Every year I try to give myself an hour or so to see how Agoda and Trip Advisor ratings have changed over the last year for various resorts and hotels in Koh Phangan. I recently performed this task for Haad Yao. Below are my observations.
Firstly, it is noticed that generally resort ratings decrease over time. This is not primarily, I suspect, down to bad service or churlish managers. Rather, resorts get a bit run down over time: facilities break down, holes appear where mosquitoes and insects can get in and paint peels and fades. It is customary for a resort to be renovated or completely re-built every 10 years or so in Koh Phangan where the sea air takes its toll on facilities. In the old days the wooden bungalows that used to be the prevalent accommodation option in Koh Phangan would be allowed to get really tatty before being torn down and re-built usually with an upgrade to increase revenue.
My second observation is that Trip Advisor ratings are effected not only by how well the resort is perceived by guests but also by the amount of competition. Every year Trip Advisor includes further hotels, lodges and inns to its lists. The effect is often to amplify the nose dive of position. Agoda that uses an aggregate score out of 10 doesn’t have this problem.
Thirdly, it is very possible for a resort to improve its Agoda rating but lose ground in its Trip Advisor position. It seems contradictory, and should instruct us all to take these things with a pinch of salt. After all we know that resort owners and managers have a history of giving themselves good reviews and their competitors bad ones.
Haad Yao Resort went from 7 to 7.1
Seaboard Bungalows rose slightly from 7.4 to 7.5
Haad Yao Over Bay Resort jumped from #109 to #55 out of 273 Speciality Lodges
Euphoria Bungalows jumped from #141 to #120 out of 273 Speciality Lodges
See Through Boutique Resort went from #60 to #56 out of #116 Inns and B&Bs
Haad Yao Bungalows did well to go from #55 to #26 out of #116 Inns and B&Bs
Haad Yao Over Bay Resort went from 6.8 to 6.5
Sun Moon Star Resort dropped slightly from 9.2 to 9.1
Sun Moon Star Resort fell from #7 to #9 out of 116 B&Bs and Inns
Haad Yao Resort fell from #66 to #70 out of 90 hotels
Baan Haad Yao Villas down from #146 to #181 out of 273 Speciality Lodges
Haad Yao Villa went from #82 to #110 out of #273 Speciality Lodges
Other results include non-movers and those new places without listings on Agoda and/or Trip Advisor. Agoda ratings usually go up or down by just 0.1. The exception is Haad Yao Over Bay Resort that lost 0.2 points. More dramatic are Trip Advisor ratings: Baan Haad Yao Villas dropped 35 places; Haad Yao Villa fell 28 spots; Euphoria Bungalows rose by 21 positions; and most impressively Haad Yao Over Bay Resort went up 54 places.
Perhaps the most interesting stat is that it isn’t the most expensive resort that gets the best review scores. Sun Moon Star Resort has rooms starting at 1,500 Thai Baht a night and yet it is the 9th best inn in Koh Phangan and has an Agoda rating of 9.1