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“Highly recommend”
Review of The Waterfront

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The Waterfront
Ranked #13 of 187 Hotels in Bophut
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Highly recommend”
Reviewed 28 January 2009

All staff service was excellent and the owners and their son made everyone feel at home. We left our passports at another resort on Samui and a staff member kindly collected it for us that evening. Attention to detail was excellent and there was a great selection of books and DVDs. The grounds and rooms were kept extremely clean. The location was great, although when we stayed there was a small channel between the resort and the beach, which we understand is only temporary. The pool was clean and we thoroughly enjoyed swimming whilst looking out to the other islands. The view of Koh Pangnan wasn't great, due to the weather conditions (December), however this didn't bother us.

Breakfast was fantastic. I've been to Thailand several times and they were the best poached eggs I've ever had. Location is excellent and their is heaps of great restaurants within walking distance. Most are pricey compared to other islands, but this is Samui, and there wasn't many cheap Thai owned and run restaurants. Boats run to local islands, so it is a great place to go for a day trip or before/after going to Koh Tao/Koh Pangnan.

Rooms were small for price paid, but the attention to detail and service from staff made up for this. I would highly recommend The Waterfront to anyone (although I'm uncertain if there are ramps for wheelchairs) and would definitely stay there again if I return to Samui in the future.

  • Liked — Staff and breakfast
  • Disliked — Beach appeared unsuitable for swimming and channel when we stayed (this is temporary)
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Fiona2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Norwich
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 January 2009

Simply a magical 2 weeks stay, the staff, service and rooms are purely in a class of their own. Myself and my wife where looked after throughout our stay and every little need was catered for. The food on offer is excellent , Robin and Sue are true hosts and great entertainment. This is a little Gem of a place and for sure we will be coming back again and again.

Martin & Lyn from Norwich

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank NorwichMartin_Lyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Solihull, England
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2009

Just returned from a truly relaxing week at the Waterfront
It's well located in a quiet spot but very convenient for a great choice of good restaurants.
Pleasant laid-back ambiance & charming, helpful staff.
Spotlessly clean accommodation & fabulous view from our bed across the grounds to the sea beyond!
Good choice available at breakfast.
Free internet & lifts to & from airport were nice touches.
Mustn't forget the world's comfiest sunloungers!

  • Liked — Location & ambiance
  • Disliked — Liked everything
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank mrmrsm01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shanghai, China
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2009

We stayed for two weeks over the Christmas period with our son (7yrs) and Daughter (1yr).
The waterfront at Bophut is an experience which is becoming more and more difficult to find.
We often tend to stay in the chain hotels as they often command the best location.
Ko Samui is unique as it has very few chain hotels and many boutique hotels right on the beach. This is the category that the Waterfront falls into.
First things first. This is not a 5* luxury hotel. It does not command the price or pretend to be one.
The accommodation is spacious and always clean. It also has some nice touches, such as a DVD, TV and mini fridge.
It is located at the far point of the Fishing Village in Bophut. This is about 1KM of restaurants and shops based in old Chinese style buildings.
The benefit of this village is that they have kept out all the girly bars and dodgy massage joints. Many of the bars and restaurants overlook the sea.
Beach is nice for walking along and swimming can be found a bit further along from the hotel. There are better beaches in Ko Samui, but no better locations. The other beaches are in much more commercialized and lower end locations or in the middle of nowhere. We traveled to them if we wanted a day on the beach, but were happy to return to Bophut.

What is unique and special about the waterfront is the experience rather than just the accommodation.
Sue and Robin are very attentive and you always feel safe in the knowledge that they will fall over backwards to make your stay better.
An example of this was the great spread that they put on for Christmas day. Michael (their son) had spent hours downloading Christmas music. Sue spent hours worrying about the weather and Robin was busy marshalling the staff.
We had a great lunch and then spent time with the other guests socializing. New Years Eve had the same effort. Sue and Robin bought in fireworks and Michael put on the show (never seen anyone run away from a firework so fast!!!).
The other big plus was the other guests. We met delightful people from South Africa, Malaysia, UK, Jersey and Australia.
The set up of the bar and pool allows the guests to socialize without bothering anyone sitting on their balconies.
Great experience and we are already planning our next trip.

  • Liked — Attentive Owners
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Happy_Traveler219
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2009

We spent five days at the Waterfront over New Year's, and had ample opportunity to experience the rhythms and service of the place. First, the positives: The property is definitely very nice, the rooms are decently sized, and kept very clean every day. The pick-up from the airport is very appreciated, and so is the wireless internet. Most rooms face the water and the grounds are nicely maintained. This is not, however, a hotel, but rather a guesthouse.

There were several things that were either just plain odd or a real problem in our experience. The first oddity was that when we arrived, and as we were waiting for our room whose cleanup had been delayed, we were asked to pay the full amount of our stay upfront. This was not a problem, of course, but seemed strange, as if they expected we may vacate in the middle of the night. On top of the room rate, an additional 5% of the total amount was charged for "Service" charge. This is in a guesthouse that does not even include phones in the rooms through which one may order "service."

Speaking of which, that was another problem--when the room was cleaned certain things were replenished (soap etc.) while others were not (mouthwash). The breakfast in the morning was understaffed which meant that when we asked for simple things, like water, we often never got it (I left breakfast and walked to our room to get our water bottle because that would be quicker). Also the breakfast itself is remarkably bad. The fresh fruit is terrific, but no matter what hot option we picked (eggs done in various ways) it was often greasy (how does one manage to make greasy poached eggs) and sometimes inedible. The juices are from a can and are mostly sugar and water. For Thailand, at this price point we had service and comfort of a much higher league, even in expensive Bangkok. Ultimately this is an over-priced hotel and we had picked it because it was rated so highly on Trip Advisor. For the most part we were very disappointed. Robin and Sue, who run the place, are no doubt wonderful and nice people but they should not charge their higher than average rate and then cut corners left and right. I would appreciate fresh or good quality juice or decently made breakfast over flowers on my sheets.

Other small things that added up to an oddly unsatisfying experience was that the return to the airport is not included in the price, and taxi that is ordered for the guests is not negotiated in advance on behalf of the guests. One has to walk to the reception desk in order to request anything. There is no switch near the bed to turn off the lights, the fan, etc. These are minor issues, of course, but our experience was a series of minor disappointments.

Also, those of you looking for a beach hotel should stay away from this property. The beach is small at the best of times, and when the weather is not perfect (it rained while we were there), a stagnant river forms, which you must cross over a bamboo bridge to get to the couple of meters of beach. I hope they were able to fix this problem--the sea seemed to be eroding what little beach there is, at least when we left.

On the whole, I would not recommend this place at its current rates because you can find a far better experience at the same price point elsewhere.

  • Stayed January 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
16 Thank zak75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WordsKohSamui, Co Owner at The Waterfront, responded to this review, 14 January 2009
We felt we had to respond To this review as we were both disappointed and surprised to receive this quite critical report from such a charming couple.During there stay they were very pleasant with no adverse comments at all.This is the annoying aspect as when guests arrive we ask them to tell us if there is any problems.

I will try and list below our responses to the points raised;

1) Firstly as regards being expensive I find this quite surprising and i don't think any other reports have mentioned this fact.
The fact we are top (at the moment on Trip Advisor)Koh Samui is very nice but possibly create's great expectations.
However on the price front the average room rate for the top ten resorts on TA in Koh Samui is US dollars is 280 compared to our average of US 80.Also most people tend to find our food and drink very reasonable.

2) The reviewer found our rooms a decent size although we consider this particular room a little small but we always explain this to guests before booking.

3)We do certainly disagree with the guest house suggestion.We provide in our rooms A/C,ceilling fan,room safe,tv,dvd's(free comprehensive dvd library,tea & coffee facility,hairdryer,adaptor, dressing gowns,mosquito spray,minibar,room snacks and ample toiletries.
In addition we offer free internet,free wifi,table tennis and a selection of board games.
There are no telephones in the rooms and we ,in this age of mobile phones see no neccessity for them on a beach resort.

4) As regards waiting for the room.The customers arrived at 11.30 and were in their room by 12.45 as we had to wait for departing guests before we made up the room.At this point I would like to stress that we try to be flexible(if possible) with our checkout and check in's.If we can't be flexible we ask guests to clear the room by 12.00 and new guests can move in bty14.00 On many many occaisions we have given free late checkouts.

5) The reviewer queries our policy of full payment on arrival and said he was somewhat surprised.Actually it was his partner who made the booking and this is clearly stated in our both enquiry replies and booking confirmation letter.In addition it is also clearly stated on our website.
Luckily we have a high occupancy rate so we ask for this payment as often we have turned down many other enquiries.We are a small hotel and don't have the flexibility of a huge resort.

Again the reviewer didn't like our 5% service charge which all goes to our lovely staff many have been with us for a long period and if we are successful we like them to share in the sucess.
Incidentally of the other hotels in the top ten on TA all charge 10% plus 7% govt tax.

6) On the subject of toiletries being replenished.I would like to ask how many hotels has anybody stayed (including 5 stars) where mouthwash is included in the toiletries.I have travelled extensively and only found it on the odd occaision.As for not being replenished, we added it as a novelty value and it is quite expensive.

7) The reviewer states the breakfast's were bad.Well all we can say is please read the vast majoirity of our reviews where the comments are very good.

8) Airport returns not offered.We offer free airport pick up where most samui hotels charge.I don't know of any that offer free returns.It is sometimes unfortunate when a reviewer only comes to Samui and stay's with us and has no yardstick for comparison.
Also if we have time we have taken many guests back to the airport free of charge.Acually these guests were on the promotion flight @ 6.00 which means a 04.45 departure.

9)The comment that we cut corners is most annoying as this is certainly not the case.For example on New Years Eve we cancelled our usual party as it was a dismal rainy evening.However we told all our guests we would have fireworks at midnight if it wasn't raining.We then provided 10000 baht worth of fireworks for most of the guests with virtually no income from the evening.
Unlike many hotels we don't have compulsory Christmas or new year dinners.
Incidentally the reviewer should remember on New Years Eve we provided glasses and an ice bucket for his Chapagne on the decking watching the fireworks with no corkage charge

10) There is a bedside lamp in their room, I cannot understand the comment.

11) We accept that our beach is not marvellous and our pool is not large and make no secret of the fact.It is mentioned on our site and many reviews.However it is generally quiet with no hawkers bothering you like on the busier beaches.
The reviewer commented on our river.Regular guests know it has a life of it's own and meanders over the beach in various directions.However in November when we had a week long period of heavy rain it rushed down from the mountain and through the beach(only the second time in 5 years).Subsequently we had difficult beach access for a few weeks so we built a little wooden bridge in a couple of hours for the guests convenience.We will remove it shortly.For the past 3 days we have had a digger moving sand to fill in where the river was.The river is now in a completely different place to when the reviewer was here.

I hope we have answered the reviews queries sufficently.As for prices here on checkout the reviewers account was under 100 baht!Therefore I must presume he was only commenting on our room rates.

Robin
The waterfront
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2009

We have just returned from a fantastic Honeymoon to Thailand. The second part of our stay was spent on Ko Samui at the Waterfront Hotel in Bophut. We chose this hotel given the high ratings it receives on Tripadvisor and we were not disappointed.

The hotel is small and reasonably basic (it is NOT a luxury five star hotel) - however we found it to be clean, very comfortable and loved the luxurious touches - orchids left on our bed every day, really good breakfast included in the hotel price, cold flannels brought to us when it got hot round the pool etc.

The breakfast had a great choice and the food was always really good. Food was also available all day until early evening. We ate there most lunchtimes and found the quality to be high and the prices to be very reasonable.

The owners, Robin and Sue were so friendly and went out of there way to make sure that all the guests were well looked after. The other staff were also really friendly and pleasant and were helpful in arranging trips for us.

Given that the hotel is small, it felt very intimate and we got to know several of the other guests fairly well, which was really nice.

We spent Christmas day at the hotel and were pleasantly surprised. Sue and the staff had gone to a lot of effort - we got a small christmas gift in the morning, were served bucks fizz and then had a full sit-down turkey Christmas lunch (which tasted really good!). The rest of Christmas was spent drinking with the other hotel guests well into the evening. We had a fantastic time.

Bophut is a really nice place to stay. The beach isn't the best on the island and for that, we went to Chaweng. However, Bophut has managed to maintain some charm and has not been over-developed. The restaurants are very good and the resort has a quiet, romantic atmosphere.

We intend to return to Thailand to travel round this beautiful country some more and would hope to drop back in at the Waterfront!

  • Liked — The location, the people, the attention to detail which made our stay special
  • Disliked — Nothing really - the beach isn't the best, but we were aware of this before we booked.
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank NewMrsDickinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2008

Great little property, right on the edge of Bophut, very quiet, just the way my wife and I like it.

While it's definitely not the Ritz, the Waterfront is beautiful, comfortable and we definitely enjoyed our stay here a great deal. The food is great (breakfasts are excellent!), Robin and Sue are really warm and welcoming and the staff are extremely attentive, while allowing us all the privacy we wanted/needed.

The Waterfront is also a 3 min walk to the heart of Bophut, where all the restaurants and bars are, but even then, it's not terribly noisy. In our experience, this is far from party town, and that was exactly what we were looking for.

Only complaint, if any, was the lack of a real(any) beach, but I'd say that would be a wide comment on the whole of Bophut, and not just The Waterfront.

EW

p.s - we arrived the night that the protesters left Bangkok airport, so it may have been extra quiet due to the slowdown in tourists that have to get to Samui via Bangkok

  • Liked — Location, Food, Serenity, Value
  • Disliked — Lack of Beach
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank eugewong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Waterfront

Property: The Waterfront
Address: 71/2 Moo1, Bophut, Ko Samui 84320, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui > Bophut
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in Bophut
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Bophut
#12 Romantic Hotel in Bophut
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — The Waterfront 3*
Number of rooms: 18
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

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