I was holidaying with some friends of mine, 3 of my friends arrived at the hotel 3 days before myself and my other friend arrived. Upon my arrival we waited 40 minutes to be seen to and were asked to sit down and wait for assistance...
Problem 1) After 40 minutes a member of staff explained to us that there was a problem with our booking, they had no rooms available for us for that evening. This was an error on there behalf. This was annoying as we had plans with our friends who were also staying at the hotel that evening. To rectify the problem they sent us to there sister hotel the Princess in Karon (which was ok but not great) for the night. They drove us to there sister hotel and gave us free breakfast the next morning. They also paid for my friends to get a taxi to Karon to meet us so we could continue our plans. Originally the next morning they wanted to pick us up/transfer us back to Secret Cliff at midday...which was rather late for ourselves...so we agreed they would collect us at 10am. They actually arrived at 10.30am....not a great deal of difference but I am making a point of this as they can be very slow at responding to jobs/queries. They also upgraded our room and put us next door to our friends which was fantastic. We were very happy with the outcome and as much as it was an inconvenience upon check-in it was a blessing in disguise :)
Problem 2) We decided to book our daytrip to the Phi Phi islands via the hotel (we had booked an elephant trek with the hotel and were very pleased and had a great day). All was well and we had a great day until upon leaving Bamboo Island (Part of Phi Phi islands) we found out we were heading back to Phuket. It was 3.30pm at this stage and were very confused as we had paid for an all day tour which was meant to finish at 8pm. It worked out that the hotel had booked us onto the wrong tour yet we had been charged for the more expensive all day/evening tour. The hotel had to issue us a refund as it was there mistake. Seems they only do the day into evening tour 3 days a week therefore, we were unable to do some things we had planned to do whilst on holiday which was annoying.
Problem 3) The receptionist tried to over-charge my friend and I for our return journey/transfer to the airport. The receipt stated the journey was for 2 people, she insisted she thought it was for more people. This took a while to sort out as it had already gone through there admin/system/.
Problem 4) Certain members of staff at the hotel (reception) speak little English and there was often miscommunication between ourselves and some staff members. Clearly this was one of the reasons that caused problem number 2 and 3 (above). If you needed assistance you would often have to ask 2 or even 3 times to get it sorted. My friends had no toilet paper for 2 days...the maid forgot to leave some and they telephoned reception at least 3 times and no one came. They had to use there own tissues until we gave them some from our room. We had a blocked toilet and they did come and fix it yet we had to telephone them 3 times. We also had no towels on two occasions as the maid forgot to leave us any...again we had to telephone several occasions.
Problem 5) The maid did a great job at cleaning and was pleasant however she was very thoughtless and forgetful. She would often forget to leave toilet paper and annoyingly would rarely leave clean towels! This was incredibly annoying. She would take the dirty towels away but would forget to leave clean ones. When she did leave clean towels she would leave an odd amount of towels such as 1 big towel, 1 flannel or 2 small towels and no big towels, some days she didn't even leave us any green beach towels or any towels at all and we would have to phone reception 2-3 times for some. It was a good job we took our own beach towels from home. The balcony was never cleaned which was a shame as wasn't great getting sand on our feet every morning, just a sweep once every 2 days would have been great.
Problem 6) Upon check out the maid insisted there was one beach towel (green) missing from our room...she said (translated via another member of staff) that she gave us 3 and she could only find 2. Why would she give us 3 towels when there was only 2 of us staying in the room everyday? and as I said she didn't even leave us towels some days! The maid was pretty rude and they wouldn't let us leave the hotel even though honest honest we were only given 2 towels...this made us late for the airport and the taxi driver had to drive very fast. They even made me go back to our room to search for the supposed missing towel....I was so angry when I left!! The staff just told us to leave and didn't smile or say thank you for staying....this annoyed me so much!! All over some towel the maid thought was missing. What happened to the customer is always right and it annoyed me that they didn't believe me when I said we only had 2 towels...as if we had stolen one or something. I know some people do steal hotel towels but we would not do that sort of thing, especially as we have our own from home and it wasn't even a decent towel. I was so angry when we left that we felt like it ruined our last few hours in Thailand. Upon this principal I wouldn't stay here again! Terrible customer service and making us late for the airport.
Problem 7) The taxi driver that took us to the airport on departure was a driver that worked at the hotel. Even though we were running late due to the hotel keeping us, he decided to take a detour and took us to a tourist food souvenir store and told us to go shopping for 10 minutes! Clearly hoping we would purchase something to gain commission or some payment of some sort.
Other problems/suggestions for improvement:
Rooms could do with a lick of paint...lots of scuffs and marks on the walls, the bathrooms should be tiled ceiling to floor as again dirty marks on the walls and some cracks in the walls / room service need to collect dirty plates regularly...we had dirty plates outside our room for 2 days!! / trees and plants need trimming around the pool...not much sunlight and branches and heavy fruit would fall off at random times...a branch even fell off next to my friends sun lounger...and it wasn't small and I am not exaggerating! / Need someone manning the pool bar - pool bar also needs background music (some days it would be on, others it wouldn't) / It is a very hilly complex so therefore isn't suitable for those with health problems. The location - you can not walk anyway, you need to get a taxi to either town...this can be annoying. / Room service - understand there are service charges when staying at this hotel...I was unaware of this / The free shuttle to and from Patong and Karon beach every day - one day we waited for the return shuttle bus from Patong...it never came so we had to get a tuk tuk back, we even waited early to ensure we wouldn't miss it.
The décor of the hotel its pretty beautiful, colourful, lots of natural wood, trees and flowers and plants. Its very beautiful. The décor of the rooms - again lovely design and very modern. Great views of the ocean and great view from the pool. / The restaurant onsite and the pizzeria...fantastic food!! everything is yummy and again beautiful views from the hotels restaurant...however its a little more pricey than that in the nearby towns. / The room was kept clean. / Certain members of staff were wonderful...a special thank you to Ya (hotel driver) who drove us around for 4 hours taking us on a mini tour...this was fantastic and cheap between 5 of us, much better value than paying for a tour with a random company! Ya was a pleasure and so eager to please and was very jolly. The management...they tried there best. Despite the issues and lack of thanks and rudeness upon leaving, Shirley was very warm and friendly and dap (male manager) was patient and speaks perfect English so is the person to speak to if you have any issues. The location...great views and close to both Karon and Patong, nice and peaceful. Generally the staff members were friendly and nice:) The free shuttle is also great ... most of the time.
I had a lovely stay, the hotel in general is lovely it just has many problems which need to be dealt with. It could be great if they improved/dealt with these issues. I would not stay here again due to the issues experienced and the location on the hill. I've never had so many issues in any hotel/hostel/campsite in the world before and its a shame.
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- Also Known As:
- Secret Cliff Resort & Restaurant Hotel Karon
- Secret Cliff Resort And Restaurant
- Secret Cliff Hotel
- Secret Cliff Resort Phuket/Karon