Review of the W Retreat – Koh Samui

Belonging to the Starwood chain, the ‘W’ are a collection of stylish, luxury hotels.  Probably not the obvious choice for a weekend getaway with a baby!  However, for my stylish friend Laura, the W Retreat Samui was the perfect place to be with her husband and 18 month old Lily.

W Koh Samui - W

How did you book the trip? 
Through a travel agent, Fannie at Sun Travel in Hong Kong. Flights and two nights stay came as a package

How was the weather?
Fantastic June weather – hot and sunny but with the odd shower for twenty minutes each day to cool everything down

What did the price include?
Included breakfast, no transfers although the hotel did help out with hotel car to the airport

How was the flight to Koh Samui? Any tips?
Amazing! This was the first flight I have done that I didn’t want to kill myself or Lily (she has been exceptionally spoilt with flying/holidays so has a lot of – terrible – flying experiences under her 18 month old belt)

The flight was pretty empty thanks to it being Coup Samui so we were able to let her have her own seat despite not booking her one and then plugged her into the I pad and hey presto it was a pain free flight. We flew with Bangkok Air who were great and let Lily have as many bread rolls as she could cram into her mouth.

How far was the hotel from the airport? How did you get to hotel?
We actually travelled from a villa where we were staying with friends before the hotel. The villa sent us in their car.

What did you think of the hotel?
Hotel was fantastic, my husband and I loved it, although I need to be honest and say you would probably have more fun here without the kids

And if your “little ones” really are little, I definitely got the impression this was not a toddler/baby friendly place although I have to say none of this was due to the staff, they were superb (see below). It was more the lay out of the hotel – think super cool but child safety disaster design with lots of steep stairs and no railings, open pools and water displays, marble corridors with inviting sharp precariously balanced ornaments to touch…..

In addition none of the other guests were families and there was a general intake of shocked/horrified breath when Lily would enter into a room. We are very lucky in that Lily is a pretty chilled out toddler who plays quietly and doesn’t make too much noise and generally kept out of everyone’s way while we were there but I still felt acutely aware that we may have been killing their “cool “ vibe by having her with us so was constantly apologizing for her presence !

How was your room? What baby/kid amenities had been provided?
We had told the hotel we would be bringing our own travel cot as needed it in the villa we were staying in previously and as Lily doesn’t require bottles or sterilizers now there was nothing provided but that was to be expected and not a problem.

However, when we arrived we were shown to a twin room which was odd as had requested a double and there was barely any room for us to put up the travel cot. After a call to reception we were moved to another room within half an hour which was much better suited as with just the one bed there was more room for the cot.

The room is pretty large but it’s the private pool area that really sets the accommodation apart. Every room in the W comes with its own infinity pool and a very generous outdoor terrace with a huge day bed and table and chairs. My plan had been to have lunch here every day while Lily napped inside but unfortunately it was just too hot and there was no outdoor or ceiling fan to switch on to make this possible. The pool was an amazing size though and we spent almost all our time here as I could sunbathe while my husband played with Lily. Perfect.

W Koh Samui - Villa Pool

How were the facilities?
I used the gym once and was very impressed. Massive modern space with three treadmills and three bikes and a well-equipped free weights area.

The communal pool was amazing and looked so inviting, with breathtaking views over the beach and a super cool sound system and bar. However we only managed to spend one hour here as Lily was fascinated with the massive fifteen foot drop off the edge of the infinity side so we decided it was best not to tempt fate and left…

Was there kids club and did you use it?
No kids club offered here which was not a bad thing as far as we were concerned

Was there a beach?
Beach was small but beautiful with a superb beach bar on it. We ate at the restaurant on the beach and the staff went out of their way to try to get appropriate food for Lily to eat.

I have to say that I have been very fortunate to spend a number of holidays in Thailand but the sunset view from this beach bar is one of the best so far. There are also huge day beds and cushions which could crash out on with her nighttime bottle while my husband and I kicked back and enjoyed our happy hour sunset cocktails.

W Koh Samui - Beach Bar Shrink

How was the food? 
Great. I do love a good hotel breakfast buffet and the W didn’t disappoint. Even better the staff let us take away a little “packed lunch” box with things like cereal and bread rolls and dried fruit for Lily to snack on or have for her lunch.

At night we got a babysitter and ate in the main restaurant, ordering Thai classics off the menu and they were all delicious. Had far too much wine to actually remember what the individual dishes were but I do remember everything we had was delicious!

How was the staff?
Fantastic. The Thais seem to love kids and the W team was no exception. They were quite happy to play with Lily and take her for little walks, a welcome break for us!

How was the trip overall? What tips would you give to someone booking this holiday?
Trip was great but I would warn anyone who wants a “family” holiday with other kids around for their children to play with or the expectation that this is a child orientated hotel to rethink going here. But if you have older kids who can amuse themselves and know how to behave and play safely and mum and dads enjoy a hotel with a cooler vibe then this is a definite BOOK!

Would you go back?
Yes but probably not till Lily was a lot older (or we would go without her!)

W Koh Samui

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