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“Great stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ayara Hilltops Resort and Spa

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Ayara Hilltops Resort and Spa
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   125 Moo 3, Surin Beach, Srisoonthorn Road | Cherngtalay, Choeng Thale, Phuket 83110, Thailand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 23 Hotels in Choeng Thale
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Washington, DC
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2009

Had a wonderful time at Ayara Hilltops in August! The Benjamart room was spacious, private, and clean. The staff were wonderful and gracious, and the pool area was perfect for us. The breakfast was great, and lunch at the restaurant was delicious. Walking up the hill to the room was a bit of a workout, but the staff were more than happy to drive us when we were too weary in the heat. The nearby beach has a great bar at the very end of the beach that sits sort of over the water. Definitely stop by for a drink during your stay. We would absolutely stay here again.

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618 reviews from our community

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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (117)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
London
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2009

I have to say I loved the Ayara Hilltops. It missed a couple of the touches that other boutique hotels offer but pretty much delivered what I wanted.
+
Benjamart room was fantastic
Breakfast
Views
Spa (according to missus)
-
Road noise (only during rush hour)
pool size
Steps up to room (could be a positive as I need the exercise)
Beach and Ayara Hilltops "beach area" (shoddy/dirty area - I got proper twin palms envy looking at their section at the other end of the beach)

Brothers(?) restaurant on the beach front was great - the hotel can't compete when they try and offer Som Tam at 180 ish bhat when it's only 70 at the beach. Fresh prawn/snapper/squid was all off the richter!

oh yeah..and hire a car if you are remotely adventurous

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Malaysia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2009

This is an excellent hotel if you are after some peace and solitude, away from the hustle and bustle of backparish Patong. Its a great place to catch up with your partner and spend some quality time together. If you enjoy serenity and a sense of space, this is the place for you. The villas/suites are low density ( only about 50 units i think ) and you get the feeling that the resort belongs to you and you alone. During the time we were there, we hardly saw many of the other guests despite the hotel being at 70% occupancy ( it was low season granted ). Anyway, the rooms are very clean and well maintained. Everything is where it should be. If you are traveling with your spouse, I highly recommend the Benjamart suite which comes with an in-room whirlpool. Ask for the sea view facing units. Its just perfect to unwind in after a full day's outing or shopping at Patong. It also has a great in-house spa and the masseurs there are magical albeit a little pricey.

Now for the negatives. Personally, the hotel is lacking in some small details, which in my opinion would have elevated from great to excellent. For example, the rooms could do with more modern flat screen LCD TVs. There should be daily delivery of newspaper to all the rooms every morning. ( the ones in the coffee house/reception are always a day old ). Breakfast offering is average and pretty run of the mill stuff. And the location of the hotel can be a pain ( its at Surin beach ) if you intend to move about a lot. It will cost you Bht350 per person for a round trip to Patong, and it is not that regular. I found no issue with the noise that some others here have complained about despite the proximity of my room to the main road.

Overall, this is a great place despite a few little shortcomings. Would i stay here again..YES definitely.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, ON
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2009

Ok, so there have been a lot of very nice things said about this resort. I booked it based on all the raving fantastical tripadvisor reviews for a second honeymoon with my spouse. Perhaps our mistake was to book for the lowest priced room, as I am almost sure that those that book in the highest price category were more than happy with their stay.

While our Benjamart suite was nice, unique and kept impeccably clean, I can't help but express how I was disappointed with the size of the space. In the pictures, everything looked so much bigger. In real life, my 6'3" husband could hardly fit into the bathtub by himself, let alone having me in there with him. The sitting area was tiny and so was the bedroom. We felt like everything had been shrunk down to half of a normal sized sitting room, and half a bedroom. It would have been nicer if they had just knocked the wall out and not pretended that they had space enough for two rooms.

Another problem with this resort is that it is located directly above a road that is populated throughout the day with cars and (worst of all) noisy noisy scooters. The motors on those old engines just drove me absolutely bonkers at night!! If anyone is claiming that they could hear the ocean below them through that racket I would have to ask them if all the wheels are still turning upstairs. So while you are relaxing by the pool, every 5 minutes or so you hear the zoom of a scooter zipping by. It completely ruins the atmosphere of the plush surroundings. Many resorts that are near roads are situated so that there are natural sound barriers to break up the noise, such as large trees, or buildings that are set back a ways, or soundproofing windows/doors. I just wonder if more thought could have been put by this resort into how to deal with the noise issue. Again, this would have been more of a problem for the cheaper rooms located closer to the road, I wouldn't be surprised if other reviewers much further up on the hill heard nothing.

The last issue I had with the room was the mosquitos. I have a mosquito sensitivity that causes even the smallest bites to swell up to palm sized welts. Now I know Thailand is tropical...I know. So I came prepared with lots of DEET based mosquito repellant and was on antihistamines the whole time. I still got eaten alive at this resort I'm sure the decorative standing water right outside the suite was a red flag. I don't know if they spray at all, but observing the cleaning staff going in and out of the suites, I could see that they didn't close the doors fully as they were working. In a way I can't blame them, and on the other side, it was extremely frustrating for me to be listening to mosquitos buzzing around my face at night and feeling panicked about not being able to track down that one renegade mosquito that somehow managed to make it in and evade my rolled up magazine. I realize this sounds like a very fussy complaint, which I could understand. However for those of you out there who get the same allergic reactions that I do to these bites I hope this review aids in your decision to stay here. In retrospect for this alone, I probably would have selected a hotel proper that was a big building rather than a bunch of cute scattered huts with ponds outside each one.

My husband had some documents that he needed printed out for work, and when he first talked to reception about it, they offered to do the printing for him and have it delivered right away to our room. 40 minutes later, of course it had not been done and no one seemed to know anything about it. There is a bit of a language barrier with the staff even though they do try very very hard to please. My husband eventually got fed up and went down and said he encountered more problems in trying to get the document.

We enjoyed the use of their spa, and splurged on their most expensive package. We felt it was far above the regular thai price, but still far below Western prices, so we were still quite happy with the treatment, especially since it had been a rainy day out. It was pretty romantic, I confess - I very much enjoyed that part of our trip.

As for the area itself, I'd like to warn fellow travellers that Phuket does not have those beautiful white sand beaches and clear turquoise waters that you find in the Bahamas. When we booked, I thought that's what we were getting, but everything seemed two notches dingier than we had hoped for. Surin was very nice at night and has spectacular sunsets...but during the day... hmmm.... I would say it doesn't have anything more than a regular beach has. In fact, noise control seems to be a problem on the beach as well. In the car park there was one truck that was pumping out loud techno music rippling out across the entire beach. It was terribly annoying and asking the locals about it, they say they call the police and most of the time nothing happens (!). If you are looking for a bit more of a luxurious stay, I would recommend the Karon area. We rented a car and drove the entire island, and that was the most manicured spot in Phuket.

If I sound like I'm being nitpicky, it's only because I thought everything was going to be a whole lot nicer than it was based on what I read on this website. I just wanted to present another side so that people don't end up building up their expectations too much and then arriving and crying on the bed out of disappointment.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Top Contributor
182 reviews 182 reviews
72 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
146 helpful votes 146 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2009

We enjoyed a three night stay, one night in a Jamjuree Suite and two nights in a Rachavadee Suite. We arrived in our rental car were greeted warmly by staff and taken to our suite via a small truck . The transport to and from your suite is provided as the location is on the side of a hill and may be a bit steep for some. We found walking to our suite at the top of the resort quite easy via the walkway of steps. The resort also provides transport to their sun chairs on Surin beach, approx a 3 minute ride away, possibly a 10 minute walk.
The Jamjuree suite was spacious with a small kitchen, dining area, sofa, very large bed, small dressing table/desk , a bathtub large enough for two and a really nice outdoor shower.
On the balcony there were two lounge chairs and a jacuzzi you could fill with unheated water.
We moved to the Rachavadee Suite in order to really enjoy the view as this is why we decided to stay at this property and the pool as this is where we spend most of the day. The main pool does not have a view, and although during our stay were did not run into many others at the pool, IMO it could get a bit busy during high season.
The Rachavadee Suite has a double door entrance into a large pool with a high roof pitched Thai style building on either side with the view overlooking the sea and bays. The view was really fantastic. One building housed the kitchen, dining and living room. The other the bedroom and bathroom.The decor was very similar to the Jamjuree suite. Between the two building is your private pool and a large sunbed with beams running over it. The bed was nice as you can really see the view, but it did not really have shade or complete sun, as the beams created shadows if you wanted to sun bathe. I solved the problem by moving the soft bed mat to a sunny spot on the large balcony area surrounding the pool and buildings. On the balcony there was also a table, two chairs and an umbrella. But it really would have been nice to have had a movable sunbed. The Rachavadee bathroom also had a large bathtub and separate indoor shower. The hotel did a nightly turn down leaving yuumy biscuits. But did not clear away used towels and replace as they do at many 5 star resorts.
Very close by on Surin beach there a lot of really good restaurants. One we really enjoyed was "Taste" directly on the beach.
We had breakfast included in our tariff, it was fine, but nothing special. We also had room service, this was also fine, but nothing special.
The spa was good and we had two great massages during our stay.
What we liked about Ayara was the private pool with a killer view. The location of Suirn and Bang Tao beach, the in room internet and spacious bathroom.
All in all this is a nice resort, but not 5 star. For example: The sofa was dirty, no movable outdoor lounge chairs, IMO a small property pool with no view, except into the restaurant., no where really inviting to have cocktails, old style TVs, the staff member that sighed when we told him we had more luggage in the boot, just a few things that made me think twice about how I would rate this property in comparison to the other resorts we visited this trip in the same category/price range. We upgraded during our visit as the resort was not busy and we negotiated a very good price. The cost of the Rachavadee Suite is right up there when paying with the New Zealand dollar.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Athens
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2009

Our stay in Ayara Hilltops hotel was amazing from all aspects. It seemed like this hotel had only pros, and nothing negative at all.

First of all, while we were still looking for a hotel to book and we found Ayara, it captivated us from the beginning. As soon as we arrived there, the receptionists and the G.M. welcomed us warmly and drived us to our room. It was stunning! That room is by far the best one we have ever stayed in! It was comfortable, spacy, super-clean, with an awesome view to the beach but the highlights were the spa in the balcony and the shower behind the room, outside (where nobody could see us of course). Furthermore, another pleasant surprise was the large pool of the hotel which we enjoyed a lot! Also, the breakfast was really delicious and although we were always a little late, the service was helpful, kind and polite. Moreover, another benefit were the cars that transfered us to our room since it was on the hills and it was tough for us to walk that much in the morning, as far as the going up to the room is concerned. Finally, a special thanks to Mr.Jean-Pierre, the general manager who helped us throughout our whole accomodation and to Mrs.Sompong, the sales manager, who was also very kind towards us.

If we had the chance to go again at the Ayara Hilltops hotel, we would definetely do it!!


Lori Lazarou-Anthony Athanasiadis, HELLAS

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Camberley, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2009

After a bit of careful research we ended up deciding on the Ayara Hilltops over such places as Twin Palms, and thank god we did. In our opinion this place simply can not fail to disappoint. We did actually walk round Twin Palms one day and boy what a disappointing sterile place that is! Ayara Hilltops is streets ahead.

We booked a Benjamart Suite with Seaview and right from the moment our taxi arrived we felt as if we were in a truly special place. The greeting and check-in was warm & friendly as expected, followed by a very quick tour of the pool/spa/gym etc… then quickly taken to our room by the resort buggy. The room was lovely, with separate lounge, good sized bedroom and fabulous bathroom with ample storage space. Décor is Thai contemporary, with good quality furniture, fully equipped and amazing sea view from the spacious balcony.

We used the gym everyday, which is spacious with an excellent range of equipment. The changing rooms, showers, lockers, steam room & sauna are all excellent as well. We used the spa once which was also 1st class. Considering there are only 48 suites in the resort, all public areas and facilities outside of the villas are very big and wonderfully decorated and cared for. Breakfast buffet was very nice, not the best, but nothing to complain about. I had different Thai food for breakfast everyday which was yummy! We ate at the restaurant several times and every time we were treated with lovely food and service. We tried room service which was again great, and their menu choices in general were huge, and catered for every possible taste.

The pool and surrounding area is just right for this kind of boutique hotel. Plenty of good quality sunbeds, parasols & towels etc… but there was never more then a handful of guests at the pool at any one time, mostly just us 2. Although we walked the beach more than once we did not sunbath there. We prefer relaxing by a pool, and besides the beach area was not amazing, and certainly not in the class of Chaweng Beach in Koh Samui.

The buggy service is great for trips to and from your room to reception, but they did refuse to take us to the beach after 8 o’clock one evening after doing so earlier in our stay which was surprising. Other things to mention: The road noise did not bother us one bit and the villas are very well spaced out and extremely private. Turn-down service every evening with homemade cookies, ice bucket re-filled twice daily, daily newspaper, DVD library in reception, beautifully manicured gardens & walkways. We really would struggle to find a single fault with this hotel.

There is a real feeling of private, relaxing luxury about this resort, and in our opinion it is the perfect romantic hideaway and an exceptional 5 star resort!

Glenn & Rachel Seery

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Ayara Hilltops Resort and Spa

Address: 125 Moo 3, Surin Beach, Srisoonthorn Road | Cherngtalay, Choeng Thale, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Thalang District > Choeng Thale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Choeng Thale
#4 Spa Hotel in Choeng Thale
#5 Luxury Hotel in Choeng Thale
#9 Family Hotel in Choeng Thale
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Ayara Hilltops Resort and Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The days are yours to create, ours to fulfill. Caters to ADULTS only (No Children)(No extra beds). An enclave of 48 LUXURY SUITES set in 23 Villas amidst sloping exotic gardens, taking advantage of the arresting views offered by the emerald green Andaman Sea.Facilities and service are inspired by the single goal of helping each guest create their own journey of respite from the rigors of civilization.Whether you venture only as far as the boundaries of the resort or go further afield, the days are yours to create and ours to fulfill.Welcome to the private world of Ayara Hilltops! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ayara Hilltops Hotel Thalang
Hotel Ayara Hilltops
Ayara Hilltops Resort And Spa Phuket, Thailand

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