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Zambia

Bittersweet. LONG and detailed review.

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Dec 1, 2012
(1) ROOM. We booked two club suites through the resort's website. Upon arrival we were informed that we were upgraded to a two-bedroom pool villa, since the club suites were all fully booked. In spite of the obvious benefits of the upgrade, I wasn't that keen because the villa had a very steep staircase (which I learnt from beach republic website) and wasn't quite suitable for my family with 2 young kids. And the booking problem with the club suite was not my fault, but that of the reservation system of the hotel - showing booked rooms as available.
Anyway, despite the high and non-kid-friendly stairs, the villa was absolutely fantastic! We were checked in earlier than we were told initially, which I appreciated a lot after a 6-hour drive behind the wheel from Phuket. We found the villa super chic and luxurious. And we enjoyed it through and through. It was beautifully and tastefully furnished and designed, with lots of elegant and practical small details. Sleeping on the bed felt like being hugged by a cloud. Once again, the two-bedroom pool villa was SUPERB. The toiletries in the bathroom were also nice and the shampoo and gel were SLS free, as the label stated, but a brief look into the contents showed SLES though, which is practically the same thing. But thanks for the awareness!
Wi-fi in our villa didn't work. I spoke to the reception several times about this, once an engineer came but couldn't fix anything, he had promised to come back, but he didn't. Later, as the heavy rain went on, the reception's answer about the wi-fi was that there were problems with the provider and that they would fix it soon. But they didn't. Throughout the 7 days of my stay, I had no internet in the villa.
The room rate also included free usage of and iPad for the entire stay, but nobody offered me this.
We loved getting those late night snacks from the housekeeping when they came to open the beds. I also enjoyed reading the Manifesto, but I thought it could have a bit more variety.

(2) BEACH CLUB has also been fun. We first visited Beach republic ocean club in early 2011 and it hasn't changed much since then, except for the red color looking a bit worn out and faded.
We were very unlucky to have only one sunny day out of our entire stay so we had very little chance to stay at the beach/pool area, and I can state that the hotel has no activities to offer for this kind of situation (it was raining nearly all the time for days..).

(3) RESTAURANT. We liked the Tapas menu, the delicious breakfasts with all sorts of great foods, incl. organic eggs, pancakes, cheese, cereal etc. the Sunday brunch and President buffet were also great!
Apart from that - most a la carte food is average or just not good, for the price you pay for it.

(4) STAFF. Also a long story.. In general everybody is very friendly and helpful. Restaurant staff was responsive to my complaints about food, apologized and cancelled them from my bill immediately.
One day in the beach club pool staff (staff name Nit) suddenly came up to my 2-and-half-year-old son, took him out of a conversation with me, grabbed him, lifted him up and acted as if they tried to throw him into the pool, holding him above the pool and dipping his feet into the water!! When I reacted sharply and asked to put him down, they were quite surprised, since this behavior is obviously normal for them. Helloooo, RESPECT? PRIVACY? This is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE. Dealing with somebody else's child as if he was a toy or else what. Approaching and touching without the parent' s permission. Please, train your staff some politeness, guys! Generally I felt fed up with abnormal attention paid to my kids, most staffs were trying to touch them, incl. the face. If it's overall not normal to approach an adult stranger and touch his face, why is it OK to act this way with somebody's child?! I came to have some peace and rest, which certainly includes privacy, but every meal ended up with several staff members standing beside our table and staring at us and/or touching my kids. Though by the end of our stay most of the staff knew that I didn’t like it and we finally could have a peaceful and private meal. But this added a lot of tension to our trips to the restaurant.
After 4 days of non-stop rain I contacted the reception asking for an early check-out and refund for the remaining 3 nights. They informed me of the non-refundable policy. I fully understood this, but I couldn't help showing my disappointment since it was really difficult for me to keep 2 toddlers entertained without any indoor activity options except for hanging out in our villa. To this, a reception manager (she had no name tag, she wore black uniform) reminded me of the upgrade (which I DIDN'T ask for) meaning I should be happy with this and stop complaining. Her attitude was generally rather sharp and arrogant.
Good - Aung (pool staff) was nice and helpful every day. Many restaurant staff were nice, I just couldn’t memorize all the names.

(5) SPA. I was happy to receive a promotion price for a facial treatment and a deep tissue massage (therapist – Miss Jib, it was ecstatic!). I highly, HIGHLY recommend trying the deep tissue massage by Jib. I also did a head massage, it was also good. Spa staff are well trained, professional and friendly. Spa receptionist is a nice lady.
Date of stay: November 2012
Room Tip: two-bedroom pool villas are absolutely fantastic.
Trip type: Traveled with family
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Problem with this review?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
BeachRepublicGM, General Manager at Beach Republic The Residences, responded to this review
Responded Dec 3, 2012
Thank you for choosing Beach Republic and thank you for taking the time to leave your comments here. I’m pleased that you found the villa and spa to your liking. I am sorry for the difficulties that you had with the Internet. Due to the heavy rain, much of the island encountered problems during this time. As you booked with us, an iPad was available at reception for your use free of charge. This should have been made known to you at check in so I have spoken with the front office to ensure that an iPad is always offered to a guest who is entitled to one. Also at reception is a DVD library with many children’s titles. Many of our staff love children and find blonde babies especially cute. Being from a small island, they are naturally very friendly and affectionate. Further, in Thai culture, it is not at all impolite to pay attention to children in this way. I understand that in this case you made your displeasure clear and the staff then refrained from playing with your children. Thank you again and we hope to welcome you back to Beach Republic soon.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 27, 2012

This is my 3rd stay at Beach Republic, so about time I reviewed it... I just read another review by VisualA as it's to the right of this review box as I'm typing, and to an extent agree with some of the criticisms, although I don't think you can blame the spa for charging more than the street parlors!!

OK, firstly the staff here are outstanding, well trained, totally friendly and helpful. That makes a major impression throughout my stays.

The rooms are simply everything and more than you expect of a top international resort, they have very comfortable beds, they are huge, much bigger than many I've stayed at, they have pretty much EVERY conceivable amenity from stylish toothbrush holders to dvd players and far more... they have well stocked kitchenettes that are totally well thought out with huge fridge and everything you'd want from stylish glasses and cutlery to even rolls of kitchen towel, they have large balconies too. There is almost nothing I can think of that the rooms lack and they are incredibly competitively priced. The extra touches like chocolate or fruit mousse delivered every evening are really nice. They also still look really new but actually they're not now so new, most of the 39 rooms are in 3 adjoined blocks and are maybe 4 years old, and that is a testament to the maintenance and cleaning of them, they look and feel brand new. I think the TVs need upgrading to somewhat bigger size, that would be my major comment.

Then there's the food... it's outstanding... the restaurant has a great vibe, very friendly staff, fab background music, very much boutique hotel style, I had outstanding blackened cod for dinner the other night (superb), and the sunday brunch was unbelievable (how could Visual A criticise a brunch that goes on and on, they never take it away!!??)... Fine, I've been to bigger brunches in the larger hotels but this one rightly deserves its outstanding reputation because of both the food quality, the vibe and the location, and they simply carry on going all afternoon... help yourself, pig yourself out at your own pace, no "we're closing at 2-30 so eat up fast"!!

The spa... I can't comment on the massages but I've been using their fab and gorgeous smelling huge steam room which is free to guests and is a wonderful facility.

Shortcomings, there are some... it helps to have a hire car (Visual A, they are CHEAP), or you can hire at reception, as it is a short distance but a long walk to Lamai and a good drive away from Chaweng. By the way, Visual A, there's no international class resort properties that I know of in either Lamai or Chaweng main drag, so you'd need a car at any of the better places, of which this is one.... who'd want to be stuck in the middle of the tawdry mess that those little town centres have become?? The beach in my opinion is not Thailand's best, but Lamai beach is fine, nice enough... it's a boutique hotel so some people may not love the style, the architecture, etc, and similarly the pool is quite designer stark in some respects although more than adequate/pleasant and at the very least colourful, and the sunbeds are comfortable.

It's also brilliantly close to the Spa Samui for those, like me, who do detox there and want to stay somewhere really nice within walking distance, it's maybe 300m away. I detox normally when I come here so don't get to enjoy the food as much as I'd like.

Finally the branding..... you've got to love it!!!! Brilliantly carried through across the hotel.... Everything is the wonderful red starfishes!! Excellent.

I've stayed at better hotels on Koh Samui for which I have paid 3 times the price or more, such as the pleasant Renaissance, the stunning (but slightly unfriendly) Napasai to think of just two, both of those I've stayed at on multiple occasions. Beach Republic is not that quality of property. But it is very good and far better value for money... I truly can't complain and my latest stay I've paid somewhat under £100/night and been upgraded without asking to a room that's in fairness made me feel very small, this suite must be 100sqm!! I didn't need more than the 45sqm room I had before. If Visual A thinks this is expensive perhaps they should go to Napasai, which I can regrettably no longer afford! This place is great value in that respect.

Tim and his management team have done an outstanding job of producing an international class resort property and I congratulate them!! Keep up the good work, till next time...

Date of stay: November 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Jamescot65
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed November 19, 2012

Our stay here was bittersweet. On one hand, it's a nice resort - on the other, it has serious shortcomings.

First for positive things... Checking into our room, it is well lit, clean and exactly as pictured online. The beach (club) area is a short walk from the room, has excellent service and nice view. Everyone who works here is incredibly friendly and helpful. They also have patrolling security at night which was nice to watch over our motorcycle and add a sense of safetly(though I never felt unsafe in thailand). Breakfast is included and was very good - the best during our one month throughout thailand.

On the negative side, things are overpriced - plain and simple. Drinks will set you back $10 each and spa services are what I would expect back home - in the same vein, most drinks we ordered weren't that good and our massages were no better than one from a thai street parlor where a massage costs $10-12 per hour which is certainly not what you pay at the hotel.

The Sunday brunch advertises Maine lobster and kind crab amongst other things for 1400 baht(ouch) only to get there without a shellfish in sight - the lobster and crab are a few small pieces served in a glass. In general, things are overpriced and you feel taken advantage of since the value isn't there.

It's location is not so great. Being in between lamai and chawang sounds great except neither is very close and very little is walkable. The hotel offers transportation a couple times a day but its a joke. To leave, they wanted 600 baht to drive us to the ferry when a cab is a third of that.

I know that the management will read this and post a long rebuttal - this isn't an attack. It's an honest opinion but since you'll read this, clean your beach - the pipe in the water is nasty and there was broken glass on the beach which I collected for you... And get some kayaks.

Date of stay: November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank VisualA
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
BeachRepublicGM, General Manager at Beach Republic The Residences, responded to this reviewResponded November 21, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review here. I am happy that you found many facets of the resort that you enjoyed. In terms of your other comments, while I respect your opinion, I feel that much of what you have written is misguided.

We offer fantastic service in a stunning setting on a world famous boutique island. Our prices are quite reasonable and are on par with other top tier properties across Koh Samui. As far as the spa, to compare the services offered there to that of a massage parlor on the side of the street is unfair and hurtful. When the spa ladies read your review they were both sad and confused. Our spa offers a wide range of deluxe services from chocolate body scrubs to banana leaf wraps and the therapists are all highly trained, well beyond that of the average Thai masseuse.

The Sunday brunch offers a huge spread of gourmet food, is fantastic value, and has put Beach Republic on the map. Week after week it attracts throngs of locals and tourists alike. Blue Crab, New Zealand mussels, black mussels, fine De Clair Oysters, Thai oysters, and prawns are all available and not just a few small pieces served in a glass. I'm sorry that we are not able to serve full size lobsters and King Crabs. I wish I could post a photo here of what we offer every single week. Our new chef Martin Bower was very puzzled about this comment.

We are located in the North end of Lamai and the resort is quiet and private, and yet the discothèques, bars, fast food restaurants, and endless tourist shopping of central Lamai are just a few minutes drive away. The twice-daily roundtrip shuttle service to Lamai and once daily shuttle service to Chaweng is something that is greatly appreciated by our guests. Perhaps it could run more frequently and indeed this is something that we are planning for the near future, but to call it a joke is simply unfair.

Your comment that a taxi to the ferry is one third of 600 Baht is something I have never heard of - 200 Baht for a private car halfway around the island is simply not possible. Actually a taxi from Beach Republic to the ferry (about a 40 minute drive) is well over 600 Baht. Indeed, our private car and driver offers better value than the taxis. Of course there are cheaper but considerably less comfortable public transport options available.

Finally, please note that the beach is cleaned by our staff every single morning without exception.

Thank you again for taking the time to leave your comments here and we hope to welcome you back to Beach Republic soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2012

First of all the moment we arrived at the airport, pickup was smooth, the driver spoke surprisingly good English and actually pointed out landmarks throughout the island. The hotel is inbetween two popular beaches. Lamai and Chaweng. The former is mildly quieter than Chawang, where you'll find alot of parties and almost comerialized atmosphere. Once we arrived at the hotel, check in was smooth, the girls at the reception were warm and friendly and again spoke very good English (which is surprising as we travelled through the country and found communication to be quite a challenge). My partner and I had the basic room but it was wonderfully roomy and spacious! The mini bar and fridge was fully stocked! Plus we had daily refreshments like fruits, brownies etc. Little things like that as unexpected made our stay very special. The hotel bar and pool area is a fantastic space to relax, swim or just sleep the day away! The food at the hotel is also very very good. The pizza's are a must try! Haven't had anything this good outside of New York. My list of favorites are as follows:

1) Amazing service
2) Friendly and Helpful Staff
3) Clean rooms
4) Very comfortable beds
5) Great food
6) Great location

Overall, I have to say after a long day Beach Republic was a quite sanctuary of peace! Its the most comfortable place I've stayed at, and I have to say I am insanely paranoid about germs and being clean and this place is really meets the mark! If I could I'd fly back here in a heartbeat!

Room tip: The rooms are as follows: first floor are the basic rooms, the top floors are the pool villas. There are individual villas with single rooms and double rooms.
Date of stay: October 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank EAurora
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed November 15, 2012

we booked our holiday thru cudo to the beach republic and it was exactly as the pictures showed . beach republic was beautiful ,the room our suite had all the comforts needed, we had a faboulous buffet breakfast every morning, we ate there most nites and the meals are exceptional, each evening when we returned a little desesrt was placed in our fridge( a wonderful touch) and an up to date news letter.of the next day happenings, HAPPY HOUR FROM 5 TO 7 IS A MUST. we did miss out on their sunday sess as we had other plans but would highly reccomend not to miss this. the STAFF are amazing ,very helpful, happy and fun ,they couldnt do enough for you, while we wrer ther we got to experiance the staff sports day which i got to participate in , i was invited by the day spa ladies ( who are just georgous). and had the best time. I WOULD HIGHLY RECCOMEND BEACH REPUBLIC and we would be returing in the future.

Room tip: any rooms we had asuite however next time we going toget avilla with private pool just to splashout
Date of stay: November 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank lism713
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Just came back from vacation at Beach Republic with husband and 23 year old son. We stayed in one of the private Tropical Villas. Everything about this hotel was wonderful ! The staff couldn't have been more friendly and helpful. The facilities were beautiful and right on the beach. The food was excellent. Lastly, the town was in walking distance from the hotel.

Although there is a gym at the hotel, my son and I were able to run the road in the early morning
for some distance despite the scooters and cars. It is not, however, for the faint of heart. Also,
we are serious cyclists and contacted Samui Bicycles a shop within walking distance from the hotel who took us on a private 3 hour bike tour through the island.

Date of stay: October 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Afrostjensen
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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