11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Fabulous treatment right from the word g...
"Fabulous treatment right from the word go. Private transfers from the airport, straight to the hotel which was only about 10 minutes away.
2 parts to the hotel separated by the road. Ask for the beach side and you won't be disappointed. We had a gorgeous room and it was only a standard. The balcony looked out onto the amazing pool and beach.
At night the whole place was lit up like something out of a fairytale. We ate in the seafront restaurant and also Prego, the Italian, and both were lovely. Only slight problem with Prego was the closeness to other tables, if you want a romantic dinner, ask for a table away from the main 'strip' of tables. Breakfast was like nothing I had seen before, if you wanted it, you got it.
Poolside attendants were spot on and attentive without being overbearing but my favourite thing of all, try the happy hour cocktails in the beach side bar - the Tom Collins was to die for and some morning afters, I wished I had..!
All in all a lovely hotel that was just as I wanted it. Close enough to the action without being too much, if that makes sense..! Will be back..!
- Travel date: Fri 11th of January 2008
Great Value, lovely hotel
"Stayed at this hotel for nearly 2 weeks and it was really lovely. Had a superior room across the road (which is no inconvience) which was a fab room really impressed with the little touches of the orchids every evening etc. Breakfast is fantastic and a must every morning. Their beach is the one BIG let down; it is in a lagoon and therefore you cannot swim here but need to walk down the beach. Also it is not as clean as it should be and the sun loungers are the oldest ones they have; they really don't care about the beach area; the pool area is far more important to them. Also very frustrating is that they do a lot of weddings all of which take place on the beach so they kick those off the beach early to allow them prepare which is a bit annoying when it happens a couple of times. A couple of us did complain but it didn't seem to make any difference. Apart from the beach it is a fab hotel with a great bar; only ate in the restaurant once for dinner, there was no atmosphere so we didn't go back."
- Travel date: Tue 17th of January 2006
Very good hotel, great value for money
"Great hotel, good location, good service, good food, good rooms and nice garden. Excellent breakfast, probably the best that I have seen anywhere ever, and I travel quite a lot. I have lived 6 years in Thailand and this is one of the best hotels I have stayed, and at least so far the best one I have stayed in Samui. We stayed here for 4 nights and have no complains, only positive things to say. Also the price is reasonable. At the moment, this is THE hotel in Samui that we recommend to our friends.
On a negative thing, when we were here the water level was so high that there was practically no beach next to the hotel. But 5 min walk solved that problem."
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of January 2006
Just like the other reviews said- wonderful!
"Amari was the best place ever. When we arrived I was a little hesitent because the room was just average, but after looking at the rest of the accomodations on Chaweng and around the island as well as staying in Chang Mai and Bangkok, Amari Palm Reef Resort is one of the best around. The poolside and the buffet was amazing. Even though the weather didn't cooperate we enjoyed laying on the beach and reading. The waitstaff would bring us towels, drinks, whatever we needed. We were there on Christmas Eve to enjoy their amazing celebration including fireworks, dancing, and even Christmas carols. Even though a lot of the staff did not speak English they were so sweet and did whatever they could to help you out. I would definitely recommend this hotel and this spot to anyway interested in traveling to Thailand. It is by far the best place in Koh Samui from what we could tell- especially for the price."
- Travel date: Sat 31st of December 2005
Best choice in Koh Samui
"We stayed at the Amari in Koh Samui December 20th till the 24th, 2005. The hotel is absolutely perfect and we loved it. The style is a perfect blend of contemporary and Thai. Everything looks new, fresh and is extremely tastefully done.
There are two parts to the hotel, one by the beach and the other across the street. We stayed across the street, which had nicer, newer and larger rooms than the other side. It's only a couple minutes to the beach.
The restaurants are great (Prego and Merante), the service is crisp, and there are lots of intimate corners to laze around and read. The breakfast was fantastic - continental and Asian.
Some other recommendations for eating out in Koh Samui: dinner at Sandies on Chaweng beach, dinner at the beach restaurant at Muang Samui (right by Amari), lunch at the bar at Anantara, then of course Prego and Merante at the hotel.
Rent a jeep from any of the rentals in town (we got ours from White Wave south of Amari on Chaweng, opp Poppies). Cost us 700 Baht, 250 Baht of gas and took us through the entire island.
Visit Fisherman's village - quaint and fun. Lots of coffee houses, restaurants and little shops.
For fabulous massages at great prices (at 1/6th the price of hotel spas!) go to "East by South" on Chaweng (one minute walk from Amari). Incredible foot massage and Thai massage.
If you're looking for a very exclusive, secluded and quiet holiday then Siva Evason Hideaway might be a better choice than Amari. It's away from everything, has a quiet beach and you barely see anyone at all. But if you're looking for an active, fun and exclusive resort then Amari is the place."
- Travel date: Fri 30th of December 2005
"We stayed in the amari palm reef by default. We were originally going to stay in Poppies Hotel but at the last minute a storm hit the island and the lower end of chaweng was flooded. I Have to say in hindsight it was for the best in the end. The Amari palm reef was amazing. It is an immaculate hotel spread either side of the main chaweng road at the northern end. The rooms were spacious, clean and beautifully finished. Two pools on either side of the road were clean and well maintained, with an excellent bus-boy ready to serve food and drinks to your lounger. The grounds are perfectly manicured and our room overlooked the garden area at the far end of the complex. A bit of a walk away from reception but well worth it for the picturesque view of the grounds and to bea ble to sit on the balcony and listen to the bullfrogs song late evening. The food at both resturants is brilliant. The itallian "prego" resturant serves tasty wood fire cooked pizzas and many cordon bleu itallian dishes at amazing prices with 5 star service. The main hotel resturant where breakfast was served was tranquill and stunning, with perhaps not so amazing buffet food, but still excellent quality and service. The hotel is perfectly placed on the Beach and at the very edge of chaweng's main shopping area. Getting into town took less than 2 minutes walk but once back at the hotel you could have been in the middle of nowhere it was so peascefull. No noise or disturbance at all. (although its quite close to airport so planes fly close over head on occasions)
Chaweng itself is an odd town. Lots of shops, bars, excellent resturants and tour operators but all of them set up in a temporary "shack" like row of shops. It all has the feel of being built very fast with little thought to space etc(which it probably was)
All in all we had a brilliant holiday (even if there was torrential rain for most of it) and would reccommend it to anyone."
- Travel date: Tue 27th of December 2005
Excellent Hotel if You Get the Right Room
"We stayed in this hotel twice during our recent trip to Thailand (once before going to Koh Tao and again on our way back from Koh Tao). Our first stay was fabulous. We had a beautiful room with a balcony overlooking the hotel courtyard, and housekeeping left fresh orchids all over the room each time they cleaned. The second time we stayed, our room wasn't as nice. It was a two story room just off the street, so it was a little noisy, and we had some trouble with the hot water. My advice is to request a room on the back courtyard if you're not staying on the water (didn't see those rooms). It's a little further back, but the room was much nicer, and it was quieter.
That being said, the amenities at this hotel were excellent. The pool is just off the beach, and there's a nice view of the water from the breakfast restaurant (really great food, and breakfast is included with the cost of your room). The open air Italian restaurant at the hotel is also quite good with excellent service. We also booked a facial and a massage at the spa, which is also open air and very relaxing. You could probably skip the facials, but the massages were spectacular.
The other musts at this hotel are the club sandwich at the pool restaurant (my friend and I were addicted), and the poolside pina coladas were also fantastic (and I'm not even normally a fan). Oh, and the best part was that around 2:00 every day an elephant trainer from down the road would bring this baby elephant out to play in the ocean right in front of the hotel."
- Travel date: Tue 27th of December 2005
Not bad for Samui - one of the best on the island
"we stayed here for three days. and pre-arranged for pick-up and drop-off to & from the samui airport. the island itself is well, an island. and this resort was still being fixed up here and there - due to what seems to be a recent extension of the resort.
we stayed on the side facing the road, however our delux villa thankfully faced the nature, instead of the road itself.
now i have to point something out - unlike bangkok, the staff here expect tips. i'm not kidding.
the accomodations were ok. the furniture and bathroom seem quite modern and it helped that bottled water was always readily available. however we did experience problems with the geckos (i.e. native lizards). due to insufficient caulking around the bathroom, these little fellas will freely invade your bathroom and hotel suite at will. and because they move so fast, there's really no point in calling the front desk. i suspect that all other hotel rooms have this problem.
let's just say this made using the toilet a challenge.
every morning began with an all you can eat buffet. it was quite scrumpious to be quite honest. and as long as you stay on the resort and the nearby beach, your stay will be pleasant. venturing after hours and you can easily end up in the seedy red-light district or be accosted by friendly aussies who'd like to know if you're either an american or brit."
- Travel date: Mon 26th of December 2005
Close to perfection
"Very nice hotel, extremely care for details and good service. Noteworthy buffet breakfast and excellent restaurants at cheap price. Gorgeous view, nice and clean rooms in a quite location. Must try the beds in the bar and SPA massages. Hotel organizes trips to most important Samui attractions at cheap price (150 Baht per person). Be careful about the weather, we stayed in early December and had six consecutive heavy rainy days. Would definitely suggest this hotel."
- Travel date: Thu 15th of December 2005
"The Palm Reef Hotel is one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in. Me and my husband stayed there for 8 nights between the 26th of October and the 4th of November and we loved every second of it!
The service was excellent and the hotels two restaurants serve amazing food. The price for the Thai food is about 150bht and for more western food from 250bht and up. The hotel also has a SPA but it's very expensive, cheapest treatment is around 1.200bht, and the small "massage places" down on the beach costs 200bth for 60 min and are equally as good. A good thing is also that the hotel is on the outside on Chaweng and it feels a bit more private than other hotels.
If there are some negative aspects it could be that the girls in the reception not always understand what youâre trying to ask or tell them. An extra course in English would help I think. :)
The doors to the rooms are also a bit thin so noises from the outside (the cleaning lady for example) tend to wake you some times.
But we loved it and would highly recomend it!"
- Travel date: Mon 28th of November 2005
The Best Hotel I've Ever Stayed In
"Myself and my husband booked a Superior Room in the Amari based on recommendations from Trip Advisor and we couldn't have picked a better hotel. We stayed from 27 Oct-03 Nov and were sorry we had to leave at all as this was the best hotel I've ever stayed in. After we checked in we were whisked off in a golf cart to our room across the road. I could tell my hubby wasn't happy about being away from the beach but when he saw the deluxe room that we'd been upgraded to he changed his mind! As others have said the road between the two parts of the complex is no big deal at all especially with the security guys stopping traffic for guests to cross.
ACCOMMODATION - Our deluxe room....what a room! It was big and spacious, had a fantastic bathroom with a separate walk-in shower and everything blended perfectly with the surroundings (the patio overlooked the tropical gardens). The room came complete with tv and dvd player and if I had to find fault it would be that the bed was too hard for me but that's clutching at straws!
FOOD & DRINKS - we ate in the hotel every night alternating between Prego Italian restaurant and the Merante. Breakfast is in Merante and it really does cater to every appetite...if there was something missing then I couldn't thing what! Merante has themed nights every night but also has an a-la-carte menu should you wish. Prego has a wonderful selection and my only complaint is that when the restaurant is busy it also gets very warm! Snacks are available at the pool bar and this is where we had lunch most days. I can't find fault with any of the restaurants. Most nights after dinner we headed off to [email protected] for a few drinks while the sun went down and its the perfect way to unwind.
LOCATION - The Amari Palm Reef is located at the northern end of Chaweng beach and the location was perfect in my view. The stretch of beach that the hotel is located on is cleaned daily by the hotel staff and I found it to be the cleanest part of the entire Chaweng beach. The Amari is far enough from the hustle and bustle so you're not hassled by it but it's close enough if you want to venture into the midst of it.
POOLS - The Amari has two pools, one in the Thai village close to the deluxe accommodations and one on the other side of the resort near the beach. The pool nearest the beach was the busiest and the one that the kids used. The other pool is quieter. Both are spotlessly clean and towels are on hand for guests so theres no need to bring your own.
STAFF - The staff at the Amari are the friendliest and most helpful hotel staff I've ever met. They all seemed to love kids and would play with them at every opportunity. They were always perfectly turned out, had genuine smiles and were always on hand when you needed them without being intrusive.
SPA - The Sivara Spa is in a wonderful and peaceful location in the Thai village. After a hard day of sight-seeing myself and hubby headed off for our Thai massages. The surroundings are fantastic, the staff are happy and helpful and the massage was fab (if a little rough at times). Massages aren't cheap at 1600THB each but we wanted to splurge just once and it was definitely worth it!
If you are looking for a hotel in Koh Samui don't even look at anywhere other than the Amari Palm Reef....it really is fantastic!"
- Travel date: Sun 13th of November 2005