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Bhundhari Spa Resort & Villas Samui
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Reviewed January 12, 2014

This was one of the worst hotels I have stayed in and I have travelled a lot. The professional photos are very good and really don't do the reality justice. It is old, dirty and in no way justifies its Star rating. Check-in was about as un-welcoming as you can get, no traditional Thai greeting or friendliness here and no refreshment provided either (just a coupon to redeem at the Pearl restaurant - which was nowhere near the reception). A trip to the room involved climbing aboard a golf cart and then negotiating the 1-in-3 hills which can be a bit scary. Once deposited at the desired location we then had 4 flights of stairs to climb to get to the room itself (no lifts at the hotel at all) so this could be a real problem for older or infirm travellers. The deluxe rooms are far from deluxe, we are a family of 4 and had adjoining rooms which had not been made up to the desired bed configurations as I had requested prior to arrival, the aircon in both rooms was incredibly noisy and on arrival was blowing out hot air. We went back to reception to wait while things were sorted and still no offer of refreshment was made. The rooms were not well cleaned (probably due to the fact that the cleaning staff have to lug the materials up the stairs in bags - on the last day I pulled out the sofa bed to look for lost toys and found broken glass and rubbish underneath), the towels were cheap and nasty along with the stained bath robes. Tea and coffee facilities were poorly stocked. The wardrobes had six hangers in each room which was not enough to hang a single persons clothes and that was about it for storage, no shelves at a convenient height in the wardrobe, no chest of drawers - just a desk with two small shallow drawers that nothing would fit in. We asked for more hangers and got a handful of twisted wire and plastic which we decided not to put our clothes on. These were left outside the room and they were still there six days later when we checked out. The room safe is just about big enough to fit an IPad in, it will not take a Laptop or a decent DLSR camera.
The bathroom was awful, the 'rain' shower was so scaled up that it was more of a dribble although it did manage to soak the entire space because the jets pointed in all directions apart from down! and the bath was technically in a cramped cupboard up some steps. You could open up some shutters and give yourself a view to the bedroom but who likes to bathe in public. The poor quality towels were stored outside in the bedroom on a rail because there was nowhere to put them in the bathroom.
Outside on the balcony there was a bench seat which when you sat in it faced the room and not the nice view, we bought the stools out from the rooms and sat on those instead – if you are on the ground floor you get two chairs with a table joining them together. We had an ant infestation in each room so beware if you leave any kind of food out. They are tiny red ants and will bite if disturbed. Housekeeping arrived promptly with a can when summoned and the ants were dispatched. The thousands of corpses were, however, left behind to be cleaned at a much later date. In the end I’m not sure if the Gekko’s cleaned up or the maid!
The breakfast was a truly awful affair; you could argue that all the basics were there but that did not stop it being very poor. The staff were not attentive and coffee would take an age to be offered and arrive. The omelette / egg station consisted of one girl cooking so inevitably there were always queues.
The lunchtime bar menu and restaurant menus were the same and we ate by the pool a few times, this was not helped by the fact that the bar staff - when you could actually find one - did not speak a word of English so ordering was a complicated drawn out affair which involved pointing at the menu and repeating yourself many times. Despite this they still managed to get the orders wrong the majority of the time, reversing the meat choices, wrong burger type, wrong meal entirely, stone cold food on another occasion. All in all very poor staff service in all areas.
There are 3 swimming pools at the hotel, 2 at the top of the hill and a third small one near to the beach. Towels can be found near the upper pool bar if you get there early enough. During the late afternoon they started to run out sometimes and people would need to ask for some to be brought up. At no point did I see any member of staff clearing away used towels off beds or rubbish from the pool area or come round offering drinks. At the end of the day all the towels were either left on the beds if the guest had not cleared their own or were left in a blue drum which would be piled person high next to the toilets. We used the top two pools for our stay, there are limited beds (only about 25 in total) but as many of the residents did not seem to surface until the afternoon there was mostly space available. At the lower pool the beds are an S design and very low when you get into them, most appeared to have broken frames underneath. Mostly the pool areas were very quiet.
The hotel is split across a busy road and there is a crossing guard on duty to help you get over to the other side. The beach is a fair trek from some rooms and as the hotel is built onto the side of a hill the descent and the climb back can be a bit tricky as the hill is pretty steep. This could be a real problem for some travellers especially the elderly and infirm and those with prams and small children. If you are in a wheelchair forget this hotel completely. Once you get to the beach you realise that the hotel is not on the beach at all. The ‘hotel beach’ has been man made by building an 8ft concrete retaining structure and filling it with sand, there are about 15-20 beds on it mostly under the shade of trees. There is no railing so you can fall off the wall onto the beach below if you are not careful. There are a couple of stairways to get you onto the beach proper at which point you find out that the sand is mostly broken up shells and coral and can be hard to walk on. To your left is about 200m of beach which sits in front of the resort next door and then rocks prevent you from going any further round and to the right is the rest of Chaweng beach. The parts closest to the hotel are very dirty with lots of washed up debris which includes the usual flotsam and jetsam of plastic, shoes, glass, fishing nets, containers and general rubbish. A walk down the beach and things don’t get much better, there is a fishing business at the end (the furthest part you can see from the hotel) and this is dirty as well. At high tide you can't get here as the water cuts off this part of the beach. There are a few other villas, bungalows and resorts along this stretch but no private restaurants which you could go to for lunch so you are either stuck with the hotel or you can go out which will require a taxi.
For the other hotel amenities we did not try any of the massage options nor did we talk to anyone who had. The Gym consists of about 4 or 5 pieces of equipment and was not well utilised. There is a very tired looking Pool table in the bar and free internet in the lobby. There is nothing at all for children of any ages to do at this hotel. At night the restaurant was mostly deserted and there was some entertainment on some nights with a pianist and ‘singers’ although neither will be appearing on any talent shows anytime soon. Most of the older kids that were in the hotel spent their time in the lobby on their IPads, phones etc.
For eating, shopping and entertainment you need to head into Chaweng town. Most people seem to do this by renting a motorbike for their stay or getting a taxi. The taxi fare ranged from 200 BHT to 250 BHT (£4 to £5 GBP) depending on how far into town you needed to go for a single trip. Coming back the fare would climb to 300 BHT (£6 GBP) but you could negotiate it down if you are prepared to wait the driver out. Better to negotiate before you get in and also check to see if everyone is going to get a seat belt as they often tuck in the lap strap in the middle of the backseat. I saw the hospital and wouldn’t fancy a trip there after a car crash. The journey is no longer than about 5-8mins so the taxis are actually pretty pricey. I would not recommend trying to walk as the stretch from the hotel to the nearest restaurants is in the dark and there is no pavement to walk on and in any event the top end of Chaweng is dead.
Chaweng town sells these main things, knock off branded goods, massages, bespoke tailoring, BBQ themed food and adult entertainment. This is not a resort for people with young families at all. The travellers seemed to be mostly from Russia, Australia and the UK. Food prices in the restaurants on the main road were similar to the UK (£10-20 GBP per head). Down the side alleys cheaper and more local cuisine can be found. Unfortunately the whole town smells of sewage, the pavements are difficult to walk on because they are broken up, congested and smoky (from the BBQ’s). Tailors abound and they all will engage you in conversation to try to get you into their shops, every 10m someone tries to hand you a flyer for either the Ladyboy Cabaret or the Thai Boxing. There are plenty of chemists and 7elevens to keep you topped up with essentials. It gets really noisy after about 10:30pm with Bar themed taxis driving round blaring music and offering free rides to those bars.
Summing up… I would not recommend the hotel and the resort would be fun if you are a young couple or out there with your mates.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank RichardSingapore2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sirowan P, Manager at Bhundhari Spa Resort & Villas Samui, responded to this reviewResponded January 22, 2014

Dear valued guest,

Thank you for your forthright feedback, I sincerely apologize that Bhundhari Spa Resort failed to live up with your expectations. Please trust that all challenges stated was addressed accordingly. As Costumer service is our top priority your feedback enables us to improve the quality of service delivered to our guests.

In preference to our location, we consider the view and serene atmosphere to be one of our greatest assets. For guests who loved to have a relaxing holiday, we believe Bhundhari is an ideal location. We have chosen this location, being on the hill provides the chance to enjoy amazing views from all rooms and facilities. At the same time we are only 5 - 10 mins away from the very busy Chaweng Center. Our location is well advertised in our website and all our partners. It is our desire to make sure that our guests have the right expectations and will communicate better our location to avoid even a very rare disappointment.

We do hope that you'll consider staying with us again, we would certainly like to prove that we are worthy of your patronage.

With best regards,

Sirowan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2014

Stayed 3 nights here. Comfortable rooms and swimming pools are great, decent smiley service too. However they advertise their spa and gym facilities which I was specifically interested in using. You have to pay to use the sauna or steam room which I thought was ridiculous as a hotel resident. As for they gym they had 1 working treadmill the rest of the machines were broken,plus all the doors are kept open so it's normally too hot to work out anyway!
Decent hotel if you want to chill in the pool all day. The hotel beach is not great , you are better off walking a mile or so to the main Chaweng beach.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Cleverbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2014

For the price I paid, although over Christmas, I think that I was expecting a little more. I was "upgraded" to a villa but I am really not sure if it was an upgrade. The villa seemed old and unused. It smelt unused and when using the air conditioning, it blew out dead ants and dripped a lot of water. The receptionist was good and did send a team to fix it relatively quickly - although this took longer than they said. Anyway, the team didn't fix the issue and I ended requesting to move back to my originally booked room. I preferred the room as opposed to the villa it was more secure- for the villa, I would question the security. Part of it was outside -including the toilet which I couldn't get used to!- and the main door wasn't secure enough for my liking. The rooms also have a DVD player if you need one!
I would recommend to take your own towel to the pool. One day I went without and another day it took 3 trips to reception, 1 to the restaurant and after a 2 hour wait. I finally had a towel- not your typical 4 star service, it's the little touches that count.
The location was good, I liked being a little out of chaweng which was quite touristy and built up, not authentically thai. I'd recommend to get a tuc tuc from outside the hotel towards chaweng instead of a taxi, it's much cheaper at around 50 baht per person. The only issue it's being outside of chaweng was that there wasn't much to do other than eat at the hotel or go exploring which is difficult in the evening and in the dark as there isn't exactly pavements or street lights to help!
Overall, the hotel was nice but perhaps needs to work on a few details that will make it a true 4 star. At the moment, I'd say its a top end 3 star.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
Thank hannah s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2014

Loved everything. Great location just minutes from the beach so no annoying people walking by all the time. Great staff who were very helpful and friendly. Booked for 5 nights and ended up staying ten!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank starling d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2014

Firstly this is not a four star hotel, more like a 3 star. The rooms were not cleaned properly, the hotel staff are pathetically useless (that's if you can find a staff member when you need one), they can't speak any English at all. The location is pretty nice, being out of chaweng is a blessing. The pool is very nice, only that the towels and longer covers were very dirty. The pool bar service is also shocking as the woman was hardly ever there. Breakfast was ridiculously expensive at 450 baht, similar breakfasts can be had in town for 300. Overall not the best place I have ever stayed in.

  • Stayed: December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank Kingofbotswana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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