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“Wonderful beach escape” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sugar Palm Grand Hillside

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Sugar Palm Grand Hillside
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Khoktanod soi 3, Kata Road | Kata Beach, Muang, Kata Beach, Phuket 83100, Thailand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 54 Hotels in Kata Beach
Bangkok, Thailand
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“Wonderful beach escape”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013 via mobile

This was my second stay at Sugar Palm Grand Hillside since my first over three years ago and it was exactly as I remembered fondly.

We arrived late on Friday night, and the staff were friendly and prompt with checking us in and showing us to our room. I had originally booked a pool access room but changed at the last minute when a girlfriend decides to join me - the pool access only had king beds so in order to get twin beds (a double and a single) we had to "downgrade" to a spa suite with a jacuzzi on the balcony which we sadly didnt use! Actually, we didnt end up using the pool either, opting instead to wander down the road a few hundred meters to Kata Beach. Our room had a lovely view though I think would have been slightly better is we had been in the first building on level 4 - just that much closer to the pool I think would be a clearer view of the beach. We were on level 9 so further towards the back of the building with no view of the pool and just glimpses of the beach. But it was still lovely.

The room was clean and the beds were exceptionally comfortable - not the usual hard Thai beds, which was a nice relief! The bathroom is on the small side but the shower is large with a waterfall shower head which is always lovely after a day in the sun.

We made great use of the day spa facilities! The treatments were quite cheap and the girls were extremely lovely. It's tough competition in this are of Kata as there are spas everywhere but of you're staying here I can highly recommend it! I had a body scrub the first day and went back for a body wrap and facial - sublime.

Breakfast was included in our room and was plentiful and fresh.

We negotiated a late check out in lieu of our room downgrade which was handy for our late flight.

If you book airport transfers through the hotel expect to pay 1,000-1,200 THB each way. A transfer at the airport to Kata was 900 THB. Metered taxis seem to be hard to come by.

If you have a day, make sure to hire one of the brightly colored vans to take you on a drive of Phuket Old Town - gorgeous. A half day cost is 1,100 THB. He was great.

Looking forward to future stays here, not as far apart next time!

We booked a

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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673 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (94)
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Kabul, Kabol, Afghanistan
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

We booked this on short notice and were leary until we arrived at the hotel and then the girls eyes lit up and my friend and I looked like trip heroes! The views were awesome from the balcony (try to get 4th flr or better). The room was spectacular with a huge bathroom and tub. The location while not on the beach was very close to the downtown areas and beach was less than 5 mins walk. If you have difficulty with hills, might not be the best place

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

PLEASE BEWARE OF YOUR MONEY!

Having been an avid and savvy world traveler across the globe for both business and personal, I have never had a sub-par experience like I did at the Sugar Palm Grand Hillside. I had paid for the upgraded pool access room. Like other previous reviewer mentioned in the month before, we too experienced NO HOT water during our entire stay of 5 nights (it seems like this happens quite often considering other reviews from previous guests). On the first night when we discovered this after taking a cold shower, we called the front desk and they said they are looking into it (should have informed us as we checked in because I'm sure other guests would have complained). The next morning, we approached them again to only find out that the entire hotel does not have hot water and that in order for the technician to fix the broken "valve", parts would need to be ordered all the way from Bangkok (hotel is in Phuket). There were other guests who complained and the hotel offered to shuttle us to their sister hotel; we went over to check out the rooms, but clearly it was less quality than our current hotel (and when checking the online rate, it was also a substantial difference in price). Instead of moving hotels, they opted for us to get a complimentary Thai massage in their spa, which we took. This is where things get INTERESTING, as a nice gesture turned completely sour.

Unfortunately, we were pick pocketed by our own masseuse! They stole from us $1500 baht from our wallet (equivalent of $49.50 USD). I had learned that pick-pocketing is frequent and prevalent throughout Phuket, but I had never imagined that it would happen at a reputable 4 star hotel that should be well managed, and within its own resort spa! And they were clever enough to not take everything, just enough to not be obvious and noticeable. But we noticed! Both my wife and I had a couples massage and after tipping them, we found that we had two notes missing. We only had 4 notes in my wallet (2 $1000 baht, 1 $500 baht, and 1 $100 baht). Again, I am an avid traveler and keep track of every expense through every day and I had checked the exact amount in my wallet prior to the massage because I wanted to make sure I had the correct amount for tip. When I had found out that my 1 $1000 baht and 1 $500 baht cash was missing, I approached them diplomatically about the missing money and told them the only time my wallet was out of sight during the massage. I didn't want to be accusatory, because I wanted to let them know that I knew, in hopes that they would just come forward. Of course they acted like they had no clue and my wife and I didn't want to have a full on confrontation because we knew situations like this would end up nowhere and we didn't want it to dampen our trip further. That amount was small to us, but it was more about the principle of trusting our own staff who appeared friendly and caring. We also learned a valuable reminder lesson that really nothing in life is ever free or complimentary, as the 2 massages we got for free, really costed us the amount of 4 massages and annoyances for the rest of our stay at Phuket. We left with a very sour taste about this hotel and ask potential guests who do decide to choose this hotel to PLEASE BEWARE OF YOUR MONEY AND BELONGINGS and BE ALERT OF PEOPLE AROUND YOU AT ALL TIMES.

Other cons about our stay was that while we did get a pool access room that was very private, the room opposite of our pool was under renovations, so there were workers outside everyday who just stared as us, which made swimming in our pool very awkward and uncomfortable. Also, the breakfast buffet felt unsanitary when they have coffee creamer sitting outside and staff would spray down the tables while cleaning. We could see cleaning spray go into the creamer to be ingested by the next guest. We witnessed one waitstaff who used the same Asian broom for sweeping floors used it on the buffet table next to food (ewww). Service is mediocre at best and careless at worst!

For what it's worth, we had a good view from our room. But that will not be enough to keep business afloat during this time and evident by a hotel that is extremely vacant with many renovations.

UPDATE: We emailed the hotel management to give honest feedback regarding the incident and for this pickpocketing issue to be addressed. They quickly responded to say that the spa was an outsourced company but things like this was hard to prove or enforce. They offered us a free dinner to make up for the stolen money, but unfortunately we had long left Phuket. There were many ways this could have been corrected when we informed both the spa staff and the front desk; it is now too late.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clifton, New Jersey
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

We booked this hotel in a deal and it claimed to be very close to beach. Aerial distance to beach is close but walking it is good 10 mins walk. In the same price you get hotels and resorts which is next to beach and even better. Also it has so many pools but none of them are maintained well. Also this hotel has no room service.

Overall not worth the stay if you are planning for good holiday !!!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

Stayed here with friends for 2 nights and we are glad to have chosen the pool access room.

Located on Kata, there are restaurants, shops, massage and convenient store nearby. One thing to note - As the hotel name mentioned, the hotel is on a hillside so expect slopes and walks. We were allocated on the highest floor and had a exciting buggy ride uphill. Buggy ride is only provided upon check in and departure. So if you do not fancy walking, have the reception to place you on the lower floor.

Room is big and comfortable, and we totally love the big bathtub too. We had our dinner on both nights at the restaurant just directly outside of the hotel driveway - very nice local food. Remember to try it when you're there.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

The photos are not good enough until I see the hotel with my own eyes...and the staffs are very nice!!! What I fall in love are the view from my room, my big balcony and the most important thing "The swimming pool". Of course, the room is very clean and the bathroom is amazing ^^ The only thing I don't give the last star is breakfast -__-" I mean it's clean and convenience but tasteless especially egg!!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patong, Thailand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

arrived late in the evening to be told pool access room not available until next day but as I was so tired I just wanted a bed. Next morning we were given our pool access room which was fantastic. If you don't like walking up hills then this place is not good for you. I don't know how anyone with a disability could stay here.
The one disappointing thing for me was the gym was totally a waste of time as only 1 piece of equipment worked the rest were all broken.
Loved the fact that the beach was so close and we really enjoyed going down to the beach most days.
No room service available at this hotel they only serve breakfast then if you want anything through the day you have to go down town.
All in all if you want a nice quiet place to stay and you are slightly fit this is a nice resort.

Room Tip: Any of the pool access rooms would be great.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sugar Palm Grand Hillside

Address: 1 Khoktanod soi 3, Kata Road | Kata Beach, Muang, Kata Beach, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Kata Beach
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Kata Beach
#12 Romantic Hotel in Kata Beach
#15 Family Hotel in Kata Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sugar Palm Grand Hillside 3.5*
Number of rooms: 106
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Unique, trendy treat and giving you a new kind of stylish sensual experience surrounded by cascading water from eleven multi-tiered infinity swimming pools set among beautiful tropical gardens, with superb views of Kata Beach and beyond from the chic and contemporary rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sugar Palm Grand, Hillside Hotel Kata Beach
Sugar Palm Grand Hillside Kata
Sugar Palm Grand Hillside Phuket/Kata Beach

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