Overall this is a very nice hotel and definitely worthy addition to the Hilton’s Conrad brand. There was only couple of small service issues that can probably be attributed to the hotel having been open for bit over a month when I was there. I had visited the island couple of time previously and both times stayed at the Renaissance hotel which is closer to the Lamai beach. This time I stayed also one night at the Le Meridien hotel.
I was going to be around Bangkok in late November, and realized that I could take advantage of Hilton Points Stretcher deal, that had the Conrad Koh Samui at 40% discount off of the regular point rates. Considering that the regular rates at this all villa property are normally in excess of 16K THB + tax/service charge (around $600 per night) even the 50K/night is a reasonable deal.
If you stay for four nights (probably my ideal stay at this property), the best award would be AXON7 that would require 145K points averaging 36250 HH/night. For stays of six nights or longer (except 8/12/16 etc. nights) the VIP/GLON award is the best bang for the buck at 37500 HH/night.
Getting to Koh Samui from Bangkok normally involves either flying Bangkok Airways (around 17 daily flights) or Thai Airways (twice daily flights). In addition there is a direct service from Singapore on SilkAir and to Hong Kong on Bangkok Airways. In addition to Bangkok they have flights to Phuket and Chiang Mai as well. The reason, why Koh Samui is mainly served by Bangkok Airways, is the fact that they happen to own the airport.
My reservation for the hotel was made a day prior to my arrival. I was bit surprised that nobody contacted me by email from the hotel and offered transportation or other services. Friend of mine works on the island, and I had arranged with him the picking me up and transportation to the hotel.
The taxi situation is Koh Samui is dire. There are “metered” taxis but all of them refuse to use the meters. You always need to negotiate the price beforehand, and personally I don’t like that. As the Conrad is on exactly the opposite side of the island from the airport, the taxi fare should be anywhere from 1000 to 1500 THB oneway. The real “metered” fare would be probably around 250 THB. The drive itself is only 40 kilometers, but the road is often congested and there are lots of motorbikes around. It should take 45 minutes to an hour from the airport to Conrad.
The hotel is in secluded location. It is perfect for someone that just intends to spend most of the time within the resort. The nightlife area of Koh Samui is in Chaweng, which is close to the airport and requires 45 to 60 minute drive each way. There are some bars in Lamai area as well that is around half an hour from the resort. The nearby Nikki Beach has very popular Sunday brunch with DJ’s etc. that is quite fun. I have been there once.
My suggestion would be to either rent a car for few days to explore the island or, if more adventurous, rent a motorbike that costs 150 to 200 THB per day.
The whole complex is built on a steep hill. This guarantees an unobstructed sea view from each of the free standing villas. It doesn’t look, however, that neat when viewed from the sea/pier. But the views from villa pools are astonishing
This was very breeze. It was noted that this was an award reservation. The registration card showed the amount (905 THB) that the hotel would get from Hilton HHonors per night. Received a welcome letter that basically apologized that they weren’t able to offer upgrades at this property and offered a complimentary one hour Thai massage instead.
Personally, I liked the location of this villa, although it was bit of a hike from the “beach” and the restaurant. You could always call and get them to come to get you in a buggy, but most of the time I just walked.
The villa was done very tastefully, although there was already some scratch marks on the work desk area. The bed was very comfortable and loved the pool/sea view from the bed.
Really loved the infinity pool and just being in there and watching out to the sea. The pool area had couple of sun chairs, and another sitting are with a table on the bedroom side.
The bathroom was very spacious with a circular bath tub. First hotel which I have been to that has Acca Kappa bathroom products.
They had some material in the villa about the first Apple, the computer company, based in room entertainment system.
There really isn’t too much of a beach to talk about. I guess that one could jump to the real beach but there really isn’t any reason to go there. Bit higher they have some sort of artificial “beach” but that wasn’t really anything where one would like to spend any time. The main pool area with cabanas was rather deserted most of the time. Most of the folks probably preferred lounging by their own pools.
There is a really nice view of the complex from the pier. You can sometimes also see local fisherman around.
Complimentary to all Diamond members and probably included for most, if not all, paid rates at this property. It is at the Zest restaurant. There is a buffet for breads, pastries, cold cuts, yogurts, fruits, smoothies etc. Then you just order the main item(‘s) of your choice off the menu.
The first morning I had bit of a trouble with my order. It took an hour to get sourdough toast. Also, the eggs benedict that I ordered sauce on the side didn’t come correctly. Second time around they did get it right, however.
Unfortunately cannot comment about the other food and beverage outlets. Tried to have a drink on the first night but the bar had already been closed more than half an hour before the closing time.
The cosy restaurant by the pool looked welcoming.
Typical new equipment. Was on the ground floor with a view of the ocean. For some reason there was a murky smell. Not sure where it came from.
Food and beverage manager called me after I had had the problem with the bar and the breakfast. I asked if there was supposed to be some fruits on the empty fruit bowl that I had on the table. Also, I asked about some wine amenity that some had reported getting there. In about an hour I had my fruit bowl filled and a bottle of red wine brought in. There was only some cookies brought in on the first day.
For the couple of small problems I had, they offered a Thai cooking class and some drinks at the bar. Thanked them for the kind offers but ended up not using them. Also didn’t use the Thai massage that was offered as a Diamond amenity instead of an upgrade.
Overall great property that offers very good redemption value compared to average nightly rates. You can also use free night certificates from various Hilton promotions. The regular rates are on the high side but probably justified considering the type of accommodations offered.
The only downside or could be upside for some, depending what kind of retreat you are looking for, is the somewhat remote location.