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The Andaman, A Luxury Collection Resort
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Reviewed 2 December 2013

Our stay at the Andaman was to be the luxury highlight of a trip to Malaysia to visit my daughter. The three of us had similar experiences and reactions: shockingly bad service and disappointment with quality. The staff acted as if in a zen state, barely noticing us, and giving no reaction when we reached out to them.

The resort is very remote. This is part of it's charm and appeal - but for those also hoping to experience other parts of the Island, they may it nearly impossible. The concierge REFUSED to contact a dinner cruise operator for us, as it wasn't the one operated by the hotel. When we did request hotel amenities (e.g. the afternoon nature walk), we were told it was cancelled. Our room had a very strong odor of sewage, but reports resulting in nothing - no call, no offers, no action. Beyond that it was "tired" and dark, as it is pending renovation in the near future.

I reported these items in a subsequent customer satisfaction survey and received a reply from the manager. She directly acknowledged "intermittent issues" with strong bathroom odors - including the need to make capital improvements to plumbing and room ventilation. She acknowledged the room was "tired" and another plan for future capital improvements. She pledged future "training initiatives" for the employees. Unlike as would be typical at many hotels, she offered no form of compensation or accommodation, beyond words of sincere apology. In retrospect, I see quite of number of such replies when Tripadvisor reviewers identify issues on this site. Prior to booking, I saw that as concerned, involved management, but based on our experience, am convinced there needs to be more action and fewer words.

We spend over twice as much for this hope-for experience as at any other hotel on our month-long trip and had numerous which offered much better quality and experience. If the hotel is not ready to meet it promise, as she seems to say in her letter (many improvements planned or underway, but not given to us), perhaps the advertisement or pricing should be changed to acknowledged or reflect today's realities.

It's hard to imagine how such a beautiful setting can be ruined by inattentive and careless personnel. We were sorely disappointed.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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6  Thank awh20015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AnneEScott, General Manager at The Andaman, A Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2013

Dear awh20015
Thank you for choosing The Andaman for your stay on Langkawi and for taking the time to post this review. I am sad to read your remarks – and especially to know that my email in reply to the questionnaire that you kindly completed, together with previous replies to Trip Advisor reviews, have added to your frustration. I feel somewhat on the horns of a dilemma on what to do next. I do feel that it’s important (and polite) – that I reply to all guest comments, as well as all guest reviews on Trip Advisor. With your permission, I hope that you will allow me to reply to you here without causing further irritation. I apologise in advance if this is the case – and assure you of my best intentions.
I do apologise if, at anytime, you felt that our service less anything less than attentive and responsive. There are no excuses for shortfalls in service that our guests receive. I am so sorry that this was your experience.
It is correct that the Andaman is in a more remote corner of the island. Our resort is set inside the rainforest on a coral sand beach. This is the place to choose if guests are looking for a connection with nature, and an escape from the busier parts of Langkawi. Notwithstanding this, I am very sorry to read that our concierge was unhelpful regarding your request to connect with a dinner cruise operator. At the time of writing, I confess that I haven’t completed my investigation on this yet, so I don’t know yet what was the reason that our concierge “refused” to contact the dining cruise operator that you asked for. However, I didn’t want to delay my reply to your review, thus I am speculating somewhat in this reply. One possible issue might be that…up until 8 weeks ago, we used to work with one particular boat cruise operator - indeed, we would recommend them to guests - but (as you may have read on Trip Advisor) we had had some guest issues with that boat company…and so we changed …and now recommend a different operator because we think they offer a better service and much better quality of craft. Of course, guests should feel at liberty to choose any dining experience that they would like – I think that’s very important. Our concierge should offer best-intended advice to guests, however, at no time, should this manifest itself as unhelpful. I will carry on with my investigation…but in the meantime, please allow me to offer my apologies for your frustration on this issue.
The evening rainforest walk takes place on Wednesdays, Sundays and Fridays and is complimentary to all Andaman guests. The morning walks take place every day apart from Monday. The morning and evening walks are beautiful ways to connect with the local environment and to see rainforest wildlife. If there is light rain, we will still go ahead with the walks. If there is heavy rain, then we cancel the walks. I am sorry to know that we didn’t work with you on other alternatives and options for evening walk. Definitely something for us to work on. Thank you for your candor on this issue.
Regarding unpleasant smells in the rooms, I do acknowledge that my replies may be repetitive on this matter. I would like to respond with what we have done, and are doing. Please accept my apologies in advance if this is more detail than you were really hoping for. Our resort is 17 years old, and age together with climate keep us on our toes in terms of maintenance. This year, we had a series of guest comments about “unpleasant smells” and “sewage odours” in one section of rooms. There are no “as-built” drawings of the pipework and plumbing of the resort…and as the problem occurred inconsistently, it has taken us much longer than we wanted to pinpoint causes, and then to get to the final set of solutions. The list of related capital projects completed has included the replacement of some underground pipework below the rooms, as well as some main drains that take waste water away from the main building. In addition, we have taken up the bathrooms floors of the affected rooms and re-connected/re-fitted/replaced the pipework and connections. In addition, we have also replaced and reconditioned the exhaust fans up in the roof. The aim of this most recent project is to improve the removal of bad or damp air which can be the result of living in a rainforest. We have spent over RM160k on these combined projects – and I am happy to do so. It’s important. I am sorry that your stay was impaired by unpleasant odours in your room and I accept that this is clearly not acceptable.
With your permission, please allow me to restate once again, that my team and I would like to restore your faith in our resort. If I may be of further assistance, please do contact me anne.scott@luxurycollection.com.
(NB Final point …just to mention I have a few days leave coming up, so you may get an out-of-office message should you respond, but I promise that I will reply as soon as possible)
With sincere regards
Anne

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2013

We stayed here for 10 days on half board. The breakfast selection was unbelievably good and the view from the outside tables was lovely, they clearly put a lot of effort into catering for all diets and as wide a variety of choices as possible which always started the day well. We were treated really well by all of the staff who went out of their way to ensure we were being looked after and took time out to get to know us and what we wanted from our holiday. Rachael particularly was excellent. We enjoyed the rainforest walks and loved having so much wildlife around us all the time. The scenery and beach were stunning and we enjoyed kayaking and snorkelling to look at the coral and the fish.
I don't think we have ever eaten as well when we have been away, the food at the hotel is not cheap but it is very high quality. The new seafood restaurant was spectacular particularly as you can watch your fish being brought in by the fisherman in the afternoons and choose what you would like. The Datai was also extremely good, it was like eating in the middle of the rainforest.
For a change of scenery I would recommend hiring a car, there are other beautiful beaches about 40 minutes away and the seafood restaurants there are also very good. The hotel hires out cars at reasonable prices and have them ready very quickly for you.
The construction work did not bother us, there are plenty of secluded parts of the beach away from the work and there were always plenty of sun beds.
We very much hope to come back and would recommend this to anyone wanting a restful beautiful beach break with excellent service.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Louise P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AnneEScott, General Manager at The Andaman, A Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2013

Dear Louise P,
Oooo you are very kind! Thank you for your precious time to write and post this gorgeous review on Trip Advisor – and I am especially happy to know that you and your partner enjoyed the stay with us!
Thank you for your kind comments on our breakfast at “The Restaurant” – we find that guests have a little longer to linger over breakfast on holiday and so we try to make our buffet as varied and interesting as possible.
It is kind of you to give me the opportunity to recognized Rachel (our marvelous management trainee) for her great service to you – and I am glad to know that you were well taken care of.
Kudos to you for doing our rainforest walk! I do think that the nature team do a super job – and manage to be educational, engaging and amusing. The key to the mangrove cruise is a guide can really open up the secrets of this amazing eco-system…otherwise it’s possible to just look at trees and rocks and not know what’re looking at.
I am grinned to know that you enjoyed the moment with our coral sand beach. As you know National Geographic says that this is the 9th best beach in the world, although I am biased… but I do agree! It is also a nice area for snorkeling during “neap” tides – and you are able to see all the beautiful creatures…just wonderful!
Thank you for your compliments on our newest dining venue “Jala” - offering the most delicious local fish and seafood. “Jala” does have the most gorgeous location in our resort…and the very best views of the beach. I am delighted when I know that you enjoyed the fisherman experience.
I do agree with you about hiring a car to explore this island… and as you may have discovered, you can hire a car from our resort quite spontaneously. The Andaman is located in a little corner of Langkawi Island, further away from the main touristic areas. The roads on Langkawi are well made and it is almost impossible to get lost.
Regarding the construction, you are correct that we were conducting the work on the Poolside Kitchen and Tepian Laut. We are currently doing much needed repairs for the wooden deck…and I am very pleased that the renovations did not disturb your stay.
I am thrilled to know that we may welcome you to The Andaman again. Thank you for your warm words on our service team and resort location. It is kind of you to recommend our resort to other travelers through Trip Advisor…my team and I remain at your service.
Kind regards,
Anne

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Reviewed 2 December 2013

We stayed at The Andaman resort for 3 nights, we picked this place based on ratings and reviews posted on Trip advisor.
The Andaman, is located on a secluded island "Datai" and has a private beach to itself. Our room did not have a beach view, however the room size was good.
The Spa at the Andaman has unparalleled views of the beach. Though the Spa is expensive I would strongly recommend a massage for the views and the sound of water that makes its a complete experience
We were celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary and the resort made it special by arranging a private dinner on the beach at a price of course, but then special occasions need to be special and memorable and this sure was!
The food menu was limited ( guess as it was off season) and didn't have much to offer, we had taken a package deal which included one meal and breakfast in the stay, however would suggest that one should not opt for this and try other places around Langkawi.
The Andaman is located very close to a beautiful Golf course an added advantage for Golf lovers.
This location of this resort is secluded, however one can always hire a car to go around the place.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank supriyamohata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AnneEScott, General Manager at The Andaman, A Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2013

Dear Supriyamohata,
Thank you so much for choosing The Andaman for your stay – and I am especially happy to know that you have chosen our resort to celebrate this special occasion…we do love romantic celebrations. Happy 10th Wedding Anniversary!
I am so pleased to know that you enjoyed the stay with us – and I would certainly agree with you about our resort location. The Andaman is surrounded by rainforest and nature. Our resort is set inside a 10 million year old rainforest on a coral sand beach. National Geographic says that this is the 9th best beach in the world …definitely a delightful spot to celebrate the special occasion!
Kudos for you for trying V Botanical Spa – which is set on the hillside – so that the views from the spa across the bay are fantastic. During a treatment, the only sound that you can hear is the sound of waves below and the rainforest around you.
I am grinned to know that you and your partner enjoyed the romantic dinner on the beach! I am so pleased.
I do acknowledge your review about our restaurant menu variety of choice, and I am sorry if it was a cause of disappointment. I will delve further into this issue with my food & beverage team. I offer no excuses - we must simply do better.
You are absolutely correct about the golf club – Els Club Teluk Datai. This golf club is 4 minute drive away from our resort and I do agree that it is stunning. The final 4 holes and the club house are under construction and confirmed opening date will be March 2014.
I do agree with you about renting a car in this island. As you discovered, our resort is located in a little corner of Langkawi Island…and further away from the main touristic areas. Guest may take advantage of the shuttle that goes into either Kuah or Cenang each day. The shuttle service is complimentary to all the guests or you may hire a car from our resort through the transportation team.
Thank you for your generous comments toward our resort…my team and I would be delighted to welcome you back to The Andaman.

Warm regards,

Anne

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Reviewed 30 November 2013

Stayed for the 2nd time at this resort we had an up grade to a suite, it was fantastic, the service from the staff is amazing and the food was out of this world, it is so relaxing and chilled there we will be back. The wildlife is so wonderful the little monkeys thats came to visit each day, sitting on the balcony having my morning coffee with a little black monkey is an experience never to be forgotten. I can not praise this resort enough and the island it is worth hiring a car or jeep for a few days as we did to travel around. Already saving for a return trip

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Lorraine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AnneEScott, General Manager at The Andaman, A Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2013

Dear Lorraine S,

You are very kind indeed. Thank you so much for choosing The Andaman for your return stay to Langkawi…and taking the time to write and post this wonderful review on Trip Advisor. I am delighted to know that you enjoyed our natural location and environment…and glad to know that our staff took good care of you!

You are absolutely correct about our resort “frequent guests”, As you know, our resort is surrounded by 10 million year old rainforest. I give credit to the original architect of The Andaman for designing the hotel such that the hotel is inside the rainforest – and because so many of the trees and fauna were protected and maintained from the very start, the wildlife had no reason to move …and so we all (guests, monkeys, lemurs, hornbills et al) live in perfect peace together (most days!). I am thrilled to know that you have a wonderful morning with our lovely “Dusky Leaf Monkeys” – quite magical.

I do agree with your idea of renting a car to explore the island… you can hire a car quite spontaneously at our resort. The roads on Langkawi are in very good condition and it is almost impossible to get lost. It takes about 2 hours to drive around the whole island – and I recommend our driving guide “Things to Do” which gives some informative suggestions on a route around the island, as well as things to see and do.

Please allow me to say once again how grateful I am toward your feedback… much appreciated! Myteam and I look forward to taking care you again at The Andaman.

Kind regards,
Anne

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Reviewed 29 November 2013

Stayed here the night before we left Langkawi. We booked a package with dinner and breakfast. That was definitely worth it. You don't have restaurants or shops nearby so you 'must' eat in the hotel. You come here to rest and enjoy the nature, beach, sea and food of the hotel. We loved the lobby because it is open and offers view on the sea. Service is good for a 5 star hotel. The rooms are not 5 star worthy at all and they have a serious humidity problem. Water damp looks like it is going to drip from the ceiling (it didn't). They do their best but can't compete with other 5 star hotels on the mainland. There where renovations going on, so I really hope they improve the rooms. We knew there will be renovations before we booked so can't complain on that. Swimming pool is good and we were well serviced there. The food and drinks were really really good. The dinner was on a really nice terrace and the food was excellent. Also could not complain about the breakfast. The only comment that I have is on our check-out. The lady who checked us in asked us if we need transport to the airport. We said yes and she even wrote the flight time and transport time on the check-in form. When we checked-out, nothing was arranged. We needed to wait for 15 minutes, thats not much, but if you want to go, you want go. For the rest is was great and will come back, but then I will book a renovated room.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Bryan N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AnneEScott, General Manager at The Andaman, A Luxury Collection Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2013

Dear Bryan N,

Thank you for choosing The Andaman for your stay on Langkawi…and for taking the time to post this review on Trip Advisor. I am so glad to know that you enjoyed the stay with us.

Thank you for your warm words on our resort setting and location… As you discovered, our resort is further away from the main touristic areas…and we think that this combination of 10 million year old rainforest and coral sand beach is a little bit magical and certainly unique to this corner of the island.

I am especially happy to know that our staff took good care of you – just as it should be! I do acknowledge your comment about the humidity. Indeed, in our rainforest location, during periods of high humidity, it can be the case that the contrast between the indoor and outdoor temperatures can result in condensation in your room. We have tried mobile dehumidifiers, but they didn't make enough difference. Now we've just completed a project with exhaust fans in the roof. These will "suck up" the damp air and I hope will make a significant difference. Notwithstanding this and I am sorry if this proved to be an inconvenience.

Regarding renovation, you are correct…our resort has completed a renovation on our Seaview rooms and now we’re finishing off new Jacuzzi Studio Suites and Plunge Pool suites of the ground floor of the north wing. These new rooms and suites offered the best view of the rainforest and the Andaman Sea. I am really very excited about these new developments…I think that guests arriving at the Andaman will enjoy these new and improved facilities.

It is kind of you to highlight our food quality. We have worked really hard on food quality and varierty in the last 18 months. I get great comments now from our guests…and I have passed your message to our kitchen team. They beamed when they heard your warm words.

I am sad and so sorry to read your remark regarding the transportation arrangement during your departure day. I can imagine that situation and that would also be a frustration to you. I know exactly what happened that day…and apologise for a human error that caused inconvenience and hassle on your last day. I offer my personal apologies.

Once again, thank you for choosing The Andaman for your stay. I am delighted to know that we may welcome you again.

With warm regards,

Anne

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