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Reviewed 6 October 2021

We have never heard for the One&Only brand prior to this trip. When my sister sent us the resort info for her wedding, we were more than delighted. Our stay was nothing short of magical. The staff was on another level. The wedding was right out of a movie. All dining was excellent, but the the prefix menu for our large group at Carao was a highlight. It’s hard to narrow down what was our favorite part of the One&Only Mandarina. We will return someday for much longer stay.

Date of stay: October 2021
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank iammoomba
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 October 2021

This hotel is incredible. We spent five nights there for our honeymoon and it was absolutely perfect; I have read a few reviews with "cons" lists but we really didn't have any complaints.

We were upgraded to an ocean view bungalow when we checked in - I had requested a room closer to Alma and the beach because I did read that the buggies can be slow. I highly recommend this option, our room was stunning. The little details in the room also blew our minds - the beach bag, the sunblock, the hats, the yoga mats...all enhanced our stay. The room was so luxurious, the plunge pool was lovely and the outdoor bathtub was very cool. The room was perfectly private from all angles!

The service was incredible - we had two fantastic butlers: Sinuhe & Jovani. We also loved meeting Patricio who went the extra mile to make our honeymoon incredibly special! The staff were really lovely and helpful wherever we were on the property (beach, restaurants, activities etc.)

The beach was lovely and so were both pools. The restaurants were excellent - we tried them all. The food and drinks are expensive so this is something to keep in mind when booking. The breakfast at Alma was a great way to start the day!

We can't recommend this hotel enough, it was amazing!

Date of stay: September 2021
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Talia17
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 October 2021

From check in to check out & everything in between was an amazing trip. Beautiful, clean and lots of activities when not lounging at the pool. Carao Restaurant is a must for dinner as well as beach club day time or dinner - Can't wait to go back

Date of stay: September 2021
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank CaliKourosh
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 27 September 2021

We have historically thought nothing but the best of One&Only brand hotels. This was our first stay at the Mandarina. We stayed 7 nights in a Panoramic Ocean Cliff Villa in July. The timing of this review is delayed as we sent our feedback to the hotel and wanted to give the hotel a chance to respond.

The grounds are stunningly beautiful; if you have ever been to the Four Seasons in Koh Samui, this property has a very similar feel - a beautiful combination of ocean and jungle, with trails through the jungle that need a golf cart (or buggy) to get around the resort. Our room was wonderful, with beyond spectacular views, lots of space, and an indoor and outdoor shower. That said, each day, there was something from a service perspective that was either disappointing or frustrating or both. For the price we paid to stay here, and with the One&Only name, this was a complete shock to us.

There are many five star ratings for this property so perhaps we were there at a bad time for staffing. I will start out with a positive highlight, the best thing about the resort: Canalan Beach Club. The beach and restaurant (Allora) were the highlight of our trip. We reserved a cabana for a day and enjoyed it so much we reserved a second day later in our stay. The food here is great and as far as service goes, both Ernesto and Alex deserve a lot of credit - they were amazing hosts and took great care of us each time we were on site. The only downside to enjoying Canalan is that you have to take two separate golf cart trips to get there - one to get to the main reception area and another one to get to the restaurant/beach. You do the same in reverse to get back to your room. This would typically not be an issue worth noting but I’m calling it out due to the delays we experienced with the buggy service (we were late to each dinner reservation we made, even though we called 15+ minutes in advance or made advance reservations).

Now for the not so great highlights. 1) Housekeeping. We had more issues here with housekeeping than any hotel we have ever experienced. At other One&Only properties, we rarely see housekeeping, as there is solid coordination between butlers and housekeeping such that housekeeping services your room while you are away (e.g., at breakfast, or away for an activity). At this property, for many, you need a golf cart to leave your room to go anywhere on property - this should be better coordinated with housekeeping. We would regularly return from a late breakfast or lunch to a room that had not been serviced. This occurred despite our requests to our butler to make up the room while we are away. There was one day where we went from breakfast to a hike (we requested the housekeeping service on our ride to breakfast), only to return late afternoon to a room that had not been serviced. This happened every day, despite our requests. Many times we would come back to our room from the pool or beach, ready to shower and relax, to find housekeeping in our room, so we would have to wait for them to finish servicing our room before we could relax. On the turndown service, they regularly showed up an hour before we had dinner reservations at a restaurant - while we were getting ready for dinner. This just shows lack of coordination between butlers and housekeeping, which we have always had at other One&Only properties. These frustrations may not bother many, but again, for the price we pay, we expect better. We also had to ask for ice, multiple times a day, to get ice in our room. And then we had the “fun” experience with our butler calling and texting my mobile and then calling our room land line at 9 am (while we were sleeping, and had the “do not disturb” indicators active) to ask us if housekeeping could service the room at that time. There were also other “nits” that I would not expect from a hotel with this price tag - housekeeping failed to put cushions on our outdoor furniture each day (not a big deal, but expected for this type of hotel); they have incense sticks for the room but we had trouble getting our sticks replaced after day one.

2). Second overall issue was with the restaurants - both food quality and service did not meet expectations (with the exception of Allora at Canalan Beach). Dinner at Alma - the music took away from the ambiance; too loud and just too much - didn’t seem to fit with the elegant ambiance. Food quality was not what we have experienced from other One&Only properties. At least one of us did not enjoy our meal each time we dined. Difficulty in getting water refills. Lunch at Alma - with only 5 tables occupied, we still struggled to keep our water refilled. Caro (their high end/flagship restaurant) - seemed understaffed. We ate there twice and struggled with service. The second time we were there for dinner we waited over 30 minutes for someone to come to our table to take our order. The servers didn’t seem to know how to make drinks. We ordered a martini and it was mostly water - not drinkable. We also had issues with room service - we ordered a snack to our room one day and they brought us a plate and silverware for one. There are two of us in the room. Just not what you would expect from a One&Only hotel, or when you pay a large price per night on your room.

3) Concierge service needs improvement. We emailed the hotel in advance asking about spa services and fishing charters. Every time we are in Mexico we charter a boat for offshore fishing and wished to do the same here. We were provided with the brochure and pricing but that was it; no additional instructions or suggestions from the hotel. When we got on site and inquired about a fishing trip, we learned that it would be very difficult to book a fishing trip; that we would have to drive over 2 hours each way because we didn’t book in advance (booking in advance apparently secures a boat pick up that is closer to the property). We were disappointed we were not provided this information in advance and that we didn’t get to go fishing this trip.

4) Buggy/Golf Cart service needs improvement. There were many times we had to wait over 30 minutes for a golf cart. There were other times when we booked the golf cart in advance and still had to wait 15 - 20 minutes. Each evening we were late for our dinner reservations because of the wait times for the golf cart.

5) Final note - you are in the jungle so you should expect bugs. Not a big deal to us, but worth mentioning. Late one night when my husband was putting on his bathrobe, he was stung (twice) by a scorpion that had been hanging out in his robe. The hotel was quick to send a doctor to our room (their response timing was excellent) and my husband had to get a shot because his leg was swelling but this is not our complaint. Bugs happen. Our complaint was that the hotel never followed up with us to see how he was doing. Ever. We went the rest of our stay without a mention of the incident. Again, not meeting expectations.

Overall, a disappointing stay. We gave it 3 stars because of the amazing ambiance but we won't be back any time soon.

Room tip: The panoramic ocean cliff villa in the hotel photos is the ONLY one with the outdoor dining table/area.
Date of stay: July 2021
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank J4730WTashleys
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 25 September 2021 via mobile

Our stay was superb. The resort itself is stunning. Perfect balance of luxury and nature. Every detail was thought out The rooms were excellent! The service and attention to detail was excellent. The staff was all attentive and on top of everything. The food is amazing! Not one thing about our stay I would change. Can’t wait to return!

Date of stay: April 2021
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank seuss80
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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