I always struggle when looking at Trip Advisor, with usually a whole lot of 4-5 star reviews and then some smattering of 0-1 star reviews. In this last trip, we ignored those 1 star reviews since it really can't be that bad, could it? Bad move. Club Med Phuket is that terrible. If I can convince at least one of you of this, then my writing was worth it.
Let's start with FOOD POISONING. My daughter projectile vomited and got diarrhea 2 days after arriving and was wiped out for the rest of our vacation. Goodbye to our happy holiday we'd been looking forward to so for long. We were not the only ones sick while there; we saw one kid throw up by the stage, and another came to see the nurse after we did. My wife spoke to the Thai cleaning staff, who are outside the official Club Med propaganda machine, and they admitted there were many kids at the resort with food poisoning. My wife also had stomach cramps after one meal, a different time from when my daughter sick... We are VEGETARIAN, and we live in Thailand and that my wife, who is Thai, can't even remember the last time she had a stomach ache. My daughter has rarely thrown up in the past and only when she was a baby. We are not the ones who should be getting food poisoning in Phuket. Meat and seafood eaters from Europe, the Americas or north Asia who have never been exposed to southeast Asian bugs -- good luck. [I'd also suggest looking at the other 1 star reviews here, with one family complaining of salmonella]
DISGUSTING ROOMS: the black stuff on the shower wall, no it's not some new super-duper form of black grout -- disgusting (picture). Under the bed -- disgusting; the curtains -- disgusting (picture). The bed, with its springs poking out here and poking out there was probably from Soviet times and might well have been manufactured back in the USSR, perhaps brought here to make all the Russians running around nostalgic. Oh, and it was disgusting (picture). The power also went off several times while we were there, helpfully when my daughter was in bed in the middle of the day gravely sick.
RUDE STAFF: I won't go into the many hour ordeal of trying to get a refund and get out of this nightmarish hell, just to say that dealing with a complacent mid-level civil servant in the entrenched bureaucracy of a French province would probably have been more satisfying and productive. Rude, uncaring, uncooperative, shifting of blame to us, etc. etc. This was probably the most shocking of all. Any hotel that charges as much as Club Med in Asia would have handled the situation with some compassion and courtesy. Club Med did not. This is a service business and Club Med just doesn't get it.
I really have no idea how there are so many 4-5 stars posted here. If the free flow of (very cheap) wine and beer and the getting jolly with a bunch of GOs with manufactured perkiness and an exaggerated sense of self-importance is that essential to you that you're willing to sacrifice your health and sanity... then I don't know what to say. For the rest of you, Thailand and southeast Asia have a wealth of great hotels with fantastic service, and which are much much less expensive. We did get a refund of the unused days, but only 50% and after several long weeks of argument. You really need to look elsewhere.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.