After the crazy long haul's from the East coast of the US and an exhausted overnight in Bangkok, it was an absolute breeze to take the short flight from Bangkok to Phuket and be picked up by the Trisara folks. The small Volvo SUV wouldn't have the panache of the rides our other properties would provide, but it was a brand spanking new comfy ride. Water and scented towels were provided for the trip to the resort. We travelled in late June, and folks, the island is DEAD. Most of the shops and restaurants we passed were shuttered.
Finally, we arrived at the resort, tucked into a hillside. There was an upper level check in, but as it was occupied when we arrived, we were taken down to the another lobby area where the hotel's main amenities are located. Check in was a breeze, and the little tour of the restaurants, library, pool, etc. was a welcome way to get our bearings.
We booked the least fancy room category, the ocean view pool room, but were told upon arrival that they would upgrade us after the first night. Honestly? Did we need the upgrade? NO! The pool room was GORGEOUS and very large. Of course, the resort was no where near fully booked, but we felt the room was very private. I can believe that if you had noisy neighbors (or plan on making a ruckus yourself), you might prefer one of the private villas, but we would have been fine.
That said, we didn't turn down the upgrade to the pool suite, which had the exact same bedroom/bathroom, with an additional living area and spa bathroom and a full size pool/deck. Gorgeous.
Views from both pavilions were breathtaking and nearly identical... Not sure that I would desire one of the ocean "front" villas--not sure what kind of a gain that would be. These villas at the top of the hill seemed to have better views.
Restaurant was very good, but not excellent. Breakfast was the best part of the day. Were we to return to Phuket, I would want to go during a busier period so that there were more places to dine around the area. Service was EXTREMELY friendly but seemed ... I've struggled to put the right word to it. It's not that they were poorly trained, or poorly managed... Perhaps they have poor instincts? Or are too shy? Sometimes it seemed like they were afraid to come over and refill your water glass. This took away from the experience a bit.
We spent most days at our villa pool, but did spend a bit of time at the resort pool. It couldn't have a more gorgeous setting; however, it was much hotter down there than it was up on the hill at our villa. Also, again, the service? Severely lacking. Had to chase down our own drinks and staff to help with umbrellas, etc. It was decidedly peculiar how people acted, as if they didn't want to offend you by bringing you a drink. Made me wonder about previous guests! The beach was a bit of a disappointment. It was beautiful, certainly, but up close, oh MY was it littered with trash. The staff, in this case, was doing a phenomenal job, raking all the time, but they just couldn't keep up with the amount of litter coming in from the sea. We had NO desire to sit on the beach, much less swim.
Our favorite time was spent at the villa, and we had a number of meals there. The room service was very speedy and in some ways provided better service than the restaurant.
I highly recommend the spa--very unique experience. The spa suites are at the very top of a hill and entirely private. The views are incredible--something amazing about taking your steam and having tea on your little patio overlooking the sea. Facial, massage, and exfoliation were all well performed and left me feeling pampered and relaxed.
All in all, it was a wonderful, relaxing experience. If you are looking for luxe privacy in SE Asia, this resort should top your list. Should it be a destination in and of itself? Not from the East Coast of the US. If you just want a beach/island vacation, you can have a similarly lovely experience in the Caribbean.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- South East Asia's most intimate and exclusive resort & spa. A sanctuary of privacy, space and simple good taste with supreme service. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Trisara Phuket Hotel Thalang
- Trisara Hotel Nai Thon
- Trisara Nai Thon
- Trisara Phuket Thailand