We chose the hotel because we wanted to try staying in Surin this time, and to use up our HHonors points. Turns out that Surin wasn't the best choice for us, because it's pretty small and quiet in the area so it's less convenient to get good choices of cheap restaurants, tour travels, shops and supermarkets (which was best accommodated by Patong and even Karon). Having said that, the beach was very pretty and just across the hotel. The promenade contained a long string of trendy cafes and restaurants (pricey). Cheaper restaurants were in the main road, some 15-20 mins walk from hotel. We tried Paitung, which was good - the other two nearby seemed to serve BBQ meat which looked neither fresh nor clean. A small minimarket is some 5 mins walk to the left of the hotel entrance (also a tour shop and restaurant). Surin probably fits travellers who prefer trendy cafe scene and less city-like crowd and don't need to hunt for tour deals or cheap eateries.
The hotel itself was beautifully decorated, and the reception area was especially pleasant and comfy with the sofa and relaxed ambience. The swimming pool was resort-like and ideal for family with kids - there's even a slide there. Mom and dad can sip drinks in the adjacent cafe while watching the kids play. There's also ping pong (free) and snooker (not free) tables for use. Pity that the room layout is confusing initially, and annoying once you get to know your way around. There were 3 buildings with multiple lifts and entrances, and not all points were well connected with each other. At first it took all the hard thinking and double backing to go from the reception to your room. Then, when you get used to it, you realise that you need to maneuver around the edges of the curvy pool and pool chairs to get to your room. And it's doubly annoying if like us, your group are separated in rooms in different buildings that are diagonal across the pool from your location (with a bonus that the room-to-room phone didn't work). It seemed that no rooms have direct sea view because that side was taken up by reception area - which seemed wasted because you can't really see the sea from the ground level reception area. The layout didn't seem to be disabled friendly as well, because there's no ramp from reception to swimming pool and the walk around pool was blocked partially by pool chairs and there's different pavement levels. Since it wasn't easiest to move around with my suitcase, I'd imagine that it's not so convenient for disabled people to negotiate their way around as well.
The room itself was okay, but some of the finish felt cheap and low quality. Like, you see plastic when it's supposed to be ceramic or more sturdy material. The toilet seat slowly moved to one side when you sit on it. Shower jet wasn't strong enough and the instrument was pretty lightweight. I could feel the mattress coils bouncing with a jerk with every move and at night I woke up a few times with itches (though no bed bugs seen and my partner seemed ok). So shower and sleep experience hasn't been up to expectation. At least there's balcony facing the pool (though view somewhat blocked by trees). Another minus for us is the absence of wifi in the room (only in reception area), not even paid one.
Service was both good and not so good - good when they brought us cool towels, cold drinks and freshly baked cookies during check in, and not so good when they separated our group to rooms in different buildings (which must be one of the longest possible distances between rooms). We didn't realise it then that the rooms were so far apart and phone didn't work. Caused us some inconvenience when coordinating meeting time. They did ask one lady to accompany us to our rooms after checking in, but I don't quite understand the logic of asking one person to show people with suitcases the way to two rooms that are some 5 mins walk apart? Were we supposed to follow the other group to their room with our suitcases before heading to ours? Anyway, with some difficulty, we found our room but needed a couple additional walks before we could head directly to where we needed to go.
Overall, I may not be back to this hotel for some time yet. It's because next time I'd probably want to be in Karon, which is less hectic than Patong but more convenient than Surin. Not that this hotel was bad, but some aspects like layout and wifi could be better.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Just steps from the crystal waters and white sands of Surin Beach, the Novotel Phuket Surin Beach Resort offers the perfect retreat. Contemporary comfort, a warm welcome and a cool welcome drink on arrival helps make your stay stress-free. Located just 30 minutes drive from Phuket International Airport and 25 minutes from the nightlife and shopping of Patong, you can really make the most of your time in one of Thailand's premier beach resorts. Stay connected from your deluxe room or suite at this resort-style hotel in Phuket thanks to high-speed internet access. Relax in front of the flat-screen TV as you watch a movie, or unwind on your private balcony or terrace. The white sands of Surin Beach are just a short stroll away as is the popular Catch Beach Club. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Courtyard Phuket At Surin Beach Hotel 1234587
- Courtyard Hotel Cherngtalay
- Phuket Courtyard
- Courtyard Surin Beach
- Novotel Phuket Surin Beach Resort. Thailand