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“Small hotel, terrible beach”

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Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa
Ranked #6 of 51 Hotels in Lamai Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 May 2012

Small hotel on a small plot of land; lots of rooms and several pool villas.
Small pool area (only one pool with place for some 50 people)
No sun loungers on beach (terrible beach, extremely shallow, muddy ground).
Pool villas are nice and spacious, with Nespresso machine and ipod station; DVD player.
Beach front villas even provide ipod touch: however, neighbours may play loud music.
Pool villas offer sufficient privacy.
Plenty of other pool villas available on Samui (well, Thailand); but privacy is often an issue.
Part of the stone floors around plunge pools are extremely slippery when wet.
Tropics - one needs a lot of water. 6 bottles per villa. very good.
Beds are soft, I'd say too soft. imagine a soft version of Westin heavenly bed.
Baby cots (standard Starwood issue) do not have bedding or pillows for safety reasons. take your own stuff.
Lots of different lights in villas. new hotels starting labelling lights to avoid confusion.

Breakfast is average. A la carte options have to be paid.
No french cheese (danish varities of brie and blue cheese), terrible croissants (meridien is of french origin).
Few healthy options.
Food is average as well. Burger was terrible (tiny piece of beef, beyond well done although we ordered medium)
Thai food is ok. Expensive, in particular drinks; we always order ice water in the tropics; they several times tried to give us bottled water instead (distilled water at 2 euro per bottle - no way).
Service is mediocre. One evening you get bread basket, other night you don't; no salt/pepper on table, etc.
Once guy cleared our table from other customers dishes with promise to be back right away. We had to wait 15 minutes and ask again someone else to bring us menus.
Rate had 25% F&B discount. Was supposed to be "automatic"; well, we had to remind them several times. Some alcoholic beverages apparently not included. very confusing.
Platinum benefit: one free drink per day - staying in a 5 star international hotel and having to beg for free drink (by the way, I am Platinum. pls make sure this drink is free....) - very bad.
Wines very expensive. They would have corkage fee though. Offer 5 different white wines by glass - well only one wine is actually available. bad chardonnay.
Did I mention that beach is terrible? Plastic pier is pointless. Impossible to swim anywhere.
Other part of Lamai beach is ok.
Walk to Silver beach - simply turn right from hotel, walk max 10 minutes.
We took taxi. 200 baht for 1 minute drive? ripoff. hotel staff seem to prefer certain taxi drivers.
we also went to the Cliff restaurant - see separate review - 200 baht to get there. but only 100 baht return trip.
There is a restaurant on beach, left of hotel. food is alright.
We also went to Renaissance hotel for dinner - terrible - see separate review.
Anyway, after several times staying on Samui, I cannot recommend it. Best to take ferry to Ko Tao or go to the Philippines if you want great beaches.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank RolandShanghai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Le_Meridien_Koh_Samu, General Manager at Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 25 May 2012

Dear RolandShanghai,

We regret to learn that you did not enjoy your stay at our property nor the island in general.

To further clarify some of your observations, Le Meridien Koh Samui is situated on 9 rai (over 3.5 acres) of land. Our main swimming pool is 320 sq meters overlooking the ocean but we have another 3 semi-private pools available to guests who book our Pool Access Suites. Several of our double sunbeds by the pool are right on top of the beach border with fantastic views while bean bags on the 224-meter Ocean Pier allow for lounging and sunbathing on the water. The hotel also offers daily roundtrip shuttles to 2 nearby coves for guests enjoyment and discovery, particularly if here for a lengthy stay. To give a little more information about the Ocean Pier however, it is also used for what we call "experience dining" and special occasions as it is a unique and memorable venue for dinners and weddings.

In the rooms, unfortuantely you felt that the beds were a bit too soft and for this we apologize. We certainly could have added in a bedboard to improve firmness and do hope that you were not too uncomfortable during stay.

As for the restaurant offering and service, we are just releasing 2 new menus for lunch and dinner, separately the 1 menu currently available. The breakfast buffet is rotated on a daily basis, including French cheeses, so we apologize if some of your favorite items were not available each day. We are very happy to learn about guest preferences and will do what we can to accommodate when possible. Your other comments pertaining to service inconsistencies will certainly be reviewed in full detail by the team and we thank you for giving us your comprehensive feedback. I do hope that we were able to rectify some of the issues while here but naturally, we prefer to be able to get them right the first time. Again, our apologies for any inconveniences caused.

If you do decide to continue your returns to Koh Samui in the future, please do let me know. I will be more than delighted to personally assist with your reservation and ensure that the stay is a very smooth and comfortable one. Hopefully, you will also find that most of the issues highlighted are improved or gone.

Sincerely,
Tina

Tina Liu
General Manager

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Reviewed 3 May 2012

Stayed at Le Meridien for a 4 days vacation early May. Was not what I expected and not what I beklieve one can expect from Le Meridien. Let's start with the positive points first : the place is new, well maintained, the staff is friendly and the service is good, although the maintainance of the room could be better.
Now for where it did not satisfy me :
1. there is only one restaurant and it is not air-conditioned. The temperature can be unbearably hot at day time and very stuffy at night. The wind seldom blows into the hotel and even when it does, the constructions, too close to each other, make it a very stuffy place alltogether. Difficult to enjoy a good meal with good wine under such circumstances. For my wife and me, we like to treat ourselves to some fine dining and wining when on holidays, but how to enjoy a good glass of wine when the temperature is at 35 degrees and the air is saturated with humidity, with no breeze and barely a small fan blowing a little bit of air in the wrong direction. We ended up avoiding the hotel's restaurant throughout our stay, except for the first eve !
2. the sea is unfortunately the worse you can get on Koh Samui. As far as you can reach out, and for the whole stretch of the northern part of Lamai beach where the hotel sits, the water is very shallow with no currents, hence filthy. This is the only such beach in Koh Samui. What a pity that Le Meridien choose this location to build its hotel. One of the things you would definitely look for, especially when with kids, when coming to Koh Samui are the nice beaches. THere are plenty of them but you need to take a car, rent a bike or take a cab to go there. Not ideal. No wonder there is no other top rated hotel on this part of Lamai beach!
3. we had a pool villa. Price is around 500 USD per night. For that price, you'd expect them to maintain your place nicely, and in particular, to come and sweep the floor and clean your private pool after the mid afternoon storm, usual at this time of the year. But no, it all stays as is till the next morning. So either you clean it yourself, picking up by hand all the dead leafs, flowers and other branches that fell into the yard and pool from the wind and rain or you swim amidst it, which is not very pleasant !
In conclusion, for the price I paid, and for the expectations I had from all my various stays in Le Meridien hotels around the globe, I was really disappointed. Felt cheated. And really regretted not having chosen another place to stay, given that there are so many on this island where for definitely not more a cost, you get a nice beach with wonderful blue sea, an air-conditioned restaurant for the least.

Room Tip: Paying for the private pool villas is not worthy.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank frenchguyinkl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Le_Meridien_Koh_Samu, General Manager at Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2012

Dear frenchguyinkl,

We are sorry to hear that you were disappointed with your stay on several levels.

In regards to the location, Le Meridien is actually located in the midst of popular sightseeing attractions on the southern coast of island as well as nightlife on the eastern coast. While we are the only 5-star hotel on this stretch of beach, there are other 5-star hotels in the Lamai area. Luxury resorts are completely spread out on each coast of Samui so it really depends on what the traveler is looking for as there is no one premium area or beach where several are located. Chaweng is probably the best known beach but without any cluster of luxury internationally branded hotels. Tides this time of year are low everywhere around the island and many beaches are facing the same predicament. As options however, we have started a daily shuttle that takes guests to/from 2 nearby coves where the water is a bit deeper. The natural reef about 1 kilometer out also doesn’t help but it does provide for beautiful sea life and kids normally enjoy the fish feeding activities off our ocean pier. More often than not though, tides are higher during the year for guests to enjoy.

Unfortunately, this experience was compounded by the unusually hot weather and storms that we had the week you were here. Even in Bangkok, temperatures were reaching highs well over 40 degrees Celsius so we certainly understand your discomfort and apologize that air conditioning was not available in our Latest Recipe restaurant. This is something that we will certainly consider and work toward improvement. In the meantime, Latitude 9 offers a Tapas menu and is air-conditioned. We certainly could have been flexible to serve dinner there so again, our apologies for any discomfort caused.

Your villa partially outdoors would certainly have been affected by the strong winds but the lack of service provided in clearing this when attending to room in evening will be revisited. Having a private pool means the ability to access at all hours, even at night, so we will certainly have this area cleared as part of turndown service. Please rest assured that your comments have been shared with the team to ensure that these procedures are not overlooked.

We regret that this holiday fell below your expectations while the weather during stay certainly did not help. However, we hope that this experience will not mar your impressions of the Le Meridien brand, particularly as you mentioned being happy with the service and associates in general. As mentioned through direct contact, please do consider staying with us again on a future visit and I will be delighted to personally assist with your reservations.

Sincerely,
Tina

Tina Liu
General Manager

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Reviewed 2 May 2012

The resort is in a beautiful setting,green, very relaxing and quiet.Took a pool access room which was really nice, away from the main pool.Unfortunately the beach is not great but if you want to take in the sun , relax and swim in a pool then you will be happy here, the main pool is a good size.Unfortunately there is only a one way shuttle to different parts of the island.The staff was friendly and helpful.The food was good and substantial in the restaurant.

Room Tip: Pool Access Room is quiet and private.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Vicky K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Le_Meridien_Koh_Samu, General Manager at Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2012

Dear Vicky K,

It is good to know that you were able to relax at our resort and enjoyed the flexibility in use of the hotel main pool and the semi-private pools of the pool acces suites.

At present, the hotel shuttles are indeed 1-way in to town. As guests who take advantage of this are very limited, the demand for return at set times is even less due to individual plans. We have however introduced daily round trip service to 2 nearby coves during the day for guests who would like to explore.

We will certainly continue to monitor requested times and destinations to best cater to guest preferences and appreciate your feedback.

Sincerely,
Tina

Tina Liu
General Manager

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Reviewed 2 May 2012

Samui is your basic tropical paradise. Sand, beach, water, gentile winds, and shacks on the beach selling satti and high priced drinks abound. Stayed here for a night, and loved it. Samui has zero high-rise resorts, which is nice.

The Le Meridian is at least 30 minutes from the airport, and 20 from town. It has bungalows and a few two story buildings. Staff is great, and the beach is spectacular. Aside from the long drive, my only complaints were the overly noisy air conditioner, and the fact that I was given a room with two twin beds. If you want to read a book in or by the pool all day, this is a great choice.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled on business
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Thank WorldTraveller550
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Le_Meridien_Koh_Samu, General Manager at Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 22 May 2012

Dear WorldTraveller550,

Thank you for taking the time to review our resort even with a one night stay. We are delighted that you found it "blissful!"

You are correct that there are no high rises in Koh Samui which keeps the island very intimate and relaxing. Most resorts here are also less than 100 rooms and the island itself is only 228 sq km with a 51 km ring road going around the island making exploration very easy!

Unfortunately, you did not get your preffered bed type for the night and the air conditioning was found to be too loud and for this we apologize. Please rest assured that regular maintenance is performed and we are in the midst of doing a full overhaul as well.

We hope that you will have the opportunity to return for a full experience of the resort and discovery of Koh Samui island!

Sincerely,
Tina

Tina Liu
General Manager

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Reviewed 1 May 2012

We stayed at the Meridien Koh Samui for a week in April. We were very happy with the hotel and, in particular, the level of service the staff provided(from manager down to the cleaning ladies and gardeners!). Rooms were great and the daily breakfast is awesome. The location of Le Meridien is great because its on the ring road (though you are removed from any road noise), which makes seeing the rest of the island easy. We rented a scooter (quick, easy and cheap way to travel around Koh Samui, and its fun!) and use that to travel around. The hotel is in Lamai, which we found to be much better for couples than the party / bar scene in Chewang.

If I went back to Samui, I'd definitely stay at the Meridien again!

Room Tip: You can stick with the garden view rooms as they are still very close to the pool and main restauran...
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank wt_2012_ss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Le_Meridien_Koh_Samu, General Manager at Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 2 May 2012

Dear wt_2012_ss,

It seems as though you really enjoyed the location and convenience of Le Meridien Koh Samui which offers so many benefits. Not only is it close to sightseeing attractions and nightlife, the hotel is situated near the main road for easy access off-site as well as hidden away enough to keep very private, all as you had highlighted. Even the resort layout allows for peaceful walks throughout the manicured landscapes and on the quiet beach.

Thank you for your tips shared and letting us know that you would definitely return to stay with us at Le Meridien if back in Samui!

Sincerely,
Tina

Tina Liu
General Manager

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Reviewed 30 April 2012

We had two verandah suits in April 2012. The hotel is located next to the Beach republic resort on the upper side of lamai beach. The beach itself is rather relaxed and has nothing special to offer in contrast to many other beaches on koh samui, but its a nice beach for a walk. The hotel is situated a little remote so you always have to take a taxi or motorcycle to get around, and as you might know that taxis are not cheap on koh samui. Its anyway best to have a rental car or a motorcycle for getting around the island.

First and above all, the resort has something many resorts of the same level are missing: it has a magical athmosphere and we felt like drifting into a timeless mixture of japanese, asia-pacific, and cuban flavour. The athmosphere reminded me of the japanese novels that play in the 18th century that deal with clans, arts, war, and love. I have rarely experienced this magical touch in any other resort or hotel. This might be a highly subjective experience but I was quite impressed of how well they manage to keep this athmosphere alive.

The service and the staff were extremely friendly and made every effort to made us feel welcome. For thai standards they spoke english very well and were very helpful.

The rooms are great from an athmosphere point of view, fairly large and well equippet. The outdoor shower is great and the verandah offers a fantastic place to relax.

The management is doing a fantastic job and I hope that they will be able to maintain the overall infrastructure (which will not be easy due to the many details and the beautiful but intensive in maintenance materials used).

Room Tip: The verandah suites offer a great value for the money. The pool is just a few steps away and there a...
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank SwissGlobalTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Le_Meridien_Koh_Samu, General Manager at Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 2 May 2012

Dear SwissGlobalTraveler,

Thank you for taking the time to share both your perspective about our service and facilties but put even more eloquently, the experience that it impressed upon you with magic and timelessness! Having our guests react this way about their stay is priceless. Le Meridien Koh Samui is indeed very different and thank you for noticing the details and finishes used at the resort which hopefully contributes to an environment in which guests feel warm and at home.

We certainly hope that you and your friends will return to recapture the magic soon!

Sincerely,
Tina

Tina Liu
General Manager

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Reviewed 28 April 2012

On our third night now....I took the plunge pool suite and my mom a pool access suite. Quite happy with the value offered from the stay 2 get the 3rd night free currently available. We enjoyed swimming in a small pool lagoon shared with only a few neighbours. Much less hectic and crowded compared to the main pool area. Staff were friendly and helpful, there are a few expatriate staff who helped out when language was an issue with the locals. Daily one for one happy hour drinks at the bar lounge was a big plus. The beach is what it is, non existent. The only real caveat was the fact that both rooms had poor air conditioning. Engineers came and filled up the freon etc, but alas to no avail. Probably needs a good round of serious maintenance. Rooms were spacious, outdoor bathroom ,and showers....outdoor lounge area. The hotel has one restaurant which is adequte enough, all in all an enjoyable trip. Easy access to both Lamai and Chaweng......

Pek Tan

Room Tip: Take the pool access rooms...you wont regret it, if not one with a plunge pool. Main pool area is a...
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank NomadicTrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Le_Meridien_Koh_Samu, General Manager at Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 2 May 2012

Dear Pek_Tan,

We are glad to learn that you and your family enjoyed the unique features of the 2 different room types booked. Even better that you felt that there was good value for money.

The resort location as highlighted, is on the south eastern coast of Samui and provides great convenience to many sightseeing destinations on the southern coast of island and to the nightlife on the eastern coast.

We apologize that the air conditioning wasn't working properly during your stay and our team will certainly have a more in-depth look seeing that you mentioned it was not completely fixed while you were here. Hopefully, you were comfortable enough in your room and we apologize for any discomfort caused. Please rest assured that we have do have a comprehensive maintenance program and schedule which does include attention to all the air conditioning units.

As you had enjoyed our resort facilities and service in general, we do hope that you and your family will return for another visit in the near future!

Sincerely,

Tina

Tina Liu
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa

Address: 146/24 Moo 4 | Surat Thani, Lamai Beach, Maret, Ko Samui 84310, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui > Maret > Lamai Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Lamai Beach
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Lamai Beach
#5 Luxury Hotel in Lamai Beach
#8 Romantic Hotel in Lamai Beach
#9 Family Hotel in Lamai Beach
Price Range: £122 - £357 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on an idyllic stretch of exclusive Lamai Beach, Le Méridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa is a chic and intimate resort with a unique blend of stylish amenities, luxury services, an inspiring atmosphere and rich, cultural experiences. Inspired by timeless beauty and diverse cultural influences, the resort features an intimate selection of 64 suites and 14 stand alone villas, some with their own private plunge pools, infinity pools, limitless ocean views and private dining pavilions. Each exquisitely appointed with the most modern in-room facilities, high ceilings, expansive windows and open-air bathrooms. The resort features the Le Méridien signature arrival experience programme; an inspiring restaurant concept: Latest Recipe; and the savvy lobby lounge bar Latitude 9, the resort poolside Plunge Bar as well as the world-class luxury Le SPA.Reflect and relax at the world-class luxury Le SPA, with a customized menu of rejuvenating experiences that combine ancient cultural methods and ingredients to revitalize mind, body and spirit. A beautiful oceanfront infinity pool and expansive deck offers a stylish daytime retreat for a refreshing swim with spectacular ocean views. Guests can stay fit in the state-of-the-art fitness center, offering the latest and best exercise equipment and daily Yoga and Pilates classes. Relax by day on the resorts 224-meter floating pier that extends over the Gulf of Thailand and by night, enjoy a unique and sophisticated venue for an exclusive dinner, celebratory cocktails or engage with other well travelled new friends. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort And Spa
Le Meridien Koh Samui Hotel Lamai Beach
Le Meridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa Ko Samui/Lamai Beach

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