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“Relaxing family holiday”

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Chen Sea Resort & Spa Phu Quoc
Ranked #6 of 107 Hotels in Phu Quoc Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 9, 2013

This was our first visit to Chen Sea, and having stayed in hotels and resorts all around SE Asia, we know what we as a family need for a relaxing and fun break. Having read some of the previous reviews - and the robust replies from the management - we were a little apprehensive, mainly in two areas: the cost of the food and relative scarcity of convenient alternatives, and the 'remoteness' of the resort itself.
The pick up from the spanking-new international airport was arranged by the resort, and proved to be seamless, though some sections of the road were unsurfaced and in poor conditions after days of rain. Chen Sea is indeed quite remote, though this wasn't a problem for us in the event.
Arrival was pleasant, with fruit drinks under the shade of a beautiful tree outside reception, and our pool villa charmed all of us at first sight, including our two children (boy and girl both aged 7).
Our four night stay was excellent - we ate in the restaurant or downstairs bar every evening, and sampled a wide range of food from the menu, as well as one or two dishes specially cooked. All of the food was tasty, with fresh ingredients, and reasonably 'authentic' (my wife is Vietnamese and a keen cook). We drank wine by the glass with our evening meals, and also had one or two 'sundownders' on the lovely purple bean-bag chairs watching the sunset. Our final bill for food and beverages was very reasonable indeed, and much lower than we'd be led to expect by some of the contributors on the forum.
I confess that we hardly ventured out of the resort - our kids were perfectly content to splash alternately in the villa's pool and beautiful infinity pool near to the beach. We did buy cheaper drinks from the little shop a few hundred metres from the main gate, and eat lunch one day at the first hut along the beach (not 'Thuy's House', as it was closed). It was (just) OK, but not cheap, (two thirds of the resort prices) and I couldn't recommend it to other visitiors.
The villa itself was very nice indeed, though the main double bed was far too soft for my liking (I have back trouble) and so I ended up sleeping in one of the kid's single beds downstairs which proved to be firmer. I also agree with an earlier contributor on the expanses of concrete used in the decoration of the villa. I understand the objective of keeping 'natural' materials in the design, and it largely works in the upstairs area, but the downstairs lounge is rather underfurnished, with a single sofa and a large expanse of cold concrete that really needs rugs or cushions to break up the monotony of that particular room.
Otherwise, our stay was great - Eric, the DM, talked to us on a regular basis, and he was amusing and frank with his comments, which we really appreciated. All of the staff were friendly and helpful, and the resort is generally immaculate. We visited during the monsoon season, and were very fortunate to 'lose' only one morning to heavy rain - the rest of our visit was perfect, with breezy evenings in the bar or open-air section of the restaurant. Perhaps next time we'll try to return during the more settled weather periods, but return we will!

Room Tip: Pool villas great for families with children who can swim (no shallow area)
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank TKM822
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 18, 2013

Dear TKM822,

What a very kind review, thank you so much.

As I just answered to a previous Contributor on the decoration of the ground floor of the Pool Villa I am not going to repeat.
I find very interesting that you made a similar comment, but the difference is that you came as a family. So I hope my Owners will take note, smile to them….

I of course particularly appreciate your comments on our Restaurant and its pricing, Yes we are reasonable on many accounts but some as one said in a Guest Comment:
“But why you are not priced at the same level of the local café and restaurants?”… I even don’t know what to answer anymore.

We are very pleased that the Family loved it and the fact that we are 8 to 10 Kms from Town didn’t bother you at all.
When as a resort we can satisfy both couples and families, it means that we are on the right path.

Sincere thanks and kind regards,
Olivier, your GM at the Chen Sea Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection.

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Reviewed August 5, 2013

From the pick up @ the airport to the check in and departure was first class. We spent 3 nights and 4 days at this resort and used the spa every day for 90 min massages and left feeling so relaxed and recharged. We can not wait to come back for a longer stay. I also booked a scuba diving trip through the hotel and got to see the island and the underwater world below. This place gets a thumbs up in my book of places to come back too.

Room Tip: Try to book beach front as it has nice views and the ocean sounds lovely
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank airspeed_69
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 18, 2013

Dear airspeed_69,

We have never received so many great reviews from Senior Contributors since I arrived here.
Some might think that we organized a Convention… Nope…

Thank you so much. Down the line, we feel so good when our Guests fully enjoyed their experiencing of the Chen Sea.
And you said so; you came and then felt relaxed and recharged. We are naturally Feng Xui so it helps a lot as well.
But this property and this environment, and a bit of our work too, create something that is unique.

And I hope that our readers on this Forum will start to understand why we have repeaters, why some come for a month, some come to Vietnam just to spend a week at the Chen Sea so to rest, recuperate, detox, relax, recharge and enjoy valuable time as a couple or a family.

This is why Chen Sea has been created.
Thank you and kind regards,
Olivier, your GM at the Chen Sea Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection.

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Reviewed July 29, 2013 via mobile

I came back to Chen sea after One year away and the level of friendliness hasn't changed a bit, thus the level of Comunication skill and comfort has significantly improved to the extend that if I adapt to speak slower and without eating words anyone could comfortably assist me.

Food: the restaurant is not expensive, how can be expense a pizza at 9 usd tax and service charge included? This time of the year there is no buffet therefore I had to taste several choices from the a la carte menu. I had hot stone with tenderloin and lamb one night and saafood another.
I had asked dishes outside the menu and My request was accommodate. It was like having a personal chef at service.
I didn't experience the bar, but I see they are taking care of the pool service and they did a good job.

As it has rain two third of my stay I splurged on spa which I find very effordable and with high standard of service, living in Thailand I know I am quite of a high maintainance .

Rooms as clean as one would expect in a privileged environment, they learned I like chocolate and I was served twice the regular portion of milk chocolate every night .

After one year I can only see that this hotel has taken a even better direction , the product by its self was already splendid now seams even more efficient.

Of course been a repeater I I had certain privileges and booking directly with the GM a direct line of communication. It was nice been welcomed back by my first name , second having complementary transfer , third the staff after a couple of days started to remember my preferences for breakfast, chair at the pool, side of the bed where I sleep.

One improvement to be done is the gym facility, not that i am a fanatic by any mean, but a bit more choice would Help especialy during raining days.

I can only hope there would be soon a direct flight from Bangkok to the new international airport of phu quoc.

Pls do not chose this resort , or this island for that matter if you want action, loud music, party.

If in need to detox from the world, or to recover from stress, this is the place, this is an experience to be savoured slowly.


  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank Rebalodorico
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 17, 2013

Dear Rebalodorico,

We are very touched with your Review. A repeater, who is as well a Senior Reviewer, is always very precious to us.
Unfortunately, they do not all share their appreciation of th Chen Sea, like if they want to keep it for themselves.

True as well that the Monsoon has been hard on us, but then it gave me the opportunity to see something that I have never seen in my life, as a Hotelier.
Guests by the pool, not swimming in the rain, this happens so often, but laying down on the deck chairs in the rain like for getting taned. Amazing!

We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but it is very nice and encouraging to read your comments about our progress. We just received another Award to confirm it.
Reading it on this Forum is very nice.

Please accept my renewed thanks and our kindest regards,
Olivier, your GM at the Chen Sea Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection.

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Reviewed July 28, 2013

Chen Sea is a great place to go for a remote vacation with your significant other, although we went as a family of 3. The service is quite good, friendly, and any minor problems we had were solved immediately. In fact, I spoke to the GM one day about a small problem we had, and an hour later he had up-graded us to a private "pool house." The restaurant serves a combination of Western and Vietnamese food, and although it is a bit pricey we very much enjoyed about 90% of the menu, which I would say is pretty darn good. They also have a good wine list. The grounds are well maintained, the pool is great, and the beach is clean (not an easy task in the Gulf of Thailand). There is always room for improvement, but this is likely the best you will find on Phu Quoc, an up-and-coming resort destination. If you want to go to town on a regular basis note that it is not close and will cost you about 180,000 VND and ~20 minutes each way, which is not a big deal, but you should be aware of this.
This place is really best for a couple who want some privacy away from the madness of the rat-race, a place where they can enjoy each other in a tropical paradise.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Thomas G
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 18, 2013

Dear Thomas G,

Thank you for your very good review about us and thank you to have done it as promised.
We are glad that you enjoyed your experiencing of the Chen Sea, even if the Monsoon got a bit hard on you.

And yes there is always room for improvement, but you already know that I am on this.

A very warm Hi to the family with our sincere thanks and kindest regards,
Olivier, your GM at the Chen Sea Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection.

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Reviewed July 27, 2013

Our 1st Trip to Phu Quoc Island with the family was a nice experience. We have arrived in Chen Sea resort after a week of storms in the area and frankly it didn't show signs of any storms at all. The Sun came out and we were lucky to enjoy 04 days of great hot weather, the food and service was great, a bit pricy for Vietnam but again this is an island and you need to take things in the right perspective as it is still not very developed and roads are mainly gravel and mud so lower your expectations this is not Phuket or Koh Samui yah?!

The resort is quiet, private and just on the beach, couldn't enjoy the sea as much due to strong currents and wind, not the best time of the season to visit this place in July but if you are looking for a quiet visit, romantic and just to relax this is your place.

The rooms were specious and comfortable, my only comment would be there is just too much concrete around, it could be more friendly with some warm decorations and paintings typical to Vietnam, some more sofa space on the massive living room would make a different and you can enjoy the villa even more. This place got potential to be a top place with some additional investment and simple additions and recreational ideas.

The staff were very friendly and helpful, most of them speaks good English, makes it easy indeed (good balance between French, Russian, Pilipino and Vietnamese speakers) the promptness of the in room service was even better than Sheraton in Saigon!
Overall this is one unspoiled Gem of Vietnam, enjoy the simple Vietnam before it becomes too commercial and pricy, this place will change in 2-3 years to level you will not recognize...

Have Fun :)

Room Tip: The Pool villas are value for money when you travel with family. Overall for what you can get in Phu...
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Joseph A
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 July 29, 2013

“ Dear Joseph A,
There are many reasons why your review is very interesting.
First it is very positive for us and we can only thank you very sincerely.
Then because you are from Singapore, and like Eric said to you, you are all so spoilt there (smile), matching to a certain extent your expectations, it is a bit challenging for us.
There is also this very interesting comment on the style and decoration, and more particularly in the Pool Villas that you enjoyed with your daughters.
This property is the baby of some persons (our Owners) and they did it with love, but with a certain choice of style. Once again as they are Italian, there is this “rustico” touch.
One other fundamental in their mind was to use only wood, natural elements like bamboo and rattan, cotton and linen, stone and cement. You noticed there is no plastic in the Resort.
Our job as the Management Company is to respect their baby and do what ever is in our power to improve their vision to reach Guests’ satisfaction.
Rest assured that I have a long list, including your points, to share with them. And none of these points will change the Chen Sea, it will only add touches of improvement.
So thank you to publish it in Trip Advisor, as they do read it, smile…
What you said about our Employees is so nice and I thank you for that. Second year in a row that we hire our dear English teacher so to improve their overall understanding of this language. Step by step it pays off. I am glad that you noticed it.
As I know that you will come back, and yes not during the Monsoon so to enjoy the Beach and all our nautical activities, remember to get in touch with me: gmcpv@chr.co.th
I shall take care of you.

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

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Reviewed July 27, 2013 via mobile

Location
As of July 2013 you have two choices in Phu Quoc, La Veranda which is nearer town and an average beach or Chen Sea in a more remote location but with a nicer beach. If you prefer being close to bars and restaurants then pick Veranda, if like myself you want to enjoy a nice beach and quiet location then Chen Sea is for you. We stayed in the Chen Sea for six rainy nights in July.

Accommodation
We stayed in a beach front room which was very nicely decorated and large enough for a couple. It had some particularly nice style touches to it that made it pleasant and enjoyable to live in, the "outdoor" shower room whilst still perfectly enclosed in the bungalow was particularly nice.

Staff
Staff was very pleasant and helpful. Particularly so at the Ghe bar were we encountered the best service. The management team (Tuan in particular) are also welcoming and chat to you frequently to ensure you are enjoying your stay.

Restaurant
As mentioned this resort is remote, you can venture into town for dinner as we did on one occasion (30 mins taxi on a dark rough road) but with the exception of nearby Sakura (excellent restaurant about 10 mins away) you will probably find yourself dining in the hotel most evenings. Food is good and pricing is indeed a bit high for 4* Vietnam but its clean and a safe bet that you'll enjoy at least some of the dishes.

Bar
Happy hour cocktails and beers in the relaxed Ghe bar looking at the sea in the early evening is a great experience.

Other amenities
There is a small fitness area with an eliptical and bike which is adequate for a quick workout. The Spa is also good offering some nice relaxing massages.
Complementary wifi is very good throughout the resort.
Mini bar in the room is stocked swiftly and is priced rather well.

Overall despite the 7 days of constant rain (last time I gamble on the South East Asian wet season!) we had an enjoyable stay. To be honest Phu Quoc itself was a bit of a disappointment. I do realise I probably saw it at its worst due to the rain however even so there was something simply lacking in our opinion and I fail to see this becoming the next Phuket. The town center lacks charm and the beaches are not really that nice. Ending an Indochina tour in Phi Phi or Kho Pangan in Thailand would be a much better option for unwinding. If you would be staying in Phu Quoc and like the quiet resort type then I would recommend Chen Sea.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank Karagiozis
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 July 29, 2013

Dear Karagiozis,
Senior Contributor, and it shows, smile…. I hope that our Readers will appreciate your so detailed review the same way we did.
Thank you so much, and so many things you say are very accurate even if very personal, like in any review.
A couple of things made me smile. The first one being that you had no problem with the WiFi while it is so unstable during the Monsoon.
It is like you have been blessed. A single ISP on the Island, a satellite connection with mainland, when there is a tropical storm it is hard to get it stable.

Then there is your point about Phu Quoc becoming or not the next Phuket. It happens that I worked in Phuket 25 years ago, and then I went back there two years ago.
So I know a bit about this spot. I won’t tell you what I think about Phuket, (I am not politically correct, smile…), but I remember that what triggered the Tourism Industry there, was the opening of the International Airport. It took 35 years for Phuket to get where it stands with as many hotel rooms than Paris 20 years ago. Yes Phu Quoc will become the same but it will take time. And once again, I don’t want to be misunderstood, I do not give my opinion, I am talking about what is in the pipeline. Then later on, people will talk about why they prefer this Island or this Island, but the development is here coming ahead.

I stop there, and better renew my most sincere thanks for your nice and precise review.
Kind regards,
Olivier, your GM at the Chen Sea Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection.

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Reviewed July 23, 2013

We recently visited the Chen Sea Resort on Phu Quock Island. We stayed in a two bedroom villa - spectacularly designed master bedroom. Had a wonderful few days even with the limited activities due to a rough sea - no sailing, wind surfing, or swimming in the ocean. We still had a wonderful time at the pool and spa, and as everyone says...the Thursday evening happy hour with the general manager was delightful. A wonderful chance to chat with the staff and the guests, both from all over the world. A beautiful place to escape the exciting chaos of the rest of Vietnam.

Room Tip: Plenty of room in the two bedroom villa for a family - we were 5.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Lyn M
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 July 28, 2013

Dear Lyn M,
Thank you so much, you are wonderful.
Your review is great but it is even greater because the Monsoon was hard.

You made some amusing comments about what Guests should do even if it is raining.
Few days later I was talking to other Guests and I was referring to what you said (remember the Honeymooners’ activities, smile…). Then I realized how mood and personality is affecting the perception of a stay, or experiencing the Chen Sea.
The very same day I did hallucinate as I saw what I have never seen before. I am used of Guests enjoying the Pool under the rain.
But this is the first time ever, that I saw 2 Guests laying down on the sunbeds under the rain like if they were tanning.
It was so surreal and at the same time it was so superb…

It has been a pleasure taking care of you.
Sincere thanks and kind regards,
Olivier, your GM at the Chen Sea Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection.

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Additional Information about Chen Sea Resort & Spa Phu Quoc

Address: Bai Xep, Ong Lang | Cua Duong, Phu Quoc Island, Phu Quoc Island 920000, Vietnam (Formerly Chenla Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Location: Vietnam > Kien Giang Province > Phu Quoc Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Phu Quoc Island
#4 Luxury Hotel in Phu Quoc Island
#5 Spa Hotel in Phu Quoc Island
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Phu Quoc Island
Price Range: $133 - $459 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Chen Sea Resort & Spa Phu Quoc 4*
Number of rooms: 36
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

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