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My trip report

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My trip report

Well i think i posted the bangkok part on a couple of weeks ago , so here is the phuket bit its a bit boring.

Arrived from Bkk with Air Asia on the 19th, i booked with them on line and increased the baggage allowance they were in my opinion very good they left bang on time and no critism at all , the flight is about 50 minutes from bangkok.

Phuket airport was quick , we grabbed bags and went to the counter in the airport for a taxi to the cape panwa hotel, i think it was 650 baht, anyway got in, and after five mintues he said i have to stop at the office as im required to tell them i have passengers , i thought this was a bit strange , but he said he would be quick, any way guess what a woman appears with brochures to give to me to book tours, anyway i was not impressed told her such and got the driver to take us to the hotel, if this is the norm from the airport i was quite put out, id got a cab from within as it was cheaper than the hotels shuttle van.

On hindsight get one outside.

Id been previously in 04 and stayed at the le meridien yaht club , my choice was to have returned back to this hotel but my husband didnt want to hire a car and thought it was to isolated not to , id done a bit of research on the cape panwa as well as getting a great rate at 260 pound for the two of us with breakfast with netflights for 8 nights.

This trip was much cheaper than i have previously spent on holidays to thailand as it was done quite last minute and id deliberately had chosen cheaper accommodation than i would normally have done.

Cape Panwa Hotel


Arrived just after mid day and was met by the female that does the meets and the duty manager, it was immediately, passport, credit card and hotel voucher then a map shoved in my face to explain the resort, i thought they were surly and really pushy for the documents , i couldnt find the hotel voucher although they had there own confirmation and they kept saying we need it, so in the end i said it must be in the UK i havent received it, id instead brought all the confirmations id received by netflights , i thought they were not going to let us check in, anyway in the end they said if you can get hold of it that will be fine, but I felt for a thai welcome it was below average. And this was my first impression.

Given froom F203 which i had asked for a room in f block, i liked the location as good views of the sea opposed to the bay and near to the upper pool and resturants such as top of the reef and the breakfast resturant.

Room was fine, large bed, good wardrobe , remote for tv didnt work and batteries never got replaced, limted drawer space, what let the room down was the tiny bathroom which was average, and the cupboard under the sink was a concrete dusty base so no use to put bathroom products in.

Two towells also (bath sheets) , i got more towells daily and needed more hangers which came pretty swiftly by housekeeping.

Balcony was some what obstructed by the palm trees and the day bed i thought cluttered the balcony, the table was wobbly and not once in 9 days was this balcony swept or cleaned.

There was disabled beetle/cockroach which lived on our balcony for the whole duration of our stay it had missing legs so we left it as it would have died had we have tossed it into the gardens.

This wing also totally looks over the pool villa pools so for those that do get a pool villa you can be seen when in the pools.

The room was cleaned daily and sheets etc changed but i never felt it had a good clean just a bit of a tidy up and i dont think it was hovered daily.

Breakfast offered a lot of choice but was tasteless in my opinion for the hot western food, and every single day we had to ask for a teaspoon, with our coffee- now i may sound like a moaner and im not expecting at what i paid the banyan tree but in my opinion the cape panwa was not in the league im used to from thai hotels.

Top of the reef offered good food and good service as did otters bar but the main service around the pool was average.

sunloungers by the pool were cramped and sort of fixed within the cabannas , at full capacity loungers would be hard to get as they had towells on them from early am and often never got used, no staff either as such to monitor this.

The sea is lovely and when the weather was good was nice to swim in but i found the beach staff on the whole lazy and didnt clean up much around the beach, although i did feel the girl jenny worked very hard.

I thought the hotel was ok for what i paid but id do think there is a lot better, i found many guests were repeat guests who literally only go to phuket or many that have gone to thailand as its much cheaper than europe so for those the hotel is prob great but not for me.

The spa was nice - and i had a couple of treatments and a pedicure.

four fab days of weather so just relaxed around the grounds.

we went to top of the hill for dinner , that was good as was the fish resturant near to sawadee , sawadee was busy most nights but most food was fried and fish needed to be preordered so we didnt bother.

I like top of the reef overall and we tended to eat in there but i thought the food at top of the hill was good although a bit rough around the edges ie dead plants but never mind.

Also had dinner one night at Uncle Nana just pizza and that was fine.

Used happy hour at the hotel which was fine better wine than outside.

I didnt think the hotel was expensive and costs were fine , i thought top of the reef was well priced, id didnt do the theme buffets but they appeared very popular and kids eat free under 12.

I felt the hotel was very british with not much of a mix of internationals , more were on the beach but the upper pool was def very british.

The taxi service at the hotel is overpriced to leave the area but you are a capative audience and even down the hill they use the same rates and often its the cape panwa bus you go in.

I felt we didnt do what we would have like because of these taxi costs ie they wanted approx 40 pound return to go to kata, i missed not having a car, and found the trip was better first time as we could explore and see stuff that you cant without a car, id recommend getting one with a good insurance package and perhaps avoid the busier areas of phuket and keep your wits about you with the mopeds etc.

Roads are dark at night hotel cab hit a dog , but didnt stop and it ran off , how it survied i dont know maybe ran off in shock it was one hell of a bump.

We went and said hi to russell and say high to him from julie , we didnt get down again to see him because of the rain.

Nice bloke , nice dog and nice bar.

on the days i planned to do coral island it rained so gave up on that and other boat trips.

Rain was heavier in late august than it had been in the july when we had been before , when it rained it rained and rained more or less for four whole days.

Phuket town looked like it had seen better days , it was raining on the day we went, i found robinsons had a good sale and was better than the street sellers.

went to patong a couple of times i quite like going in as its good to sit and people watch, one night we were sort of forced to eat in molly malones because the heavens opened massively and i had no brolley, we were literally stood outside when it started to rain , we met some nice folk from oz, but food i thought was pretty rubbish.

Bangla street still the same , bit seedy but fun to pop into early on.

Festival city for shopping was ok , quite cheap on the whole and i was shocked to see a manchester united football souvenior shop in there. \i know the thai's love man united .

we went one pm because of the rain, normally i tend to avoid mall shopping on holiday. got bored so grabbed a cab into patong.

i enjoyed my holiday id go earlier in our summer to avoid the rain, but i will probably do samui next year as we did lose about 4 days due to rain.

thanks for reading.

Gold Coast
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1. Re: My trip report

I agree with your first sentence.

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2. Re: My trip report

Thanks for the report.

Arrval should have been beaming smiles, scented cold towel and iced fruit drink and some moments to relax before paperwork. We've just had a night ( and now another ) at the Wora Bura in HH and that's what we got, but that is quite usual.

"There was disabled beetle/cockroach which lived on our balcony for the whole duration of our stay it had missing legs so we left it as it would have died had we have tossed it into the gardens"

Thanks SL, I use a sheet of paper and when they hop on I take it into the garden and they wander off.

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3. Re: My trip report

Good report thanks for sharing....its good to hear both good and bad points as its helps people planning.

Transport is a bit of a sore point after awhile. We chose the Thara Patong this year because it made everything more accessible and we did not have to pay the high costs of the tuk tuk's.

We were lucky and avoided the rain. So best to go early August at latest I think. Nothing worse than planning on doing something and the rain spoils it.



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4. Re: My trip report

Half the battle of a good Phuket holiday is liking your hotel. A shame it didn't work out to your expectations. I've found the friendliness of Phuket hotel staff a bit hit-and-miss, and on the whole, underwhelming. It just goes with the territory, I guess. Once you recognise this fact and get over it, a much better time is had.

20 pounds each way to Kata is a bit rich. If I ever stay down that way, I'll be sure to pre-arrange a driver to be on call for me

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5. Re: My trip report

Thanks monica , as you know through our previous correspondence that i was undecided where to go this year, the main reason i chose cape panwa was not cost but the reviews and to be honest i disagree with most of them,

Im used to incredible service esp warm welcomes and staff becoming aware of your needs quite quickly, little things really need improving, not to have a tea spoon every single day is unacceptable, the hot food consisted of eggs, undercooked sausages , crispy bacon and french toast, twice in 9 days did they have hash browns( not that i like them) and the beans tasted like a bottle of ketchup had been chucked over them, also pancakes were made fresh as were omlettes.

Juice was bought in and not fresh.

i felt because there were so many people from the uk that standards had slipped and there wasnt a need to improve.

The balcony was dirty and the room cleaning was just ok, often stains around the sink ie watermarks or toothpaste remained. The fact that this big roach was there on the balcony shows that it wasnt cleaned.

But i have no intention of spoiling other peoples trips this was my experience and its a shame.

If i returned id go to kata or the lagnuna hotels .

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6. Re: My trip report

Hotel charged 2100 baht for return journey to kata and 900 each way into patong = 1800.

Yes they do do the shuttle bus at 300 to patong each return but its not long enough .

Drivers make 80 baht each way of that charge of the hotels taxi.

So we didnt get to mom's for dinner.

I suppose when you have stayed at say the oriental or peninsula in bangkok then this is going to be a come down, but it was the service that disappointed over the hotel. We had stayed at the Bel aire this time in bangkok , thats budget but service was fine.

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7. Re: My trip report

Well I hope we have a better time when we are in Kata mid October.

I looked at Cape Panwa, but reading reports here and reviews I realised it seems to be totally occupied by Poms, either returning guests happy or new ones whingeing.

I was a pom pre 1970. I remember as a teenager my grandparents taking me to Spain on holiday - we ended up in a hotel with everyone from the same area we came from!! Hmmm just remember that happened in Fiji from Aus in late 80's. Herd instinct?

I think the place we are staying in Kata has a lot of Scandavians there - so it should be clean.

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8. Re: My trip report

or new ones whingeing. - im not whingeing.

I in my posts attempt to give a balanced view, and ive done that, the brits were not dirty , the hotel was not just up to the standards id expect, and to travel 12 hours id like a bit more of a mix of nationalitites although thailand is def a hot spot for those from oz, poss because of the recent troubles again in bali, the two greatest nationalities were those from oz and the uk in phuket overall.

I was also there in uk school holidays and id expect that had a lot to do it with it esp as the hotel is featured heavily by thompson and kuoni.

I travelled independantly but package prices were good from the uk, one lady had been there 22 nights for a total cost inc flights of 1.000 per person. now thats a bargain.

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9. Re: My trip report

Once again I say thanks for an honest report. Do people only want to hear good reviews of places? You gave your reasons why you weren't happy and if these sort of things don't bother some people they might decide to stay there.

A factor in picking a hotel is research reviews, have an idea of what you want to do. If you want to spend most of your time in Patong it doesn't make sense to stay too far out once you know the charges for taxi's/tuk tuk's.

But if you only want to visit it every now and again and want to be away from the hussle and in a more relaxing environment then it is better to stay further away. You really do need to do a bit of research before you go - especially first timers. I am sure your JBR will help a lot of people out.

We have been 3 times now and still learn something from each trip and try to get around it the next trip.

We were in Phuket from the 10-16th and missed the rain. From recent JBR's it seemed to rain a lot towards the end of August. So far we have been in May/June, July and August and this year the weather was the best so we will be looking at early August for our next trip.



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10. Re: My trip report

Nice to read an honest report, warts and all. I'm sure it will assist others when making decisions about where to stay.