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“Absolutely loved it although villas a bit tired”
Review of Banyan Tree Phuket

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Banyan Tree Phuket
Ranked #20 of 97 Hotels in Thalang District
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 December 2008

We stayed for 12 twelve nights and generally had a fantastic time.

Having been caught up with the problems at the airports when we arrived in Bangkok we were so committed to going to the Banyan Tree that instead of the hour flight from BK to Phuket that was previously scheduled we had to take a private transfer by car which took about 12 hours. Our travel agent had offered us an alternative hotel in Koh Samet which would only have been about 3 hours from BK. I have never been so pleased to finally get somewhere! I can also say we didn't regret the extra effort for a moment.

Check-in was fine but when we got to our first room we noticed that a lot of the outside lights were not working including the light in the plunge pool. We queried this the next day and it was dealt with immediately.

About 5 nights into the stay we were upgraded to a pool villa (the pool being about 30' long) so you really could swim rather than just wallow. Everything in the villa was on a slightly larger scale (with a coffee maker rather than just a kettle), with more garden and a sala at the end of the pool.

The standard of house keeping was really high with a small gift every night. Toiletries were great.

We did go and look at a double pool villa which was very of the moment with a fantastic bathroom but to be honest we were really pleased with both of the older-style rooms that we had primarily because it was so much easier to walk to the public areas of the hotel rather than waiting for a buggy to turn up.

The real pleasure of the stay though was the quality of the staff. Our names and villa numbers were remembered really quickly as were our preferences at breakfast, in the bar and in the restaurants. Breakfast, incidentally, was fantastic. Slight variations every day in terms of the buffet on offer but an excellent standard throughout.

If there were any criticism I would have it was that the Fitness centre was a little dated and not particularly well equipped in terms of weight machines. There were 2 tread mills, 2 cross trainers, step machine and bike (all technogym) but only communal tvs set to sports channels. However, my partner used the Spa for a 3 hour treatment and said that it was absolutely fantastic. In fairness the fitness centre seemed to be very quiet so perhaps it just isn't a priority.

We used various restaurants within the Laguna development and, whilst all were all perfectly acceptable, they did highlight exactly how great the level of service and the surroundings at the Banyan Tree are in comparison. Even the pool areas and the beach had a completely different feel. We would definitely try another Banyan Tree in the future and can only hope that our experience of the Phuket BT can be matched - I doubt if it could be beaten though.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ah31Somerset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 December 2008

We have been staying at increasingly 'posh' hotels for a few years now and, having chosen the Banyan Tree, I got the impression from other reviews that a Double Pool Villa was the best one could get, but might be very costly. Our travel agent, Thomas Cook, were unable to even get a price for a DPV, so we just booked a Lagoon Pool Villa and I e-mailed the hotel directly to ask about an upgrade if possible. A couple of weeks before departure, Banyan Tree simply confirmed our upgrade, at no extra cost. Other reviews were a bit hazy about just how different a Double Pool Villa was, so we didn't know what to expect. Wow! I have never written a review before but feel compelled to write this one, just to let other visitors know exactly why you should sell your soul to get a DPV.

We were collected at the airport by our own Villa Attendant, or Butler and whisked in luxury to the hotel, where the formalities were swift and easy. Our Butler gave us a mobile phone with a speed dial to him. Any needs at all, just call!

Then the villa, ours was 917. The building is beautiful and absolutely huge and set in its own private grounds. A small oval drive delivers you to the front porch which includes a full kitchen including fresh coffee maker, cooker, tall fridge, microwave; the lot. And two bikes to get around on if you feel energetic. The main doors lead into a long, open, corridor lined with statues which delivers you to a huge room called a 'logia'. This is like an enormous lounge but one wall consists of nothing but sliding glass panels, so that it can be openned up completely. The logia is so big that the floral arrangement in the centre looks normal, even though it is larger than many we have seen in hotel foyers.

To the right is a lounge area with a sofa that requires a taxi ride to reach the back and the most fantastic office area ever seen. One subtle thing is that the only TV in the villa is here, unlike other hotels with more TVs than chairs. Banyan Tree is about natural relaxation, not watching TV.

To the left of the logia is another short corridor leading to the bathroom and bedroom. The bathroom is, again, enormous and has every luxury, including an indoor and an outdoor shower, with the indoor one also being a steam room. There is also a walk in dressing area here. When you finally walk into the bedroom, it's stunning, particularly if you arrive at night as we did. The whole bedroom is on an island in the middle of a small pool, and has glass walls all around; incredibly romantic.

The logia opens onto a huge area of pool and gardens, all utterly private. The lawns lead down to the lagoon edge but you won't go there once you see the pool. The main pool has a swimming area some 12m long, with an infinity edge looking across the lagoon. There is also a separate spa pool built into the main pool. The decks include two sun beds, both double bed sized, dining tables, dryers etc. All of this is surrounded by walls of stone and bamboo, giving total privacy.

It took us a while to realise that the Banyan Tree is the premier hotel in the Laguna complex and that the Double Pool Villas are an elite enclave within Banyan Tree. Many facilities can only be accessed by DPV guests, such as the VIP area on the beach.

Then there's the service and the special touches. Each evening we found a new and fairly expensive gift from the hotel on our bed, and each morning our Butler came at the time requested to cook us a fresh breakfast of our choice; none of this going to the communal area for us! Complimentary cocktails each evening and complementary treatments at the main Spa were also a treat.

We ate in several of the resteraunts and the quality was fabulous,without exception. The meals were costly but only at the same level as we would have paid for a similar meal back home, and these were far better than we can usually find elsewhere. I would particularly recommend Saffron and Tamarind. The in-villa dining is also worth a mention as you can select from all of the menues of all of the resteraunts and mix them up; the result is like one giant menu of hundreds of dishes. All served by our Butler, of course.

The Laguna complex also has a 'Canal Shopping' area which has some really good shops. And if you get fed up of the expensive resteraunts, then the 'Albatross' pub has a menu at one third of the price and the food is almost as good as the posh nosh. Free lagoon boats go around the whole area.

We wanted to have some clothes made, and asked our Butler to recommend somewhere. Instead, he brought the tailor to our villa and three days and two fittings later we were kitted out.

One party of guests arrived whilke we were there and immedialely demanded a move to another hotel because the Banyan Tree does not afford a view of the beach or sea. If that's what you want, then don't go. Personally, I think that they were crazy. Banyan Tree is about peace, relaxation, romance, privacy and utter luxury.

But the true quality of this hotel came into focus on what should have been our last day. Bangkok airport had been occupied by a civil uprising hours before, and we could not depart. Our Thomas Cook rep was utterly out of her depth, but our Butler simply stepped in and, backed by the whole Banyan Tree staff, sorted out a way for us to get out, two days later, and in just as much comfort as we enjoyed before. Banyan Tree had a whole team of their staff permanently at Phuket airport just sorting out the travel problems of their guests, and I doubt that many hotels would have done that.

I cannot commend this hotel highly enough. We lived in the true lap of luxury for 12 days and, if you can afford it, go for a Double Pool Villa; it's worth it! If you're very lucky, you'll get the services of Vichy as your Butler; a remarkable young man who will remain our friend. Go on, treat yourself!

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Clive B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2008

Myself and my wife recently stayed at the resort,after reading some mixed reviews,i wasa bit wary.But upon arrival all my concerns were allayed as soon as we arrived.Check in was calm and efficient.Our villa 203 had its own private pool.The peace and tranquillity of the resort makes for a relaxing stay.Breakfast is a truly enjoyable experience sitting on the terrace eating from the great selection of food sipping the complimentery Champagne Wonderfull
The main bar serves up great cocktails[singapore sling my fav.]
with the best nibbles i've encountered Cashews with Coconut and spices.The food at Saffron was very good if a little pricey,drinks can also seem a bit pricey but who cares when your sitting in such ambiant surroundings
We booked a half day trip to James Bond island with sea cannooing which was opperated by Laguana tours on what seemed like a brand new speedboat Stunning
We hope to return asap

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BrummieGary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2008

This was our second visit in three years. (That’s the only problem with the Banyan Tree – you can’t bear to leave without vowing to return!) Of course, there are countless luxury spa-hotels in Thailand – so what makes this place so special? First, there is a sense of tranquillity and space due to its location around a large lagoon. Then there is the attractive red-roofed ‘Thai-pavilion’ architecture of the surrounding villas. The pool villas are particularly spacious and superbly designed inside and out, offering total peace and privacy. Apart from all the usual five-star facilities you would expect, there is an open-air marble bath tub, DVD player and constant freshly-made coffee ‘on tap’. The staff are wonderful: cleaners, gardeners, buggy-boys, receptionists, restaurant staff – all are cheerful, courteous and efficient. It is a privilege to work here – and they know it. The whole operation is a very well-oiled machine. Since our last visit there has been some post-Tsunami reconstruction of the beach area, which is not actually a private beach but is treated as such. Here there are simple shops, bars and cafés and an excellent massage service (ask for ‘Dow’ – she’s Wat Po trained). Five minutes’ walk South will take you to one of the best beachside fish restaurants in the area, The Lotus, where you choose your sea-bass, lobster, mantis shrimp etc from tanks and are pleasantly surprised when the bill arrives. The Banyan Tree offers the most magnificent and varied breakfast spread we have seen in any hotel, and it should on no account be missed. For lunch and dinner, you may wish to try the hotel’s Waterside and Saffron Restaurants, but probably not more than once. There are many preferable and cheaper options outside the hotel, either along the beach or in the nearby village Choeng Thalay (we recommend Tatonka, The Bluebell and Tawai). A hired car is handy for this, but if you don’t have one, most of these restaurants offer a shuttle service. So, if you are wondering whether the Banyan Tree Phuket lives up to the hype – or whether all that expense represents good value for money – you can relax. Hotels don’t come much better than this.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank chrishandley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BBDDThailand, Area General Manager at Banyan Tree Phuket, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2008

November 12, 2008


Dear Mr. and Mrs. Handley,

On behalf of the Banyan Tree Phuket team, I wish to thank you for taking the effort to express such inspiring comments about us.

I look forward in welcoming you back again in the near future.

Sunny Regards,

Francois Huet
Area General Manager
Banyan Tree Phuket

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2008

My hubby and I stayed at Banyan Tree Deluxe Villa for 3 nights. The first impression when we reached the resort was a bit disappointing as it looks a bit old as our expectations were quite high given it's pricey and the photos on the website look better, but most photos are taken @ night. However, upon entering the villa, we were pleasantly surprised by the spacious villa even though it's only a Deluxe villa. We particularly liked the His & Hers sink area, the outdoor jaccuzi and the bath.

Service was good and plenty of drinking water was provided.

Liked the conservation theme of the Banyan group and the cute little turtle we got from the contribution to the conservation funds.

Breakfast was fantastic and particularly liked the fresh fruit juices, especially the watermelon juice (pulp with the juice is really refreshing)! Variety is not exceptional but quality is good. Great that the breakfast started early to cater to tourists on day trips.

Ambience of the resort is tranquil and looked especially romantic at night.

Free yoga provided was also professionally done in a very nice ambience yoga room.

A few dislikes though:
Lap pool seems quite dark, especially after 6pm, I could hardly see in the water and the dark tiles with little lighting (except end of the pool) make the water look murky and as if it's dirty, though I'm sure it's not. Should put more lighting along the sides of the lap pool.

The jetty is also not very well lit at night, espcially where there's steps going down to the boat. There should be some lighting at the steps as my hubby nearly tripped.

The shuttle trip to Patong area seems a tad expensive. It would be good if the resort can provide transport free or at least at a more nominal sum than 550 Baht per pax.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Bluewaterz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2008

We stayed at the Banyan Tree, Phuket for 7 nights in October, in a Lagoon View Plunge Pool Villa. We are lucky enough to regularly stay in properties around the world of this calibre, so I can compare the resort to others of similar standard.

I booked the stay through lhw.com, as I am a member. I was disappointed the hotel did not upgrade us to a higher grade of villa (as is promised by booking through lhw.com). Of course it is stated as 'subject to availability', but when the hotel is not near 100% occupancy, I would have expected an upgrade. Even after querying this with the hotel, they did not upgrade us.

Our villa was nice, though ageing. Attention to detail was lovely (fruit left in your room each day, oil burner etc), but little things like the doors didn't shut properly, were not quite up to the standard I would expect of this sort of resort.

Our villa backyard pool looked very nice, though really was too small to actually swim in. The backyard was beautifully lanscaped.

The main pools are lovely. The grounds are lovely. The lobby is lovely. It is very much understated resort chic, rather than being over the top glitzy and glamorous.

Food in the resort is VERY expensive. Even for this standard of resort. Luckily there are many cheaper restaurants outside of the resort to eat at.

We had breakfast included in our room rate. I had read some reviews about the breakfasts being amazing, but I have to say, I was not overly impressed. It was nice, but nothing special. I did not think there was a great deal of choice - given I did not eat from the Ásian buffet'side. The omlets were exceptional though!

The staff were polite and friendly, as you would expect from this standard of resort, but again, nothing ábove and beyond'.

The resort is part of the Laguna Complex - which is made up of about 5 resorts set on a lagoon. It is rather strange, and was very quiet when we were there. Sort of felt like a ghost town. Could have had something to do with less people travelling to Thailand, given the political situation.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay, and everything was good - just not great. It met my expectations, but did not exceed them. Nevertheless, we did enjoy our time there.

Would we return?...I doubt it

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Australia_Gal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2008

The Banyan Tree is the nicest resort that I've ever stayed at, which was ironic because during this trip I also stayed at the Peninsula Bangkok, which was probably the nicest hotel that I've ever stayed at. In any case, I digress...

I had originally booked the pool villa but was informed upon check-in that I could view some of the other room types. I'm still trying to figure out whether this was a mistake because my girlfriend instantly fell in love with the spa pool villa, which was considerably nicer. The spa pool villa was one of the few places where my jaw hit the floor upon walking into the villa's garden. It's an unbelievable sight to see.

In the end, I decided to upgrade to the spa pool villa, despite the significant difference in price and am glad that I did. The spa pool villa package included daily breakfast in your villa and an extra massage, which we had on the massage tables in our villa overlooking the lagoon. I still haven't decided whether the massages in the villa or spa were better since both locations were equally awesome.

I had considered the spa pool villa when making the reservation but didn't understand what extra features were provided to justify the difference in price. After having seen both types, I noted the following differences related to layout: outdoor jacuzzi (which got a lot of use), considerably larger garden, outdoor shower, enclosed bedroom surrounded by a pond (spectacular sight before going to sleep), massage tables, much more private. Above all, I would say that living areas in the spa pool villa were much more luxurious and more contained (meaining no bugs!)

The only downside to the resort was that I never wanted to leave the villa so we didn't see much of phuket beyond the elephant tour and boat trip. Nonetheless, it was definitely one of the best vacations that I've had.

For those looking for dining outside of the resort, I definitely recommend going to Lotus, which is located directly behind the Banyan Tree. It's right on the shore and has its own shuttle that will pick you up from the resort. You get to choose the actual seafood that you'll be eating (kind of sad but you get over it once the food is served on your plate). It was only slightly cheaper than the Banyan Tree food but far more tasty.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank chipboy07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Banyan Tree Phuket

Address: 33, 33/27 Moo 4, Srisoonthorn Road | Amphur Talang, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Phuket > Thalang District
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 Business Hotel in Thalang District
#9 Family Hotel in Thalang District
#10 Romantic Hotel in Thalang District
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Thalang District
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Thalang District
#17 Spa Hotel in Thalang District
#19 Luxury Hotel in Thalang District
Price Range: £255 - £1,265 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Banyan Tree Phuket 5*
Number of rooms: 173
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Banyan Tree Phuket, Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary and DoublePool Villas by Banyan Tree each deliver a unique experience in a tranquil setting. Located at Bang Tao Bay on the northwest coast of Phuket Island in Thailand, a 20-minute drive from Phuket International Airport. Banyan Tree Phuket Resorts is part of Laguna Phuket, Asia's first integrated resort, and is also the first Banyan Tree resort to be conceptualised and built, setting the benchmark for future properties. This flagship resort offers 173 luxuriously appointed villas surrounded by lush tropical gardens and Asian watercourts. All villas feature a king-sized bed, bathtub and private pool in a landscaped garden. Complimentary minibar except alcoholic drinks with daily refill for all villa categories. The perfect haven to spend time with loved ones, Banyan Tree Phuket Resorts caters for romance, with its private pool villa, fragrant gardens and saltwater lagoons. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Banyan Tree Phuket Hotel Thalang
Banyan Tree Phuket Cherngtalay
Banyan Tree Phuket Thailand

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