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The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui - Thailand [Master Thread]

The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui - Thailand [Master Thread]

Old Dec 29, 17, 6:26 pm
  #46  
 
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Do we know if all rooms are being used during the soft launch phase; if they still need to employ 100s more staff perhaps some room types are blocked off and upgrades may be more likely than usual. Planning to go in last week on January.

I also note on the website that free breakfast is being included on all paid rates; do you think this would extend to award bookings (at least for Ritz/Marriott Golds or Plats)?

Finally, when I go to make a award booking it says 'Please note that your prepayment for this special rate is non-refundable', even though there is free cancellation more than two weeks out. Specifically, it says 'To ensure that you receive this special rate, we will charge your credit card a prepayment of 6981.17 THB when you make your reservation', which I have never seen before for a award reservation, especially a single night!
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Old Dec 31, 17, 8:30 am
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by FormalHall View Post
Do we know if all rooms are being used during the soft launch phase; if they still need to employ 100s more staff perhaps some room types are blocked off and upgrades may be more likely than usual. Planning to go in last week on January.

I also note on the website that free breakfast is being included on all paid rates; do you think this would extend to award bookings (at least for Ritz/Marriott Golds or Plats)?

Finally, when I go to make a award booking it says 'Please note that your prepayment for this special rate is non-refundable', even though there is free cancellation more than two weeks out. Specifically, it says 'To ensure that you receive this special rate, we will charge your credit card a prepayment of 6981.17 THB when you make your reservation', which I have never seen before for a award reservation, especially a single night!
did call and ask.

the answer 'no'.
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Old Jan 1, 18, 8:09 am
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by FormalHall View Post
Do we know if all rooms are being used during the soft launch phase; if they still need to employ 100s more staff perhaps some room types are blocked off and upgrades may be more likely than usual. Planning to go in last week on January.

I also note on the website that free breakfast is being included on all paid rates; do you think this would extend to award bookings (at least for Ritz/Marriott Golds or Plats)?

Finally, when I go to make a award booking it says 'Please note that your prepayment for this special rate is non-refundable', even though there is free cancellation more than two weeks out. Specifically, it says 'To ensure that you receive this special rate, we will charge your credit card a prepayment of 6981.17 THB when you make your reservation', which I have never seen before for a award reservation, especially a single night!
Not all rooms are open. Some of the Pai's(suite buildings) are not open and the ultimate pool villas on the hill are not open. Construction is still ongoing though a stay at the end of Jan is so close to the grand opening that they will most likely have everything open. Everything is currently being rushed, construction was almost 24 hours in the unfinished parts of the resort.
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Old Jan 16, 18, 6:45 pm
  #49  
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Just got trashed on TPG. https://thepointsguy.com/2018/01/hot...amui-thailand/

I would stay away, especially at these prices. At same price point, Vana Belle is a much better location and gets raves.
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Old Jan 16, 18, 7:07 pm
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Just got trashed on TPG. https://thepointsguy.com/2018/01/hot...amui-thailand/

I would stay away, especially at these prices. At same price point, Vana Belle is a much better location and gets raves.
This is why bloggers are morons. Us on FT know itís in preopening phase and would avoid it as such.

Complaining about an excessive airport S Class transfer is something people who donít travel do.

He should also know the location is remote.

While some complaints are valid, I feel a lot was intentionally compounded to get the stay comped.
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Old Jan 16, 18, 7:39 pm
  #51  
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Originally Posted by m0hamed View Post
While some complaints are valid, I feel a lot was intentionally compounded to get the stay comped.
I agree that a number of the complaints were unwarranted, including the hotel car - takes about 3 minutes on the internet to nail down transport options from USM. And an extra $42 US for a hotel S Class vs. a van is really not excessive anyway.

Demanding a full refund, including the breakfast he admitted was one of the best anywhere, also strikes me as excessive.

But he's correct, they do not disclose that it's pre-opening if you make a website booking. Again a little research goes a long ways, but they ought to be disclosing that. And the misleading photos are still up.
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Old Jan 16, 18, 7:44 pm
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
I agree that a number of the complaints were unwarranted, including the hotel car - takes about 3 minutes on the internet to nail down transport options from USM. And an extra $42 US for a hotel S Class vs. a van is really not excessive anyway.

Demanding a full refund, including the breakfast he admitted was one of the best anywhere, also strikes me as excessive.

But he's correct, they do not disclose that it's pre-opening if you make a website booking. Again a little research goes a long ways, but they ought to be disclosing that. And the misleading photos are still up.
Agree. Iím always amazed how long hotels leave renderings up instead of photos. For this reason TripAdvisor is useful.
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Old Jan 17, 18, 1:41 am
  #53  
 
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I stayed over Christmas and wouldn't recommend - I too wrote a long email to management, which resulted in nothing. In short, there are much better options. Problems included the wrong transportation (mini van instead of Mercedes), cold room service (twice), room service not arriving, buggy not arriving, incorrect charges, card machine not working, air con not working, telephone not working, internet not working, spa pool drained due to heavy rain, a lot of "dead" or rotting foliage around the villa etc etc etc. Way below the Ritz standard.
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Old Jan 22, 18, 8:21 am
  #54  
 
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I just returned from an excellent three night stay here with my girlfriend although I understand some of where the negative reviewers are coming from. I booked using the free night certificates from the signup bonus of the Chase RC card and saw the day before arrival that my room had been upgraded from the entry level terrace suite to an ocean view pool villa. Check-in was efficient although strangely they didn't mention I had been upgraded or my RC Gold status. I requested and was granted a 3pm late check-out. Then a buggy took us on a tour of the resort and to our villa. I noticed our buggy driver was careful to hold down our luggage when navigating some of the steep slopes and sharp turns. It was about 30 steps up and then 10 meters along a walkway from the buggy drop off point to our villa which we didn't mind as we are young and in good health but I understand that many would struggle with that many steps and that it would be unpleasant if heavily raining.

Our ocean view villa was excellent and to my eyes looked very similar to the renders on the website. Even though our villa's pool was next to road it was sufficiently elevated that it felt quite private and had excellent views. However, some of the other villas along the same road were much closer to the ground and thus were much more exposed to passersby and also presumably had much worse ocean views. Wifi in our room wasn't great and dropped occasionally but was good enough for casual browsing and to stream a standard definition movie. Our villa was central enough that we were able to walk to all the dining options/beach/pool and didn't have to wait for buggies which was fortunate because the buggy dispatch system seemed somewhat haphazard. While walking we were frequently offered rides by passing buggies which was appreciated.




view of our villa from the road

ocean view from our villa

I do agree with others that the hotel's website is not good at conveying information. I think they just recently added the disclaimer that "The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui is open and accepting reservations. However, the hotel does have some areas still undergoing changes." which is not particularly informative. For what it's worth everything we wanted to do at resort (dining, beach, main pool) was already open and there wasn't any loud construction near our villa so I'm not sure exactly what is yet to open. On the dining page it shows the same photo for Sea Salt and Pak Thai which I initially thought was an error but now realize that use that space at different times of the day. Pak Tai has additional space the near the swim reef and during dinner Sea Salt moves to a deck near the beach (not at all mentioned on the website). While we were there was also a happy hour from 5:30-6:30 for all guests to enjoy free wines (one red, one white, and one processo), one or two cocktails, soft drinks and some small snacks at the arrival pavilion and try to see the sunset. I imagine this must be new as there is no mention of it on the website and I think only mentioned in one review on tripadvisor which was in the past week. I believe in the future they are moving it to the Peak which is not mentioned at all on the website as far as I can but has excellent views of the resort and supposedly also of the sunrise. They are planning a private dining experience there as well although I'm not sure if it's currently available.


sunset view from arrival pavilion


Dining is a real strength of the hotel. We ate at all the restaurants except Baan Talat due to heavy rain on Saturday night which is the only day it's currently open. Pak Tai and Tides (the pool bar) were particularly excellent with incredible Thai food at Pak Tai and ceviches at Tides. I had never tried or heard of ceviches (a raw seafood with citrus dish from Latin America) but really enjoyed them at Tides and especially appreciated a resort being innovative with the food options and not going for safe bland choices. The Thai food at the resort was fragrant and often spicy as it should be. Tides also had good cocktails and amazing coconut ice cream served in a coconut. Sea Salt which offers "international comfort classics along with Thai favourites" was good although the Thai choices were limited to appetizers. Shook had a large and high quality breakfast buffet although we only had breakfast there once as it was somewhat expensive (1300++ THB, included on paid rates) and we aren't big breakfast people. We ordered room service twice which was good although the food was warm instead of hot when it arrived. The Koh Samui breakfast set (1300++) was huge and more than enough for both of us. We also appreciated that the food was reasonably priced and we spent around 1000++ per person at each meal while cocktails were 400-450.

The beach is pretty nice although most of the sand is quite rough to walk on. It is quite tranquil as a private beach and has good views of the resort. The website describes it as two beaches which is true although an alternative description would be a longer stretch of beach with a rock formation in the middle. The vibe is quite casual which I liked. The resort is isolated in the sense that you can't work anywhere but is only a 15 minute drive to Chaweng. We went one afternoon to walk along the beach and paid around 400 THB each way for a Grab. Staff were uniformly friendly and helpful. In a few cases where one staff member did not understand our instructions another one was proactive in stepping in and helping. The checkout process was bizarre. After we called for a buggy and luggage assistance and waited for 10-15 minutes with no sign of our buggy we managed to squeeze into the buggy of another couple that was also checking out and were taken to the concierge pavilion to settle the bill before being taken to the arrival pavilion where the outside road is. While at the concierge pavilion they offered to call us a taxi to the airport which we agreed to. The "taxi" charged a flat rate of 600 THB which while reasonable surprised me as I associate taxis with metres. When we arrived at the airport we had paid 500 THB for a prepaid taxi. All together I felt the checkout process took too long and it would be more efficient to settle the bill at the arrival pavilion.


view from the beach

Overall, we had a fantastic stay although I can't say how it compares to other resorts in Koh Samui or similarly expensive resorts elsewhere in Thailand. I do imagine it has to be of the best uses of the Chase RC free nights though. I imagine the service will get more polished over time and hopefully they can also improve the wifi and website. Hopefully you enjoyed this (very long) post and I can try to answer questions as well.
somemale likes this.

Last edited by quant88; Jan 22, 18 at 8:32 am Reason: added received late checkout
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Old Jan 22, 18, 1:06 pm
  #55  
 
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thank you for your trip report, quant88.

nice to know that they do room upgrade for elite members (afaik, most RC properties dont do this).
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Old Jan 22, 18, 4:08 pm
  #56  
 
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Traveling to Koh Samui for NYE holiday later this year. Torn between this property and the Renaissance. Advice on which way to lean is much appreciated.
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Old Jan 24, 18, 9:09 am
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by mrstraveler View Post
Traveling to Koh Samui for NYE holiday later this year. Torn between this property and the Renaissance. Advice on which way to lean is much appreciated.
The RC has only been open a few months and they are still not fully open so I would recommend waiting for more reviews closer to your stay to get a more accurate impression.
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Old Jan 27, 18, 7:56 am
  #58  
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I'd never stay here just because of the flakey GM. A GM that evades responsibility shows what kind of person they are and property they run. Then, the obviously fake photos and the lack of a sense of place. I just don't like the design. Soulless. I also know what its like to be ignored by a highend RC GM and it sucks.
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Old Jan 27, 18, 3:37 pm
  #59  
 
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Judged from the beach photo, i will stick with Vana belle for my samui trip in March.
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Old Mar 12, 18, 7:37 pm
  #60  
 
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Has anyone been here since the full opening?
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