More about Amari Emerald Cove Resort
Probably the best place at Koh chang
This comment is posted from the Amari Emerald Cove on our last and seventh day here. This hotel was partly chosen on basis of the reviews in here, and we are not disappointed at all.
We are a family of four (kids aged 4 and 1), and as a standard room probably is too small to fit the four of us, we considered two connected rooms or a suite. The price for the suite was about the same as two rooms, so we chose the suite.
We were very well welcomed. The general manager also turned up to greet us, which I guess is because we were staying in the suite. As we tend to like people who show that they give an effort, we regard this as a nice gesture.
Our suite (room number 300) is probably the best location at the hotel. Third (top) floor, facing the pool and the beach. Two TV sets and a DVD player in the living room. The bathroom has a bath tub with panoramic views. Everything is nice and clean.
However, one must complain about the details, right? The master bed is a bit hard, and we occasionally had ants in our room. Also, for a 5 star hotel, we would expect a proper bed cover for our baby boy, not a bathroom towel. Besides that, we can't really say what else to expect.
The breakfast restaurant is not airconditioned, which made our morning meals shorter than normal...
The things we'll remember the most are the pool(s), especially the large 50 metre pool is excellent, and the staff. Very nice and pleasant, and extremely nice towards our children.
The spa is also good, but be prepared to pay approx. 2,000B per hour. Compared to 300 elsewhere it is of course very expensive, but this comparison isn't really fair.
The beach was ok but not great. I believe the sand quality is better north on this beach. Visited the Panviman, and there the beach was very nice. Anyway, we spend most of our time in the pool so it doesn't matter that much. The Amari beach is however cleaned every day and there is a security guard overlooking the area day and night.
Finally; I spent a couple of hours looking for other places to stay at Koh Chang. After all, we are paying about twice as much as at any other place we've checked on this island. A week here will cost us approx. 100,000B, including three meals a day. So far our conclusion is clear; we'll return to room number 300 at the Amari:-)
Wonderful hotel on paradise island
My husband and I stayed at the Amari for 14 nights in October and had an absolutely fantastic time.
Koh Chang is just off the coast of Thailand and is reached by ferry from Trat. We flew from Bangkok with Bangkok Air, 50 minute flight for about £60. The staff at Amari are wonderful, helpful and kind – as are in our experience all Thai people. We were met at the airport and transferred by ferry to Amari. It really does seem like a paradise island, we hired a moped and travelled around a bit and really enjoyed ourselves. We also went on an Elephant trek which was a great experience.
The hotel itself is very clean, the rooms are spotless and the facilities are all very well maintained, the maid service is excellent. The beach, although small is perfectly formed! The sea is warm and clear. Room service is prompt and very reasonable, the food at both Just Thai and Sassi was fantastic, as was food from the pool bar and Cove Terrace. The surrounding restaurants in the little “village” were great, we especially recommend Chockdee’s further along the beach, the food is excellent!
We both couldn’t complain about a thing at the Amari. Our whole stay was wonderful; we couldn’t have expected anything more. We highly recommend the Spa for a few specialist treatments, especially Thai massage, and the massage hut on the next beach for every day pampering.
There were a few special touches that were appreciated, fresh fruit kebabs brought to your sunbeds in the afternoon, free mini massages at your sunbed from the Spa staff, and cooling towels in the heat of the day. The hotel also has a book exchange where you can trade in books once you have read them for ones left behind by other guests.
If you are thinking about visiting the Amari – go and book, you wont regret it. We found the best rates available through the hotels own website and Expedia.
Our recommendations would be: rent a moped and explore, night swim in the sea, get up in time for the fantastic breakfast a few times during your stay at least! Visit the surrounding restaurants, take mosquito repellent and take advantage of happy cocktail hour and watch the sun set from the sunbed terrace, its bliss.
wonderful (if a little corporate/quiet)
my husband and i had a really fab holiday at the amari.
we'd agree with all the positive things everyone else has said about it. some people don't like the lack of beach - we loved it (no trek to get into the gorgeous sea). the pool and lounging areas are very attractive and stylish. the little touches like the fruit and towels were appreciated.
the only downsides for us (which meant that whilst we had a lovely break and don't regret our choice, we wouldn't say 'you so have to go there' to our friends) were
- it's really quite corporate design wise. this is no hip hotel! the hotel buildings lacked any real (thai - or otherwise) character, but hey, i knew that from the photos. i spent many an afternoon pondering whether the hotel should be painted a different colour rather than the hotel equivalent of magnolia...
- likewise, the rooms, though large, could have been anywhere.
- the bed. ohmygodthebed. it was soooooo hard. not conjusive to lying in (good as we never missed the amazing brekky).
- there's no real bar at the hotel. there's a pool bar that you can perch at (though no one did after 7). so there's no sense of community. which not everyone wants i guess.
- we went in november and paid high season prices though the weather was variable and the hotel and 'resort' was incredibly quiet, so lacked atmosphere.
- there's really not much to do in the evening. the bar that the shuttle bus drops you outside at white sands was lively (liked the fire show) but not somewhere to go every night. in the amari area there are only a few restaurants. our fave bar was 200m along the beach to the right (seaview wise) of the hotel for watching the sunset. it's just a shack but the guy who owns it is lovely (we went to his birthday party!) and it plays music. ok, totally dodgy music. but at least there was an atmosphere.
- it's very middle aged. we felt like the young trendy couple for the first few days and we're 35/40!
- and a bugbear of my own, that's nothing to do with the amari, was that i was depressed on a daily basis by the number of gross old white men walking along the beach hand in hand with gorgeous girls 15 years younger than me. uuughghgh.
- the hotel band. god love 'em. they meant we didn't eat in the open air restaurant as we spotted them serenade each table personally...really not our cup of tea. though, in case they read this, thanks for my 'sweet caroline.'
so, all in all, lovely and relaxing and a very photogenic pool. but shhhhhh oh so quiet and wouldn't ever win any design awards.
oh, we went to bangkok afterwards. hated it. should have stuck to the amari!
A centre of excellence with a 50 metre pool.
Stayed here for 8 days from Jan 19th to 27th, 2007. An excellent hotel with very high standards of service, cleanliness and facilities. Expensive by Thai standards, of course, but large well-equipped rooms with essential a/c in the humidity. Mosquitos zapped every evening (Ko Chang is considered malarial). Numerous, charming, smiley Thais offering faultless service everywhere, including free, short massage on the sunbeds every day.
We loved the 50 metre pool only yards from a very nice swimmable safe beach (not all the beaches are safe). A well planned toddler's pool, central but discrete. 4 restaurants will cost £10 to £20 perhead, so eat locally for £4 perhead either right on the beach on stilts over the water, or on the road 200 m. away which runs down the coast. Quiet and peaceful - no discos eg.
But it is still a 4/5* international hotel: you could live an isolated western life-style here and would miss elephant riding, fishing villages on stilts, jungle trekking, all just a short open-air flag-down taxi ride away, and the beach side massages. A gym is included, and the spa treatments are high quality but very expensive compared to local Thai offerings. Above all you would miss the whole cultural experience and friendly Thai way of life.
We particularly liked the decent sized mugs for tea or coffee in our room, and the huge wide-ranging breakfasts which set us up for the day. Ko Chang is still pretty undeveloped so go soon. The tiny airport at Trat has charming open-air departure and arrival huts, with internet facilities. Clifford Gould, Glastonbury UK
Perfect hotel, awful guests
Stayed at the Amari for 8 nights early February. The hotel and surroundings are absolutely fantastic, as are the location and the service. We motorbiked around the island to check out some of the other hotels and decided Amari was the absolute best among the more upmarket places. (we also found that Koh Chang ius not almost but already almost completely spoilt as a result of mass tourism, so if the Crusoe experience is your thing - go elsewehere!) Anyway, the hotel. Beautiful rooms, beautiful bay, just spectacular. Although it's cheaper to have your lunch & diners at restaurants nearby, the restaurants on the Amari premises are far more interesting food wise. They served the most inventive, creative Thai dishes I ever had, and even had a great local wine on the wine list. So: if 15 euro's extra won't kill you, be sure to give the Amari restaurants a try!
My only negative experience was with the other guests. It seems Koh Chang's tourism industry is now focusing on large packet deal groups, resulting in an overkill of dangerously overweight Russians, chainsmoking Swedes who try their best at ignoring their screaming kids all day, and very unhealthy and bored looking British couples. If you do manage to overlook them on the beach, it is very hard to ignore their extremely rude behaviour towards the Thai staff, and their binge drinking on the beach (starting from 10 am). On a positive note: they never leave the premises except to buy cheap alcolhol and food at the local supermarket, so outside of the premises, you'll have no trouble avoiding them. All in all: great hotel, if you have a sense of humour about your fellow hotel guests. The absolute best and most tasteful among the upmarket places on this island!!!
Loved KC, Liked The Amari.
Just returned from 11 nts in the Amari and thoroughly enjoyed our time in Koh Chang. The Amari is a short 30 min drive from the ferry piers and situated on Klong Prao beach. The front entrance and lobby of the hotel are fairly attractive and the drink & cold towel greeting on arrival was appreciated. The property fans out in a "V" shape from the lobby to the beach and guest roooms are in blocks adjacent to the gardens / pool area. Our room was pool / sea facing for which we paid a supplement, the alternative was to overlook neighbouring properties and this would have been a major dissapointment for us. The rooms are large and comfortable with a good size bathroom and nice big balconies, internal decor was fairly generic & simple, but of a decent standard. We did feel that the hotel needed some routine maintenance and hadn't weathered that well considering it's age, this applied to the rooms and around the pool area in particular. The Amari does feel a little compact for a 170 room resort, and at full occupancy this could be an issue for some. The staff here are the real plus and amongst the most helpful and genuinely warm of any we've met on our 6 previous holidays in Thailand. Breakfast was very good if a little busy at times, also the snacks at the pool bar were pretty good. Our experience of "Just Thai" & "Sassi" wasn't great, maybe we were unlucky but the food is quite expensive and dishes were very small. This turned out to be a real blessing as we walked into nearby Kai Bae on 9 consecutive occassions and enjoyed some of the best Thai food we've ever eaten for 1/4 of the price. Having read most of the previous reviews on the Amari we felt that in many ways most are fairly accurate, at night the place is beautifully lit and looks its best, however our overwhelming feeling is that the design of the resort and architechture could have been so much better. The Amari may struggle when a real 5* Thai hotel opens on this Island. Nevertheless, we had a great time at the Amari and it is a nice hotel in a good location.
A little hit and miss
I've just returned from 7 nights at the Amari and the first thing to say is that if you've stayed in 5 star hotels in Bangkok you will consider this hotel to be a 4 star. The service can be good one day and bad the next; Sometimes your room will be made up and sometimes you will have to ask at reception to get it done.
You must at all costs book a deluxe sea view room and not a superior room with "jungle" views. The "jungle" view I had turned out to be a view of the back wall and high voltage power cables. Luckily the hotel was quiet and I was able to upgrade to a deluxe for £25 extra a night.I would have certainly changed hotels if there was no deluxe rooms available.
The sea here is very calm and I recommend swimming in early morning or night. The pool and pool area is excellent for sun worshippers ( I don't know how those people lay out all day in 40C heat!). I ate at Sassi and Just Thai restaurants and the food was excellent. My biggest pleasant surprise was to find how many restaurants there are in Kai Bae which is walkable or short taxi ride from the hotel. There's no need to go to White Sands to get good food and bars. I recommend the restaurant at KB Resort at the far end of town.
There's a bar called Mandalay Bar up the beach a few hundred yards to the right, you'll see the chritsmas tree lights. The place run by a couple of Thai lads who are still at college. They do a mean G & T and could do with some more farang custom.
Be sure to wear strong insect repellent when on the beach, the sand flies can be quite violent.
Overall not a bad hotel on a beautiful island.
The Amari is set on a beautiful beach on Koh Chang Island in Thailand. The setting is idyllic.
Unfortunately the communications between staff is not great so when checking our family in, we were given different snippets of information. This caused a disappointing start to our holiday.
The rooms were unfinished and not really what we would expect from a 5* hotel. When we addressed our concerns with the managers, they were very appologetic, and sincere. We felt they could do with some very detailed staff training especially in the restaurant (we only ate breakfast there).
4* Quality, 5* Thai service
Having read some mixed reports on this hotel I fail to see how others could not be impressed! This is 4* hotel, and everything about it meets or exceeds this standard. Plus you get the typical Thai service for free!
On arrival we were surprised and pleased to hear that we had been upgraded for free to a deluxe room - possibly because the hotel was about 40% full? We didn't argue. The room was ideal; everything you needed, and it all worked. We requested a flatter pillow and the maid resolved within 10 minutes.
Beach - This is small, negligible at high tide, but the pool/grassed areas are fine. At low tide, however, you can walk for several miles north - really peaceful and uncrowded; All the beach beds at all the resorts are off the beach and not on it.
Pool - The best pool I have ever seen! 50m long. Great for actual swimming.
Restaurants - Breakfast (Cove rest.) as you would expect, this had a good choice. Although we chose to ate outside the hotel on alternate nights the food and ambiance at Sassi (Italian) and Just Thai was excellent. Total cost was at least double what you'd pay outside the hotel BUT it was worth it. Cost of drinks were the biggest difference. There are a few local restaurants nearby of mixed quality, none bad - Ko Kitchen, 50m from the hotel, is the best; it's food quality matches the hotel. Less than 500bt per person for a top quality meal and drinks. You can pay less elsewhere, More choice exists a short taxi drive away.
Facilities - All you need is hear; or it can be arranged. My partner thought the hotel massage facilities were fabulous. You can pay 300 bt for a one hour massage off the beach at other resorts or somewhat more (1000+ bt) at the hotel - but again you're not comparing like with like.
Misc - The hotel spays the grounds with mozzi spay at dusk each day; it all helps.
Misc - There are several local tailors; I'd recommend 'Morrissey' on the main road. Lovely people, quality results.
In summary, a quality hotel, in a relatively quiet location (for the moment), and hassle free. I definately recommend this hotel.
We booked 8 nights and left after the second, the place was dire unlike anwhere I'd previously stayed in Thaland. The Reception Manager was rude and unhelpful, our room was dirty and we were subjected to construction work right outside our room for both days. We moved next door to the Dewa which was brilliant.