I booked a 5 night package (b/fast included) at the Avista through www.getawaylounge.com.au. I added 2 additional nights, and a 3rd person to the booking. (I was travelling with my mother and 14 yr old sister.) These details and costs were confirmed via email prior to departure. Airport transfers were also included.
On arrival to Phuket we were whisked away in a lovely vehicle to the hotel. We arrived late at night after a long flight, hot and tired. The lobby is spacious and modern with a tasteful water feature. Booking in was a nightmare. The man at the front desk insisted we were only booked for 5 nights despite my having email confirmation to the contrary - apparently the Avista head office is in Bangkok and they hadn't bothered to pass on our booking changes. So 20 minutes later they finally confirmed my booking, but acted really annoyed at having to put a cot-bed in our room for my sister, despite us booking a room with 2 beds. We had room 501, which we were told by staff (at least twice a day) has the best views in the hotel and we weren't disappointed. It's on a private corner of the hotel with spectacular views over Kata beach and back up the jungle to Big Buddha. Unfortunately we spent more time trying desperately to communicate with hotel staff than admiring the view...
Despite having three people in the room, we were consistantly given 2 towels, cups, etc. We had to constantly request additional water bottles EVERY DAY. They would only leave 2 small complimentary bottles a day, they didn't re-stock the water/drinks in the mini-bar at all and we were told (by staff) not to drink from the taps. It sounds like a small problem but in 35c heat we shouldn't have had to hassle the staff for drinking water and a towel for each guest! It got to the point where we went down to the local 7-Eleven and purchased 500BHT worth of water because we got sick of trying to get it from the hotel staff. Sounds ridiculous, but we were desperate.
During the checking-in debacle the man asked us twice what time we would like our room serviced each day. I said 11am as I assumed we would be out and about by then, and he said that was fine. The first 3 days we arrived back to our room mid-afternoon to find our room being serviced. So we would wait, outside our room in searing heat, for up to half an hour while they finished - only to be assured that the next day that it would be serviced on time. It never was.
As to the basics, the pool was lovely, the grounds are luscious and clean, the gym small but adequate and the "library" should probably just be called the computer room, as there's only about 20 English titles to choose from. (The other guests we met were predominantly from Eastern Europe.) The hill can be a problem after shopping and it get's expensive to Tuk Tuk all the time, so we walked as often as we could. The beach shuttle bus (run by Avista) is frustrating as you have to book a day in advance and it only has 14 seats for a hotel of more than 500 rooms.
The restaurant buffet breakfast was wonderful, but the dinners and room service were overpriced and nothing special. Go down the road to a local restaurant and risk the locals sketchy English - the food is a million times better and it's lots of fun.
At check out we were told we needed to leave the room by Noon, but could use the facilities until we left at 3pm and they would store our bags. So we lugged our bags downstairs only to be told the hotel wasn't busy, and we should take them back up until we left. But the hotel keys are on an automatic timer and we got locked out. So back down to reception, where they changed the keys. I went back up and it still didn't work. So I went back down and there was a different lady at reception who told me we should have checked out at noon, and weren't allowed in the room! AAAARGH! This went on for ages, and I left the Avista angry and frustrated.
The saving grace of the whole experience was a lady who I think is the "Office Manager". She's a young Eastern European (I think) lady who didn't wear a name tag but if not for her I would have packed up and left. She's an invaluable source of local information, speaks excellent English, is always happy to help when she can, and is genuinely concerned when you have a problem. It's a shame she wasn't there every day. Overall, the Avista is nice, but is not to the standard I expected. Ask for room 501. ;)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Indulge in luxurious accommodations at Novotel Phuket Kata Avista Resort & Spa at Kata Beach. Raise your vacation to a higher level and have a stunning experience in Thailand. Novotel Phuket Kata, not just any other hotels -- it stands as one of the most expressive and stylish ones in Phuket. This beautiful hotel's design itself is a splendid architectural deco-nature model of bio-regional and ecological harmony. Set against gently sloping hills, it is the perfect spot to achieve your much-needed relaxation as well as to explore the wild jungles, magnificent beaches, and exciting nightlife of Kata. The nice hotel's pool area is likewise a striking, exotic oasis of cascading royal-blue water juxtaposed against the turquoise Andaman Sea. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Avista Phuket Resort And Spa
- Avista Phuket Hotel Kata Beach
- Novotel Phuket Kata Avista Resort And Spa Kata Beach