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“still a real treat...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Banyan Tree Phuket

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Banyan Tree Phuket
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   33, 33/27 Moo 4, Srisoonthorn Road | Amphur Talang, Phuket 83110, Thailand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 61 Hotels in Thalang District
London, UK
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“still a real treat...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2009

This was our second visit to the BT and third to the Laguna hotels (last visit 2002) This time we brought the children (10 and 6) for 7 nights. The BT is not necessarily aimed at children (as a "spa" hotel other guests were maybe hoping that there wouldnt be any children!), but we thought they would have a great time there and they did. They were by no means the only children in the resort. All in all we had a fantastic week and would definitely go back.
Our stay didnt get off to a great start as they didnt seem to be expecting us when we arrived, and so our check-in was a bit laborious - not great after a 20 hour journey. Eventually the cold towels, drink, flowers etc arrived. For the rest of our stay the smiling helpful and friendly staff were a highlight.
We had a Pool Villa, which are great. Other reviewers have detailed the facilities, so I just pick out our highlights. Plenty of space, and a good sized private pool and garden. The rooms were in decent condition and hadnt changed much in the last 6 years. Room highlights include excellent coffee machine (although make sure you order plenty of milk), outside sunken bath, great shower, free WiFi, good hifi, aromatherapy oils/candles and josticks with different scents each night. Housekeeping was a little bit hit and miss, and some items took 3 or 4 requests to arrive, but that may have been down to a language issue.
Breakfast was excellent. pretty much everything you would expect in a good 5 star international hotel buffet breakfast, and good Asian selection too. A complimentary champagne cocktail started every day with a kick.
The resort is quite spread out, but buggies arrive promptly to take you wherever you want. Our room happened to be 3 or 4 mins walk from the beach. All beaches are public in Thailand and so there are a couple of non-hotel bars and restaurants (basic Thai beach wooden shacks) on the beach by the hotel. Far from being a draw back, this is one of the reasons why we wanted to go to the BT so that we could eat informally on the beach in the evenings with the children, rather than in hotel restaurants. We ate several times on the beach - at the Lotus (5-10 mins walk south, though they will send a car) or nearer to the BT (the one on the left by the hotel towel kiosk had the best Tod Man Pla and the best Pad Thai we had in Thailand). Food was always excellent, although the Lotus has grown a lot since we first went there in 1998, and is a bit commercialised. The hotel has beds and shades on the beach, and a couple of hotel staff for towels, but not complimentary water / cold towels etc (at least not that we saw). You can order food / drinks from them from the hotel, although most people seemed to get a cold Singha or coconut from one of the beach bars. You can also have a cheap Thai massage on your sunbed. We didnt have any problems finding 4 sunbeds (see other reviews).
The hotel pool area is well laid out, and usually very quiet. The only real complaint we had during our stay related to this area. The pool area staff, and the pool bar/restaurant staff, were not on the ball. Particularly given how quiet it was, with rarely more than a dozen people by the pool (dont forget almost all villas have their own pool too), the service and attention (for pool towels, water, cold towels, trying to order food and drinks, bothering to switch on the various jets and lazy rivers in the pool etc) was not 5 star. We raised this with the v helpful F&B manager when we left and am sure this will have had his attention.
We did a few trips through the Laguna Tours desk at the hotel. We went snorkelling twice, hiring speedboats (2 crew) from one of the sub-contractors, Coral Seekers. They seem quite a small outfit but were excellent, with good boats and great crew. Price was about US$250-300 for a long half day, but if there are 4 of you then it is about the same price as going on a shared "tour" boat and 20 times better. We did the elephant trekking near Ban Pae waterfall. This was very commercialised and disappointing (OK, am glad to have ridden on an elephant) but you might be better off saving the driving time and go on an elephant ride in the Laguna complex near the Canal Village.
One night we had an in-villa barbecue. This was superb. We ordered for 2, but it fed 4. We had a chef and a waiter who brought a barbecue and set up dinner in the garden with table linen, flowers etc. and then cooked and served us all evening.
We used the spa once, which was excellent as expected. Didnt play golf or tennis this time, but have done before.
It is a great hotel. There are probably better hotels in the Far East, but it still must rank as one of the best, and although expensive, a Pool Villa is actually pretty good value for what you get. Compared to any hotel where you "just" get a room, however grand, this is in a different league. A great holiday.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2009

Arrived at the Banyan Tree with high expectations, and they were all met, with bells on.
Unfortunately during our stay, the unions/staff decided to go on strike (over some pay dispute?) and blockaded most, if not all of the access roads in and out of the resort.
While this offered a bit of inconvenience, the way that the staff managed the situation, under extremely difficult circumstances, didnt detract at all from our pleasurable stay, and the remaining staff (mostly management) did an extraordinary job to maintain some normailty and still provide a high level of service to guests.
In particular one of the Directors, Russell Loughland, seemed to be everywhere at all times, from early morning to early morning, talking to and reassuring us, driving guests around in buggies, making any arrangements for guests, and really made a big difference to our whole Banyan Tree experience, which was greatly appreciated (as it could easily have turned into been a disaster).
Would definitely recommend this resort for its stunning beauty and luxurious villas, but not least for caring, sharing and customer focused staff such as Russell. Thanks!

  • Liked — Great staff and fantastic accommodation
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
Provence, France
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2009

We had a great vacation at Banyan Tree Phuket! We splurged for the double pool villa, which well exceeded our expectations.
Upon arrival, your butler greets you with a mobile phone that reaches him at any time with the push of a button. luxury!
The villa was huge - amazing entrance with views onto the private swimming pool complete with glass jacuzzi overlooking the lagoon. There were four different outside areas for lounging/sunbathing on cushioned beds and a table with a large shade umbrella for eating. It was very beautiful and relaxing.
The inside of the villa was equally amazing - the study/tv room with bar was very comfortable with a deep daybed/sofa for lounging. The bathroom was huge with deep bathtub(filled with flower petals),shower-steam room, separate toilet,double sinks, a day bed and room to dance! fantastic!
The bedroom was to die for - huge amazing bed in the middle of the room with glass walls, surrounded by a shallow blue-tiled pool bordered by stone walls. Everything controlled by the push of a button on the bed console - even the automatic closing of the blinds and curtains.
We had a couples treatment at the spa - you are greeted and escorted to the large outdoor treatment room, and relax with a drink. Following that we had a massage on side-by-side treatment tables which was heavenly. The whole environment oozed tranquility and relaxation and after the treatment we relaxed again on the lounges with a ginger tea. perfect!
We loved the villa so much that we ordered room service for many meals as we did not want to leave it! Our 'butler' was great and made a mean cocktail!
We loved the Banyan Tree private beach. The complex is not directly on the beach but very close in any case. We found the beach very clean with nice sunbeds etc.. Very low key which enables you enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
One excursion that we did was the speedboat trip to different islands where you go kayaking in some caves/visit the 'James Bond' island etc. What a great day out. The boat was fast, roomy and new. The scenery spectacular. Refreshments on the boat were excellent as well.
All in all a superb holiday - we cannot wait to go back!!

  • Liked — The attention to detail all around
  • Disliked — Having to leave!
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2009

My wife and I arrived at 6 in the morning with a baby, and had therefore requested an early checkin if possible. so far so good, we got our room and went to sleep. When we woke up later that afternoon, we went for a walk to check out the place, found out that from our room there was a 10 mn walk to the beach. They recommended calling a golfbuggy to take you around. We thought it was right on the beach, but it shows that for 500 usd pr. night you only get the villa that is as far away as possible. The room was very dark and faced north so we had no sun in our garden, which resulted in an antfarm had moved into our so called garden. The beach was so so. We desided to leave the hotel after 3 days. when we told them that we were checking out, they threw a fit in the reception and demanded 100% compensation for all 14 days we had booked. eventhough is says on the terms and conditions that its 1 day penalty pay. We had a big argue with the management and finally they gave us the 1 day penalty as stated. when we recieved the bill they had charged us a full night for an early checkin (500$)
They must be desperate for business.

breakfast is excellent incl. the price. everything else cost an obseen amount of money, pure rip off. stupid and unnecessary.
It has a feel of profit first, clients second.
used ´70 ies feel over the hotel.

For the same price we found the Aleenta hotel a bit up the coast where we got a 200 m2 penthouse suite with own swimmingpool and spa. directly to the most beautiful beach. amazing place, new and contemperary style, very good value for money, check it out.

  • Disliked — dark room and backyard, didn´t feel comfitable nor wanted to hang put in the room
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2009

My wife and I stayed at the Banyan Tree for our honeymoon last November. Unfortunately, our stay was a mixture of good and bad.

We booked a "Pool Villa" through our travel agent. On arrival, we were offered an upgrade to a "Spa Pool Villa". While the upgrade was not cheap, it was a lot cheaper than if we had booked the "Spa Pool Villa" through our travel agent. After spending a day in our villa, some cracks started to appear in our Banyan Tree experience. The villa, while outwardly stunning, had a number of issues. The pool smelt musty and dirty, as if the water had not been run through the filters in a long time. Our jacuzzi was not working properly, nor was our steam room. We later learned that the resort was at 40% occupancy (due to the problems in Bangkok airport), which may explain why our villa was in such a poor state of repair.

After complaining to our "Resort Host" about these issues, repairs were arranged which resulted in us spending two days of our honeymoon sharing our villa with maintenance engineers while they attempted to fix the various issues. Needless to say, this was not the seclusion and luxury we expected (or paid for). Matters came to a head at the end of the second day when we spent the entire day looking at (and listening to) an engineer trying to fix our jacuzzi and we arranged to speak with a manager.

The manager, who we felt was genuinely apologetic and gracious, sensed our genuine disappointment and offered to upgrade us a "Double Pool Villa" which was absolutely fantastic. It was the correct response by management, but unfortunately, it was a little too late. We had to endure two days of stress before we started to relax and enjoy ourselves.

My advice, if you intend to stay at the Banyan Tree is to immediately check all of the facilities after you check in. If there are problems, let a "manager" know about them immediately. We made the mistake of allowing ourselves to be fobbed off by sub-ordinates for two whole days. It is obvious that the Banyan Tree do not put enough care and attention into ensuring their villas are suitable for receiving new guests. At these prices (about 600 euro per night for "Spa Pool Villa") there can be no room for such oversight. When customers are paying for perfection, they should receive perfection.

We also booked the Banyan Tree's "Intimate Moments" package. This experience had a to be cut short when our outdoor bath was overrun by ants. When we informed the management of this, we were told that "Thailand is a tropical country, you must expect ants". I understand that and expect a few insects, but I feel that there should be some effort by the hotel to ensure this area of the villa is not "infested" with ants. Another waste of money.

Also, the resort restaurants/bars are way too expensive and we found the service to be over-attentive and a little intrusive. It is also worth noting that the standard of English is also pretty poor among the resort staff, but this may not be important to you.

There were many positives at the Banyan Tree, however. The "Double Pool Villa" as you can tell from the photos here was absolutely fantastic. Very spacious, very secluded and immaculately furnished; absolutely no expense spared in these villas. The food, while expensive, was tasty and very good quality (we ordered mostly from room service, the prices are much the same in the resort's restaurants). We also ate at a restaurant on the beach called "Lotus" which I'd highly recommend; it operates a free shuttle bus to and from the Banyan Tree.

I would also recommend the resort's "Sanya Rak Dinner Cruise" where you enjoy your evening meal cruising on the lagoon in a longtail boat. Definitely a highlight of our trip.

While the remainder of our stay in the "Double Pool Villa" at the Banyan Tree was great, I do not believe the resort is worth the price tag. It's undoubtedly a 5-star resort, but unfortunately, our stay was merely 2-star.

  • Liked — Pool
  • Disliked — Service, problems with villa
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
179 reviews 179 reviews
104 hotel reviews
Reviews in 94 cities Reviews in 94 cities
439 helpful votes 439 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2009

After booking a year in advance we were very much looking forward to Christmas and New Year at the Banyan Tree. We booked a deluxe two bed villa although we tried to book a double pool 2 bed villa over this period and was told by our tour operator we would have to pay an additional £40,000 for the privilege (yes that's right, I haven't added another '0' in error!!). Obviously we thought this was a total rip off/money grabbing option and stayed with the deluxe villa.

It was disappointing! We had high expectations which tied in with the high price charged. Our welcome was good and friendly but when we arrived at our villa it was run down and not particularly clean. Dust everywhere, dirty jacuzzi (cleaned the next day), stains on rugs and furniture, ripped cushions on garden furniture, TV not working and the following day the air conditioning unit flooded our bathroom!!

Not a good start!

For 2 Nights we did upgrade to a double pool villa (for £200 per night !!) and wow - what a difference. It seemed to us that a lot of money had been put into these upmarket villas but at the expense of the main core business of the hotel.

To keep ALL guests happy there needs to be investment in the main body of the hotel otherwise the Banyan Tree's reputation will go downhill.

Food and drinks were very expensive but you would expect this of such a hotel. The majority of staff however were friendly and helpful and genuinely wanted to please the guests.

We would return to the doublepool villas if we won the lottery but would give the other villas a miss until some investment made in their refurbishment

  • Liked — double pool villas
  • Disliked — Run down delux villa and money grabbing attitude of management
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2009

So if you look for a small intimate and very private beach bungalow as in let's say Maldives this location its a definitive NO GO. I was in many similar priced resorts around the world and all with no exception were a way better experience as this resort in Phuket. Ive stayed in a Plunge Pool Villa (no.105) which is ok more or less except the following facts: separation between bedroom and bath is almost nonexistent and you can hear a large variety of noises from that area if let's say you still try to sleep and your partner is already awake and goes to toilet or wants to take a shower; you don't have any outside view, except a concrete fence, which also allows the persons walking in front of it to take a peek directly in your bedroom. Breakfast was also an unpleasant surprise, the variety of food you can choose is very limited compared with other resorts of this type and price. Beach is not a resort private beach since in Phuket all beaches are public with local beach business allowed on them so you can't expect being intimate or very well cared as in a resort with its private beach of this price. Restaurants and SPA have sky-high prices much more expensive than in other resorts of this type. Staff its very polite and friendly but at some point when you take in account how much you payed and what you get for the money you start not to care too much about the friendliness of the staff. So as a bottom line if you look forward to invest in a $10k+ trip to paradise you can find much better options than this one.

  • Liked — room internet connection
  • Disliked — room intimacy and view
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Banyan Tree Phuket

Address: 33, 33/27 Moo 4, Srisoonthorn Road | Amphur Talang, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Thalang District
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Thalang District
#4 Business Hotel in Thalang District
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Thalang District
#8 Spa Hotel in Thalang District
#8 Family Hotel in Thalang District
#8 Romantic Hotel in Thalang District
#9 Luxury Hotel in Thalang District
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Banyan Tree Phuket 5*
Number of rooms: 123
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Also Known As:
Banyan Tree Phuket Hotel Thalang
Hampton Inn Cherngtalay
Banyan Tree Phuket Cherngtalay
Banyan Tree Phuket Thailand

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