There are some negative points below but we would like to be clear that, in spite of these, we would come back to Chen Sea La again hoping that the restaurant improved.
Great location on a beautiful beach which feels private and secure. We stayed in a beach-front villa which was amazing and well worth the extra expense – incredible view of the beach and lovely to hear the waves each day from the room. The villa was well furnished – everything about it was perfect and you must use the outdoor bath – it really doesn’t take long to fill (as other reviews have made out). The tennis courts and free water sports activity (kayaking, sailing) are a nice touch and the reception and housekeeping staff are great – they couldn’t be more helpful.
The location and the villas make this resort. We ventured to other resorts in Long Beach such as La Veranda, Bo Resort and Mai House and none of these offered rooms right on the beach, which is undoubtedly Chen Sea La’s USP.
Unfortunately the restaurant lets the whole hotel down. In 9 nights we ate at the restaurant twice. This wasn’t really a problem as taxis into town to the nice restaurants (Mai House, La Veranda and Bo Resort) cost approximately & GBP each way.
We are sure that the manager will respond to say that they have a eight page menu and a new chef but to be honest the food was over priced, uninspiring and tasteless. There were only seven or eight options for Vietnamese main course, most of them consisting of funny tasting blackened fish with noodles and too much soy sauce. In comparison, the choice of Vietnamese food at Mai House was excellent and the setting is lovely – your table is right on the beach, service was fantastic and it is a fraction of the price.
As well as the food being poor, the restaurant feels very poorly managed and they might benefit from an individual restaurant manager who can dedicate the time required. The whole thing lacked any sense of class or occasion – La Veranda is the same price for food but a world apart (world class, elegant service, the head chef was lovely and would walk around each table to make sure that all the guests were happy) The service at Chen Sea La’s restaurant is poor and the tables were always missing some cutlery which is really inexcusable – On the New Year’s Gala Dinner, which to be fair was very nice as an exception, we were moved to a worse table to accommodate some other guests and the manager promised us a bottle of wine for the inconvenience but it never arrived on that night or in the 7 days which followed! Furthermore, at breakfast each day, we were never offered a table outside and on the occasion we asked for one with an umbrella, we were told the umbrella could not be moved. However, immediately after we were seated elsewhere, another couple were offered the same table and the umbrella was moved for them straight away. There did seem to be a pecking order at breakfast each day and we didn’t feel looked after, even though we were staying at the resort for 10 days. The choice of breakfast was the same each day and could do with a bit of variation. No doubt that the manager will respond to this review with his usual confrontational response but I think it is worth making the point that we spent approximately 500 GP eating elsewhere on the island at dinner – that is money Chen Sea did not get and, given the repeated comments about the poor quality of the restaurant, it would appear worthwhile taking on board some of the criticism, which is intended as constructive.
There is also a bar below the restaurant which is fine but we did not think that the hotel makes the most of this. There is a decked pier which leads to a pontoon where the water sports boat is moored. The decked area is plenty big enough for some tables and chairs and it would have been lovely to be able to have some lunch or breakfast on the decking over the water. Some tables could have also been put on the beach like at other hotels as when we had dinner on the beach ti was really special.
There is also a shortage of sunbeds with umbrellas on the beach which means that guests have to get up as early as possible to lay clothes out on the few which are there to avoid disappointment – this is fine on a cheap package holiday inth Med is summer but we expected more. We realized that we had to get up at 7am just to reserve a sunbed (we were always beaten to it by other, slightly anal guests) but this wasn’t always a relaxing start to the day. We would ask the pool guy for an umbrella and he would just say ‘no’ and never went out of his way to find one for us. Coming from the Park Hyatt in HCMC where they couldn’t do enough for you, this was a bit of a shock to the system!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled discreetly in a secluded bay surrounded by a tropical rain forest, Chen Sea Resort & Spa invites you to lay down. This exclusive hideaway offers spectacular view on the Gulf of Thailand. Chen Sea Resort & Spa lies perfectly along a private and pristine beach offering privacy and serenity, everything is about peace and heaven. The Architecture of the Resort is inspired by the local environment with the use of natural material that is traditional to Vietnam. Chen Sea Resort & Spa offers 36 unique and spacious Villas. The open plan layout design invites our guests for both indoor and outdoor experience. Traditional oriental simplicity and refinement are the inspiration for the design and furnishings of all the villas. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chen Sea Resort And Spa
- Chen Sea Hotel Phu Quoc Island