I am going to begin this review with a caveat / admission / announcement. Poppies is one of my favourite hotels in the world. This isn’t because it is the most luxurious hotel (it isn’t) or has its own private beach (it doesn’t), but in my opinion the atmosphere and design of this thai cottage hotel make up for these short comings.
Pre-Arrival: I booked our stay on a third party booking site so had minimal interaction with the hotel pre-arrival. However, I did get in touch to arrange an early check-in and late check-out, which was helpfully available.
First Impressions: Located on the main beach road in Chaweng, Poppies is right in the heart of the action. This convenient location does, however, mean that the entrance is not going to leave you with any feeling of “wow” but instead it is completely in keeping with the design of the rest of the hotel.
The reception is an open thai-style building that reflects the traditional thai atmosphere that permeates the rest of the hotel. There is a separate room for check-in and a seating area for those waiting for pick-ups / drop-offs.
Check-in: We arrived about an hour before the official check-in time but this was absolutely no issue and the whole check-in procedure was swift and efficient, complete with welcome drinks and refreshing cold towels. We were also welcomed personally by the general manager, John Ens, which was a very nice touch.
Room: Poppies has just 24 individual thai style cottages. All cottages are separate and hidden amongst tropical greenery to provide privacy on the outdoor seating area.
The large bed is extremely comfortable and the little side area complete with thai day bed, kettle and an empty refrigerator to fill with local drinks/foods of your choosing, is a nice addition. We also found that the smart tv with a rotating mount was very useful.
The hotel also provides robes, slippers and beach bag for use during your stay. Mosquito coils are also lit outside every evening. The only extra that would be nice is an in-room mosquito plug in for the room as we did get bitten inside during our stay.
Bathroom: One of the most unique features of the cottage is the indoor/outdoor bathroom that is screened to protect from insects while still remaining partially open to the elements. It really makes you feel like you are in a tropical paradise (rather than just off the main Chaweng beach road)!
The hotel also provides a portable hairdryer which is useful and powerful!
Pool/Beach: There is one central pathway through the hotel that leads to the pool and the beach, passing over a fish pond en-route.
The pool itself is designed to be in-keping with the traditional green landscape and its free-form shape and rockery certainly help to achieve this.
As I have already alluded to, Poppies does not have its own private beach. Instead, a number of sun loungers line the hotel’s section of Chaweng Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Koh Samui. Chaweng has clear sands and blue waters and a lively atmosphere so in my opinion the lack of “private” beach is no hardship. Plus Mr. D and I actually enjoyed being able to grab locally priced ice-cream and drinks from our sun loungers. However, if it is a quiet, undisturbed sunbath that you are looking for – I would definitely recommend avoiding the front row (although to be honest none of the seller’s were overly pushy).
The hotel also has a spa with a poolside massage parlour. However, as we were out travelling most days we didn’t get the chance to use it on this occasion.
Dining: Poppies’s restaurant is one of the leading restaurants on the island. Positioned right on the beachfront the atmosphere is great and the food is honestly outstanding. The fillet steak is one of the best I have had anywhere in the world and is a must for meat lovers.
However, while Poppies exceed at dinner, we found it fell slightly short at breakfast. The service we received on both mornings was slow and disjointed. We received hot food before the cold food we ordered and had to ask several times for some honey. The limitation of selecting only one option from the a la carte menu is also restrictive and behind the curve in terms of what the majority of hotels now offer.
Events: During our stay Poppies held a cocktail reception on the beach for all guests. This was definitely the highlight of our stay and we thoroughly enjoyed having the chance to interact with other guests and the staff while sipping on some lovely cocktails and nibbling on some canapés.
Would I recommend the hotel? Definitely, despite our less than ideal breakfast experience, Poppies remains a firm favourite and we definitely plan to be back. The hotel has a welcoming, family atmosphere that is really hard to find elsewhere!
Would I stay again? Yes! (Anybody want to take me with them?)
Prices for a cottage start at THB 8,500 per night (low season)