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“Very disappointed”

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Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort
Ranked #6 of 12 Hotels in Nong Thale
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 January 2014 via mobile

Stayed here for 2 weeks over the festive period.

Booked a package deal with Thomson on an all inclusive deal. Unfortunately AI does not mean AI at this hotel.

The spirits are all local brand for AI customers. At one stage they ran out of the local rum at the main bar and the bar staff wouldn't serve us Bacardi or Captain Morgan. Fortunately their colleague saw sense and we got Bacardi. AI also stops at 23:00 so if you want a drink after that you have to pay.

It felt like customers who were paying separately for their drinks got a better service - cocktail presentation and queue jumping. The hotel needs to remember that AI customers have already paid for drinks/food and should get equal service!

Food was generally below standard for a hotel of this calibre carrying the Sofitel name. The AI customer only got a very limited menu in the Italian Restuarant compared to those paying. Again, AI customers have already paid so should get the same choice/menu. Add this to the local spirits, made us feel like second class citizens.

The local town (10 minute walk) or Ao Nang (£10 taxi or tuk tuk) were great alternatives for food and drink.

As others have stated, there is a problem with pool bed availability. Set your alarm for 6:30 if you want one. Even then the pool attendant may swipe it from you and give it to someone who has obviously dropped him a tip.

The beach was quite disappointing and under utilised. Pool bar was OK but generally takes ages to get served.

We did find a couple of good members of staff. The nurse was also great when the wife got an infection on one if her eye lids. No charge to see the nurse or for the anti inflammatory tablets.

The wife was also very happy with the spa treatments.

Overall wouldn't return to this hotel but would definitely return to Thailand.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Peva99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RobinDeb, General Manager at Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 19 January 2014

Bonjour and Sawasdee Krab!

I thank you for your constructive feedback as every guest impression is valuable. I'm very sorry to hear that you we're disappointed during your recent stay.

We have taken serious note of your comments about the food quality in our restaurants and please rest assured that issues raised has been discussed with the entire management to avoid future occurrence.

Once again thank you very much and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future.

Sincerely,
Robin Deb

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Reviewed 11 January 2014

The best thing about this hotel are the amazing staff..they really cannot do enough for you and unlike other resorts they do not expect you to tip them every 5 mins.The hotel itself is beautiful and has the most amazing swimming pool however there is a huge shortage of sunbeds and towels which meant getting up at 5.30 to reserve .The rooms are great and the beds are so comfy.Be careful if using the minibar in the room as the drinks in this are not included in the all inclusive and even the water works out at £4 per bottle you can get bottles of water at the pool bar for free on the all inclusive.Breakfast is the best meal of the day with a massive selection to chose from..however it goes downhill after that and lunch every day consists of fries and burgers with a couple of Thai salads thrown in...dinner is usually the same at whichever restaurant you chose.There is a shuttle bus to the different towns every day mainly to Ao Nang and Krabi own both worth a visit.Just book the shuttle one way as it is easier and cheaper to get a red taxi back..an experience in itself and cheap.Entertainment...none apart from a very good New Year there is only one bar at nightime with a karaoke and that is it.Much better to go to Paddy's Bar a few yards down the road.Do not miss the boat trips to the islands Phi Phi is really beautiful.All in all it was a beautiful holiday and I would defo go again..but not at Christmas and defo not all inclusive as unlike the Carribean they have not got it quite right yet..worth a visit though.

Room Tip: don't go all inclusive..good restaurants out of the hotel and cheaper. Ask for pool view room 11...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank lana d d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christian S, General Manager at Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 14 September 2014

Bonjour "lana d d",

Thank you for your review on trip advisor.

Hope to see you soon back in Krabi.

Kind Regards,

Robin Deb
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2014

I wish I could give this a 5*, a beautiful hotel and very peaceful! but a few things let it down! We had a fantastic holiday though.

Positives:
-The pool is huge.
-Pool swim up bar.
-Drinks and cocktails great (even on all inclusive).
-Peaceful location (we did not want yo be in a busy town).
-ability to get a long tail boat to the local islands from the beach (2000 baht for full day private trip to local islands).
- reasturants have good food (buffet only ok)

Negatives;
-Sun beds are near impossible to get. By 7am you will not be able to find a sunbed, all are "booked" but not actually used until around 11 - very annoying!!! Not worthy of a 5*.
-We had bad experience on check in as Hotel said we were half board but Thomson booking was all inclusive. All hotels/companies make mistakes or have issues, but it's how they deal with them that defines if they are a good hotel in my view... They refused to accept we were all inclusive, even after Thomson rep called them and confirmed. They insisted on waiting for email confirmation before even letting us get a drink! The lady was also very rude (she didn't care), but here manager was great once we spoke to her. Not a great start after a 13 hour flight.
- breakfast was great, apart from lack of fresh fruit

Overall a great place to use as a base to explore the area, but with so e drawbacks.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
2  Thank pete_wright16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RobinDeb, General Manager at Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 January 2014

Bonjour and Sawasdee Krab,

Thank you for your constructive feedback. I truly appreciate your time and effort to share your thoughts about your experience at Sofitel Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort.

We regret that your experience did not meet your expectations during your stay with us. We are currently in our on going projects and the issue about the sunbed situation is on our top priority list.

Addition to this, your comment about during check in, the issue had been forwarded to the Front Office Department. Sofitel takes pride in its standard of service excellence and any lapse is always immediately looked into and addressed by the management to ensure continuous improvement of our products and services.

It is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future.

Sincerely,
Robin Deb

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Reviewed 9 January 2014

Sofitel Krabi is located in the middle of nowhere at the end of an unsealed road next to what you might call a beach. The room we stayed in was gigantic, with partial views of the pool and sea. It constantly smelled a little damp and moldy. The TV could be an antique. The electric outlets seemed to cut out at random. The shower varied in temperature every few seconds and had a poor flow.

The WiFi connection is abysmal. After multiple calls and then spending 30 minutes with someone from IT we finally got a second device connected. You have to sign in again every 2 hours. Don't even bother trying to view webpages with pictures.

The service from all staff was excellent, although sometimes language was an issue. The concierge is excellent but will charge more for the same services you can find elsewhere.

The pool is gigantic but clean which means you can escape the hoards of young children a little more easily.

The worst though is the food. I suppose you shouldn't expect much from a resort but at the prices they were charging it was very poor quality. Most food is served cold, with odd or poor flavors and the variety isn't impressive. One night we went to the Indian/Italian buffet and were charged 1300 baht each for a very mediocre spread of lukewarm dreck. This could have gotten us 10 pizzas from room service. 300 baht for a coke? Please.

Get an excellent massage from the dodgy looking place next door for a tenth of the price the resort is offering.

  • Stayed: January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank mongopudding
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RobinDeb, General Manager at Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 January 2014

Bonjour and Sawasdee Krab,

I thank you for your constructive feedback as every guest impression is valuable. I am very sorry to hear that you were disappointed during your recen stay.

Please rest assured that issues raised has been discussed with the entire management to avoid future occurrence.

Again, thank you for the comments which will help us in our on going efforts to improve our services and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future.

Sincerely,

Robin Deb

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2014 via mobile

We arrived from Koh Yao Noi by boat. During our trip, the driver called the hotel front desk to tell them we would arrive by the beach with the boat with big luggage so someone should come over and help for the luggage. Once we arrived on the beach, the staff was not here. Only security guys were there and seemed to not understand. We had to take our luggage from the boat ourselves. That was the first dissapointment. Then we checked-in and everything went pretty well. We had thai matket dinner and the foid was good but a bit overpriced for the limited choices. The following morning, we needed to check out early because we had to catch the plane at Krabi airport at 9:20am. We had breakfast at 6:45am and the service aweful. Obviously there were no guests but the breakfast starts at 6:30 am so they should have been ready. The 2 waiters seemed not very polite and obviously they did not want to be there at that time... Anyway we ate our breakfast and headed to check-out. The lady from the front office (Bow) was not clear at all. She asked me to pay for the room even though I had the Accor Hotel voucher saying that I already paid for the room. We argued and she seemed a bit rude while I wanted explanations. Anyway I paid for the extra (dinner). Then she seemed very irritated, she did not thanked us. The past day, we booked a car with the front desk for 7:30am to go to the airport. We waited for the car to come and the driver was 20-minute late. The front desk was telling me he was on the way...we were so upset as we were running out of time and would probably miss the flight. Finally, the driver was almost 30-minute late. As we were upset, he drove very very fast and dangerously to the aiport. Usually, one way to the airport from the Sofitel takes 40 minutes. We were there inless than 25 minutes... We visited lots of Sofitel (Angkor temples, Phnom Penh, etc.) and this one was the worst.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank ShenMueFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RobinDeb, General Manager at Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2014

Bonjour and Sawasdee Krab,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback at the Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort. I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations and in that regard allow me to express my sincerest apologies.

We, at Sofitel, strive to provide the highest standard of service therefore your feedback is invaluable to us. Please rest assured that we have taken good notes of your comments and are looking into appropriate measures to address the problems to related departments in order to avoid this happening in the future.

We appreciate your time in sharing your concerns, and we do hope that you will give us the opportunity to welcome you again soon.

Sincerely,
Robin Deb

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2014

Prior to our stay I had been reading trip advisor reviews weekly and felt confident that we had chosen a great hotel for our stay. We were a group of four that stayed for 8 days.

I will start with the pros of the this hotel first:

1. It is a beautifully presented hotel with an instant wow factor upon entering the lobby. The colonial style and airy feel to the place immediately puts your mind into holiday mode.

2. The rooms are lovely and everything you could ask for; big, spotless, comfortable bed, great air con, lovely balcony and for those that have travelled a fair bit would know a separate shower and bath is a god send!!

3. The activities board is a great initiative for the hotel. We undertook a few of these activities during our stay and they were well planned and had great participation with other guests. Highly recommend the aqua aerobics- the instructor is great!!

4. The buffet breakfast is fantastic and truly has everything you could ask for spanning from eggs/bacon to traditional thai noodles. Never was there a shortage of food and the service was impeccable.

5. The choice of eateries were fantastic- we ate at every location and don't have a bad word to say about any of them. Yes, they are pricey and very similar to Australian prices, but this is not unexpected when eating at a hotel vs the street.

6. Much to the general view of others, I found the Location of this hotel to be perfect. There is a tuk tuk stop right outside the hotel and with a fixed rate of 500 baht to ao nang one way, you can't go wrong- especially when dividing this by four. Down the street there are great local restaurants, a few mini-marts and fantastic massage parlours (highly recommend yatavee). Outside the beyond hotel is also a currency exchange, though the reception desk does this also. The hotel is about 25 mins for ao nang, but I was so grateful not to be so close to the hussling streets of ao nang, it is nice to visit but I wouldn't stay there.

7. The pool of this hotel is wonderful!! Big is the only way to describe it! You never feel on top of other guests so you can happily paddle away in your own space. The pool bar is also great.

8. The So day spa located at the hotel was brilliant. Don't expect the cheapness of the street that's for sure, but compared to Australian prices it was worth it. There has been a lot of thought put into this spa and we thoroughly enjoyed our 3 hour session.

Now for the disappointments of the hotel. While they are few, unfortunately it really ruined the experience for me and my fellow travelers. Unless the hotel manages this closely, I would be thinking twice if I return.

1. The pool chair situation is an absolute disaster and for a 5 star luxury resort, completely unacceptable. There is a very clear sign at the entrance of the pool that says reserving is not allowed and that guests will take priority, but no one to enforce this, so guests will make their own choice. I will recount each of our pool sagas to give you an idea..

- Day one we woke reasonably early (8.30) and headed down to the pool, only to find that every chair had been reserved with something as little as a rubber thong. Out of the 300+ chairs, only four of them were occupied with guests, the rest were vacant, but reserved. We circled and circled until we came across three loungers that had only towels on the chairs and decided to sit. About two hours after we were met with two very angry faces who made it very clear that we had taken their chairs and for the entire day we were made to feel awkward, uncomfortable and guilty as though we had done something wrong. I was not impressed.

- Day two, for risk of not getting a seat my sister and I succumbed to waking early (6.30am) and going down to select seats. The pool chairs were 90% reserved at 6.30am- we couldn't believe it!! We luckily found four that had no towels and completely unoccupied, parked our stuff and then headed for a quick breakfast before returning straight to the pool. At 9.30am we got approached by two other guests and questioned around why we took these seats when they were clearly reserved as they had placed a black cap on the chair!! We couldn't believe it!! Not only did we have to justify that the seats were unoccupied, we also had to convince these guests that we did not steal their black cap. Interestingly this same man was seen wearing a black cap in the pool later in the day!

- Day three, whilst we were forced yet again to wake early, we secured seats. After deciding to leave the pool early at around 1pm, we had four people flock straight to our chairs whilst we were still packing up and sit down just to secure the seats.

I was so annoyed with this whole situation. Not only has the sofitel enabled this to happen they are also creating unnecessary kindergarten disputes between their guests which is totally unacceptable. I have stayed in many luxury resorts across the world and never has this been a problem- every resort has had this well managed except this one.

2. Whilst this is not the fault of the Sofitel it is worth mentioning that every day at 5am there is a call to prayer at a close by mosque that lasts about 10 minutes. It woke me every morning until I invested in ear plugs... Highly recommend the ear plugs if you are a light sleeper.

3. There definitely should be a free transport service offered by the hotel. We dined at lae lay grill and hilltop bar and also did thai cooking school and without question they offered to take us back to the hotel free of charge. If smaller businesses can offer this service then a massive resort should be offering this same service- not at the beck and call of their guests, but at set times each day there should be a service destined to and from ao nang.


Overall I was still very pleased with our selection of hotel. Granted we did not stay at the pool everyday choosing to venture out instead, the few occasions we did spend unfortunately left a sour taste and ruined what could have been a brilliant hotel. The disappointment comes from the fact that the sofitel are aware of their shortcomings but choose not to act, rather they hope that guests will see that the good outweighs the bad, which in this case it did, but I not sure a business of this size should leave this up to chance.

  • Stayed: January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Tamig_n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RobinDeb, General Manager at Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2014

Bonjour and Sawasdee Krab,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback at the Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort.

I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations and in that regard allow me to express my sincerest apologies.

We, at Sofitel, strive to provide the highest standard of service therefore your feedback is invaluable to us. Please rest assured that we have taken good notes of your comments and are looking into appropriate measures to address the problems in the future.

Despite of this, It is delight to know that overall you enjoyed your stay during your holidays and particularly appreciated the rooms, the activities, as well as our ultimate location and of course the food choices in our restaurants.

We appreciate your time in sharing your concerns, and we do hope that you will give us the opportunity to welcome you again in the near future.

Sincerely,

Robin Deb

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2014

We arrived Xmas Eve and left on the 3rd Jan.
As independent travellers we had wanted an excellent hotel as a base from which to explore the area, hence settled on the Sofitel on a B & B basis only.
First the plus points.
Hotel itself in a great position and rooms clean spaceous and comfortable (notwithstanding the very hard beds!) Breakfast was also excellent although seemed to be a problem getting a table set consistently. Pool lovely but quite frankly I struggle to understand people who will fly 10+ hours to go on holiday to sit around a pool each and every day (all inclusives I assume) and not venture out to meet some of the most friendly people imaginable and great and inexpensive local food.
Now the negatives;
Airport Shuttle - more than double cost of local excellent taxi.
Cost of trips - avoid like the plague; far to expensive, just walk down the road and book for half price. Thailand is a safe place!
The biggest however being the New Years Eve Gala Dinner. This is compulsory and we had our doubts from the outset when we booked our stay. Although the food was excellent how in gods name can you justify BHT 9,000.00 plus per person over 12 years of age (cost bumped up with taxes and service) - £180.00 per person with no drinks included!!!!!. This is just a rip off and we did try to get out of the whole thing. The management kindly referred to our booking contract but did relent and give us 50% off for our 14 year old son. The entertainment was poor and the whole thing felt strained, forced and had no party atmosphere. Quite frankly when we spend Xmas in the Carribean they do it so much better and not at these rip off prices.
Next the Sunlounger fiasco. We returned around 10.30pm one evening and found towels and books on four beds - unbelievable. Luckily we hadn't gone to Thailand to sit around a pool every day but did witness the frustration felt by many when all beds were "reserved" by 08.00am if not earlier.
In conclusion most of the staff were lovely people (apart from the arrogant Nina) but you are with an International Chain Hotel and you do wander how much of your money finds its way into the local economy. Would I stay again. No on principle - because we would never be forced to spend a stupid amount of money on a New Years Eve Dinner ever again. Not just the money but it was not where we wanted to be on a New Years eve.
To finish on a positive note - Thailand is a fabulous country with lovely people and great food. Use a good hotel as a base and get out and about. I guarantee you will have a great time there.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank HonestTraveller122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christian S, General Manager at Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 14 September 2014

Bonjour and Sawasdee Krap "HonestTraveller122",

Thank you for reviewing our Sofitel Krabi.

We took notes regarding your remarks.

Best Regards,

Robin Deb
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort

Address: Klong Muang Beach | Nong Thalay, Nong Thale, Krabi Town 81180, Thailand
Phone Number:
Region: Thailand > Krabi Province > Krabi Town > Nong Thale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Nong Thale
#5 Family Hotel in Nong Thale
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Nong Thale
#6 Romantic Hotel in Nong Thale
#6 Luxury Hotel in Nong Thale
#6 Spa Hotel in Nong Thale
Price Range: £108 - £390 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 276
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort is renowned for its timeless elegance, luxurious rooms and suites, gourmet restaurants, outstanding facilities, and gracious Thai hospitality. Set in a lush tropical garden and just a few steps from the beach and Andaman Sea, the resort features a 7,000 sq.M. Lagoon-style pool, the largest swimming pool in Thailand. Guests can enjoy four restaurants serving Thai and international cuisines, a fully equipped fitness centre complete with steam room and sauna, So SPA with L'Occitane offering an extensive menu of rejuvenating spa treatments, and a Kid's Club. There is also an exclusive 9-hole golf course, and conference and meeting facilities and a unique 1,000 sq.M. Air-conditioned marquee for up to 950 persons. Designed to enhance the stay of every guest, our signature Leisure Butler service includes a VIP check-in and a personal assistant to arrange an unforgettable marriage proposal or special romantic moment, private dinner parties and celebrations, personalised excursions to nearby islands, and much more. Escape to Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort for a romantic getaway, a family holiday, a magnifique wedding, meeting or event in tropical paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Phokeethra Krabi Golf Hotel Nong Thale
Sofitel Phokeethra Krabi Golf And Spa Resort
Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort Thailand
Sofitel Phokeethra Krabi Hotel
Krabi Sofitel

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