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.
- 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