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Reviewed September 7, 2011

I’d selected this resort to celebrate my wife’s birthday. We arrived the resort at 8pm and were escorted to the lobby lounge with welcome drink. Staffs were friendly and it’s usual practice for Banyan Tree. Both of us felt comfortable. However, the nightmare started here!!

We were transported to villa B-05 which they mentioned as the ocean view villa. Soon after the staffs left the villa, my wife seen “something” walked across the living room. It’s Banyan tree and we believed there is nothing to worry about. We decided to go to the bedroom and wondering where the ocean view is. It doesn’t matter as we had clearly see what my wife saw in the living room. It’s a MICE and it's alive!!

We couldn’t believe what we had seen but we looked again and confirm it is a mice next to our bed.

We have complained to the duty manager and he moved us to another villa which is far better. But during the conversation with him, mice problem happened before and he is very casual on this. I just can’t believe that the management already identified this serious issue but didn't actually resolve it.

The night before we checked out, I took 15 minutes on their survey and asking them to review this issue again. I got a response yesterday. They didn’t actually apologize but asking me to provide comments on tripadvisor instead.

I’d stayed at 3 different Banyan Tree resorts in the past. Banyan Tree Samui provided the same atmosphere as what other Banyan Tree resort provided. However, they don’t resolve their problems that they already identified.

If you don’t mind spending a fortune and take risk, Banyan Tree Samui is your destination

Service – Staffs are very friendly and helpful. Management terrible
Value – Expensive but it’s expected
Sleep Quality – Good except the first night that we can’t sleep
Cleanliness – Looks okay but didn’t expect there is a mice in the living room
Spa – No flexibility, you have to decide which treatment when you arrange reservation (24 hours ahead, minimum)

Date of stay: September 2011
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
1  Thank Alan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredrick_Arul, General Manager at Banyan Tree Samui, responded to this reviewResponded September 9, 2011

Dear Alan C,

Thank you for your recent stay with us and for taking the time to offer your comments. It is with my sincere regret to learn of the incident that took place in your villa. Upon your check-in, we were confident that the villa selected for you and your wife would provide you with a pleasant and relaxing place to stay. Unfortunately, we were unaware at the time that this villa was clearly not suitable for you or any of our guests.

I wish to reassure you that we do not take issues such as this with a casual attitude and this incident, for which you are rightfully shocked by, has been addressed with our team. As our resort is located among the jungle areas of Samui, we continually apply pesticide within all villas as a means to control any rodent activity. I wish to reassure you that the periodic reapplication of this pest control remains a part of our schedule to prevent future incidents such as the one you experienced.

Alan C, thank you once again for your decision to choose our brand once again for your holiday and I hope you shall not allow this one, isolated incident mar your perception of our Banyan Tree Samui. We would be honoured if you continued to select our sister properties around the world and allow us the opportunity to hopefully reinstate your trust in Banyan Tree.

With kind regards,

Fredrick Arul
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2011

We have just returned home a couple of weeks ago and we had a fantastic a couple of days at Banyan Tree in Koh Samui, a flawless stay and couldn't have asked for more relaxing. It's a very beautiful place. Excellent service by staffs throughout the stay and they are really friendly. It's our first visit to Koh Samui and we decided to take on the excurstion service that the hotel provided. "Boe" who accompanied us along the trip provided good knowledge of Samui interesting spots like the grandma-grandpa rocks and how people trained the monkey plugging the coconuts, the big Buhddha temple and a lot more. Very interesting experience and all staffs did it so well.
Many many thanks and will definitely recommending it to friends.

Room tip: Garden villa with private pool, it's value for money!
Date of stay: September 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Joanne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredrick_Arul, General Manager at Banyan Tree Samui, responded to this reviewResponded September 14, 2011

Dear Joanne S,

Greetings from sunny Samui!

Thank you for choosing Banyan Tree upon your first visit to Samui. I am pleased to hear that you had a relaxing stay with us and found our property to be beautiful as well as our team to be excellent. While our private bay, nestled between Lamai and Chaweng, provides the perfect sanctuary of the senses, we encourage our guest to join our Excursion Companion service to explore the island and the various attractions it has to offer. I am glad Boe was able to provide you with insight into the history of Samui and give you a memorable experience.

Joanne S, thank you once again for your stay with us. It would be our pleasure to welcome you once again for your next holiday to the Gulf of Thailand.

With warm regards,

Fredrick Arul
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2011

Perfect for honeymoon. Quiet and peacefull. Excellent service. Expensive but deserves what you give. Veryf friendly staff. Spa is excellent, must try.

Date of stay: June 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank mikipare
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredrick_Arul, General Manager at Banyan Tree Samui, responded to this reviewResponded September 14, 2011

Dear mikipare,

Thank you for your recent stay with us and for choosing Banyan Tree Samui to celebrate your honeymoon. I am glad we were able to deliver a holiday that was relaxing and rejuvenating, and that our team offered friendly, attentive service catering to your each and every need.

mikipare, thank you once again for visiting us. Congratulations and all the best to you both as you journey through life together. It would be our pleasure to welcome you back for your anniversary or future holiday.

With warm regards,

Fredrick Arul
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2011

The hotel is far from everywhere, which is not indicated in the brochure
> Not offering anything special , neither programmes nor facilties: just the minimum necessary.It has everything to show,but nothing to be used indeed.See gym ( 30 sqm),restaurant 10 tables, ,etc.
> at arrival: 20 minutes waiting for a welcome drink,nobody comes to check you in, nothing happens
> pool: one pool only,smaller than at this level should be.not apt for swimming.small kids and babies together with adults, loud, noisy, no service . bar closed.
> pool :alltogeteher 20 beds,close to each other.As beach is not an option,(dirty, rocky,) pool is loud and crowded
The staff the whole day is either cleaing ( with little success) the beach from jelly fish, dirt or oil spill.( even the gym trainer is there, for this no training...)
> Prices to move out from hotel is min 600-1000 bath,taxi.Not indicated in the promotion,
As in the hotel the spa is full ( at arrival it was bookde fora week ahead) ,the sea is dirty,the restaurant is booked,you have to move out at least twice a day.that adds up to your cost daily 60-70 usd.
> Not indicated in the promotion that without a golf you can not move out from yr villa: car-minimum 10 or 20 min waiting - you are not able to move out from yr room
otherwise
> all facilities are small , gym 40 sqm,for all other sport activities the hall is 20 sqm...
> Spa closes at 21.00-but there is no alternative in 10 km at that level.At arrival we were told that fir the next 7 days the spa is fully booked..
> Spa prices 4 times of the city
> no inroom massage ,no beach massage,in Thailand..luxury villas..everywhere they offer.
> bathroom: transparent windows-curtain,you have take yr evening bath in darkness
> Room: no place for clothes,dark small garderobe, for one person 2 day stay , no more.
> Activities offered by hotel,yoga,gym etc: not kept agenda, no trainers.Just propaganda
> Beach: so dirty that no one day was apt for going in at all.
> Beach :not enough sunbeds
> Location of the hotel is not Five star :uncomfortable inside,high steep hill s.Not mentioned in the promotion
> Location not five star: at the and of a muddy road in th middle of nowhere

> The beach is ,rocky, full of jelly fish,
> The upper restaurant menu selection, average,same as any middle-up range restaurant in town but prices triple or more.There are 5 tables on the terrace,no roof in case of rain ,which is frequent,you have to be it inside..Once travelling on summer to the beach, you want to eat outside on the Terrace,
- see all roadside low-middle quality restaurants all are with huge terraces.
The lower restaurant menu is rather average. ( spagetthi , or the same meal as served for breakfast)

> Prices are unreasonably high inside
> room cleaning: at 1500 the room is still as it was in the morning,uncleaned
> Internet slow,not working practically in the room.
> service is very friendly but completely uncompetent: they do not understand nothing except the minimum nor over the phone neither face to face.there is not always somebody at reception who speaks good eglish
> Flight is at 20,00 PM, "complimentary check out " in th best and most expensiv villa of the super resort is 14.00...four hours sitting in the lobby....They did not even offered a paid late check out.
> oil spill in the sea:the staff is aware but the flag is green.on my comment, they said the guest anyhow decides itself to swim or not...but no info!
> the internet site is misleading,says nothing about the hotel that could make the customer at least understand the place
> web site misleading : design like four seasons
-the hotel was opened 6 month ago,and you can feel that eveywhere..but prices are full prices
>
> good points:
> service very friendly and attentive
> villas are beautiful
>
> Summarizing my claim
- the website,the promotion offers super luxury,what you get is very average
- the hotel has everytjing in paper,in practice nothing works: beach is rocky ,dirty and small,sunbeds are not enough,pool is loud and small,poolbar is empty,less golf cars than needed,yes there is spa but is alway full...
- no value for money

I kindly ask you to inform the hotel about these claims.

My claim is
- return the full amount of my stay
- the Hotel Management changes its promotion to more realistic ,to avoid misleading future customers

If they do not accept, pls let me have an expert law office in Bangkok.I am decided to prove,that no value for money, and the misleading promotion they do ( rese,b;enig even the site to Kempinski) is illegal.

Pls make them understand ,we have paid two business class tickets an our only yearly holiday was lost due to all the above mentioned.

Room tip: do not take this hotel.
Date of stay: January 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank Laszlo S
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredrick_Arul, General Manager at Banyan Tree Samui, responded to this reviewResponded September 19, 2011

Dear l s,

Please accept my sincere gratitude for your decision to choose Banyan Tree Samui for your holiday earlier this year and it was with genuine disappointment to learn of the incidents which occurred during your stay. As a Banyan Tree property, we take constructive feedback such as yours very seriously. The incidents which you experienced as well as the unprofessional service of our team were obvious shortfalls on our side and I wish to reassure you that I have already addressed the areas which you discussed with all those directly involved to prevent future recurrences.

Immediately following your stay, we communicated with your travel agent regarding this matter; however, to our disappointment, we never received a reply in the months to follow. I invite you to contact me directly at samui@banyantree.com, so that I may discuss in greater detail how we can resolve this issue in a timely manner.

l s, I recognize that our team failed to meet your expectations in certain regards. I hope you shall not allow these incidents to mar your perception of our brand and will consider choosing one of our sister properties around the world for your future holiday, so that we may deliver the highest standards of service that you both rightfully expected and deserve.

With kind regards,

Fredrick Arul
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2011

The rooms are beautiful. They are spacious, well decorated,they have free wifi which was excellent, tea and coffee facilities.
We stayed at B01, which is an excellent location to the Edge for breakfast and the the beach.
I would not recommend the Garden Villas, their only view is of other villas.

The whole site lacks soul and feels akin to being in a monastery.

The service is so attentive it felt suffocating to us, it might be your idea of pleasure. The bringing of little tables to put your bags on, the insistence of staff to pour you wine (even if you want to do it yourself) managers rules. The staff are quite metronomic, Thais are naturally relaxed and service orientated, the management need to allow them to utilise their personalities.

Saffron the Thai Restaurant perched on the hill with gorgeous views serves excellent Thai food, but the taking of your photo for souvenir is tacky at best and the print given on departure was pretty poor.

The BBQ moved from the beach to The Edge and the beach restaurant closed, even thou it has a roof, was a disappointment, The food was cooked on a grill and due to the lack of covered area, most people ended up in the air-conditioning, with a few tables outside with umbrellas The entertainment was piped music and two thai dancers and a trio Phillipino band,. Not the romantic setting we were looking for. One of the band in between songs turned and shouted to us, YOU RUSSIAN.

The beach has ROCKS under the water for about 10 metres, I will add a photographs, I have looked at all photographs posted and it seems they were all taken at high tide, a better memory of the beach perhaps. They offer shoes but is that what we look for on a beach holiday at a 5 star hotel, my new bikini and well worn black neoprene shoes .
Apparently they are about to make a channel for swimming. I read reviews written earlier in the year where the manager stated something would be done. Banyan Tree Samui, is one of the newer resorts on the Island, The older resorts have taken the beautiful sandy beaches, I have stayed at two of them.

Room tip: Beach of Sea View, Not Garden
Date of stay: August 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank jewelly100
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredrick_Arul, General Manager at Banyan Tree Samui, responded to this reviewResponded September 9, 2011

Dear jewelly10,

Thank you for your recent stay with us and for taking the time to offer your comments. I am pleased that you found your villa to be comfortable and in a location with convenient access to The Edge and the beach. I regret to hear that you found our resort to be lacking warmth and the service to be overly attentive. Our team strives to provide a delicate balance between attending to the guest needs while minimizing the disturbances to their privacy.

I am happy that you were delighted with the view and cuisine that Saffron offers and I have passed along your comment regarding the photo to our team. We hope to provide a keepsake for our guests, but will look into how our guests are approached and fine-tune the overall process. I hope this minor incident during your meal did not detract from the overall experience. Additionally, I am disappointed to know that you were not impressed with the barbecue which was moved from the beach to The Edge. I have shared your comments regarding the atmosphere and food on offer with all concerned, so that we can continue to improve.

As you mentioned, we are in the process of improving our beach to allow for easier access to the deeper swimming areas. While the area still presents a very relaxing setting and a sea that is swimmable during certain tides, with added protection from our water shoes in various sizes, we certainly recognize that this can be further enhanced. I hope you shall consider a return to our property in the future to allow us the opportunity to show you the improvements we have made.

jewelly10, thank you once again for choosing Banyan Tree Samui for your holiday and I hope you shall not allow these few incidents to mar your overall perception of our resort. We would be honoured to welcome you once again and to deliver friendly, attentive service while creating the holiday you had envisioned. Should you care to choose a different destination, we would be honoured to have you choose our brand once again and experience one of our sister properties throughout the world.

With kind regards,

Fredrick Arul
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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