I am not a blogger but when it came to my experience with Kalima I felt overwhelmingly compelled (especially given how high it is rated).
This hotel, is not on the beach (as it claims); is perched on a hill that should be recommended for those training for an Everest summit (did I mention I'm a 26 year old in-shape male); and is run by an incompetent and extremely unfriendly staff (I travel very often, ten country's this year, and these were by far the worst (really saying something by Thai standards, staffs that are known for their friendliness)). Indeed, this is a place to be avoided.
I booked a five night stay at their "nicest room" (two bedroom private villa and pool about $650 USD a night) based on photos and price. I asked to have their driver meet me at the airport. When I arrived at the airport, no driver: No problem, I'll take a cab. During check-in, the clerk begins with "our driver is waiting for you at the airport, you should have called us, and you have to pay us now for the driver we sent." Never mind the hello and welcome to Thailand etc.
I informed her that I looked for the driver for about 10-15 minutes, didn't see him/her and took a cab...sorry, I'm not going to pay (It is a small airport, not many places to look). I said perhaps, the driver was late, needed to use the restroom, etc. She said that I have to pay because they subcontract. I said fine I'll pay cash, if they give me a credit at the bar for same amount. She was not budging from the position of pay now and seemingly was unwilling to check me in till I paid, and I not wanting to deal with her any longer said put it on my bill.
After checking in, I waited the presummed customary 15 minutes for a driver to take me up the hill (this hill is seriously miserable to walk).
Get to the villa. Entry pond is drained; doors can only be locked form the inside; pool is a foot deep (more of a puddle really); bathroom has no wall and is 96F with no A/C. Bugs are all over the room because...well...the bathroom has no wall! Outside sitting area looks like an unfinished hot tube converted into a subterranean seat with blue gym mats for cushions. Inside walls are dirty and in need of paint.
Decide that I need to cancel the reservation (I paid upfront). Women and manager will not allow me to cancel the reservation. I say fine charge me for tonight and cancel the remainder of the reservation. They say no. I say let me speak to the GM, they say he's on vacation.
I refuse to sign anything, grab my bags and head to another similarly priced hotel which offered the same amenities (private pool two bedroom) and was actually on the beach. The hotel was Moevenpick and was better by far.
Although, I can only frame my experience from someone paying $650 a night and expecting what I paid for, a person paying $100 for a room there may be satisfied...I can't speak to that.
But I will say this hotel is not on the beach, rather it is perched on a hill side across the street from a cliff that overlooks the ocean.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A 5 star luxurious contemporary resort nestled on a lush jungle-clad hillside. Home to some of the most beautiful beaches, Phuket island is a tropical haven blessed with perfect sea, sun, sand and liveliness. At Kalima Resort & Spa, located on the picturesque western coastline of Phuket with just minutes from the famous Patong beach, 190 exquisite contemporary architectural style rooms and villas welcome you along with 220-degree panoramic view of Patong bay and endless horizon of Andaman sea. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kalima Resort & Spa Phuket, Thailand