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“Diamond Experience - Outstanding value”

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Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa
Ranked #33 of 132 Hotels in Karon
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Diamond Experience - Outstanding value”
Reviewed 26 March 2007

HHonors Diamond. So if you aren't diamond your experience may be very different.

Beautiful (huge) bouquet of flowers for my wife at checkin.

The hotel was sold out, but they let me book a room and use points (a great deal at 20K a night)

Beatiful sweeping sea view. Exec lounge has a great free breakfast and free happy hour drinks (and another great view)

The Lotus wing is the nicest wing (its the tall small round one in between the two shorter other wings). With a large seaview balcony and a huge window with a sitting area with a sea view. Also an open bathrom with a sea view.

I can't imagine why anyone would stay in Patong instead of Karon. The beach is very nice. The grounds are beautifful. Quiet, romantic perfect.

Didn't use the spa as you can get very cheap massages on the beach.

Only problem was we arrived at 10:00pm due to a delayed flight and none of the restaraunts were open.

The HHonors desk made a mistake in my reservtion, but the hotel corrected it without a fuss and without penalty to me. (They made 2 reservations for me)

  • Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank kinggofg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2007

My girlfriend and I stayed here for a week after I spent a week at the Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket. We paid the ridiculously low price of A$120 a night (as I write this, we are staying in Honolulu where it would probably cost 3 x as much to get comparable accommodation). We could have gotten a room for A$110 a night but decided to upgrade.

This was a great stay, one of the best luxury resorts I've stayed at.

POSITIVES:
- The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful - nothing was too much trouble for them.
- The day spa was exceptional and excellent value compared to what you would get outside of Asia.
- The accommodation was very solid - very comfortable beds, tastefully designed with tile floors, a reasonably sized bathroom
- My girlfriend loved the beautiful peacocks roaming the grounds. Apparently they have ~40 or more peacocks around the grounds
- The Thai restaurant was significantly better than the other restaurants in the complex - we had terrific meals there. Try the delicious Tom Yum Goong or the amazing fresh oysters which came with fantastic condiments (lime, deep fried onions and real sweet chilli sauce with a hint of sweetness and a real chilli bite - none of that sickeningly sweet crap adapted for Western palates that you get outside of Thailand)
- Three pools - two of them have short water slides. One of the slides is fun for adults (I shot through with such force the first time that my glasses flew off in the pool), and the other slide is more suited for children.

NEGATIVES:
- The grounds are huge, which is not necessarily a negative in itself - fortunately they have regularly operating open-air "shuttles"
- Also, the grounds are nice but not exceptional. The Sheraton Grande, with its winding pool, beautiful landscaping, beach access and baby elephants roaming the grounds was far ahead in this respect.

Overall, the day spa and the quality of the accommodations were superior to the Sheraton Grande, which is why I would probably choose the Hilton ahead of the Sheraton next time I come to Phuket (both are quality resorts, though).

Also, instead of buying tours from the Hilton, we wandered out to the main road and bought our tours from local travel agents at a significant discount. I highly recommend doing this - you can negotiate quite a bit off their asking price and it's much cheaper than the Hilton.

  • Liked — Day spa was amazing
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed April 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank berkdude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham England
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2007

We stayed for two weeks at this beautiful hotel, the staff were excellent, The buffet every night was just great, and our suite was the best we have experienced, Karon beach just across the road was never too crowded. Can't wait to get back there sometime in 2007

A tripadvisor member Birmingham UK

Stayed March 2006
Helpful?
5 Thank 576810
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2007

I holidayed in Phuket for a little over a week in a group of 5 and in this time I stayed at the Hilton. I have to say it was an absolute delight, with the only major downside being some of the snotty tourists who believed that paying to stay at a five star hotel entitled them to act like Genghis Khan in the politeness stakes (that was not a politically incorrect crack at Mongols).

Seriously guys, just because your superior exchange rate lets you buy up big, doesn't mean you are entitled to the run of the place. Maybe buy some manners with any left over Baht you may have.

Anyway, enough of the vitriol, my thoughts follow:

The Thai People - these are an incredibly friendly people including the fine staff at the Hilton who I found to be very helpful.

The Beaches - Karon was great, not as packed as Patong and a decent beach for relaxing. If you want some peace, I recommend Karon over Patong. The Hilton with its spacious premises is great for this. A day tour to the Phi Phi islands is a must with Maya beach a highlight.

The food - the Hilton puts on a good buffet breakfast in a few locations. I recommend "Sails" for breakfast (and try the omelettes). In terms of dinner and lunch, eat outside the restaurant if you can...it is much better value. If you do eat at the Hilton, Neptune’s was okay and the Thai restaurant was excellent and also had traditional Thai decor if that is important to you. There are plenty of good restaurants in Karon town and you can catch a Tuk Tuk for 100-200 Baht depending on how far up you want to go and how much you want to haggle. Mon Tri Boathouse and Grill was a gastronomic delight, it is a little pricey but worth every Baht with a location to die for.

The Hilton – the grounds are spacious, the restaurants have good food; however are a little overpriced and you are probably better off eating out. One negative was the lack of a “general store” type facility to sell newspapers, pharmaceuticals, etc. The 3 pools are excellent, however probably not sufficient to swim laps in if that is your thing. The day spa is excellent, once again pricey compared to the leather handed, weather beaten Thai ladies who will give you a decent massage for a fraction of the price on the beach.

I will be back here and will likely stay at the Hilton. Probably not the best value for money and probably not the best facilities around, but the location is excellent, the hotel itself is secluded and Karon is much more peaceful than Patong. If you want to experience the shopping and hustle and bustle of Patong, catch a Tuk Tuk there. Most Island holidays are about relaxation and Phuket, Karon and the Hilton are ideal for this.

Anthony - Sydney

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — other snotty tourists
  • Stayed January 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank AnthonySydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malvern
Level Contributor
265 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 352 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2007

Just returned from a Xmas break in Phuket where we stayed at the Hilton Arcadia on Karon Beach, here are my thoughts on the Hotel and resort, hope they help you!

Resort
The Karon Beach area of Phuket has everything you could want from a holiday destination. A glorious sandy beach which has loads of sunbeds for rent (about £2 a day for 2 beds and parasol we were told) and places to eat drink and have a massage. The sea was ok for swimming in, but for young and infirm, it could be a little difficult to get out from. There are dozens of places to eat and I would be surprised if you could not find something to your liking, some of the less likely looking places served the best food and I was not aware of anyone suffering with stomach problems. You may not want to see in some of the kitchens, but the food was superb, in fact the worst meal we had was at the hotel! There are all manner of stalls, but the majority are selling fake designer gear such as clothing, watches, sunglasses etc, but it’s a real pleasure to barter with the locals who expect it and enjoy the banter.

There are loads of ATM machines and the exchange rate was very good, around 70 Thai Baht (THB) to the pound. Using our Nationwide Flex account we did not incur any charges either. We also took some sterling and there are loads of money exchange kiosks and again we got good rates around 69.4 THB to the pound. Whatever you do, don’t take THB out with you as the exchange rate over in the UK is crap. If you want to get around the resort, Tuk Tuk’s are the answer, but agree a price before you set off and be prepared to haggle if you think the price is high. I would advise against hiring motorcycles, whilst we did not see a lot of speeding, the standard of driving is poor and there are a lot of road deaths from motor cycles.

Hotel
The Hilton Arcadia is billed as a five star hotel, in my opinion it is four star edging towards five and perhaps you will see what I mean as you read on
Rooms – We had two as they initially put us in a twin when we had booked a double so after a few days we were moved, both rooms were identical except the first just looked out at coconut trees, the double we had a slightly better view towards the hills and could just see the sea. Both were very clean and comfortable with large beds a very good shower and a bath. Each had a balcony with deckchairs which would have been ok if the sun shone on the balcony, but it didn’t in the second room, patio chairs would have been better. Rooms have TV, safes, hair driers and tea/coffee making facilities.
Pools – There are three pools on the site which is extensive. One is close to the beach road and is a standard pool, the other two have waterfalls and slides and meander through the grounds, they were all pretty good, but what lets this hotel down very badly is the number of sunbeds. With about 600 odd rooms and 1200 plus guests, there were about 150 sunbeds on offer, this caused some very nasty incidents one almost ending in violence when some Russians took over beds that had been ‘reserved’ by some Dutch family. There is ample room for more beds without spoiling things so why the hotel creates such incidents I really do not know and this is one reason I don’t think it deserves five stars. If you couldn’t get a bed, you may just be lucky enough to get a mattress or if not it’s a towel on the grass! The pool attendants are clearly open to back handers to save you a bed if you can’t get up at 6am to reserve one!
Food – There are a number of restaurants on site and for breakfast there is just about everything you can think of on offer from Frosties to Fish curry and sushi. One Japanese guy used to wash his sushi down with two bottles of Heineken each morning! At lunchtime, the pool bars and onsite café bar served food which was ok and probably comparable with UK prices, we used to go onto the beach or just up the road and you can get an excellent snack/meal for a fraction of the price. Evening times there are three restaurants on site, we only used the one, their flagship restaurant Thai Thai. The first night we had a very good meal, but later in the week we tried again and were quite disappointed.
Bars - Two main ones open in the evenings both with live entertainment, but if you are penny conscious, drink away from the hotel, you will save yourself quite a few bob. It’s not hideously expensive, but they do load a 10% service charge and local tax 7% so prices creep up.
Staff – All very friendly and helpful and all speak some English so you’ll have no problems.
Internet – Hideously expensive, there are loads of internet places around and you can expect to pay 1THB per minute with a minimum of 20 mins usage.

There’s a one hole pitch and put on site, a good gym and excellent spa albeit rather pricey, there are hundreds of massage places around so unless you really want to pamper yourself, shop around.

Excursions – Again, there are loads of booths where they want you to buy trips etc so shop around and barter, don’t accept the first price offered. We did the speedboat tour to Ko Phi Phi and other islands which I enjoyed but Ko Phi Phi was somewhat disappointing I have to say. Price started at 2500THB we got it for 1800THB about £25.

Places to eat
Out of the back of the hotel (beach side) turn right just up on right is a small shop and eating place, very friendly and good food albeit somewhat basic. Carry on up to small road on right which leads to Old Phuket Hotel. At bottom on right Tre Kromer (Three Crowns) restaurant, Scandinavian, but excellent food and service. Opposite this one was another very good Scandinavian restaurant.

Out of back of hotel and right, passed market and enclave on right, Vitaporn restaurant, very good meal but very slow service, took 1hr 20mins to get served.

Out of back off hotel turn left 5 min walk or 100THB in a Tuk Tuk. Where beach ends Karon Beach Hotel you look out onto the beach and if you are lucky can watch the sunset, good food and service although wife put off when she saw a rat run past!

Just past Karon Beach is the Dyno Rock based on the Flinstones scenery, good food and service and very popular.

Out of back off hotel turn left 300 yards left into Luang Poh Chuang Road, numerous restaurants and bars etc here, just up on right before an English bar, restaurant beginning with S. Very good food although service could be a little friendlier!
Conclusion – We loved Thailand and especially the Thai people, they have been through such a lot since the Tsunami, would I choose the Hilton Arcadia again? Possibly, if they sort out the sunbed problem I probably would.

If you have any queries by all means email me stickwicket999 at aol . com (anti spam)

  • Liked — The staff
  • Disliked — Lack of sunbeds
  • Stayed January 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
13 Thank Pencroft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2007

The Hilton Arcadia is a magnificent property. It is huge with full facilities and is right in front of Karon beach, my favourite Phuket beach as it is clean with soft white sands and less tourists. The lobby area and the common grounds have been well renovated and were really impressive. The pools were wonderful, we had three to choose from. The check-in was also efficient. The welcome cold towels were scented with lemongrass (not some cheap cologne) and the welcome drink was a refreshing tamarind concoction which you would sometimes find in a spa. Such details differentiate the Hilton from the rest. However, the rooms are in real need of a renovation. Although still okay, they are a stark contrast to the common grounds and really showing their age. The hotel tries to compensate by providing good toiltetries and the towels were lovingly folded into shapes of different animals (eg, elephant, swans, etc). Even the toilet paper was always folded as a little fan. All in all, I would recommend the Hilton but really the hotel should think about revamping the rooms...then the Hilton Arcadia would be a top choice in Phuket!

  • Liked — The Pools
  • Disliked — The Room
  • Stayed December 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jt369
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2007

Hotel grounds are beautiful and the swimming pools are great -- although a bit difficult if you are a lap swimmer. Two pools have water slides that children would love. Spa and gym are very nice too -- and the beach is a short walk away. Breakfast was fine and plentiful, although the panini sandwich I bought at the coffee shop tasted like cardboard. You are better off leaving the resort for lunch and dinner.

Rooms were big, although we would have appreciated a rug (not tile) on the floor. Get a room facing the ocean in the Andaman wing. It is the closest to the beach and fairly quiet away from restaurants, bars, etc. Otherwise, you might have to take a trolly from the other side of the hotel. Yes, this place is so big -- you need transportation to go from one side to the other. The elderly and people with disabilities might want to avoid this place.

This place was beautiful but it had a major problem: POOR SERVICE. Check-in was very slow (40 min); check-out was almost as complicated. English language skills are poor. When you asked the staff a question (waiters/waitresses, check-in staff, activities desk staff), they didn't always understand you and often didn't have the language skills to answer you back. We also had a horrible time with the activities desk there. We booked two "eco-tours" through the Hilton Activities Center. One was great -- the other (an elephant safari) turned out to be an animal ride through a garbage dump, followed by elephants playing a harmonica. When we complained and told Hilton they should't sell it, the activities staff couldn't quite understand what the problem was. Call it cultural or linguistic differences -- but that shouldn't be happening at a Hilton.

At checkout too, a woman came running after us demanding we pay for mini-bar services we didn't use. When we asked what the charges were for -- she didn't know, had difficulty explaining, and then 10 minutes later (they kept us from leaving), told it was for sprite and chocolate (which we didn't eat). It was frustrating and we refused to pay the charge.

All in all - the facilities are nice -- but I would not go back. In fact the level of service was so frustrating, I would think twice before booking another Hilton. If I could do Phuket over again - I'd go to the Sheraton or Le Meridien. I hear the service is better and location/facilities are equally as nice.

  • Liked — The beach
  • Disliked — The service
  • Tips/Secrets — Go to the Sheraton
  • Stayed December 2006, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Pasha2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa

Property: Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa
Address: 333 Patak Road, Karon, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Phone Number:
Region: Thailand > Phuket > Karon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Business Hotel in Karon
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Karon
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Karon
#18 Family Hotel in Karon
#22 Spa Hotel in Karon
#25 Romantic Hotel in Karon
#30 Luxury Hotel in Karon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:5 star — Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 665
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The resort is located on the island’s west coast and offers a range of fun and relaxation options for parents and children alike. The resort sprawls over 75-acres landscaped gardens, right on the golden sands of Karon Beach. The resort is conveniently located to four world-class golf courses, elephant riding, scuba diving, ancient golden temples and an abundance of shopping areas. It is the place that you’d rather be with your family for next holiday. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Phuket Arcadia Hotel Karon
Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort And Spa
Phuket Hilton
Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa Karon

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