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Reviewed 3 April 2014

I stayed at the Amazing Ngapali Resort in late March 2014. Just to set the stage, I have lived in South East Asia, mostly in Thailand, for about 6 months a year since 2003, so I am aware to how people centric most businesses are in SE Asia. In USA and many parts of Europe you are sometimes hardpressed to find people to help you in department stores, less so in hotels. But in SE Asia, sometimes they run at you so fast, you just want them to leave you alone. I have been at beautiful beachside resorts in Bali, the Maldives, Hainan Island in China, as well as the major resort areas in Thailand: Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, Koh Samet area, Khao Rak, etc.

Amazing Ngapali Resort was a true gem. It has only 37 rooms but given the layout of the grounds, it seems larger. The owner, whenever he built the resort took the trouble to design the houses and bungalows in full teak. The buildings and detailing everywhere are absolutely marvelous and beautiful. When you are at the resort, go to the second floor of the main building, it affords you a great view of the beach and a marvelous breeze. Then look at the floor and the teak lattice work on all the porch fixture and above. Go into the small library/business center room and you will be blown away by the wood workmanship. They took the time to make the resort truly beautiful. For contrast, look north down the beach where a new large resort is being constructed, all concrete. It may look great when it is done but it will lack the character and beauty of what Myanmar was and is. It will be the same as a resort in Myanmar, Thailand, or Mexico for that matter.

The beach in front of the resort is wonderful. The sand is fine granules, not the coarse shell beaches you find elsewhere. The fine sand extends into the water, so you don't have to worry about walking of rocks and stones when you go into the water. The incline as you enter the water is very gradual, and you can walk out quite a distance into the water and still not have water over your head. Great for children or non-swimmers. The size of waves can vary from light-weight lappers to waves breaking 4-6 feet high. However if you get just outside of the break area you can happily bounce up and down on the wave (or on a resort supplied inner tube), and there us NO undertow to speak of. The beach extends to the right and left for about a kilometer each way, and the best reward is that there are no vendors to bother, the beach is for you alone, giving you a certain level of exclusivity. The water is not the crystal clear 100 foot visibility water you see in island environment because this is still the mainland and you have silt and fresh water runoff, but the water is clean and warm and comfortable.

The rooms are large and well appointed and beautifully designed in teak (what else). They have an in-room safe for your valuables, a large, private porch with chairs and table and railings to help you dry out your beach gear and clothing, HD TV, minibar refrigerator, huge bed (if you select a king), a bathroom with a rain shower and a large separate oval bathtub (and yes, hot water). The A/C units were strong and maintained the room easily to whatever temperature was required.

The food was outstanding for an Asian resort, especially a smaller one. They have an excellent buffet breakfast with a mixture of Asian foods, Myanmar soups, sweets and delicacies (some of which you have to ask for, as they are not out), and western breakfast entrees as well. They cook custom eggs/omelets to order as well as soup to order. Fresh squeezed/extracted juice from pineapple, papaya and watermelon is available every day. Coffee is good and capuccinos and lattes are available (gratis), but you have to ask for them.

Lunches and dinners come from a full Asian and European menu--but when you are in Myanmar it is the fresh seafood that is the prize. Since I live in Thailand I am familiar with huge tiger prawns that make our American servings, even our "jumbo" shrimp , look like, well, "shrimp." Every evening that have a BBQ setup and you go an select your seafood: lobsters, tiger prawns (large and small, the small one is much larger than any western shrimp you have ever seen), huge fresh water prawns, different varieties of whole fish, crabs, and squid. These are sold on a per dollar rate. For instance, a large tiger prawn might be $4 and a smaller one might be $2 a piece, When I was there the lobster varied from $12 to $20 a piece depending on size, The meat from the huge prawns (one will fill a standard size plate) has a taste very comparable to the lobster--but you will have to make up your own mind. As for the fish, I loved the Sea Bass (as $7 a piece for a whole fish). As you can see the prices are outstanding--tell me where in the world can you touch lobsters for anywhere near these prices. They also have an adequate wine list: I tried a local Myanmar Sauvignon Blanc, extremely good and very fruity tasting, for $27. You can see, if you don't take the wine, you can have truly marvelous, fresh seafood for almost bargain basement prices. The standard Asian fare, the European entrees and the pizzas (try the three seasons, a seafood pizza) are even less expensive . They also have have excellent salads (seafood and regular) and vegetable dishes.

Some reviews have written about the local restaurants, there are quite a few of them if you go left or right out of the resort. They mention that they are less expensive, and from what I experienced there at the local restaurants, that was true for some items--the beer (I liked the Myanmar local beer), some of the local dishes. But I found that the seafood, especially the high end seafood was about the same price as the hotel. So, for me, it was sometimes much more convenient to eat at the hotel as my mainstay. I will also mention and expand the service aspect later in this review. But, certainly, go out and explore and make up your own mind.

Now I come to the service. I worked for a large multi-national company for a long time and a large part of my job was to travel all round the world for work. I have had the opportunity to stay in beautiful hotels in wonderful places and stay and eat "on the company expense account" and even indulge in extravagances for "business reasons." So between my business and personal life I have stayed in many, many, many hotels and resorts. The service at the Amazing Ngapali Resort was, without any reservation, the very best I have ever received anywhere. Almost to the man (or woman), the staff listened to what you wanted, corrected it immediately, if it was not right, and remembered your preferences for the next time, so you never had to tell them again--this was sort of like you long-time favorite bartender, who knows and remembers your drink and has it sitting in front of you before you finish sitting down.

Examples were many, I ordered an avocado shake and mentioned that it was a little sweet--without any prompting, the waitress picked it up, and asking me if I wanted no sugar, or just a little bit, went back and brought me a new one. She did it with a smile and with a sense of duty rather than a sense of simply pleasing a disgruntled customer--this was just the first day. After that whenever I ordered a drink, every waiter and waitress knew I liked them not sweet and with extra ice, I never had to mention it again to any of the staff. Other times I might order a side dish, the waiter would come back and say, the cauliflower or the whatever is not that good today, I would not suggest it. I am used to restaurants in Thailand where they want to sell what they have, good or bad, and it is your stomach and gastrointestinal tract that lives with the consequences. If I asked for lime once, or something else one, like fish sauce or Maggi, I would find it placed on my table the next time without ever asking. They remembered and it made me feel special. There were innumerable examples of this in every aspect of my stay.

Finally, the coup-de-gras, so to speak. Now the resort offered on their internet advertisement that with any stay of 5 days or longer you receive a free dinner and an hour free massage at their spa. Indeed, when I checked in, they immediately gave the free voucher and told me to simply make an appointment for myself at the spa at my convenience. They also set up a free dinner for me at my convenience, and that dinner was from a set menu, i.e., none of the pricey stuff. Good enough, they stand by their offer, but nothing special. So about 5 days later a gentleman comes over and introduces himself as the general manager of the resort. He thanked me for my business and asked the general "do you have and issues" type questions. I have heard these spiels before and I figured he was going to buy me a drink...but, to my surprise, he says, please have another complementary dinner on us, and please, you must try the lobster and the tiger prawns, they are exquisite. That night, when I sat down, the waiter already knew and said, you can eat whatever and how much you want, have a great dinner. How can you not want to go back to a place like this?

Another example of the resorts commitment to customer service was that they employed a nice young lady who was their Guest Service Representative (GSR), her job is to speak with guests and get their reactions to what like and not like about the resort. She would come faithfully every morning at breakfast and every evening at dinner and ask me about my experiences, my likes and dislikes, and even tell me about the different outside resort activities and her opinions and cautions about them. Again, not once, with the required "is everything OK" question, but every day and actual followup, not just lip service.

Now just a few corrections to comments made in some of the other reviews that resulted in me, making some decisions that I wish I hadn't made. First, Agoda web site mentions that the hotel has safety deposit boxes. This usually means you have lock boxes or check boxes at the front desk. Agoda's descriptions did not say they had safes in the rooms, which they do, good size safes as well. I decided not to bring my good camera, and brought just a small automatic. There is plenty of room in the safes for a full DSLR, lenses, flashes whatever. Also, many people said that credit cards were not taken and you had to have either Mynamar currency or US dollars. All the prices on the hotel menu and at the local restaurant are in either local currency or dollars, and true, if you decide to pay cash, the bills MUST be pristine, no bends or tears, or they are not be accepted. But, the Amazing Ngapali Resort takes VISA for your food and drink purchases, so you don't have to carry large amounts of cash. There are ATMs if you need cash, but they are in town, in Thandwe Center, a tortuous 9 kilometer drive away--the roads are terrible.

The final day, I checked out, traded pictures, email addresses etc. with some of the staff. I knew I was going to spend about 7 hours at the Yangon airport before leaving for Bangkok. I order a club sandwich, with some fries to take out as I did not know the availability of food at the Yangon airport and anticipated a late checkin. The staff happily took my order and when they delivered it, I opened my wallet to pay, the GSR, said, no need. The general manager had seen me talking with his staff and had already waived the cost--a little thing--but a sincere thanks for the business again. Five or six people on the staff came out and waived goodbye and waied me as I left. I say again, who would not want to go back to a place like this? They will certainly see my face again in the future.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JoshuaMgMg, Manager at Amazing Ngapali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 April 2014

Dear Guest,

Mingalarbar !

Thank you so much for your kind recommendation and choosing Amazing Ngapali Resort to stay. It really helps to boost our hotel reputation and motivate our employee to try harder to engage our guests.

Again BIG THANK YOU and we look forward to welcome you back.

Best Regards,

Kyaw Swar Maung Maung & Amazing Ngapali Resort Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2014

We just returned from Myanmar as a Group of 13 friends. We left Norway Three weeks ago as 13 strangers, more or less. While Hospitality in this wonderful country is exceptional at its worst, this hotel managed to take care of all Our needs in an amazing way. The staff go out of their way to make everybody happy, and its impossible to stay grumpy in a Place like this. Spacious rooms, great Food (although a little bit slow at times), beautiful Beach With more than enough sunbeds & all you need to slow Down after Your tour of Myanmar. I for one will definately be back.

Room Tip: Avoid the Connected rooms if you are sensitive to sounds from Your neighbor.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank phrodo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JoshuaMgMg, Manager at Amazing Ngapali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 May 2014

Dear Guest,

Mingalarbar ! Warmest Greetings !

This is to let you know that we really appreciate your kind support and recommendation. We look forward to welcome you back and we will always remember your kind support to us.

Best Regards,

Kyaw Swar Maung Maung & Amazing Ngapali Resort Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2014

I don't like leaving negative reviews and hardly ever do so. However.....
The resort, on the surface is lovely, and the staff charming (as they were everywhere we went in a Myanmar). We started off in a beautiful room with lovely sea views. Unfortunately it had a connecting door which was really flimsy so we could hear every sound from next door. Disconcerting at the best of times, but when are the next door neighbour is very ill and keeps you up all night with coughing and vomiting it is unacceptable for a hotel at this price. We asked to be moved the first night it happened but they said the hotel was full. Long story short we ended up in an inferior room for half of our stay. I kept asking if they had anything else because I was really unhappy but they didn't. We were offered no compensation not even a couple of drinks. When I complained to the agent afterwards the hotel told them that they had offered no compensation because we'd said we were happy with the change. An outright fabrication.
I would sum this place up by saying if things are going well it is fine but as soon as anything does not go to plan there is nobody with the authority to do anything about it. I'm pretty sure the expensive villas were not all occupied but there was nobody there with the authority to upgrade us, only to downgrade.
A shame to end a fabulous trip in Myanmar this way. There are plenty of places to stay around Ngapali so you may as well go somewhere with good customer service.

Room Tip: If you must stay here ask for a room with no interconnecting door
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Mandykingkilby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JoshuaMgMg, Manager at Amazing Ngapali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 11 May 2014

Dear Guest,

Mingalarbar ! Warmest Greetings from the Amazing Ngapali Resort !

Thank you very much for taking bother to provide the feedbacks from which we can learn to improve ourselves. We are sorry that you were not happy with the solution and we dont know how to pay back for this. Anyway we truly appreciate your kind comments which really guides us to improve. If you allow we still want to fix this problem at your next visit.

We look forward to welcome you back again to pay back.

Best Regards,

Kyaw Swar Maung Maung and Amazing Ngapali Resort Team.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2014

Lovely staff!! After 2 weeks of touring around Myanmar we were relieved to come to a hotel with a jolly good breakfast and a lunch/dinner menu that always had something we fancied!! Room was fine, bathroom a little dated, but the sun shone, the sea was warm and we had a lovely rest after our tour of Yangon, Bagan, Mandaly and Inle Lake.
We had a lovely 3 days here.

Room Tip: We were on the ground floor with a nice big veranda - but we could see there were beach front "cottages" or "villas" that looked nice.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank PaulineNorway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JoshuaMgMg, Manager at Amazing Ngapali Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 May 2014

Dear Guest,

Mingalarbar !

Thank you so much for taking bother to recommend our hotel and we truly appreciate your kind support and we will always remember your help.

We look forward to welcome you back.

Best Regards,

Kyaw Swar Maung Maung & Amazing Ngapali Resort Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2014

Dear Mr. Zaw Min Naing,

Thank you very much for serving the best services from your hotel to us when we visited last month. We are so pleased while staying there and looking forward to visit again. I will definitely recommend my friends who would like to visit Ngapali to stay at your hotel. However, may i suggest to improve the Internet access a bit then the hotel will be perfect. :)

Look forward to seeing you again.

Thank you.
TA & MM

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Wendy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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