As slightly older (mid 50’s) travellers than the normal ‘W’ market sector my wife and I were a little nervous that we would be a little out of place in this ultra trendy retreat, however, our concerns were soon set to rest by a thoroughly welcoming and helpful team. I have read a couple of the comments expressed by others in the reviews and am left wondering if we were at a different place, without exception every member of staff had a smile and all seemed genuinely concerned that we were being looked after.
On the first day there were a couple of problems with the retreat (nothing serious but serious enough to need to be addressed). These were dealt with in the blink of an eye. One small issue was that we arrived fairly early from Bangkok and had to wait for our retreat (there was another ready but I had mentioned in passing when making the booking that we liked privacy and the staff were working to make sure we got the correct retreat). As 3pm approached the GM (Gunther) advised us that there would be a 30 minute delay and offered us a glass of champagne while we waited – a nice gesture, especially when you see the price list for champagne at the W!
Lots of reviewers have commented on the breakfast and there is little more to add. If you cannot find something you like from the huge selection of freshly cooked or baked foods on offer I would be amazed. I am a very fussy eater and in the 9 days there I did not have a single dish which would have caused me to complain. I really liked the way that your breakfast dish is served by the chef who cooked it for you – this I guess gives an extra impetus for the chef to make sure it is right. We visited the Japanese restaurant one evening and not being regular Japanese diners we could have done with a little more ‘hand holding’ as we decided what to order. The waiter struggled to describe the dishes – however his English was a lot better than my non-existent Thai. The Kitchen Table serves consistent high quality food and the Restaurant Manager (to my shame whose name I did not learn) was very, very attentive and looked after a great team of happy smiling waiting staff.
The retreats are well appointed and our Beach Front was great. We did spend a couple of hours on the last day in one of the Garden Retreats and whilst the same size it did feel a little claustrophobic – probably because the outside space is surrounded by high walls. I think the challenge they will have is keeping everything fresh – if this is not done it will very quickly lose the ‘W’ cutting edge it has.
So, what’s not to like? Some of their pricing is a little odd with a mix of great value and hugely inflated items. I generally try and avoid mini bars in hotels as the mark ups are huge. Here they are ridiculous. You need to be reasonably fit to deal with the fact that the place is built on a steep hill. Get to like climbing stairs as you will have a lot of practice. It is remote and many have talked about the rough sand I think the bigger issue is that depending on tide it is very difficult to get to adjoining beaches (the good side of that is it stops outsiders getting to the W’s beach.)
All in all, a great place, a great team of people, some scope for it to ‘grow into itself’ as the shrubs start to hide the constructions ‘scars’. We will go again.
- 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 Retreat Koh Samui Ko Samui, Thailand