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Chen Sea Resort & Spa Phu Quoc
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Reviews (1,132)
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Reviewed September 5, 2012

This resort has the potential to be really something but just falls short of getting there. The pick-up from the ferry was good and the check-in fine. Our room (beach side villa) was good too. The bed is raised and I am unsure why but it can make it awkward during the night if you forget where you are. Staff are generally pleasant but do struggle a bit with english. I think it falls down in the food department. Breakfast is ok - but not quite what you would receive in other resorts with a similar star rating. Dinner is nothing special with a choice of a la carte or off the menu. This is where things arent quite up to scratch and it is hard to put your finger on the reason for it. It should be good - but isnt - so go off the resort. Drinks are expensive and there is no where to buy anything unless you go into town (Duong Dong) which is not that easy. I informed the resort months before arriving that this was for my anniversary but they did nothing to make my parnter and I welcome. When the international airport and other resorts start up open up this place may struggle and probably only end up as a 3 star.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Guy U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olivier P P, General Manager at Chen Sea Resort & Spa Phu Quoc, responded to this reviewResponded November 10, 2013

Dear GiangNguyenYen,

Thank you so much for your lovely comment.
Just some little comments from me as usual… despite the fact that we have a substantial choice of Vietnamese food, we shall increase it in our new A La Carte.
Then anyone could ask Chef Thao to cook anything and he’ll do it.
The hick up on your dish remains a mystery. I was there, immediately sent the Executive Chef to your room, and we could not find what was the issue.

What is sure is that we are not downtown place, but we already know that many visitors on the Island rather have a short distance between their place of relaxation and the downtown buzz… After two years in Phu Quoc, I am still looking for the buzz, smile….

Our fight against the mosquitos is the least we can do for people who really fear this issue. So we spray, we fumigate, we set special candles, we plant lemon grass… In fact we do what ever we could to fight them, even if we are in a forest environment.

I sincerely hope that after your next trip and stay downtown you will come back to us, for an exclusive resort offering a unique peace and environment.
With kind regards,
Olivier, your GM at the Chen Sea Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection.

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Reviewed August 29, 2012

from the time we arrived at Phu Quoc airport, the Chen Sea staff were there to greet us and we were looked after well. the staff was extremely helpful and efficient.
The pool villa was amazing. the grass should have been trimmed though. the unkept garden attracted a lot of bugs.
if August was off season, i can only imagine how much more beautiful the beaches would have been. Thank You Chen Sea for the amazing time.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Michelle268
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olivier P P, General Manager at Chen Sea Resort & Spa Phu Quoc, responded to this reviewResponded September 9, 2012

Dear Michelle268,

Thank you for your very nice comments, we appreciate.
Well noted the comments for the grass, I’ll check on this one, though I know that cutting the grass under the rain with an electrical equipment is not recommended.

And yes you are right, the property is so different when there is not the Monsoon. Guests ask us to set the Beach, the garden, the nautical activities; but we cant as everything is destroyed during the monsoon. We cannot let our guests use the windsurf while we cannot operate a rescue boat; it sounds crazy but we can’t. The property is beautiful, but yes a bit more when we are done with the Monsoon.

There is one thing left to do… Come back and experience the Chen Sea when the Monsoon is over.
We shall be here to welcome you.

Kind regards,
Olivier, your GM at the Chen Sea Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2012

When we arrived we loved the room! We had a beachfront villa and it was stunning. Cracks appeared straight away though when we noticed that a dirty teapots and cups were left in our room from previous guest, I told the lady who showed us to our room and she said, 'the restaurant have left it.' but she didn't take it away! It stayed there for the duration of our stay ( which was only one night but still unacceptable)
It was raining and chilly so I decided to have a bath in our gorgeous bath on the terrace, unfortunately there was only enough hot water to fill a fifth of it. I complained via telephone to reception, this was not easy because the phone line was bad and the staff's lack of English. After a maintenance man coming,leaving and saying it was fixed we still didn't have hot water.
Another guy came but we still didn't have hot water. A lady from reception came to explain why but she spoke zero English so don't know why she was sent. In the end I walked through the pouring rain to get to reception as I wasn't getting anywhere over the phone and asked to speak to the manager. He was out but I was told he would call me on his return. He did to tell me that the baths are 20 litres, this is Vietnam and there may not be enough water to fill it. Each time the hot water ran out we would need to turn it off, wait 30 mins for it to heat and repeat. This means it would take three hours to fill the bath, by then the water would be cold anyway. I understand the is Vietnam but why have a bath, that guests pay extra fall that you can't use?

The prices in the hotel are ridiculous, 3 dollars for half a can of beer which is usually about 70 cents. Good job there was a restaurant next door selling exactly the same stuff as Chen but at a third of the price!

The Internet didn't work, I have since complained to the main hotel manager and he said it wasn't their fault it was the Internet on the island, strange then that the three times I asked to use the office computer as the guest Internet wasn't working, the office one worked
When we returned from dinner ( we went out as we heard the food was awful here and overpriced) we thought we would watch a DVD in bed. Our DVD player was broken, yet again a maintenance guy came, said he fixed it, only for it to be broken again two mins after he left. He came back, they said it would need replacing. After waiting 30 mins for the replacement to appear we called reception to say don't bother as it was now 11pm and we were going to bed, no apology was offered!

The hotel kindly offered to confirm our flights off the island the next day, as we were flying into ho chi Minh and out again an hour later with the same airline, I asked if they would mind confirming that flight too as they could do it in the same phone call and it would take them 1 more minute. They refused, saying they would only confirm flights off the island. I remind you that this is a 4 star hotel, 5 times the price of any other placed we stayed at in Vietnam and this was the same lady who I had complained to about the hot water, basically the staff don't know how to treat customers. When I complained again, they eventually agreed to confirm it.

The staff's lack of english meant the stay was a struggle for all guests. Numerous times I visited reception to find a guest struggling to get the staff to understand them, all left having failed! I know this is Vietnam but I remind you this is a 4 star hotel who must have to communicate in english to 90 percent of it's guests!

I emailed the hotel after leaving and Oliver the hotel manager emailed me saying sorry and basically saying that it was might fault nothing was really done as I did not escalate the problem to management. To begin with, should a guest need to do this or should staff do this. Plus I did speak to the manager on duty! He also said a pipe was broken that was why there was no hot water as a pipe was broken that day at the resort. Nobody told me this and as we were there for only one night, do I get my £20 back that I paid extra for my room with a bath seen as I couldn't use it due to a broken pipe. Oliver said that his staff couldn't speak English as it was forbidden to do so in Vietnam until 1995. Hmmm ALL other places I visited in Vietnam ( including restaurants on phu quoc) had staff that could speak english, even when we stayed at 2star hotels and went to shacks for dinner! I remind you this is a 4 star hotel!

I emailed oliver back and told him I did tell management about the problems, he asked me which manager, I told him and he said he would get back to me. I have never heard from him again!
If you're staying on the island Stay at bo resort, it's a third of the price and a million times better! If you need 4star luxury star at la veranda, there's a reason it's ranked higher than Chen resort on trip advisor!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Klg3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olivier P P, General Manager at Chen Sea Resort & Spa Phu Quoc, responded to this reviewResponded September 9, 2012

Dear Madam,

I got in touch with you when I did read your Guests Comments. I do not answer to all Guests Comments, but this time I needed to understand what went wrong.

The issue of the English speaking and understanding is a major issue and the only thing we can do is to teach English to our staff. On one hand you say that everywhere you have been in Vietnam, everybody speaks English, including in Phu Quoc, and on the other hand other guests, in this Forum, said the contrary. Madam there is nobody to teach English in Phu Quoc as per the system of scholarship in place on the Island. So we have to manage differently.

Then you say that 90% of the staff communication is in English, but no Madam, this is not true. First and foremost 40% of our guests are local tourists. Then the remaining 60% have to be split between the following languages: English, Russian, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Mandarin and Cantonese. Think a minute about guests from Europe, with their own language, who don’t speak a word of English. That is not easy to communicate and the employees try their very best.

I talked to the Manager On Duty who was present the particular evening that you mentionned. He told me that he was aware of the issue of the DVD player from the Front Desk Supervisor who asked him to change it as Maintenance could not fix it on the spot. But he said to me that he didn’t meet or talk to you.

I can only be sorry for the hot water issue. I do not know who said this to you. Our water heaters are 150 liters, and as we have to start to change them after 4 years, we’ll shift to the 200 liters as it could fit in the space allocated. It is also true that at the same time we had a pipe bursting and it took a while to repair, but this could happen.

3 dollars for a can of beer, not half a can. By the way, and once again, it is the same rate than at the airport of Saigon and still 30% less expensive than any 4 or 5 stars property in HCMC.

When we work on a PC, it does not mean that we are online. There is one ISP on the Island and the waves come through satellite, so if during the monsoon the Internet goes down, yes we are not responsible. We have to wait to be connected again, and then reboot all routers in the property. Then it also happens when reconnected that our LAN network is on, but it takes time for the WiFi to come back (rebooting issue).

We do not refuse to reconfirm the flights, Madam. Vietnam Airlines Office in Phu Quoc refuses to handle our request beyond Saigon. We have this problem permanently but there is nothing we can do. Sometimes by calling Saigon, it works, but not always.

I pass on your comments on our Restaurant as you even did not try. You heard that it was awful and overpriced. I wonder where you heard that, but for sure you should have read the comments from other guests in this Forum on the topic.

You did not like our property and it does not make us feel very good. Then sometimes the Murphy’s Law and it is like a single guest has all the problems that could be encountered. I still believe that before a situation gets so bad, any guest should call the General Manager immediately.

With our most sincere apologies.

Kind regards,
Olivier, your GM at the Chen Sea Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection.

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Reviewed August 20, 2012

This hotel is amazing. We will be back with our children for sure. The food is Devine and the French management staf are well involved in every detail. We enjoyed every minitute in this little heaven!

  • Stayed: August 2012
    • Value
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1  Thank iris_wolf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olivier P P, General Manager at Chen Sea Resort & Spa Phu Quoc, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2012

Dear Iris,

You are so nice and we thank you so much…
You even had the patience to overcome this regretable hick up, you know what I refer to.
Still the same story, with a small inventory sometimes we lack flexibility when it comes to the booking online.
But as I told you, our dear Nghia can pull some serious miracle and this time it worked.

I am so glad that you loved our place, and please do remember that should you come back with the family, get in touch with me, I’ll take care.
Something tells me that you will go for the Pool Villa.


Kind regards,
Olivier, your GM at the Chen Sea Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection.

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Reviewed August 18, 2012

We stayed two nights at Chen sea and were intrigued by what this Thai hotel chain could offer in Vietnam. Our experience was pleasant primarily due to a splendid setting although one can have a sense of how this beautiful island will soon be spoiled by savage real estate development and mass tourism. Otherwise service, room quality and food were barely average. It is truly a pity that management-being international-does not appear to invest sufficiently in staff training, ability to communicate in English or French and self confidence. We have witnessed such efforts in other hotels in Vietnam and regret that this cannot be the case here. Ambiance is overall relaxed but somewhat unprofessional. Food choice requires a serious rethinking to justify cost. While Chen sea still remains an attractive choice on the island, they need to address such issues rapidly or else competition will soon take over.

Room Tip: Beach villa if you can afford it
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Alice d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olivier P P, General Manager at Chen Sea Resort & Spa Phu Quoc, responded to this reviewResponded August 20, 2012

Dear Alice d,

As a Senior Reviewer, I can only thank you for your comments and recommendations and rest assured that I shall take everything you say into consideration.

Maybe not for the investment in an English Teacher, as we already hired one since mid June, but maybe a French Teacher. On the other hand French speaking Guests represent only 5% of our clientele. I am puzzled….

You cant set “Thainess” in Vietnam; but transfer the Boutique attitude yes we can, and I have three years for that. It would seem as per the majority of the comments on this Forum that we are on the right path. I am so sorry you didn’t feel it.

“Ambiance” is relaxed and unprofessional…. True I didn’t start with the ambiance; the atmosphere, yes, the lifestyle, yes, the attitude, yes, the software, yes… I have to soon take care of the ambiance, thank you. I promise to start asap.

“Savage real estate development and mass tourism”… You are so right again. This is why I do not return to Bali for the past 35 years. Same same with Phuket or Samui… It was so cool 25 years ago. But you know, think about the hundreds of thousands of jobs that will be created, and then discover the 30000 Islands that exist in South East Asia.

As the food is so so, I tried to find what you had for lunch and dinner, but I could not find the checks, this would have helped me to understand in what our Food is barely average.

Then please accept my most sincere thanks when it comes to your warning on the competition, because honestly I didn’t think about it, and in fact I am barely aware of it.


Kind regards,
Olivier, your GM at the Chen Sea Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection.

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