The Sundays Sanctuary looked like a relaxing place to stay, with some very good reviews, set in the hills on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand, and was very reasonably priced. I took a taxi from my previous hotel and was surprised when we turned down a little road and it felt like we were going off into the countryside. The hotel felt more isolated than it was, however, as there was a small market and food centre opposite a minimart with an ATM at the junction with the main road. Unfortunately it was necessary to brave the dogs that hung around in the tree-lined street with no one nearby in order to get there, and I’m not the only guest who didn’t fancy doing that on her own in the pitch-black dark.
The hotel itself was unusually decorated in concrete with second-hand style furniture in the lobby/breakfast area. There was no restaurant or room service at the hotel, and breakfast was the only meal served, a choice of toast, egg or muesli. The lobby area had some beanbags for relaxing, as well as chairs and tables. Wifi was only available at the lobby and the pool (contrary to what it said on Agoda when I booked).
The pool was by far the best part of the Sundays Sanctuary. With a lake-like feel, I swam under the trees, watching the birds. Apart from the inevitable leaves and insects, the water felt clean and the pool was of a decent size and depth. Deck chairs were places around the pool, in the forested surroundings, it was a great place to relax.
The rooms, however, were very disappointing. I was initially given a standard room, in a building up the back away from the other hotel buildings. After discovering that my balcony door would not lock, I was moved to a pool view bungalow. When it says pool view, mine was near the back, and you could just about see parts of the pool through the trees.
The concrete design meant that the room was permanently dusty, and the bathroom was covered in dirt that had fallen down from the ceiling. The futon bed was nothing special, the TV was very small, and the air-con old and noisy. The room had large floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, with white canvas curtains covered in brown damp stains. The wardrobe had sliding doors that would not budge an inch. But the most bizarre thing about the room was that in the bathroom as well as a shower there was a concrete bath.
It was in its own little area, with a corrugated plastic roof with holes that let in rain and leaf litter from the trees above. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to use a dirty, dimly lit concrete bath tub! The room was cleaned daily, but not thoroughly at all. The bath was never cleaned, dirt on the shower curtain stayed there throughout my stay, and a dead cockroach was left on the floor for several days. Dust, dirt and insects pervaded my stay at the Sundays Sanctuary, which should be priced as cheap budget accommodation rather than a medium-priced spa-style hotel.