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Reviewed 2 May 2011

I'll start first with some of the unsung heros of a hotel this size and that's the staff. They we're incredible and couldn't do enough for us. We we're traveling with an 8 month old baby which obviously meant we got quite a bit of attention from all the staff anyway, but from what we saw they all worked very hard to make sure everyone at the hotel had a great stay.

Yes, there are a few 'issues' with the hotel that have been pointed out in other reviews, and here's my take on these:

Location - Anyone who has booked this hotel will have surely done their research and would know that it's not in the centre of a town, so I'm not sure why people then go on to complain about the location. There are nice restaurants and a few mini-markets just a short walk away along the road, the hotel also have a bus service to the nearby town of Ao Nang which has a lot of choice of bars, restaurants etc, although as many people point out this bus service is not free.

Cost of food and drink at the hotel - Ok, it is a bit steep, but again what do people expect. If you stay at a 5* hotel then you've got to expect to have to pay a bit more for things. If you go to a nice restaurant in the uk (or wherever you live) you expect to pay more than if you went to the local pub, so why do we think it should be different when on holiday? The food at the hotel restaurants is lovely so personally I think it's proportionate.

Too quiet - We we're there over Easter which isn't peak season anyway and yes it was a bit quite in the evenings but it never stopped us enjoying the nice quiet atmosphere of the hotel, and there was always plenty of free loungers around the pool, bonus ;)

Obviously everyone will have their own take on these points but we really didn't see them as major negatives at all. The only thing we have a real gripe about is the charge for the bus transfer to Ao Nang, I really can't understand why they feel they need to charge for this but not the speed boat transfer to Hong island. It just doesn't make sense to charge for one and not the other.

For us, the positives far out-weighed any gripes we had. The hotel itself is beautiful and very clean, despite it's size. It must take an army of cleaners to keep it that way. The pool and surrounding grounds are elegant and well kept.

The views out to sea with all the islands dotted around are incredible at sunset, and the complimentary speed boat to Hong Island is a must.

In our opinion though the hotel's biggest selling feature is it's staff as mentioned at the start of this review. Anyone that's been to Thailand before will know that they are some of the nicest people around, but the staff at the Sofitel are in a different league and made our holiday that extra bit special.

Sara, Andy and Alfie x

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank baggy75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SofitelManagement, General Manager at Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2011

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your feedback on Trip Advisor.
We are pleased to read that you appreciated the friendliness of our staff and enjoyed your visit in our hotel.
Looking forward to welcoming you back again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2011

We stayed here in the British Easter holidays and the hotel was pretty empty most of the time. We had booked (through Virgin) interconnecting twin and double rooms for the two kids (aged 15 and 13) and us, but were offered two double rooms next to each other and they were a bit surprised my kids didn't want to sleep in the same bed! We were quickly given a twin room further away (177 and we were in 173), which the kids were happy with as the beds were enormous. We stayed two nights, went elsewhere for two nights, and even though we'd asked for interconnecting rooms next time when we got back, we were back in 173 and 177 for the rest of our stay (six nights). They were very nice rooms on the ground floor quite close to the pool but very quiet, so we didn't mind too much, but if our children had been younger it would have been really aggravating. The rooms were very clean, well serviced and had excellent air conditioning. Breakfasts were included in our deal and they were fantastic - huge choice of lovely food. One day we went back for a later coffee at the end of the breakfast setting, thinking it would be free, and were surprised to find 500 baht appearing on the bill (about £10) for two coffees. That was our main problem with this hotel - they were really keen to charge you a fortune for every drink and extra you had. When good quality meals a hundred yards down the road were 1000 baht for four of us, it was crazy to be charged 6600 for a meal in the hotel. All the hotel restaurants were almost always empty except at breakfast, so I guess a lot of other people noticed this too. You could go into Ao Nang if you booked the hotel shuttle bus at a cost of 100 baht per person one way. This was a bit restricting and it was just as simple for us to get a taxi from the road outside the hotel (400 baht set fee for four of us) and then a much cheaper (negotiable with the driver) taxi ride back later. There were lots of restaurants in Ao Nang - we especially liked one called After the Tsunami. We also had a lovely day in Krabi, again lots of good value restaurants and shops and we hired a boat trip into the Mangrove swamps for an hour, explored a brilliant cave and saw lots of iguanas. We went on the free shuttle boat to Hong Island for a lovely day (800 baht for four of us to land, although the boat was free!) with the hotel, but we arranged our own trips to Phi Phi Island and another one to Four Islands. It was 1200 baht each to do it ourselves, and the hotel was charging 4500 each. I imagine the hotel trips would be more luxurious but we were on speedboats with about 15 other people and there was plenty of water, food and attention to detail, so I would advise you to avoid the hotel trips unless money is no object. Same with the spa - it was gorgeous but they charged more for a massage than I would pay at home in Oxfordshire, whereas massages were freely available in Ao Nang and Krabi for 200 baht per hour. Lots of clean, non-dodgy places. This review sounds like I'm obsessed with saving money. Really I don't mind paying a bit over the odds but up to ten times more seems just greedy. The swimming pool was huge and really lovely, and they had a good fitness centre and a kids' club for younger children, which looked good too.

Room Tip: Lovely restaurants but much cheaper ones nearby.
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank fionafreesia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SofitelManagement, General Manager at Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2011

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your feedback on Trip Advisor.
We are sorry to read about your unfortunate experience and room assignment. Unfortunately we do not have inter-connecting rooms in classic category which you booked for, however would like to apologise for your room allocation on your second visit. We investigated and there might have been an obvious misunderstanding. Rest assured that training for all our reception staff will be emphasized to prevent this type of incident from happening again.
We have also taken good note of your comments on the prices for our restaurants and spa. I am sure you will understand and appreciate the fact that we apply rates in line with other 5 star properties and also equivalent to the quality of service rendered.
We do appreciate your concerns and comments, and shall be looking forward to welcoming you again to Krabi very soon.

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Reviewed 24 April 2011

We arrived tired and jaded to the warmest welcome and most beautiful surroundings. We were taken to our room which was very clean, spacious and perfectly equipped. Breakfast was excellent catering for all tastes. The pool is simply beautiful; no music, just calm and serene. Daily classes and activities helped break up the sun bathing. The spa is out of this world and definitely worth experiencing for ultimate relaxation. My only criticism is this: the food and drinks on the complex were VERY expensive. This meant that most guests chose to eat in the local restaurants (and there aren't many in walking distance), which contributed to a lack lustre and eerily quiet evening if you did choose to eat in one of the hotels restaurants. This is such a shame! Until the prices of the food and drink become realistic, I would certainly recommend a local, family run restaurant called Jos's. That aside, this is the most beautiful hotel we've ever experienced.

  • Stayed: April 2011
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Thank Tillymop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SofitelManagement, General Manager at Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 31 May 2011

We thank you very much for taking the time to share your feedback regarding your recent visit at Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort.
We are pleased to read that you had an enjoyable stay.
Look forward to welcoming you back again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2011

last year i stayed at the nearby sheraton, so after reading the reviews here-i usually find TA reviews reflect my own-i was expecting good things, perhaps my expectations were too high.
on arrival the staff were quick to take our passport and credit card, yet no welcome drink. yes, a cold towel was provided but after a long journey i would have hoped, indeed i did expect something however it never materialised, not a good begining we thought.

i stayed in a ground floor-garden-room, to be fair i did like the room although i could never get the air con to function, perhaps my stupidity however it was kept around 24c so no problem. the little decking balcony that led out to the gardens was a lovely spot, especially in the afternoon as it faced the sun. there was a little table and a couple of chairs so you could have some peace and quiet with a drink and a book should you wish.
other than that the room itself was quite good, a king sized comfortable bed and large bathroom with separate shower and bath.

much has been said about the size of the pool, well yes it is huge but perhaps unneccesarily so, it sounds like nit picking but how big does a pool have to be, especially as the layout means that despite it's size there was not really any opportunity to actually swim!
there is a small area that is sectioned off for children, that is quite handy although i felt this could have been somewhat bigger considering the overall size.

breakfast-i was disappointed here, and by the 3rd or 4th day also pretty bored. this is something that was miles better at the sheraton. the selection and variety here was just not up to scratch for this standard of hotel. the quality of the food was pretty average-to put it mildly-although the breads were very good (possibly due to this being part of a french chain). it isn't good enough to be offered a glass of real orange juice when you are seated, yet then be limited to various sickly sweet cordials masquerading as fruit juice for the rest of breakfast.
breakfast staff were extremely slow in clearing any plates, and not once in 10 days was i offered a top up of coffee, i had to ask every single day for my coffee to be replenished, not good enough!
the breakfast noodles were good, and the lady serving there was pleasant and cheerful, unlike some of the other staff cooking at the egg station.

what did i like? the gym facilities were good and totally underused. i visited the sauna on a number of occasions, this was free as was the gym. the tennis was good fun, despite the heat but although this was deemed to be free you had to pay for the hire/use? of the tennis balls which i think worked out at around £5 or so per time, however as i said this was enjoyable fun.
my 6 year old daughter visited the chldrens club for a couple of half days, there is a charge for this too but she enjoyed herself and we were happy with this.
i should say that both the staff at the health centre and also the childrens club were all friendly, helpful and cheerful.
i didn't use the hotels restaurants with the exception of the cafe where the cakes served were really delicious, and the coffee-as opposed to that at breakfast-was good, this was a pleasant little place with cheerful staff and i would recommend it for a visit.

getting around- the nearest places to eat are a fair walk, or short taxi or tuk tuk drive, and mostly outside the entrance to the sheraton. you can get a taxi just outside the sofitel and the rate to the plaza-the area by the sheraton-is 100baht each way, if you want to go into krabi town, for the night market, or else into the tesco locus (an excellent place to eat by the way) it is around 1000-1400 baht return, depending on your driver.

i shall mention one place in particular that is worth visiting for dinner-Jumba, which is in the plaza, previously mentioned. we visited this little restaurant last year and it became our venue of choice this time. the young staff here were extremely friendly and courteous, and the food was consistently good, as was the service. dinner for 3 with drinks never exceeded 1500baht and was always freshly cooked and delicious, do give them some custom they are keen and enthusiastic to improve their english and tell you about their lives, especially the young girl-sorry i forgot her name-who was so proud of her 3rd placed trophy won for her 7km race!

there are various places nearby that you can have your laundry done, this amounts to about 70 or 80 baht per kilo, we chose a place at the plaza but that was because we found it reliable last year, it certainly saves the hassle of having to bring back a load of dirty clothing and do it when back home.

so,in summing up..i felt disappointed with the sofitel but couldn't put my finger on what it was, however i think it was the fact that it seemed to be inconsistency, some of the staff were downright surly-ok not that many but enough to notice-but most were cheerful and/or friendly enough. i think that if anything it just seemed that there was a lack of leadership. i read previously about the manager being hands on etc, well i don't know whether he is still there, or perhaps was away during my visit, but we didn't hear anything from him, nor did we see anyone who seemed to be in charge.

on checking out i was disappointed, to say the least, that the charges we incurred during our stay (over £200) were not added to my privilige card, i questioned this and was told that because i had booked the stay through an online agency it was "company policy" not to do this. i stated that i didn't expect the cost for the accommodation to count but that surely our additional costs should be taken into account, yet this was greeted with a "sorry sir, it is company policy"-this was not the case at the sheraton!
so, in closing, would i stay here again, no i wouldn't given the choice between the sofitel and the sheraton there was just so much that the sheraton did so much better, and
i suppose a little thing that summed up my stay was a flyer, left in the room that invited us to a "get to know everyone" drink-this was left on the morning prior to our departure, and that sort of says it all..

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank theabbotpostie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SofitelManagement, General Manager at Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 31 May 2011

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your feedback on Trip Advisor.
We regret that your stay did not meet up to your expectations.
Welcome drinks and cold towels are served to the guest upon arrival, we apologise if you did not receive this special treatment. Please rest assured that training for all our reception staff will be emphasised to prevent this type of incident from happening again.
We have also taken good note of the points concerning breakfast, therefore I have taken the liberty to share your comments at length with our Executive Chef and Director of Food & Beverage so that we shall take necessary measures in the future.
We do regret the incident upon check out. Unfortunately, bookings through tour operators are not eligible.
We do appreciate your concerns and comments, and shall be looking forward to welcoming you again to Krabi very soon.

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Reviewed 20 April 2011

I booked the hotel and didn't expect too much from the stay because it is just one night stop by ( on the way to Bangkok). The staff, hotel environment, room etc are very wonderful and they are beyond my expectation. I am sure to stay longer on my next Krabi visit. This time I haven't tried Spa yet.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Kanokporn I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SofitelManagement, Manager at Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2011

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your feedback regarding your recent visit at Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort.
We are pleased to learn that you had an enjoyable stay with us.
Looking forward to welcoming you back again soon.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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