I've been here three times over the last few years, this last visit on honeymoon.
I still think that it is in the best possible location on the island between the two main cities, Chaweng and Lamai, with it's own wonderful, semi-secluded beach set in a beautiful bay. 5 minutes in either direction and you are in either town, depending on what you feel like doing on that day. Younger people will most likely spend all their time in Chaweng, while the most others will prefer Lamai.
The venue itself is great, with a jungle setting, bungalows between the trees, and enough space between bungalows to a afford a little privacy. The resort is clearly geared towards relaxation, as all facilities shutdown at 10pm, bar included - which can be frustrating.
The newly renovated swimming pool is fantastic, a meter 20 meters from the ocean.
The rooms themselves are a nice and clean, although not going to win any stars on the hotel star scale. Furniture is a little outdated, we had one of those 1980's massive TV's in our room (although the room I was in last year had a flat screen). The TV's reception was completely out, but on notifying reception someone came down to sort out the issue. A/C was working sufficiently well, and there is a computer with internet in the room. A stocked fridge is always and additional bonus, with fridge charges being the same as at the restaurant - also a welcome surprise.
Bathroom is clean and functional, although taking a shower is an adventure on its own with a couple of seconds of hot water... then just cold... jiggle the facet... some more hot water... etc. But then, who goes to a tropical island, beaches and pools, and then needs to spend a hour in the shower... so this wasn't a huge problem for us.
The restaurant/bar is good... not the best food I've ever had, but everything on the menu was palatable. I really enjoyed the Thai dishes, but don't bother ordering a steak or pizza, remember where you are. I enjoyed the breakfasts, which are included with the room... not a huge selection of fruits/breads/cereals, but if you like a little fruit and a traditional American breakfast (coffee, eggs, bacon, toast) it's great. The food and beverage prices at the resort are reasonable, and really cheap when compared to other hotels.
Service is a little less great. The staff there are tired, no one speaks English and it is sometimes frustrating dealing with them. Overtime, you get used to it, but if you're there for just a couple of days or in a rush, it will become irritating. They do smile, are friendly, and try to understand and help you, and at worst, when ordering a meal, you just have to point at the item on the menu (which is in English). Ordering drinks was never a problem though.
Of the 12 days we stayed here, we easily spent 4 whole days in the resort, with enough to do to keep us busy, and lets not forget the Thai massage team on the beach. You can easily lose half a day being pampered by them!
Overall, it's not a 5 star establishment, but it is beautiful, peaceful and quiet - and conveniently located. I can honestly say that I always leave this resort + island completely relaxed, and thoroughly enjoy my visit. Given the room rate and it's location, I don't think it is unreasonable and I will go back any time, hopefully again this year.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Crystal Bay Yacht Club sits on a small but perfect beach on the Island of Koh Samui in Thailand. The calm warm crystal clear sea, powder soft white sand and beautiful tropical gardens make this location truly special. The resort consists of 43 bungalows all set in over 12,000 square meters of lush tropical gardens. Many species of birds and butterflies can be seen enjoying the natural surroundings. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Samui Yacht Club Hotel Lamai Beach
- Samui Yacht Hotel
- Crystal Bay Yacht Club Ko Samui/Lamai Beach