Avista Resort and Spa Phuket
Average rate: $70 - Hotel class: 5 stars
4/4 1 Leam Sai Road Karon District Amphur Muang, Phuket, Thailand
Avista Resort and Spa Phuket Reviews
Nice hotel but some opening flaws Nov 17, 2009
My wife and I went to Phuket in the middle of November 2009 and we stayed at Avista. We travel quite a lot and this year we have been to places such as Hong Kong, London, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Vietnam, Cambodia etc so I feel that I have a certain background in reviewing hotels.
When I started looking for hotels in Phuket I was not sure which beach to stay at. On Agoda I came across a special deal for a newly opened 5 star hotel called Avista Resort and Spa and the prices were quite good for a 4/5 star hotel. In this process I also got in touch with the hotel to ask them if they could offer a similar room rate but they just referred to the official price list so I booked through Agoda and it was 91 USD per night per room including taxes, breakfast etc (while the hotel asked for 150 USD).
When we came to Phuket we took a taxi to the hotel and that was 600 THB and took about 45 minutes. We were greeted with a cold cloth and a welcome drink while our papers were being processed and we were assigned to room 526, a grand deluxe room on the 5th floor. There are also Club rooms on the 5th floor but when I sent a request to the hotel about this room I only got vague feedback on the difference on this room compared to the grand deluxe room.
When we were taken to our room it was clear to see that we were there during the soft opening. We had arrived only 11 days after the official opening so the smell of saw dust and concrete was still in the air. Room 526 was a 50 square meter room and when we entered we could see that it was a modern room (of course as it was brand new). Light tiles on the floor, white painted walls and wooden panels on some of the walls. The room entrance contained a wardrobe with hangers, a safe (with a built in light), coffee making facility in the form of a water boiler and also a small kitchen including a larger fridge, a micro wave, some plate and cutlery, glasses etc. The selection of drinks in the mini bar was not extensive but it is possible to get water from 50 THB and beer to 120 THB. Not bad for hotel prices but compared to the price on the street it is expensive.
The room continued in and contained to rather large beds (one queen and one king size), a desk one practically one side of the wall (including space to store one suite case). The TV seemed to be a 42” Samsung full HD wide screen TV and there was a panel underneath if you want to connect a laptop view HDMI or plug in a USB stick. On the other side was the two beds, a chair with a small table and the control panel for lights, air con etc. There was also a small balcony with two chairs and a table.
The bathroom contained a large shower area with a rainforest shower head, two sinks, a bath tub and the amenities includes shampoo, shower gel, moisturizer, dental set, shaving kit etc but where is the conditioner?. There was a glass wall between the bathroom and the bed room but drapes allowed for some privacy when that is needed.
There was WiFi on our floor and it was easy to hook up and the internet speed was pretty good.
So lets talk a bit about the things that are not working that great. The air con makes a bit of noise and it does not really make much of a difference if you have it on high or low. And it also does not seem to be able to cool down the large room in a sufficient way. The bathroom is nice but there seems to be some design flaws. It seems like water is splashing underneath the glass door and it floods onto the bathroom floor, there are not that many hooks to hang up towels and robes, the wash line seems to hang outside the bathtub so when you hang up wet clothing it drips outside and most annoying of all things; the water temperature fluctuates a lot when taking a shower. The control for hot and cold water over the sinks are not ideal when keeping in mind that you have to twist them after putting on a lot of sun tan lotion.
The restaurant served breakfast that was OK. The breakfast selection includes a small selection of cereal, bread and fruit and also some hot selection of sausages, beans, bacon etc. It is easy to see that they are in the starting phase as the guy on the omelet station took forever to make it…but he did a great job. There is also a selection for making salad and you do of course get the option of some juice, milk, water or coffee/tea. Maybe the selection of food will increase when there are more guests? If they want to keep on offering cheese platter to the guest I think they have to come up with a cooling option as the poor cheese was melting in the heat of Thailand. We also had dinner there one night as we got a voucher from the hotel. We went for a western menu and that was not very impressive and my steak was really, really though and the brownie dessert was like made out of a packet (served with canned whipped cream).
The pool area is split into two sections. The lower small area located near the restaurant and lobby and the upper pool which is larger and contains a pool bar and access to the small workout studio. Most of the pool is 1.3 meters in depth and was very nice to play around in. The sun beds have parasols of course and beeper is placed out so that you can call for drinks. Will there be enough sun beds once all the rooms are occupied? I can’t comment on the spa yet as that will only be ready in the end of November and a game room and library is also being finalized.
The location of the hotel is on the hill between Kata and Karon beach. Getting to Kata beach takes about 5 to 10 minutes as it is downhill but going back up takes a bit longer as the hill is really steep. You also get access to Kata city center with a few restaurants, bars, tour shops etc. Going to Karon shouldn’t take that much longer. Avista also have a shuttle but that takes you to Kata and to Patong a few times a day,
There are evidence that they are still in the learning phase of the running of the hotel: the shower gel in the tube and the shower gel in dispenser does not seem to be the same, housekeeping buzzing the door over and over again at 9 am, dust everywhere from the building process, But all in all I think Avista Resort and Spa will be good option once it is complete. The staff seems to be eager to help and are smiling (as in most cases in Thailand) and the location between Kata and Karon should allow visitors to cover both beaches if they want to.
Plus for: flip flops in the rooms to use when you go to the beach, towels that you can get from the pool to take to the beach, two PC’s in the reception if you need to use the internet, a lot of light in the room including good reading lights. But what about an environmental profile when it comes to changing of towels, sheets etc?
All in all a very nice hotel and I’m sure they will be even better once they get experience in the running of the hotel. Our room was huge but the second bed was not necessary and it would have been great with an option of a table and chairs instead. And it would have been nice to get some information about the club rooms when I was sending requests concerning this. But I would not mind staying at Avista again and I would not hesitate to recommend the hotel to friends.
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Avista Resort and Spa Amenities