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“It's got the "Wow" facture”

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Bandara Resort & Spa
Ranked #26 of 186 Hotels in Bophut
Certificate of Excellence
South Wales
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“It's got the "Wow" facture”
Reviewed 2 September 2010

What a great hotel the Bandara is, I can only describe this hotel as excellent. If you are looking for a busy all action hotel with lots of games and noise then this is not the place for you. The hotel is very quiet, has excellent food, superb gardens that are maintained to a very high standard, staff that are a credit to the hotel, watersports centre, gym and spar area and a first class dive centre "The Dive Academy".

There are four pools one of witch is ideal for children being very shallow, while they play you can sun yourself on the beds around the pool. The top pool is about 1.6m deep and is surrounded by ornamental elephants spraying water into the pool. There was always sunbeds available for us to soke up the sun plus some shaded areas for those who find it to hot, you can also have a massage under one of these shaded areas; the pool side bar staff also doubles as a lifegaurd so you can rest assured your safety is their concern, the prices at this bar are not the cheapest but the service is great. This top pool is also used by the dive school who if you go and visit them will arrange for you to have a free try dive with them, you will not be sorry they are first class; English run and owned just ask for Paul or Sarah, check out their web site thediveacademysamui.com. The other two pools are down by the beach one being raised higher than the other with it overflowing into the lower pool, again plenty of sunbeds and the ornamental elephants spraying the water into the pool, the pools are about 1.5m deep. The beach is only meters away from these pools and for the sun worshiper are idealy placed to get a good tan but do be carefull as even when overcast those rays do burn. There is also a nice bar next to the pools, a restaurant that serves a wonderfull Masaman Curry, toilet facillitys, watersports centre and The Dive Academys shop. The Bandara also have their own speed boat that is available for private hire. The last thing I will mention about the Bandara is the excellent gardens, peacefull and full of colour with two streams that have small fish in, lots of pretty butterflys, the odd small lizard, a nice shaded area you can sit and just chill out and very pretty monuments to Budda.

For those that don't want to spend all their time stuck in the hotel just a ten minute walk along the beach is Boput "The Fishermans Village" this is full of wonderfull restaurants and bars, if you can't find something here to eat you have a problem. One place I would highly recommend is The Shack owned by the most laid back host you could wish to meet Larry, I think he is a native of New York he certainly is an odd ball that is happy with his life in Thailand and loves listening to jazz. You just can't go to Boput and not visit Larry even if it is just to share a drink with him he is a star. For those who want to party the night away head for reception book a lift into Cheywang and away you go the latest we came out of a bar was 2;30am but there was still plenty going on for those with the staminer.

If like me you like to dive then you don't have to look no further than the one in the hotel, The Dive Academy. I visited several while I was there and found the one in the hotel very helpfull and managed to get 17dives in with them includeing three night dives. All you have to do is prove your a certified diver, what level you are trained to and when you want to dive they do the rest. The equipment they use is in excellent condition, you get picked up from your hotel and taken to the boat, your given a light breakfast, all the kit is allready on the boat assembled and ready for use, you board the speed boat that is powered by three 225hp Honda engines, your given a full briefing on the do's and don'ts on the boat, offered sickness tablets for those that have a dicky stomache when travelling, offered a help yourself free soft drinks ice box use all day then make the 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes journey to the dive sites. Following the dive you have a surface interval then move to another site for your second dive if the day. All meals are included in the price and they are excellent, I must compliment the chef. On no occation did I dive with more than three at a time and this included the instructor, underwater I now can speak French, Indian, Thai and any other language you want...lol. They are a fun dive school that do everything by the book and ensure your safety is paramount once that is done they bring on the fun and excitement. Tasha, Cara Tom thanks for all your help and enjoyment you gave me xxxx.

Two other trips I would recommend are one spend a day at the jungle club ask at reception for details or see Paul and Sarah plus do the sun set cruise on Kia Ora form the time you get on to get off it is fun, drink, food and some great sun set pictures to go with the great trip. One other restaurant that Sarah told us about was in Maenam I think it was called Samonds a small French run place that has food to die for it is superb, try the prawn cocktail, the pork loin and finnish it off with one of the excellent deserts.

I will try to put some pictures on as soon as I can but if anyone wants me to sent them some just email me [--]

I would rate my stay in Thailand as 10 out of ten even with the exchange rate being as low as it was.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank brinleym
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Australia
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2010

Stayed for 8 nights in a plunge pool villa. Great choice and generally very pleased. big let down was breakfasts. poor choice and very poor service. Apart from Joe, wh was excellent, the sevice was indifferenct, with some staff chewing including kitvehen staff. The other let down was having to lug our gag up the stairs on arrival as staff werte preoccupied chatting... not a goog look. The beach pool was great, the resturant good. the room excellet and a loocation very good. Fix up the tardy staff in some areas and the shoddy beach bar, things should start to look up

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank nicko68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
essex
Level 6 Contributor
71 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2010

Whilst its all about opinions and personel experiences we can only report as we found as follows:

Upon landing on Koh Samui we were met by car to take us straight to the Bandara - where we were greeted by all at reception and taken to the open lounge bar area for a complimentary drink and much needed cold towells to cool down.

ROOM: taken to our room (525) within 20 mins of arrival cases followed on within 5 minutes. Room very large, spacious, immaculately clean, lots of character, large balcony overlooking the main pool/gardens with patio seats/table as well as a day bed. Loved the open plan bathroom onto the bedroom. Bathrobes/slippers and flip flops. Small touches like the daily fruit bowl and pillow menu service added to the luxury that you would expect along with beach towels and beach bag were an added touch.

Pool/Gardens: 3 pools catering for all - main pool seemed to be more for families and the two infinity pools by the beach/bar were more couples. All were very clean, beautifully designed with water fountain features and in -built seats. Plenty of sunlouger/parasols around pools. As it was low season there was no need for the the early morning dash to secure a bed! The gardens and surrounding area were well maintained with every fallen leaf and flower being picked up.

Bars/Restaurants: Happy hour at the Beach bar for cockails 5-7pm was a good way to finish off a day in the sun. Breakfast was very good with traditional Thai alongside both international and continental foods but be warned even the bake beans have chillis added... Whilst the hotel restuarnts looked good they were on the pricey side so we chose to eat in the village or further down on the beach (see below). Would reccommend you asking for a breakfast box if your flight is early morning - so much in it we ended up sharing it with a fellow traveller at the airport!

Spa/Internet/Gym: Small basic gym but airconditioned and very clean. Internet was readily available but when resort is busy its resticted to 20 mins usage. Internet connection in room was good. Spa was beautiful , staff were very attentive. Had a Thai Massage for an hour - very good...

Staff: All incredibly polite and respectful from the gardners to the chefs, from the cleaners to bar staff, from the waiters/waitresses to reception the service was next to none. No wonder its called the Land of Smiles - they are just so respectful and always ready to help. Nothing was (or is) too much trouble...

Eating out/Shopping: Fishermans Village is just a five minute stroll from the hotel and has lovely on the beach Thai and International restuarants along all with set Thai menus - both fish and meat. If you don't like your food too spicy then ask for medium strength chilli/sauces! There are some lovely small local trade shops and typical holiday market shops and on Friday the through road is closed to traffic for a market. We did visit Chawang Beach which is much busier and has Macdonalds/PizzHut if you have had enough of Thai cuisine! More shops and cheaper bars. If you walk along the beach towards the left of the bay (away from Fishermans Village) there are several more Thai restaurnts to choose from.

What to do: In Fishermans Village do try the Dr Fish foot massage - its an experience like no other - no pain but does feel like pins and needles - end result is fantastic. Plenty of massage parlours in both the village , surrounding main roads and on the beach fronts. They are cheap and very good. We had several Thai massages, Aloe Vera Thai and Coconut Massages. Having a manicure/pedicure on the beach whilst watching the waves lapping on the shore in the sunshine is an experience i would highly reccommend.. Local Dive centre (at hotel) arranged a day trip to the National Park, snorkelling and Kayaking - very good and lunch was included (biggest prawns I have ever seen).

As we had had three nites in Bangkok and visited many temples, played with tigers, visted the River Kawi and bathed with elephants we were ready for the rest and relaxation that the Island and the Bandara Spa Resort had to offer. We were not dissappointed.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank tanner159
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2010

Beautiful resort, rooms, gardens and pools absolutley lovely. However, like all resorts of this type restaurants, bars, room service and mini bars outrageously expensive.

Resort simply lovely to stay in. Glad we got second room for half price. Grounds etc incredibly well maintained. Breakfast fantastic. Special mention to 'Joe' the waiter how went out of his way to ensure we had a good cup of tea! .Most of the staff lovely except for beach bar staff who where dreadful. I do not expect at these prices to have to wait for a member of staff to finish their personal mobile call before attending to me. Also, watch out for happy hour, I swear there was no alcohol in both rounds of drinks even though we complained after the first lot. Needless to say we did not order drinks from them again.

Even though it was expensive we splashed out on the seafood bbq one evening (ask for half price for 12 and under), which was a good night under the stars with cheesy dance show and guitar singers. Otherwise we avoided spending any money here as the prices were so high. Visit the minimart acroos the road for beers, soft drinks and snacks and enjoy them on your balcony.

Pools lovely - good spots will be reserved by 6.30am by the usual suspects but there is plenty of room to go round. Please, if you get a lounger on the beach be pleasant to the hawkers. They have to make a living too and I witnessed some truly vile behaviour from some of our European friends. Recommend corn cobs and spring rolls from them for lunch. If you are lucky you might even get a cheap Singha although I think the Thai government might be cracking down on this.

Take advantage of the free hotel shuttle to Chewing. We had a mighty fine afternoon at The Ark Bear on Chewang Beach and highly recommend both the Mojitos and the pedicures/foot scrubs.

Taxis on Samui generally a complete rip off compared to the rest of Thailand. What has happened to the tuktuks and songteows? Hotel wanted to charge us 1000 baht for transfer to airport and told us if we didn.t want their transfer to go and find a taxi for ourselves. Which, of course we did for 300 baht, which is still outrageous for a 10 minute trip.

I doubt if we will return to Koh Samui as the prices left such a bad taste in our mouths and we felt most of the Thais here were completley over tourists compared to the rest of Thailand, but I would recommend Bandara as being a little slice of heaven in paradise lost.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank DayBec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, ON
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2010

Our friends had stayed here previously for their honeymoon and recommended this hotel. As such, we expected great service, as we normally receive from other 5* resorts worldwide.

Upon arrival, there was no shuttle waiting for us. This must have been because we booked through Travelocity.

The grounds of the resort were well maintained with the exception of the beach - it was extremely small and coarse sand wasn't groomed. There was garbage laying around and particles that made it less enjoyable. Beach towels are not readily available at any of the pools/beach - we have never experienced this at any resort. They expected you to call housekeeping if you wanted a new pool towel. We ordered a $10 burger with fries and coleslaw - a burger with 10 fries and no coleslaw arrived; not recommended. The fitness center was a huge disappointment - dirty, poorly air conditioned and not fully equipped.

The turndown service was inconsistently applied. Only on 1 of the 4 nights did we receive this - we thought this was standard for resorts of this calibre?

The bathroom stunk of sewage water and there was lots of mold/dew in between the tile cracks on both the bathroom shower stall floor and wall. We enjoyed the activity calendar, providing tai chi, yoga, pilates and aqua aerobics.

Most of all, after booking, we needed to stay another night. At this time, we revisited their website and other traval company websites - their price had dramatically decreased since booking 6 months prior. We asked for a price adjustment and asked Bandara to match the price, but they refused. We believe that they just wanted to rip us off, as they knew that we likely wouldn't move elsewhere. We raised the issue further and the manager decided to throw in breakfast (fyi: breakfast was supposed to be included... there was an error with our reservation, but they wouldn't acknowledge it, nor would they allow us to call Travelocity.

It was extremely loud at night, as the walls were paper thin. Everytime a door closed or neighbours (up, down or beside) were "getting it on", you could hear it, quite clearly.

The location wasn't ideal. In our opinion Chaweng Beach was much better than Bophut. As such, we paid for a taxi daily (350baht = $12 one-way) to get there. It would have been much better to just stay on Chaweng Beach - the resorts were much more convenient.

We highly recommend booking elsewhere and if booking, book directly with the resort, not with a travel agent, like agoda or travelocity.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank happyCanadian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cumbria
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 July 2010

This was our 1st ever holiday to Thailand and we weren't dissappointed, we landed down at Koh Samui airport to be greeted by the hotel staff who transported us all to the Bandara, everything seemed like 5 star treatment from the welcome drink with cool towels to everything you could ever want or need in our hotel room. The staff were so friendly, nothing was too much trouble for them. The grounds and pools were amazing and the hotel was situated right on the beach front so you had the benefit of both. The reason why we chose this hotel was that our friends were getting married there and to say that every detail was taken care of on their big day was an understatement. If my husband and i were ever thinking of renewing our wedding vows, The Bandara would be the 1st place we would choose x

  • Stayed March 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Davinabrierley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2010

A great place to just relax and do nothing. The pools are excellent and the staff fantastic. Would happily come back and stay another week.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank keriman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bandara Resort & Spa

Property: Bandara Resort & Spa
Address: 178/2 Moo 1 | Tambol Bophut, Bophut, Ko Samui 84320, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui > Bophut
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Bophut
#16 Romantic Hotel in Bophut
#17 Family Hotel in Bophut
#19 Spa Hotel in Bophut
#21 Luxury Hotel in Bophut
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Bophut
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Bandara Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 150
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Bandara Hotel Bophut
Bandara Resort And Spa
Bandara Resort Koh Samui
Bandara Hotel Koh Samui
Bandara Resort & Spa Ko Samui/Bophut

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