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“A zen paradise resort” 5 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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Special Offer
3-Night Beach Break
Ranked #5 of 9 Hotels in Mai Khao
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“A zen paradise resort”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2010

We looked at a few resorts on-line before deciding on Sala resort. We really wanted a pool villa resort and was tossing between sala and banyan tree as the pricing was similar but the ambiance was totally different. Sala is very zen minimalist whilst banyan tree is more lush tropical. Depends what you prefer at the end of the day.

We read some average reviews of banyan tree on trip advisor so decided on sala. And were we glad we did - this resort is exceptional and should be the benchmark of resorts, hospitality and service.

We stayed at the pool villa with a baby and it was fantastic - like having your own holiday villa by the beach for the week. They were also considerate enough to provide a cot for the baby. The villa was private, spacious, modern, chic and very very comfy.

Service was excellent as you would expect from the Thais. The general pool was nice but we spend most of our time in our private pool. There's only 1 restaurant for all meals but the food and service was great albeit pricey. They have different "food nights" every night.

The spa was also very magical and an experience and journey in itself.

In all a great resort offering the zen minimalist approach as compared to the usual jungle tropical setting. The only downside for us was it was very isolated (even walking to the next resort is not an option especially at night due to the lack of street lighting - but they offer shuttle services which is fine). It means you spend most of your meals at the restaurant or room service which does add up...

For US$300 a night it's also great value for money as compared to other resorts with pool villas. Go for the package deal as they throw in free dinners, breakfast and a massage.

Well done Sala, we will be back again soon.

  • Stayed August 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2010

I apologise for this lengthy feedback in advance. I did try not to make it an essay but all aspects of this hotel deserve a thumb-up so I would hate to omit anything.

My husband and I stayed at Sala Phuket for 2 weeks in September to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary. We had previously stayed at Sala Samui for our honeymoon so we had an idea what to expect from its sister hotel. These expectations were substantially exceeded. It is clear that lessons learned from the design of Sala Samui have been applied to Sala Phuket, as most if not all of the minor issues have been addressed this time around.

After a 14-hr flight from Heathrow (one of the worst airports on earth whilst Thai Air was a total let down!), we could not put into words how nice it was to be greeted by the Sala staff at the airport who was so friendly! He looked after our luggage and offered us cool water and lemon grass towels soon as we jumped on the car. One thing to bear in mind is that you have to make a bit of effort to spot the pick-up staff (in purple outfits) because there are way too many other taxi drivers at the airport exit.

Hotel was about 30-min away from airport, soon as we got off the car, we were overwhelmed by the amazingly design of the hotel entrance. The grand sliding door, the lovely pond-ish reception, the peace and tranquillity. And there was this smiley receptionist “Pang” came greet us with the gorgeous orchid and jasmine bracelets. She sat us down, offered us a nice iced ginger tea and got on with the check-in process – no hassle for us. She then took us to our room and let us choose from different kinds of pillows and shower gels, during which our luggage turned up. Everything was so smooth.

The main pool was great and always seemed very quiet with no one about. (It was either coz of the low season or everyone was just hiding in their pool villas) There were some renovations going on at the side pool. There was admittedly some disturbance (noise and paint smell) but it was not at all annoying as I managed to involuntarily nap by the pool every afternoon. The pool attendants were friendly too! They chatted to us every day, remembered our names and were very attentive. Speaking of great staff, the whole restaurant morning team led by Jiew was ace. I personally find them better than the evening team during dinner.

Breakfast was a delight. They have a little buffet bar, nothing lavish but cereal was home-made and fruit was fresh! Must try the vanilla granola cereal. It was a la carte breakfast but you can personalise it however you like. They never said no to us whenever we asked for extra food. And trust me - the portion is big enough that you don’t really need lunch. I have also tried almost every smoothies they have - delicious! We had dinner a few times in the restaurant, food was nice. But I had to agree with previous comments that it might be bit too dark to admire the plating of the food!

We used the Spa 3 times, very professional staff – some with better skills and techniques than others. It might be bit pricey but it is worthwhile. There is also a well-hidden bathroom with a sauna along the corridor to the Spa. No one seemed to know its existence as it’s always empty when we went in. Right next door was the gym room, my husband used it once and was very happy with the equipments. They also offered free apples and water in the gym.

Opposite to the gym was a little tourist information booth. We picked up several tour leaflets and went on a couple of excursion. John Gray’s boat trip was excellent though exhausting – must try. Please don’t bother with Simon Cabaret show, it was a joke.

We moved to garden pool villa for our second week. We adored the outdoor shower so much that we sometimes had 2 showers a day. I initially thought rain might cause a bit of trouble when we showered but it didn’t! It in fact made the whole thing more enjoyable and fun! The pool was of a decent size, a fair bit bigger than the ones in Sala Samui. Be prepared to be greeted by all sorts of wildlife (geckos, mosquitoes, ants, dragonflies..) but it is hot and humid in Phuket, it is inevitable especially when you were surrounded by plants.

Housekeeping was also excellent. They did such a great job that I felt so ashamed of myself when I thought about how untidy our place is. Turndown service was a very sweet touch, they gave us different health drinks every evening, weather forecast/ recommended activities for the next day and complimentary postcards!

The hotel also offered free bikes (tho a bit knackered) so you can ride to the nearby “Turtle Village” for cheaper food and shopping. It is a very enjoyable ride(5mins) – sun, sea breeze and seaview. If you turn the opposite side, you can do a tour round a lake. It was nothing stunning but very peaceful and relaxing – also a great exercise after a big breakfast! In the evening we took the complimentary tuk tuk to Turtle Village. Not entirely sure who operate this service as they also pick up tourists from JW Marriott and Renaissance next door. It might mean that you have a longer wait sometimes.

The night before our departure, they left us a note during turndown service informing us what time they would come pick up our luggage – sweet touch. They also gave us breakfast takeaway (we left at 7.30am)! Check-out process was just as smooth as check-in. When our bill was settled, the next thing we knew was that the car was ready!

There were however some minor issues (mind you that I am a very fussy woman).
1. We get 10% off food, beverage and spa treatments from our package. We had to remind the staff when we asked for the bills every time, which was not entirely convenient. There are some exclusions with the spa treatments which appeared but ambiguous to us. Do check before making the appointment.
2. Wifi Internet was not very stable, but it didn’t really bother us. We were there to get away from our ordinary life back home!
3. Restaurant seemed bit under-staffed during breakfast at weekends when they suddenly get an influx of tour groups! Do be patient with the staff as they always do the best they can to help and are very apologetic when the service was not up to their usual standard.

Having said all that, this holiday was genuinely an indulgence. Everyone at Sala went the extra mile to ensure us a wonderful stay – which it was! We are already discussing to return next summer – hope time flies!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Auckland, New Zealand
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2010

A very well designed small resort. Love the entrance especially in the evening such a dramatic entrance. Check in was very fast and friendly and shown to villa personally by one of the lovely staff. Inroom ammenities were desribed and pillow and scent for your room chosen at the same time.

Love the outdoor bathroom, very cleverly thought out. Good size LCD inroom and ample storage area and mini bar counter.

Very good gym with 'technogym equipments and the spa is to die for! Lovely swimming pools, one long enough for good lap swimming. Free bicycle onsite is a great touch and greatly enjoyed.

Breakfast is very good and generous where you order from the set menu and there is a buffet for fruits and continental range. Service at this resort is of a very high standard but some how I feel it could be better and I have experienced better at other properties this calibre.

One bad point in the balcony villa is that air cond blows directly on to the bed. No control lourve available for this and it gets pretty cold.

Food at the restaurant is generally good, but sadly not excellent. I find it to be too dark in the evenings where you can hardly see your food! So much colour of food is lost through this. Wonderful huge lawn area to play in and long clean wonderous beach a few steps out. A lovely property for someone with an eye for design and architecture. Will return.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Bangkok
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2010

We stayed at a SALA Pool Villa. The room is lovely and the outdoor bathroom/toilet is actually quite nice. You get total privacy in the room and garden which is nice too. However, it also means that you are surrounded by a 3 meter grey wall the whole time. It feels more like a prison than a tropical holiday. Also when you walk around the resort, there are just grey walls everywhere.
Anyway, the pool and beach area is really lovely so this is where we stayed most of the time. You can relax on a nice lawn under pine and palm trees. We were there during the monsoon season so the red flag was up all the time, hence swimming in the sea was not possible. Also no water sports available. And there was the high-pitched sound of a grinding machine all the time as they were renovating the wooden pool deck. That was really annoying. This hotel prides itself for its award winning design. And the design it really great, no question about it. However, it also means that a lot of renovation work has to be going on all the time to keep the design so immaculate. The fact that there are guests here looking for peace and tranquility seems to get lost somewhere.
The breakfast is nice. However, don’t expect a lavish breakfast buffet. The only thing available from the buffet is fruit and cereals. The rest is a set menu. We also had lunch and dinner at the restaurant. The quality of the food was OK. We were expecting a little more to be honest.
The Wifi internet was a hassle. Someone came to fix it. It took him about 30min. It worked for the rest of the day. Next day same problem.
No late check-out was available. In fact, someone comes knocking at your door 15min before check-out time to make sure you are leaving.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2010

My husband and I spent one week at Sala for our honeymoon. With us was our five month old daughter. The stay was pure bliss. We were greatad with a welcome drink and cold towels. Then we got to choose what kind of pillows we preferred for the bed, which sent we wanted for soap and bodyloation. Everybody was very friendly and everywhere we went we got a courteous wai. There was always a helping hand when it came to babysitting.

We stayed in a pool villa. It was a beautifully decorated, private oasis. The bed was comfy and there was already a babycot waiting in our room when we arrived. It took some getting used to showering and going to the bathroom outdoors but after a few days it was liberating. We spent most of our time in the villa because the beach is not well suited for swimming or sunbathing. Although it was low season and renovations were being performed, to meet the higher demands in high-season, we were never disturbed.

One of the best parts of the day was the fantastic breakfast with homemade cereal, fresh fruit and flavorful coffee. The Sala-breakfast included eggs of your choice, crispy bacon, fresh bread - and the pancakes with mango were to die for. We had lunch and dinner at the hotel several times, and although overpriced, the food was tasty and fresh. The bar had a great view and nice sofa beds to lie on, but the drinks were so-so.

On the negative side the air-condition in our room didn´t really work – either it was freezing or too hot. The wi-fi didn´t work to well either. And more than once we had problems ordering or getting help due to the staffs limited English. But apart from that the overall impression of Sala was great and we´d love to stay there again some day.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2010

For travellers, who don't like the buzz of Patong, this is a great and peacefull place to stay at. After being in Patong last year, we realized that this was not our thing and therefor decided to stay a bit more far away from all the happenings in Patong.
We came across Sala resort after my wife read some other positive reviews on Korean blogs and when we arrived we must say, that we were really pleased with what we encountered.
The reception staff was really friendly and caring especially to our baby daughter.
We originally booked a Deluxe balcony room, but didn't realize upon booking, that this was of course 1 floor up. Going up and down with a baby, isn't that easy. Therfor we requested if they had any groundfloor rooms available. Which luckily they had.
We got a very nice room, with a soft bed and bedding and most important with your own small private pool. This was actually great, coz you can use the pool in own privacy and we didn't have to walk so far to the normal pools, of which there are 2.
The room otherwise had everything you need, the shower, bathtub and toilet were actually outside of the room.. Which gives it the little bit extra of taking a shower outside, especially when it rains.
Breakfast was handled in a bit different way, then I was used to. Instead of having a buffet, this was a la carte with enough variaty to change meals daily for a week. Breakfast is being served in the only restaurant at the resort, with a nice view of the pool and the beach.
The pools are nice, there is one large one and one smaller one with different depths, which is also suitable for smaller children (under supervision)
After eating dinner at the resort restaurant the 1st night, we found out that there is also a nearby small shoppingcentre named turtle village. They have a complimentary tuktuk, which can be arranged from the frontdesk. At the shoppingcentre they have a small restaurant, which serves a decent meal, western and asian.
There are also other hotels nearby, which have more restaurants to offer, but prices are based on the West. So it can be quite expensive.
If one still prefers to go to Patong or Phuket town, it is possible to take a shuttle bus from the resort to those destinations. Prices are a bit cheaper then a taxi, but the timings are fixed. So you have less freedom to do your own thing and take your time for it, when taking the shuttle bus.

All in all we had a great stay there. The staff is really friendly and helpfull, the room with pool is great and breakfast served is more then enough and tasteful. The place is really peacefull and quiet, great for relaxing and doing nothing.
When we go to Phuket again, for sure we would go to Sala again.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2010

We stayed there last November and this resort was one of the best we've ever stayed in. When you get in, you get into a different world.
The reception area is lovely as the staff is. Even though we hadn't fixed our reservation due to several flight changes, they did all their best to organize the rooms as quick as possible. The staff was so nice and caring, we couldn't believe it.
The resort itself is amazing. Pool area is great, very relaxing and tranquil.
We also loved the beach even though there are no beach chairs and the ocean is pretty rough with some high waves coming in. But this is what we loved-we had so much fun there and you will be almost by yourself while at the beach.
The rooms are awesome. We got a garden pool villa and the pool is huge and we had the luck to get sunshine all over the day. Rooms have an open bathroom, which could be a down for some travellers, but it was totally ok for us.

Breakfast was great, it's made to order. I would love half made to order, half buffet though, like in the Sala Samui, but nothing was too much for the staff and they did everything to make the perfect breakfast for me.

Food itself was delicious, though the prices have western standard, which might be a down for some travellers as well.

The resort is really secluded and you will not find a lot of restaurants around but you can borrow a bike from the resort and drive to the supermarket down the street, where the marriott is located. You will find some restaurants there.

This vacation was one of the best in my life and I really loved every second in the Sala Samui. There was no single down for us during the stay and we can't await to go there again this winter.

  • Stayed November 2009, 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
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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 Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Mai Khao
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Mai Khao
#4 Business Hotel in Mai Khao
#5 Luxury Hotel in Mai Khao
#5 Spa Hotel in Mai Khao
#7 Family Hotel in Mai Khao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — SALA Phuket Resort & Spa 5*
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 beachside lawn surrounded by a coconut tree plantation swaying in the wind.In addition to friendly, professional and personalised 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 traveller 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 availableWeddings at SALA PhuketMarriage 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, 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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