Hosted a wedding here in March but didn't want to be hasty in my review as there were some outstanding issues to be resolved.
Firstly I have to agree with all the positive comments regarding the views, the premises are outstanding and in an enviable location which benefits from stunning sunsets. The staff are very friendly and despite my issues they were always polite and respectful.
Food served at the reception was amazing as was the breakfast. I did have lunch at Flames once which was just a pizza and while good it did seem a little pricey. However, a short 5 min walk along the beach (right as you face the sea) takes you to nice local restaurant which serves tasty food at lower prices.
My main issues with the resort lies in the planning and organisation of the wedding, coordination and communication was severely lacking. Several promises were made only to be later retracted after the deposit had been paid, which was especially disappointing as I was nervous about having a destination wedding and false promises was something I specifically wanted to avoid so chose the InterContinental as a trusted international brand.
The original wedding planner resigned a couple of months before the wedding date which is always great to hear, but I suppose these things happen. However I would have expected appropriate procedures to be in place to allow for a smooth transition, instead we had to reiterate our plans (driven entirely by myself) with her replacement who clearly had little to no experience in weddings/event planning. To be clear, I don't blame her for this as I'm sure she tried her best but she did not seem trained for the role as evidenced by the fact she had no authority and would need to check or seek guidance on several queries. My experience of events manager is someone of intimate knowledge of what the resort can offer and with sufficient authority to at least negotiate at the first instance.
I won't bore everyone with the details and don't feel it's appropriate or fair to do so here, however it ultimately led to an unsatisfying and stressful experience. However, at the time I held my tongue for fear of reprisals but having since raised my concerns feel this was a mistake as they have tried to address my concerns and provided refunds on disputed points. I now feel they are genuinely disappointed the service was not better and perhaps if I had been more vocal from the start some of the stress could have been avoided. So I guess I didn't do myself any favours here and will put my hand up to that fact.
Ultimately, the wedding was "ok" and all the guests had a great time, but it could have very easily been phenomenal. Would I recommend the resort as holiday destination and as a wedding venue? Definitely. Would I recommend their wedding or events planning service? Unfortunately not, at least for now I would strongly advise on an experienced and independent wedding planner.
I knocked a star for value as I do feel the resort's charges are excessive in places, for example they offer a hotel taxi to Bophut for THB 1,500 or they'll call a local taxi for THB 1,200 however at a resort next door it was only THB 800. In addition, the resort quoted THB 2,000 for an airport transfer but my locally hired minibus driver charged THB 800 (for perspective, the airport is about 15 mins from Bophut). This is of particular note, not that I think the resort's clientele can't afford the charges but while the location offers exclusivity through seclusion it also makes it less accessible to the rest of the island so feel they could do more for their guests here, i.e. offer more competitive rates or take a much reduced booking fee for externally provided services.
A second star was knocked for my personal experience, however further to my resolution with the hotel I was offered a couple nights free as a gesture of goodwill. If I ever take them up on the offer I'm pretty sure I'd have an entirely different experience as a guest (as mentioned all my guest had a great time), however google is telling me they are currently about 8,647.5 miles away which is a bit far for a weekend break so for now I guess I'll keep on dreaming...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam is renowned for its legendary status as Koh Samui’s first ever luxury resort. Nestled on a dramatic cliff of Taling Ngam, with spectacular views over the bay and the neighboring Five Islands. The resort features chic and innovative dining, seven swimming pools, 79 beautifully appointed rooms, suites and villas including the iconic Beachfront Pool Villas. Baan Thai Spa and the famed Air Bar complete the picture ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Baan Taling Ngam Hotel Taling Ngam
- Baan Taling Ngam Resort And Spa
- Hotel Baan Taling Ngam
- InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort Ko Samui, Asia