This was our family-of-four's first trip to Southeast Asia, and we were very pleased with our 5 nights at the Andaman Seaview Hotel in Karon. We did our reasearch and found the reviews of this hotel to be right on. No, it's not the fanciest or most modern hotel, but it offers a really nice balance of luxury and value.
Because we booked well in advance, and were visiting in low season, we got really low rates (through Agoda.com). So, instead of cramming our two teenage daughters (14 &18) in the same room with us, we got two rooms. And the hotel granted our request and placed them right next door.
Most of the staff went out of their way to be welcoming and pleasant, making us feel like we had a home away from home. They presented a very elaborate breakfast buffet each morning, which was included in our room rate. Made-to-order omeletes or fried eggs, breads, pastries, juices, fresh fruits, coffee, tea, etc., not to mention all of the Asian foods. True, it was more or less the same every day, but if you don't need excitement at breakfast, it should get you off to a good start.
Here's a summary of likes and dislikes, in no particular order:
- Ocean view room on top floor with balcony
- Ample buffet breakfast, with poolside seating
- Affordable rates
- Across the street from the most beautiful part of Karon Beach
- Easy walk to nearby restaurants (Two Chefs was our favorite), 7-Eleven, Starbucks, etc. and shops
- Great spa on-site
- Really nice, well-maintained swimming pool w/swim-up bar
- Pool-side restaurant for lunch/snacks
- Air conditioning
- Generous with complimentary bottled water in-room daily
Didn't like so much...
- No free WiFi anywhere at the hotel (cost is $10 USD per hour, or $12 per day - neither of which is reasonable)
- Blender at poolside bar broke on 2nd day and was not repaired or replaced before the end of our trip. They had reasonably priced blended smoothies, but we only got to have one :-(
- Elevator was hot
- Closet doors in rooms were not really usable
My wife and I took advantage the beautiful on-site spa and had a heavenly 2-hour private spa treatment - herbal bath + coffee scrub + massage. Wow!
It's not a knock on the hotel, but in the interest of full disclosure need to mention that the beach across the street was disappointing. You literally had to walk through trash to get to the sand or water. Very sad because the natural beauty is amazing - so much potential!
A few other plugs:
- Xtreme Aventures...a jungle playground with ziplines; very safe; perfect for kids
- Taxi driver/tour guide named Isto (Phone: 0840534226) who was our tour guide for a day; speaks enough English; very fun; nice, comfortable SUV with good A/C
- Siam Safari...a well-run place for elephant rides where they appear to take good care of the animals; free hotel pickup and return