My family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children aged 10 and 12) stayed at Amari Palm Reef in early December 2011. It was probably not quite the peak tourist season yet, so the hotel was not overly crowded. And this review is based on the fact that the hotel is not running at full capacity.
We originally booked the Superior room, but we paid an extra THB2000 per night to upgrade ourselves to a Family Duplex with free breakfast for 4. They did not offer us free upgrades, sad :( See pictures of how the duplex room looks like in the Amari website.
The Amari resort is split into 2 compounds, separated by a main road. Rooms are found in both compounds. The reception, the breakfast restaurant and bar are located nearer to the beach. Our family duplex is located on the other side of the road, nearer to Prego restaurant, the spa and the gym. Even though the resort is separated by a busy road, the distance between rooms near the spa (furthest away from beach) to the Chaweng beach itself is only a mere short walk (probably less than 300m), and security guards are always at the road to help you stop traffic to let you cross.
The Family Duplex room sleeps 4 comfortably, with a king-size bed on the lower floor, and 2 single beds squeezed on the upper floor (like a loft). The rooms are clean and well maintained, and comes with standard amenities. The toilet is however separated from the shower area. I find the shower area rather small, and it does not come with a bath-tub. I think the single-floor deluxe rooms or suites do have a bath tub.
The rooms in the whole resort are located either on ground level, or 1 level higher. There are no lifts, you have to take the stairs. If you have difficulties climbing stairs, do request for rooms on ground level.
Both compounds have swimming pools, children's pool and jacuzzi. Amari even provide beach balls, toys, and floats for use in the pool. I don't have any problems with using the pools nor the lounge chairs, probably because there were not too many hotel guests.
The gym has 2 treadmills, 1 cross-trainer, and a multi-gym machine. The gym is closed for 2 hours from 1pm to 3pm daily for maintenance.
We did not try their spa services nor the Prego restaurant, although Prego is usually packed with diners every night. We did order lunch (local Thai food, fried rice and noodles) at their Bar@C (near the pool). Prices are reasonable, and we found the food delicious.
Merante is where you enjoy their buffet breakfast. They have the usual offerings for breakfast, an egg station where you can order your eggs cooked in whatever way you fancy (omelette, poached, or sunny-side), toast breads, cereals, pancakes, bacon, sausages, cheese, salads etc. Apart from serving fruit juices (orange, apple, guava), they even have fruit smoothies!
The Bar@C has happy hours (either 1 for 1, or at 30% discount) at selected hours of the day. I think is from 3pm to 6pm. Do check their noticeboard for details.
Each night, they offer various themed dinners along the beachfront. Again check their noticeboards for prices and details.
Other things you may wish to know about Amari, and around Amari:
1. The toilets in Amari smell really nice as they placed burners with aromatic oils in the toilets. The hand towels in the toilets are folded nicely like a flower. What a nice gesture!
2. Wifi is not free in the rooms, but is free near the reception and pool area.
3. If you don't intend to dine in Amari, there are other restaurants located near the hotel. I found a perfect Italian restaurant named Le Scalette that serves authentic Italian food just along Chaweng Beach Road very near to Amari (about 5 mins walk further down Prego).
4. A taxi ride from Amari to Tesco Supermarket costs THB300. Do try the MK Steamboat at Tesco ! We simply love the roast duck there.
5. DVD player is provided in the rooms. There are stalls along Chaweng Beach road that sells pirated DVDs for THB800 for 10 DVDs.
6. If you are not swimming, you can play table tennis or beach volleyball. They have a cement table tennis table. You can request for ping-pong bats and balls from the reception.
7. Taxi to the airport is only about a 10-minute ride. Check with the hotel for airport transfers, may or may not be complimentary.
8. Amari is not in central Chaweng, but is still in a good location. If you compare Amari with resorts like Anantara Lawana, the latter is in a more secluded part of the Chaweng beach with lesser crowd and hardly any beachfront activities.
9. The Amari website has a video showing the resort and its facilities. You can get a pretty good idea of how the resort , the rooms and their restaurants look like.
10. We were pleasantly surprised when we came back to our rooms one afternoon and found a birthday cake placed on our table. It was our son's birthday that day. We had never mentioned it to the reception, nor did we informed the hotel in advance, so I was most impressed that Amari staff must have noted it when they processed our check-in.
Amari resort have made my family trip to Koh Samui thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable. We would highly recommend this resort to any family looking for a place to stay in Koh Samui !
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cushioned by soft white sands and sparkling waters, Amari welcomes you to one of the most idyllic islands in the Gulf of Thailand. A gem set apart from the rest of the world, Amari on Koh Samui invites you to live out your days on island time, where there is always time for another dip in the pool or another walk on the beach. Turn off your clock, enter our time zone, and let Amari take care of the rest. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Amari Palm Reef Koh Samui Hotel Chaweng
- Amari Palm Reef Hotel
- Amari Palm Reef Resort
- Amari Koh Samui Ko Samui/Chaweng