The imperial boat house is a fanstastic place to relax and at the same time have have an actioned packed holiday. We first stayed there in 2000 and have been there every year since except 2002 when we visited Malaysia but we loved boathouse so much that we had to go back again!
We have made good friends with the staff as they are the most friendliest people i have ever met. The pools are usually well maintained although last year i cut foot on a broken tile in the monkey pool! The bar serves as many drinks as you can think of and service is great. Food in the restaurants is not up to the standard of Gordon Ramsay but can cope with all your needs and serves lots of very nice dishes.
The setting is unbelievable -
On Choeng Mon beach and crystal clear beaches that feels like a bath!There are lots of lovely little restaurants along the beach and the Crystal restaurant is our favourite.... Thai green curry is a must!
The rooms were not very ''up to scratch'' when we first went but as we have gone every year it has improved greatly and the rooms were refurbished and a new pool was added.
Overall this is the best hotel i've been to despite its underated 3-4 stars
I highly recommend the Imperial Boathouse hotel!!
The swimming pool in the hotel is the best
The swimming pool in the hotel is the best
The hotel rooms are nice and I prefer them over the boa rooms. I personally did not like the Boat rooms. They rooms at the boats are big but not very functional. If you decide to dive watch out from the dive operator in the hotel. They charge us very high price and then took us on a long speedboat journey to their big boat in Koh Tao. The dive site they took us where suitable for beginners. Much better choice is with Searobin Dive center on the beach next to the Imperial boat house. Great service on a high speed cat to their own boat in koh tao with few divers and great instructors. We went to Chumpon pinnacle and dive with 10 sharks or so. Then had a lunch on a Nungyuan and then beck for a fun relex dive around koh tao.
I try to find Coral Cave divers but could not find them.
If I stay in the boat house again I am sure to go diving with the searobin shop it was one of the best dives I had in Thailand..
Nice and packaged...
We booked into the Imperial Boat House hotel for our first 3 nights on Samui to ensure we had somewhere to go straight from the Airport. I haven't done heaps of overseas travel, but compared to Australian hotels, I thought our poolside Deluxe room was easily 4 star. Most of it looked nearly brand new, the bathroom was beautiful and the bed lovely. Of course, cable tv never goes astray.
The resort was pretty full of German and Italian (and to a lesser extent British) tourists. I agree with other reviewers' comments regarding the deckchair issue. Heaps of people just put their towels out at like 9am for the whole day, simply to sunbathe for an hour or two in the afternoon. Extremely selfish, but something that we found when we moved into Chaweng Beach resorts as well.
The breakfast (not included in our room rate) was I think the best buffet breakfast we had in Thailand. Not cheap, but worth it. We got extremely sunburnt on day one (due to assuming our 30+ sunblock was waterproof), and so spent day 2 indoors or shopping at Chaweng.
The resort is a good 300 baht taxi to Chaweng. Serious rip off. If you try to bargain, the driver pulls out a little laminated card showing Choeng Mon (the beach) to Chaweng, 300 baht. Like laminating a bit of plastic means it MUST be so. Anyway, this is pretty much characteristic of Samui we found. Overpriced compared to the rest of Thailand.
The resort provides free buses to Chaweng during the day, every 2 hours or so, and cheap buses (75 baht per person) every 30 minutes in the evening.
We also ate dinner at the Captain's restuarant looking over the beach. Very nice seafood chowder and meal. Like other reviewer's have mentioned though, not cheap. Well, not compared to Thailand, but cheap compared to Australia!
All in all, a nice clean resort-ish hotel, but we moved on in the end for the remaining 5 days on Samui to Chaweng for the shopping, superior beach (if a bit more hectic), and the abundance of food and nightlife. (And we got a bit sick of hearing German all day when we were in Thailand!)
Doubtful four star luxury!!
Have just returned from two weeks in Thailand. Stayed at the Imperial Boathouse for nine nights. Although on the whole we were pleased with our stay I felt that at times it did not quite live up to its four star luxury tag.
The location is great right on the beach although you do need to walk out for a bit as the sea is very shallow. The hotel was very busy and we struggled every day to get a sun lounger either on the beach or at the pools. Had to resort in the end to getting up early to put out towels on beds which we hate doing. Some people had towels on beds all day and then would perhaps return at 3pm for a hours sunbathing- felt the staff could have done more to solve this!!
The rooms were the main let down - we had a poolside double which was quite shabby and outdated, def not four star accom. The bathrooms were not much better either. The lobby area to hotel was really nice but the bars lacked atmosphere. We had breakfast every day which was more than adequate and also ate at the beachfront bar which compared to most places in Koh Samui was expensive.
We normally went into Chaweng at night where there are loads of eating options. We ate at some really nice retaurants where a meal for two inc drinks was no more than £25. However, you could eat a lot cheaper and just as tasty stuff. We hired a jeep for six days and so we saw quite a lot of the island. Dont miss Big Buddha and also try and visit some of the waterfalls in the middle of the island.
We also went on at trip to the Ang Thong marine park. This is a day long trip with 2 hr boat ride to the park where you get chance to see the saltwater lagoon, go kayaking and snorkelling. However, maybe due to time of year but the snorkelling was really bad not enough water and not clear. I actually got stung by sea urchins!!
All in all we had a fab time in koh Samui. There is a lot of development going on here so now is probably best time to visit..
The airport is a sight worth seeing on its own - thatched huts and little trains to take you to the planes.
One important point- although I loved Thailand I found the Thais animal welfare an issue. There are literally hundreds of stray dogs on Koh Samui none of which are neutered so the problem just gets worse. As an animal lover I found this quite hard to stomach. Also would not recommend any animal shows involving monkeys (the poor things are chained up) and the elephant trekking was a bit of a let down - the conditions they are kept in are not great.
The Hotel itself is excellent as it is just far enough away from hectic Chaweng beach but is not too isolated like the Togsai Bay. Its a much nicer hotel than the pricier Imperial Samui (building site ) Samui Peninsula ( Buiding Site ) Cocoa villas (hardly constructed Building Site) though the beach is good it isnt quite as nice as the Imperial Samui. As the sister hotel you can however go to the Imperial Samui to use the facilities. the Boathouse is a great option for families and theres none of Chawengs hedonism and dodgy characters to worry about
The two pools are both very good with the quieter pool located near reception an ideal retreat from the beach or busier larger pool. Loungers do go fast though. Rooms are tastefully decorated and comfortable. Restaurants are not dreadfully expensive but the food from the room service is better and the snack menu is bit of a steal and a pleasant change from eating out!
Alternatively several of the beach cafes and bars offer ideal and much cheaper alternatives and romantic meals on the beach by candlelight.
If you do venture to Chaweng haggle with the taxi drivers ..300 baht for a 5 minte trip is a rip off ! You are cheaper to hire a jeep for the day.
The gym is very small but no ones there to get fit and the spa is quite pricey
The beach is nice though the waters not clear to snorkle. You can swim safely as Choeng Moeng beach does not suffer as like almost the whole of Koh Samui from the reef which is only like the postcards for a small part of the year.The hotel does provide a windsurf and canoes which are a lot of fun.
Staff are very helpful and provide the service you would expect from a top hotel.
All in all a really good hotel for families or couples. The best 4 * hotel for the price in Koh Samui bar none!
A great hotel
Just got back from the Boathouse and had a wonderful stay. We booked through Trailfinders and ended up paying less than £40 per night so were worried about the quality. However, the hotel was great. Our room was large, modern and the decor very good. The hotel grounds are amazing and the pools really inviting.
We had a morning in the hotel spa and the staff were wonderful. It's not cheap but worth pampering yourself at least once.
There are issues with the number of sun loungers and these are normally "beach towelled"in the early hours by the German tourists staying at the hotel. We ended up having to join in to get a lounger which I hated doing.
There are plenty of places on the beach to eat e.g. Otto's, Bongo's and the White house, so head down the beach for a cheap lunch or dinner. Sala has a great restaurant for a romantic/special meal.
For those of you that dive, we used Searobin on the beach but to be honest they are a pretty disorganised outfit. Use Coral Cave divers if you need a centre. Great boat, staff etc.
Again, a great hotel in a brilliant area (avoid Chaeng like to plague!)
rice barges, food and getting about
We stayed the end of june -july 10th to avoid the uk school hols travelling with two boys 18 and 19 so a bit of planning was essential(thanks ++ to the guy who recommended Airline Network by the way-much cheaper).
The Boat House-we stayed in one of the Rice Barges with the boys in a Premier room. I had my reservations after reading that it might be dark or smelly or with useless air con. Ours was really comfortable, private and well worth the extra money. The boys room was clean, recently renovated with a great bathroom.(check out Sawadee for the best pics and hotel layout)The housekeeping was good with all the staff courteous. The surroundings were lovely with lots of greenery ,peace and quiet with no planes flying overhead unlike some of the other beaches and most importantly more expensive hotels. This place is not up to the luxury of the Rayavadee in Krabi (groan-must go back there)but then we didn't expect it to be such and in low season this place is really very nice. Chong Mon as a beach is quiet and relaxing but shallow and as for snorkelling, you have to take a trip off to Ang Thong or the other islands(if snorkelling is your thing-try the Andaman coast instead).
Food- the hotel food is a bit pricey and not generally our thing so we only ate here one night as a very early start the next day. It was quite good though. The food is great elsewhere. 500 yards from the hotel right on the beach to the left are beachside restaurants lit by candlelight at night. Bongoes and Crystal are both good/very cheap in comparison and despite warnings, we had no stomach upsets whatsoever afterwards. NB+ if you are used to more authentic eg hot thai food ,you need to ask for extra chili as food is served fairly mild on this island.
For a 'splurge' I can recommend Sila Evasion On the Rocks and their pan asian 10 course with wine menu(sounds excessive but is fab). I wouldnt want that food everyday though as the rest of
the island has a lot to offer (also the hotel and restaurant are quite isolated so organise your return taxi before he drives off).
Getting about the island is a doddle-taxis are everywhere and getting into or back from Chaweng is not a problem unless you are trying to get back at 5am(or so Im told by one of my sons). Chaweng is hectic but not too bad if you avoid the seedier parts and potential Gary Glitter hangouts which isn't difficult. Its alright if you like the busier side of life and have the mindset and stamina to handle it..Its really okay if you stick to the main drag, do a bit of looking around, shop a bit, have something to eat then shuffle quickly back to the semi wonderment of the boat house. CoCo Blues is ok for some music if you're in the mood and a lovely 'safe' massage place is just over the road(called 'mams' I think). overall - a great place if you are young,older or whatever.
Oh yes-the weather-Initially overcast for the first few days and I could feel a sense of humour failure coming on as a bloody heatwave' was going on in the UK at the time. When the clouds parted it started to get very hot and sweaty-absolutely lovely. Almost a "lobster finish tan" was gained by some. The moral of this story is-dont get too uptight about the weather. It just seems to sort itself out at this time of year. Have a good trip!
A good value beach hotel
This is a high standard large beach hotel on a beautiful beach in Koh Samui. We had a superior room; it was large with an excellent verandah and a huge bathroom. There are 2 swimming pools - a small discrete one sheltered by foliage with about a third suitable for non-swimmers, and a large boat shaped one with about 10% shallow. The beach is shallow and in July very warm indeed. Hotel food is overpriced and and breakfasts are disappointingly unAsian and very greasy. There are excellent cheap restaurants on the beach with marvellous fish and seafood. I booked through Trailfinders who like many agencies do excellent discounts. I stayed 5 days on a stopover to Japan from London; I was well pleased
Imperial Boat House
Staying here in July for a week...anyone stayed there? Whats it like?
Re: Imperial Boat House
went to the Boat house just acouple of weeks ago to have a lok around as we were staying on the same beach. It depends on what you are looking for, the Boat style rooms looked nice and the grounds of the hotel were very pleasant and lush, the hotel resturant looked alittle ordinary with a buffet style, the overall look was a little too package if you know what I mean. If you are looking for something less busy but absolutery first class then try looking at the Sala Samui Resort and Spa, just along the beach, this is where we stayed and I have to say this was fantastic, every thing about it was understated elegence. The food is amazing as are any of the rooms. See the site www.salasamui.com
RE: Imperial Boat House
Stayed at the Imperial Boathouse at Cheong Mon in a converted rice barge about 10 years ago - fanstastic, but some distance from Chaweng. Stayed at sister hotel Imperial Samui last year and visited the Boathouse to see what had changed. As well as the beach pool there is now a terrific new pool between the main buildings. There are plenty of beach bars/restaurants to choose from. Tuc tuc ride into Chaweng for shopping/nightlife.