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“Compared to Fawlty Towers, this resort is worse...”

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Chanalai Garden Resort
Ranked #12 of 56 Hotels in Kata Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Compared to Fawlty Towers, this resort is worse...”
Reviewed May 15, 2012

I have stayed at many hotels/motels/resorts over the years, and this one would struggle to make a 2 star, let alone being classified as a 4 star.
Like Buster and Bailey's review, my experience with Tropical Garden Resort was the worst I have ever experienced.
The staff, just did not want to know you, they used their lack of the English language as a block to deny your requests, in particular if you left your key in the holder in the room.
The hostess at the breakfast, was a cold as ice with her demeanour, when a mistake was made by our Travel Agent, (another post on this one) she literally would not let my wife or myself go back to the room to get the details so that we could sort it out.
She was imposing, intimidating and inflexible, just for a lousy $20 (AUD). By the way, the food was horrible, so we ended up going down the road for breakfast at the Black Canyon Cafe where the breakfast tasted good, service was good, and only cost us on average $10 (AUD).
The maintenance of the property is in a bad state of affair, broken, jagged concrete near the swimming pole, lack of painting and general maintenance. The shower leaked like a sieve.
The swimming pool has signs around it, the web page and other literature state that the pool is open until 7:00 p.m., this was not the case, staff shut the bar, locked the towels etc at 5:00 p.m. and buggered off.
Waited in the bar in the lobby for over 30 mins to get a drink, requested at the front counter twice before someone attended. Then I had wait another 30 mins to get another drink. Obviously this place in ran on a shoe string and grossly understaffed, and the staff that had to work there are unhappy and un-accomadating.
So un-accomadating that we avoided the lobby at all costs.
Security was a shambles, I am not an expert but, the key in the holder advises their network of your presence, when you open your door etc... so when you enter, the phone rings, you lift the receiver up, hang up, this then lets security know that you are safely in your unit, which is good.
But you can walk all over this place (it is a large compound) and go to places where as a visitor you should not go, and you never get challenged.
Voids, cabinets and control rooms have broken doors or are unlocked etc making it easier to cause havoc if you were that way inclined. I only found one security camera, and I doubt on whether that thing works.
A claim by the webpage with regards to the Superior Room (which we had) had access to WiFi, what they don't tell you, is that you have to pay for it. It is based on time use, and constantly drops out, which means your time use, is used rapidly for low results, plus if you don't log off, it will run out if left logged in.
To top it all off, they had a guy on their staff who claims he is an Aussie, but his accent will tell you otherwise, even the resort staff had doubts about his origin. I am not sure on what his role is.
This all may sound negative, which it is, but I would like to compliment one staff member who is exceptional and her name is Sammy, she is not of Thai origin, which made her more friendlier than any others.
I also would like to note that upon arrival, like others, my room was not ready even though we booked way back in January. The resort appeared to be only 5% - 10 % booked while we were there, so we had to wait 2 hours before we could go to our room.
The Fitness Centre just did not exist, even though it is mentioned in the advertising. Don't despair, the stair climbing will help towards your fitness.
We did tip the Bellboys handsomely (and I mean handsomely - a days pay or more) thinking that this will make our stay a pleasant experience, but things went downhill from there.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank The_Rickos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Ballina, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2012

We arrived and promptly we shown our room, up 3 very steep steps of 40 odd steps, then an old lift that worked some times, so if it didnt we had towalk another 3 flights of steps. Day Two the toilet would not flush, we had staff fix it, then day 3 same thing, so we told reception that we were going out to dina and have it fixed while we were away, came back 3 hours later and the smell of sewerage stunk us out and then 3 hours for them to fix the problem, that day they went crook at me for having the balcony door open, I was gagging at the stink and wanted to sit on the balcony, at 11 pm they had it unblocked, but the cleaning staff was off duty so I had to end up cleaning it myself. We also got them to fix the TV that came off the ark, they did by belting it on the side. Day 4 same thing happened, we demanded another room. They told my husband that he didnt know how to flush the toilet so it would not block.
So the knew room had a better view, but we had to walk another 44 steep steps and use another lift up 3 flights of stairs, this lift was always working, thank God as I could not have walked up many more steps. No toilet issues, but the TV in this room had sound issues- worked, then didnt for the next hour then would work. ALso every morning the power stopped working for about an hour.
We spent most of the time across the road on the beach, awesome beach as we didnt use the pool as I realised that there was no filter working. We accidentally used a bottle of water from the bar fridge, so we went across the road and purchased the exact same bottle and replaced it, but we were issued with a bill as the resort uses a DYMO label maker and writes the name of the resort and puts it on all product in the fridge, the head of the housekeeping rang me on the phone and was so rude to me, totally rude. Management is rude and staff is also. Dont ask for late checkout, it is plain in their ads, and their own resort book they leave in your room, but ask for it and the response is a flat NO, we dont do late checkout. The whole resort is tired looking and needs some TLC and knew staff, but you get what you pay for I guess. Love Phucket and have been there many times, but dont use this resort. Not for the elderly or those with prams. Breakfast was average.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank busterandbailey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2012

For those guests that find steps difficult think hard before booking this hotel! Just getting up to the hotel lobby there are many steps to negotiate. The hotel is built on many levels and there is only a lift from the second floor to the fourth. To get from the lobby to the second floor there are many steep steps to negotiate which can be very hard when the temperature is very warm!

This hotel is situated on the quiet end of Kata beach so there is no problem with noise.

We arrived at the hotel after a long flight from the UK and were told that our room was not ready. They tried to give us a garden room when we had upgraded our room as it was our Ruby wedding anniversary. We had to wait until our room was ready in the Lobby of the hotel. After a long flight to Thailand it was not what you expected to hear!

However the room that we were given had a lovely view over the sea.It was very clean and tidy and the house keeping was excellent! We had clean bed linen and towels every day! However the decor is a little tired and needs updating! The beds are very hard and uncomfortable!!!

The staff at this hotel are very friendly and nothing is too much trouble!

We booked this hotel on a half board basis. Beware!!! Half board is not really half board. They allow you 400thai bhats for your evening meal which barely covers the cost of your meal let alone drinks. The hotel runs theme nights so you have to pay extra for those nights. The breakfasts are good but the food in the evenings is terrible and very greasy!

Room Tip: Think of your fitness level! Climbing these steps are very difficult!!
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank marianogracinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2012

I made my reservation with this place 6 months before arriving. I was very specific in my request and confirmed it several times via email before arriving.
I had even my pickup arranged by the hotel so naturally I assumed that they were well aware of the time we were to be arriving at the hotel.
On arriving though.......the staff told us that the people who were meant to check out of our room would not leave and they could not give us our room. Quite frankly, this was not my problem. We had travelled for a long time to get there and by this stage we were very tired and just wanted to sleep. They made us wait in the foyer for 2 hours before then telling us they still had not sorted the problem out, meanwhile our luggage was still sitting in the middle of the driveway and no one seemed to want to move it. We ended up going for lunch and came back at 2pm and told them if they hadnt sorted out the issue then we would be leaving. Returned at 2pm to find they had forgotten about sorting out our reservation and we were still without a room.
Turns out they didnt want to show us other rooms available until we started getting quite vocal and angry.
We FINALLY got a room 5 hours later, and as magical as it was, that first day, it was very hard to enjoy because of the way the staff behaved.
If they had any brains, they would never had admitted to the mix up and gave us one of the alternative rooms right away instead of being sneaky about it all.
Cleaning staff I found to be overly eager to clean our room. There were some days where we would want to sleep in or have an afternoon nap and they would keep knocking on our door to clean the room, regardless of whether or not the DND sign was there. Very rude and disrupting.
Breakfast, the standard asian hotel stuff, pretty average and full of grumpy europeans who are hell bent on never making eye contact or smiling at anyone.
Was told there was a fitness room and it was one of the reasons we chose that particular hotel. Turns out there isn't one.
Loved the rooms and loved the view...........the staff just need to get their act together and realise who is working for who.
If I had my time again, I would pay a little bit extra and go elsewhere.
Pool with the waterfall is gorgeous however and its in a great location, walking distance from beach and laundromat.
This is my 5th time to Phuket and the worst place I've stayed at thanks to the service.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank natandbrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2012

We really enjoyed our stay here. Beautiful grounds and lovely pool. We didn't use the gym or pool tables, so can't comment. Breakfast was good with lot's of choices. The front desk staff was very helpful with trip planning and checking in. One morning we had to leave early and they packed us breakfast. As you have probably read, there are a lot of stairs between elevators to certain rooms... But that is how you get the amazing view. It wasn't a problem for us as we are young and fit (I like to think). One major PLUS was a bath tub and unlimited HOT water!!! This is actually hard to come by I realized in Thailand. This was the only place we booked that had a bathtub and really hot water. It was really nice. The poolside cocktails were a little pricey but they have happy hour. Across the road is a beach with some restaurants and a funky bar. I would definitely return. Coming here was a great escape from Patong!!!!!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank FeatheredFox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
muek, Manager at Chanalai Garden Resort, responded to this review, April 9, 2012
How delighted we are to learn that you had wonderful stay with us. Thank you very much for your review. We all are looking forward to seeing you in the near future.

Jimmy R
Customer Relation Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2012

I stayed at this place end February 2012. I had just check ahead some names of hotels at Kata beach, before taking my plane. At the airport I checked some of thoses hotels and could negociate quite well the price for 2 nights. Once arrived at the hotel, nice reception, good room in the front building and small view on the beach, so very happy.
During the night a storm came over and suddenly I heard a big explosion, sleeping and got quite scared. I called the reception to know what happened as I had no more electricity, thus no aircon either, they told me it would be back in 10 minutes. After falling asleep, a second explosion occured and again I called the reception, this time no answer and heared a generator working, as it was just next to my room, I could sleep from 1am, first explosion till the morning.
In the morning I asked to be relocated in the hotel, what was done in the afternoon to a quiet room with great view on the beach and received also a compensation for the night, as you are there for holiday!

The hotel facilities are good, nice pools, good breakfast, just not that easy to find your way and for elder people it can be challeging as there are not that much elevators and many stairs!
Just also, It is not a stared hotel, service is good, just be patient as the staff doesn't speak very well english!
Recommend it if you don't want to stay in Patong and have a higher budget.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank valevh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
muek, Manager at Chanalai Garden Resort, responded to this review, April 5, 2012
Dear sir,

Thank you very much for your review. We are very happy to learn that you had a plesant stay with us. Please note that the electricity blacked out on your mentioned period as there was inconvenience caused from the main Electricity system of Kata City. However every was sorted out within the following day. We do apologise for any inconvenience that has caused to you stay.

We wish to have a chance to welcome you back in the near future

Jimmy R
Customer Relation Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2012

Lovely fully equipped hotel close to beautiful quiet kata beach. Food was great-room service was quick and delicious. Lots of stairs to our room although they have lifts.
Rooms were large and presented well. Loved the staff as they were very attentive and made out stay a pleasure. The hotel has two pools with swim up bars. Very good value for money and would highly recommend.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tones78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
muek, Manager at Chanalai Garden Resort, responded to this review, February 5, 2012
Thank you very much for your review. We are glad to learn that you had a wonderful stay with us. We wish to have a chance to welcome you back.
" At Tropical Garden Resort, we care"

Yours
Jimmy Customer relation Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chanalai Garden Resort

Property: Chanalai Garden Resort
Address: 247 Kata Road, Kata Beach, Kata Beach, Karon, Phuket 83100, Thailand (Formerly Tropical Garden Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Karon > Kata Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Kata Beach
#11 Luxury Hotel in Kata Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Chanalai Garden Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 206
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally located on the small peaceful beach town of Kata, the Chanalai Hotels and Resorts offers the three elegant different hotel styles, depending on your budget and taste namely: Chanalai Garden Resort overlooks the Andaman Sea and offers an environment that helps you escape your everyday cares. Chanalai Garden Resort, a four-star sea view resort, located on the small hill over looking the Andaman Sea and a minute walk to the beach.Retreat your self with sea sun sand on tropical island of Phuket. Just one block from Kata Beach, the resorts easily access to the nearby shopping areas and natural tourist spots on the island. Only 25 mins to Phuket and Patong and 15 minutes away to Promthep Cape,the most spetecular sunset view point on the island.The resort is outstandlingly located on the lush tropical foliage hill side overlooking Andaman Sea and just 200 metres away to Kata beach.Varied choices of eateries shopping,diving shop,surfing shop and some tourist spots close by ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tropical Garden Hotel Kata Beach
Tropical Garden Kata
Tropical Garden Resort Phuket
Chanalai Garden Resort Phuket/Kata Beach

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