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Novotel Samui Resort Chaweng Beach Kandaburi
Ranked #29 of 103 Hotels in Chaweng
Reviewed 31 August 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed in the Kandaburi Resort & Spa on Koh Samui for five nights this August. This was our first visit to Thailand and Koh Samui was our second destination – we arrived there after 3 nights in Bangkok.

I’d pre-arranged for somebody to meet us from the airport and take us to the hotel (not knowing how close the hotel was to the airport), so we were met by a branded minibus and a friendly faced member of staff. On arriving we were ushered into reception and given welcome drinks and a refreshing towel each and asked to take a seat. We were given explanations of where things were and a little map and then because we were staying in the hillside accommodation we were then asked to ride on one of the hotel buggies (as the hillside accommodation is on the other side of the road).

I knew before we went that we were in the hillside accommodation and was a bit concerned if we’d have a room as nice as the others available and also how steep this ‘hillside’ was going to be. I can tell you there is a road to cross between the beach side and the hillside, but the hotel has a helpful man who helps you cross the road and ensure you’re safe which is great! In the day he has a pingpong bat style device to hold up and at night it’s like a light sabre!

Our buggy journey last all of two minutes (we could have walked, but obviously Thai people like to make sure you are looked after). On getting to our room one of the reception staff politely took off her shoes before entering and showed us around. I have never seen a bathroom so big in my life! It was huge! Yes the ‘door’ to it is a semi see-through curtain, but if you’re travelling with a partner I don’t think this is an issue for most people.

The bathroom was great and good pressure on the shower – always clean and towels replaced daily, I was also impressed with the robes and the origami ‘bird’ on top of the tissue box – a nice touch.

We didn’t eat in the hotel apart from breakfast, simply because there were so many restaurants on the beach nearby. However breakfast was fantastic and there was a huge selection – fresh fruit, cereals, noodles and soup, cooked breakfast, any type of eggs you wanted, various bread and pastries, yoghurts, cereals, Thai dishes, a variety of juices to drink, hot drinks and more. It was great! If you stay in the hillside you have to have breakfast in their restaurant rather than the beach restaurant, but I loved it, we had a great view of the hotel surroundings and the sea below – idyllic.

The hotel provides beach towels (you collect and return them from an area by the beach each day and sign them in and out). We didn’t use any of the spa facilities whilst we were there.

Overall we found the staff very friendly and the rooms in very good condition – you get complimentary fruit plates in your room when you arrive and free bottled water each day. I’d highly recommend the Thai market night – a whole host of dishes to try and Thai drumming and traditional dancing provided.

Where Kandaburi is located you are on the Northern end of Chaweng beach, it is a great location – enough places to eat and drink but still quiet and the scenery is absolutely stunning. I highly recommended the sweetcorn lady and coconut man near the hotel on the beach (they give you a free bag of mini bananas with each order) and one of my holiday highlights was finding a man on the beach with a baby monkey and getting to hold him!

This is a lovely hotel in a great location – you can easily get into Chaweng if you want a more lively evening, but we preferred to eat on the quiet beach (apart from the fireworks and lanterns!) and relax with cocktails at Your Place or another nearby bar and watch their fire show after dinner.

When we were there we also went on an Island Safari half day trip which was amazing – you see and do so much and we also visited the Big Buddha and Wat Plai Laem – both of which I’d really recommend too.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank SuperSunAddict
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 August 2012

Apologies in advance for those of you who have stayed at this hotel without issue and who have had a pleasant stay however this hotel fell way short of expectations, possibly influenced by the poor customer service we experienced immediately upon arrival and lack of ownership to resolve our issue.

In summary, Hayes & Jarvis had promised and reassured us on two occasions prior to booking that our hillside room would come with two double beds accommodating my wife and me in one bed and my 14-year old daughter in the other. Unfortunately, the Kandaburi Hotel has no rooms with two double beds with all rooms fitted with a king size only - not much good with a teenager in tow! Unfortunately, whilst not the hotel's issue they refused to take ownership and would do no more than providing a `throw away' bed as they termed it. They refused to contact H&J and the best they would offer by way of assistance was to provide a free internet access token for me to escalate with H&J directly. Needless to say, my daughter spent the duration of her stay on a camp bed having paid a 3rd adult price. H&J has since agreed a refund but I am extremely disappointed in the hotel's poor customer service and lack of support, even having told them I would write a bad Trip Advisor review if assistance was not forthcoming - their approach remained the same; unhelpful, uninterested and untypical of the good customer service we have previously received in Thailand from Bangkok to Phuket to Chang Mai.

Thereafter, our perception of the hotel and staff was clearly influenced with the following criticisms noted:

1. No upgrades (albeit subject to availability). The hotel maintained there was no space so even if H&J offered to pay for a second room this would not have been possible but the hotel looked far from full.

2. One-hour wait for pool towels to be made available, accepting this was only on 1 occasion, although the general condition of the pool towels is poor, i.e. small, old, stained and need replacing.

3. Our room air conditioning leaked in the middle of the night and flooded the room entrance and bathroom with 2 requests required to address before fully resolved.

4. Breakfast service/ staff poor - miserable looking staff, lack of coffee/ tea cups, constant requests for tea and coffee that seemed to take forever and no replenishment of food options the closer the clock got to 10am close (including basics such as banana cake and croissants).

5. Constant sewerage smell from the bathroom plug holes and around the pool by the beach. On one occasion the man-hole cover at the beach pool flooded the area where our sun beds were forcing us and a number of other people to relocate. We can only assume what was leaking was not very pleasant!

6. General poor customer service from reception staff, to catering staff, to poolside staff. The management ethos at this hotel cannot be good as I have never seen so many unhappy looking people in one hotel in Thailand.

7. Pool side bar and spa service expensive given close proximity of supermarkets and spas within a stone's throw of the hotel - I recommend a 5 minute walk to `buy your own'.

8. Saw mill next to the pool area by the hillside rooms with an unbearable level of noise spoiling the ambience and peace meaning default is the beach pool where you have to put up with the smell of what appears to be sewage.

9. Rock hard beds, in fact, the hardest and most uncomfortable hotel bed I have ever slept on. The remaining 6 guest in our party all agreed with my daughter stating it was only a small step up from sleeping on the board of wood she was provided by way of a `throw away' bed.

10. Whilst we received a complimentary meal as part of our booking with H&J, which cannot be faulted, the one bottle of house wine and 3 apple juices cost almost 1,500 BAHT (£30) - extortionate! I am glad we ate out and did not book half or full board as the drinks would have bankrupt us.

11.For the complimentary spa treatment as part of our booking we opted for aromatherapy massages, which I typically cost 1,300 BAHT at the hotel versus a 2-minute walk next door to Niracha Spa, which I visited almost daily, where a 90 minute Thai massage with Thai herbs and coffee scrub cost 300 BAHT. I found the hotel treatment to be disappointing by comparison; it was in a room that was like a doctor’s surgery, there was no soothing music and the massage felt impersonal and robotic.

I am really sorry if you have been to this hotel and had an enjoyable stay and I am sure our outlook might have been different if our treatment by the hotel reception staff on arrival had been a better experience. However, it wasn’t, and we were generally disappointed by this hotel and especially the poor levels of customer service, which is disappointing because it is in a great location in a beautiful country where all our other Thai experiences have been enjoyable and positive (read my review on the Kantary Hills in Chang Mai if you don’t believe me).

I would not go back to this hotel and hope they take note of some of the points raised in this review. Against the cost of the holiday/ hotel stay I would rank this hotel as poor as I do not believe the standard is greater than a reasonable 3-star hotel equivalent. My daughter very much enjoyed her holiday (4 nights in Chang Mai and 10 nights in Koh Samui), and she would be upset at me writing this review, however she did not pay £5k for a holiday where I believe quality and value-for-money fell way short of expectations. Whilst I sought to ignore these issues so as not to spoil my own holiday it would not be right to provide a review that I feel reflects anything less than my experience.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank DCMIT1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2012

We stay in Kandaburi for 3 days 2 nights for a company's event. There was this waiter with the Kittisak. He was rude, to all of us obviously because we are Asian. He would turned and smiled at the Western and offered help, but pull a long face when we asked for cofffee or tea or for the dirty plates to be taken away. We sit there for the whole during breakfast, and he just watch from aside, he did not even bother to serve us coffee.

Another guy at the receptionist also had the same attitude. Come on guys, we all pay for our stay, stop being racist.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled on business
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Thank TerminatorT2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2012

Had a great stay at this hotel. The pools were great and the breakfast was nice. We stayed on the beach side and used both pools. The hillside pool was less busy and I enjoyed using it a lot. The resort is a nice 10 walk along the beach to the shops of chaweng. There are also lots of nice restaurants on the beach as you are walking to the centre of chaweng. The pool side staff were friendly and happy hour was great!!!!!!!! Would return.

Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
2  Thank 85Jodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2012

Just returned from a week at this hotel. Stayed here last year and not a lot has changed which is good. They have cut down in a few areas but still value for money especially if you have a my time deal through a travel agency which gives you bonus dollars towards food and drinks. However the beach side rooms are more convenient as you don't have to cross the road which does seem to annoy quite a few people. As one of the other reviewers wrote just do your research before you go to any hotel and you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kimsuz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2012

We have recently returned from this hotel. We stayed in the hillside rooms booked through agoda. The hotel is a 4 star and nothing more. The hillside rooms are a good size but I feel the bathroom should have a door across rather than just a curtain!! The hillside rooms are a little away from the main hotel area and slightly uphill, which wasnt a real problem for us. The breakfast that was served was ok...you could find something for very tastes. The pool in the hillside location was a good size and very quiet but had no drinks facilities. We used the pool near the beach side. However, there were not enough sunbeds in this location for the amount of people wanting to sunbathe here and on the beach. The hotel does have signs up about non reservations of beds - this is not adhered to as a lot of people were getting and putting their towels on and then disappearing for a few hours. The staff in the frangipani restaurant were very slow in serving, however I think that they were understaffed. The massage treatments by the pool were very good. It is quite a hike from this hotel to the main chaweng strip. However tuk tuks are reasonably priced or you can walk along the beach in half an hour. I dont think I would chose to stay at this hotel again if I returned.

Room Tip: choose a beachside room
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank mardigrasUae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2012

We have recently stayed at Kandaburi with two other couples, and would go and stay at this place again. Our rooms were a delight, so spacious, clean, smelt lovely I could not fault them. Our breakfast was beautiful as a buffet you had a decent choice of food to pick from. The pool and surroundings were awesome. The staff were always friendly. We were invited to the managers cocktail party the night before we left, I told him (Gill)we stayed longer as it was my husbands birthday that day, what a surprise, he had organized his staff to put a birthday cake together for him. ( thanks Gill for making our stay complete). We've never been to Koh Samui before and it won't be the last. Absolutely love it.

Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Laurie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Novotel Samui Resort Chaweng Beach Kandaburi

Address: 20 Moo 2 Chaweng-Chongmon Road | Bophut Samui, Chaweng, Bophut, Ko Samui 84320, Thailand (Formerly Kandaburi Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Samui > Bophut > Chaweng
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Chaweng
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Chaweng
#18 Spa Hotel in Chaweng
#21 Luxury Hotel in Chaweng
#23 Romantic Hotel in Chaweng
#25 On the Beach Hotel in Chaweng
#25 Family Hotel in Chaweng
Price Range: £69 - £148 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Novotel Samui Resort Chaweng Beach Kandaburi 4*
Number of rooms: 183
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking Chaweng Beach and Koh Matlang, Novotel Samui Resort Chaweng Beach Kandaburi offers range of accommodations with a private balcony. Its 4-star facilities include 2 outdoor pools, a spa and a well-equipped gym. Spacious rooms at Novotel Samui Resort Chaweng Beach Kandaburi feature modern interiors that combine contemporary and wooden furnishings. Each well-furnished room is equipped with a 42 inch flat screen TV and a large private bathroom with a bathtub. Guests can enjoy relaxing massage treatments at the Spa or relax sipping cocktails at beach bar right on the beach. Car rental and sightseeing arrangements can be made at the tour desk. Tom Yam Thai Restaurant serves a fine selection of traditional Thai dishes, while international food can be enjoyed at bar Beach and restaurant. Novotel Samui Resort Chaweng Beach Kandaburi offers also free parking, and is a 5-minute drive from Samui Airport and from Chaweng Town area ideal for shopping and nightlife activities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kandaburi Resort And Spa
Kandaburi Hotel Chaweng
Kandaburi Hotel Bophut
Kandaburi Resort Bophut
Novotel Samui Resort Chaweng Beach Kandaburi Ko Samui

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