I wasn’t too sure about going to Phuket as a destination – we’d had a lovely holiday last year in some astounding overwater accommodation, snorkelling over coral reefs off our back deck, in a resort on an isolated Fijian island, and I just wasn’t convinced that Phuket could match this experience. I did the research and was somewhat reassured by the good reviews of The Shore on Tripadvisor, so made the booking. As all the other reviews attest, this was exquisite accommodation. We had an absolutely brilliant stay, and I couldn’t recommend The Shore more highly.
It is expensive – it cost around AUD$5,800 for the 7 nights. But this included the accommodation, return airport transfers (quality vehicles, both ways), drinks, meals and massages charged back to the room. But you get what you pay for, and I was searching for something above average - The Shore ticks all the boxes.
Our room – a Seaview Pool Villa set high up the cliff – was simply stunning. It was huge, with a huge bed, a huge bathroom and its own huge horizon plunge pool (in fact, it’s not really a “plunge” pool at all!). You just step out of your room into the pool with a view over the beach. The bathroom featured a large shower, a lovely bath with a view over the deck to the sea, separate toilet and twin vanity basins. There were toiletries, robes and slippers, numerous towels, and even a shaving mirror. The air-conditioned room had a wall-mounted flat screen TV, dual wardrobes and drawers, dressing table, electric safe, Bose iPod dock, a scented oil burner, bar fridge (alcohol and soft drinks charged to the room, complimentary bottled water), electric jug, wine & champagne glasses, easy-to-use coffee machine, coffee table and chairs. There’s a large sofa and coffee table on the deck, and two comfy day-beds. Plus, there are nice little touches like an umbrella, thongs (flip-flops) and a beach bag. You can get up to the higher villas by buggy all the time, but we didn’t mind the walk.
We bought milk and some mixers from a near-by shop and kept them in the fridge (thought the mixers were only marginally more expensive through the mini-bar - less than 5 cents). When asking for a bucket of ice from room service, it was always there within 5 minutes.
The maid service was terrific, and it was fun to see what animals they had created with the towels (eg, a pair of swans, a crab and an elephant). On one occasion, we returned to the room to find that they had made up our room with flowers and candles. They’d even spelt out the word “surprise” in flower petals in the foyer.
There is brilliant Wi-Fi in the room; in fact throughout the resort. At least some of the power-points in the room were universal – able to take Australian, English, European and US plugs without adapters – very clever.
There is a laundry service, not that we used it; a library with computer access and a small boutique.
The gym is the best that I have used in a hotel/resort, bar none. It’s relatively small, with a couple of benches, a set of various sized dumb-bells, 2 cable machines, a Swiss ball and some abdominal mats, a treadmill, a cross-trainer and 2 different stationary bikes. But it’s all new; it all works, and it’s all the latest gear (the dumb-bells are rubber coated; the machines have in-built fans). There’s no rust or damage to anything – extraordinary! When you arrive, you are given a towel and a cold bottle of water. When you leave – a cold, eucalyptus scented face-washer and another cold bottle of water. There’s a flat screen TV, but they usually play upbeat music tracks. I used it 4 times and was very impressed.
The horizon pool and surrounding area is delightful, and you can have cheap cocktails (2 for 1 happy hour) and watch the sun set over the sea from here. It’s also the venue for breakfast and it operates as a restaurant (The Harbour) at night. They do private romantic dinners here too.
The beach is terrific. They charge for loungers, as it’s a public beach, but you can stay by the pool and just swim in the ocean if you like. The sand is fine, the beach is cleaned every morning, and the water is crystal clear, warm and azure blue. You can Jet Ski (1600 baht for half an hour), parasail (as I did, at 1500 baht [about AUD$48.00] per go), and the boat will also drag you around on various floating devices.
The Shore staff are all delightful – reception, restaurants, security – everyone said hello with a big smile. And nothing seemed too much trouble.
We ate a few times in the hotel; a few times in the adjoining resort; and even had a really tasty Pad Thai at an out-of-the-way “food court” for about AUD$2.00. We ran out of nights to try some of the other swanky restaurants nearby. Breakfast was standard buffet style, with fruit, cereals, yoghurts, Asian, and bacon/eggs/tomatoes, etc. Try the omelette bar – yes the eggs are cooked in front of you, but look out for the meats there. It often had different things – like ham-off-the-bone, roast beef (not bad with eggs for breakfast!) and the most mouth-watering steak cut and cooked in front of you.
One tip given to us that was sooo helpful was to go to the sister resort (as you’re entitled to) just next door and sit around the pool there. There are lots of families and kids at that resort, so it’s not as quiet as around The Shore’s horizon pool, but they have ladies who come around offering pedicures and foot massages through to full body massages. It is much, much cheaper than the spa at either resort, and also cheaper than those on the beach. Plus you can charge it back to your room, so you don’t need to carry cash (though we tipped them). We had it 3 times it was so good (how does about AUD$30 for 2 hours of massage sound?).
All-in-all, The Shore and its location are simply superb. We certainly hope to be back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A luxury beachfront pool villa resort on Kata Noi Beach in Phuket, Thailand. This adult only resort is a natural fusion of indoor and outdoor living where time has no meaning beyond the pleasure of every moment. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- The Shore At Katathani Hotel Kata Beach
- The Shore At Katathani Phuket/Kata Beach