We stayed in 2 adjoining deluxe pool view rooms from the 20th January until the 28th January 2013. My husband, myself and two of our daughters aged 17 and 11 travelled together. We were all very excited upon entering our rooms. The little touches like the elephants made out of towels were a real hit. From the moment we arrived we felt like we were at home. Special mention must go to Trin on reception who's help was invaluable. I am allergic to chilly so he wrote in Thai for me to take and show to where ever we ate to make sure they understood this. Trin also gave us great advise on local restaurants for us to eat at. We wanted local where he would eat. (not the 5 star over priced ones most tourists visit). He also told us how much we should be charged by taxi drivers/ tuk tuk drivers to get to and from the hotel. He was right on the money with both pieces of advise given. He also gave us a business card with the hotel address on to show drivers where we wanted to be returned to. If you don't get one when you arrive ask for one. Saves a lot of confusion if you get a non english speaking driver. On the second day of our stay my family went shopping and I stayed behind because I had an issue with my iPad and Internet. I thought someone hacked into my account. I rang reception and within minutes of speaking to Trin on the phone, an IT specialist was at my door to help. Her name was Lakky. I am not computer savvy and was very upset, crying thinking I was going to have a huge bill when I got home. Something which my husband had warned me about before leaving Australia. Lakky calmed me down and patiently worked through things with me for about an hour. Just after she left I started crying again, silly me and my door bell rang. It was a staff member named Pat to refill the mini bar. Naturally I felt stupid for crying but he showed great concern. So much so that he sort me out the next day to make sure I was ok. I was so impressed with the service and care shown to me that day and the help provided by Trin I rang and asked to speak to the most senior person from management in charge that day. I sounded very angry when I really wasn't but knew it would be the only way to get through to senior management. I spoke to Assistant Manager Kook Kai directly. I first Apologized for worrying the staff I spoke to to,get through to her because I sounded so angry and then told her my real reason for wanting to speak to her directly. That I actually wanted to complement 3 of her staff. She was so over whelmed by my compliments regarding her staff and that I had taken the time to get their names she ended up coming to my room and spoke to me directly. We have travelled extensively and stayed in many 5 star resorts/hotels and NEVER received such fantastic personal service. I also complimented Kook Kai on the fact that there were 3 large bath towels supplied to our room. Normally there are only 2 and we have to ring for an extra one. Also when we travel I always take my own pool towel because the towels supplied for the pool are for tiny people. I'm a real woman, mother of 5 and need a little extra coverage. Not at Le Meridien. They are also a descent size. The hotel provides special, large towels for excursions being taken outside the resort. Little touches that make a world of difference. Everyday a beautiful lady came to make up our rooms. I must apologize because I didn't get her name. Every afternoon she would pop back in to make sure everything was ok. Never had that happen anywhere else we have stayed when away.
If you think I am impressed so far with what you have read wait for the next bit. On our 3rd night at Le Meridian my husband and I left the girls, 17 and 11 safely at the resort while we went out for dinner. My husband had rather a big night and I needed assistance to get him back to our room. It was provided instantly with smiles all round. Safely deposited in our room I went out onto our balcony while my husband got ready for bed. I heard a thump and went to investigate. My husband had actually passed out half on, half off the bed and I was unable to rouse him to get him into bed properly. He had also spilt liquid all over the tiles in the entry way to our room. I again rang down stairs for assistance. Within minutes I had many staff including a medical officer who is on hand 24/7 at my door. I think there were 4 staff trying to move him onto the bed properly with more in the corridor. I went into help and slipped on the wet floor. The pain in the back of my leg was instantaneous. All staff focused on me and my injured leg. I knew I needed to go to a hospital. Staff woke my daughters next door, explained what had happened and where I was going, also calmed their fears that Dad would be ok by the next day, he just needed sleep. I was rushed to Phuket International Hospital by the Resort car. The driver stayed with me until he was sure that the hospital staff were taking care of me. (HUGE TIP. If you ever do find yourself needing to go to hospital in Phuket, not sure about anywhere else, take your passport! You will need it. My daughters were looked out for back at the resort. The one problem I had was that when I rang my Mum in Australia from the hospital to get the resort to get my eldest daughter 17 to access our room safe (she knew the safe pass code) to get my passport to send on to me at the hospital they refused to allow her to do that. I am still confused why the staff would not allow it. The resort did say it would arrive at the hospital by about 5pm that afternoon but that was too long to wait for it or to leave my girls alone for that amount of time. I ended up checking myself out against the hospitals wishes because I was worried about my daughters being alone for that amount of time with Dad out of action! The hospital rang the resort informing them of my decision and Le Meridian realizing I was not going to change my mind about staying they offered to send their car to collect me. I refused as it would have taken them 25 minutes to reach the hospital then another 25 minutes drive back. I couldn't wait that long so I caught a cab but told staff at Le Meridian that I would need the use of a wheel chair upon return. Not only was the wheel chair waiting, numerous staff were also waiting as well as a management staff member. Staff saw me safely to my daughters room, made sure there was nothing else they could help me with, made sure my daughters were ok and made sure I was as comfortable as possible. The care I received for the rest of our stay at Le Meridian was extraordinary. Everyone was so kind and concerned. It went way beyond just doing their job. The beautiful lady I mentioned that made our rooms up each day? When she found out I had injured myself when she called to make sure everything was ok in the room she would come out onto the balcony, because that is where I spent most of the rest of our holiday and make sure I was ok, comfortable, did I need a drink, was there anything else she could get me. Her thoughtfulness went way beyond her job.
Quickly back to the day of our arrival I want to mention because I have noticed some bad comments regarding other travelers stay at Le Meridian. Our bags arrived promptly to our rooms. I am a smoker and noticed there was no ashtray on the balcony or in the room. I asked the bell boy who brought up our bags where i might find one and before I knew it he was on the phone requesting one which arrived in seconds literally. There was also a problem with the toilet in our girls room which we discovered minutes after entering our rooms. My husband rang down to reception for help and again someone arrived within minutes and the problem was promptly fixed. Our rooms smelt fresh, were immaculately clean. The bed and pillows were so comfortable. The bath towels very soft. The shower to die for. No water pressure problems or problems with running out of hot water at any time of the day or night. Access to wifi was extensive throughout the resort if you didn't want to pay extra for access to wifi in your room. We know because our 2 daughters would have raised hell if there was inadequate access to wifi. When we travelled to Vanuatu and Fiji the girls had to pay for very short sessions on the net even in public areas. The girls were wrapped with the amount of places they could access wifi throughout the resort.
The buffet breakfast location was great but some of the staff there could do with a few customer service lessons. The night we arrived we were informed when I asked, that it does get busy so if we wanted a good table to book early or book the same good table after we found it for the duration of our stay. When I tried to do this the following morning I was rudely told that NO I could not book a table in advance for a week let alone for one morning. This was done in front of many guests and my eldest daughter. I explained the information I had been given the previous night and was again rudely rebuked. My daughter verified that I was indeed given that information the previous night from a reception staff member and we were then totally ignored. This is my one and only complaint about our stay at Le Meridian. The day we left every staff member I came across wished me a speedy recovery and best wishes. My family was just about to enter our shuttle that was taking us to the airport when I heard someone running and calling my name. It was Kook Kai the assistant manager I mentioned earlier on coming to see me off. I almost cried because I was made to feel like family and felt like I was leaving true friends. For the staff alone I can't wait to return to Le Meridian.
Some other helpful information. If you want to go out for the day on a private speed boat day trip see the guys down on the beach. They have a number of options to choose from. They also pick you straight up from the beach at Le Meridian. No time wasted on travel to go with any other tour operators. I did a lot of research before we left and these guys were by far the cheapest. I tried to get a business card but they didn't have one but they can be found on the beach every day. We didn't do the Phi Phi Island tour. We did the James Bond Island tour with lunch at an over water village, a canoe paddle through a cave and two stops to snorkel which was amazing. Snorkeling gear, lunch and all drinks including beer were included in the price. The main guy who organizes things is a bit business like but the captain and his mate who took us out for the day again treated us like family. The girls and hubby also made use of the jets skis available for hire from the same place. This too was for a reasonable cost.
If your looking for a great taxi driver to take you out somewhere we recommend "Mr Tee". He can be contacted on 0818940715. That's dialing locally. He will make great suggestions of places to see and go and will also give you a price upfront for the return trip that he sticks to. His suggestions of places to visit are well worth listening to. I'm sure some taxi drivers get a kick back for recommending places to go which turn out to be duds. Mr Tees car/SUV is near new, very comfortable and has great air conditioning!!!
We visited Phuket Zoo which for the most part was very depressing and in need of a severe renovation. The one thing my girls and I personally enjoyed was the chance to get up close and personal with an orangutan, a baby tiger, a baby monkey and a fully grown monkey, an elephant and what looked like a very drugged fully grown tiger. We were able to pay 200/300 Baht for them to take our photos and place in a frame as well as take our own photos. The only other plus was the elephant show. If your healthy and are able to get down and up from the ground without any problems put your hand up straight away when they ask for volunteers. You won't be sorry.
If your looking to go to a tailer to have something made up, DO NOT, I REPEAT NOT GO TO TOMS INTERNATIONAL TAILOR Patong. They promised the world when my husband and I went in. I took 3 tops with me to have made in my current size. They said this would be no problem at all for them to do. I also ordered 3 other tops I discovered in their countless display books shown to me. In total I ordered 7 tops. Four cut from the 3 tops I had taken with me each in different material. The other 3 from their numerous catalogues shown to me. We told them the day of our departure. A time was made for the next day to go for our fittings. My husband ordered a suit and some business shirts. We arrived on time, were taken upstairs, my husband was seen to first. Then after about 30 minutes of me watching him have his first fitting I thought it was my turn. WRONG! I was told there was a problem and asked to come back the next day I think it was or later that night. I did but there was only one top to try. The others were still being done. Time was counting down for us to fly out of which I reminded them. No worries they say? The day before we flew out we went back to have a final fitting done to make sure all was well before we took our garments. My husbands things were fine, mine were still not finished. I was asked to come back at 7 that night and they would be ready for a final fitting which I did. What a disaster. All but one top looked just awful. One of the tops I chose from their books was so ill fitting I couldn't believe it. Their were two sales ladies, one in the back ground very quiet not saying anything, the other trying to tell me everything was ok. Look nice? No it did not! The sales lady trying to convince me it looked ok finally went and got a seamstress. It took me ages to explain the numerous problems that needed to be fixed and finally this was only achieved when the very quiet shy sales lady drew a drawing of exactly how I was saying it needed to be fixed. When I asked about them about what would happen if they ran out of time fixing the problems and they sent them on to me in Australia and if they did do that what if they still were not right the question was ignored and I was told not to worry, they would be right by that night even if they had to.stay back. It was after 10 pm, I was alone with the staff as my family had gone back to the resort to pack and I left very unhappy with my purchases and with only two tops that I was happy with. ANOTHER HUGE TIP. DON'T pay full price for what you are getting made until you are completely happy with their work. Unfortunately my husband paid the full amount up front before any work was done leaving me with no room to argue with them. i did try to no avail. Lesson learnt.
Shopping in Patong..... Beware of non local shop or market traders. Very pushy and can get very abusive if you don't buy anything from their store if you spend even just a little bit of time in their store. Locals are much nicer we found to deal with. And BARTER, BARTER, BARTER. Many times the first price offered was at least 3 or 4 times higher than the price we ended up paying. Obviously they have that much room to move or they wouldn't take the sale. Our 17 year old was a pro the second day in. It's also handy to have a currency convertor app on your phone with you when your bartering because you know exactly what you are paying in your home currency. All of us downloaded the app xe currency to our iPhones before we left home. When you pull that out the locals soon get the message you know what your talking about.
Well that just about does it I think other than to tell you that when we ordered room service at Le Meridian it came promptly, was hot and was delicious! We stayed in rooms 472 and 474 which as I said earlier were deluxe pool rooms with great views over the resort and part of the beach. Hope this helps when making your decision about where to stay. Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. Jen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.