The Connect Guesthouse is part of the Paradise Complex. This was one of the early prestigious tourists developments in Patong. But neglect, mismanagement, lack of maintenance, a diversity of residents and the Thai way of community living has meant it is now in parts quite rundown and shabby. But it is also a very real place full of real people from all walks of life. Poor and affluent, foreigner and thai, gay and straight, old and young, fashionable and grotty, clean and derelict, sophistcated and eccentric, all living together in that unique Thai tolerance and non judgemental acceptance of each other. That is what makes the place so special, so different, so charming.
If you have come looking to be pampered in indolent luxury and comfort then the Connect Guesthouse will disappoint you. You will be in the middle of the gay district with all that entails in the form of noise, colour and mayhem. That is what makes this place both so appealing and repelling at the same time.
The staff are not professionally trained hospitality employees. They are ordinary thai, young and often from quite remote rural areas, working in for them a very foreign environment.
To a sophisticated western tourist what appears as rudeness and laziness is more likely to be shyness, their laid back rural attitude, or misunderstanding of a foreign language, prorities and culture.
As a regular guest at Connect I see this as an asset to be valued, because I see them as the real Thai. People with flaws but also people that are genuine. They are not the plasticised, McDonaldised product of a 5 star international tourist standard. You can find them anywhere in the world and they are all identical.
The facilities in the guesthouse mirror the districts pluses and minuses. The room I always ask for is in an annex building so I avoid the noise of the main bar street and yes I have to walk through a local laundry shop/house run by a thai family who have to put up with all these foreigners walking through their living room. Unperturbed they would always greet me with a warm smile and wai of recognition. My room was small but had a lovely Juliet balcony from which I could be entertained by the street activity below. The wi-fi and the aircon worked well though the TV did not. It was acceptably clean and the maids were prepared to change the linen daily but I asked them not to.
Patong is a tourist town so prices are inevitably inflated but I found the prices at Connect fair and reasonable and overall good value.
I have no problems staying their but it may not be the sort of experience every visitor to Phuket is looking for.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.