Banyan Tree Samui offers smartphones to guests


The Banyan Tree Samui has begun offering smartphones to its guests. So everything from menus and island tours are now available to guests with a swipe of their smartphones. You can access free international calls, too.


Banyan Tree Samui
Banyan Tree Samui

Banyan Tree Samui is a luxurious 88-villa beachfront resort on Koh Samui, one of Thailand’s most popular island destinations. It recently began handing out Portier smartphones with room keys at check in.

The Portier smartphones offer free and unrestricted international telephone calls and 4G Internet. They also provide access to many resort features including restaurant menus and daily activities. You can also get tips for sightseeing around the island of Koh Samui.

The smartphones are also user-friendly. They can be operated in in different languages including English, Russian, Chinese, German or French. The Banyan Tree Samui is confident the innovation will provide visitors with a greater comfort and security.


Banyan Tree Samui
Smartphones for guests at Banyan Tree Samui

“Often the first thing guests want to do is call home and tell family they arrived safe and sound,” says Remko Kroesen, Banyan Tree Samui general manager. “They can do that immediately here. The last thing you want to do after a long flight is run around looking for a SIM card.”

Remko Kroesen says the most popular feature of the smartphone used by guests at the Banyan Tree Samui is the “Villa Host” function. Each guest is assigned a Villa Host – a personal butler-cum-concierge. The Villa Host will contact them ahead of their arrival to take requests and to lay the groundwork for their vacation. The resort has about 10 Villa Hosts on call at any one time. So that’s one Villa Host per eight or nine villas when fully occupied.

Banyan Tree Samui
Banyan Tree Samui


The Villa Host runs through the Portier’s features when the guest checks in. Thereafter, visitors need only call the “Villa Host,” whether for room service, housekeeping or hiring a car. Or even just to ask for translations or local advice.

Also, Banyan Tree Samui’s smartphones enable connectivity through Wi-Fi hotspots no matter where a guest travels on the island.

“You could be in a coconut plantation or watching the sunset from a beach, and you can still take a picture and send it home,” said Executive Assistant Manager Haruethai Maneerat.


The hotspot works in tandem with the GPS and provides a safety net for Banyan Tree Samui guests who might get lost. Recently, one couple hired a car to drive around Koh Samui but soon got into a bump with a local driver. The guests called their Banyan Tree Samui Villa Host on their smartphone since they didn’t speak Thai and they didn’t know where they were. The host was able to track them via the GPS and drive with the resort handyman to the scene of the accident, where she sorted out everything on the spot.

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All the information about the Banyan Tree Samui is downloaded onto the smartphone. There are menus for each of Banyan Tree Samui’s three restaurants; spa treatments; speedboat tours; daily kids’ club activities. It also features novel ideas such as a nature trail around the rolling 38-acre property, where guests can use their phones to identify some of the resident flora and fauna. The resort is home to birds of paradise, rubber plants, MacArthur palms, kingfishers, a white-breasted sea eagle that soars over the resort every day just before sunset, the occasional passing monitor lizard.

“Our delivery to the guests must always be exemplary,” said Kroesen. “From the limousine service at the airport to the moment they check out, it’s those extra personal touches that people remember.”

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