I’m actually surprised I haven’t written a review for the Rich Resort before, because I first stayed there way back in 2014 into 2015 upon my virgin visit to the island of Koh Samui in Thailand. (Note: it was my virgin voyage there; I WAS NOT still a virgin in 2014 at the age of 44!)
My buddy Clint G recommended the Rich Resort, which struck me as a shabby budget hotel that was in the exact perfect location – right on Lamai Beach in Koh Samui (OK, five steps across the street from the beach.)
Years later, I just stayed at “The Rich” again, and had such a positive experience, for various reasons, that I was compelled to write this review.
If you walked up to the hotel for the first time, you’d still think it was nothing more than a budget accommodation for backpackers and young travelers who wanted to be in the right spot by the beach. The physical structure is certainly nothing impressive – or even anywhere near aesthetically pleasing. The lobby is open-air, and you could literally take one step and be in the street. Once you check in and out or access the lobby, there is a back hallway with a row of rooms, and then second and even third floors – additions that were slapped on haphazardly over the years at odd angles and with no thought for a pleasant design.
To walk up the stairs (I was on the third floor this time), you have to duck your head (unless you’re 5’6″ and under) so you don’t give yourself a concussion on the low ceiling. On the second-floor hallways/open-air deck, you have to squeeze through a point to do a u-turn, so narrow that you can’t walk with your suitcase by your side.
But once in the rooms, you’ll see they are well-cared for, although still basic-grade and a little older. The rooms are big, have a TV, mini fridge, desk, little table, fan, aircon, safe, and a large bathroom with plenty of hot water. They even installed a mini-router outside of each and every room, so Wi-Fi is consistent throughout.
That’s where I’d like to stop and chat about the overwhelmingly positive experience, because when I first had trouble logging on, the foreign (maybe Israeli?) manager came immediately to help, restarting the router and getting me up and running with Wi-Fi with genuine concern.
I enjoyed my stay at The Rich Resort this year – especially their new sister business across the street right on the beach, a restaurant/bar (but under construction) and a swimming pool. However, it’s the rainy season here, and it poured, drizzled, and dumped for four days straight. A little bored and nothing much to do, I decided to change my ticket back to Bangkok and leave two days early.
When I told the amazingly nice and professional gals working in the lobby, they volunteered to refund me one of those nights completely – a great compromise and olive branch considering that I’d already booked and paid and they were under no obligation to do anything for me.
I was refunded the money in cash, thanked them profusely, and headed to the airport.
The private taxi driver (a woman, which is cool in a predominately-male industry here), dropped me off at the airport and left.
I was standing in the self-check-in line ten minutes later when the taxi driver came running up to me again. She was on the phone and handed it to me.
On the other end was someone from the front desk staff at the Rich Resort. The gal told me that she’d accidentally shortchanged me on the refund and still owed me 600 Baht ($18 or so). I hadn’t noticed when I was preoccupied checking out and never noticed, but the Rich Resort employee had noticed her mistake, tracked down the taxi driver and called her, asked her to come back to the airport and find me, and pay me the 600 Baht out of her own pocket right there, only to reimburse the driver later.
Now THAT’S good customer service – and a caring, helpful human being!
Kudos to Rich Resort and your staff, and I’ll shout your praises to the rooftops – and stay there again when I come back to Koh Samui!