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“I hate to say this....”

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Ayara Hilltops Resort and Spa
Ranked #7 of 34 Hotels in Choeng Thale
Certificate of Excellence
los angeles
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“I hate to say this....”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2014

But the Ayara did not provide the true 5 star experience we were lead to believe we would receive. Let me first say that my wife and I have travelled quite a bit and have stayed at various hotels, B&Bs, and mega resorts. I normally don't write reviews, but after our lack luster experience at this hotel and seeing the continual 5 star remarks, I wanted to paint a more realistic picture. We visited this hotel in mid-July, which I understand is the low season, as part of our 3 week vacation in Thailand. The Ayara was our last hotel before coming home. There wasn't a certain "encounter" that dimmed our experience, but it was no where near the equivalent to the other 4-5 star hotels we had been staying in in Thailand. I will highlight pros and cons below:

Pros:
Beautiful room- Very well furnished with a nice mixture of Thai and modern decor. The bed is the biggest I've ever seen (I'm 6ft and laid across with my arms up and barely covered its width) and the outdoor shower is a nice touch. The outdoor area is also really cool but with a few flaws (see cons below).

Beach club access-They provide daily transportation to either Bimi Beach Club or Catch Beach Club. These are probably the two best restaurants that provide beach front dining, ambiance, and music. When you present your hotel card, they provide big pillows and towels for you to lay on the beach. This was the best part of our visit to Surin Beach.

Breakfat- A very good spread. Plenty of options and a good mix of western and Thai food. I really liked that they made you eggs, any style, not just an omelette.

Pool-Really nice decor.

Cons:
Major Road noise/view- The fact that they call themselves a "Hilltops" resort can be a little misleading. I'm sure the rooms on the very top half of the resort feel more secluded, but there is a good portion of the hotel that is barely up the hill. Should be more like Ayara Foothills resort. The property is directly next to a major thoroughfare with loud noise from the cars, motor bikes, and trucks. The property's pool is also right next to the road. Although they planted some high bushes, it doesn't take away from the honking and engines sounds you hear. Also, the terrace outside the room is essentially just as close. If you're lucky enough to not see the actual road and electrical poles (which also make noise), you will certainly hear it. There goes trying to lay out on your loungers and relaxing, unless you have headphones and music, which you shouldn't have to do at a 5 star resort.

Bed- Big but not necessarily comfortable. Hard in some areas and sinking in others. This is a preference thing and some people may not complain but for us, we found that as each night passed, our backs ached more and more.

Terrible Wifi- Especially in the rooms. Very difficult getting connected and staying connected. And good luck attempting any sort of video communication with your family back home.

Apathetic Staff- This was our BIGGEST issue. Everyone seemed to be smiling but no one was really warm and service oriented. Maybe coming from Chiang Mai we were a little spoiled but we genuinely did not feel welcomed. One morning, the houskeeping staff came to our room to clean. We told her that we would be leaving in a few minutes. Mind you, there is no actual lock on the door to your terrace. She stood by the door with an attitude, and did not even greet, smile, or anything, as we exited our room. I'm not sure what her problem was but it was just rude. Each night as we returned to our room we had to open the sliding glass door (which is your only locked entry) in the dark. We realized the next morning that there was actually a light out on the terrace. Each evening there is turn-down service so how something like that can go amiss, I'm not sure, but at least when we told them, they fixed it. Probably the only thing they remediated. It was borderline eery when we were out by the pool in the evening (but still within their open hours), and two wait staff were standing around looking at us. I understand it's low season. I understand they want to give the message that they are "here to help" but that does not mean that you essentially loiter around with a flat affect. We felt like we were being monitored, which we probably were. I brought down vitamin water in my water bottle previously and the waiter didn't hesitate to ask me what was in my drink. Had their been more people at the property, maybe things would've felt different. But there weren't. And it just felt weird.

No management skills-The staff's attempt at handling any kind of complaint or suggestion is a mere smile and saying "sorry about that." Even if they did actually try to resolve something, if it didn't end up being resolved, there was absolutely no recourse (case in point, the wifi). From the moment we checked in, they said they gave us an upgrade, which was great!, however, we said we wanted a quiet room, no matter the "view." We were placed very close to the road noise and when we mentioned that we are light sleepers and hoped we would not be awoken all we got were head nods, a smile, and "I understand sir." All this despite the fact that we had literally just checked in and could've easily been moved to another room. The kicker was on our final day when we informed the hotel supervisor (never had access to a manager) of our continued disappointment. Again, more apologies but nothing else. No other kind of offer that would've made us feel heard and validated. We had given them so many chances and ample opportunity to address our concerns. We did not just hold it all in till the very end and not give them a chance to remediate. This review should not come as a surprise.

So all in all, is the property beautiful? Yes. Is it close to the beach? Yes. But do the pros outweigh the cons? No way. I would not stay at this hotel if I return to Phuket. For the money, I'm sure one could find a hotel that allows you to get away from it all. Ayara Hilltops is not that hotel.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank chrisrholloway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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794 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (146)
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
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English first
Gurugram (Gurgaon), India
Level Contributor
54 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2014

A+++ hotel in Phuket , pure luxury and class ! Service , food , view , room and most important location are all fabulous and class apart. Big big big rooms with both covered and open shower area and not to miss on the little jacuzzi attached to the room. Away from the hustle bustle of the crowded bangle road , stay here if u r willing to njoy the beauty of the sea from the top of the hill. The resorted is nicely crafted on a hill and u can walk yourself down to the beach in a matter of 4 to 5 mins sounds amazing. Unlike other hotels in thailand where people dont understand english and dont know what service is , Ayara is a real jewel ! Staff is amazing and real helpfull. Taxi to airport will cost around 1000 bhatt from the hotel.

Room Tip: All rooms are good , however go with the one facing the sea and the hill , its amazing !
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank atul289
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberglasslyn
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2014 via mobile

We stayed 8 nights and it was one of the most relaxing holidays we have experienced. The accommodation, facilities, meals were fantastic. However, the resort staff really made the difference. They were friendly, helpful and had a great understanding for service, providing whatever you needed, without being in your face.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank Steve M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2014 via mobile

From the moment we arrived the service was faultless. The resort is like being in a dream. We stayed in a courtyard room halfway up the hill and had magnificent 180 degree views of the ocean. The day spa provides relaxing massages in a 5 star environment. Attention to detail is excellent in every respect. The beach is so close and the catch beach club and Bimi beach club are a fab place to have a drink and watch the sunset while listening to some chilled music. We were so pleased with our choice of resort.

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
6 Thank Fiona S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014

We had a lovely 3 days there! Service was impeccable! Was pleasantly surprised when they could remember our room numbers each and everytime we ordered something - from the restaurant, the spa, the buggy rides etc. Seamless service that deserves accolades. :)

Rooms were very clean and were serviced twice a day. spacious shower area and each villa came with a jacuzzi! Good thing was Surin beach is just a stone throw away (they can also fetch you there), so you get to a nice private beach which isn't as crowded as Patong beach.

You can easily hire a taxi from the concierge as well. Just a note, the taxi service from the airport to the accomodation costs 700thb (directly book once u step out of the airport). Not necessary to get the hotel's charter taxi.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank qcqcqcqc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2014

Stunning, breath taking, fantastic views, rock star accommodation. The kind of place you see in magazines and dream of....but
The 1st night after dinner we sat out drinking, talking, laughing and enjoying the views, then at around 23:30 the Villa Manager arrived and asked us to stop talking as we were loud.
We are grown up mature people, (40+) and didn't have any music playing just talking and laughing.
This happened the 2nd night so we decided to head down to Surin beach after dinner. We continued to do this for the rest of the 10 nights we were there.

This spoiled our holiday as evening time came we were all careful of speaking too loud.
As I said it was a beautiful vila, we were not having parties etc. and paying over $2000 dollars a night I would expect a bit more freedom, would I go back, NO. For that kind of expense I can find friendlier places.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Leepsnbounds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wodonga, Australia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2014

Amazing place for the ultimate escape. Masterclass cooking course by the sweetest chef. Spend all day in or around the pool, its awesome. Or just lounge away the hours in your own spa that overlooks the beach that is about 600 meters away. Chef Hat quality meals, a gym to work some of it off. And the massages, OMG, these ladies should have their hands registered as National Treasures of Thailand. Limited local shopping, Nightlife and restaurants but with all awesome facilities at Ayara Hilltops Resort and Spa there is hardly any desire to leave.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank John_Alison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ayara Hilltops Resort and Spa

Property: Ayara Hilltops Resort and Spa
Address: 125 Moo 3 , Srisoonthorn Road | Surin Beach, Choeng Thale, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Phuket > Thalang District > Choeng Thale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Choeng Thale
#6 Spa Hotel in Choeng Thale
#7 Luxury Hotel in Choeng Thale
#11 Family Hotel in Choeng Thale
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Ayara Hilltops Resort and Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The days are yours to create, ours to fulfill. Caters to ADULTS only (No Children)(No extra beds). An enclave of 48 LUXURY SUITES set in 23 Villas amidst sloping exotic gardens, taking advantage of the arresting views offered by the emerald green Andaman Sea.Facilities and service are inspired by the single goal of helping each guest create their own journey of respite from the rigors of civilization.Whether you venture only as far as the boundaries of the resort or go further afield, the days are yours to create and ours to fulfill.Welcome to the private world of Ayara Hilltops! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ayara Hilltops Hotel Thalang
Hotel Ayara Hilltops
Ayara Hilltops Resort And Spa Phuket, Thailand

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