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“Nice but won't come back”

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Rawai Palm Beach Resort
Ranked #9 of 42 Hotels in Rawai
Guangzhou
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Nice but won't come back”
Reviewed 27 February 2014

I'll start with the good.....

The rooms themselves are very nice, spacious, reasonably clean and modern with basic amenities. The hotel grounds themselves are lovely, great split level pool, lots of sun lounges and pool access points. There is also a great kids pool with a sandy beach area, shallow water and shaded pavilion for parents to watch the little ones.

And now for the bad…..

Unfortunately it's the front of house staff that ruin this place. Out of all the places I've been in Thailand, the staff here are the most unfriendly and unhelpful I've come across. Most spend all day playing with their mobile phones, and when you ask for something, you are made to feel like you are interrupting whatever they are so busily doing. This is especially the case at the pool bar and pool deck cafe. For an internationally advertised hotel, the level of English of the front of house staff was utterly ridiculous, communicating about anything from asking for a taxi to ordering a beer is multitudes more difficult than it needs to be. All this being said, the back of house staff - cleaners, drivers etc were very friendly, helpful and attentive.

The breakfast buffet is just on average, with a moderate selection of low quality foods on offer. The dinner served at the restaurant is an example of how bad food can be made even worse. We ordered a Thai Curry and crumbed chicken. The meat in both dishes was tough and stringy and the accompaniments were the kind of low quality food stuffs you would expect to find in the cheap section of a supermarket.

Rawai itself is not bad - the standard mix of expat / thai bars and seafood BBQ's. The beach itself is not one that you would want to spend time on - very dirty and covered with trash. The hotel does offer a free shuttle bus to and from some other nicer beaches which is a good touch and a reccomended activity.

If you have kids and my gripes seem like the kinds of things that don't bother you then this resort has the potential to be a winner for you. That said there are lots of other, better places to stay on Phuket IMHO.

Room Tip: Go for a pool access room at the begining of the second block. Quieter pool, better sun outside your...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank asianexpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Swansea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2014 via mobile

We stayed in Rawai for 11 nights. Rawai is very quiet and we knew this before we booked. We had a family room (room 1508). Room was very big and we had no issues with it. Wifi signal was good if we used internet on the balcony of the room. Breakfast was excellent and had a good variety. Also they would change the dishes everyday. There are many good restaurants and massage places near the hotel along Rawai beach. The restaurants are much cheaper than patong. We would use a taxi and go patong most evenings. It costs around 500-700 baht one way but since there was 4 of us, the cost wasn't an issue.
Overall I enjoyed my stay and would recommend this hotel if you want a quiet holiday. Also we booked excursions from patong as it was cheaper however the excursions booked from the hotel are of better quality. I never had the chance to compare the 2 but excursions to similan island and phi phi island is a must. Also elephant trekking and rafting is great fun

Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Hasan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2014

There are many people who have reviewed this resort, with some conflicting comments. I wasn't sure what to expect at this resort when reading these mixed reviews. So I'm going to divide my review into 3 sections: (i) Facts about this resort - objective (ii) My own personal experience - subjective and (iii) other thoughts that I think might be helpful to others.

First, my family and I spent 11 nights at this resort recently (late Jan 2014 - early Feb 2014). It was my wife, a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old. We stayed at the family room.

(i) THE FOLLOWING ARE THE FACTS ABOUT THIS RESORT:

(a) This resort is quite far from the airport. The resort is pretty much on the most southern part of Phuket island while the airport is in the north. It took our van abt 45 - 50 minutes for the journey (at 1 am, when there was no other car on the road so will take longer during the day, I suspect).
(b) This resort is close to the beach (abt 3 minutes walk) but is not next to a beach
(c) This resort has lots of stairs
(d) The beach near the resort, Rawai Beach, is not for swimming or sunbaking, but for 'parking' area for all the speedboats and the local long-tail boats.
(e) This resort is pretty far from Patong area (the main area of Phuket which has lots of shops, bars, restaurants etc, you name it).
(f) There are quite a number of restaurants near this resort, as well as little convenience stores, travel agents, massage places and laundry places.
(g) The resort provides free shuttle services to 3 different areas (return trips)
(h) This resort has a really nice man-made beach children's pool
(i) The price for the room-service meal (where your meal is delivered to your room) is comparable to those outside, which is very unusual with all the other hotels/resorts I've visited in the past.
(j) Our room has one double bed and 2 single beds, which were nice because both our kids could sleep on each bed.

Now some other experiences that we encountered (subjective), which you may/may not encounter during your visit.
(ii) THE FOLLOWING ARE OUR SUBJECTIVE OPINION OF SOME OF OUR EXPERIENCES:

(a) The resort does not seem to take care of certain details, which does not bother me too much, but is a reflection of the resort. For example, the door to our room was not easy to open and close because it had, I suspect, come off the hinge a little bit and thus 'stuck' to the frame. We have also noticed that some of the towels and bedsheets are quite worn out, with stains and holes in them. Sometimes the towels also smelt unpleasant.
(b) After room service, the dirty plates which were left outside (both ours and also those next door's) were not collected for days.
(c) The pool's design is such that, by 4 pm, every part of the pool will be all in the shade. The water at the main pool was, at times, too cold for our boys and my wife, though our boys had a great time anyway.
(d) We could always find empty sun-chairs and the pool was never full of people for some reason.
(e) When we first arrived, our room smelt damp. They gave us a scented candle for the first day and we also left our room door and balcony door open whenever we can and the air flow seems to help to remove the wet smell.
(e) There were a lot Chinese visitors from China while we were there so breakfast time was usually very crowded before they will all disappear throughout the day as they join the tour groups (I think, this is their way of enjoying a holiday). They will return at night so during the day, we usually only saw a few Europeans by the pool.
(f) Thailand is our favourite holiday destination and we've always enjoyed and appreciated the service of the Thai people. But we have been very surprised (and disappointed) with this resort. I have never experienced such a group of unpleasant waiters/waitresses. Apart from one waiter (Panuwat), we found out quickly from the first breakfast and then every breakfast after that, that the rest were unfriendly and sometimes rude. We didn't mind too much that food was often not replenished straight away, or that utensils were not replaced or that the table was not properly cleaned. But when we requested, politely, for another set of cutlery or extra tissues/serviettes etc, we were made to feel that we were asking them for a big favour. So much so, after a while, we just get things ourselves rather than asking them and seeing their sour faces. So this was the low-light of our stay here.
(g) having said that, the front desk staff, the cleaning lady that clean our room everyday and the travel agent ladies at the front were all helpful and friendly (despite of some language barrier)
(h) we were situated near the pool and also on the second floor, so we didn't have to go far and walk up too many stairs
(i) the balcony door was soundproof, so we couldn't hear any noise from outside
(j) the aircon was fine (i.e. not noisy) but we did have to replace the remote control for the tv in our room twice because some of the buttons did not work

(iii) OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION (hopefully):
(a) while Rawai beach itself was not for swimming, the hotel provides daily free shuttle to 2 beaches nearby (at least 2 times a day each destination, at different times). One of the beaches is called Yanui beach. It was a very small beach with decent sand, but once you enter the water, there were many rocks at the bottom. The water was nice and we saw a few small fish swimming (the water was clear enough). The other beach is called Nai Harn beach, which was significantly bigger than Yanui. The water was nice and the surface sandy and soft (though we didn't see any fish). There were many tourists and you can hire a beach chair for 100 baht each chair.
The resort also provide a shuttle to its sister hotel in a different city, but at night time, so you can spend a couple of hours at this different area before being picked up again at 10 pm (or something like that). We definitely appreciated these free transportation because otherwise Rawai is quite isolated if you don't have any other mode of transportation. Which is fine for some people. :)
(b) There are many restaurants near this hotel. This is the direction: when you go out from the main entrance and to the 'main road', turn left and walk for 10-20 metres. Then at the T-junction (i.e. you can't go straight anymore), turn right (you will see signs). That's where Rawai beach is as well as the restaurants, massage places, convenience stores etc. You can find Western food as well as local Thai food.
(c) If you are looking for airport transfer (for 4 people) or/and want to buy the tickets to watch FantaSea (a Thai musical/play), I found this website that provides really good price. If there are only 4 of you, most other companies will not provide a sedan (max: 3 people) but a big van, that can seat 12 people. Which I thought was silly because then you have to pay a lot more for it. So this company has a car for 4 people (an SUV) and you pay 850 Baht instead of 1200 Baht.
Of course you can look around if you can find a better deal anywhere and share with others if you find a better one. :) http://www.phuket-transfers.com/
(d) If you want to go to Phi Phi island on a day tour, you can book with 'Rak Talay' company. We had a tour guide called PK. We like him because we could tell that he really cared for the environment. While other local guides allowed their tourists to feed the monkey and the fish, PK educated us of the harmful effect of doing so to the environment. Phi Phi was beautiful but it was shockingly overcrowded with tourists. On one of the stops, while snorkelling, I had to confront a tourist who purposely threw a plastic bag in the water (after feeding the fish with bread). I'm afraid that at the rate it is going, the natural environment around this island will not remain beautiful for long. :(
(e) Massage: there were at least 5 different massage places within walking distance. Some seem shaddier but others more upmarket. The prices are comparable. My favourite was to get a 2-hour Traditional Thai massage for 500 Baht at Kim's Massage place (which was constantly busy). One hour would be 300 Baht for the same massage. :)

Anyway, our family had a restful and fun trip at Rawai, but we most probably will not return to this resort. We hope this review helps. :)

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Hengdela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2014

We stayed their in May 2013. We had the pool access room, it was great. The staff and the service were great. they are not that proficient in English, but remember you are in Thailand, English not their first language. We had no problems communicating with the staff. The breakfast buffet was very good. Their are lost of restaurants within walking distance. we did not use the spa facilities instead went to the massage place across the street and it was great. If you are planning to book day tours from the hotel lady next to the front desk remember they do negotiate and reduce the price by about 40%. Overall this a very good hotel. I don't know why people complain about English in a non English speaking country.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank travelbugshutter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kidderminster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2014

This hotel was great, Rawai is a very nice area extremley quiet and out of all the tourist hell holes like Patong, Kata and Karon. Just about 10 min drive from Rawai was a gorgeous beach Nai Harn one of the best I have ever been to and I have been to some amazing places. The staff were very nice and always helpful. Rooms were comfy and clean. Facilities very good the pool was fabulous with a great pool bar. Only thing is there are a lot of stair so this would not be ideal for couples with chilren in pushchairs or elderly. Also the breakfast area was a little hot as it was open air with no aircon but was very good with a lot to choose from. It was extrmeley cheap so I think that for what we paid it was well worth it.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank LukeGWW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2014

trip advisor

The Rawai Palm Beach Resort on the Island of Phuket will have to be the worst resort one can choose if you are hard at walking or have prams or strollers. Standing on the street level one will have to climb 47 steep steps to get to the reception. With steep stairs everywhere and gaps between concrete slabs to allow pool water to flow, it is very difficult and a place to avoid. The staff are very friendly but have very little training and have next to none language skills. We had booked and prepaid for 14 days and had no linen change in that time. Very poor.

Room Tip: Don't go by the pictures but read the reviews.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank oleliste
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2014

OK where do I start? First of all the people at the resort DO NOT SPEAK ENGLISH WELL!

Also...... We got to the resort at 1pm and had to wait until AFTER 2PM to get into our room! They couldnt even have our room ready before the advertised time......

The other thing is the bed! The bed is not full size...... I am a short guy... (173cm) and my feet almost hung over the foot of the bed! SO IF YOUR TALL... GOOD LUCK SLEEPING IN THAT BED!

So we stayed here in early Jan 2014... and Didn't realise we had to hike to our room everyday! Honestly to get to your room you may need to walk 1-2km and its a maze!! The design of the resort is poor and its very easy to get lost... Once you work out where to go though its okay.

That aside the biggest let down of this resort was the service... this was the 3rd resort we stayed in on our trip and this one by far had the worst service... and we beleive it was because.. THIS RESORT HAS TOO MANY ROOMS, which equals TOO MANY PEOPLE!!

This means the people who work at this resort simply cannot attend to your needs like other resorts simply because the amount of people staying there at any one time far out-weighs the amount of staff needed there to make this place run efficiently...

This also meant that breakfast was as busy as New York City.. With people everywhere... We were surprised we could even get a table! We did not go up for seconds as there was just too many people we decided to just go back to the room hungry as we wernt happy with the breakfast....

BUT THE WORST THING ABOUT THIS PLACE.... This hotel runs its own TAXI service... Now you may think this is a good thing, but it's not, what this means is that you must book a taxi with the hotel at least one day in advance.. or else your stranded! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED TO US! We needed a taxi to the airport and because we did not book in advance we were stranded and forced to hale a taxi on the streets (which was difficult because the streets around the resort are very quiet)

Also: there was no mention of the resorts taxi service and that we HAD to book in advance if we wanted a taxi in the hotel manuals... and it was not mentioned to us at all.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Angelo C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rawai Palm Beach Resort

Property: Rawai Palm Beach Resort
Address: 66/2 Viset Road, Rawai, Phuket 83130 , Thailand
Region: Thailand > Phuket > Rawai
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Rawai
#6 Family Hotel in Rawai
#6 Luxury Hotel in Rawai
#7 Spa Hotel in Rawai
#9 Romantic Hotel in Rawai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Rawai Palm Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 196
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Resort is situated in a tranquil south west coast of Phuket- Rawai Beach. A four star resort featuring exquisite contemporary Thai decor and luxurious accommodation. Resort harmoniously surrounded by a selected enviropment & tranquil tropical garden. A short walking distance 200 meters from Rawai Beach, 5 minutes drives from Promthep Cape and 50 minutes from Phuket International Airport. Resort features a full service spa, 2 restaurant and 3 tier large free form swimming pool with pool up bar, a well-equipped fitness centre and beatiful landscape. Resort consists of 196 guest rooms. each spacious guestroom is elegantly decorated and furnished with high standard amenities, private balconies, ample seating area and luxurious bathrooms, designed for a relaxing and luxurious retreat. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rawai Palm Beach Hotel Rawai
Rawai Palm Beach Resort Phuket

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