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“Disappointed. Needs renovation.”

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Banana Fan Sea Resort
Ranked #3 of 103 Hotels in Chaweng
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 23, 2013

This place needs a serious renovation and steep drop in price. I'll start with compliments to the daily staff around the pool etc. who do their best to give you a chill time. But despite all their honest efforts and attention, this is the truth you should know about this "resort":

-Rooms are small, dark, old-fashioned, musty and very unattractive. The bathrooms are 10 years behind today's hotel standards. The lights are very dim and few. The furniture looks like it was gathered from a bankrupt 80's Austrian ski-motel. You just don't want to be in the room because it's totally depressing.

-Rooms infested with mosquitos. Really, day and night and they manage to keep coming in. Try sleeping in a small musty room with a noisy aircon while you and you baby are being eaten alive by aggressive pests. We sprayed with repellent a LOT, but they were just unstoppable.

-Our room, no. 324, had a view on a dead wall 4 meters away. See the picture. Not that you can "enjoy" this view if you would like, because there is no privacy and everybody can look into your room as soon as you open the curtains. Most of the other rooms will not offer you any spectacular view either.

-Aircon sounds and performs like it had it's last servicing in the 90's. Hard to sleep with their loud motor noise. We called to ask for a check-up but that evening nothing had improved much.

-Bathroom floor is dangerously slippery.

-The pool area is also outdated. The pool is unattractive. The staff, again, is nice though and do their best to make you feel comfortable. But also here the prices on the menu from Baitong restaurant that also serves the pool (see my other review) are too high for the value you get.

-The guests are typically European and 50+. I have no problem with that and the upside is that it's pretty quiet around the pool with not too many kids playing around.

-There is nothing here but the staff to give you an "authentic" feeling. No attention is being paid to design to make this place attractive or "Thai".

-I saw some of the stray dogs that pest Chaweng beach on the "resort" grounds.

-Breakfast is OK if you like European food. Coffee is good. The "fruit juice" = super-sweet lemonade. Don't expect a wide selection of cheese, sushi or other fancy stuff.

-People smoke around the pool area and also INSIDE the restaurant even during breakfast. I guess this is related to most guests being European and 50+.

-There is nothing to do for kids, apart from being in the pool. No kids activities or entertainment.

-We tried to get a sun lounger on the beach but they were ALL OCCUPIED. How is that possible? How can you have less sun beds than guests? You can count & plan, can't you?

-I paid a little over SGD 250.- per night (200 USD) and for that amount I certainly did expect to get waaaay more value for money. I have seen cheaper hotels top this place a few times over.

Then a final word on the 3-minute conversation I needed to have with the manager over the phone just because I asked for 2 more 500ml bottles of water to feed my baby with milk. The first time my wife called reception, they simply refused and said we already had our 'quota'. So I called again to see if my wife had misunderstood and the reception needed to forward my call to the manager. For a bottle of water??? So, anyway, the manager tried to explain to me that I had options to buy it expensive at the restaurant of walk out to the road and get it cheap in a shop. Whaaaaat? I paid over SGD 250.- a night and it's too much to ask for a bit of extra water that costs a few cent because I need to feed my baby?

But wait, it get's more ridiculous: following my remark that I was disappointed with this lack of service at this price range, the manager kindly reminded me that in my room rate was included CLEAN SHEETS, ELECTRICITY and WIFI! Oh oh, really, WOW, thank you soooo much to give me clean sheets and electricity! Really, what a surprise. What's next, I am charged per sheet of toilet paper or per drop of shower water, or per plunge in the pool? OK, in the end I did get my extra water, but the style the manager adopted in this conversation made me decided to drop my rating to 2 starts.

Room Tip: Book in the Buri Rasa next door. It's way better value for money.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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9  Thank Pacifico W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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721 - 727 of 1,550 reviews

Reviewed February 22, 2013

There is nothing wrong with the resort. Excellent service, good breakfast, good pool area with access to the beach on a quieter part of Chaweng. Rooms are basic but kept clean. All the rooms are away from the street so the garden area were the rooms are located is peaceful. I would have given 4 but the price drops it to 3. If you like the night life, resort is a bit far away. If you don't fancy the clubs and noisy bars all necessary things like restaurants, bars and shops are still close.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Niko_Tampere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

We stayed in room 327 over December - January. The room had great views of the beach. The room was clean and serviceable but not sure if worth the $. In the bathroom was a broken washing line that couldn't be used, a very loose towel rack, a shower- bath that was very step and slippery to get into, not approriate for children or elderly. The floor tiles of bathroom were slippery. The toilet roll holder was very loose and had been poorly repaired previously. There is a small area around the basin, had 1 small towel rack and also only 1 hook for other towels, dressing gowns etc. The sliding bathroom door was very heavy and hard to open and close. very poor lighting for shaving, applying make up etc.
The television in the main area was screwed down in the far left corner of the bench, opposite bed, screen doesn't swivel so we were unable to view tv from the sofa. Can only watch when lying on bed.
Due to the position of unit with alot of traffic from the beach and pool area the front blinds need to be down to allow privacy. Unfortantely to do this you had to climb over very wide sofa to reach draw string on right hand side.
The room directory stated that Lounge chair reservations cannot be made in advance and that the pool and towel station opened at 7am. We arrived one morning at 7am to collect towels and organise lounge chairs of our choice to find that most of the lounge chairs already had towels on them... booked prior! The pool attendant advised that we could come to an arrangement to book lounges of our choice.
On a couple of occassions we witnessed the public buying resort lounges on the beach which were for the resort guests.
We went to some great restaurants in the main road and really enjoyed the food, service and price.
At the resort food was OK, service good. It would help if the entertainment was varied instead of same entertainment every night.
The ladies in the massage area were terrific and full of kindness and humour. Staff overall were pleasant.
Was it worth the large $ over new year period for the room and beach front view?? Probably not.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank MsJane36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

Sami is touristy, and yet on this particular stretch of beach, there are property after property. Some charge a little more for nicer rooms and resort (buri rasa, centara grand) and others charge less for a basic place. Banana fan charges upper class prices for a very average experience.

The rooms are basic, expect motel quality united states hotels, but no better. It's on the beach and the restaurant is decent.

But nothing about it warrants a premium. And the service is pretty chilly, and constantly trying to upswell you.

The single worst thing about this hotel is the policies on expense. They require you to pay for your stay, up front, in full when you arrive at their door, before you have even seen your room. This was a first for me. Breakfast was included in my rate, and when seated the host asked if I'd like coffee or tea. As I was fishing breakfast, I was asked to pay an additional 80 baht for coffee because it was not included in the breakfast. I don't normally complain, and the money isn't an issue, but iris like the management here has no concept of "hospitality". And I know, they will have someone write something here that says "dear sir or madam per our policy" yeah I know, the policy is stupid, and I felt like this hotel was after my money, not my happiness. Stay at the other two properties they are nicer and higher quality.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank carino10021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013

We stayed in joined rooms #309 and #317. Room #317 is the one which verandah facing the pool and beach. It's really nice to just seat on the verandah and enjoy the time there.Location is very good. A lot of choices of place to eat and drink and shop. You could get a taxi for 200baht which will bring you to the top of chaweng road. This hotel is already at the end of chaweng road.
Staff are all very nice and helpful. We arrived early and our rooms were not ready yet, They let us stay in a temporary room, where there are beds, air-con and bathrooms. So some of us managed to take a nap, and showered. Rooms are clean, spacious and perfect.
The staff at the tour service desk is very friendly and she booked our snorkeling trip just the day before. She also suggested us to a great spa called Eranda spa.
Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank nyanyasyl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2013

Just returning from this wonderful resort, it was our second stay at Banana Fan Sea, we spent 6 days and we were even happier then the first time.
The resort is beautiful, lovely rooms, splendid garden, everywhere is very clean and the personnel very friendly and very attentive, making everything to please you.
We really felt like home, or even better!
Being the third time in Chaweng and going to many different restaurants, I want to mention the excellent restaurant Baitong, inside the resort Banana.
The food is very good, very tasy, they have an extraordinary cook who make all dishes to look amazing. We enjoyed dinners on the beach, fantastic atmosphere!
A very special thanks to X'Mas and to the general manager who took care about everything, in order to be perfect!
We love Banana Fan Sea and hope to be back next year!

Room Tip: Rooms close to the sea side.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank viviRomania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2013

we chose to stay here after reading the good reviews on TA. the location on chaweng beach is nice. you're close to restaurants and the main drag which is always bustling with activity. the beach itself is beautiful, with soft sand, but the waves can be aggressive, so be careful. the hotel is right on the beach, so it was nice to enjoy the ocean views and to sit out on beach chairs (which were provided free from the hotel). the beach has a constant stream of hawkers trying to sell you their goods, which gets tiresome. the main complaint i had with the hotel, was the room. we stayed in a standard room (not suite). it was the oldest room i've stayed in. although it was very clean, it was very old. the tv was an old box tv from the 1980s, with not too many good channels. the bathroom had a tub. the room really looked like something from a motel. the staff were all really nice. breakfast was great, with a really large spread. the hotel was too expense to look like it did. i think you're paying for the location, not the rooms. i'd recommend staying somewhere a little less central, but nicer. the hotel just really is in desperate need of a makeover!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank calitraveler1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Banana Fan Sea Resort

Address: 201 Moo 2 Chaweng Beach Road, Chaweng, Bophut, Ko Samui 84320, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui > Bophut > Chaweng
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Chaweng
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Chaweng
#4 Romantic Hotel in Chaweng
Price Range: $134 - $223 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Banana Fan Sea Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 73
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Also Known As:
Banana Fan Sea Hotel Chaweng
Banana Fan Sea Bophut
Banana Fan Sea Resort Ko Samui/Chaweng, Thailand

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