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“Only dropped by for a drink but had a blast!”

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W Retreat Koh Samui
Ranked #6 of 30 Hotels in Mae Nam
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 June 2014 via mobile

It's quite far from Chaweng but it was worth the while to spend time there for a few drinks and enjoy the view. Best coconut shake and awesome mojitos. Their team makes you smile and the view is just as gorgeous as the photos you see online and even better!

  • Stayed: June 2014
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1  Thank Booboocruising
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 June 2014

I could go on and on about the Ton Hock Beng architecture, the spectacular view from the lobby, and the Alec Monopoly artwork on the 26-acre W Retreat, but the other Trip Advisor commenters have already festooned those retreat features with superlatives. Let me go straight to the heart of what makes the W Retreat Koh Samui experience so special - the enthusiastic and engaging staff.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by Bow with a smile and a purple butterfly pea drink. I almost tripped on the stairs leading up into the hallway while staring out at the mesmerizing view of the Gulf of Thailand and Koh Phangan.

One of Bow's co-workers greeted me in the lobby lounge area and gave me an engaging schtick about his trip to W headquarters in New York and his tour of Ellis Island. Emma Lazarus would have been proud to have heard his speech. I got a little misty-eyed when I thought about all "the huddled masses yearning to breathe free" in my own family who never sailed passed Lady Liberty, but disembarked from the bowels of a Liverpool steamer uneventfully in Boston several days before. Maybe I'm a sentimental chump, but I did enjoy his effort to engage me.

The co-worker also mentioned that he was from the Silom district of Bangkok. He enthusiastically asked me about clubbing at Maggie Choo's and partying in Bangkok during the week before arriving on Koh Samui. Then I remembered that I had made the mistake of handing my business card to the maitre d' at Maggie Choo's when she asked. I knew then that I shouldn't have handed her my card. But you should have seen her (or him?). I briefly felt like I had been data-mined and surveilled across Thailand by an algorithm with my name on it. Luckily the fine establishments in Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza are not in the Starwood Preferred Guest affiliate network yet.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Squaw, the unsung hero and switchboard operator of the W Retreat Koh Samui. I tortured poor Squaw with my room service requests and she rose to the occasion each and every time. I envisioned Squaw as the pregnant Native American woman in the movie "Little Big Man" who courageously gave birth during a U.S. cavalry raid. Squaw probably envisioned me as the stupid farang who couldn't flip a switch to get the villa sound system to play music off his iPhone. She also patiently explained the similarities between the terms 'chips' and 'fries' to some drunk guy who thought he had made a very reasonable "whatever/whenever' room service request.

The next morning I was greeted by Phrang on my way to breakfast at the Kitchen Table. 'Phrang' apparently means haystack in Thai, and melody in Chinese. During an escorted trip to the restaurant, Phrang gave me a quick lesson in the five tones of the Thai language and also recommended the W Signature Omelette for breakfast.

The wait staff at the Kitchen Table were all excellent, attentive and doting almost to a fault. After asking about a local newspaper in passing one morning, two of the wait staff made it their holy mission to find a copy of the Bangkok Post for me. In light of the fuss, I almost wished I hadn't asked for it; but I did really want to know about the protesters and military crackdown. They delivered a current edition of the newspaper within a half hour. The following day, the wait staff had a copy of the daily newspaper waiting for me as I arrived. Impressive.

After a long morning swimming laps at the Wet infinity pool, and a few Thai vocabulary lessons from the pool staff, I meandered down to the beach area of the resort. As a first-timer, I slowly came to realize that almost all Thais are deathly afraid of getting a suntan, and the tourists can't be bothered to venture out of their villas until sunset. This essentially meant that I had the entire beach area to myself. All the hammocks, all the beach chairs, and all the day beds were mine for the taking and 'selfies' in the making. After an employee scampered out to lay some towels on the day bed, chat awhile, and then ran away, I didn't see anyone else for a couple of hours. Perfect.

After a profoundly relaxing snooze on the beach, I walked over to the SIP Bar and got down to business. The staff at the SIP Bar are awesome. They made all the difference between a great stay and an awesome-amazing stay at the W Retreat. As soon as I arrived, the SIP Bar bar manager came over to introduce himself, welcome me and chat me up. He dropped back in from time to time to see how I was doing and chat me up some more.

Meanwhile, some of the bartenders taught me Thai slang expressions; and especially, the proper diminutive nicknames for their national, beloved Singha Beer. I was ordering 'Sing-lek' like a local in no time. Meanwhile, the waitresses were giving me Thai language tone lessons and schooling me on the important differences between 'kao suay' and 'kao neao.' They even let me order one of my favorite Thai dishes, Lop Gai, off menu. Whatever/whenever! Wow.

And for the record, the employee Oak was absolutely right when he told me that the Lop Gai is not 'a-roi mahk.' It is "Sep I-Lee Duuuuuhhhhhhh!"

Later on, Robert, the gentlemanly and professional F&B Director and resident Alpha Male, came over, introduced himself and chatted me up. At one point during our conversation, he asked me what I had planned. I told him "hopefully nothing at all." After a week of Koh Samui taxi drivers, the Koh Phangan song thaew mafia, and inter-island ferries and boat tours, I wasn't going anywhere, except back up to my ocean villa to smoke Monte Cristo #2 and Cohiba Siglo VI cigars and to drink more Black Label.

I could go on and on about how great the staff are at the W Retreat Koh Samui. But you get the picture.

Here's a word of advice to other first timers: learn at least 20 basic, rudimentary Thai expressions, understand basic sentence structure and how to form a question, learn 50 common vocabulary words, and be able to count to ten in Thai. It's easy. It's fun. It's incredibly useful everywhere you go. And it will make your trip a much better experience.

Kop Kun Kop Ashwani Bajaj and W Retreat Koh Samui!

Room Tip: I loved the view, sound system, and experience in Ocean Villa 243.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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5  Thank Paul H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WRetreat, General Manager at W Retreat Koh Samui, responded to this reviewResponded 2 July 2014

Dear Paul H,

We appreciate your very thorough review of W Retreat Koh Samui, glad we could provide an all round amazing experience. In particular we thank you for pointing out the contributions of Khun Bow, Rob, Tom, Khun Sunny and others in making this special for you- they work hard and acknowledgement makes all the difference.

Happy travels and we hope to see you back with us again soon.

Brian Segrave
General Manager

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Reviewed 8 June 2014

Felt very spoilt to be staying at the W Retreat, it was just amazing! The staff 'talent' were SO SO friendly, very helpful with service/advice. Do take time to talk to them as they give great stories and tips on what to see and do whilst in Koh Samui. Facilities were breathtaking; the Woo Bar had a funky vibe at night, a great place for drinks. Especially in the pods in the infinity pool. Pool facility was excellent, service there as well. The beach was lovely, although the water wasn't crystal clear as it is in some areas of Koh Samui. Plus you must wear rock-pool shoes into the water because of the rocks (these are provided). Food was great, breakfast buffet had a large variety of options. Every room comes with a private pool. It is very hilly, but staff have golf buggies to take you places, and are very happy to do so. Gym facilities are great, and we took a yoga class which was fun! Massages/facials were very pricey. Most definitely would recommend the W Retreat; even the concept of the W just enhances the experience. We stayed for 5 nights before going to Bangkok for 4 nights; we felt it was the perfect amount of time. Enjoy your stay!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank annierosewright
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WRetreat, General Manager at W Retreat Koh Samui, responded to this reviewResponded 2 July 2014

Dear annierosewright,

Thank you for posting such a detailed review. The talent are delighted to learn that you had an incredible stay with us, particularly enjoying WooBar, Away spa and food offerings.

Our team work hard to deliver Whatever/Whenever guest experience and I am so glad they exceeded your expectations in friendliness and helpful attitude.

All the best,

Brian Segrave
General Manager

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Reviewed 3 June 2014

We stayed at W for five days and it was undoubtedly a wonderful experience for my family.

First, we were greeted by a passionate staff who can speak Putonghua! The check in service was prompt and nice, the staff upgraded us to Tropical Oasis as this room was more safe and spacious.

Second, the staff at the Kitchen Table was nice and attentive, there was a wide variety of foods in breakfast buffet! My daughter left her jacket at the restaurant where we had breakfast and the staff returned it to us on the next day!

Third, the spa was great! We had an one hour massage there and it was one of the best massages we had in Thailand so far.

Not to mention that the view of the whole hotel was so nice, yet the sands on the beach was coarse and the water was not that clear (but no rubbish), the ambience was great!

The only drawback was its location, we could not walk around the surroundings as it was just too far away from the main road, it was a must to take shuttle bus or taxi to any other places, inconvenient in comparing to other Chaweng beach hotels. Transport was not a great problem for dinner (we went to Chaweng by shuttle bus) but for lunch, you have no choice other than room service and hotel F&B outlets, it was expensive and boring.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Hokay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WRetreat, General Manager at W Retreat Koh Samui, responded to this reviewResponded 2 July 2014

Dear Hokay,

Many thanks for sharing your recent experience at W Retreat Koh Samui. We appreciate your comments on our breakfast selections and spa. It is great to learn that you enjoyed your upgrade.

Looking forward to having you with us soon again,

Brian Segrave
General Manager

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Reviewed 29 May 2014

Spent 4 nights here between Bangkok and Hong Kong. As a tropical retreat, the W fits the bill perfectly -- beautiful beach, secluded rooms and peaceful/serene/quiet atmosphere. However, the service was not as polished as one might expect for a 5-star resort, and the food was disappointing (Thai lunch and dinner options were generally bland though American-style breakfasts were quite good). Overall I'd recommend and likely return if I do ever go back to Koh Samui, but this is more like a 4.5-star hotel than a true 5-star.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank BrandonM87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WRetreat, General Manager at W Retreat Koh Samui, responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2014

Dear BrandonM87,

Thank you for taking the time to share your impressions of W Retreat Koh Samui with the Tripadvisor community.

It was good to learn that you found the atmosphere, beach and breakfast offerings to your liking. I apologize for the service and food quality deficiencies you encountered; we will continue to focus on these to ensure a flawless experience on your next visit.

Best,

Brian Segrave
General Manager

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Reviewed 27 May 2014

Wonderful place for a good retreat. Received a warmth welcome from the staff of the retreat and had a good orientation of the place, the room and even the beach. Perfect place to spend a good personal time with your loved one. Nice view from the jungle oasis with partial sea view. Breakfast is good in The Kitchen and surprises are every morning with their own special fruit juices. Beach is not that terrific and sea is not clear but still a good place to rest and relax. Price is definitely high but not a place to miss if you really want to have personal time.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank Casey2312
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WRetreat, General Manager at W Retreat Koh Samui, responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2014

Dear Casey2312,

Thank you very much for taking the time to review your recent stay at W Retreat Koh Samui, It was great to learn that the welcome experience exceeded your expectations and you found the view and breakfast selections appealing.

We look forward to seeing you soon again at W.

Best wishes,

Brian Segrave
General Manager

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Reviewed 26 May 2014 via mobile

The first impression from the lobby. . Simply Wow... open lobby.. with round pool sitting( woo bar) n then the serene ocean.... lovely...
The property is uphill but buggy service extremely prompt...
The staff extremely polite.. eager to help.. exceptional service.. n theres a sweet spot.. with free cold drinks n ice creams.. could not be happy enough to c hagen dazz there....
In food.. not much veg options.. so dint try much.. but fisherman village a short drive.. n chaweng too not too far..
Now the retreats.. large spacious rooms.. n we stayed in jungle oasis.. the pool too good size.. nice ambience n well maintained. . Ipad docking system.. so it was our own pvt pool party...
Simply enjoyed...

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
Thank Swati G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WRetreat, General Manager at W Retreat Koh Samui, responded to this reviewResponded 31 May 2014

Dear Swati G,

Wow, many thanks for you excellent review- refreshing to learns that our service and facilities exceeded your expectations particularly our Welcome area and WooBar.

As you mention- and as discussed in prior reviews, the Retreat is built hillside with a somewhat steep topography. This is the case for the vast majority of luxury resorts in Koh Samui- while is allows for spectacular views to the ocean and we provide golf cart transportation around the resort- it can be a factor in destination selection.

I appreciate your feedback on vegetarian offerings in our restaurants, we will focus on this to ensure a range and quality is available at all meal periods.

Thanks again and I hope we see you soon again at W Retreat Koh Samui

Best,

Brian Segrave
General Manager

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Additional Information about W Retreat Koh Samui

Address: 4/1 Moo 1 Tambol Maenam | Surat Thani, Mae Nam, Ko Samui 84330, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui > Mae Nam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Mae Nam
#5 Spa Hotel in Mae Nam
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Mae Nam
#6 Luxury Hotel in Mae Nam
#6 Family Hotel in Mae Nam
Price Range: £449 - £982 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — W Retreat Koh Samui 5*
Number of rooms: 74
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On Koh Samui Thailand's most pristine beach whose golden sands give way to the Island's most idyllic sunsets, W Retreat Koh Samui is the quintessential escape, with 74 private retreats - each with its own dive pool. Explore new levels of refreshment at AWAY(R) spa, and enjoy insider access to worlds of culinary WOW at our 2 signature restaurants. Then wink your way across Samui's most scenic playground - WOOBAR(R) - where W lights up the night with peerless mixology, live DJs, and signature W Happenings celebrating our passion for fashion, music and design. Whether for a wedding or a wish, Whatever/Whenever(R) has arrived. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
w Retreat Koh Samui Hotel Mae Nam
W Retreat Koh Samui Ko Samui, Thailand

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