The hotel is right infront of the beach, on the main Karon strip. Cross the road, and the sea awaits. Our trip was pre-tsunami, but I don't think the strip was badly affected.
The hotel itself was pretty faultless. Our room was large, clean and modern, with a fridge, bath toilet, TV etc. The air-con was essential and kept the room at a great cool-off temperature when we had been out. The staff were very good, especially the security guy, who cleared the road everytime we crossed to the beach. Very friendly, like all Thai's.
The pool is small, and getting a lounger was tricky sometimes, but do you really want to go all that way to sit by a hotel pool? We ate twice - breakfast once, and dinner the night we arrived. The food was really good, but very expensive (UK prices). Have a wonder to the Islandia Park Resort (a market/bar area) two minutes around the corner, eat for 1/4 of the price, and support the little guy. Same with drinks, so we stocked the fridge with local beers (singah, Chang, Leo) and drank them on the balcany.
We has Thai massages/treatments in the hotel, but the games room and BBQ area were closed. The gym is small, but very quiet.
Karon itself is a one-horse-town, with enough resturants & bars to choose from, all essential shops, but nothing much else, except the beach. There is a small market, chemist, bank, etc. It was very peaceful with only a few other tourists when we went. Patong is about 15 mins away, and has much more to do, but gets very busy. I'm glad we chose Karon.
The people were the best thing (apart from the weather - always sunny). Everyone was friendly, helpful and genuine. You do get all the tailors calling you in for a suit (great value, barter hard), etc, but it's very good natured, and they are in no way threatening - just persistant. I twisted an ankle on the rubbishy pavements, and wherever I went, everyone we had walked past over the previous few days came out to see if I was OK, and to offer advise.
A couple of days we went on trips out - I'd definately recommend a speedboat trip for the swimming/diving and the various islands you'll visit. (Indluding "The Beach/Pi Pi/James Bond Island)" They are the same price everywhere as quoted by the hotel rep, about £30 each I think. We also went elephant riding, not really my thing, but the girlfriend loved it.
All in all, a great place to go. Hotel a great base, Phuket a fantastic island with lots going on, and Karon very tranquil and friendly. Only two downsides - very poor pavements, beware, I wasn't... and the sea is not suitable for swimming in out of high season. Go to Patong for sea swimming.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ramada Phuket South Sea, a beach front resort located at Karon Beach offers an idyllic destination for truly unforgettable vacations at one of the most tranquil beaches in Phuket. Experience an astonishing refinement with modern Thai design amidst exotic surroundings that defines true beach vacation. It’s a perfect retreat for those looking for beach holiday or romantic getaway to a luxurious tropical paradise. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ramada Phuket South Sea Hotel Karon
- South Sea Karon Hotel
- Ramada Phuket Southsea Karon