I go to some crappy hotel and I get bad service and I tell myself, "Well, you kinda get what you pay".
Then there's the Samui Intercon.
I never felt more unwanted at a hotel during the checkin. First no one welcomed us, then after 5 minutes or so a woman asked us for both our passports and disappeared with them. another 5-10 minutes later I thought I saw another woman working to check us in. No cooling water, drink, or even a wet towel -- did they forget they're in Southeast Asia? Finally after about 20 minutes we were checked-in.
Then I found out the safe in the room was locked. So we went out to meander around the property and we came back to the room at 6:53 pm to see a letter on the bed inviting us to drinks with the hotel staff between 6-7 pm. They couldn't have told us this during check-in?
Charging THB 200 to drive us to La Cuisine? I paid THB 100 to get from the Renaissance to Lamai on a songthaew -- okay, this is a hotel car, but for such a distance you'd think it'd be complimentary.
They also neglected to give us the "exotic skin care welcome gift" and when I informed the front desk about this you'd think they'd go all customer service and just give it to me. No, it was as if I was trying to score another one and they kept telling me how it should've been placed on the bed during turndown. "NO YOU FSCKWITS IT WASN'T ON THE BED AND I DON'T CARE HOW MANY TIMES YOU REPEAT THAT, IT -WASN'T- ON THE BED!" Of course the spa also forgot to give us the "tea gift" that came with the package. Look, these "gifts" are nothing major, but it's the principle, and making me ASK FOR BOTH just makes me feel cheap and demanding.
We went down to Flames restaurant at around 8 pm and discovered they had run out of crabs and only had 1 fish left for the bbq. What the hell? So we went up to Amber ... and you know, if you're going to serve westernised Thai food, at least make sure you have a good western selection, but I have never had such terrible foie gras that it's tasteless, or such tough and overcooked pork chop.
The serenity hideaway package also promised a 90 minute PRIVATE yoga session. So we signed-up for it to discover that private meant we're sharing one teacher with another couple and a woman and her daughter. Worse, the practice platform had red ants crawling near my mat -- it was near impossible to "relax" at the end of the practice when the teacher asked us to close our eyes and played calming noises with his mini gong. All I could think of was "don't come near me, don't come near me".
Then there's the renovation ... we walked down to our room and I could've sworn we were at some run down apartment building. Art works were hanging tilted (and this seems to be the case in general all over the hotel property), roughly painted walls outside our room (we hadn't seen the renovation work going on elsewhere yet when we first got taken to our room), mattresses standing against the wall opposite our door. Cleanliness also seems to be an issue: the mens' toilet near the infinity pool has a strange smell to it, one stall has no light for at least a day, spider web in the toilet stall (for at least two days) that has the light, and one day the main pool by the beach had this ... accumulation ... floating on one of the corners near the bar.
That said, the staff at the fitness center and the kids centre (yet another mystery of the hotel: why am I calling the kids centre to sign-up for the yoga session?) were just amazing and friendly. The front desk staff, on the other hand ... one in particular needs to learn how to smile or at least not make guests feel like she's doing us a favour checking us in. Two other ladies that I interacted with are more pleasant and accommodating, but that said, the front desk is either under-staffed, staffed by incompetents, or both. I never got the sense that they knew what they were doing as they seemed distracted and trying to keep things under control.
- 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 Hotel Taling Ngam
- Baan Taling Ngam Resort And Spa
- Hotel Baan Taling Ngam
- InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort Ko Samui