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“Overrated in many ways - not the highlight of our honeymoon - Why all the fuss?”

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Casa del Mar, Langkawi
Ranked #1 of 16 Hotels in Pantai Cenang
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne
Level Contributor
35 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Overrated in many ways - not the highlight of our honeymoon - Why all the fuss?”
Reviewed 7 April 2011

Well.... I have to agree with the other average reviews - What is all the fuss about??! This is one of the first times I have severely disagreed with the overall Trip Advisor reviews. My husband and I spent a few weeks in Malaysia for our honeymoon - dividing our time between Borneo (stayed at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria), KL (stayed at Hotel Maya) and Langkawi. Like many couples we did as much research as possible before deciding where to spend our dollars. The Casa del Mar had such good reviews that we booked this hotel for the majority of time.

It wasn't that the place was all bad - far from it - we had a good time. BUT the hotel and service if need of much work and I would classify it as a 3 star hotel at best. There were no major incidents so to speak but there were plenty of little things which just kept adding up and which would not have been the case at a 4star and well revered establishment.

To begin with the negatives so I can end on the positives:

1. We took a junior suite which was very average indeed - tired and outdated, not very welcoming or comfortable and worst of all the airconditioner was right above the bed. As a consequence we had the worst weeks sleep of our whole holiday! We either had to turn it off (which made it too hot) or leave it on which meant that it was making constant on and off noises all night. Overall the room was really NOT worth the cost.

2. We were woken one morning by a phone call at 8am (!!!!) to ask that we come to reception to arrange some of the things we had pre-booked. Is that necessary? They couldn't just wait until we came down for breakfast??

3. My husband pre-booked (about 6 months in advance) the castaway day for my birthday (as in the actual day of my birthday). The day before we were told that the boat had broken down and we would have to choose another day (by this stage we only had a few days left before we were leaving so we were left with little choice). We were a bit upset at this. But not as upset as we were when the next morning we were sitting at breakfast on my birthday only to watch another couple being escorted out to the supposedly broken boat for their castaway day!! I couldn't help myself and had to ask the staff about this... they fumbled their way through explanations which led nowhere. Instead my husband got the hotel to arrange a private sunset cruise - which was lovely and the hotel made double money seeing as we went on castaway as well!

4. We received none of the towels, water, fruit and iceypole poolside service that everyone else seems to be raving about. There were no staff around with anything on offer at all.

5. We found the two managers (the western couple I can't remember their names) - just seemed to swan around entertaining and big-noting themselves while giving little regard to the comfort and needs of their guests.

6. The happy-house wheel spinning game sounds like a good concept. However,. the staff were useless at putting it into practice. We were given chances to spin and win a buy one get one free drink - but most of the time the staff weren't watching and so if you "won" it often went unnoticed. It really just made us miss the conventional happy hour!!

7. Cleanliness is average - we ordered room service one night and our tray was still outside of the door 3 days later!

Ok onto the positives....
Dining on the beach at sunset is gorgeous and the spa was quite good. Breakfast was ok but nothing to rave about. Despite the mix up the highlight for us was the castaway experience - we were dropped off on an uninhabited island with a day bed and a picnic and left alone - it was AMAZING.

I suppose overall we were just left feeling as though many improvements could be made. It really made us miss the impeccable service and rooms of places like the Shangri-La and so forth. We understood we were going to a boutique hotel but somehow thought it would be much more quaint and the rooms more plush rather than cold and sparse. Mostly we found most of the staff to be very friendly. We had a good time but would probably stay elsewhere upon returning to Langkawi.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MMandBean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TomBlachere, General Manager at Casa del Mar, Langkawi, responded to this review, 10 April 2011
Dear Guests


Based on your review, clearly we were not performing to our usual standards, and for that I sincerely apologize. We take all feedback seriously, and sincerely regret that we did not meet your expectations.

In another hand I am surprised your review comes online only now in April 2011 when your stay was in May 2010 so almost a year ago.
We have however tried to identify your stay based on details you gave in your review for further investigation but without success.

I am glad to read you overall “had a good time with us”.
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English first
Princetown, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2011

arrived from k/l mid afternoon, on entering the reception there was a cool aromar of citrus, very welcoming.
offered tea and cool towel, took about 10 mins to take some details from us then taken to our room number 305 sea view room, but seeing the pool room these would just as nice and of course cheaper in price. once in the room we were shown how to use the fan, h/c, hot water system,safe,tv etc.bed was comfy, light a bit too dim for my liking,
informed that there would be fresh beach towels each day along with the fresh milk,cookies nuts fruit ect, happy would be between 5/7pm each evening.
the view from the room was onto a small verandra with two chairs and a table looked out onto a small garden area then onto the beach prefect, no sooner we started to unpack the phone rung to ask if everything was to our liking, from this moment on we felt at home.
around 6pm we made our way to the bar we had alread decided to dine at the cdm that even, so we settle by the bar where happy hour was in full swing,buy one drink get to spin the wheel with a chance to win another, this was a great way of getting to other guests which were mainly british,austrialianand danish mant of which were on their 3/6th return visit,99% of the returning guest were happy to talk about langkawi itself th other 1% were happy to talk nonstop about themselfs and their return to the cdm!! which get a bit boring after a while, made the "new comers" feel like gusets at their private club, this banter was repeted daily at the bar, oh was we pleased to see these people leave,just for the record this as been mentioned before in previos reviews.
couple of days into our stay we were informed that there would be a gathering by the bar for tom the manager to introduce us to the staff ect, and also to join his in a candle lit meal/wine on the beach which we took up and it turned out to be a good evening where i had the chace to pick toms brian about his days at the maldives resort, the cost of the was a bit pricey but like i said was a great evening.
breckfast was help youself to toast, cereals fruit then a chioce of roughly 10 al a cart hot meals, i decide to start from 1 down to 10 and was not dissappointed with any, having said that hubbie fried eggs were either under or over cooked and he was,nt too kean on the mackrel dish.
back to the bar i,m not saying that we drank the bar dry but,they ran out of gaymers cider a few days into our stay, i think we were the only guest drink this and there had never been a great demand for it,no problem the bar staff let robert ( guest manager) know who got on the phone within earshot and made an order,thanks bar staff and robert for saving our holiday!!
we booked the hotel boat for 2hrs one afternoon along with another coulpe malcom and jan from co durham( good company and where on their 3rd visit) roughly costin £50 divided by 4 people, two members of staff with plenty of shade, water and sprite.
pool, there was plenty of beds and parasols and also a jacuzzi, yes guest did put their towels on the bed early just like anyother hootel but the are plenty to go round it was,nt a problem.
we made a special friend in mee mee the cat, dont panic all you non cat lovers he,s does,nt bother you unless you call and make a fuss of him, love when he was called how he used to run with a spring in his step!! as cat lovers each morning we,d put a saucer of milk out for him he,d come into the room and have good old stretch/scratch on the mat, without the staff knowing of course sorry!! and off he,d trott.
to round the cdm off it,s a grand small hotel with a big heart and is worthy of it,s reviews. thanks to all the staff there who done their jobs with a smile each day thanks again

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank princetown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TomBlachere, General Manager at Casa del Mar, Langkawi, responded to this review, 14 April 2011
Dear Guests

Thank you for your kind comments and long review I will share with the staff!
We are delighted that you had enjoyed your time, I did too with you during our Captain diner table! I hope that we may welcome you again to Casa del Mar.
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Torquay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2011

A very relaxing and comfortable feel right from the start. This is a small high quality hotel where you are treated specially by all the staff. The grounds lead right onto the beach and are kept in perfect condition, even the beach is raked everyday. Very good sunbeds and umbrellas and nice touches like cold towels and fruit delivered whilst you relax. One of the few hotels in Langkawi where you can walk out at night to local bars and restaurants.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Malcolm E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TomBlachere, General Manager at Casa del Mar, Langkawi, responded to this review, 29 March 2011
Thank you for taking the time writing a review and feedback. We just love it!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
84 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2011

For background, we are a mid-30s couple with no kids who have been enjoying traveling to all the great places in Asia the past couple of years. We're super easy-going and certainly not uptight or demanding of anyone or anything -- it is a holiday of course!

I even feel a little strange and bad not writing a perfect review after so many folks loved Casa del Mar, but honestly I didn't really get what all the fuss was about. Nothing happened to ruin our trip by any means, and the little issues didn't really faze us at all, but the hotel was just OK....certainly not a 5* and not worth the #12 ranking in the world. It's the first time we have been a bit disappointed with tripadvisor to be honest. Just as a side note - we have also stayed at Sandalwood in Koh Samui (#19) - and the service there is what a top 25 resort should be like - absolutely first rate.

The good:
- Friendly staff
- Breakfast...best breakfast of anywhere we've stayed in Asia
- Room location...we were in a Sea View and you almost walk onto the beach out of your door...very nice
- Resort size...we like the boutique resorts and Casa del Mar was perfect for us
- Sunbeds....they are everywhere and you never have to fight for one
- Beach service....cold pitchers of water, fruit pops, oversized towels, etc...just great
- Location...walking distance to many of the best restaurants in Langkawi
- Turndown service....first class and very nice

The not so good:

Noise - next door I think there would be loud music starting up around 10pm every night that would go on for awhile. We were up so no huge deal, but not exactly relaxing

Cleanliness
- Mold in the shower (or maybe dirt)
- One day the maids just folded a used, sour, wet towel and put it back like it was fresh
- Water glasses we were given one day on the beach had lipstick on them (lots of it)
- Room cleaning...seemed to clean around things

Service (for the most part was good, but had issues):
- Had an problem with the safe...took almost 2 days and 3 phone calls to get someone to unlock it for us
- Restaurant....first couple of visits (breakfast and dinner) there was nobody to be found to help us or seat us. So we waited a couple minutes, and then when someone showed up we had to run them down for help
- Restaurant....we had dinner only one night (food was good but very expensive by Langkawi standards, and much better values to be had down the road), and the staff seemed sort of all over the place. We were gave our drink order and then were asked by 2 different servers again for our drink order. Same thing happened with entrees and mains. No issue obviously with the effort, but seemed fairly unorganized to have people continue to ask us for orders we had already placed.
- Bar....similar experience with the restaurant...3 guys working with no one else at the bar, and when we walked up we were ignored

Like I said...nothing major or anything that we even felt worthy of complaining about as it was happening, but just not 5* quality. And other than the issues above the service was very good and the staff was incredibly helpful and friendly. It is a nice place -- just not a best in the world type of place.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank titanwiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TomBlachere, General Manager at Casa del Mar, Langkawi, responded to this review, 30 March 2011
Dear Guests,

Thank you for your feedback and review.
I would like to clarify what I believe might be a misunderstanding. TripAdvisor is about satisfaction and not necessarily luxury. We are advertised as 4* homely boutique hotel and never had the pretention to be a 5*.
Having said that, it is certainly not an excuse and I take full accountability for those service issues.
Your feedback is constructive and I have since reviewed with our Restaurant and Bar & Rooms Division Manager with appropriate action to avoid re-occurance.
Thank you again for your review and should you provide us the opportunity to welcoming you again, please contact me directly.
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Level Contributor
54 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2011

Thank you Tom, Robert and all the staff at CdM, You all made our stay amazing and our wedding the most perfect and beautiful day!
I have travelled extensively (being in the travel industry for over 20 years), and this is one of the most unique and fantastic places I have stayed at! This small boutique hotel has everything one can dream of, the best service, the personal touches, the little treats, great rooms, fabulous restaurant and spotless surroundings. It's all pure indulgence, without the overpowering "luxury" of the large glitzy hotels.
We celebrated our wedding here, and could not have picked a better venue. Tom and Robert looked after every single detail for us, put us in contact with Adam our fabulous wedding celebrant (who also arranged all the legalities) removed all possible stress and made our wedding the most special and romantic occasion.
Thank you so much for everything!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Luie5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
44 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2011

We recently spent 8 wonderful days at Casa Del Mar. So many lovely memories, the highlight being the Castaway Picnic to celebrate my birthday on Thursday. Tom, your team is excellent - friendly, helpful and all with a great sense of fun. To Jack, Halim, Zul, Harry, Robert, Connie and the rest of the team, thankyou for everything.
The welcome we received on our arrival was friendly and the cold drink was so refreshing! Our beachfront room was spacious and comfortable. The service from the entire team was friendly.
The little things make all the difference, cold, refreshing peppermint oil face washers by the pool, icy cold jugs of water, cool watermelon slices (or the yummy mango ices) made lying by the pool even more comfortable. And the pool, perfect temperature and spotlessly maintained. So lovely first thing in the morning - I would have loved night time swims but it's closed from 9pm.
The bar staff were great fun, especially Jack, whose sense of fun is contagious. It was fun watching the staff learn new drinks from guests as well.
Dinners at La Sal were lovely, the BBQ dinner on my birthday evening was sensational.
As an avid reader, my own book supply ran short, how wonderful to have a library with so much to choose from.

We had the most relaxing time and loved the laughs around the bar. We will be back

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank CarolynM66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TomBlachere, General Manager at Casa del Mar, Langkawi, responded to this review, 29 March 2011
Thank you for your feedback. It’s great to read you enjoyed your stay with us. The staff appreciate to see their names in your review.
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Bengaluru, India
2 reviews
Reviewed 24 March 2011

Excellent food, excellent and courteous folks, and excellent place on the beach. I highly recommend that you stay here no matter how long it takes for you to get the booking here.

I asked the waiter for recommendations on fish and they recommended the Grouper fish, and it was simply amazing. My mouth still waters at just the memory of it.

Having dinner *on* the beach with candle light with the ocean sound was a great romantic experience.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank swaroopch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa del Mar, Langkawi

Property: Casa del Mar, Langkawi
Address: Jalan Pantai Cenang, Mukim Kedawang, Pantai Cenang, Langkawi 07000, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Region: Malaysia > Kedah > Langkawi District > Langkawi > Pantai Cenang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 Hotels in Pantai Cenang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Casa del Mar, Langkawi 4*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The heart of Casa del Mar's (Spanish for ‘Home by the sea’) philosophy is to create unique experiences around individual guests, providing them with a tranquil hideaway. Offering sea view accommodation, innovative dining options and Spa facilities, the 34-room Casa del Mar is the perfect oasis for couples looking for a private and peaceful retreat. From its Mediterranean architecture to its cosy and aesthetically pleasing interior, Casa del Mar is a ‘highly individualised property’. At Casa del Mar, one can indulge in the personalised yet unobtrusive service designed specially to pamper the individual. Guests will be in for a real gastronomic experience with La Sal Restaurant where innovative & yet soul satisfying Mediterranean cuisine, seafood BBQ and Asian samplers will be served. Guests can choose to sit inside the restaurant, with interiors recreated to the splendour of a Californian winery or dine al fresco at the poolside or beachside. Casa del Mar offers one the tranquility of a private holiday home by day and subtle gaiety by night through entertainment and dining options. All traditional hospitality practices will be challenged such that every aspect of the property is in harmony with the objective of creating experiences around individuals. Please note that we specialise in couples and adults and do not offer cots or extra beds in guest rooms. Location: Located at the legendary island of Langkawi, northwest of Peninsula Malaysia, Casa del Mar sits along the island’s Pantai Cenang beach, which is a 10-minute ride from the Langkawi airport and within close proximity to Kuah town, the most popular entertainment area in Langkawi with a wide selection of restaurants and bars. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Del Mar Langkawi Hotel Pantai Cenang
Casa Del Mar Hotel Langkawi
Langkawi Casa Del Mar
Casa Del Mar, Langkawi Pantai Cenang

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