After nearly fourteen years this 'Swedish owned and managed guesthouse' has been sold; it is now a 'French owned and managed guesthouse'.
I've been a frequent guest of the place for years, often as much as three visits a year, and have watched it grow to more than just a place to rest my head. It became a place to meet and spend time over drinks or a meal with friends from all over the world, and to often meet new friends.
Have things changed? It is too soon to tell, but on a recent stay over the end of November it is decidedly more empty.
Perhaps this might have been due to the flooding in Bangkok which gave visitors pause on whether they could get to Phuket; however Phuket has an international airport with direct flights from both Europe, Australasia, and Asia. Or perhaps the continuing uptick on reported violence or crimes against tourists has winter sunseekers looking for friendlier receptions in Bali or other sunshine destinations. Or perhaps in general international travel is taking a hit from the downswing in the economies worldwide.
I don't know, but for what should have been the beginning of the 'high season', Connect was empty. No guests in the rooms, and few if any folks in its usually bustling café; no host roaming the restaurant stopping to welcome those who stopped by for a drink or meal.
The staff remains their usual gracious and helpful selves. The meals were still of good quality and great value. I did note new bed linens in the rooms, though the heavier duvets did make me want to turn the aircon to 16°C rather than the energy-saving 22°C. The free internet connection has been boosted to fibre, which is incredibly good for such a remote location.
Patong has changed. The quality of the beach at Patong continues to spiral downward with its murky brown water, and plethora of touts onshore. If you have some transport, the beaches south of Patong, such as Karon or Kata, are still blazingly white and the waters crystal clear. However public transportation continues to be a problem, especially compared to Bangkok.
Patong's nightlife is increasingly loud, and the louts and sex tourists continue to wash ashore unabated. So if peace and quiet is difficult if that is what you're looking for. Violence against visitors is more reported.
But let's give Connect a chance. Let us see if the new management can make a go of what has been a reliably excellent yet economical independent guesthouse. Only time will tell.
Choose a room towards the back of the house, or in one it the adjacent buildings, if you want to avo...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.