Booking: We booked direct via their website (very user-friendly) and received a prompt reply confirming our reservation (including a link by which we could cancel or amend our booking if required) :-) We actually cancelled our initial reservation for a 2 b/r suite and rebooked in a 1 b/r suite – no problem – no penalty :-)
Payment: Their website advised that our credit card details were required to secure the booking but that our card would only be charged in the event of a no-show :-) Their site clearly stated that they preferred payment by cash on checkout and that a service charge would apply to payments made by credit card.
Cancellation policy: Very liberal … No charge if cancelled more than 2 to 14 days before check-in date (depending on season) etc. :-)
Our Rankings (On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the top score)
Arrival/Check-in (7/10): We arranged our own transfer from our previous hotel and I was a little surprised that reception had no way of knowing we had arrived until we turned up inside the hotel. You have the choice of leaving your luggage outside (beside the driveway) and walking to reception to announce yourself, or man-handling your luggage in on your own. Once they knew we had arrived everyone was most helpful (cool drink, explanation of facilities, etc). I realise it’s a relatively small hotel and it wouldn’t be cost-effective to have a person standing at the entrance all day, but perhaps a simple driveway buzzer and/or closed circuit TV could warn staff that guests were arriving?
Room/Decor (9/10): Our one bedroom suite was huge and was very nicely furnished … two leather lounges, small dining suite, 2 flat panel TV’s, small kitchen, large fridge/freezer, large balcony, etc. The bed was large (a proper king-size bed) but even though Eric has said in a previous response that he has put new mattresses in, my wife still found it to be a little too firm for her. It was not as hard as others I have slept in, but was hard enough to make sleeping a little difficult for her (guess you can’t please everyone). The fan and dual air conditioners were efficient and reasonably quite and the sound-proofing of the room was excellent. One large picture window overlooked a beautiful jungle backdrop, but the other window had a view of the wall of the next door building … fortunately for us that building was vacant otherwise we would have had to draw the curtains (or get dressed) most of the time ;-)
The room was extremely comfortable, however, the view (or lack thereof) was not what we expected … and we would not stay in that particular suite again. Our misunderstanding was not the fault of the hotel, rather, that we incorrectly assumed something when we should have asked for clarification during (or prior to) booking.
Bathroom (8/10): All bathroom/toilet facilities were good. A hair-dryer was provided and there were plenty of towels, bath mats, hand towels, shampoo, soap (and most importantly – hot water).
Food/Restaurant (9/10): The restaurant is decorated in a Tex-Mex style and is a nice contrast to the normal Thai-style décor. You can eat in the restaurant itself (overlooking the jungle), on a small patio, or in the outdoor garden overlooking the spa). The food was great and the service was good.
Breakfast - I have read other reviews where people complained about the breakfast, but we had no complaints whatsoever … with a choice of 2 breads, 2 cereals, 2 fruit juices, tea, 2 types of coffee, fresh fruit, diced/sliced fruit salad, yoghurt, croissants, small cakes, 4 or 5 different hot foods (buffet style) plus about 12 cooked breakfast meals to order, we were more than pleased with the range of choice, the quality, and the quantity.
Lunch/Dinner – We ate in for lunch or dinner on 5 or 6 occasions and all meals were tasty, well presented, and reasonably priced. The prices were similar to those in the main street restaurants and I would classify them as low to medium price when compared to other resorts. The menu is extensive and has something for all tastes.
We had the pleasure of meeting Jim Tawa (the new chef/proprietor of the restaurant (to be renamed “Jim’s Dining Room”) and were impressed with his ideas and vision. His new menu should be in operation by the beginning of July (with more Thai dishes for the purists) and his extensive experience as executive chef/area manager in a number of leading international hotels will no doubt enable him to maintain (and perhaps improve upon) the high standard already evident in the Pacific Club Restaurant.
Pool (9/10): The other reviews have said it all … but to recap: Fantastic views (both ocean and jungle) – Nice landscaping/flowers/shrubs, etc – Plenty of sun lounges – Plenty of pool towels – Great water quality. A magic place to relax, have a quiet drink, read a book, or order a meal if you wish. A 30 metre pool with inbuilt seating, table areas and sun umbrellas … and 50% of the time we used it we were the only people there. The most we ever saw were 6 other people quietly sharing the pool and soaking up the atmosphere.
Service (8/10): The service was good in a laid back sort of way. Nobody jumped to attention when you approached them and it’s just the way Eric has portrayed it … simple people, doing a job and aiming to please. We liked their style.
Facilities (8/10): Restaurant, Bar, Mini Kiosk, Pool, Spa, Herbal Sauna, Cab Service, everything was great with one exception … On two occasions we had a foul smell that dominated our entire suite. It smelt like a sewer but I couldn’t trace where it was coming from. We reported it to the front desk (they responded quickly) and it disappeared after the maintenance man checked it out. I’m not sure if he got rid of the smell, or just camouflaged or perfumed it away. Anyway, hopefully it was a one-off (or in our case, a two-off).
Transportation (8/10): The hotel provides their own taxi service at reasonable charge and if their own car/s are busy they will arrange an outside cab for you (at the hotel preset charge, so you don’t have to haggle … most civilised). They’ll even run you down to the shops and back and wait for a few minutes whilst you shop – all for 50 baht – try doing that with a tuk-tuk ! A free shuttle service to the beach every couple of hours would be nice … but obviously the costs would have to be recouped some way … so it’s probably fairer that the user pays.
Location (8/10): I guess it all depends on your individual wants – I loved lounging around the pool and gazing out over the jungle and the ocean view … and being 10 minutes walk from the hustle and bustle of the beach and shops suited me fine. My wife would prefer to be a little closer to the beach … Oh well ! (or as the Thais say "mai pen rai").
Beach (8/10): I like Karon beach … Kata may have a more pleasing visual shape, but it’s got that dreadful Club Med dominating the beach … at least at Karon you can access all of the beach from anywhere and you can head up to the northern end for a nice quiet time, or down to the southern end if you want to live it up a bit. That’s my opinion anyway.
Mosquitoes & Bugs etc. We saw the occasional gecko (small lizard) but that’s all. If you don’t like them, then I suggest you get out of the jungle.
Ambiance and Enjoyment Factor (9/10): Just a few comments:
The "never-ending walk to the beach”: Come on folks … get serious! I’ve got a permanent back and hip injury, am in my sixties and I could walk it without too much stress in around 12 or 13 minutes … sure, I cheated, I used my walking stick! … By way of comparison, the distance from the “parking lot” to our “departure gate” at Sydney airport was about the same distance. (I actually wrote this before Eric replied in similar fashion to another review). If you’re that out of shape maybe you should be checking into a hospital instead of a hotel.
As for “the hill” … yep it’s there (more a slope than a hill) and covers the last 75 metres or so when returning to the Pacific Club. Once again, it wasn’t a great problem … it just made me appreciate a nice cold drink after my walk.
I notice that someone complained in the past few days about the “very dark” roadway leading to P/C. We walked that road many nights and it had lights all the way to the club (not bright , but quite sufficient to see by) and it didn’t bother us in the least … in fact we felt safer there that we would walking the streets at night at home ... and my wife felt quite safe going on her lone walk to the beach at 6am each morning. As for the hotel being located on a “dirt road” … well, I don’t know where they were walking, but when we walked it last week, it was concrete all the way up “the hill” to the club (it certainly wasn’t a freeway, but it definitely was concrete).
The "vicious" dogs: Didn’t see any – We did see a few docile sleepy ones.
(1) The culture – Eric has gathered a “family” of staff around him and they actually appear to enjoy their jobs.
(2) The cancellation policy – civilised and generous.
(3) The In-Room Safe … my laptop could fit into this one !
(4) The beautiful jungle backdrop
(1) I would have preferred free wireless internet, but everything has to be paid for in one way or another.
(2) I would have liked to be able to charge meals and drinks to my room (I believe that policy is about to be reintroduced).
Nothing really bothered me enough get upset about it.
Is it for everyone – No and thank God for that ! If you want the razzamatazz of Patong then stay at Patong. If you want the beach then stay at the beach. But if you want a quality, laid back holiday with comfortable, relaxing surroundings (at a reasonable price) then stay at Pacific Club
Would we go back – Absolutely (but next time my wife will ask if they have a softer bed).
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Good morning JJumpstart
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You most certainly got the jump start on me, ha ha
A very quick up date .
New menu started yesterday yeeha , I will send you some photos of the food ,
The team is doing ok, we have manager to get a great English teacher, who currently teaches in some of the leading hotels in Phuket . This is a on going learning curve so fingers crossed and toes , hopefully I can show you all in the next 4 to 5 weeks.
So slowly slowly we are getting closer too the starting line , I must say thank you, for taking so much of your time, while on your holidays , and for putting pen to paper so to speak.
Well mate , I hope too see you and your wife again , watch those numbers for me ok
Jim and The Dining Room Team
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.