SPA's shower to freshen up before heading to the airport.

All in all, it was a wonderful stay minus the little hiccups. We probably would not come back again as W Samui presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we would want to try the Four Seasons the next time!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank iashi
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 October 22, 2013

Dear iashi,

Many thanks for your detailed review of your recent stay at W Koh Samui Retreat, we appreciate you sharing your experience with the Tripadvisor community.

Good to learn you enjoyed the beach, spa and fitness facilities and that Tom was helpful. The negative points we will certainly look into however rest assured we do not ration the Haagen Dazs as a cost control measure :-)

All the best,

Brian Segrave
General Manager

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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 Luxury Hotel in Mae Nam
#6 Family Hotel in Mae Nam
Price Range: $683 - $1,479 (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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