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“Amazing Island, Not to Amazing Hotel!”

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Coral Garden Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Amazing Island, Not to Amazing Hotel!”
Reviewed March 4, 2013

Let me start this with letting you know that my family have run and been in the hotel industry all my life. I have grown up in hotels and have travelled my whole life - so this will be as objective and constructive as possible as I do know how unreasonable people can be. I do my full research before going anywhere, but each time we go on holiday I "take a chance" on a less-well-known establishment for a portion of my stay and am usually extremely happy - and in this case Corel Resort was my "take-a-chance" portion of my stay as there was not much in terms of reviews of them on the net.

We arrived over 2 hours later than we advised due to our ferry running late. In spite of arriving in the late afternoon, our room was not ready. We waited for over 45 minutes, only to realise that they were still cleaning the other couple's room who arrived at the same time as us. We then opted to have a late lunch/early dinner while we waited for them to finally get round to our room - which was ready an hour and a half after we arrived. The general welcome was good though - but they need to work on being ready for when guests arrive.

We did find it odd that breakfast closes at 11am, but if you want your room to be cleaned, you needed to "hand in" your key before 9am. "5 star" establishment, but you need to "hand in" your key and ask them to clean you room - really? I will comment though that even though we did not hand in our keys, the very friendly cleaning lady did come find us at our loungers and offered to clean our room for us each day.

While the food in the restaurant is pretty good, the time it takes to get meals out is extremely bad. We are extremely patient people, so the slow delivery and over an hour wait for our food each time did not actually bother us too much - but listening to the other customers complaining each and everytime we dined there shows they definately have a problem. One thing to understand when travelling to Thailand, is that it is their culture to deliver meals to share, so do not "expect" to get your meals at the same time. I would not blame the staff, they do try their best, but they simply have not been trained properly. Their manual writing of dockets and orders is also ludicrous - we are in 2013 people. Purchase a simple POS system to handle your bookings and restuarant orders - simple as that. The cost of accomodation for 2 night's in your hotel will cover a PC, another night will cover the printer - so it is not as if you cannot afford it - really.

Then. The safe has a code. The staff know the code. How do we know this? Our safe was locked when we arrived. When calling asking to sort out safe out, they announced the "code" used to open the safe. After not being happy with this they kindly gave us the keys to the safe and reset the code. You would expect a 5 star establishment to have "hotel" safe's and not the usual kind you purchase where you set your code permanently at home.

Now the funny part. When doing the safe, the fellow (as a service a suppose) turns on our TV. Snowy picture appears. He tried to see why, and realises the decoder is missing and quickly turns it back off not saying a word. We kept quite to see if some initiative would be taken, sadly not. The next morning the weather was terrible (no fault of the hotel) so naturally it would be amazing to lay back, full view of the sea and perhaps watch some TV. So we tell reception the TV is not working, and get some story about only being able to check at 6.30pm due to them being "holiday staff". Taking an entire day to check we did find to be a bit strange, but left it as is. No one rocked up at 6.30pm, so the next morning we ask again - and get assured someone will check shortly. Again no one rocks up. So that evening, we catch the staff member who speaks the best english (amazing staff member by the way) who ensures someone will come check shortly. Low and behold, the fellow who tried our TV 2 nights before knocks on our door - and "pretends" to try work it out. Ends up leaving with no solution, only for our "english" guy to come knocking after a few minutes explaining the unit was faulty and sent in for repairs. Really? -> they dont keep spare units. No compensation, no apology or any attempt to rectify something which is clearly advertised as a feature in the room. I understand the 4 days of bad weather while we were there is no fault of the hotel, but there is absolutely NOTHING else to do on the island - so they need to ensure that what they advertise actually works, and if it does not - perhaps keep a simple DVD player with a few popular movies on hand. Expected MUCH more from a supposed 5 star place other than a simple "sent in for repairs, ok bye now" - shocking. The entire 7 nights we were there our TV did not work - at all. Granted you are not here for TV, but to relax in bed with the rain ourside viewing the sea and cuddling up and watching some TV would have been nice to keep busy.

The tap in the bathroom was broken, falling out of the wall. The airconditioning was also extremely tempremental. The units definately need maintenance, or at least ours did. Internet did not work at our unit as the signal was non-existant - so had to sit in the restaurant for it to work. (we stayed in the furtherest unit from reception).

Overall, they must have purchased their 5 star rating - as it definately is not a 5 star establishment. While *most* the staff try their best, and I need to give them credit for trying, they are definately not correctly trained. (there was a mention that they were "holiday" staff, but seriously - send your full time staff on holiday during December is unacceptable as this should be one of your busiest times of year). This means the management needs to be looked into - or the owners. It has the potential to be AMAZING, the surroundings are phenominal. The sea brilliant, very tranquil, snorkelling is out of this world - but the actual hotel sadly does need work.

Room Tip: There are 5 rooms, they all overlook the sea and have their own private loungers. Amazing views and...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
12 Thank Malvis81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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104 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
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  • Danish first
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English first
Phuket, Thailand
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 4, 2013

I spent four wonderful days with my wife in the Coral Garden Resort.The bungalows are situated in front of the sea and under a canopy of trees. The staff was very friendly, helpful and informative. We could appreciate the excellent Italian and Thai cuisine (we also found an incredible Italian ice cream!). In front of our bungalow was located a hammock that, at high tide, was suspended a few inches above the water. Really a pleasant feeling. At low tide, you can make beautiful walks on the beach along the coast for at least three kilometers, and at high tide, nice swims in a sea clear and warm.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Franco C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2013 via mobile

We stayed 7 nights with an included breakfast package ( which was not really included......many stuff if ordered have to be paid). Empty shower gel tubes were not replaced unless you asked.Dirty towels were not replaced unless asked. There were no kayak available for guest ( unusual for an Expensive Andaman resort). Good price for location but too expencive for type of service.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
7 Thank Marcello S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2013

We stayed there for four nights. The villa was really lovely and a pleasant place to spend time in, when for example it was raining (which happened most of the time we were on the island...). The room was serviced everyday, the AC was functioning perfectly, internet was maybe a bit on the slow side but working, the ground was cleaned up from leaves everyday and there wasn't any noise issue even though we were staying in the villa the closest to the bar. Reading the previous reviews it seems that they acted on some of the complaints.

Concerning the attitude of the staff, it depended on who we were dealing with, some were friendly and helpful and some couldn't seem to be bothered.

Breakfast was ok, they did often lack something on the menu, but since it is an island it is understandable that they cannot easily replenish their stock. We ate there for lunch and dinner too, having tried other restaurants on the island, we didn't really find any to be standing out as really good food. It was actually pretty good compared with the other places on the island. The problem with their restaurant is that it is lacking an extensive covered area.

From the website I had the impression of a secluded place, but actually the villas are very close to each others and the whole resort is squeezed between two others. That was probably my biggest disappointment.

Overall Koh Kradan is a small island compared with some of the others around and is not as built up, which depending on what you are after, is a good thing. It was very quiet. This resort was very nice compared with what else was on offer.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Agathita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paignton
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2013

I totally agree with the last 2 reviews. 5* pricing with 2* service. Our room was lovely, although it could have used a little more attention to detail when being cleaned - especially for the price. On arrival we had no pillow cases, no air conditioning and they couldn't supply a mosquito net for the extra bed, even though we paid 1000 baht for it! . We didn't unpack our suitcase because the wardrobe smelt really musty. (the AC was eventually fixed and pillow cases supplied).

The deck was very nice, however the view is restricted, particularly from the room we had which was number 1. It was partly facing the restaurant/bar rather than the sea and on our first night the staff were playing pretty loud pop music which was not great, we would have preferred to listen to the sound of the waves on the beach.

The manager Brian is a really nice guy and did his best to make our stay pleasant,which it was, however, with the exception of the lady who cleans the rooms, the rest of the staff are pretty sullen and everything is a bit of an effort for them. Whether this is because we were at the tail end of season i don't know, but we paid 5500 baht a night (including an extra bed) that equates to £114 per night, not cheap. Food was very average and breakfast in particular was pretty awful, minimal choice and minimal portions included in the room price, to get a decent breakfast you needed to order extras and all at a cost.

We did enjoy our stay as Koh Kradan is truly beautiful and the snorkelling amazing, but the best spots are at the opposite end of the beach. Next time we would consider staying at the Seven Seas Resort, if you book last minute on Agoda you can get rooms for around the same price and everyone we spoke to said it was fabulous, with great service too.

I appreciate that you pay a premium for everything when staying on an island but if Coral Garden lowered the price then we would consider returning but as it stands the price is just too high for what you get.

Room Tip: Rooms 3 and 4 are in the middle and have better views and are away from the bar.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank foxypaignton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2013 via mobile

The resort isn't what I call a resort. It is more some high level huts, set on a quite narrow area, to the left and right some lower level huts from other lodgings. The whole "resort" seemed quite uncared-for (broken deck chairs, broken deck chair overlays (the dogs loved to eat it), Christmas and new year decoration everywhere, table cloth clammy, garden unraked...).

It is really difficult to give this resort a score because the island and the beach are truly amazing and unique and the huts are not too bad. But if you expect only a bit more (as we did), you definitely will end up disappointed.

The rooms had apparently no regular room service. We asked on the second day for toilet paper and finally got it on the third day after asking again and picking it up at the reception. Only since then the room service came once a day.

Also the offered food did not meet our Thai food expectations. The Thai food was mediocre and so was the "European" food. Don't know which was worse, though many seemed more than happy with the European food.

The best thing for us was the very flexible cancelation policy. Only a one night fine, off we were....

Beach: amaaaazing!!! Bring your snorkeling equipment.

Coral garden: we found it too expensive and thus were more than disappointed reg price-performance ratio.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Gerald_MUC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2013

This is truly a very strange place. The rooms are very nicely done, we loved them, but everything else about the place, mainly the restaurant and the staff were way below average. Brian is a great guy, but he's not very motivated and doesn't manage his staff properly (the owner was out during our stay), other staff members were pretty much non-existent and a bit grumpy. I asked for ice one time and they said "no ice". I said, why no ice? They said "no ice". Seriously? My wife still tipped them well upon our departure!

It also appears that all the flies in the island have gathered around their restaurant. It's not the cleanest and most welcoming place. We had breakfast there because it was included and they were out of almost everything. The only fruit available was watermelon! Again, if you stay here, don't expect 5, or even 4 star treatment. It's 5 star room in a budget setting. SevenSeas, 7 min walk down the beach has a fantastic restaurant, great staff, superior food, for the same price.

Room Tip: stay here if you want a nice room, but do not eat here. also, don't expect great views.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank khash23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Coral Garden Resort

Property: Coral Garden Resort
Address: Ko Kradan, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Trang Province > Ko Kradan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Ko Kradan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Coral Garden Resort 4*
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