More about Four Seasons Resort
A gorgeous and wonderful resort with challenges!
We had eagerly anticipated our visit to the Four Seasons Koh Samui for almost two years and were a bit hesitant considering the ambivalent reviews here on Tripadvisor. We have been to all the FS Asian resorts and have very high expectations. Nonetheless, we went here with an open mind. Many of the reviews here are not off base. This is indeed a resort which will elicit a wide variety of opinions since it does excel in many categories but may not be for everyone. I will be as fair as I can in my judgment here. Keep in mind we visited FS KS right after our trip to the Four Seasons resorts in the Maldives and they are a tough act to follow, especially the Landaa Giraavru property. Here are my thoughts:
The site is spectacular. When you go through the door at the reception pavilion (after they bang a gong to announce your arrival!) you are greeted by a sweeping view of the ocean and mountains. At first, it takes your breath away because you are at a surprisingly high point and you can understand at once how vertical the resort is. To say the resort is a lush jungle is an extreme understatement. As you leave this area in a buggy, you feel as if you are on a roller coaster as you travel down an amazing steep slope. The paths are incredibly steep, narrow and twisting. I thought some of the reviews were exaggerating about how difficult it is to traverse the resort, but they were definitely not! Unless you are a world class athlete, you will be completely dependent on a buggy. Even if you are incredible shape, there are so many buggies buzzing around that there are several staff members acting as “traffic cops” to direct the traffic. I would advise against walking (besides the obvious aforementioned difficulties!) as there is little room on the narrow paths. It is very difficult for two buggies to pass each other on these treacherous paths. It seems as if the resort has pretty much resolved its lack of buggies. The drivers now have wireless mics and ear pieces to keep in touch with a central dispatcher. We probably had to use a buggy 20 times during our five night stay and it was usually very prompt. THIS IS DEFINITELY NOT A PLACE FOR SMALL CHILDREN but I am sure this will not prevent parents from bringing their little darlings en masse!
The villas are undoubtedly some of the finest Four Seasons has to offer. We were fortunate to stay in what was probably the most sought after villa on the property. Beach villas #910 is the most remote and private villa but it is not without its challenges. It is on the far end of the resort next to the jungle and can hardly be seen by any other villa. You have to walk 57 steep and winding steps to the beach, then about 60 yards down the beach and up 37 steps to the villa itself. It is only accessible by the beach. It is an architectural marvel from the outside. There is a stone wall that rises 12 feet from the beach which supports the pool. The villa sits on massive concrete pylons and rises some 30 feet off the beach itself. The pool is phenomenal as it is larger than most main pools at resorts! It is a massive infinity pool which sits over the beach and affords a commanding view of the beach, ocean and mountains. The villa is deceivingly large from the outside. Since it towers over the beach and has very high ceilings in the bathroom and bedroom, it appears to be a massive structure but is actually a relatively small indoor space. The bedroom is very nicely decorated and has a chair and ottoman, built in desk and flat screen TV and Ipod docking station. There is no sofa which is an oversight. If you have a villa, differentiate it from a hotel room by having a nice place to sit and enjoy the view. Of course, the deck is huge and has a huge bale and table and chairs which is designed to encourage people to enjoy the outdoor living space. But when it is 105 degrees heat index outdoors, the indoor can be much more agreeable! The bath is huge and very well done as there are separate sink basins and cabinets, a huge tub with a sliding glass door to give you a great view as you are bathing and a separate shower. I would have gladly sacrificed some of the bath space for more space in the bedroom. The attention to detail and quality of the finishes in the villa rival that of Four Seasons Langkawi (no small feat!) and you realize this is place that is over the top luxury! Unfortunately, the air conditioning is not terribly effective, especially in the bathroom. We did have maintenance check the air twice, and it was relatively comfortable, but it was not chilly like the air at both Maldives FS properties. The fan in the bed had one anemic setting and it did not circulate the air. The staff was kind enough to bring a portable floor fan to make us more comfortable. The shower head in the bath did not give strong water pressure but hand held unit would knock you down! The outdoor shower was really one to just rinse off the sand as it did not have a temperature control. It is a shame because many outdoor showers at FS resorts are signed to give you that outdoor shower experience.
I cannot say enough about the level of surface. It rivaled and may have surpassed that of the Four Seasons Tented Camp in Chiang Rai. (Once again, no easy task!) I will run out of adjectives, but here are some: amazing, exceptional, gracious, incredible, perfect, sensational. You get the picture. What was so unique is that EVERYONE did what they could to make the guest feel welcome and special. The Thai people are some of the most wonderful people on earth and the staff here was faultless. We NEVER had a single service issue. My only regret is that I could not speak Thai and get to know them better. There were hordes of friendly, smiling and warm staff members everywhere who could not do enough for you. The level of service here should set the standards for the best resorts in the world. And as I said, the warmth was genuine and heartfelt. It is hard to find this perfect combination of competency, efficiency and friendliness. It was extraordinary yet unobtrusive at the same time.
The two restaurants were very good and of course, the service was flawless. Lan Tania had a wonderful breakfast buffet and offered stunning vistas. There were beautiful Thai women everywhere attending to your every need. There is a small indoor eating area and ample space outside. There was a very nice covered bar where you could eat as well. The Pla Pla on the Beach was nice but had no indoor seating. Our meal there was made less pleasant by a very offensive cigar smoking guest. Non smoking areas in Asia can be very elusive. The food is very good but expensive in both restaurants. There is one area of concern. One night, the weather was pretty threatening and they did not offer any service outside. This left just the small indoor area at Lan Tania for dinner. We had to wait until 8:45 to be seated. This may be problematic in the future. It can rain six months out of the year here and the potential for bad weather is constant. They really need to have more indoor area for serving meals. It seems an unfortunate trend that the Four Seasons resorts in Asia have almost all of their restaurants outside. I know why they do it since they want guests to experience the lovely views. However, most of these places are in areas where the heat and humidity are insufferable and where bad weather is common. But if you like the heat and don’t mind the rain, you will love the outdoor eating areas. Also, there was a lack of ceiling fans in some of the outdoor areas. Once again, I will eat outside in the heat, but please try to make some allowances for the intense heat and humidity so people can tolerate them a bit better.
I enjoyed three of the most wonderful spa treatments ever. The spa reception area is very beautiful. You are then taken on a little journey of about 200 steps (as if walking here was not challenging enough!) up and down stairs which wind through the jungle. The treatments rooms are incredible as they are private, tranquil and tastefully decorated. Treat yourself to a massage or two as their therapist once again go the distance to make it a memorable experience by making you feel comfortable. I recommend the Siam Fusion treatment or the Thai massage.
Sadly, this wonderful paradise is experiencing a great deal of construction. There is no a disclaimer on the website about the noise. I am sure it was put there after the management had to endure many complaints. I still think the disclaimer is a bit disingenuous as it says that only interior work is being done on the residences. The implication here is that if you are away from the residences, you will not hear the noise. Well, that is certainly not the case! As I said, we were in the villa FURTHEST from the residences and we hear A GREAT deal of noise. The construction varied in frequency and intensity. At times, the band and radial saws and banging of hammers was constant for hours. At times, there was no noise. It detracted from what was otherwise a memorable trip. When we arrived, there was maintenance being performed on a nearby villa and the noise was horrible. One phone call to the manager and the noise stopped immediately! We appreciated that very much. And I think it is very optimistic to assume the construction will be done by July 31!! When the noise stopped at 6PM, you got a sense of how idyllic and tranquil the resort will be some day!
The gym was small but had a stunning view. The staff was wonderful but the air conditioning barely worked. It was very difficult to workout in the intense heat. The library was great as it had two computers to check email and recent movies to check out. The architect Bill Bensley, who created FS Langkawi and the FS Tented Camp, has once again created a masterpiece here. He has incorporated many wonderful design elements from the other resorts to create a very special resort which is stunning but also functional.
Like the villas, the attention to detail and quality of the finishes is remarkable from the bathrooms to the lighting fixtures to the furniture.
This resort may have some difficulties, but it is a once in a lifetime experience and is well worth it! Sometimes, even paradise is not easy.
Absolute Paradise !!
We read the reviews before going and I can't believe the negativity, this place is amazing. Yes it is on a steep hill, but with flat shoes it is walkable but the heat kind of prevents that !! Why bother you get a buggy its great... and the views wouldn't be the same if you weren't on the hill.
Some of the villas depending on location are more private than others, ours was just perfect. We heard no noise at all.
All the staff are amazing and can't do enough for you. The food is out of this world. We hope to go back soon !!
Fantastic Beginning to our Honeymoon
We began our honeymoon at the Koh Samui Four Seasons in early June, and had a wonderful stay (6 nights total). We would not hesitate to stay at the resort again, nor would we hesitate to recommend it to others. We're not the type to usually post reviews, but after our stay we thought we would - just in case there were people out there like us that were actually a bit worried about the property given many of the reviews posted here. My guess is that the significantly declining number of reviews here is reflective of the fact that most past problems have been corrected. Based solely on anecdotal stories/evidance, I also fairly confident that the accomodations at the Four Seasons are far and away superior to others on the island, including those at high price points - although again, we have not stayed at other places.
The property is stunning. Our view is that the steep hillside on which the resort is built is a major asset to the resort, not a liability. Even on our last day, the differences in the view from the beach, from our villa, and from Lan Tania continued to have us smiling and shaking our heads in disbelief at how beautiful the place is. The design and architecture of the resort is also worth commending. A tremendous amount of care seems to have been taken in the design and building of the resorts and villas - evidenced by the myriad palm trees and other folliage throughout the resort. Two things we found impressive: 1) if you look back at the resort from certain parts of the beach, it sometimes doesn't even look like there's a resort there; 2) such care was taken to preserve trees that in a few instances palm trees actually go through the roofs of some of the villas and other buildings (only through the outdoor sections).
We disagree with complaints about traversing the resort, although we were lucky enough to have a villa in the 700s which seemed to be equidistant between the beach and Lan Tania (near the top of the resort) - neither of which was that difficult of a trek. The key to traversing the resort (which no one seems to have mentioned in any reviews) is to look out for stairways that have been built between the pathways, as they save a lot of time an enable you to cut corners. Some of these looked new, so perhaps this was a response to complaints - not sure. We did still use buggies quite a bit, and they were prompt. So again, getting around the resort was a total non-issue for us - in fact, it was enjoyable.
We are unsure of whether we'll ever stay in such a nice villa again, and have been depressed ever since we left it. Everything else has already been said.
The service was outstanding. The one day we left the resort during the day (to go on a tour of Ang Thong), virtually everyone on the staff that we ran into asked us how our "big trip" went. As we were leaving in the morning for the tour, one of the staff told us they had packed some towels for us. We felt a little silly - like ridiculously spoiled children venturing out in the wild that was everything in Thailand other than the Four Seasons - but I will admit that we did in fact use those towels. So yes, the staff is kind of psychic.
Construction of the residences was still going on in early June, and we were told that they would be complete in two months. How noise from this construction could potentially impact your trip is probably dependent on 3 things: 1) when you are going; 2) where your villa is; and 3) how sensitive you are to things like this. From our villa, we could not hear a single construction noise. At the beach, however, we could. For us, (either due to reason 2 or 3 above) it had zero impact on our enjoyment of our stay. Given that construction at this point is soon to be complete, this whole question will become moot.
We had a great stay here, and again would not hesitate to recommend it for anyone considering a trip to Samui. We would also point out that the staff appears very aware of the early growing pains that may have been experienced here. Rainer, the resort manager, hosted everyone for drinks on Friday night and seemed genuinly interested in everyone's feedback about their stay. Our impression was that if we had had any concern or issue during our stay that it would have been corrected immediately. Extrapolating this to the future, the notion that this resort wouldn't continue to refine and improve itself as each month passes seems far fetched. I certainly wouldn't bet against them.
Wow! Amazing Engagement holiday!
What an amazing engagement holiday, the Villa was perfect
with our own private plunge pool and the service excellent.
The minute we came in they took care of us with a welcome drink on top of the mountain with 180 degree full ocean view.
But the best part was the very romantic private picnic on the
beach the staff arranged for us for the secret engagement.
They even prepared a beautiful bouquet of freshly cut roses
that accompanied my engagement ring. But where they went
beyond was when they thought of hiding behind a palm tree
and take a picture of me on my knees making the big move!
The same day, they developed the picture and gave it to us on
Thai Night before we did our wish of forever happiness in front
of the floating lanterns. Priceless! The Property Manager surpas
sed our highest expectations with all these little attentions at such an important moment in our lives. We tried other Four Sea
sons before but this one remains unique.
Left Much to be Desired
We stayed here for 5 nights in July and were very disappointed with the resort. It did not compare to other Four Seasons beach resorts we've visited. I'd skip Samui entirely and either stay on Phuket or go to the Four Seasons Langkawi!
Here were the big things:
- the beach is SMALL! and the water so rocky that it's essentially unswimmable
- there's only one pool, which is kid central
- there's no bar! other than the pool bar, which essentially closes at sundown (they will serve you drinks but it feels as though you're inconveniencing them)
- the construction was still going on and was audible from every public location on the resort -- IE every breakfast, every lunch, the beach, the pool...
- staff is definitely still getting their bearings; IE a wake-up call never came, champagne was served warm, drinks were often a bit off...
- resort is very attractive but not easy to navigate by foot, which means you rely on "buggies" (golf carts), which can make one feel a bit stuck
- two restaurant options were OK but not spectacular, we did not have one "wow" meal
The GOOD STUFF:
- the villas are beautiful
- the spa was too die for!!!!!!!! definitely the highlight of our resort stay
Fabulous time! Cornish family London UK
We stayed in August and spent 6 nights in two interconnecting villas.
Having stayed in Aman and Oberoi resorts in recent years I can safely say this resort is well and truly up there with the best.
Accomodation is superb as is the location and food.
Couple of watchouts:
Check when booking the plunge pool sizes; they vary significantly.Our Villa (404) had a sizeable pool whereas our daughters villa right next door had a very small pool.
Secondly it is rather strange that they promote the resort for young families.If you do not want the peace of your holiday broken by shouting, running crying kids go outside of school holidays.
Finally they are still building to the left of the resort so check the status of building noise when you book and avoid Villas closest to the building.
Koh Sanui is a paradise nestled between Thailand and Vietnam. This is a brand new four seasons hotel. Excellent service. Beautiful villas with their own pool. The beach is not that grand. But the scenery is breath taking.
"The Beach at Four Seasons Resort"
The beach is covered in soft fine sand. Perfect for taking off your sandals.
"Beach at the Four Seasons Resort"
Koh Samui Four Seasons, Thailand
The Four Seasons’ first Thai beach resort marks a turning point for an emerging hot spot.
Location A secluded bluff on the island’s far northwest corner, sheltered from the hustle and bustle of the rapidly developing beaches nearby.
Pedigree Thailand-based landscape designer turned architect Bill Bensley (also behind the Four Seasons Tented Camp in Chiang Rai, one of the properties featured in our 2006 It List) is responsible for both the resort’s elegant look and the sublime water views from every villa and all public spaces.
Style + Design The 60 stilted villas, which seem to tumble down the lush hillside to the white-sand beach, all have infinity pools, teak floors, and sea-colored fabrics.
Service + Amenities The possibilities are endless, with complimentary activities (Chi Gong, kickboxing, fruit carving, kayaking), tennis courts, and a knockout spa. Don’t miss a soak in one of the outdoor spa tubs, which spill out into the jungle. In-room details like iPod docks, big daybeds, and well-stocked coolers of wine will keep you entertained even if you never leave your villa.
Value for Money The most expensive resort on the island, but worth it for the views alone. This would be a terrific honeymoon destination.
219 Moo 5, Tumbon Anthong; 800/332-3442 or 66-77/243-000; www.fourseasons.com; doubles from $600.
Four Seasons - Koh Samui
I am looking to stay at the Four Seasons on Koh Samui, I understand that it's a relatively new hotel. Can anyone tell me anything about it and the area that it is? just wondering what beach/side of the island it's on. Would it be worth staying on an opposite side of the island for a couple of days and then spend the remaining time at the FS?
Re: Four Seasons - Koh Samui
you are right the Four Seasons opened in early February.It is situated in the north-west of the island which is a very quiet area.
In terms of staying somewhere else first it really depends what you enjoy.If you want clubs and bars then you would need to travel to Chaweng.This would cost about Bht500 by taxi from the Four Seasons.
The area around Four Seasons itself only has a few local Thai restaurants.These might not be to your taste if you like luxury resorts but are well worth trying.Excellent fresh food and very cheap.
The Four Seasons itself has had generally good reviews.People I have spoken to have complimented the facilities.The bars and restaurants are expensive by Samui prices though.
Hope this is of some help
Re: Four Seasons - Koh Samui
My wife and I have reservations at the Four Seasons this August. We had been told that some past guests had complained that there was construction noise nearby and some patrons were not satisfied with their views. I contacted the hotel by email to voice my concerns and was sent a reply promising a villa with a beautiful view and far from the construction area. They also mentioned that most of the construction would be completed by the end of July.