Great staff, great food at a relaxing boutique resort.

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“We searched very carefully for our Koh Samui stay. Coming off of 2 weeks of hard touring around Laos and Cambodia our goal was peace, quiet and relaxation, preferably in a villa on the beach rather than a hotel room.

We found Sea Dance and, despite a few mixed reviews here, decided to give it a go.

We ended up thrilled that we did.

Things did get off to a rocky start: despite a confirmed airport greeting and pickup there was no one to meet us at the airport meeting point. After 15 minutes and a phone call we hopped in a taxi expecting the worst. Instead we were met by the Managing Director/owner Poy with a heartfelt apology. Everyone makes mistakes, and rather than shifting blame or making excuses Poy simply took the fault, apologized and promised to make it up to us. Which he and his staff did do. Perfect service recovery.

As for the property itself, we stayed in Villa 1 and cannot recommend it more highly. It’s mostly a glass room but with blackout shades and AC that must be on steroids. During the day we lounged in the private pool or on the very private lounging platform staring at the ocean. At night we opened the glass doors and listened to the sea sipping one of the many wine selections from the restaurant’s wine room.

The restaurant serves excellent eclectic food including Thai, other Asian and western food. My favorite was the duck Red curry. My wife loved the steak sandwich for lunch.

The beach is ‘meh’. Pebbly and rocky. Gorgeous to look at though.

But let’s be clear: what made this place special for us were the people. The staff are just awesome. They call guests by name here (nice Ritz touch!) Beyond Poy, Faith the ex-Pat American manager gave us pro tips on our plans to go digital nomad next year during the included breakfast. Ex-pat English Helen provided excellent service with a healthy dash of wit and a wry smile at dinner. And ex-pat Myanmar ‘John’ serves great drinks and fascinating stories of his life. And those are just the ones we got to know by name. All of the staff were excellent – although it would have helped a bit if the eggs station staff at breakfast spoke at least a little English since we like our omelette well done.

We kept thinking that the place ought to go all over-13. The bungalows and social atmosphere at breakfast, happy hour and dinner are really conducive to grown-uping. And we met and made some new Facebook friends there. But, alas, it’s not all-adult so there were babies, toddlers and kids about. That’s where the private pool came in super-handy.

This little resort isn’t a highly polished gem. It’s a boutique resort. That’s part of its charm, but too, it means there are minor service gaps and gaffes. Bring bring a relaxed attitude and good nature and you’ll have a great time, no worries and even make new friends.

To us, it was just what we wanted just when we wanted it.”