I'll start by saying that I am a Diamond member with Hyatt, and stay more than 50 nights a year in a hotel, so I am a relatively experienced traveler and have a decent reference point with which to judge hotels. I chose to stay at Le Meridien in Phuket with Gold status because Starwood offered a better location than Hyatt. I stayed 5 nights to celebrate an anniversary.
Like others here, I'll recount the good, bad, and ugly to help you really read into the #10 ranking for this hotel. For reference, I most value the hotel's physical location, rooms, and service.
1) Stunning beachfront location from which you can see the sun set! Quiet, private, and quite a treat compared to the crowds and pace in nearby Karon or Patong.
2) Lots of resort activities available - I took a Thai boxing class one morning, played squash another day. It never felt overbooked. There is also a clinic on site in case you get sick.
3) The resident baby elephant that walks the beach twice a day to brighten up moods!
Now the Bad:
1) No beachfront food / beverage service --- it is self-serve from a few huts.
2) Food quality was lacklustre - we ate at all the restaurants during our 5 day stay. If you ordered fish, that's it --- you just got fish... without the embellishment and flavor you would expect out of finer hotel restaurants. Food was priced like other nicer hotels, so I was expecting more, especially when you can have a much cheaper meal outside of hotel doors.
3) I was put in an adjoining room, despite having previously requested a non-adjoining one. Our neighbors came back from partying in Patong at 4am one night and kept us up until 6am.
4) hotel felt overstaffed, yet service felt lacking -- lots of servers walking back and forth and immediately there to ask you what you need, but it never felt relaxing --- just rushed. In a nice restaurant, service feels attentive, but mostly invisible when things appear and disappear at the table, allowing the diners to focus on each other. In contrast at Le Med, they asked me several times whether I was done with my dinner as soon as I took a pause to digest. A better trained restaurant would know to look for the "signal" - fork and knife at 4 o'clock on the plate - and not approach the table before that unless they are asking how we are enjoying our meal. We felt our conversation interrupted repeatedly. Another example is the way they bring you the check in the morning as soon as they've brought you your breakfast... when there are plenty of open tables. This feels like you're rushing the customer. My final peeve is the way the staff will ignore you if you approach them --- unless you directly call for their attention. It might be cultural, but it doesn't work well in a western hotel. Another example -- we heard housekeeping break a glass in the hallway, and an hour later as we were leaving our room there were still large shards sitting out with no staff in sight. Very dangerous when you have children running around. I alerted the front desk on our way out.
1) Our room smelled like a sewer... so bad that I complained about it on several occasions. The first time, they sent housekeeping --- who just said it smelled "fine." I knew we weren't imagining it since the strong odor hit us every time we returned to the room, and in looking at other reviews, others had similar experiences. When I complained to the front desk again, they said that all the other rooms were booked. On a third try, they finally sent a candle diffuser --- which lasted about 15 minutes, and did nothing to mask the smell. We just tried to keep our deck door open, but at night this let in all the flies. This caused us to stay out of our room as much as possible, but I was mostly appalled they would even consider this room usable for a guest. This experience was exacerbated by point 2:
2) The staff speaks limited to no English, and vary in professionalism. I had a lot of trouble getting the phone service to understand that I was complaining about the smell in my room; so much so that I finally gave up. I asked the beach towel attendant where the Lobby was on the first day, and he could not understand me. By day 4, I memorized the few staff who had English proficiency at the front desk, and approached them directly for questions.
In short, I was very disappointed with my room and my experience with the staff at Le Meridien, and am not convinced there is any reason to bring my business to SPG. It wouldn't have been unbearable had we not gotten such a terrible smelling room as you could limit your interaction with the staff by eating elsewhere, but this hotel really needs to reconsider its room quality and service level to bring it to what I would expect from a Le Meridien class hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort is located on a lush cove on Phuket’s southwestern coast with a secluded 500-metre pristine white-sand beach. One of very few hotels on Phuket where guests can enjoy a tranquil secluded beach right next to the hotel without the need to cross a street or walk some distance. Le Meridien Phuket Beach offers 470 renovated rooms and suites. Enjoy a complete range of sports and recreational facilities with two oversized tropical swimming pools, shaded kids pool, lap pool, 6 tennis courts, 2 air-conditioned squash courts, 9-hole mini-golf, basketball court, and a dedicated on-site LM Family Kids Club (04-12 yrs) offering fun, creative, and educational programmes. All non-motorised watersports at the Resort are free for guests. Le Spa, awarded 'Amazing Resort Spa' at the 2013 Thailand Spa and Well-Being Awards, offers pampering treatments and luxurious programmes designed to rejuvinate and refresh the senses.There are 10 restaurants and bars offering the world's more popular cuisines. Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort is only 5kms away from Patong and Karon, Phuket's main entertainment and shopping districts and is a 90-minute drive from Phuket International Airport and 5 kms from the shopping and entertainment district of Patong. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Meridien Phuket Beach Hotel Karon
- Le Meridien Karon
- Meridien Phuket Beach Hotel
- Phuket Le Meridien
- Le Meridian Phuket
- Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort Karon