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“stylish ocean-front hotel with edgy Japanese geel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of SALA Phuket Resort & Spa

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SALA Phuket Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   333 Moo 3 Mai Khao Beach, Mai Khao, Phuket 83110, Thailand   |  
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Ranked #5 of 10 Hotels in Mai Khao
Certificate of Excellence
Berkeley, CA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“stylish ocean-front hotel with edgy Japanese geel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2010

This uniquely styled hotel’s pool and restaurant is separated from a pristine beach--it is a turtle hatchery--by a lush lawn and shady mini forest. The property has an edgy feel of Japanese mod, with landscaping consisting of grey bricks separated by grass of different heights to form a walkway that guests follow subconsciously. Rooms have an outdoor bathroom and lounge area, which is nice in the morning but can be stifling at other times in hot weather. The bedroom has high ceilings, two walls of floor-to-ceiling windows covered by drapes, a bed with a light duvet—all in white and beige—and air conditioning. Pillow choice and amenity fragrance are selected during in-room check-in, and fragrant incense and candles are lighted at turndown. Most rooms have private pools. The restaurant offers a super beach view but inexplicable plays Christmas tunes in spring.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 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
Helpful?
Thank traveluvBerkeley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,236 reviews from our community

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Cardiff
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2010

Loved this place. We were on honeymoon and upon arrival were presented with flower garlands and a refreshing drink whilst we checked in. Then our bed was lined with red rose petals in a heart shape with an ice-bucket of champagne waiting for us gratis. Plus, the bath was filled with red rose petals in it. (also had a free treatment in the spa!)

When we checked in - they even bring you samples of scent and pillow types to choose from! So you can choose which pillow type you want to sleep on and which oils & scents to use - you feel very special!

Location is awesome, right on the lovely beach front. Bar is very relaxing with huge round couch like seats to recline on. Food is top notch and service always friendly and with a smile. We had the pool villa room and it's awesome - you can open the doors of the villa wide so that you bring the inside outside and make advantage of the warm climate. Outdoor rain shower is also great.

Not a cheap holiday and it's expensive - but if you are looking for luxury and relaxation, then this is perfect!

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Helpful?
Thank StevieJK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2010

First, I want to say that I am a typical jaded New Yorker. It takes a lot to impress me. I also work very hard, so taking the time out to write a review is not usually something I have the time to do, so obviously, this resort was impressive to me. Third, I am a travel medicine specialist and know all the risks of travel, especially to underdeveloped regions of the world, especially regarding food related illnesses, so I was at first very apprehensive about the trip and the resort. When I arrived, I admittedly didn't want to be there (my wife booked the trip for my 50th), and was not happy. My apprehensions got whittled away slowly after arrival. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. The room was nicely appointed and had many amenities. We stayed at one of the pool villas. The room was very private and you don't even see your neighbors. The shower, bath, vanity, and toilet were all outdoors, which at first was a bit freaky, but you get used to it quickly. The only drawback is that you have to go outside at night if you have to go to the bathroom. Despite what other reviewers said here, we didn't see any lizards or anything crawling around when you are in the bathroom.
Surprisingly, there were also not many mosquitoes. I at first was concerned about the risk of dengue fever and other vector borne illnesses, but after a while, I didn't even use insect repellent. The groundskeepers were very dedicated and constantly trimming the gardens, getting rid of any stagnant water and spraying a nontoxic insecticide a few times a week to control the mosquito population.
Most importantly, the food ended up being very safe. When I travel to underdeveloped regions, I don’t usually eat the local food and just bring my own supply of protein bars and other packaged goods. My wife took a Thai cooking class on the second day we were there and she introduced me to Jan, the head chef and one of the resorts managers. He is an American and made me very aware of all of the sterilization techniques that are used in the kitchen. Believe it or not, it was cleaner than many US kitchens that I inspected during my Public Health fellowship. The food was amazing! My wife and I are gourmands and eat in many of NYC’s finest restaurants and I have to say that Jan is a master chef and can probably be featured on one of those Bravo or Food Network channel competitions. He doesn’t simply know about “Thai cooking”, but educated us about all of the subtleties of regional Thai cuisine. The food at the restaurant was great and rivaled some of the 5 star restaurants that we frequent. Jan also is aware that many visitors to the resort from the US and Europe do not have an adventurous palate, and still has a lot of “comfort food” on the menu.
The gym was small but adequate and not crowded. There are free weights, weight machines and a variety of cardio equipment. My wife had daily spa treatments and said they were quite good as well as reasonably priced.
The pool area and beach were quiet and secluded. The water was warm but refreshing in the Thai heat. It is not the sugar white sand and turquoise water that Thailand is famous for, but it is very clean.
The business center is adequate with two laptops and a printer, although there is free wifi everywhere.
The only minor drawback was that I thought there would have been a “meditation space” seeing that Thailand is supposed to be very spiritual. There was no meditation space at the resort. I usually do qigong every morning and needed a quiet spot, but just ended up doing it outdoors in the privacy of the villa.
In all, we were very glad we chose the hotel based on other reviews here. It was a great vacation all around and wish we could have stayed longer. We will definitely return with the kids next time (although, there is really not a lot of things to do with kids at the resort other than swimming and sightseeing).

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelMDNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hong kong
Level Contributor
336 reviews
330 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 644 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2010

**agree with previous previous review re: 5 star location 4 star hotel 3 star service**

since there are direct flights into Phuket now from Hong Kong late Friday pm returning Sun late afternoon, I wanted to like Sala Phuket (so I can start making regular weekend trips)... alas... I did not start off too well with SP, arrived 11:30 pm after a short but direct flight from Hong Kong, the airport pick up was fine & during the drive in had a good chat w/ the driver re: the Bangkok/Thailand situation.

With the dramatic lighting when I arrived @ the resort, I definitely saw immediately how the hotel indeed is well designed & must look great in photos. I was brought to my garden pool room (which I booked coz of tripadvisor ++ I did think it was good value for $) where the thermometer read 29 celsius. The attendant left me w/ the key & told me not to worry, that it would cool down eventually. So I unpacked & checked out the room + the outdoor area. I was delighted w/ the huge backyard w/ pool, decent sized grassy area, the room itself was smaller but that's coz the sitting area & bathroom were both outside.

After a while even with the fan on I realized it was still 29c in the room, so I called re: needing an adapter (a repeated request, they somehow forgot to bring it around the 1st time) & the lack of air con, ...long story short..., at 1:15 am I had to repack & change rooms coz the air con was broken.

Though I didn't expect to be upgraded, I was surprised to find out that even though I went from a garden pool room to another GP room, that the outdoor garden area was somehow much smaller in my 2nd room (room 29) & vs. the 1st room, I was now at the edge of the hotel on the roadside which meant I heard cars/tuks tuks etc

well, in short, the pros & cons

pros:
~ nicely designed hotel, very photogenic, the perfect place for a fashion shoot, especially because of the location
~ only 15 min from the airport
~ decent wine list whether by the glass or by the bottle
~ wonderful quiet beach with no hawkers & basically nobody else, I loved the beach here, this was where I napped, read, enjoyed the lovely sunset that accompanied a crescent moon, watched sandcrabs and birds, despite everything else (-) re: Sala Phuket, I might come back just for this beach !
~ the property esp around the beach has magnificent trees throughout, and therefore lots of birds (even watched one make its nest), really felt like a country park with swimming pools
~ the room was good value ($190 for a room with own private plunge pool)
~ well stocked gift shop with decent gifts ie notebooks, spa goods, etc
~ perfect weather ......
~ excellent food (hard to go on a diet here)
~ 2 nice outdoor "public" pools
~ 400 baht massage right @ the edge of the property close by the beach (not part of the hotel)
~ free wifi
~ mostly friendly staff

room for improvement...
~ stained bedsheets, towels (beach towels were stained with previous guests' sunblock?, some hand towels @ the restaurant's bathroom were literally yellowish)
~ staff were friendly in general but not necessarily professional, ie
1/ when I realized a fly drowned in my mojito, the pool attendant (there was only one on duty, so not really his fault) was nowhere near by, so I had to walk into the restaurant to get it changed (to gin tonic, in case they only took the fly out)
2/ English was an issue: when I called the front desk for my written messages, and asked for my "messages", she tried to transfer me to the "spa", when I asked whether housekeeping could come by to pick up the giant dead cricket (sorry I had to kill it, it was half the size on my palm and on my bed), they had no idea what I was asking for, when I asked for perrier water @ the restaurant, the wait staff kept on saying we have sala phuket water (vs. the perrier that they did carry)
3) @ the end, I had no faith in communicating my departure details over the phone nor at the reception area, so I emailed it in the night before, & that worked
4/ lots of flies / nats ( the flies especially liked my Thai breakfast, the moment I stopped waving them away and pushed the plate away, there were @ least 10 flies on my plate) (but they were gone @ night, and the mossies stayed away post mossie spray)

my best friend is pregnant w/ her 2nd one & thinking of a Bali holiday next month w/ my 2 year old God-daughter & family... I struggle whether to recommend this place to her as the pros are easy flight from HK, cheap for what you pay (private plunge pool for $190), the property's beach (technically a public beach) is quite nice... but I could imagine how the other aspects of this place (3 star service though the staff were sweet & nice, just not professional) would drive her crazy.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank anilegna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2010

Spent two nights with my wife and baby-boy at the Sala Phuket resort pool-villa and had a wonderful time. The private pool was perfect, allowing us to tend to our son while not missing out on sun and pool time. Not that this couldn't be done at the public pool but when the little guy needs his nap, it's nice to know you can still be out relaxing and just a few steps away from checking in on him. Most of our time was spent by the private pool but we did manage to take some lovely walks after breakfast along the beach. Which is quite good with a nice selection for guests from all over. I expect when you stay here for a week plus, the variety is a must when it comes to the menu. All the food we had at Sala was very good and a nice blend of western and Thai flavors.

The rooms aren't large but just enough for a cozy bed and to put your belongings away. The design is airy with some charming patterned details. I could have done without the massively large glass door to the outdoor bathroom area. This was quite a task to open and close making it a bit inconvenient. Having stayed in Sala Samui we were familiar with the outdoor restroom/bath concept. So we were a bit worried since we had a big nighttime pest problem in Samui with mosquitoes. Fortunately not as much an issue in Phuket but it's not a pleasant experience unless during the daytime. The best feature for us of course was the private pool, lawn and sunning area.

We didn't do much outside so can't really comment on the spa or restaurant outside of breakfast. We ordered a lot of room service. Outside of that, everyone was very pleasant and our room well taken care of.

Trying to head out may be a pain since the resort is a distance to areas like Patong. I believe close to an hour drive and can cost up to 900-1000 baht each way. The resort offers a shuttle but the to and from trips are scheduled so it doesn't leave much for flexibility. The flip side is it's just 15 minutes away from the airport.

Had a great time and would return for another family weekend.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sato_bkk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2010

What a fantastic hotel! Only good things to share with you on this property. Mai Khao Beach is a long stretch (17 KM) and surprisingly empty...a sanctuary for breeding turtle, perfect for a nice swim. Located
The hotel has 2 swimming pools (and your private pool in your villa), a fancy restaurant and a lounge bar. The SPA is fantastic. DVD library, Business Center, great Breakfast, try the Sala Breakfast!!
The only bad thing is all around Phuket, beware of the Taxi Mafia...they will charge you 500THB to travel somewhere.
The hotel is located 25 minutes away from the pier of organized trip to Koh Phi Phi...
Really Nice staff & Service!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Helpful?
Thank kmauffrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austria
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2010

It was our first trip to thailand and we were searching for the same 5star quality asian hotel as we have experienced it a year before in bali / indonesia.

this hotel is a trendy, luxury hotel with a quite untypical design for thailand - there is not much local influence, the architecture is cool, international and reduced to the minimum. the location is simply perfect, a beach in the middle of nowhere with really no people. sometimes we were completely alone on a 4 km white beach.

we had a pool suite with a really nice private pool and in general the villa was perfect. an outside shower, a pool where you can really swim. the things that werent so nice is that the villa has some signs of age already, although the hotel has open just some years ago. we got the opinion that the hotel doesnt really care for renovating things. just with some small investments and regular taking care of the furniture, etc. the hotel could look way better. this was the first signal for us that the hotel is nice, but the quality of the staff / management poor.

it was our honeymoon and since we had experienced a honeymoon welcome in a hotel in bangkok with an upgrade, a cake, champaign, nicely prepared room, etc. we expected the same here. however, nothing was done and when we asked for it we got a bottle of champaign and thats it. so again, with some small things the atmosphere could be much nicer.

the same things happened regarding service in general. if you have never been to any 5 star asian hotel you will be very happy, however if you have experienced any other hotel you will see that the service in sala is poor. here are some examples

- at the dinner usually the staff wasnt able to understand proper English. we had to repeat every order twice or three times and were then still delivered with the wrong drinks or food
- when using one of the longchairs in other hotels usually the staff is helping with preparing the towels etc. - at sala you have to do it by yourself, only sometimes some guard is helping
- free water is not delivered on a regular basis, once i even had to get one at the bar since the waiters are not coming on a regular basis
- twice we were at the bar, waiting for a waiter to come, however the were busy with preparing drinks for the restaurant so they couldnt serve us

in general the location is nice, however it is very difficult to get to other locations. the hotel is charging enourmous prices to go to e.g. patong. the local taxis are not cheaper and we had the feeling that it is kind of a "cartel" trying to lock you in in expensive restaurants.

we heard from guests in other hotels that the philosophy of their hotel is to help guests to access other locations as well. this was the same for us in bali and we were very angry that sala is abusing their location.

we found a really nice restaurant then right next to our hotel which was much much cheaper than the hotel restaurant and had really good quality as well.

regarding the food in the hotel we can only say that it was really good, however very expensive. the wine list is fine, however the waiter wasnt able to open the bottle properly and we saw other guests that were served the wrong wine twice (even after complaining the first time the waiter brought a wrong bottle again).

we wont come back to this hotel since we are searching for perfect service for this price.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Peter_zAustria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about SALA Phuket Resort & Spa

Address: 333 Moo 3 Mai Khao Beach, Mai Khao, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Thalang District > Mai Khao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Mai Khao
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Mai Khao
#5 Luxury Hotel in Mai Khao
#5 Spa Hotel in Mai Khao
#5 Business Hotel in Mai Khao
#8 Family Hotel in Mai Khao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Hotel Class:5 star — SALA Phuket Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 79
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
SALA Phuket Resort and Spa is a stunning deluxe pool villa resort, featuring private swimming pools in 63 out of 79 rooms, villas, and suites. SALA Phuket boutique resort is an impressive compliment to its popular sister property, SALA Samui. SALA Phuket combines rare historical Sino - Portuguese architecture with modern 5-star facilities. Located on pristine Mai Khao beach on Phuket's northwest shoreline, SALA Phuket Resort and Spa is just 20 minutes from Phuket International Airport. The famous Blue Canyon Golf Course is a short distance from SALA Phuket and the picturesque Phang Nga Bay is located just 25 minutes away. SALA Phuket is the ideal location for a Phuket wedding and honeymoon with its vast and private pristine golden sand beach and lush beach side lawn surrounded by a coconut tree plantation swaying in the wind. In addition to friendly, professional and personalized service, SALA Phuket luxury resort offers facilities including:- 3 large beachfront swimming pools, world class international beachfront restaurant and bar with an air-conditioned dining option, Award winning SALA Spa, full equipped gym, steam rooms & salon, complimentary wi-fi internet connection throughout the entire resort, gift shop, business traveler services, entertainment and theme nights, nightly villa turn down service, In-Villa dining, miles of untouched beach front, the longest and least developed in Phuket, an array of local activities and excursions are available. Weddings at SALA Phuket, marriage is an occasion that should be cherished always. A variety of locations for your ceremony are available, from golden sand beach stretches, lush green lawn expanses or an intimate sunset rooftop vantage. Our personal and intuitive staff will ensure your special occasion receives the attention it deserves. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sala Phuket Resort And Spa
Sala Phuket Mai Khao
Sala Phuket Hotel Mai Khao
SALA Phuket Resort & Spa Mai Khao

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