Chose this property for our stay in Karon Beach based on TripAdvisor reviews. Selected a pool side room for the same reason. I really wanted to rate this property Very Good, but just couldn't.
First the good: The property is tucked in off the street and really looks nice as you approach it. The lobby, general area, pool and room were spotless and well appointed. Access to the pool from the room was as advertised. Our pool access room was clean, but the amenities were a bit lean. I applaud the refillable soap/shampoo containers (to reduce trash), but the quality of the products were poor (no bubbles from the shampoo at all). Breakfast buffet was okay, but nothing special compared to other properties we stayed at in Thailand. We did not dine at the property beyond breakfast. The front desk, spa, restaurant and housekeeping staff members we encountered were friendly and helpful.
Now the bad:
1) The pool closes at 8pm, and they start covering all the chairs shortly after 6pm. While they might be thinking about how efficient they are, it is actually discouraging guests from using the pool (and the management needs to start thinking about guests at this hotel); seriously, this is not a retirement home, I believe it should be open until 10. That said, the one night we got back in time to jump in the pool at 7:15 the jacuzzi was immediately turned off. When I went into the room and called the front desk I was told the pool closed at 7pm. "No", I replied, the sign says 8. "Please wait I will call you back" says the front desk (I wait, soaking wet and standing on a towel). Return call from front desk informs me that they put chemicals in the pool early. GIVE ME A BREAK - why did I pay more for a pool access room?
2) The front desk gives you "coupons" for services both inside and outside the property. I get the arrangements with outside locations, but if I'm a guest at your hotel, don't do some goofy coupon dance with me for hotel services! Cases in point: 1) Used Concierge (who was MIA on our first day) to book 2 separate outings (Elephant Safari and James Bond Island). I have no idea who they book with and had to request consideration of discount when I checked out (or I wouldn't have received it). C'mon guys, I'm your (paying) guest, please treat me like one. 2) Booked 2 Thai massages at the Resort's spa for both my wife and I (they were wonderful). Letter that accompanied our "coupons" indicated we would get a discount at the Royal Spa. No go says the Spa Manager. I inquire at checkout and find they have "renamed" the Spa and the discount no longer applies. Then why is it still in the letter?
3) I went to the front desk to inquire about having boarding passes printed and was directed to send an email with the information to the general email address and they would print them in the back. I was standing right there with my info! Had to go back to my room, bring my tablet to the lobby (by the front desk), wrestle with it to send email (the only free WiFi is in the lobby, otherwise they want to nickel and dime you) and pick up the boarding passes the next morning. What if I didn't have a computer with me? C'mon guys, put a terminal in the lobby by the front desk (where it can be monitored) so guests can print out boarding passes, or if I'm standing there with the info, take it!
I spoke directly with the manager when we checked out and pointed out all these issues (very politely, BTW). She was very nice, but did little more than 'admire/appreciate' the problem. No compensation was offered. In the end, it's not about the money (it wasn't that much), it's whether or not the Manager even understands the hospitality industry. While I think the management team at the Karon Sea Sands runs a tight ship, it doesn't appear as though they take the time to think like a guest. I would not return to this property unless I started reading rave reviews about changes in the management approach (and later pool closing!)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Karon Sea Sands Resort & Spa boasts beach front vistas of the spectacular azure waters of the Andaman Sea, endless expanses of golden sand and beaches and awe inspiring evening sunsets. We provide the perfect location & accommodation, offering our guests all the comforts & luxury they have come to expect from the minute they walk through our door. Karon Sea Sands Resort & Spa offers a culturally diverse selection of dining options from intimate a la carte dining to room service and takeaway. Exercise in our fully equipped gymnasium, swim laps of our pool, enjoy relaxing massages & beauty treatments, inspire & develop your culinary skills by enrolling in one of our Thai or Indian cooking classes. At the end of the day, relax in our tropical surrounds enjoying a refreshing cocktail, listen to mood music from our resident entertainers as you watch a spectacular sunset and the closing of another day in paradise. Karon Sea Sands offers guests traditional Thai hospitality complimented with modern facilities & amenities. Our professional, experienced and courteous staff are on hand to look after your every need and to ensure that your stay with us is a pleasurable and memorable occasion. Karon Sea Sands Resort & Spa, your ultimate resort destination, and we are in the right location! Situated on the south western seaboard between Kata and Patong, Karon is 60 minutes from Phuket International Airport, 15 minutes from Patong or a 30 minute drive to Phuket Town. Our resort is situated within easy walking distance of Karon’s shopping centers, markets, tourist attractions and nightlife venues. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Karon Sea Sands Resort And Spa
- Karon Sea Sands Hotel Karon
- Karon Sea Sands Resort & Spa Phuket