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JulieChivers
Sydney, Australia

Family holiday + friends

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 19 Feb 2013
We travelled with our teenage children and two other families to celebrate my 50th birthday. We were thrilled with the resort and really can't fault it in anyway. Each couple had their own Deluxe Pool Access Villa & the kids had a Deluxe Room between two, just behind us. Our shared pool was fantastic - waking up & going to bed with a quick swim just added to our magnificent days. Plus, it was great when the main pool & beach got a little windy. The resort was always spotlessly clean and the staff were fantastic. They should be commended - all were very friendly, helpful & always polite & smiling. An extra special mention to those at Ocean Kiss Restaurant (esp Kate & Yot) who made each day start perfectly & even remembered most of our coffee orders. The breakfast buffet each morning was amazing. M & the boys at the Beach Bar were also lovely & very accommodating of our late night drinks. Joy, ran our trip to the markets (a real eye-opener) & our Thai cooking class (7 of us). She & her helpers were fantastic. This is a must for everyone. We are planning a Thai dinner party asap to try out what we learned. Anantara Spa was so beautiful - the foot ritual, massages & body scrub made us feel so special & the massage in the Beach Sala (with the waves crashing) was one of the (many) highlights of my trip. It was pricey compared to Samui standards but no more than you would pay in Sydney. Tree Tops was pricey but lovely. We booked late so could only get a low "tree house". Food was delicious even "wow" esp my "volcano" dessert. The Salt & Knife "gurus" were interesting but a bit over the top & unnecesary. The Beach BBQ was a great night. The entertainment and the array of food was fantastic. The food in the resort was delicious and not overly pricey although expensive by Samui standards. However, food just outside the resort, esp across the road or in Chaweng (15mins away), was plentiful, cheap and also delicious. We often chose not to leave the luxury of our resort though. Cocktails were great value, as was the beer but wine was expensive (pretty much everywhere). We all made significant use of the tailor across the road. They were inundated with orders and despite a few unnecessary appointments for extra fittings, they came through with great quality clothing for us all.
Date of stay: January 2013
Room Tip: The private/shared pool in the villas really added to the glamour of the holiday so we would...
Trip type: Travelled with family
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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GeneralManagerALS, General Manager at Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort, responded to this review
Responded 22 Feb 2013
Dear JulieChivers,

Congratulations once again for your 50th birthday and Thank You for spending it with your family at our resort.

We are curious to hear if the Cooking Class you enjoyed so much helped you impressing your friends and family back home.

If you need a refresher or just want to have another relaxing vacation we would be delighted welcoming you back.

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 18 February 2013

My husband and I had a free weekend for the first time in ages and were lucky enough to spend two days here. We didn't want to leave!
Our room was romantic and lovely with a large plush bed covered in mosquito netting(not from necessity but certainly more for affect), a beautiful sitting area, as well as a fantastic outdoor rainshower and quality amentities in the bath.
We were pleasantly surprised at the size of the suite as well as the size of the plunge pool and outdoor bath. The outdoor bath was such a surprise and could not have been move inviting. I used it three times in two days!
We ordered room service the first night and the food was delivered quickly and set up beautifully in our outdoor sala so we could enjoy while stargazing and listening to the sea.
The resort facilites were exactly what we were looking for, fast and friendly service around the pool and on the beach and comfortable loungers at both.
Breakfast was a lavish spread that we thoroughly enjoyed.
We also were lucky enough to indulge in the spa.The therapists are highly skilled and the setting divine.
There seemed to be a good balance of families and couples and everyone appeared extremely happy.
Highly recommend!

Date of stay: February 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ShannonCB
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 ShannonCB,

It is with great pleasure to read that we were able to provide you with such a great weekend experience and that you enjoyed your stay in one of our Pool Villas.

Please feel free contacting me directly should you plan to return for another Weekend Getaway.

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 18 February 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Pufflerd
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 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

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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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Reviewed 14 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
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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 22 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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