Firstly, a word of caution: The cats that you will see around are not owned by the hotel. One or two cats were usually present at breakfast during our 6 night stay. It wasn't until 30 minutes prior to checkout, when our 3 year old was playing with a cat, that we were told to "watch that cat, it's not very friendly. There is rabies in this area and you need watch out" when we asked if the cat in question belonged to the hotel we were advised not and then it was promptly chased away by Michael, the owners' son. The Waterfront is very much a family establishment and we were shocked and a little annoyed to have received this warning so late and hitherto that point that we had seen no attempt by staff to discourage the cats from hanging around at the breakfast tables or elsewhere. An issue that needs addressing.
Following a last minute cancellation of another trip (to Boracay) we booked 6 nights at The Waterfront with ease. A few emails with Robin, the owner, and we'd agreed rates and two nights in room 7 (family bungalow) and two nights in room 10 (family suite). Both rooms had two bedrooms, one with a king size and the other with two singles. Room 7 is a bit larger and the lounge is more spacious. Both lacked sufficient drying space for pool/beach gear and would have benefited from a small clothes stand/rack immensely. A small no-slip stool or stand would have been a nice touch in the bathrooms too - so that little people can reach the sink/taps for hand washing and teeth cleaning without having parents lift them or balance them on ad hoc platforms. Room 7 feels more private and has a beach frontage allowing kids to play on the sand whilst parents kick back on the terrace. The outside seats at both rooms were not, in our opinion, comfortable. The fit of the windows (yes, we made sure they were properly shut) was not great and this could have contributed to the number of Mosquitos in room 7. Also, outside the room to the left boundary of the property is a tap and hose. Here we found a large pottery pot full of water... and mosquito larvae. My wife and I have over 30 years of living in Asia and standing water is best avoided for this reason. We tipped the pot up to empty the water. On this note the aforementioned pool/beach toys (very good they are, see below) are kept in two large baskets by the pool. Again, each of these had stagnant water in the bottom - ideal mosquito breeding places.
The small pool is ideal for kids. We were there in a quiet period and never felt it was overly busy. This might not be the case in peak periods when the hotel is at capacity. This aside, toys, balls and inflatables are provided for your use. We loved this point.
The beach is great for everything apart from swimming as that part of the coast is a little silty and is has small stones and coral rather that soft sand. If its soft sand you want you can have trips to the sandy beaches along the eastern coast.
The staff at the hotel are pleasant enough. Our only gripe was their apparent keenness to have us either sign up for tours/trips or to use their various family members for taxi alternatives. We did this once but is was nearly as expensive as the local taxi (despite their non-meter usage). For the independent traveller we would urge a ten minute to the main road (out past 7-11 and The Happy Frog) where you can flag down one of the very frequent pickup trucks that serve as taxis to the locals. You can get to Chaweng for THB50 each and if you swap trucks on to Lamai for then other THB50. Bargain. One night we were in Lamai and were hit by a rainstorm and needed to get back to Bophut. Even in this potentially rip-off predicament we got back to Boput from Lamai for THB150 per adult.
Food at The Waterfront is ok. We had four dishes other than breakfast and enjoyed each one except the chicken satay which was served with a 'unique' sauce covering the satay. We sent it back and were given the very same satay back sans sauce and it was quite clear that they had just sliced of the outer layer of chicken to get rid of the sauce.
Bohout is cool. Friday nights sees the Main Street given over to a street market. See our separate review for more. As far as food goes we want to give special mentions to La cabanon, The Hut, The Happy Frog and Karma Sutra. We have written reviews for each for those that want to read more. La Cabanon is fantastic for family meals with a view. The seat go above and beyond. The Hut is opposite the hotel and serve very good Thai food at very reasonable prices. They will even give you a lift across the road to your room with your takeaways. Karma Sutra has very good ice cream and a fine espresso.
Would we return? Quite likely were we to revisit Bophut. However, my wife first visited Samui in 1994 and is keen to find and explore some of the 'old' Samui she remembers. Enjoy.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Family run, small, select and peaceful, yet only steps away from excellent restaurants, bars and boutiques.All rooms are beachfront and the view of the sea and outlying islands is spectacular. Many guests extend their stay, recommend us to others or return themselves, often to meet other guests who have now become friends. Its like coming home, they say. Lots of little touches to make you feel welcome including free pick-up and free internet. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Waterfront Hotel Bophut
- Waterfront Hotel Bophut
- Waterfront Bophut
- The Waterfront Ko Samui/Bophut