What I’d like to write about most would simply be redundant of what’s already been written. From the exceptional service by the staff to the stunning views, it’s all true. As my title suggests, it was the perfect honeymoon experience. Therefore, I wanted to make a few comments for those who may be on the fence about booking a stay.
First a quick point of reference -- we booked the honeymoon package in the Plumeria Villa, dates Sept 14-19, 2011, traveling from NYC to Thailand the day after our wedding.
To kick off this review, I wanted to speak to some of the points brought up on the handful of negative reviews of Sandalwood on Tripadvisor. If you’re like me, you will thoroughly research something before pulling the trigger, especially when it comes to something like booking your honeymoon. So I read all negative reviews to get a full view of what might pop up.
1) Steep hill -- I will confirm the hill is steep. In fact, it was steeper than I’d even anticipated! But at the same time, it is exciting to go up and down, and in the car or motorbike it takes less than 1 ½ minute drive in either direction. You’ll also find that the steep climb to Sandalwood is a very welcomed and symbolic transition that separates you from the “hustle and bustle” down on the main road. It’s literally like a road to a sanctuary in the clouds.
2) Far from beach – Technically yes. However, Coral Cove is a 3 minute free car ride by staff. So it’s really NOT far from the beach. Plus, there are so many pool options at Sandalwood (with incredible views) you will eventually loose interest is going to the beach. The several times we went to the beaches nearby, we couldn’t wait to get back to the pools at Sandalwood.
3) Décor and patio chairs?? – I recall someone complaining about décor and things being a little run down. Our room was in impeccable shape with very stylish design touches everywhere you looked. Also, the patio chairs were new and VERY comfortable to lay out on in the sun.
4) Privacy – Someone once wrote they felt like they were in a fish bowl and everyone could see you. While there are maybe two spots on our patio deck where you could look out to public areas (e.g. the common pool), we were actually impressed at how smartly designed the villas are to protect your privacy. Almost everywhere you stand in your room or on our private patio/pool, we could not identify a single spot where someone could see us. This is an important detail for those on a honeymoon. Nuff said.
5) No toilet paper in toilet – We did not experience this nor did any of the staff explicitly say anything to us. However, it’s sort of understood that on some of the islands in Thailand, toilet paper in the sewage is an issue. So we did our best to avoid toilet paper in the toilet and made use (for the first time) of “the gun.” Google it. I was afraid of it at first but now miss it!
Next I want to mention a few things that may help enhance your stay at Sandalwood:
1) Rent a motorbike – Renting a motorbike literally changed our entire Ko Samui experience. It gave us the freedom to get out and explore and come and go as we pleased. Sandalwood arranged the rental, which was delivered practically to our doorstep. 250 baht per day, which is like $8.50/day USD. Don’t let all the ominous warnings people write about renting a scooter in Ko Samui deter you from renting a motorbike. It was easy, safe and lots of fun – even with the steep hill.
2) Take a walk – We met Robert, one of the co-owners, at dinner. He had some awesome suggestions for us, including taking a walk up the hill to see the golf course. Yes, a golf course is at the top of the hill/mountain! I HAD to see this. If you get cabin fever, go check it out. There are very nice views along the way.
3) Book a massage (or three) – The spa was awesome. The massage was awesome. While it’s a little more expensive than down at Chaweng Beach, you have the luxury of walking just steps back to your villa to pass out afterward. Plus they are professional therapists, which means you get more quality massage and avoid the “hoola hoop” girl scene.
4) Eat at the Sandalwood restaurant – It’s shockingly affordable. The “Larb” will kick your butt if you like spicy and the fried fish with sweet and sour sauce was the best we had our whole trip.
5) Eat at Spirit House restaurant in Chaweng. Look this one up online; it was such a cool dining experience. I tried to book dinner reservations last minute and was denied. However, we told the Sandalwood front desk about our poor planning and they made one call and we were in like that. It was unreal. Come to find out the manager of Spirit House used to manage the Sandalwood restaurant, which was apparent in the meal and experience we had at Spirit House. He even came to our table during dinner and we had a nice conversation.
Anyhow, I hope this helps! We cannot say enough good things about our stay at Sandalwood.
-James and Nora
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on the beautiful island of Koh Samui, our fourteen Thai style pavilions are positioned around nine infinity edge swimming pools. Each intimate and secluded villa has a panoramic ocean view and is linked by landscaped gardens with intricate stone walkways. We provide exclusive and sophisticated accommodation while seamlessly blending traditional Thai architecture with a modern contemporary style. At Sandalwood Luxury Villas, we strive to give each guest an outstanding level of quality service with our warm Thai hospitality. From the moment our professional drivers pick you up at the airport, our staff is available to cater for your every need. Whether enjoying an authentic Thai meal in our Blue Ginger Restaurant or a massage at our Sanctuary Spa, our goal is to make your Sandalwood stay a special experience. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Sandalwood Luxury Villas Hotel Koh Samui
- Sandalwood Luxury Hotel
- Sandalwood Luxury Koh Samui
- Sandalwood Luxury Villas Ko Samui, Thailand