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“an oasis of calm in busy phuket” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pen Villa Hotel

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Pen Villa Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   9/1, Soi Haad Surin 4, Srisoontorn Road, Choeng Thale, Phuket 83110, Thailand   |  
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Ranked #2 of 23 Hotels in Choeng Thale
Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“an oasis of calm in busy phuket”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2013

We chose Pen Villa After much research and the reviews on Trip Advisor and we were over the moon with our choice. Surin beach where Pen Villa is located in in the Quieter part of Phuket and it was perfect. We were in love with the huge rooms and the colonial structure of the building. Pete and Winnie run an immaculate establishment in hospitality. Pete was a treasure trove of information on almost everything in Phuket & even guided us where we could get swimming costumes. Winnie's reputation as arguably phuket's finest chef of Thai cuisine was ratified several times over as we partook of her amazing culinary skills. their gentleness and warmth which is carried forward by the wonderful housekeeping team made it truly home away from home. location wise it a stroll away from a quiet Surin beach and you can walk to Bangtao beach or the smaller but much prettier Laem sing beach on either side. a 7 eleven convenience store is just outside the villa and ATM exchange a few further steps away. Surin beach itself has a row of beach side restaurants which you can spend an idyllic evening listening to the waters gliding by on the beachfront. A big thanks to Pete and Winnie and team Pen Villa for the most perfect holiday. in the end 3 nights was too little .. we craved to stay longer and promised to return soon

Room Tip: the rooms on the First Floor are great with the breeze and the huge common verandah
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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187 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
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English first
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

We had initially only booked 2 nights at Pen Villa at the end of our busy holiday/honeymoon but once we arrived we felt so at home and relaxed, we decided to extend our holiday and stay on another 10 days. Pete and Winnie are amazing hosts, from knowing exactly what you want to drink to how spicy you like your food. The pool is amazing and the rooms are comfortable. Because it's so comfortable, the guests are also relaxed and generally happy to interact. We even left our bags while we went to Koh Phi Phi for two nights. When we returned, my husband had arranged with Pete and Winnie a surprise romantic dinner for my birthday - the effort they went to to make it special was fantastic.
Everything about Pen Villa is great, the service, the food, the rooms, even the cat - Key Tag. Good location away from the busy centers of Patong and Phuket town but within easy drive of these places.
Winnie can give you a trip to the market and cooking class, cooking what ever dish takes your fancy. She'll even tell you the equivalent ingredients you can find at home to make it taste authentic.
Great place if you want to sleep and eat well and sight see during the days. We'll be going back!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

We had a very relaxing holiday at pen villa, comfortable, very clean. Short walk to the beach and cafes. Fresh food cooked by Winnie everyday, banana pancakes fantastic!! Nice cold beer, chilled by Pete ( basil) great couple! Can't wait to take our family back there.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

As other reviewers have said, the owners of Pen Villa are very nice and the rooms are spacious. The pool is also fantastic. Breakfast, which is extra, was delicious. The owners were also accommodating when we asked to cancel the last two nights of our stay. We had never been to Surin Beach, however, and found it a bit too quiet for what we wanted. The beach is lovely and there is a small strip behind it with a few restaurants, but that's about it. No night life, shopping, or cultural sights. If looking for a quiet spot, away from activity, then this is a nice spot. However, the taxis in Phuket are outrageously expensive and you have to pay 600-800 baht, each way, to go from Surin to areas with more attractions. So, we decided to stay in Patong where we could walk to many activities without paying for taxis.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hacienda Heights, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

Boyfriend and I spent our last night in Thailand here, all based on Tripadvisor's recommendation, and it was definitely the right choice!

Arriving early afternoon, we checked out the beach, ate deliciously grilled catfish at the stall right outside of the hotel at Peter's recommendation and returned to the hotel and spent most of our afternoon watching and learning about Aussie rugby from Peter. Drinks (Great selection of cocktails and whisky) turned into dinner, and a late-night swim in the fantastic pool. Ordered banana pancakes for breakfast, spent more time at the beach, the pool, watching rugby and arranged for a late checkout. They took care of calling for our airport transfer.

Every wonderful thing said about Peter, Winnie, Winnie's cooking, the staff and the hotel is true. Our only regret is that we were only there for 24 hours! If there are any minor imperfections, that's all they are, minor. If ever in Phuket, we'll be back in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed August 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Al Khor, Qatar
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

After reading everything on TripAdvisor I was a bit nervous because Pen Villa, Peter and Winnie and the wonderful staff sounded just too good to be true, but after a 5 day visit trying to find anything negative to say, I just can't. The following comments are made after spending a lot of time trying to think of things people may not like.

Staying at Pen Villa is a like going to visit really good friends and having them go out of their way to make your visit fantastic and your only job is to chip in towards the costs. Yes, I'm sure you can go and just slip in and out like a ghost, but why? Do that at some other hotel, but here, enjoy the difference. So many of us were enjoying ourselves so much, chatting to each other in the pool, eating meals or having drinks together, we just didn't really leave the hotel very much. BUT if you wanted alone time, everyone just left you to it. It was actually more romantic than staying at a bigger more anonymous hotel, because the tables were well spaced and felt really romantic even with people chatting at the bar.

Evenings in, were the highlight of our visit, starting with coconut juice from a fresh coconut or Peter's perfectly made cocktails made with authentic ingredients - Caipirinhas were my favorite - sitting at the bar chatting, then moving to a very comfortable table for a meal. We stayed with Winnie's dishes of the day - we could have asked Winnie to make anything we wanted with advance warning - but getting home cooking was such a treat, we went with what Winnie had on the board and that ranged from Pork Schnitzel to Prawns with Tamarind sauce to Pad Thai and as a special treat on our anniversary, crab dip with mango sticky rice for dessert which was amazing We then sat and enjoyed the evening, playing cards and having interesting conversations with our wonderful hosts and fellow guests enjoying Irish Coffee and yet more cocktails.

You can order something to eat from the breakfast menu - which includes salads - have a cappuccino, smoothie or drink from the bar at any time of the day. While the kitchen closes at 9pm, the bar stays open till you are ready for bed.

The pool area is lovely, with a small kids pool attached to the big deep adults pool. The pool can be used at any time. The garden is very pretty and meticulously kept.

The rooms are in the Thai style, which means a really big square bedroom with open wicker furniture on one wall, and a big square bathroom at the back. We loved the space and the vivid blue tiles on the bathroom floor in our deluxe room, but checked out the standard room and the only real difference was slightly less glossy blue tile and wall tiles in the bathroom. The pillows on the bed are enormous and hard, so ask for a softer one if you need it! There is a seating area inside and outside each room. We have no idea on TV as we never switched it on, we were having way too much fun.

Having said that all of that and knowing we plan to return next time we need a relaxing break which does not break the bank, Pen Villa may not suit some people. Thank goodness.

If you want to party and be close to the party scene, this is not for you. Surin Beach is within easy walking distance, with the famous Catch beach club, and there are a number of small restaurants around - we tried, we enjoyed, we preferred Winnie's delicious fresh food - but it is not Patong and has a VERY different feel to it. I would have had no problem going to the local Tesco Lotus or 711 on my own at night from Pen Villa - 3 minutes walk - but I stuck by my husband on our trip into Patong. If you want Western tea and cake or home-made(?) ice-cream, there is cute little place on the main road.

If you really like your privacy, think carefully, as all rooms have a front wall of glass - lots of good curtains - with an entry onto communal verandas with a view of the pool. We lucked out and were in room P7 on the top floor which is on the end of the veranda, but if you are a light sleeper and you are in one of the more central rooms, you might be disturbed by people walking past your room chatting but this is not likely as there are generally only two rooms on a wing on each floor. We were next to a family and the hotel construction is such that we only heard them when they were sitting outside and our doors were open. If you don't like a/c, the cross draft from the screened window and door is great, still hot, but bearable. I think if there had been a fan we probably would not have put on our a/c at all. The hotel is on a lovely quiet road.

If you are going to shop, this might not be central enough for you. We went to Jungceylon in Patong one day and shopped till we dropped, but were really glad to get home to Pen Villa. The a/c taxi was about $20 each way. The front desk will get you a taxi and tell you how much you should pay, so make sure before you get in on the way home that this is around the correct price.

If you want loads of massages and beauty treatments there is nothing available in house. We went for a couples massage at a place about 10 minutes drive away which we really enjoyed and would have returned with more time. This is booked by Pen Villa and a car comes and fetches you and brings you home - included in the cost of the massage which is VERY reasonable.

If you are in a large group and want food Western style, i.e. everyone's meals served together, please rethink things. Thai style means as each dish is finished it is brought out and everyone shares wonderful fresh food. Winnie will try and serve everyone together, but the food is just better eaten communally, and she is more comfortable doing it that way.

If you are an older couple or find stairs a problem or are terminally unfit, give this some thought or ask for a room on the main level so you only have the walk down to the pool to deal with. I was not looking forward to the steps and incline but the street entry is up about 3 steps and all steps at the hotel are fairly wide. The walk down (and back) to the beach looks fairly steep on the map, but is actually really easy. I am unfit, fat and in my late 50's and my only problem was that there could have been better stair rails in the hotel, but I managed just fine.

This is a perfect place for couples, women and families. You feel very safe, it is meticulously clean, and Winnie, Peter and the staff look after you so well. Early one evening just at the start of dinner time one of the guests said her daughter, who had been sick all day, really needed to see a doctor. Peter and Winnie dropped everything and Peter took them in their own car and waited while she was seen.

Okay, so what would be on my dream upgrades as I can't find any faults and can't wait for my next trip so I can go with Winnie to the market and learn some Thai cooking?

How about Ashes cricket on the big screen TV? Okay, I really didn't miss this, but Peter and my husband would have had fun! Maybe some home made snacks with drinks? Yes, we got so spoiled by all that home-made food that the commercial chips supplied by Peter were just not good enough! And I can't think of anything else!

We generally stay in 4 or 5 star hotels or in gold crown time-share, but I can honestly say I will be recommending Pen Villa to anyone thinking of going to Thailand as it was one of the most enjoyable places we have ever stayed. The word 'nice' is very outdated and not used, but it is the word that just kept coming back to me. Nice place, nice hosts, nice guests, nice staff.

Room Tip: Rooms a the end of the passages may be more private Rooms on the main level will have the least ste...
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

We only stayed there for a night. We were travelling from Krabi and did not managed to let Pen Villa know in time where we were going to be docked. Fortunately, they managed to find the right pier and sent the taxi to pick us up!! Amazing service.

The hotel is very nicely located on a smaller street, it is about 10 minutes walk from Surin beach and 1/2 hour drive from Phuket airport. It is quite peaceful and it is not as touristy as I imagined (on the main street anyway). By Surin beach there were all the nice restaurants, which give you a good choice of food and bars. The owner would be able to recommend a couple of places for you to try (we tried his recommendation and it was good!).

The room and the bathroom were big and got everything basic you need (towel, bottles of water etc.). Do bring your own amenities, nevertheless. It does have many mosquitoes around so be sure to bring some spray with you. The breakfast was reasonable and very fresh. Smoothies were excellent. It is a family friendly place. After breakfast, you may go for a dip in the pool, which is good size too!

Overall it was a very pleasant stay. I think the friendliness of the staff was really awesome, made me feel like home. Definitely visit again next time.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pen Villa Hotel

Address: 9/1, Soi Haad Surin 4, Srisoontorn Road, Choeng Thale, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Thalang District > Choeng Thale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Choeng Thale
#2 Romantic Hotel in Choeng Thale
#7 Family Hotel in Choeng Thale
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Pen Villa Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pen Villa is a family run hotel set among the hills of Surin. The hotel is located away from the main road, its surroundings are serene and private, and Surin Beach is an easy 10 min walk away. The hotel offers some of the best value hotel accommodation in Phuket.Our rooms are spacious and perfectly suited for long-stay guests. All rooms overlook our large swimming pool and tropical garden. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pen Villa Hotel Phuket, Thailand

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