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“Good value if you can get it cheaply....... but not at the hotel's advertised price.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Alpina Phuket Nalina Resort & Spa

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Alpina Phuket Nalina Resort & Spa
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   7/1 Ketkwan Road | T. Karon a. Muang Phuket, Kata Beach, Phuket 83100, Thailand   |  
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Ranked #23 of 54 Hotels in Kata Beach
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Good value if you can get it cheaply....... but not at the hotel's advertised price.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

After searching far and wide for what we considered to be a good value holiday to Thailand, we took a risk and booked 2 weeks at the Alpina.  I'd read all the reviews on Trip Advisor and it's fair to say they are a mixed bag, but having paid only 1500 AUD each (discounted from 2500) including flights, we weren't expecting too much.  Trip booked via Expedia.  Currently headed towards the end of the holiday and thought I'd write this while it's fresh!

As I write, the biggest irritation for me about this hotel continues unabated- the constant looping of the same CD at the Cabana Pool Bar.  I think tonight I might buy them a new one!  The bar staff do change it when asked, but they have a grand total of 3 different CDs.  Perhaps the manager would like to invest in an IPod.  The staff just don't seem to recognise the music is constantly repeating, perhaps they're used to it- surely you'd realize even if the lyrics aren't in your first language?

The hotel is in Kata, on Ket Kwan Road, just off Patak Road, not in Karon as stated incorrectly on many websites, including Trip Advisor. It takes about an hour to reach from Phuket airport by taxi.  We grabbed one of the red/yellow taxis (turn right out of the arrival hall door, fight your way through all the private drivers who will charge you a fortune and take you via some shop or the like, even if you don't want to go, apparently)- the cost was 600 baht.

We arrived late in the evening and were greeted immediately, given cold towels and a drink and shown to our room.  The desk service was polite, but it was obvious most staff had very limited English - though still vastly better than my Thai.  I later spoke to the hotel manager, Gino, about this, and he told me he is having the staff take English lessons twice weekly.  Other reviews have mentioned staff as being rude and lazy.  In fact, we have found the staff incredibly helpful, anything we have asked or requested has been actioned without delay, despite the language barrier.

We booked a double room with pool access.  Very clean, but a little dated and in need of a few touch ups here and there, but overall very pleasant.  The access into the pool from our balcony is fabulous.  We appreciate our balcony being in the shade most of the day (we get enough sun back in Oz) so we have spent most of our pool time there, chilling and people watching.  It's definitely worth the few extra dollars per night to book one of these rooms.  We asked for cushions for the balcony loungers and these were delivered rapidly, otherwise the loungers would have been rather uncomfortable.  The bathroom is huge, fantastic rain shower and double sinks.  Beds are indeed hard, as stated by others, but despite this I have slept very well.  There is never any noise disturbance at night.  Our bed is two singles pushed together, but we haven't found this an issue, though consequently the wall mounted lights in the middle of the headboard are a bit irritating.  Other reviews have mentioned poor TV reception, this is correct, but not an issue for us- who sits in their room all day watching TV while on holiday?

There aren't many other native English speaking guests here, mainly Russian and Scandinavians, not an issue for us but might be if you're the type of person who wants to make friends with everyone at the pool.

Breakfast is a buffet affair, with a whole hoard of Western and Thai food to choose from.  There's a cook's station where you can have eggs cooked to order.  I recommend the omelettes, but not the soft boiled eggs - mine looked like they'd never been near hot water and were inedible.  Other reviewers have commented the pans were dirty - this is not the case.  We have fueled ourselves so well we rarely need to eat lunch. It is getting a bit repetitive towards then end of the holiday, but that would be the same at any hotel I think.  Another guest told us they'd seen a rat run across the breakfast room! We haven't seen any rodents but I'll be keeping my eyes open!  During busy times, there is sometimes a brief wait for a table to be cleared, and don't expect the coffee/tea to be brought to you- even though it is clearly meant to be.

The pool are is kept very clean and tidy, there are enough sun loungers to go round, and no irritating reservation of loungers going on, which is a welcome change!  The hotel provides pool towels in plentiful supply.  The pool bar serves reasonably priced drinks (for a hotel)- 100 Baht plus taxes for a can of Singha.  However, and quite bizarrely, it's cheaper to drink the same out of your minibar in your room - 69 plus taxes. (Price in town bar between 60 to 100 baht inc taxes for a small Singha, cheaper during happy hours).  Even cheaper if you wander 2 minutes down the road to the local 7/11 store where large bottles of Singha, Tiger and Chang are around 50 Baht each.  Between 5 and 6 pm there is a happy hour, 2 for 1 on the same drink.  Makes the cocktails become reasonably priced.  Also around this time, a large furry elephant (aka person in an elephant suit) wanders around the pool area - kids love it.

Every Thursday evening, the hotel manager Gino holds a cocktail party between 6.30 and 7.30pm - a chance to drink a few (or as many as you can) free drinks and air any grievances with him.  I've never experienced this in any hotel I have stayed at before, and I'm impressed, though I'm not sure if any grievances ever get acted upon!

It's a short 10 minute walk into the town, dodging the multiple masseurs, tuk-tuk drivers and tailors hassling you to get your business. After initially being incredibly polite, I have now found ignoring them works quite well.  The hotel provides transport to their 'private' section or Kata beach every hour on the hour, and no more frequently.  The beach isn't private and we haven't used it, preferring to wander into town at our own pace and explore.  Kata Noi beach, just south of Kata Beach, is much quieter and only about a 25 minute walk from the hotel, though those with children or disabilities should note there are often no footpaths.  It costs 200 baht for 2 sun beds and an umbrella.  Overlooking the hotel, up an incredibly steep bank, is the Rattri Italian Restaurant.  Well worth the trek, even though you will be very sweaty by the time you make it up there.  Amazing Sunset views over Kata and Karon, and a great happy hour from 6 until 7pm.  Delicious food, excellent service and live music from the piano.  More expensive than restaurants in town, but in a totally different class.


Overall I have found this hotel to be generally pleasant, and we have enjoyed our stay.  I have no major gripes. Probably 3.5 stars by Western standards, and certainly excellent value for money, for what we paid.  I would not have felt the same if we had paid the original price, prior to Expedia discount.  So I would recommend this hotel if you get a good deal, but don't expect 4 or 5 star luxury - if you do, you'll be disappointed.

Room Tip: Definitely go for a pool access room. Blocks 1,2 and 3 are close to the main pool, block 4 a little...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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486 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

I stayed at the Alpina with my partner for 8 nights in a Jazz Pool access room.

Check in is from 3pm and we arrived early at 12pm and had our bags placed on the bell hops trolly. Driver beeped twice and yelled out check in but no body came to assist us. Not minding doing things for myself and understanding we were a little early I pushed to trolly up the ramp and into the lobby. We stood there for a few minutes with the only staff member at the counter busy with another customer. She eventually acknoledged us and told us to sit down in a chair. Cool towel and fruit beverage were brought out shortly after which was nice. Check in after that did not take long and we were shown to our room and shown around it. We looked around the resort and the grounds were well maintained and had a very nice appearance about it.

The room was quite spacious and had an excellent bathroom with a very large shower and dual wash basins. The bed is quite hard but I did not mind it and slept very well every night. The direct access to the pool was the best thing about the room I highly recommend these rooms. They are however getting very close to needing refurbishment and wear and tear is showing, loose bathroom fittings, loosing fittings near the bed which feel off, mildew on the roof, wear showing on the furniture. Kind of at the point were it will just get worse if not attended to. The hotel is nearly 6 years old.

Three bad things about the time spent in the room. The free Wifi provided was close to useless on most days and only worked intermittely with it going out for an entire day with nothing being said to guests until we asked the next day what was going on as we had important things to do. This was a big issue for us during our stay.

The TV reception is rubbish and cut out completely on a few occasions. The confusing list of over 80 channels (mostly thai) are a joke. The hotel has known this for at least 6 months and nothing has been done its just not good enough. House keeping was another total let down in standards. The floor was swept only with a brush (sometimes not even brushed at all!) and never vacumed and would still be unclean. The bed was always made poorly and the sink in the bathroom was not always wiped down. Tolietries were never replaced once in the 8 days and the ash tray on the balcony never emptied once. We just ended up putting the do not disturb sign up and cleaned it ourselves not a great impression.

I stayed at the Alpina with my partner for 8 nights in a Jazz Pool access room.

Check in is from 3pm and we arrived early at 12pm and had our bags placed on the bell hops trolley. Driver beeped twice and yelled out check in but nobody came to assist us. Not minding doing things for myself and understanding we were a little early I pushed to trolley up the ramp and into the lobby. We stood there for a few minutes with the only staff member at the counter busy with another customer. She eventually acknowledged us and told us to sit down in a chair. Cool towel and fruit beverage were brought out shortly after which was nice. Check in after that did not take long and we were shown to our room and shown around it.

The room was quite spacious and had an excellent bathroom with a very large shower and dual wash basins. The bed is quite hard but I did not mind it and slept very well every night. The direct access to the pool was the best thing about the room I highly recommend these rooms. They are however getting very close to needing refurbishment and wear and tear is showing, loose bathroom fittings, loosing fittings near the bed which feel off, mildew on the roof, wear showing on the furniture. Kind of at the point where it will just get worse if not attended to. The hotel is nearly 6 years old.

Three bad things about the time spent in the room. The free Wifi provided was close to useless on most days and only worked intimately with it going out for an entire day with nothing being said to guests until we asked the next day what was going on as we had important things to do. The TV reception is rubbish and the confusing list of over 80 channels (mostly thai) are a joke. The hotel has known this for at least 6 months and nothing has been done it’s just not good enough. Housekeeping was another total let down in standards. The floor was swept only with a brush (sometimes not even brushed at all!) and never vacuumed and would still be unclean. The bed was always made poorly and the sink in the bathroom was not always wiped down. Toiletries were never replaced once in the 8 days and the ash tray on the balcony never emptied once. We just ended up putting the do not disturb sign up and cleaned it ourselves not a great impression.
English is poorly spoken by most staff, don't bother calling the front desk just go there yourself and explain what you would like. Every time I called I just got a lengthy confused conversation in broken English. This has been highlighted by other guests, I don't expect all staff to speak it but at least the front counter staff could be better trained. Most staff were very friendly however.

Ok now to some of the good things. The breakfast was good always a decent selection of western and thai foods. The egg station where you can get eggs cooked any way you like is a nice touch. Staff do not serve anything you just get up and get anything including coffee tea etc etc.

The large pool and pool bar area are excellent with great swimming to be had, plenty of deck chairs to lounge around and catch the sun. Happy hour is great value between 5-6pm, around 170 Baht for 2 cocktails. The barman was mostly on his own and had to serve food as well and was always running around, very overworked which made service very slow even with only 6 or so customers, took up to 20 mins to get one drink sometimes. Not that we were in a rush but happy hour only lasts 1 hour. Tipped the poor bloke he deserved it.

Ate at the Mamma Mia Pizza restaurant once and it was ok. My salami pizza was on a nice base but a little tasteless, did not eat there again just so many other better cheaper options at your doorstep. Had room service once, it was again just ok. Took over a day for the plates to be removed from our front door after the ants had got to them....i mean really so many staff must have walked past them.

The location of the hotel was good, nice and quite away from the hub bub. A shuttle is provided every hour to Kata beach. The website states 'Private stretch' of Kata beach which is totally misleading, there’s a 'few' beach chairs which are taken by 10am and most people stayed there the majority of the day. Anyone including hawkers can take up a spot right next to you there’s nothing private about it. There’s one staff member who stands around looking at the beach and not much else. Drinks and snacks are provided by a beach vendor not the hotel.

As you can see it’s a bit of a hit and miss sort of place. Not being a chain resort, the standards vary greatly. This is not 5 star but there are certain things that can be fixed to vastly improve the guests experience. Stay here if you can get a good deal on a pool access room you will have a pleasant stay.

Room Tip: Pool access room or a pool villa if you can afford it.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

The hotel could do with an upgrade in places but the swim up room we had was a good size,the shower was brilliant and the only criticism was there was not enough drawer space for two!
The breakfast was good and had a great choice of food and the staff were friendly and helpful.
There is a shuttle to the beach every hour but you can actually walk it as it takes about 15 mins,the only problem is you have to be at the beach before 10am or after 12pm or you may not get a chair! The beach sun beds are a bit tatty and the covers are pretty grotty but you get a nice thick beach towel to cover them!
The hotel is in a great location for the shops ,bars and restaurants in kata and for the money is good value.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 4
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

The staff at this hotel were professional and and friendly. We stayed for 10 days. 5 days in a pool access room, 3 days in a pool view room and on the last night, an upgrade to a pool access suite. Wonderful!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

My husband and I take a lot of holidays in resorts which are usually all inclusive. this place had breakfast included and it was fantastic everyday. We loved our room, we had pool access from our balcony and that was as terrific as you can imagine. really big bed( california king)we had no problem sleeping with no noise at all from any room around us and they were all occupied. A/C worked really well, shower is amazing, the only teeny tiny negative was the TV reception was terrible. but not a big deal. The staff were just wonderful at all times and really helpful. we arrived after 30 hours travel and they wanted us to wait 3 hours. I explained how exhausted I was and could they do anything. They did. we had our room in 15 minutes. how many people arrive feeling refreshed yet they listened and made it happen.
The hotel was very clean, food in restaurant was great, We were delighted and highly recommend them. I have never had a better experience in that we had no complaints even if we dig. I cannot find one. no TV is not a bad thing lol. We had 4 hours extra after checkout until we needed to leave for the airport. we paid a small extra and had our room until the last minute.

Room Tip: They only have rooms facing the pool, and we had the main level with pool access. it was incredible...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ukiah, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

Definitely one of the best hotels in Phuket ,I enjoyed every second of it. massage shops and excellent. I was with my boyfriend and my sister and he had a wonderful time .they have such a lovely big swimming pool so special. Great service!!! I will be back

Room Tip: Rooms at The corner are quieter
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 3
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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

We booked a pool access room for 5 nights and was very happy considering this cost less than $60. Real value for money here. Everything was fine with one exception. The breakfast is superb. Eggs which ever way you want including poached. Great variety. The shuttle bus works well and the beach equipment was adequate considering it was included in the price.
The hotel has free beer and wine every Thursday evening for a few hours. Here you will get the opportunity to air any grievances directly with the hotel manager Gino. Not many Hotels offer this type of opportunity.
Gino is an engaging character who is only too happy to hear your thoughts on the hotel and it's staff.
My one complaint was the TV reception. It was very poor. We enjoy keeping up with the latest news and sport. Gino stated that the hotels large TV reception amplifier, which was located in the hotel basement had been broken by flooding water. As a replacement the hotel had installed a system which worked on a relay by boosting the signal as it stretched out to the extremes of the hotel. He admitted that he had been ill advised and based upon the continuing complaints he will revert back to the previous central system.

Room Tip: The donuts at breakfast are wicked
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Alpina Phuket Nalina Resort & Spa

Address: 7/1 Ketkwan Road | T. Karon a. Muang Phuket, Kata Beach, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Kata Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Kata Beach
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Kata Beach
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Kata Beach
#15 Luxury Hotel in Kata Beach
#16 Romantic Hotel in Kata Beach
#16 Family Hotel in Kata Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Alpina Phuket Nalina Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 140
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Offering an eclectic mix of unrivalled services and facilities, Alpina Phuket Nalina Resort & Spa is the destination of choice for singles, couples and families alike. A combination of charming oriental hospitality showcased by friendly and personalized service and intelligently designed facilities creates a perfect holiday experience with memories to last a lifetime. The resort's peaceful setting fosters a laid-back and relaxed ambience in which guests can completely switch off and enjoy the luxury of the surroundings and the many facilities at their disposal. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alpina Phuket Nalina Resort And Spa
Alpina Phuket Nalina Hotel Karon
Alpina Phuket Nalina Resort & Spa Kata Beach

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