We stayed in the Buri Rasa village for 5 nights in December 2013. It is located between the centre and south end of Chaweng Beach but within easy walking distance of anything on Chaweng. Outside of the hotel is a taxi rank and across the road is the popular Ninja Crepes Thai restaurant, which is recommended if you want proper spicy Thai food.
The main downsides of this hotel are in fact beyond the control of the hotel. These problems are the construction noise at the hotel to the north and the pumping dance music all afternoon at the KC Beach Club to the south. Yes, this noise does exist. Yes, you can hear angle grinders operating after 9pm. Yes, the dance music is loud and does go on for long periods. In addition, whilst the hotel is not on the flight path of the airport you will still hear most planes, starting around 6.30am (I imagine this is the same for most hotels on Chaweng).
Do not under any circumstances let the above put you off the Buri Rasa Village: there are many five star, top dollar luxury hotels that could learn a lot from this place.
The hotel itself comprises a small number of individual villas with rooms available on the ground floor or first floor. There is a path which winds between the villas from the reception area, past the spa and pool to the beach.
Check-in was smooth and friendly, with refreshing towels given to us accompanied by a coconut juice drink. The first impression was that we were stepping into serenity from the busy main road. A member of staff accompanied us to our room and showed us around.
We stayed in the cheapest of the rooms. The bed was smaller than I anticipated, but this may be because we had stayed in other hotels on our trip and each had had a much larger one. It felt like a bed between UK double and king size. It was fairly soft and there was a selection of pillows which were also soft. The mattress was quite low down and was resting on a block of wood about a foot off the ground: some people may find it difficult to get in and out of bed but we had no problems.
The room also featured a chaise longue, a coffee table, a sideboard and a TV stand/desk housing the mini bar. Air con was provided by a remote control Samsung device mounted on the wall which worked very well indeed. There was also a walk-in wardrobe which contained complimentary umbrellas and also housed the safe. It's fair to say there was a bit of clutter in the room; mostly Buri Rasa paraphernalia. More surface space on the coffee table to actually put my things would have been beneficial.
Moving on to the bathroom, this was in effect a separate room to the bedroom and was almost the same size. The bathroom was open air, with a gauze of approximately 1 foot in height running the length of the top of one wall. It became quite humid and hot in there (and a touch sweaty/smelly at times). The room featured a modern rainfall shower, a wash stand and basin, toilet and a Thai style cold water shower, which was basically a water butt. Complimentary shower gel, shampoo and conditioner was in plentiful supply. The bathroom was all generally fine, although the cold water butt seemed pointless as I cannot imagine anyone actually using it, and the shower lacked a bit of hot water power but I am nit-picking.
The hotel pool is small and shallow: it would perhaps be better replaced by a large jacuzzi or something along those lines. Beach towels are collected from the beach bar area so they are fresh daily. The staff will deploy them on a sun lounger of your choice. We never had a problem getting a sun bed, and since they are owned by the hotel you don't pay anything to use them. There are some located on a decking area which steps down to the beach, and a few rows on the beach as well. We found that the ones on the decking were better as the beach sellers were not constantly hassling us and there was some shade available. If you want to bake in the sun all day, the beach is better.
We ate breakfast every day at the hotel and had one evening meal there. The staff are very attentive and serve with a smile. For breakfast, there is a buffet element which has fruit, cold meats, cheese, cereal, yoghurts, probiotic drinks and fruit juices. The mango smoothie is recommended. Then there is the pastry and bread selection, including a warmer which houses croissants, pains au chocolat and a rather nice apple strudel. There are also a few sections of Thai food; generally some kind of stir fry, curry and rice combination.
If you require a hot breakfast such as a full English or waffles/pancakes/etc, this is ordered from a menu and I found that it took about ten minutes to arrive. The plates were very well presented, with the various components spiced up with a bit of salt and pepper here and there. Some people may not like the way the hotel does this, because it prevents them going to a hot buffet and loading up on bacon/sausage, which I know a lot of fellow Englishmen like to do. On our last day I found it slightly annoying because I was rushing to get to the airport and had it been a standard hot buffet I could have been finished a lot sooner. Obviously I could have got up a bit earlier though.
Our evening meal was very nice and in a pleasant setting on a raised decked area leading to the beach. We ordered lamb and steak and both were delicious and presented in excellent fashion. The trance music at the hotel next door is generally turned down around 6pm so there is a possibility of a romantic meal here.
There are many nice touches at this hotel which made our stay more comfortable and memorable. The hotel serves a complimentary afternoon tea at 3pm every day, and during the day the staff regularly brought out little treats for us such as ice lollies or spicy chicken balls. Every day a small gift or treat was placed in our room in the evening, for example local toffees or coconut blancmange moulded into the shape of flowers. Each of these was accompanied by a personally hand written note from the manager, Michael.
On our final night, the reception telephoned us to inform us how soon in advance we needed to be at the airport and asked whether we needed a taxi arranging. We knew already but it was nice that they telephoned us. Checkout was fine with no nasty surprises. We informed reception that we would like a cab, and after we had completed checking out, concierge staff had already put our bags in a cab, negotiated a cheap price with the driver and one of the girls from reception came down the hotel steps to wave us off which we felt was a really nice personal touch.
We had no problem with creepy crawlies or mosquitoes: the hotel sprays down the public areas with a repellant regularly.
It is a very relaxing hotel and I will be honest: I did not want to leave. Yes there are a couple of noise issues but the positives more than make up for it. Everything was made easy and the hand-and-foot service was what you might only expect in hotels costing ten times the price of this one.
Without any doubt, if I was to return to Chaweng on Koh Samui, Buri Rasa Village would be my first choice of hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Award-winning Buri Rasa Village located at the very center of Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui. Buri Rasa is an enchanting traditional southern Thai dwelling in a Garden of Eden. Echoes of halcyon days with once upon a time tales of aristocracy escaping to country or paradise island retreats with a full compliment of servants and services to meet their every need & requirement. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Buri Rasa Village Hotel Chaweng
- Buri Rasa Village Koh Samui
- Buri Rasa Village Samui Ko Samui/Chaweng, Thailand