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Fair House Villas & Spa
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All reviewssunset suiteorganic gardengarden villathe main roadkoh samuiswim up barfisherman's villageour honeymoonjacuzzi on the balconygolf buggylarge bathtubprivate dinnerchaweng beachfree shuttlebeach fronttraditional thaitaxi service
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282 - 287 of 670 reviews
Reviewed June 23, 2013

We arrived at the hotel and took a shared taxi to the hotel. Check in was easy and very friendly. We were shown around the hotel on a golf cart and taken to our room. The room was very spacious and clean. Bathroom is also clean and spacious. There is nothing wrong with the rooms although I would advice asking for a spare key as you'll only get one when checking in.
At first look everything seemed to be ok in this hotel. But then you start looking beyond the first side. The amenities are just poor. First disappointment was the pool. It's big and water is nice but it was dirty. I am sure it hadn't been cleaned all day. And this has nothing to do with renovation this is basic cleaning. And yes the pool is old and doesn't look that appealing. And I know that the manager is going to react on this and say "we have a renovation planned an blabla, waiting for low season..." Just do it! There have been numerous people telling you this in the past (review april, february...) I stayed at a 5* hotel in BKK and they closed the rooftop pool for renovation during this season. You will always be waiting and you will always disappoint guests. Same thing on the umbrella's. They are so worn out you wouldn't believe. This doesn't happen overnight. So again should have been done sooner. Same on the towels by the pool. They are just plain old and worn out. (Read review august 2012!!!) Same goes for the linnen in the rooms. All should be replaced immediatly. I don't buy the excuses, sorry.
On to the restaurant. Well, not much I can say about it. I think the prices are ok for the standard on the island. But the food lacked taste. I asked Thai style but the food was just dull. So price/quality there are better options. But the breakfast was good with plenty of choice and fresh products. Pastry is always a tricky on when you can't make them yourself but the quality was ok.
Rented scooter from the hotel no problems there. I would suggest to offer free transfer to the airport though. Charging 500 baht for a ride to the airport which is an 8 km ride is ridiculous. Especially if you are using the hotelvan that are just sitting there not being used. I would expect a bit more customer service.
Because that's my conclusion. Staff is very friendly and willing to help. But I think managment isn't as customer minded as they pretend to be when reacting to these reviews. I know the manager will be reading this and will probably react to this with the same excuses he uses in all the other reviews. But there is only so many times you can excuse yourself. So instead of writing an elaborately long response to this review trying to convince other readers it isn't that bad and you are on top of it, act. Get things done. Because if not you'll be looking into a lot more reviews like this in the future.
I am sure this hotel has potential but looking back on my stay I am glad I got a great discount through the booking site.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank edwinaarschot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FairHouseVillas, Manager at Fair House Villas & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 23, 2013

Dear edwinaarschot,

Thank you for your review and your comments. I am glad you enjoyed your room along with certain other aspects of your experience, but also sorry to see that your overall stay with us was not better than “average”.

It seems the problems were mainly the state of our beach umbrellas, swimming pool and pool towels. It is clear that the condition of these three elements have been below our standards for a while. The good news is that our new umbrellas have already arrived (unfortunately not in time for your stay), together with new sunbed mattresses. We are still waiting for the new towels and my hope is that they are ready for our high season in August. I understand that when reading past reviews it can seem very repetitive with these things being mentioned several times. I was caught a bit off guard myself with how long the ordering and delivery process has taken. The umbrellas you saw here were not much more than a year old, but as you mentioned the condition was already unacceptable. Even after only six months, the quality had deteriorated severely this was when we decided they needed to be replaced. Since this is a significant investment, we obviously had to find a new supplier and make sure we did not make the same mistake again. That process, together with the delivery was much longer than we had hoped and that was the reason for the delay. It is not intended as an excuse and I understand that this does not help you much at this point. I just do not want you, or anyone else, to believe that we are simply making up excuses in these responses to avoid any investments or extra work. Guest feedback is our number one tool to improve our facilities and our services and we do try to be reactive and flexible. Regrettably, some processes can be a bit less straight-forward than simply setting the budget and making the decision.

As for the swimming pool renovation I have tried to be as honest as possible in these responses. Not in order to delay the inevitable or save the investment, it is simply to be honest with the guests arriving in the coming few months that the pool, although fully functional and usable, is indeed mature for a renovation. I would like nothing more than to push the dates of the renovation forward, but it would not be fair to those guests who have already booked their stay. Our contracts with agents and tour operators make it impossible to simply close down our pool 20 days for renovation whenever we want. These projects need to be coordinated and planned far in advance. It will always be someone who is affected, but we decided with our agents that it is better to do it in November during low season than now when we have more than a hundred guests in house on average. We understand very well that many guests would prefer the renovation to be done in time for their stay and that this will reflect in the feedback. However, I suspect that your feedback would not be much better if our only swimming pool would have been closed for construction work during your stay.

The reason I take my time to write these responses is not to make excuses, take away focus or cover up/delay any issues we may have. This is actually a very useful channel to educate future travellers about our hotel. When two reviews mention the same point, I will answer them both as honest as I can to the best of my abilities. I understand that this can seem repetitive and does not necessarily help the reviewer, but it might be useful for future guests to understand whether they would like to stay with us or not. We would never want to write something untruthful since we do not have any interest in disappointing people and we know very well it would come back to bite us. The main thing is to give guests an idea of what we are and what we offer. That way, the guests can make a more accurate decision on whether or not they would like to stay with us. We do not want to paint a perfect image for potential guests and then have them disappointed when they come to see the real thing. I honestly believe that guests who take their time and look at the big picture from these reviews will get a fairly good understanding of who we are. Any one review will always be highly subjective, but 211 reviews will give a fairly good impression. We simply want to make sure that the guests who come have picked us for the right reasons and will indeed be satisfied with their choice, and this is a great channel for us to do so.

Again many thanks for your comments. I truly appreciate your input and respect your suggestions. Sometimes we cannot make the improvements as quickly as we would like, but we can set ourselves up for a better future and learn from our errors. Thanks partly to valuable feedback such as yours, we can continuously work towards a better overall experience for future guests.

Warm regards,
Vigbjorn Hassel Vaage
Operations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2013

We arrived quite late at night and was welcomed by the guy on the night-shift. Still we received a welcome drink and a quick tour around the resort. The room had been beautifully decorated with flowers.

We stayed in a sunset jacuzzi suite (107). The room lived up to its name as you could sit in the side-by-side Jacuzzi on the balcony and enjoy the sunset :-). The room was spacious, clean and nicely decorated. The balcony was large and very private and had fantastic view over the ocean and Maenam. Maintenance however could be better, all the doors was a bit skewed and hard to close. The front door even had a small gap in the top due to the door being skewed. When this was pointed out to the reception, the janitors showed up 30min later and improvised a fix. This should probably have been reported by housekeeping and fixed properly prior to our arrival, but at least it was fixed quickly when it was pointed out.
Like some other reviewers has pointed out, the sunset villas are situated on a small hillside, meaning that there is a couple of hundreds of meters and quite a few steps between the rooms and the pool/restaurant area. We found this to be a pleasant little walk, but I understand that this can be more challenging for people with physical disabilities etc.

The pool and recreational areas had a nice lay-out providing a nice mix of beds in both central area and more private areas closer to the beach. The resort never felt crowded in any way.

The beach however, is nicer to look at than to try to swim from. The seabed was a bit muddy and as part of environmental restoration project the resort had planted coral reefs that can be a bit unpleasant if not swimming shoes are worn.

The bar and restaurant closes at 11, there is almost a kilometer to the main road, but this just confirms what we think is the biggest selling point of Fair House, the quiet surroundings and relaxed atmosphere.

The staff was very kind and genuinely service minded (even by Thai standards!).

Bottom line is that Fair House is ideal for anyone just looking for a place to relax. We had originally booked for 4 nights, but enjoyed the place so much we actually stayed for 12 nights!

Room Tip: The sunset suites, situated on a small hill on the side of the resort has a great view over the beach, Maenam is spectacular. Esepcially when this can be enjoyed from the jacuzzi on the balcony of the "Sunset jacuzzi suites"...
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Terje S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2013

The location was nice and quiet. A bit away from it all, but still walking distance to Bo Phut. It was also right next door to W Retreat (which is worth a look during the day and at night). Family Marts (convenience stores) are well within walking distance.

Motorbikes are available at the front desk for a reasonable price. They are, without a doubt, the best way to get around the island.

The villas are spacious and well lit. The bathroom was enormous. The bath itself left nothing wanting. The whole villa was adorned with orchids on arrival, which gave it romantic flair.

The pool is gorgeous. An infinity pool with different layers, jet-massage lounges, and a swim-up bar. There wasn't much beach (be it low tide or high tide) and the sand was rather rough. Kayaks were a free fun option.

Our upsets:
1. The customer service was very hit or miss. Some of the staff were absolutely terrific, but many were just rude. We would walk up to the front desk not sure if we would receive a huge smile, or a "what do you want" glare.
2. The villas were plush, but were missing a few very basic amenities. (i.e. handsoap and a "please do not disturb" sign....We used the "bath bubbles" for handsoap, and had to make our own sign when we wanted to sleep-in).
3. The restaurant was obscenely overpriced--be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.
4. The hotel guide book claimed that DVD players were obtained for no cost at the front desk--but it took three different employees telling us that it would cost us 250 baht for 24 hours before we had to get the hotel guide out of the room to show them that we wouldn't be paying. We finally got it complimentary, as advertised.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Katimay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FairHouseVillas, Manager at Fair House Villas & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 22, 2013

Dear Katimay,

Many thanks for your review. I appreciate your honest and valuable feedback, although I am obviously disappointed that we were not able to impress you more during your stay.

I appreciate your kind comments on our location and I am glad you liked your room, the area and our pool area.

I am both surprised and disappointed that our service came across as inconsistent. This is normally an area where we score very high and I apologize that we were not able to make a better impression on you in this area. I will have a word with our service teams again to refresh the importance of consistency. The “big smiles” and “terrific staff” you mentioned is where we strive to be at and it is a great shame you did not get to experience that consistently. It can sometimes be an issue with language understanding, as it sometimes takes quite a few months to bring new staff up to desired level of English proficiency. However, we do try to manage this as well as we can by scheduling to always have someone on shift in all areas who speaks well English. Sometimes it can be quite demanding to get complex messages across and we do appreciate our guests’ patience and understanding for this. However, they should never come across as rude and I apologize if it came across that way.

The pricing level in our restaurant can seem a bit high when compared to local-style restaurants and bars. However, compared to similar level restaurants, especially in similar level hotels, our restaurant is priced fairly reasonably. It has to be mentioned that our restaurant is operated by a professional kitchen led by an experienced chef, following international level of hygiene and control standards. In Thailand there are very few, if any, requirements to open a restaurant, which makes it possible to do so extremely cheap. In our case, we cannot do that, simply due do the standards of service, hygiene, food quality, salaries and suppliers which we have decided to follow. We always encourage guest to enjoy the local cuisine and restaurant and most travellers will not have any issues doing so. However, we cannot risk lowering our quality or safety standards simply to match these restaurants in terms of price. It is clear that our prices can seem high in a simple comparison, but we also firmly believe that the quality of service, food, atmosphere and kitchen hygiene of The Bre-Eze restaurant ensures an overall high-value experience for the guests.

We are right now in a transition period in terms of hand soap. We are switching to a soap selection model for certain room categories, where guests can choose their fragrance of hand soap upon check in. At the moment we are using our bath foam bottles for the hand soap, but there SHOULD be a sticker on them to explain that it is hand soap and not bath foam. Similarly, a Do Not Disturb sign is standard in all of our rooms and it is unfortunate that you did not have one. Most likely in these cases the previous guest in this room was impressed with our hand-made wooden DND signs, decided to take it home and the room attended did not notice it was missing before you checked in. I apologize for this. We would have gladly provided you with one if you would have mentioned it. I will find out which room you stayed in and make sure that all these things are corrected for future travellers. Many thanks for bringing it to our attention.

The issue with the DVD player is also quite unfortunate, but I believe it has been sorted now in the meantime. The issue is that some of our agents claimed different prices for it, our room directories (which we are also re-doing these days) claimed one thing and our front office staff were stuck somewhere in the middle. It has now been clarified and again I am sorry that you experienced this problem.

Again many thanks for your review. I am sorry for the lengthy reply, but we sincerely do appreciate your feedback and comments, which help us improve our standards and service delivery for future travellers.

Warm regards,
Vigbjorn Hassel Vaage
Operations Manager

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Reviewed June 21, 2013

We were 2 couples who stayed at Fair House from the 5th - 9th of June this year. Our bungalows were 209 and 210. Bungalow 210 had the most breathtaking view over the resort, palm trees and ocean. Our room was spacious and I loved the interior. The booked the off season rate which was an absolute bargain for this hotel (however I won't recommend the off peak season period to visit Thailand as we had 6 days of almost continuous rain in Phuket and Phi Phi. Weather in Koh Samui was great though). The pool is gorgeous and we spent one day just lounging next to the pool. The sea is conveniently right in front of the pool area. We enjoyed the breakfast each morning and also ate at the hotel 2 evenings. The wine we ordered was quite a disappointment but we soon learned that in Thailand you should stick to beer and cocktails. I did feel that the hotel needs a few maintenance upgrades (for example the reception desk, pool bar and beach towels looked quite old). Service was always friendly although I did get a bit frustrated once when I felt the receptionist's knowledge of English could be better. The food and drinks at the hotel are quite expensive (typical hotel prices) and the fact that the hotel is not located close to some nice restaurants and bars can be a draw back. We hired scooters on one of the days we spent there (at 300baht a day this is an absolute bargain) and drove right around the island which was so much fun. On our way we visited all of the towns. I must warn that you won't find even a hint of paradise in these grimy towns (dogs lurking around in search of food - I was so upset by this because I am such an animal lover and hundreds of black electricity cables hang every where). We love snorkelling and booked a day trip to Ko Tao which was highly enjoyable since Koh Samui doesn't offer any snorkelling opportunities. Next time if we visit Thailand we will rather look for accommodation on Koh Tao. Overall from the 4 places we did stay on our visit to Thailand Fair House Villas gets the most points and I will definitely stay here again if we end up on Koh Samui in the future.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank nikkikapp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2013

When I looked at reviews and photos if the hotel I was impressed enough to book an 11 night stay. I regretted it on day one! I cannot express how poor this hotel is. It's not a 4.5 star hotel. It's a 2 star tops! We booked the pool villa suite. It doesn't have a pool, it's located next to the hotel pool. The room is small, we cannot even unpack our luggage as there isn't anywhere to put it.
The hotel was built in 2006, I was shocked when I read that. It feels like its from the 90's. it is in serious need of restoration.
The main pool is disgusting, the tops of the tiles has mould growing on them. The sun beds are poor, the shade sails don't work, the bed side tables are moulds plastic tables. There is never any towels and if there is they are old things that could fall apart at any minute.
I am so angry and disappointed!!! This is the worst hotel I have been to in four years if visiting Koh samui. You have been warned!

  • Stayed: June 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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2  Thank Richard P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FairHouseVillas, Manager at Fair House Villas & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 18, 2013

Dear Richard P,

Many thanks for your review. I am obviously very sad to see that you had such a disappointing experience with us, but I do appreciate your comments.

I am immensely confused by your comment that your room did not have a pool. The room in which you stayed, 301, is indeed located close to our main pool as you mention, but it also features a private plunge pool and a private garden area behind the villa (in many other pool villas the pool is located in front of the room). This pool (of this specific room) is showed as the main photo for this room category on Expedia, where you made your booking. I am now incredibly worried that you did not notice this pool during the time that you stayed in this room. It would indeed justify a lot of your disappointment, although I am not sure this is the case. Either way, the room does certainly come with its own pool and is not named a pool villa simply due to the proximity of the main pool.

The size of the room itself is 38sqm, which is exactly what is says on the page where you made your booking. This is excluding the private outside area and the outdoor sala. The wardrobe in this rooms is located in the bathroom in order to maximize use of the bedroom space.

In the past few weeks since you stayed with us, our new sunbed mattresses and sun umbrellas have arrived. Unfortunately the ordering and delivery process took much longer than we had planned for, which caused the quality of our old mattresses and umbrellas to deteriorate far below our acceptable standard. This is obviously very unfortunate and I do sincerely apologize for this. A full range of brand new pool towels have also been ordered, but this time I am a bit hesitant to promise an arrival time. It might take a little while, as they are custom made by the factory.

As mentioned in several other comments, we have scheduled a complete renovation of our main pool for the end of October and parts of November. We unfortunately have to wait for low season, as we cannot close the main pool down for three weeks in periods where we have a significant number of bookings. Again, I do apologize for this and we are very excited to offer our guests a brand new pool. Please note, the miscoloring between the tiles is not mould. It is mostly residue from sun cream and oils from the pool guests which collects between the surface tiles since we are not running an overflow system. We do chemical treatments of the pool every evening to ensure that it is hygienic and our pool boys schedule at least bi-weekly deep cleaning of the tile works in order to keep it as presentable as we can before the renovation.

When you first mentioned your disappointment to us on day five of your stay, you talked to our Senior Front Office Supervisor as I was attending a meeting off property. I feel it deserves to be mentioned that he did (as an exception) authorize an early check-out at no charge five nights early, which I believe is a fairly generous gesture, as your booking was made non-refundable. It is not our intention to make travellers stay with us who do not want to. I wish you would have informed us earlier, so we could have saved you some frustration. We do understand that everyone travels with different preferences and expectations and that not every guest can be satisfied in our hotel.

Finally, I will add an up to date (December, 2012) album with unprocessed photos from all around our resort, including all room types:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ekvm71we1v8u5w3/9xw0WOJEv9

The design/style of the hotel, what star rating we should have and the need of renovation are relatively subjective points which I do not necessarily agree with, so I feel it is better that future guests have a look and decide for themselves. We certainly do not want to mislead or disappoint anyone and if anyone has any questions or concerns before booking, they are always welcome to contact me directly at om@fairhousevillas.com. I am always happy to help guests make the most out of their stay and provide information.

Once again, I offer my sincere thanks for your comments and feedback. I apologize that we were unable to satisfy you during your stay and I hope that on your future travels you will find hotels that are able to better meet your expectations.

Warm regards,
Vigbjorn Hassel Vaage
Operations Manager

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