We enjoyed our romantic anniversary, but found the resort a little hit-and-miss.
1. Location: The Regent is perched on the hills of Cape Panwa. Three sides of the resort are surrounded by the blue waters of a calm bay. The resort has a peaceful, idyllic atmosphere. Checking in was relaxing, thanks to the sea views from the lobby over the main pool, and the warm and efficient welcome from the front desk. A metered taxi from the airport costs around THB1000, and is an hour away.
2. The suites are luxurious, with hardwood floors, soft sofas and L'Occitane toiletries. There is a large dressing table.
3. The Restaurant and the Grill are the two main food outlets. There's also a rooftop lounge (happy hour is 6-7pm, look for a staircase next to a door marked "no entry" - signposting could be improved) and a poolside terrace.
4. Breakfast at the Restaurant is a mix of a la carte Western and Thai/Chinese dishes, and a buffet spread. The bread and croissants are remarkably good, and there are shavings from a leg of Iberico ham, excellent sausages, salads, mangoes and other fruits. Ham and salmon are smoked on the premises. The "boat noodles" come in a flavourful stock, though the beef is a bit chewy.
5. The Grill has delightful French/Italian cuisine - we had a memorable dinner.
6. There are also local cafés within 200 metres of the hotel's main gate (take a buggy down the hill to the gate and back). Sabai Sabai and Sawasdee were both enjoyable.
7. The Regent provides free shuttle services to the huge Central Festival mall, 15-20 minutes away.
8. The friendly taxi stand just to the left of the resort's main gate also offers return trips to Phuket Town for 700 baht (inclusive of three hours' waiting time - our driver was professional and helpful), or 2500 baht for a car and driver for a full day.
On to the negatives:
1. The beach is fairly grim, and the resort's hilly terrain means older or very young guests may have to rely on the friendly buggy service.
2. Avoid room 181. It faces the rear of the Grill restaurant complex. We could not see the sea when we were seated on the balcony, but could just glimpse it when we stood. The room faced the large kitchen exhaust outlet, partially concealed by a slatted wooden box. It was the same size, and sounded as tranquil, as a washing machine. When we arrived in our room, we were greeted by the smell of someone else's dinner from the exhaust, and by ambient music from the rooftop lounge - and the exhaust fan. On the immediate left of the balcony was the gym - thankfully no-one was playing ping-pong at the time. We asked the front desk to move us to a quiet room. We were told politely that there were no suites available. We would be placed on a waiting list, but it was "unlikely" another suite would open up. We asked for a refund on our remaining two nights, and were advised this was not possible under the advanced promotional booking we had made. Even so, we let the front desk know we would look for a hotel nearby so that we could move out. The management was quick enough to give us a complimentary upgrade to the pool villa when we were making plans to move to another hotel, being disheartened with the smell and noise from our current suite.
This was the most spacious resort villa we've ever stayed in. There are peaceful sea views from the plunge pool, sitting room, bedroom and the bathtub.
The management were responsive, writing us a courteous and thoughtful email, saying that they would look into the smell from the exhaust, since the system was designed to minimise odours, and at the sound level at the rooftop lounge.
With some improvements, including in staff communication, this resort could be truly exceptional.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Amatara Wellness Resort locates at Cape Panwa, on the southeastern tip of Phuket Island. Amatara Resort & Wellness features 105 rooms and suites, each with its own private balcony and sea view. The resort offers luxury and serenity experience for those who are looking for a relaxing leisure holiday as well as health-oriented treatments and programs. The resort is now also offering all-inclusive Wellness Retreat packages including - Amatara Detox - for toxin-cleanse and refreshen your body and mind - Spa Revive - for an ultimate relaxation - Weight Management - for a sustainable weight loss or balancing body weight - Amatara Active - for physical strengthening and improve endurance - Amatara Yoga - for indulging into the world of yoga - Amatara Connect - for re-connecting and spending time with your loved ones These all retreats starts from a minimum of 3 nights and feature Thai Hammam Experience, the unique relaxing treatment that blends Tukkish and Moroccan bathing practices together with the wisdom and art of Thai therapies which available only at Amatara Resort & Wellness. Amatara Resort & Wellness also have Wellness membership program starting from one month to 12 month program and Wellness Day Package for spa and detox as well as a la carte spa, physiotherapy, detox holistic treatments and fitness trainings that are available everyday from 10am - 8pm. The resort has 3 restaurant outlets: The Grill, The Restaurant and The Retreat serving fine dining international as well as Thai and healthy wellness cuisines. Amatara Resort & Wellness is only 15 minutes away from Phuket Town and just 45 minutes from Phuket International Airport. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Amatara Wellness Resort Cape Panwa, Phuket