Located on the beach, near the centre of Chaweng on Koh Samui, Iyara Beach Hotel & Plaza is a popular choice for Russian and Israeli tourists. We stayed there and gave the overall experience a 6 out of 10.
The location is good, and the people are nice. However, we felt it didn’t quite hit the 5 star mark. Nothing at the hotel was bad but it wasn’t as good as we were expecting.
The reception service was polite and efficient. We were seen straight away, filled out a quick form and then our bags were carried to the room. The lobby, corridors and other common areas were pleasantly decorated and fairly clean. The outside pool is the big selling point of this hotel. Lots of the guests were using it and staying most of the day on the sun loungers. The pool is clean and well maintained with attractive elephant statues with water pouring out of their trunks into the pool.
Restaurant and Buffet Breakfast
Beside the pool there is a restaurant with some outdoor seating. The restaurant is very smart but not well used in the evening. We saw only a handful of guests eating there at night. In the morning though, the restaurant is packed as they serve a very good breakfast. Unlike many Thai hotels where the vast majority of what is on offer falls into the ‘Asian breakfast’ category, the buffet breakfast here is predominantly Western foods. The ‘egg station’ was notably good, as was the bacon and the coffee.
The room was not up to the same standard as the rest of the hotel. The bed arrangement is a bit peculiar with a 20 cm raised wooden platform and a thick mattress. This bed arrangement is a fair bit lower down than a conventional bed. Whilst comfortable, I can see this causing problems for older people with restricted mobility. The rest of the room was very plainly decorated. Bathroom was adequate and TV a bit small with lousy reception on the Western channels. Also, I couldn’t get the wooden shutters open. I think there was a sea-view but we couldn’t get to enjoy it.
Worth Booking for the Location
The reason I felt let down by the room was that it doesn’t match up to the location, which is excellent. This stretch of Chaweng beach is a lot cleaner and the sea a lot calmer than the southern end of the beach. There is a small reef that protects this part of the beach. Going back from the beach you are in the middle of the most popular part of Chaweng town. On the grounds of the hotel there is a shopping complex with branded designer clothes shops, originals (rather than fakes) on sale at reasonable prices. A short walk up the road will take you to Central, the brand new luxury shopping centre on the Island. There are also lots of restaurants and bars very nearby.