We are leaving the hotel tomorrow so thought I'd write this while its still fresh in my head.
After an hours taxi ride from the airport (be sure to get a metered taxi by turning right out of the airport as its much cheaper) we were greated at the hotel with cool towels and fresh fruit drinks. Check in went smoothly and someone came to our room to show us around before leaving us to unpack.
We were given a pool view room as I had originally asked for by emailing the hotel before we arrived. Rooms are large and spacious although there aren't enough draws for storage. The bed is hard but that was fine for us and we slept well most nights. The balcony has chairs and a table although they are in the shade all day but this is a nice break from the hot weather. As most people have said the television reception is poor but I think there are only a handful of English channels and we rarely watch tv on holiday so didn't affect us. A DVD player and iPod dock would be a nice addition to the rooms.
Large bathroom with a double sink and a large shower with both a rainfall shower and a standard attachment on the wall. Our rainfall shower didn't work very well but the pressure was good on the other one and we could always get it to the temperature we required. You are only provided with 2 towels and we could have done with additional, if we asked I'm sure this request would have been met. They also provide basic toiletries, shower gel/shampoo etc but these weren't replaced. You get 2 free bottles of water in your room each day which is a nice gesture.
We had an issue with ants in our room after the first few days and I woke up with ants crawling on me, I then noticed there were an awful lot of them by the side of my pillow. A call to reception with the promise of someone coming up didn't do much good and no one came so we asked again on our way to breakfast. We went back to our room after breakfast to find the bed appeared to have been brushed down with a few ants still there. We went back to reception who informed us our room would be fumigated and bedding changed. After lunch we went back to our room and the bedding had been changed but there were still ants. Another call to reception who hung up on me which when I called back they said someone was on there way and the room cleaning supervisor visited us with an ant poison and fumigated our room again. This seemed to do the job but we felt we shouldn't have had to keep chasing to have this issue resolved.
House keeping was average, sometimes towels weren't changed for 3 days, toiletries weren't restocked, and we had a used plate and fork sitting in our room that wasn't washed for 2-3days (it's still here now).
Food and drink
Breakfast we thought was average compared to a lot of hotels we've stayed in before. There is quite a lot of choice but no variety and the same food is there every day. There is cereal (2 types), juice (3 varieties), fresh fruit, typical bacon, sausage etc, salad, Thai food, dried fruits, an egg station (we didn't eat here but heard it was good), there was also a bread station where you could do toast but only white or brown sliced bread was provided. It would be nice if there was a larger variety of fresh bread each day. Also the pastries seemed quite dry (I think they were bough in and not made fresh in the hotel each day) and needed more variation. We were also informed that a rat was seen near the egg station. I didn't see this but it's not what you want to hear about the place you have to eat every day.
We are at the pool bar on our first day and the food was good although expensive compared to most other nearby restaurants. We didn't eat in the hotels other restaurants or use the room service although the menu looked good.
The grounds of the hotel are very pretty with lots of flowers and a big pond with fish in. It's very rare you would see the grounds being tendered and it could do with a general tidy. The hotel from the side doesn't look too nice either where the hotel sign has gone rusty and this has ran onto the white building and makes it look a bit run down. In general the resort as a whole could do with tidying up a bit.
The pool is nice and big with 2 children's pools and a larger pool with a shallow end at one end and a jacuzzi area at the other. It would be nice if there was an adults only section for those without children. The pool again is slightly run down, loose tiles with sharp edges, sun loungers needing a lick of paint and again there never seems to be anyone cleaning the pool area with rubbish and cigarette ends laying around.
The hotel reception were generally friendly and despite the limited English usually managed to help. We have had an issue getting a late check out and it seems it is one rule for some and another for others as people we met paid 300 baht to keep their room for 4 hours and we have been told 200 baht per hour despite complaining that people we met paid less.
The hotel throw a cocktail party every Thursday which is a nice touch and you can have free drinks and snacks and the opportunity to speak to the manager for an hour.
Kata is very touristy and I wouldn't advise coming here if you want to experience real Thailand. I feel like I could be anywhere in Europe. The majority of restaurants seem to cater for the European market with all restaurants serving pizza and burgers which always came before the Thai food on the menu. The food is pretty cheap but again slightly more expensive compared to other places I have visited in Thailand.
Overall, despite what appears to be a pretty negative review we have had a good couple of weeks here but I think you should expect a 3* hotel rather than the 4* it is advertised as.
- 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 Hotel Karon
- Alpina Phuket Nalina Resort And Spa
- Alpina Phuket Nalina Resort & Spa Kata Beach