Not yet a 5 star resort. We would rate Aiyapura a solid 4-star hotel by Thai standards.
- The rooms were clean, had hardwood floors, and were airy with the white linens and light colored draperies.
- the bathrooms were very large and clean, although in the older style.
- the mattress was medium firm, great for most people's tastes, with two size pillows.
- The pool was medium size, clean and facing the ocean.
- there is a large children's play area, darts, and a volleyball area.
- the breakfast buffet had variety with an egg station (omelettes, boiled and fried eggs, and potatos), at least five different bread selections (white toast, baguettes, whole wheat bread, croissants and a few pastries), fruits (watermelon, pineapple, papaya and one day dragon fruit and apples), a small salad selection and muesli with yogurt. In addition every day there choices like Borscht, Thai soup, fried prawns, noodles with four kinds of sauces, etc. Overall there was a decent selection although I would not say any of the food was over the top in terms of it's quality or freshness.
The GOOD surprises:
- every night there were hand wrapped chocolates or cookies at our bedside!
- there were free kayaks for use from sunup to sundown. The highlight of our stay was taking these kayaks out every morning. We crossed the bay and saw a family of falcons hunting for fish. Wow!
- the location was delightful. We dislike crowded beach scenes, so finding ourselves in a quiet, undeveloped bay was fantastic. The tides goes out early which leaves the water very low for hours- perfect for children to swim in. If you are adventurous you can swim out quite far with no fear of currents. The water was very clean- no garbage washing up on the beach.
- Mr. Ton at the breakfast buffet asked if we would like tea, then bought a selection of 8 different teas from which to choose. I am always favorably impressed with any hotel/resort which offers more than lipton black tea!
- The breakfast staff were very helpful- when we asked for items that didn't appear such as bananas they found them in the kitchen and brought them to us.
-every room seems to have a view of the ocean because of the hillside on which the buildings are set.
- there is a pavillion at the top of the resort which overlooks the bay. It was too hot when we were there to enjoy it, but during cool season it would be a lovely place to sit and relax.
- at the top of the property there is a jungle walk. Bird lovers will appreciate that early in the morning.
The BAD surprises:
- in this resort's attempt to cater to Eastern European/Russian guests they have made the entire outdoor area at breakfast a smoking area. If you are a smoker, this is good news I suppose. However on the days when many people were smoking it was a sad disappointment to have to forgo the beautiful views because we didn't wish to be exposed to secondhand smoke at our meal. It would be better if half the deck was designated non-smoking.
- staff were friendly, but didn't seem to know what was going on. One desk clerk told me we could get a free ride into White sands upon check out, but ten minutes later another clerk informed me we would have to pay for that service unless we went at the specified times for a shuttle. This happened more than once- I would ask one staff member a question, get one answer, then be told by someone else a totally different story. We speak Thai fluently, so language was not the issue here.
- for a hotel that has DVD players in every room it seemed odd there was no DVD library to choose from. Perhaps there was, but if so the staff person we asked didn't know of it.
- the quality of the breakfast buffet was inconsistent. One morning there was leaf lettuce on the salad bar, the next only iceburg. One morning there was a beautiful mulitgrain bread for toast, the next day only croissants and white bread. One morning there was a pasta station with different sauces, the next day only over-fried vegetables. The management would be wise to look more closely at this aspect of it's hotel's management, as lack of consistency does not make a guest wish to return.
- the grounds are run down. If there was landscaping it's now obscured by weeds that grow everywhere on the property.
- The view from the pool looking out into the bay was obscured by shrubs that have grown too tall, weeds, and a very ugly cement statue painted in chipping white paint. I recommend the management to lose that statue fast- it reminded me of two star guest houses in rural Thailand.
- the hot water always ran from the sink and the shower, but not from the bathtub.
- if you are staying for more than two nights the lack of storage space in the closet is a problem. There was only one drawer for clothing and too few hangers for clothing.
Other comments: If you are in any way handicapped or have injuries which make it difficult to walk, this is not the resort for you- the entire resort is built on a hillside and requires lots of walking up and down. We're in good shape, but often arrived at our rooms out of breath. Not a problem for us- the views were worth it.
Summary: for what we paid we got a fair deal. It is after all high season, and the resort is delightfully situated. The staff certainly were pleasant and seemed to take their jobs seriously. However the management would do well to pay attention to a few things, namely taking care of the grounds, consistency in their food service and a standard complimentary transport to White Sands at noon which is when most guests check out.
- Also Known As:
- Aiyapura Resort And Spa
- Aiyapura Hotel
- Aiyapura Resort Koh Chang
- Aiyapura Hotel Koh Chang
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated in the Gulf of Thailand is a tropical island paradise, affectionately called Koh Chang or in English, Elephant Island. Koh Chang is the second largest island (429 square kilometres) in Thailand after Phuket. Despite its size Koh Chang is quite undeveloped. It is a picturesque island of virgin rainforest, untracked jungles, high mountains, spectacular coastlines, fine white sandy beaches, clear blue sea, colourful corals, breathtaking waterfalls and an abundance of marine life. FuramaXclusive Resort & Spa, Aiyapura is an independent hotel located on a forty acre beach-front property in Klong Son Bay. Beautiful Thai style villas and suites are surrounded by green tropical gardens with ocean views, set around a large 30 metre leaf shaped swimming pool. We offer the perfect natural environment for rest and relaxation, and a well-located base to explore all the activities Koh Chang has to offer. Koh Chang can be reached from Bangkok by direct flight in only 45 minutes, or in 5 hours by car or the hotel van service.Only 5 minutes from the ferry pier (many high end resorts are up to 1 hour from the pier) and White Sand Beach is easily accessible with the hotel shuttle bus. ... more less
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