The I-Pavillion was undergoing massive reconstruction work while we were there which meant half of many floors were out of commission altogether during our stay. When the work is finished the hotel has the makings of a first class facility, which it obviously was when it was first opened during the seventies. As many reviewers have pointed out the rooms are perhaps a little tired now but that didn’t prevent them being excellent value and providing a generally very pleasant stay.
The rooms are generally huge with massive picture windows, although the picture tends to be either urban or of the big hill: Khao Rang opposite. Incidentally Khao Rang is worth the walk (take water because it’s hot work) to the top where there is a much better viewpoint of the whole of Phuket town and Chalong Bay and its islands in the distance. The walk takes maybe 30 minutes from the hotel uphill and a fair bit less coming down!.
The surrounding area was criticised by many reviews we read but once you get used to it and find out where things are, it is perfectly adequate and only a ten to 15 minute walk from the night market, where there is an excellent and, by Phuket’s slightly inflated standards, good restaurant with very friendly staff. The restaurant opens all day.
The airport bus will drop you off right outside the I-Pavilion as the route passes the hotel and, it is also interesting to note, acts as a public bus, picking up and setting down at many other places along the route, which can be useful once you get to know the area or if you wish to move to near to one of the more quiet northern beaches.
Morning breakfast in the hotel restaurant is varied and well prepared. We thoroughly enjoyed it on each of the three days we were there.
Internet wifi access is unfortunately not available in the rooms on the eighth floor but is perfectly OK in the lobby, albeit there are only a couple of electrical sockets there.
Some people complained that the staff spoke little English but in my own country, if I go to a hotel in Scarborough, I’m lucky if they all speak English there and certainly none of them speak Thai, so the lesson here is… if you want fluent English spoken by the staff, go on holiday to the USA, England, Australasia or northern Europe, NOT South East Asia.
I think a similar thing applies to standards; if you expect western five star standards, go to western five star hotels … and gauge how many times more it will cost you. Thailand is great value for money, as is most of Asia, and any differences in standards should be regarded as part of the wonderful education that visiting this part of the world provides. The politeness friendliness of the people… even those trying to rip you (as a foreigner) off… is worth so much more than what it costs you to be there. So many parts of the west could learn so much from the attitude of people in Thailand.
Back to the hotel and the fifth floor outdoor swimming pool is currently surrounded by bags of plaster and bare concrete due to the restoration but is still AMAZINGLY clean and offers another unique view of Phuket town. Because it is built on the sunny side and surrounded by the concrete of the hotel it is also very warm and worth a dip, albeit it will obviously be a more pleasant dip… indeed fabulous… when building work has finished.
Overall the hotel is in transition. It was once the grandest place in town, it’s still excellent value for money and, when refurbishment is complete, will again probably be the best value place in town.
We would certainly stay there again, even during reconstruction.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Newly renovated hotel in the heart of Phuket Town. Convenient for transfer to-from Phi Phi Island and other excursion. Great location for business trips. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- I Pavilion Phuket Hotel Phuket Town