Response from Tuyet-Mai:
Thank you for your review.
I am happy to hear you enjoyed your stay, but sorry to hear that you were not all that satisfied with the service, as listed in your ‘CONS’ section. I will use your feedback to improve the experience of my future guests to the best of my ability. However, I would like to address some of the CONS you mentioned:
-Villa price and level of service: your stay with us was during Christmas and New Year, the peak season of Phuket. The price you paid was high per se, due to the peak season rate factor applied by all hotels and villas across Phuket, from budget to luxury, but still much cheaper than similar villas. I have priced my villa so that its rate is consistently 20% to 30% cheaper (all year round including peak season) than other villas of similar size, facilities, views and comfort level. Other villa owners have taken the approach to provide full-fledged service with several maids, a full time villa manager, a chef / maid-cook, etc. and thus charge heftily for this. On the other hand, my approach is to provide good service but not top-notch nor top of the range, in a very comfortable and spacious villa and rather offer prices that are much more reasonable, so that guests could have good value for their money for the villa itself. The service level could then be “a la carte” according to guests’ requests to the villa manager, who is then happy to organize any extras. This is clearly communicated in the villa welcome kit and it is a flexible approach adapted to each group’s needs.
-Housekeeper working hours: I believe there was a misunderstanding about our full time maid’s working hours. I have mentioned in the villa description and in the welcome kit that we have a full time maid and that her working hours are from 8 am to 5 pm. In actual practice, she usually works longer hours. Previous guests who wanted maid service past the normal duty hours asked our villa manager for it: she then provided the service of another maid or asked our normal maid to do overtime, from 5:00 pm to very late evening for an extra service charge.
-Villa manager’s presence at the villa: the villa manager’s routine is to be at the villa every day in the morning for 2 or 3 hours, usually between 8:00 am to 12:00 pm, to also oversee breakfast preparation. It must be that your group had been sleeping very late each morning and thus I am sorry if you have not seen her much. This has never been a problem with past guests, and Khun Pam has always met them daily in her routine morning visits. They have rated her as very professional, helpful, responsible and interacting very well with them. Your group’s very late sleeping pattern in the morning or until the afternoon was unusual for her: she should have changed her routine so that she could meet you in the afternoon and inquire about your stay. I will ask her to better adapt to these types of new situations.
-Mark-up for booking taxis and massages by villa manager: I discussed this with my villa Manager, who insists that she contacted a spa and informed you that the price was THB600/hour, one that you approved of, and which is a very normal rate. She does not know how much you actually ended up paying the masseuse, as she took no part in the transaction.
As for car transportation bookings, the car rental company that you were referred to is the one that we ourselves have been using for the past 10 years, where transportation from the villa to the airport costs THB700 for 4 people. It could be higher depending on the number of passengers, or during Christmas and New Year peak season when cars are in scarcity due to high demand, or the time of day (a night ride being more expensive than a day ride). My villa Manager has been with us for 4 years now and I do not think that she is making profits off of these services.
-My not taking action after your husband’s call: your husband called the day before your check out, in the afternoon, to report some of the service problems you mentioned in this review. I wished you had contacted us before if you were not happy, instead of 8 days after your check-in. My villa manager is on a 24-hour-call duty and I am always available to answer guest’s requests, suggestions or complaints. If the pool towels were not washed on the following day of your husband’s call, it was because your check out was due before 11:00 am that day. The house was clean and in good order though.
-Pool towels: there are 6 sun-loungers at the pool deck, with 1 pool towel laid on each lounger. My villa Manager also added 4 additional towels onto the hanger by the poolside, providing a total of 10 pool towels for your group of 9 people. If it was not clear to you that the 4 extra towels hanged by the pool were for your usage, I am sorry for this. We will put them on the side tables next to the sun loungers in the future. Our policy is to replace them when they are dirty but have the still clean ones dry overnight on the hanger racks and place them again on the sun loungers the morning after. We usually replace them after 3-4 days of usage, not every day. We have a few full change sets for 12 people.
-Toilet paper: I acknowledge the problem and I am sorry for this. Everyday, our maid should check that there is 1 extra roll inside each bathroom in addition to the one in use. Paper rolls are abundantly stocked in our storage room and the maid would have happily supplied them if she were asked or be reminded that extra paper rolls were missing. I apologize for the inconvenience and I will remind the maid about this routine.
-Condition of bath towels: I apologize for this issue – the maid was too hasty in the preparations and neglected to check the condition of the towels. We have plenty of bath towels, a few full change sets for 12 people, with a mix of newer and older ones. The maid should have better checked and only provided the ones in good condition. The ones in poorer condition should be for the beach. I will check again the towel condition and invest in new ones if needed.
-Change of bath towels: my villa manager has confirmed to me that they were changed twice during your stay of 9 nights but were placed back hanging on the towel rack: this could be the reason why you thought they were not replaced. They were indeed! We will make sure that in the future the maid just place the clean towels folded on the bathroom vanity top or the rack so that guests could see they have been replaced.
To conclude, I wish that these problems had been highlighted to us early during your stay so that we could have had time to take action to solve them or give you further explanations. Nothing replaces good communication.
The team at the villa tries very hard to take good care of the guests within the scope of the service we communicate and provide to guests. If it seemed like our services, in your opinion, were sub-par, I am sorry for this. But there has been some misunderstanding, though I have clearly communicated about our service level in the villa description and again in the villa welcome kit sent to you well before check-in time. It could be that you have skipped these important sections of the documents.
I have well noted your comments and will ensure that the issues we can fix will not happen again for future guests. Thank you for writing about your experience and giving your feedback. I hope your stay at our villa was nonetheless enjoyable and that you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year.