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“Hotel Restaurant: Horribly unimaginative chef, unearned overpricing. Great service, location.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Boathouse by Montara

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Boathouse by Montara
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   182 Koktanode Road, Kata Beach, Phuket 83100, Thailand   |  
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Ranked #7 of 54 Hotels in Kata Beach
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Phuket, Thailand
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Hotel Restaurant: Horribly unimaginative chef, unearned overpricing. Great service, location.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2010

This is a review of the hotel's RESTAURANT ONLY.

Wine experts will remember this place mentioned in wine review magazines, where it is praised for its surprisingly wide selection. This is true. It's also true that the wine captain, hired at the lowest level in the kitchen and gradually moved up through the ranks, has impeccable taste and an incredible nose for identifying the wines available on the menu. I have heard that a wealthy local often bets him that he cannot identify a wine from the restaurant by taste and bouquet alone... but the guest has yet to win the bet.

A great selection, however, does not imply a correspondingly great price-- unless "great" means only 'big', not 'pleasing'. A wine expert, former winery owner, I brought there refused to order, saying that he wouldn't honor the place by buying at those prices. A "grocery store US$10 bottle of wine, for US$100... and correspondingly high prices up and down the menu", is how he described Mom Tri's Boathouse wine list.

Service, with the tiny fault that the wine list and lunch menu are brought WITHOUT the regular drinks menu, is beyond reproach. They are Thai, but speak English wonderfully and understand Western attitudes. They are wonderfully helpful and attentive, though at one point it was difficult to get any waiter's attention.

It's also worth noting what's MISSING because of the wait-staff's attention to atmosphere and comfort. Almost all restaurants in Thailand permit local walkabout souvenir salesmen, including shockingly underage children selling flowers, to wander unobstructed through the dining area, pestering every guest who'd rather be left alone thankyouverymuch. There are laws against these salesmen entering a restaurant unless bidden to do so by a patron, yet almost all restaurants still permit this offense. Mom Tri's boathouse does an excellent job at preventing these annoying salesmen from entering to pester guests.

Fair warning, though-- if you're a guest of their hotel, simply going out onto the sandy beach will invite CONSTANT (at least once every three to five minutes) attention from salespeople cruising up and down the beach, selling bricabrac, grass mats, rental beachchairs, food, hats, parasailing and other option tours, massages, and cheap plastic jewelry. STAY ON THE GROUNDS 'til you're ready to rush into the water...and take heed of the red flags in summertime, as Phuket loses a tourist every week in the turbulent west-shore summer waters.

The location is likewise lovely, like the staff. Large open window/doors along the beachside porch allow fresh sea breezes to cool you off, while ceiling fans flutter uselessly 'til the breezes go on breaktime, when the fans are obligated to pick up where the breezes left off.

The food, though... WHAT A TRAGEDY. Fire the chef. Seriously. The chef is as uninspired as a grammar school cafeteria worker. The ingredients are wonderfully fresh-- do NOT fault the restaurant's buyer-- but fire the chef immediately, for being an uninspired, uninterested dolt....and charging offensively high prices despite being so ... useless in the kitchen.

Some examples: Most dishes are accompanied by... thin McDonald's-like french fries, with ketchup that SAYS it's "Heinz" (a famous, trusted American brand) but tastes like sugarwater, the Thai style ketchup. FRENCH FRIES??!! Another potato disaster is the "crushed potatoes" accompanying the BBQ pork chop: it's pure boiled potato, shredded and entirely without spice or garnish, pressed into what can only be described as a CAT FOOD CAN shape and dumped on the plate. The "BBQ" sauce is watery tomato sauce, with none of the taste one associates with a barbecue sauce. The "club sandwich", though it's wonderfully fresh, is so small and uninspired that it should appear on a children's menu at Denny's, rather than buried under french fries and a 280 baht pricetag.

The breadbowl was uncharacteristically imaginative, with a wide variety of unusual breads. It was accompanied by butter, though, which I can only guess the chef has never tasted: it was so salty that I wondered if it had been dragged through the surf, and designed to assassinate patrons with heart problems.

For every item on the food menu, I felt either the undeniable image of a hairnetted, grandmotherly, minimum-wage school cafeteria worker behind its creation, or at best, the feeling that this is something I would have thrown together in 5 minutes in my own kitchen if I were rushed to make myself a quick lunch with fresh ingredients.

A US$5 glass of "orange juice" was not orange juice; it was the same tangerine juice I could have gotten down the street in a sidewalk cafe for US$0.70 or by the liter in the supermarket for US$0.70.

The only item I found with an element of elegance was a dessert item described as "fruit salad with a scoop of lemon sherbet". I'd seen another guest with what appeared to be a fair-sized bowl of fresh fruit slices, so I mistakenly ordered this waste of space. It was a large plate made "busy" by glazing gthe plate with a tictactoe pattern of raspberry sauce painted on it (to hide the tiiiininess of the actual food), with a teeny-tiny crunchy cup in the center. The "fruit salad" component, smaller than a tablespoon full of finely diced apple and some lonely tropical fruit bits, hid timidly in the bottom of the cup. The fruit was no doubt afraid of the comparatively big, big world around it. The "scoop" of lemon sherbet, though tolerably tasty, was only about two tablespoons in size.

A man shouldn't struggle with losing his temper, in a fresh sea breeze surrounded by kind staff... but DAMN, PEOPLE! Fire the chef, unless you were expecting anorexic pygmies to sit at my table. Style and setting are not an excuse for overcharging AND starving AND boring your patrons.

Shouldn't paying far, far more than normal for your food ensure some kind of heightened QUALITY? At Mom Tri's Boathouse, it does not. Far, far from it! Stay at the hotel, sure-- but eat elsewhere if you don't want to be reduced to tears by a spectacularly unimaginative, unskilled chef and an unashamed, unearned assault on your wallet.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PhuketLisa, Public Relations Manager at Boathouse by Montara, responded to this review, October 12, 2010
Dear Seth,
Thank you for having taken the time to provide us with your extensive feedback. Though it wasn't unanimously complimentary, your well-written review was read with attention by our team. We do listen to comments from guests and when viable implement changes as suggested.
Also we thank you for giving us this opportunity to announce the appointment of Thailand’s only Maître Cuisinier de France Chef Jean-Noël Lumineu as the Boathouse Wine & Grill’s executive chef from the 1st November. For over 25 years Chef Lumineau was renowned as executive chef at the Gault-Millau (16/20) and Michelin-star rated Château- Hôtel Le Prieuré in the Loire Valley in the province of Anjou, France. He earned his distinction as Maître Cuisinier de France, an elite group of the most famous chefs in the world, more than 13 years ago.

Our wine director, Georges Ciret, has a 30 plus year career as sommelier, wine director and consultant for some of the most prestigious hotels in the world. Our wine list offers over 800 different labels and Georges assured me that our medium and prestige wines are in fact lower priced than in restaurants in London, New York or Paris. Petrus, Château Latour, Romanée-Conti and Comte Georges de Vogué are wines you will not find available at many restaurants or even in specialized wine shops in Thailand.

And yes…. some of our wines are more expensive than you‘d expect. Thailand’s high import tax and duties account for the comparatively high price of wines in Thailand. If, like in Hong Kong recently, those duties and tax are abolished, or at least reduced from about 400% to a lower percentage, our wine list will reflect those changes as well.

Our superb F&B manager Khun Pinyo, the man with the nose started working at the Boathouse on the 10th October 1991. He has been with the Boathouse for over 20 years now. He has done more wine training courses and wine studies in his free time than anybody I know. Not an easy thing to do when you work in the hospitality industry with 60 plus-hour work weeks. But he is talented and dedicated and an integral part of our Boathouse team.

Again thank for writing such a detailed review.

Best regards,
Lisa Sol
PR Manager Mom Tri's Boathouse
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Wellington, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2010

Mon Tri's Boathouse Boutique Hotel is situated literally right on the white sand beach of Kata. Having one of their famous buffet breakfasts overlooking the sand and surf is a wonderful experience. An early morning swim before breakfast and walk the length of the beach will increase your capacity for their full breakfast. The Chef's fluffy omelettes are superb and will leave you looking forward to the next breakfast. Their dinner menu is varied both european and Thai. The lobster with red curry sauce is one of my favourites and on leaving a red rose is given to each women, making you feel special. The accommodation and meals are superb as is the magical setting and sunsets.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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PhuketLisa, Public Relations Manager at Boathouse by Montara, responded to this review, October 22, 2010
Dear Khun Julie,
We’re pleased you’ve enjoyed your stay with us.
The lobster with curry sauce is one of our most popular dishes. Good choice! And a good idea to have some exercise to work off those calories :-) .
We hope you’ll have a chance to visit us again soon.
Best regards,
Lisa Sol
PR Manager Mom Tri’s Boathouse
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Queensland, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2010

Recently stayed at Moms and was warmly received by all staff. Location and Room was excellent. Staff were exceptional as well as the food. Going back.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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PhuketLisa, Public Relations Manager at Boathouse by Montara, responded to this review, September 15, 2010
Sawadee kha Khun Glennkes,
Thank you for your compliments. We are looking forward to welcoming you again soon.
Best regards from the Boathouse Team,
Lisa Sol
PR Manager
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Melb,Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2010

The hotel was a wonderful boutique resort right on Kata Beach. The beach side service on the free sun lounges was a huge plus. Wonderful touch of having constant cold water and fruit supplied while lazing around the beach. Rooms were more than adequate with a thai feeling of teak wood and comfortable bed. Bathroom a little outdated but we have been told that renovations on bathrooms will begin shortly. Reception and hospitality staff very friendly and always had smiles on their faces. A little dissapointed in the breakfast variety. Other guest who have been there during peak times also noticed that the breakfast was on the light side compare to peak times. Can't comment on the hotel pool as we did not use it once. Having the beach and beach service at your finger tips did not warrant any pool use.
Guests beware to use the hotel safe, as we had an incident where moneys was taken from our room during an afternoon. Saying that, hotel staff and management were very proffesional about the whole ordeal. Was very reluctant to write this in the review but I believe I have an obligation to warn future clients. Will I stay there again? Absolutely. Loved the boutique feel, beach, wonderful restaurant and rooms (minus the bathroom). Thanks once again Mom Tri for making our visit special and also thank you for making us feel important during the unfortunate ordeal.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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PhuketLisa, Public Relations Manager at Boathouse by Montara, responded to this review, August 11, 2010
Thank you for your compliments about our hotel. We are pleased you have enjoyed your stay with us and you liked the beach service.
Upon being notified you missed some money we did our best to be of assistance and help solve your problem.
We remind our Guests to use their room safe for their valuables at all times as we can not be responsible for money or belongings of Guests either in rooms, restaurant or public area.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to the Boathouse again in the not too distant future.

Best regards,

Lisa Sol
PR Manager
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Hornbaek, Denmark
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2010

As this was the 12th time we stayed at The Boathouse since 1989, we have all the experience to compare the development of this beutiful situated estashbliment. The service, the bar, the lunch and the dinner is still up to standard. The rooms strongly need renovation and breakfast is better at most 2 star hotels.
We were staying on a Escape Week package including 3 hours of massage per guest, but have to leave with 3 unused vouchers, as they only have one person to give you massage. Simply not good enough.
The offer also included 15% discount on food, which they forgot to deduct and we are still waiting for a refund.
So Dear Boathouse, please improve your performance and honour your promises if you want to get back on top on my scoreboard.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PhuketLisa, Public Relations Manager at Boathouse by Montara, responded to this review, August 2, 2010
Dear Mr. Clausen,
Thank you for being one of our most loyal Guests, we appreciate your support for the Boathouse.
Last year we had summer promotions including a special discount in our restaurant for in-house Guests but we didn’t continue the same promotion for this year’s summer season. As you booked your holiday before we had put the new summer packages on our website, we would extend the food discount as an exception.
We have two restaurant bills for you on record: one for drinks only and one for two set dinner menus as included in the Escape Week package plus several drinks. As the discount was only on food and not drinks there was no discount to deduct (the set dinner being included in the package and not charged at the restaurant). Please let us know if we somehow missed a bill.
Upon checking the massage booking schedule during your stay I’ve found that, except for the last day with just one free slot remaining, all other days were just booked at most 50% of the time only. We have one masseur which experience has shown us is sufficient for a hotel of our size. I’m afraid it is not possible for couples to have their massage at the same time should that be desired but there is in general plenty of opportunity to redeem the massage vouchers. Our FO staff recommends our Guests upon checking in to make bookings for all their massages during their stay, as early as possible instead of last minute bookings to avoid disappointment.
Thank you for your patronage so far and we hope we can welcome you again to the Boathouse soon.

Best regards,
Lisa Sol
PR Manager
pr@boathousephuket.com
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Abu Dhabi
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2010

My husband and I typically stay at larger hotel chains, but decided to try a boutique-style hotel for a change. We found a very enticing low-season package at Mom Tri's that included airport transfer, daily breakfast, 2 dinners, and 3 massages. It was a great value, so we selected that for a week. During check-in, we opted to upgrade to the Dolphin suite, which included it's own pool. In retrospect, I would have just kept our original room, since our pool wasn't at all private, and it was freezing (we asked several times if the temperature could be adjusted, but it didn't seem possible). The room itself was very well decorated, and housekeeping tidied up 2 times per day bringing fresh towels, bottled water, and wonderful fruits. My only complaint about the room was that the beds were rock hard, and instead of a king-sized bed (which we were expecting) we had 2 double beds pushed together.

The food at mom tri's is deserving of all the awards it has won. We participated in the 2 day cooking class, which was very well organized and made thai cooking seem very accessible. Well worth your time - but don't eat much breakfast before the class.

Mom Tri's best asset is it's people. The level of service we received was above and beyond from the reception staff, to the wait staff, to housekeeping. This friendly personalization is why the boutique experience is better than large chains.

The only real downside to our trip (other than a cold pool that we didn't use) was the fireworks on Kata beach. During our first 2 nights we were woken up by loud fireworks that were exploding right in front of the hotel. When we complained to the reception, they said that they could only stop the explosions directly in front of their property, and people were lighting off all over the beach. This was very frustrating, since we were there to relax, but there wasn't much the reception could do. I would recommend that all the hotel managers get together to create an ordinance that limits the times at which fireworks can be ignited on the beach. We were also disappointed by the amount of garbage on the beach, but the hotel had a beach attendant keeping the lounge chair area clean.

It truly is a beautiful property that clearly prides itself in service. We would recommend this to our friends with out hesitation.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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PhuketLisa, Public Relations Manager at Boathouse by Montara, responded to this review, July 17, 2010
Dear Sandbug78,
Thank you for your compliments about our hotel and we’d also like to thank you for your recommendation to your friends. We are placing a few more potted plants around the Dolphin Pool Villa pool terrace to make it a little more private without losing too much of the wonderful view of the sea. We will monitor the water temperature of the pool; perhaps there were a few days of rain and the water temperature dropped? In Phuket the sea water temperature doesn’t vary much beyond 26-29 degrees Celsius all year round; I would presume swimming pool water would follow that range, but we don’t keep records on our pools’ water temperature.
We have notified the Kata/Karon Municipality several times about the illegal fireworks on the beach and we will do so again. There seems to be neither enough manpower nor willingness to enforce this sort of rule and I’m afraid there is nothing much we ourselves can do about it. Boathouse hotel staff and staff of the other hotels on Kata Beach keep our side of the beach as tidy as possible but this time of the year winds and tides continuously bring more plastic and other debris our way. With initiatives by Nick Anthony of Indigo Real Estate supported by Phuket hotels (a.o. the Boathouse) and some of Phuket’s shopping centers and local businesses to curb plastic bag use on the island, education of the general public and a tentative approach made to fishing boats in the area we hope this amount of garbage will eventually lessen.

Thank you for sharing your feedback we hope to welcome you again soon.

Best regards,
Lisa Sol
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Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2010

One of the best places I've ever stayed. Great location, fantastic service, a brilliant restaurant and small enough to feel very personal. They couldn't have done any more to make the stay any better.

The rooms are starting to age a little, but they are spotless and extremely comfortable.

Would recommend to anyone looking for something a little quiet & intimate

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
PhuketLisa, Public Relations Manager at Boathouse by Montara, responded to this review, July 16, 2010
Dear Dr. Kingfish,
We are pleased you have enjoyed your stay with us.
Thank you for your recommendation and sharing your compliments on TripAdvisor.
Best regards,
Lisa Sol
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Boathouse by Montara

Address: 182 Koktanode Road, Kata Beach, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Kata Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Kata Beach
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Kata Beach
#4 Romantic Hotel in Kata Beach
#6 Luxury Hotel in Kata Beach
#7 Family Hotel in Kata Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Boathouse by Montara 4*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Boathouse Phuket, Thailand, has been an architectural and culinary landmark on Kata Beach since 1989. A favorite with discerning visitors, it appears on numerous lists of the world’s best small hotels. The Boathouse Wine & Grill has been distinguished with Wine Spectator Awards since 1995 and has been credited with the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence since 2006. New additions to the property include extended family suites, a 2-bedroom beachfront Penthouse suite and a rooftop Sunset Lounge. A beach club and spa and a chic boutique shop with a gourmet café. The fantastic beach location, personal friendly service, intimate atmosphere and stylish gourmet restaurant with one of the best wine cellars in Thailand make it the ideal location for beach, food and wine buffs. Weekend Thai cooking workshops from 10 am - 1 pm. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Boathouse Hotel Kata Beach
Mom Tris Boathouse Kata
Mom Tris Boathouse Hotel Kata
Boathouse By Montara Phuket/Kata Beach

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