Having read some of the previous reviews, I really cannot understand how anyone could have anything to moan about with the hotel. Check in was very quick, staff were full of smiles and we were taken to our rooms on a little golf cart. We had advised the hotel in advance that we would be celebrating a wedding anniversary and when we were shown to our room we were pleasantly surprised. The huge bed had been decorated with palm leaves and flowers, there was a large bunch of roses, a personal letter congratulating us, and they had even baked us a cake! I had specified the type of room I wanted in advance (one of the newer types) and we were also given this. The room was large, we had a double wardrobe and although there were only 2 drawers there was a large open space outside of the bathroom where things could be stored. We certainly did not have to live out of our cases and we were there for 12 days. We had a dressing table and mirror along with a full sized mirror. The bathroom was large with a fantastic power shower.
The rooms were made up every day without fail and we were not woken up early to fit in with housekeeping, they always came in after we'd gone out. They came in every evening to close the curtains and spray insect repellant around (when they would always hand deliver a flower) and checked with us to make sure we were happy with the housekeeping. There were morning papers delivered each day, and we were supplied with bathrobes, slippers, beach bags, fresh fruit, bottled drinking water and umbrellas.
As you have no doubt read before, the Amari is in 2 parts, one side on the beachfront and the other set in gardens at the side of the spa, across a busy road. It really is a matter of preference as to which side you want to be on and I know some people requested to be moved from the garden side to look over the beach. Our preference however, was the garden. It was extremely quiet, we could listen to the frogs chorus and the sound of running water through the gardens and it felt quite secluded and special. We had a beautiful tropical outlook which we were delighted with, the gardens are stunning. The road was not a problem for us and even if you have children there are 2 smiling lollipop men who ensure the traffic is stopped even late at night.
The spa is more expensive than the massages you can get on the beach, but you get what you pay for. My husband and I had a massage together and the setting and atmosphere of the spa (as well as the excellent massage) was worth paying extra for. Even then at approximately £35 per head for 90 minutes, it is still cheaper than most spa massages in the UK.
The food in the hotel was exceptional. The breakfast buffet offered a wide range of probably everything you could want and everything was freshly prepared. Breakfast runs from 6.00am to 10.30am. We had lunch and dinner in Merante (the hotel restaurant) and found the food to be as good and sometimes better than the fine dining establishments (including Prego) on the island. In addition, the staff were warm and friendly and the prices were very reasonable. The hotel bar was a lovely comfy refuge for us as we were unfortunate enough to have a lot of rain during our stay. Drinks always came with complimentary snacks. The only drawback would be that the wines (everywhere on the island) were overpriced.
We hired a car from reception at 1000 baht for 24 hours which equated to roughly £15 and it was perfectly comfortable for us. Something that is not widely advertised is that the hotel has an activities programme. It is placed on a board near the toilets but is not otherwise cascaded to the customer, so look out for it. One rainy day we booked in for the cooking lessons for about 2 hours in the Merante (200 baht each) and we had a fun afternoon where we could practice the dishes ourself under chef supervision. We were given recipes to take away with us which we intend to try again.
The upside for us was really the quality of the customer service. Absolutely nothing was too much trouble. If you attempted to lay down your own towel or fill up your own glass, someone came running and stepped in quick. Everytime you walked through reception you were greeted with smiling faces and it was genuinely meant. Can't recommend the place highly enough!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cushioned by soft white sands and sparkling waters, Amari welcomes you to one of the most idyllic islands in the Gulf of Thailand. A gem set apart from the rest of the world, Amari on Koh Samui invites you to live out your days on island time, where there is always time for another dip in the pool or another walk on the beach. Turn off your clock, enter our time zone, and let Amari take care of the rest. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Amari Palm Reef Koh Samui Hotel Chaweng
- Amari Palm Reef Hotel
- Amari Palm Reef Resort
- Amari Koh Samui Ko Samui/Chaweng, Thailand