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Pufflerd
Hong Kong, China

Not worth the money

3.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 18 Feb 2013
Pros:

- very nice breakfast, huge selection and all very fresh
- nice pool/beach area
- free little snacks while at pool
- unlimited water in room
- very friendly staff
- nice gym

Cons:
- the resort is huge and lot's is up hill. Even to get the room we had to walk about 20 steps up.
- the toilet and shower - actually the whole bathroom is open/outside. Not for my liking as I don't like to use the bathroom in the dark getting bitten my mosquitos and having all those animals crawling around.
- room is very basic (we had the room with the privat plunge pool). Pool was for me to much like a jungle style and therefore also had animals in the pool (e.g. centepide) which was not inviting. Also I found a dead worm on the second day (it wasn't there before) which room service did not clean away during our stay.
- very bad internet connection and only 30 min are for free. You actually have to pay for Wi-fi!!! They say internet is free in puplic areas like the pool etc. - however my internet never worked there.
- no black out curtais - due to the open bathroom
- nice gesture of welcome fruits - however we got some brown bananas and dryed up mandarins

Overall it is a nice resort (not suitable for the elderly due to all the hills/steps or familys with young children). However, we would not come back as there are so many other much cheaper and much nicer resorts in Koh Samui. We are Europeans, living in HK so have been to Thailand many times. I would like to stress the friendliness of the staff and also good english skills. When we called for check out they came within two minutes to help us. For the location you need to use public transportation to get around or rent a car/moped.
Date of stay: February 2013
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2.0 of 5 bubblesValue
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
GeneralManagerALS, General Manager at Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort, responded to this review
Responded 22 Feb 2013
Dear Pufflerd,

Thank you very much for your compliments on our service standards and the food in the resort.

I’m sorry to hear that the design and surroundings of the resort have not been to your liking which apparently impacted your overall rating and experience quite significant.

We still hope you enjoyed your overall Samui experience and had a good vacation on the island.

Kind Regards

Lars Kerfin
General Manager
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
The listings of booking offers for each property take into account the compensation paid to us by our partners. Prices shown may be for varying room types. Prices displayed are the lowest available, corresponding to the least expensive room type available, as provided from our partners as of the time of the user’s search.
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Reviewed 17 February 2013 via mobile

While I find Samui to generally be over priced and too crowded with the more obnoxious and annoying varieties of tourists, my wife and I were very pleased with the Anantara Lawana. The location is good but not too close to noisy, busy Bophut. The beach is very nice, the pool is lovely and the property is very peaceful.

The only negatives I can say: 1) they initially sent the car to the wrong pier to pick us up, and didn't really apologize, 2) some of the other tourists at the resort are very noisy and annoying (just specific ones)

What was exceptional was the beach bar and pool area. Also the staff are extremely good at customer service, almost like they are competing to be the best, which was great.

Date of stay: February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank DirkTid
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
GeneralManagerALS, General Manager at Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 22 February 2013

Dear DirkTid,

Thank you for staying with us and your compliments for our team.

Please accept my apology for the challenges with your transportation but we do depend in those cases certainly on the information given to us and will follow those as good as we can.

We would appreciate being able welcoming you back some time in the future.

Kind Regards

Lars Kerfin
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2013

We had tried one of the Anantara hotels in Bangkok a couple of years ago and were quite happy with their service, so we decided to give Anantara Lawana in Koh Samui a try this time round. We traveled as a family of 6: 3 adults, 2 kids and 1 82-year-old elderly. We spent 5 nights in Anantara Lawana and I must say the overall experience has exceeded our expectation.

The Good:
1. Excellent customer service. The staff were extremely polite and courteous. They did everything with a smile. Their command of English was generally good.
2. Their spa was excellent. It is a must-try! One of the best we have ever had. We were so satisfied that we tried it twice! Ask for their promotional package which includes a combination of scrub and massage.
3. Rooms were clean and spacious. In-villa dip pool was cleaned and the water quality was checked on a daily basis.

The Neutral:
1. The beach area within the compound was relatively small and the sand was a bit grainy. Water was not as clear as we expected. Having said that, our kids were still quite satisfied with the beach.
2. Their location is on the quiet end of Chaweng. i.e. it is away from the 'happening' places in Chaweng town centre. Personally I like it that way as we have 2 kids and do not usually go out for clubbing/pubbing. It takes you 10 minutes to reach the Chaweng centre if you take a Tuk-tuk which costs you 50 Baht per person.
3. Restaurants are a bit pricey in my opinion. However, there is a good local restaurant right opposite to the resort (the name is Anong I think) which offers authentic Thai as well as Western food. There is also a supermarket and convenience store right opposite to the resort too so that you don't need to worry about running short of snacks in the middle of the night.

The could-have-been-better:
1. One of the water-taps in our shower was broken on our second last day of stay. The staff fixed it promptly but I thought regular maintenance checks could have prevented it from happening in the first place.
2. Wi-fi was free only for 30 minutes per day. It would be best if they could offer free wi-fi regardless of usage.
3. The gym was small and the equipment was a bit old.

A little incident:
On 10th Feb, we booked a Chinese New Year buffet dinner that was held on the beach. Before I could start getting some food, it started to rain. As the buffet table and BBQ area were set up without any shelter, rain water got into the dishes. The rain stopped after 10 minutes but being cautious as I always am, I didn't want my family to consume any of those food which could have been contaminated by the rain water. I told the manager in charge that I wanted to cancel the dinner but would order ala carte dinner at the restaurant (Ocean Kiss). My request caught everybody (including my family!) off-guard but this manager in charge (sorry, I didn't manage to jot down his name) understood my reasons and accepted my request without a single question asked. I was really impressed with his calmness and he truly listened and obliged to my request. I was also very impressed with the whole team at Ocean Kiss restaurant. As the kitchen was busy preparing food for the buffet dinner, it took the chef longer than usual to prepare the ala carte dishes and it was getting late and everybody was getting hungry. Another staff by the name of "A" offered us some complimentary bread and crackers while we were waiting, we greatly appreciated his thoughtfulness! Apart from Mr. "A", there were a couple of waitresses (one by the name "Kate" and another lady whom I didn't manage to get her name) who offered great service to us, despite the disappointment that we had canceled the buffet dinner and the 'trouble' and extra work that I had created. Well done guys!

Room tip: If budget is not a concern, get a room facing the sea. If you have kids, get one with a private pool.
Date of stay: February 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank DavidWongSG
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
GeneralManagerALS, General Manager at Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 February 2013

Dear DWong73,

Thank you for sharing your detailed feedback and compliments here with us.

We are glad to hear that you appreciated the high quality of our Spa treatments and valued it in such a way that you went twice during your stay.

With a ten minutes taxi ride you must have gone to the further end of Chaweng as it usually takes only half of the time. But as you stayed during a very busy period for the island I assume that the tuk tuk stopped several times during the ride to pick up additional passengers.

My apology for the incident with the water tap which should have been avoided as you said correctly. Nevertheless, I am happy to hear that my team fixed it immediately.

In regards of the Internet we could have either decided to provide a low quality and speed internet and provide it for free for the entire stay or upgrade the entire system to one of the highest speeds on the island and upgraded equipment and cabling but in return limit it to 30min daily only for free. We decided to make the investment and still provide the guests the alternative to have some free access too. We remained the access free of charge in all public areas as well as in the higher priced villas.

Thank you for complimenting the team for the way they responded to your request during the Chinese New Year dinner. I can assure you that we operate to very high hygiene standards and the food on the buffet was either protected or replaced during the short rain. I joined the dinner personally that night and can guarantee that the food provided was fresh and delicious and did not cause any discomfort.

We are looking forward welcoming you back again to either our or any other Anantara Resort.

Kind regards

Lars Kerfin
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2013

Don't waste your money or holiday time at this hotel. Stay elsewhere in Koh Samui. We paid for 7 nights and we stayed only 1 night. We travel a lot, always staying at 5* hotels across the globe and we were never deceived like this before. This is not a 5* hotel. Check out the link below to a selection of our photos so as you can judge yourselves. Do not look at the nice looking photos on the company's website; they were probably taken many years ago when this hotel was new

Here are the reasons you should not stay here:
1) In our view, it is not a 5* hotel, you don't get what you pay for
2) The bathroom area of the rooms is dirty and unhygienic
3) The running water in the shower and water basin smells so bad, you can't really take a shower. We were concerned for our health. The jacuzzi is so dated and dirty, it looks disgusting
4) The hotel is dated. It hasn't been refurbished for years and the hotel company is undertaking such refurbishment work currently at the guests' expense, i.e. they carry out construction work while operating normally rather than shutting this place down to fix it properly
5) If you are looking for a relaxing holiday, this is not the place for you due to 4) above. The construction work looked not to be ending any time soon
6) The mosquito situation is beyond control. We stayed elsewhere in Koh Samui, in other locations in Thailand and even in less developed areas such as Vietnam, Cambodia and rural China and have never experienced anything like it. The hotel should be addressing this problem better if they want to be a 5*
7) The general manager of the hotel, Mr. Lars Kerfin, promised we would get a refund for any remaining nights we did not use provided he can let out the room immediately to other guests and then he would give us our money back. We informed him of our decision to check out and we did so immediately. We contacted the hotel two days later and we were informed by the reservations team that the room was gone. However, we never received a refund. The hotel got paid for our room twice!
8) That manager admitted that "there are problems here and there". All they care about in this hotel is maximing revenue from a run down property as evidenced by the fact that upon our return from Koh Samui and submitting a request for a refund through our travel agent, such request was declined by the hotel

The manager did offer us alternative accommodation (an upgraded room). Upon checking out that room ,we realised the problems we had with our room apply to other rooms as well. We decided not to waste any more time and we checked out. The quality was simply not the quality we paid for. When you pay for 5* hotel you want a 5* hotel

I include here a link to photographic evidence so as you can check for yourselves if this hotel is a 5* quality

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=639FF868D4D557D6!128&authkey=!AMvsRIWndCnLwQM

Photos:
A) Bathroom
B) Outside area
C) Slippers - they offered us used slippers! Not that we care about the slippers but it tells you a lot about hotel quality
D) Construction work

We never stayed at Anantara Hotels before and we will never stay in the future

We found paradise elsewhere in Koh Samui and we are glad we checked out of this hotel after just 1 night so as our entire holiday is not ruined

Date of stay: December 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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8  Thank GFereos
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
GeneralManagerALS, General Manager at Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 21 February 2013

Dear GFereos,

I do have to salute you for the efforts you went through and apparently are still making in order to take revenge for what you perceived as unfair treatment. You communicated very clearly to me within the first 2 minutes of our conversation the actions you will be taking in case you won’t get a full refund. I assume that I will have to wait in this case being contacted by your lawyer and embassy as well.

As much as I understand your frustration about being charged for nights you haven’t been using I would like to take the opportunity as well to add some additional perspective on some of your comments.

You obviously went through a great extend of time and effort to find areas which will look poor on pictures in the little time you spent in our resort and even did not hesitate entering areas which have been closed for the public because of the replacement of walkways. I believe I will have to apologize to the construction company as I complaint to them about having foot prints in the concrete walkways in some areas which had to be redone. I assumed their workers did not pay attention but apparently there is the possibility that one of our guests walked over wet concrete while being on picture hunt. The walkway repair stopped actually the day after your departure as I assured you already during our conversation.

Walls you’ve haven taken pictures of are showing a special wash paint technique which are supposed to show different shades of color and are part of the design.

If the slippers have been in fact been found in the conditions you are showing I certainly would like to apologize for this…again. Usually all slippers are replaced for new arrivals as a standard procedure.

Unfortunately you are quoting our conversation and some of my statements not correctly which I assume might be based on a misunderstanding and not by purpose. I offered you several alternatives which you refused, some of them even without looking at. At no point of time have you been promised or confirmed a refund. In fact, I stated very clearly the conditions of your discounted rate booking and that even a partly refund cannot be applied. I am not sure where you got the information from, that the room has been sold again but upon being contacted by your travel agent we have shown the agent prove that this was not the case. Based on that your agent agreed that a refund is not justified.

I’m glad to hear that you have found a place on Koh Samui you enjoyed and were able to spend a relaxing vacation.

Regards

Lars Kerfin
General Manager

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Reviewed 11 February 2013

Well this visit did not get off to the best of starts when our airport transfer dropped us off inthe car park rather than at the entrance to the hotel foyer. It has to be said that the entrance and walk up to reception was not to our taste as it is quite drab and dark in colour. During checkin we were informed that we had been upgraded to a Deluxe Plunge Pool Room but after seeing it we decided it was not for us due to the toilet being on the outside of the room even if it was still within the confines of the room area.I have to say that Ivan and Took were great in dealing with our issues with th room offered and eventually we decided to upgrade to a Pool Villa at extra expense (but is was worth it). After the initial problems of checkin we then had a delightful 7 day stay at the resort.
The most impressive part of the resort is the pool and beach area which housed the infinity pool Ocean Kiss Reataurant and Champagne bar. The Beach was kept clean daily and the whole setup with the loungers was great. We tried the Treetops restaurant on our last evening and had a great meal and service. Overall the hotel staff are very helpful and kind, special thanks to Kate in the Ocean Kiss restaurant for the great service at breakfast and for making us all feel special.
All in all a great visit. By the way the hotel did show us the standard deluxe room which we had booked and we would have had that room if we had not seen the pool villa rooms, so maybe we had not been upgraded we may not have had the issues at checkin.

Room tip: Pool Villas are great if want to treat yourself
Date of stay: February 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank banksy677
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
GeneralManagerALS, General Manager at Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 February 2013

Dear banksy677,

Great to hear that Ivan and Took have been able to find a solution for your initial disappointment and helped making this an enjoyable stay for you.

Thank you as well for sharing the compliments about Kate which we will pass on to her.

We hope being able to welcome you again in the future and if you could contact me personally I will arrange a transfer with our own cars that will ensure that you are dropped in front of the lobby and not in the car park.

Kind regards

Lars Kerfin
General Manager

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Reviewed 8 February 2013

We have just returned from 10 nights at this beautiful resort. We stayed in room 109 which is a sea view villa with private pool, it is completely worth the extra money and to wake up everyday to the most beautiful view was amazing. The villa was lovely furnished and the outside showers (2) and the outside toilet just made the whole thing a wonderful experience.

The staff were great and did everything with a smile and did their upmost to make our stay pleasurable.

The only recommendation I have made to the hotel is to place a mirror in the air-conditioned part of the suite as the only one was in the outside bathroom which did not have great light and was a challenge getting ready in the humid evenings.

The breakfast was lovely with a huge choice and takes place in one of the most beautiful settings I have ever had the privilege to enjoy.

The pool looked lovely but we never used it, for those that do, I would say the sunbeds are a bit close together however the ones on the beach offer more privacy.

Tree Tops - The setting is lovely and really feels like private dining, the food was fabulous and while it was expensive it was really worth the experience. Seeing the sunset is not an option but the view in daylight is stunning and as the setting darkens the candles coming on create a lovely atmosphere.

Location - the hotel is just outside Chaweng and it cost 200 Baht each way, the bars and restaurants cater for all tastes. Fisherman's Village is slightly further 400 Baht each way, here the restaurants are quieter and a bit more relaxing than Chaweng.

We could not fault this hotel in any way and will definitely return, now that we have experienced room 109 it would be impossible to stay anywhere else. If you are looking for a lovely holiday experience then this hotel would be a great choice.

Absolutely amazing time.

Date of stay: January 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank caroline c
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
GeneralManagerALS, General Manager at Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 February 2013

Dear happycyprus,

Thank you for staying with us and sharing your compliments here on TripAdvisor. We are delighted to hear that we converted you to a repeating guest of Anantara Lawana.

We will certainly take your recommendation regarding the mirror onboard and this is actually part of the upgrades we will do during the course of the year. So once you return I am confident that you will see significant improvements.

Please feel free getting in touch with me directly for your next visit so we can ensure that your favorite room is assigned for you.

Kind regards

Lars Kerfin
General Manager

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