Well, it all started so well - seamless pick up at the airport, smart transport, efficient check in landside, chilled welcome drinks, speedboat ready to go.... and then we got to the Paradee. Which is in a beautiful setting as the other reviews say - a lovely white beach, bathwater warm turquoise sea, quiet setting etc etc. We'd booked this as a treat-y 3 days at the end of 2 weeks travelling round Cambodia & Laos, and it just didn't live up to our hopes.
What was disappointing was that it wasn't just one thing or two things that were off - any place has its glitches - but the service at the Paradee was so patchy that it became a greater and greater issue as the 3 days passed and the list of 'just not good enoughs' sadly grew. None of the hitches was huge in its own right and we asked ourselves if we were just being picky, so I'll detail some out and you can call on whether they'd spoil your holiday enough to consider a different resort.
Firstly - while our room was lovely, spacious, mostly clean and nicely private, the walkways leading there hadn't been cleaned for some time - there was fruit splattered across the walkway, up the walls, plus leaves, tree debris etc - of course this is just nature doing its thing, but other places keep public areas tidy, as part of their overall quality standards - the Paradee does not. The shared pool (we were in the Garden Villas) was not cleaned each day, so was full of leaves, and our walk to the main hotel area took us past the hotel bins and general detritus, left on full show (when they could pull a gate across to screen it).
Apart from in the restaurant (very nice, thank you to all there), the pool / beach service was non-existent: apparently there were fresh fruit kebabs and small ice creams handed out daily but in 3 days we saw none of these - the staff did not give any to guests on the beach, just by the pool. Really inconsistant and a shame as it was a nice touch - and there were only about 25 guests in total staying there, so the service should have felt a lot more personal. Nor was any pool/beach drinks service offered - crazy when its a good source of revenue for them, but once your ice bucket with two bottles of water (again, nice) was delivered, there was no other service to be had. Each day we went to get our own towels - one day having to root through bin bags to get some clean ones - and lay these out - as did some guests, while others timed it 'right' and had this done for them.
We also had to ask for the pool area to be cleared - all 6 tables had empty glasses and plates piled up, plus used towels - and no-one had the task of keeping it clean (mad, when the pool/beach is the only area guests are all day!)
Another good idea was the (free) afternoon tea... but on day 1 it took 3 frustrating phone calls and an hour to arrive, as we waited in the sun by our villa. We were expected to 'know the drill' (ie nominate which type of tea you want) - but weren;t asked and the nice touch became a total palaver.
And while the resort obviously would prefer to keep guests on site, it does somewhat take the doodah when they charge £60 for a boat to take you anywhere. Its reasonable for a half day trip but not just to go out! Way over the odds for the area. And the beach sports are also limited - only kayaks and snorkels/masks are inclusive - the 3 catamarans therefore sat unused, and the day we tried to take one out as we were a little in need of an activity, the boatman dissuaded us (we suspected as he couldn't be bothered to rig the sails).
Add in the dirty glasses left in our room, the mosquito candles that weren't replenished, the broken phone, the toilet that took three visits to mend... you can see the picture. And finally our checkout turned into a total shambles - 50 minutes of them over charging us for a spa treatment we'd not had, and a blooming Toblerone of all things. What rankled was that they did not take our word for the spa treatment (I hadn't even been in there) - nor when I showed my signature on my credit card didn't match the one on the spa form. Only when the spa lady was dragged out to check my face, did they agree to take off the payment, not impressive. They couldn't refund the over-payment, we ended up baking hot (there's no aircon in reception nor the dining areas by the way!) and the experience ended on a sour note.
As I said - nothing in its own right was a deal-breaker, but to have all this happen in 3 days.... unforgiveable in a resort in this price band. A real shame.....
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Paradee is renowned and treasure for its tranquility and “away-from-it-all” location. 40 luxurious appointed villas, all with magnificent view of either lush tropical Gardens, or white sandy beaches washed by the Gulf of Thailand.Hotel Pier; Jadet Pier (Opposite TOP Supermarket)Optional for compulosry speed boat;1) Shuttle speed boat (fee at THB 750 per person per way)From Jadet Pier (mainland) at 2PM and 5PMFrom Paradee (Koh Samet) at 11AM and 1PM2) Private Speed boat (fee at THB 3,000 per boat per way, Maximum 6 passangers)**Advance reservation require. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Paradee Resort And Spa Hotel
- Paradee Hotel Koh Samet