We found the reviews on Trip Advisor for the Vogue resort helpful and we booked knowing the positives and the pitfalls, so this review is our confirmation and comment on what we found. The Vogue was one of five 4 or 4 half star hotels we stayed in across Thailand in September 2012. There are a number of positives to emphasise but also some contradictions and issues if you scratch below the surface.
The booking process direct with the hotel's operations manager was straightforward and went without a hitch. We were offered a very good rate on-line and a complementary upgrade which influenced our choice. The manager's advice received was helpful and the responses to inquiries promptly handled. We checked other booking sites and found booking direct with the hotel was the best price. We booked for 3 days with breakfast and the upgrade was forthcoming despite the manager being on leave during our stay. His replacement manager provided courteous attention at check in, offered a choice of rooms away from the noisy main street and looked after requests such as especially acquiring an electronic mosquito repellant for the room and a mattress topper as the beds, as is a norm in Thailand, are indeed hard. With no elevator the staff carry the luggage up to the upper floor rooms and must be admired for that.
The hotel's location is actually very good compared to others in Ao Nang. We researched this before booking and made the right choice especially related to the price. It is a short walk (250 metres) to the main beachfront street and Ao Nang beach where the long boats go to and from Rai Ley beach. This beach and the neighbouring spectacular Phra Nang beach are a 'must visit' for a day - fixed price and watch for the price trap on the return trip (see my earlier review of Phra Nang beach). There are great seafood restaurants near the Vogue and street food stalls every evening if that is your choice.
The hotel is in reality a 3 half star resort but is still very well priced (in the low season). This is reflected in some aspects of the room, the bathroom and breakfast. The upper floor premium deluxe (upgraded) room was spacious, clean, well kept but also rustic and somewhat dated. It has traditional heavy Thai furnishings with a four posted hard bed and mosquito netting. There is comfortable chairs and desk and seating on a large balcony with plenty of scope for drying laundry and with spectacular limestone cliff views. The balcony overlooks the pool. There are also impressive ocean views from the walkway on the other side of the room out across the Andaman Sea.
The hotel was obviously built some time ago on a slight hillside site to accommodate the views and to incorporate a shaded tree dominated inner area on the site, with some wildlife, which was pleasant. We knew the resort had no elevator (the hotel does not disguise this at all) and yes the climb to the top floor was a challenge in the heat but you soon adapted to the challenge. We choose to be at the top as this provided the wonderful views.
We also knew about the "open" bathroom / toilet arrangements in the premium deluxe rooms and having viewed both room types adjusted to the arrangements. There is a spa bath in these premium deluxe rooms. Overall the bathroom was just acceptable, it is larger than some in such Thai hotels, the shower box goes back in time to the days of rustic tiles, the toiletries are basic but the water pressure was good throughout our stay. The toilet flush has a real technique to it, it requires a double action approach with a short delay, otherwise you are inclined to think it is not working. Ask the housekeeping staff to demonstrate.
The pool was a good size with plenty of sunloungers and is located in the centre of the resort area. There are actually two pools, one for children. There is one free wifi PC in the lobby area, but perhaps the keyboard needs attention - in fact it needs a new one ! The resort has its own mini supermarket attached with comparable prices to the main street. The breakfast was very average. There are some good features but management might well give this some attention when compared with what is now offered at other similar hotels. Bacon is not served everyday and must be asked for, the hot food range, cereal and fruit were basic, bread choice could be improved although the muffins and pastries were better than some. If you ask they will provide real coffee and generally the staff were attentive and obliging responding to requests. The service at the Vogue is one of their high points - respond positively and they try very hard to overcome some of the slightly dated features and they generally succeed - we did not have any language problems at all.
We also stayed for 3 days at the Centara Anda Dhevi at the other end of Ao Nang. The two are totally different hotels - each with some strengths and particular features. The Vogue in comparison is not new, aspects are dated especially the bathrooms, it is a smaller establishment and does not have the breakfast quality. What it does have is personal service and attention, a certain quirkiness in design, the views and larger rooms, a very good location for meals and shopping, a great price for the premium deluxe room, and it is not overrun with children throughout the lobby and in the pool as we encountered elsewhere. My review of Centara is on Trip Advisor.
Thanks for your staff''s attention and service Torgrim, we hope to return to The Vogue.
Away from main street late evening noise and look for an upgrade on-line
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.