I wasn’t going to write about Mantra Samui Resort. My trip there was to be purely “drop and “flop” affair, a precious week of relaxation after a hard year of work. However the approach of this resort and genuine efforts that they go to put customers experience first (and profits a long way down the list) impressed me so much that I just had to share it with you. The world would be a better place if everyone ran their businesses like this – some do, and I’m thinking of Virgin here, where customer satisfaction is paramount. By giving a positive experience, then customer will give back by returning and telling their friends, everyone wins.
First thing that signifies this is a different kind of place is that there is no reception counter. Instead when checking in and any other time you visit there, you chill out in a communal lounge area while a attentive member of staff tends to you. No counter in reception means they have room for other things like an old fashioned VW Combi (no kidding!). Many of the staff have iPads on them, so if you need something taken care of it, they can do it for you then and there without you going down to the reception lounge.
Mantra Resort Samui is on the top of a steep hill and is likely the highest resort on Koh-Samui. Which means every room is blessed with panoramic views of the island, starting with thick rain forrest flowing down to the sandy beaches.
But also means a steep climb to get to the rooms. However, you needn’t worry about working up a sweat climbing those step paths to your room. Instead you can call a chauffeured driven golf buggy to take you to you their, or anywhere in the resort you want. It doesn’t matter if it’s 3am. Make the call and a buggy with friendly driver will be with you within seconds – not an exaggeration, the longest I ever waited was 2 minutes.
Coffee, it makes the world go around, and it’s a big part of Mantra Koh Samui In fact you will see the phrase “life’s too short for bad coffee” multiple times during your stay. In every room you will find an Illy espresso machine. Pop in the capsule and you have high quality coffee in few minutes. We all know coffee is the best in the morning, which is why baristas are pumping out cappuccinos, lattes non-stop at breakfast. They are free as part of the included breakfast, and you can have as many as your heart can handle before it starts to beat out your chest. Aussies and Kiwis will be stoked to hear that they know what a flat-white is as well.
Another essential element to life these days is wifi, and the resort is canopied out with fast free wifi for everyone. No extra cost, no fiddly passwords and no time or data limits. Just connect and go. While we are on the subject of tech there is a PC in every room!
The PC is also a media centre (XBMC for all the geeks out there) that’s connected to a full sized TV with literally terabytes of movies and TV shows to watch ALL FOR FREE.
Normally in tropical resorts, the rooms are just places for sleeping and little effort is put into making them large, or super deluxe because guest are not likely to spend much time there. But I actually spent a whole day in my room and I don’t feel bad about it. Why?
Amazing balcony. I mentioned every room as a view, well it also has a balcony or sundeck and these are just great places to spend a few lazy hours on the provided sun lounges. Many of them also have their own large jacuzzi on the sundeck as well. Another reason why you don’t have to leave.
The rooms a spacious as well. Inside you will find a king sized bed, lounge, kitchenette and still enough room for a small football match. The room service is the same price as the restaurant (ie affordable) so hey, why not have them bring up some food and drinks while you relax to tunes from the iPod dock (or even stream via Spotify or Soundcloud from the PC) while investing in some serious sundeck time.
If you do decide to leave your room, you’ll find one of the most gorgeous infinity pools around that fully takes advantage of the natural topography and view that Mantra Samui is blessed with. Like all good resort pools it also as a swim up bar.
I think the final gesture that show’s how much Mantra cares about its customers and staff is the staff cocktail party every Saturday night. You really do get to know the (always smiling) staff well over your stay there, so what better way to welcome Saturday night than with a drink with your new friends. Why are the staff always smiling? They asked them how THEY wanted to be treated, not the other way around. That’s a recipe for success, especially in customer facing service industry like a resort.
If you can’t tell yet, I’ve been super impressed with Mantra Samui Resort, and even though there’s a whole island of resorts I could check out on a return trip to Koh Samui, that won’t be happen. Mantra has got my business for my next Samui trip and I’m looking forward to coming back in 2015.
Things I almost forgot to mention – you get a departure gift personally signed by the hotels owner. Your bed is covered in rose petals on arrival. Free shuttle busses to various destinations in Koh Samui and free airport pick ups – so long as you book directly with the hotel – which also gives you their guaranteed best rate. Free yoga lessons daily in their fitness studio, and the infinity pool that doesn’t have closing hours, just keep it quiet if you’re going in late.