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“Learning on the Job”

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InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Taling Ngam
Certificate of Excellence
Hopton
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Learning on the Job”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Have stayed at this hotel in its many guises and the updates to the Bar and sitting area have improved the already fabulous views. Beautiful quiet place to relax in. Having been shut for some time it appears that the previously very attentive staff or some of them have left and therefore the level of service is patchy and not what you should expect from a 5 Star hotel in Thailand. Still good but not top class which it used to be.

Am sure that they will get this right but until that time I certainly will not be returning which is sad as I will miss the views.

Room Tip: Choose a room overlooking beach
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Crofts52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
InterContinentalUSM, General Manager at InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Dear Crofts52,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write about your holiday experience at InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort. This will be of great help in resolving our shortcomings. We are however disappointed that your stay did not meet your expectations. We have taken note of the shortcomings you have mentioned and we will ensure higher level of training to our front line team members. We greatly value your constructive feedback and also hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to InterContinental on your upcoming visit to Koh Samui.

Kind Regards,
Arnaud Girodon
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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New York
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2013 via mobile

It is hard to imagine a location in Koh Samui with more stunning views - the sunsets are breathtaking from the main building and the Air Bar in particular.

Unfortunately, the service does not match the impressiveness of the views. The service and the organization with which the resort is run is simply average, so if you are paying a non-discounted rate for a villa as I did, I recommend staying elsewhere.

I did pay for the Club Intercontinental option and had a "butler", which was helpful because when I tried to ring in room dining and the spa myself, I got busy signals! The butler was great but one should not need to have a person assigned to overcome general inefficiencies in the hotel. I did not find the concierge service very helpful as I was unable to book excursions via email before arriving and had to chase in person once I arrived.

Also, some of the villas have obscured views due to the trees so upon check in, make sure you are OK with your villa assignment. We stayed for 10 nights and would have thought we'd be given a prime view villa but sadly that was not the case.

Finally, I note that while there are a number of pools on property, only the beach pool has poolside service. I spent a day at the Infinity Pool, which although it is next to the main building, attendants were mostly no where to be seen, presumably in the shade somewhere escaping the extreme heat. I can understand but as a guest it would have been nice to order some drinks!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FarWanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
InterContinentalUSM, General Manager at InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Dear FarWanderer,

Thank you for taking the time to write your feedback and we apologies for our service you experienced during your stay. We have raised the issue mentioned with our team and proactive action steps have been established to solve this problem and circumvent such issues in the future.

We do hope this will not deter you from returning, we do pride ourselves on providing the highest levels of “Thai hospitality” and services and what you experienced is most unusual.

Kind Regards
Arnaud Girodon
General Manager
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London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
269 reviews
116 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2013

I stayed here for my 40th birthday. I picked this hotel because it was on the beach, had outstanding views and was an Intercontinental property and I am a Platinum Ambassador. My rate included complimentary airport transfers which all went smoothly and I was whisked off to the hotel very quickly. Check-in was a zoo - there seemed to be a tour party in the lobby and trying to get to the front desk was a joke. Eventually someone spotted me and took me to a quieter area to check in but I was not offered any refreshments (as I saw others getting later on). I had booked a basic Ocean View room and my Ambassador membership should give you a 1 room upgrade. I am still not convinced that I got that despite questioning the staff. On the website it says the next room up had traditional Thai ceilings and was on the top floor - my room was neither, although I cannot fault the view - it was outstanding.

As others have said - expect to pay a lot of money for food and drinks. Wine was particularly expensive and I stuck to the Thai meals - mainly because I wanted to experience Thai food but also because it was by far the cheapest.

The situation of the hotel means you need to get a golf cart buggy to everywhere, including the beach and the spa. This was not too much of a hassle and was a nice mode of transport. But beware, if you are at all of limited mobility - this is not the hotel for you! My room was in the main hotel complex but there are no elevators and my room was down 3 flights of stairs. Anyone that has difficulty with stairs should avoid this place as you will not be able to get away from them unless you stay and eat on the beach!!

I used the spa twice - both were great experiences but although my rate included 20% off additional spa treatments, however that did not include an extra amount I paid for a better treatment than my free one included in the rate. I was also given 20% off for my birthday but that then negated the 20%off for my rate so really I did not get it for my birthday at all! Finally one of the massages was supposed to include a 30min hand scrub which I did not get - it seems the lady concentrated on my back but this was not explained that it would be to the detriment of my other treatment - I would rather have had the advertised treatment.

I agree with the other reviewer that the staff on the phones should understand English better - everything is written in English and the clientele is very English speaking orientated. Also I understand that this is Thailand but it is very frustrating when trying to explain yourself and you know they have no clue what you are talking about - despite it being about something on the room menu!

I ate in both Amber and Flames. Amber had a nice menu but limited atmosphere - the advantage of this restaurant is that you did not need to get in a buggy to go to it. The service at Flames was a joke! I sat for 10 mins waiting for a menu or to be acknowledged and eventually I had to wave someone down - I was sitting right at the centre so not out of view. Then when I ordered my drinks, nothing came - 3 different people asked me for my drinks order until I got frustrated and told them to sort it out - all I wanted was a Mai Tai and that seemed beyond them to achieve. The meal was tasty but I felt completely invisible to the staff - I never went back!

The cleaning ladies in the rooms need to pay a bit more attention - I got out of my shower just after the room had been cleaned and found no large towels in the bathroom - I had to dry myself with a small hand towel! They also never took my used cutlery and plate away for 2 days - it just sat there in the room!

Overall, while this is a beautiful property with a stunning view, I wont come back here. I cant put it down to anyone thing but overall I was disappointed with a few things and the way they were handled.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank aks120LasVegas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
InterContinentalUSM, General Manager at InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Dear aks120LasVegas,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write about your recent holiday experience.
We appreciate that you have enjoyed the stunning views of InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort. Regarding the concept of the resort, is the location's natural, providing guests a sanctuary of luxurious seclusion and privacy.

Please accept my sincerest apology if you found your stay less than satisfactory due to the staff service that you received. We have taken note and shared with our housekeeping, food & beverage, spa, front office teams and training department for corrective action.

We do hope this will not deter you from returning to our iconic resort!

Warm regards
Arnaud Girodon
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2013 via mobile

Great resort, rooms, villas, food, views etc as mentioned in various reviews. Probably biggest negative is the lack/very limited sea swimming area on the beach, due to unsafe coral - may not have booked had we known. Fantastic sunset, best we have seen compared to many other parts of the world.
Loved the Infinity pool.
Very committed management especially GM, Timmy, Johan and Stephane. Could do with improvements such as :
1. Arrange boat to a local 'clean' beach
2. Complimentary daily shuttle to Chewang
3. Notice Board in lobby/Amber restaurant to provide list of daily activities
4. Encourage beach sports - net for volleyball, football etc
5. Offer complimentary Catamaran 15min experience on quieter days
6. Use small 'red flags' to attract bar-staff attention rather than guests going to the bar
7. Use 'Bling' buggy for taking bride to the beach
GM is aware of these comments.
Incidentally did utmost to diffuse unpleasant check-in situation - upgrade to Villa more than made up for this !
Full marks to GM for accommodating 'one off' special all inclusive package.
All said would definitely go back and recommend a must visit to this resort.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Harbans50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
InterContinentalUSM, General Manager at InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Dear Harbans50,

Thank you for choosing InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam for your resort getaway and we are thrilled to hear that we are fantastic resort and the best sunset that you have seen in the world.

We have noted the points where we need to work on from your feedback and rest assured that we have already addressed these points with the concerned departmental teams.

We look forward to welcoming you back to your “Home on Beautiful Cliff” soon.

Best regards
Arnaud Girodon
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katherine
Level 6 Contributor
216 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2013

Stayed recently for daughters wedding. What an amazing place. Would rate it higher if I could. A fabulous resort from start to finish and perfect venue for a wedding or any excuse really. Totally loved everything about this Resirt.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank VickiKatherine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
InterContinentalUSM, General Manager at InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Dear VickiKatherine,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us this tremendous feedback about your recent daughter’s wedding at InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort! Your great feedback was shared with our team and we are glad to learn that you totally loved everything about our "Home on the beautiful cliff”. It would be our pleasure to welcome you here again for your wonderful holiday, hopefully in the not too distant future.

Warm Regards,
Arnaud Girodon
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2013

First impression... AMAZING. I have never seen a lobby quite like this one. It really is a breathtaking hotel. The room was great with some cool modern conveniences. My 2 big problems... first the prices of food and drinks are really extortionate. You'll average spending about 4-5000 baht ($120-$180) for a dinner for 2 here if you eat anything other than Thai food. The cheapest meal we were able to eat here was about 2000 baht which is still almost 7 times the price of a comparable meal from a restaurant in town . The mixed drinks were expensive (300-500 baht) small, and just ok and the entrees were way over priced for what they were. While the food was good it was no where near as good as the prices they charge, even for a luxury hotel in an expensive area, let alone Thailand. The cheapest food on the menu was Thai food so I'll use that as a reference. The Thai food averages about 300-400 baht per plate. (western food is at least double that) I could get the same quality at a nice beach side restaurant in Koh Samui for 80-120 baht per plate. Now, I will gladly pay a premium for having it in the hotel, in a secluded part of the island, served to me in style, etc, etc, etc... I will not pay a 200-300% premium and be happy about it. It just sours the experience when you feel like you are getting ripped off all day especially when you go to a restaurant and get an amazing Thai dish for 80 baht and the same dish which isn't even as good costs 400 baht at the hotel. The prices didn't stop at food and drink either... A car from the hotel concierge is 1000 baht per hour to take you around the island which is just ridiculous for Thailand, even Koh Samui.

Finally, the bill. This is where the experience took a turn for me. The bill you get at the end of your stay is a joke. I won't go into it too much but there were overcharges, errors, charges for food/drinks from our mini bar that we never ate... etc. It's the most confusing/messed up bill I've seen at a hotel and I've seen lots. After I fixed all the extra charges I asked how they figured my tax out because I honestly couldn't tell from reading the bill because they show your total bill as the taxable amount versus the pre-tax amount, the manager came out and confronted me to prove me wrong, he admitted that the bill was weird after I showed him but said it wasn't their fault and blamed it on the billing system first, which I recommended changing and told him he could because I'm very familiar with hotel POS systems. He then told me he couldn't because this is what bills in Thailand look like... basically counting on the fact that this was my first hotel stay in Thailand. Unfortunately for him it wasn't and I have very normal looking bills from other hotels in Thailand that make complete sense. I also didn't find him gracious, just kind of condescending with a little arrogance. Lying to my face like that is just insulting if you ask me. Just say "sorry, we'll try to fix it for next time, thank you for pointing it out." Is saying sorry that hard? You don't even have to do anything if I'm really wrong but come on, it's called customer service, you know this is forming my last impression of the hotel, at least pretend you care a little.

If you stay here just be ready to spend a LOT on food and drinks or rest a car and go into town and make sure you you look your bill over closely at checkout.

Some advice to the hotel. Charge a little more for the rooms if you need to but the prices of food and drinks need to come down. Also, people on the property that answer the phone (room service for example) need to be able to understand English especially the words for menu items since the menu is written in English. The management needs to be more gracious and make an effort to say hello to guests and be on the property more. I never saw the GM, the chef, really any management of any kind my entire week stay... except when I had an issue with the bill at the end and it wasn't a good interaction.

Final story just because it still bugs me... to cap everything off I booked a private car to the airport (1600 baht) and so did another couple waiting with us. When their car broke down on the way to the hotel, the bellman just put them in our car which I was fine with and glad to help but they never asked AND then never refunded me 800 of our 1600 baht since I now split the ride with another couple. I don't mind the money really but it's little things like this that the hotel just missed / messed up all during our trip that made me feel gouged and which detracted from what should be a spotless stay...

To conclude, I have stayed at many intercontinental properties and I won't stop now. I love the brand and have stayed in them in all over the US, Europe, and now Asia. This hotel simply needs some attention and staff training to really get in line with the rest of the companies properties. I'm sure in a year or so it will be world class from top to bottom but it just isn't quite there yet.

Room Tip: Be ready to spend $40-$80 for meals per person!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PhantomTraveller4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
InterContinentalUSM, General Manager at InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
• Dear ElvisUSAF,

• Thank you for your review; we very much appreciate you taking time to provide it really is a breathtaking hotel at InterContinental Samui Bann Taling Ngam Resort. We have taken well note of some of the shortcomings you have experienced during your stay and shared with our respective teams for proactive remedial action.

We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to InterContinental on your upcoming visit to Koh Samui.

Sincerely your
Arnaud Girodon
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katherine, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2013

This hotel is nothing short of amazing. We had our wedding here on 22 March and everything about this place made our day magical and PERFECT! The staff were always there to help and nothing was ever too much trouble. Everyone would go out of their way to talk to you and see how your stay was, including the chef's!
The location is great and although it's away from the more popular Chaweng, you really have no reason to leave the hotel.
The view is spectacular to say the least! Not having seen this place before booking our wedding, I was pleasantlly surprised. When we arrived at sunset, it was so beautiful I cried! Apple, who organized everything for the wedding, also deserves a special mention for all of her hard work.

The hotels spa is also something worth experiencing, even of just for the views! I would love to spend more time here!

This hotel might be a little expensive, but it is truly worth every single cent! Recommend staying at least five days to enjoy the best of all facilities! I truly cannot recommend this hotel highly enough although it will be a shame when this side of the island gets too busy!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TrudiB359
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
InterContinentalUSM, General Manager at InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
Dear TrudiB359,

Thank you for posting wonderful review on InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort. It was our pleasure to read that you had a memorable time on your wedding celebration day; the spectacular views, our Baan Thai Spa and our team's excellent service. I have shared your great feedback with all our team, especially Khun Apple and our Chef.

It would be our pleasure to welcome you here again for your honeymoon, hopefully in not too distant future.

Yours sincerely,
Arnaud Girodon
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort

Property: InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort
Address: 295 Moo 3, Taling Ngam Beach, Taling Ngam, Ko Samui 84140, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui > Taling Ngam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Taling Ngam
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Taling Ngam
#1 Spa Hotel in Taling Ngam
#1 Romantic Hotel in Taling Ngam
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Taling Ngam
#2 Family Hotel in Taling Ngam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 79
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam is renowned for its legendary status as Koh Samui’s first ever luxury resort. Nestled on a dramatic cliff of Taling Ngam, with spectacular views over the bay and the neighboring Five Islands. The resort features chic and innovative dining, seven swimming pools, 79 beautifully appointed rooms, suites and villas including the iconic Beachfront Pool Villas. Baan Thai Spa and the famed Air Bar complete the picture ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Baan Taling Ngam Resort And Spa
Baan Taling Ngam Hotel Taling Ngam
Hotel Baan Taling Ngam
InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort Ko Samui

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