I don't usually review hotels as from first hand experience as a hotelier, everyone has their own take on a place and the individual experience can vary greatly on exactly the same day in exactly the same type of room with the guests even eating exactly the same dinner -- you can't please everyone as the saying goes... We arrived at Seetanu after a long journey having booked 2 weeks in a seaview room, greatly excited by tripadvisor reviews and the thought of a sweet bungalow on a beautiful beach. As well we had had congenial communications with the reservations manager so felt really positive about it all. We left after one horrible night. There was no one to greet us on arrival (highy unusual in Asia/Thailand), no one to carry our luggage and when the owner did come from the office to assist us, begrudgingly wheeled one of our suitcases to the bungalow (admittedly we did have more than our usual one small suitcase each (2 each) as we are on our way home after living and working in Asia for the past 2 years...).
Upon arrival the bungalow was such a letdown and not at all as it was depicted on the website. And definitely not worth the +US$90 per night. Shabby curtains, stuffy hot room (they knew what time we arrived - no air con on for guests' comfort???), dilapidated furniture, wet bathroom floor. And it went from bad to worse as the evening progressed... Not long after arriving and wanting to go for a swim in the lovely ocean we discovered there were no towels for the beach, only threadbare towels for the bathroom. I then went to the office and asked the owner for a beach towel and was told rather rudely they did not supply beach towels. I must say I bristled at the owners attitude and in the end asked for an extra towel each to which he acquiesced with a begrudging smirk. After 20 minutes still no extra towel for a swim, so went to the office again and after some running around the young friendly assistant bought me the towels. Who travels with a beachtowel or even bath towel these days???? Even providing a light cotton beach towel which costs nothing and which are available everywhere in asia would suffice and after all, you are right on the beach so of course people want a beach towel. And dare I say, for US$90 a night and being right on the beach one would expect a beach towel in the room!
After returning to the room I glanced from the bed and noticed that the curtain above the luggage rack upon which my suitcase was opened was completely drenched and dripping with water from the airconditioner and there was a lake of water forming on the floor and unfortunately in my open suitcase as well. My husband went to advise someone to be told that they would send some towels to mop up the floor but none ever arrived nor was anyone sent to see to the problem -- again we had to remind staff and get the towels ourselves. We had wanted to shower before dinner only to discover there was no water (lots still forming on the floor from the air conditioner though) -- again another trip to the office to be told the tank had drained that day and would be filled in about 20 minutes... 2 hours later after a dreadful Thai dinner, still no water and yet another trip to the office this time for bottled water to at least have a sponge bath before bed (the young assistant guy was really helpful and trying to please everyone in both the restaurant as well as us for whom everything seemed to be amiss...). Apparently this lack of water was known at the time of check in but no one had informed us of any such thing. Meanwhile the aircon rattled on and continued to leak and the doof music from down the beach began to thump on (...until 6 am) and the lake in the room increased in size. Finally the water did come on, however the shower tap kept on falling off as the thread was bare and whenever you finally managed to turn the water on, water leaked all over the bathroom floor creating yet another lake in the bathroom and continued through the night creating yet another lake which we had to wade through to get to the toilet in the morning.
Finally seeing the absurdity of the situation and falling into bed laughing at it all and wondering if we were out of sync with everything: you know -- murphys law - it never rains but pours (at least airconditioners and faucet outlets were pouring where we were..), etc etc., we went to pull up the sheet only to find that a single sized sheet had been arranged sideways on the queen sized bed so that the sheet only covered us to our waist and our feet stuck out from the bottom. I ended up sleeping under my sarong and my husband used the single sheet. We continued to laugh as really, who could believe such occurrences in one hotel room -- Basil Faulty's ghost was certainly lurking in the rafters.... Meanwhile, puddles continued to form in both the bedroom and the bathroom and the doof dooffed on....
I do understand that it is difficult to maintain houses and airconditioners and equipment in the tropics by the sea having to always battle the moisture from both the air and sea. And I do understand when it is busy and towards the end of the season it is easy to lose sight of the details and keep on top of everything that will keep your guests happy and comfortable. And I know how hard people work in the hotel industry and have total respect for that. However in the morning upon checkout my husband wanted to show the owner the problems with the room in the interest of other guests and he was not interested at all and seemingly knew about all the problems already!!! As a hotelier how can you ethically let a room with such problems?? To add insult to injury the owner showed no remorse at all and charged us the full amount for the room. Having grown up in hotels from having parents who owned a number of hotels throughout their working life and having been in the business myself, I could not believe the attitude of the owner - not even an offer of a free coffee for our discomfort. Not a single apology - only a sneer saying we were unhappy -- yep that was certainly an insightful observation especially after paying US$+90 for the night in what should have been at the most a $30 - $40 a night room even when everything worked! Then to top it off he charged us the 3% surcharge for the credit card transaction and could not even supply a copy of the credit card receipt because the paper had run out and obviously he had no intention of replacing it - at least while I was there. Come on... how hard can it be (I could have done it for him...) and surely there was an extra role of tape somewhere in the glassed in office... Clearly this man is in the wrong business and should not be in front of house. Never a smile only a sneer; never a moments pause or gesture to even try to make me feel okay about what was a truly dreadful hotel experience... he seemed to neither care for the place nor his guests...
The place itself could be charming with a sweet beach and laid back vibe. It did seem fairly clean though -- just not cared for and definitely overpriced. I don't mind if a place is simple and clean and funky and have had some of my best holidays in such places, but this just fell so short of everything it was made out to be and lacked any of the great hospitality of Thai people or of most people who choose to be in the hospitality industry.
As my mother always says it is called hospitality for a reason and there was nothing hospitable about this place whatsoever and am baffled by the number of positive reviews. Would never recommend it to anyone.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Seetanu Bungalows boasts 16 bungalows, offers family services and an unforgettable holiday in Koh Phangan- all for great value for money. Seetanu is ideally set on Ao Chao Phao beach, amid a tropical garden, suitable for relaxation, peace and quiet. You’ll change your rhythm, living between heaven and sea. ... more less
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