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.
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