We stayed at this apartment (loft suites/one-bed room apartment) for five nights with very mixed feeling.
BOOKING: We initially found this apartment on TripAdvisor. Two apartments were advertised there. They looked beautiful. So we first sent a question to the owner/manager. No response. Without having enough time until our departure, we then sent a booking request, one for each apartment. No response. I then sent a message from their FaceBook page, saying that no one had responded to my question or booking requests on Trip Adviser. It took several days to get a response saying that "the owner/manager is now out of the country so he might not be responding" -- what a management! Assign someone else to take care of inquiries and booking if he's out of the country!! At this point, we already got a quite strange gut feeling about this property. The website and pictures looked very beautiful, but its management was so poor.
LOCATION: This property is about 10km south of the Hua Hin downtown. If you want to go out to the city center, you definetely need a bike or car, or at least a cab/tuktuk (I think the management can arrange one, but you better check before going to make sure you have a transportation mean). There are almost nothing around the apartment, but a few minutes down the road, there are some coffee shops, local food stalls, fruit stalls, and a Family Mart. We knew the apartment was away from the downtown, so the location wasn't a problem at all. We rented a motorbike (THB300/day), which enabled us to move around - we arranged the bike through the apartment management in advance. The apartment is right in front of the beach, but the beach is not so big and with coarse sands. Not the best beach, but still fine to swim there.
APARTMENT BUILDING: This huge, tall building itself is an old local condominium called "Milford Paradise," which was buildt around 20 years ago. It looks very very old from outside and inside. When we arrived at this property in the evening, we were a bit scared as it looked very very old and rundown. We were a bit surprised also that there was no reception for Yambay, but for Milford. We were wondering where's modern and stylish looking Yambay condo. Anyway, Milford staff welcomed us and guided us to the southern wing of the building where we met a guy presumably from Yambay. I said "presumably" as he just looked like a local guy on a street in a casual sport wear. Hmm, he seemed to be a nice guy, but he should have wore some uniform or at least nicer clothes to welcome the guest for this kind of property and the price.
FACILITIES: As I said earlier, the main building is basically the 20-year old rundown Milford Paradise. Yambay is basically only a few floors in that old building, bought and renovated by the Yambay management company. This means Yambay still shares all common facilities with this 20-year old Milford building including a swimming pool, gym, minimart, canteen, elevators, and others. Like the Milford building, all of them are very very old. The swimming pool was still usable, but not as stylish as the room. Gym was completely ruined with broken machines with rusts here and there. Even power buttons on these machines were broken. This was the oldest and most disfunctional gym we'd ever seen in our life. Yambay should not advertise that it will come with a gym. In sum, expect nothing in terms of facilities.
APARTMENT: We got an apartment on 29th floor. Although the building and even the old elevator were a bit scary with 20-year history, the 29th floor and the apartment room were fully renovated, which was our releaf. In general, the apartment looked like the pictures on the Yambay website. We were reasonablly happy with the apartment. However, it still lacks the attention to detail. We got series of problems that the management could have foreseen quite easily. Some examples are as follows:
- There was a big glass wall facing to the common corridor without any curtain, from which everyone passing by our apartment could peek through inside. Worse, our apartment was the first one in the corridor, so all people on the same floor were passing by our apartment on the way to their apartment. Absolute lack of privacy. We asked the management to install a curtain so that people could not peek into our apartment, then they taped a styloform board to close the glass wall. Hmm, we did not expect this in a stylish apartment like this (FYI, on our 4th day, they replaced it with untransparent sticker on the glass wall).
- There was a kitchen but no dining table. We needed to eat either on a couch or floor. We requested the management to bring a dining table, then the guy told us they did not have a dining table. We insisted him to arrange one as there was no table to eat especially as we were going to stay for a week in the apartment. Then, on the following day, he brought a small floor table (just like a bedside table)... So basically we got no dining table. We had to eat on a couch everyday. Again, we did not expect this in this kind of apartment. A room with a kitchen needs a dining table - I think the management could have think of this very basic thing before welcoming the guests.
- There was a knife but no cutting board. Again, the same thing - when we got a knife (and kitchen), we need a cutting board. We requested the management a cutting board as otherwise it would damage the nice wooden kitchen counter, but no cutting board was provided until the end, even yes or no Another example of lack of attention to detail.
- Light bulbs for two floor lamps were missing (not installed) from the beginning. Was there someone who actually checked the apartment before our check-in? This would be very easy thing to spot if the management did in-advance checking. We requested the light bulbs immediately upon check-in. The guy told us "we'll do it tomorrow." On the following day, still no light bulbs. We contacted the guy again, then he again told us "tomorrow." Hellow????? (FYI, the bulbs were installed on the 3rd day).
- The towels were brand-new without pre-washing. We do not have any problems with new towels, of course, but the problem was that these brand-new towels without pre-washing left a lot of lints on all over our bodies. They should have washed them before providing them to guests. Again, I think it is easy to spot/foresee this problem.
- No hungers in the room. OK, if you have a closet, you need to install hungers, right? (FYI, they were installed on the 2nd day).
- Candle shade on the balcony without a candle. Again, this is the same story as a knife without a cutting board. We asked the guy to bring a candle, but it was not installed until the end of our stay.
- No Apple TV (but only LG TV), and TV not having a cable channels as in the room detail provided by the management when we booked.We realized that the TV antena cable was not installed on TV after a couple of days, and the engineer came to install it; however, still no international channels. For this kind of property and the price, I think the key international channels are musts.
- WIFI up and down frequently. It is always up and down. On our 4th day, the Internet was even completely down for a day, leaving us without the Internet connection and also no TV (as we could use LG TV to watch only YouTube). We called the management at around 6PM, then he told us "tomorrow." Again?? We are staying and paying by day. In the evening on the 5th day, the Internet finally came back.
The above are a few examples of the issues that we experienced at this apartment. They could be easily avoided if someone with enough attention to detail checked though the apartment before we checked into the apartment. The manager seemed to be always out, and we were wondering who was actually managing this apartment in order to make sure everything's up to the standard.It is indeed pity as this property could be potentially a good one with beautiful rooms with a good management.
This time, we paid THB3900/night (they told me it was discounted from THB6000), but given the above, we do not think it would worth even THB3900. Our assessment was THB2000 or even lower as it is. The problem really is the lack of attention to detail and the management/service. It almost looked like an interior designer, who knew how to decorate rooms but had no idea how to manage the property, running this apartment.
I think the management needs to think about the above seriously if they want to claim themselves as "international management" as in thier advertisement.
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|Bedding & mattresses||Kitchen & utensils|
|Bathroom cleanliness||Other facilities & amenities|