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“I would go back to Thailand just for this hotel”

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SALA Phuket Resort and Spa
Ranked #5 of 15 Hotels in Mai Khao
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 20, 2014

Very nice and quiet, relaxing hotel. Fantastic staff from the front management to the waiters.
Nice beach. Very nice rooms.The breakfast was fantastic. I would go back to Thailand just for this hotel.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank Yvette66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SLP_Manager, Manager at SALA Phuket Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2014

Dear Signature Yvette66, WOW! Thank you ever so much for your wonderful review. We really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience which we have shared with our entire team and truly look forward to you returning in the near future. Our best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014, the SALA Management.

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Reviewed January 19, 2014 via mobile

Check in a bit contrived; arrive, sit, drink, wait, go to room, sign for room. Guests cannot just check in, get a key anf toddle off.

Stayed in a room, not a villa. The room is ok, but not 5 star. Bed was very comfortable, room appointments merely ok. Toilet, bath, and shower were outside the room, requiring the pull of a large curtain for privacy. Again, a bit contrived.

The real problem was the bar, and especially the restaurant. Service, service, service! Isn't it obvious being hotels and restaurants are core to the SERVICE industry? One expects prompt service at a purported 5 star facility. Not here. It is almost a self serve establishment. Once finally able to order, mixed drinks take quite long to arrive. Better stick to beer if you are thirsty.

The biggest disappointment is the food. I ordered a baby spinach salad, which arrived in a reasonable time. However, it was poorly constructed, not well seasoned, and wasn't made with baby spinach. The main course, a simple Thai dish, did not arrive until more than one hour after the salad arrived, which I didn't out of disgust. A long wait without tye smallest appology or explanation is truly inexcusable. In addition, the breakfast the next morning consisted of cold, hard scrambled eggs, an inedible potato concoction, and un-chewable bacon. Seriously? This kitchen is absolute rubbish.

This place is quiet, serene, and has great beds. If that is your goal, great, just eat somewhere else.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
2  Thank BNiebeling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SLP_Manager, Manager at SALA Phuket Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2014

Dear Signature BNieling, it is disappointing that you were so upset with the restaurant in this review especially as our Food & Beverage Manager assisted you fully and did his utmost to recover the situation to which you seemed more than happy with at the time. It is very unfortunate as the situation was not made any easier with you shouting and disturbing other guests in the resort. We hope that you will have more of an agreeable and enjoyable stay upon your return. The SALA Management

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Reviewed January 18, 2014

Pros:
- set on a quiet isolated beach, 20mn from the airport, secluded only a handful of 5 stars resort, all located about 50m off the beach, which means they are not visible from the beach so it does feel secluded.
- architecture delight (spa and pool areas are most pleasant)

Cons:
- Management seem to have set so many rules that the staff blindly applies, which ends up in a "no, not possible" reply for a lot of random request. When you are looking for a rest, it does not feel relaxing at all to be answered "no" to most of your request. eg: you can not order more than 1 hot dish at a time at breakfast time, which means that taking breakfast take ages as they require you to finish your plate before ordering another one. eg 2: they had outdoor movie and asked if I could bring my plate to watch the movie (which is 20m from the table), staff said no. eg 3: you can not borrow more than 2 DVD at a time, while obviously they had lots of them... The list continues endlessly. During a 3 nights stay, there was so many exemples like that that it ruined the whole stay. When you have only 50 rooms, you expect a personalized service, which was not provided.After being answered "no" to about 2 to 3 requests per day, you feel unhappy and like a 5 years old kid.
- You are about 40-50mn ride from the southern beach animation, and there is literaly nothing around. So you are pretty much on your own and stuck with the hotel. Taxi is very expensive on a daily basis to move around.
- Spa, food is expensive, and as you have no other choice and choice is limited, so you get bored (after 4 days, was fed up with their food as all meals were taken there).
- Check in and check out was particularly lousy, long, and unfriendly (20mn for check in). You feel like you are just a credit card. Most unpleasant experience.
- Overpriced by Phuket standards.
- Balcony rooms are facing each other so limited privacy, while villas are walled villas so you have no views. Make sure you request a South facing villa if you want your pool to get sunlight.

Overall:
The service, or management, is way to strict. Atmosphere is not relaxing at all.
It is ashamed as the location and facilities are quite an architect's delight, which I am.
As for now, and unless they modify the way they manage the place, I definitaly DO NOT recommand the Sala, as there are many more friendly options in Phuket.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled on business
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1  Thank Richard N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SLP_Manager, Manager at SALA Phuket Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2014

Dear Signature Richard N, thank you for choosing SALA Phuket Resort & Spa for your vacation and for your review. It’s wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your pool villa and our secluded location in the picturesque Sirinath National Park on the longest and most undeveloped beach in Phuket. In respects to the niggly issues you mention, it’s regrettable that these were so upsetting and detracted from you enjoying the splendor of the location and our 79 villa resort to which you stayed. We will look at these as we truly aim to impress all our guests and constantly strive to erratic any issues as soon as they have been made aware to us. We have many returning guests who enjoy the splendor and service excellence we usually provide, we hope you will give us another opportunity to impress you in the future. Let us wish you all the best for the year ahead, the SALA Management Team

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Reviewed January 16, 2014

As we pulled up at reception we were impressed with the design of the resort - it's beautiful. We had some ginger iced tea and received flower garlands and cool towels; and were then taken to our villa. Unfortunately, even though it was the middle of the day when we arrived, our little garden had no sun, and we asked to move. The staff kindly upgraded us to a better villa, which we were much happier with. We had to wait for housekeeping to finish cleaning, but went down to the pool to have a drink.

Having sat down for around 10 minutes at the pool bar with no service, I decided to go and order our drinks myself. It took at least another 10 minutes for our two glasses of Prosecco to be poured and brought over. I could have done it myself in 30 seconds. We finished those, and no one came over to ask whether we wanted another. At this point we were starting to get a little tired of waiting for our room to be cleaned, but decided to have another drink. We waited even longer for these to arrive, so by the time our room was ready, we had to cancel the order.

The little villa was beautiful, and being able to choose your pillow, soap and body lotion was a nice touch; as well as the sarongs, thai trousers, sun hats and baskets that they provide for you to use during your stay. We were keen to get our swimsuits on, and get in the pool, but unfortunately it took almost an hour for our bags to arrive at our room.

As part of our dinner that night we had a free dinner. I thought the food was good, but the service again was somewhat lacking, and my mother had trouble communicating her specific dietary needs to the staff. Her risotto was on the uncooked side of al dente.

The selection at breakfast was disappointing compared to many other 5* hotels I've stayed at. The focus was on the a la carte stuff, which was a bit hit and miss for me. The buffet selection was fairly meagre.

The following day was New Year's Eve, and the hotel had put on a programme of drinks, food and entertainment, which we decided we wanted to take part in. The menu sounded good, but they charged the exact same price for the vegetarian option, which seemed to me to not be as good value as the normal menu. Drinks were included however which was great, since wine can be quite expensive out there. My mother couldn't eat the vegetarian menu, but was told she couldn't eat a la carte (even just some steamed vegetables), but could eat in her room, obviously separately to me. Then we were told there was no space left for dinner, but we finally managed to work out an arrangement that would mean we could sit together at dinner, but my mother just wouldn't eat. This took most of the day. The canapé and champagne reception was lovely, and we then went and sat down for dinner. The starters were good - tuna carpaccio, pork belly, and what I can only describe as a fish blancmange, which wasn't really to my taste, but hey ho. Then there was a lovely consommé, and a palate cleansing sorbet before the main courses came out. The Phuket lobster tail was full of sand, the braised Wagyu beef cheek was dry, and the risotto that accompanied the salmon breast was like mashed potato. I sent all three dishes back, they had no more risotto, so instead I asked them to give mum a glass of wine, they gave me a steak instead of the beef, which was delicious, but the lobster tail was overcooked the second time, and not good to eat. The pudding was basically just a thick slice of brioche with some coulis. They were obviously under a lot of pressure given that the restaurant was much fuller than usual, but I think one starter, one main, and a dessert would have been sufficient. There was really too much food, and I'm sure a lot of it got wasted, which is a shame. We then went over to the tiki ice bar, the cocktails were good, and it was nice to have a bit of a dance before the fireworks started. I really enjoyed the fireworks display, but the awful food at dinner had put a bit of a downer on the evening.

The next day we ordered some room service for our lunch - a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup. The tomato soup arrived cold, and the grilled cheese sandwich looked like it had been sitting around from last night. Our tray was left outside our room when housekeeping came to turn down in the evening, but at lunchtime the next day, it was still there, which is a bit gross.

Our final evening we decided to have a drink by the pool before heading to our massage, and we waited half an hour for two glasses of prosecco, almost making us late for our treatment. The massage was amazing, and it was nice to be able to have it together. I wouldn't say it was necessarily relaxing, but I felt fantastic afterwards.

Our final morning we got down early to breakfast to be able to eat before our flight. The breakfast took so long that in the end I had to rush to eat it in 5 minutes. We were then kept hanging around at reception while we had to dispute some things on our bill - good job we always leave extra time, because we would have missed our flight otherwise.

The assistant manager was great at helping to resolve some of the issues we had, including the dinner and room service, but so many problems did take the shine off what we hoped would be a really special holiday.

The staff tried hard, but their English really wasn't very good, and they seemed quite lost at times. The service was not what you expect from Thailand, and although we loved our little villa, we won't be returning.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Ellie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SLP_Manager, Manager at SALA Phuket Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 20, 2014

Dear Signature Ellie S, thank you for choosing to see in the New Year at SALA Phuket Resort and Spa and for your comprehensive review of your few days with us. It’s lovely to hear you enjoyed your villa upgrade, its amenities and your treatments in our award winning spa. However it is with much regret to read about the slow service for your wine orders and your experiences with our food & beverage and culinary teams. We do take our all our guest service and language training very seriously with all our operational staff attend regular English training with our native English trainer. Although it can be a challenge outside of the classroom in the real life situation with the staff speaking their second and in some cases their third languages, the operation is busy and with guests with different accents from around the globe. That aside we will continue to focus on English and on the areas you have mentioned. It’s great to hear you were impressed with the efforts of our Executive Assistant Manager and we do hope you had a pleasant flight back to the UK. Let us thank you again for your patronage and we wish you a very happy and healthy 2014. Best regards the SALA Management Team.

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Reviewed January 11, 2014

I thought sala phuket was a fabulous place. I would go back in a minute if it were not so far from USA. I did not give it 5 star only because the service needs a little improvement. A bit slow in restaurants and bar. Never refilled glasses without being asked and just generally slow service. It is not close to anything so you must eat there or hire taxi. The place is lovely and very romantic.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank civita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SALA_General_Manager, General Manager at SALA Phuket Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2014

Dear Signature Civita, Virginia. Thank you for your review and feedback, it is nice to read that you both enjoyed the resort, location and guest facilities. We have shared all of your service points with our Food and Beverage Manager so he can address this with his team to enable us to improve on guest service experience in the immediate future! We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future. Regards, Jon Ashenden General Manager SALA Phuket Resort and Spa

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Reviewed January 10, 2014

We stayed at Sala Phuket for part of our honeymoon trip. I have a very mix feelings for Sala Phuket. It is a gorgeous resort and it has so much potential. However, typical tradition Thai hospitality would not be seen here. Customer service is non-existence. Everyone looked very bothered by the fact that we tried to ask a question. When we check in, it took over 20 minutes for the staff to check us in. She escorted us to our villa, however we did not feel welcome at all. She did not seem to care nor interested if we have any questions for her. She brought us to our villa, gave us the key and that was it. She mentioned there is a shuttle to phuket town, but she did not inform us that we need to reserve a spot and how much it costs. Next day when we tried to go into the town, the shuttle bus was all booked. We had to take a cab to go to Phuket town. Breakfast at Sala Phuket was a big let down. We stayed at Sala Samui and they had a much better breakfast. Buffet selections was pretty much non-existence. Not much fresh fruits or fresh juices to choose from. A la carte menu was alright. Nothing special, nothing out of this world. I observed one thing was quite interesting. During breakfast, a server was bringing over some papaya to one guest ( I guess he didn't like the selection of fruits for the day and he ordered it from the kitchen). Another server told this server to bring it back to the kitchen and she was trying to hide the plate with her hand. I guess guests are not supposed to order fresh fruits other than the given choices for the day? We tried dinner at Sala Phuket for two days. First day we had tasting menu thai seafood which was not bad. 2nd day, we both ordered fish which was a big let down. Cocktails are very water down and they do push you for either bottle still or sparkling water. We booked a tour to Similian island but the tour was cancelled. In the morning, I asked front desk staff for directions to go to Raya beach. He suggested us to go to Khai island. It was the worst suggestion ever. The staff said that Khai island is very nice. It was horrible. It was extremely tiny, packed with mainlander tourist and no place to snorkel at all! It totally wasted our time. Hotel spa had a nice atmosphere but masseurs are not all well trained. Some were good and some were really bad. I had a really bad one and next day I asked to make sure I do not get the same lady. Moreover, my villa 68 did not have hot water for entire day. I called once in the morning and I went to complain in person in the evening. It didn't get fixed until the next morning. We had to take cold shower all day! No one apologized for this. On top of this, no one acknowledged this was our honeymoon vacation. I really want to return to Sala Phuket but until they somehow change their management, we will not return!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank momo6192010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SLP_Manager, Manager at SALA Phuket Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 20, 2014

Dear Signature momo6192010, thank you choosing to stay at SALA Phuket Resort & Spa and for taking the time to write a review on your stay. It is extremely upsetting to hear of all your disappointments during your stay. We have discussed your review in great detail and we will strive to improve, it is certainly our intentions to ensure all our guests have a memorable experience and return time and time again. We hope you will continue to return to our sister property SALA Samui and consider giving us a second opportunity to impress in the future. Our best regards and all the best for the New Year ahead. The SALA Management

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Reviewed January 10, 2014

After 2 weeks of experiencing 'big cities', my wife and I were in need of some pampering and relaxation on the last 6 nights of our honeymoon. Sala Phuket certainly did not disappoint.

We had booked a Deluxe Balcony room, but were upgraded to a pool villa on arrival to Sala, which was a lovely touch. The chap that checked us in had 'Trainee' as his name badge...either an unfortunate name for someone in a hotel or, if he was in fact a Trainee member of staff his 'meet and greet' was exceptional. We received the flower bracelets, the iced tea while we checked in and were then escorted to our Villa, which had a bath full of rose petals and two hearts shaped out on the bed. Even being an alpha male I thought that was a nice touch...

The young lad also returned 5 minutes after leaving us with a bunch of flowers for my wife, and on return from the poolside bar that night (we arrived at Sala circa 20:00...) after a couple of cocktails to settle us in there was a bottle of fizz and some chocolates waiting for us in the room.

We were asked what time we wanted the cleaners to come in, we never saw them (in a good way) during our stay, and our room was always was spotless. The turn down service in the evening was very nice, especially enjoyed the fruit drinks that were left.

We were booked into the spa for a 60 minute Thai Massage, the sort of torture that although feels like one of the worst beatings you've ever had, is surprisingly relaxing and satisfying.

The food in the restaurant was superb, I've seen previous reviews about it not being 'cheap', well I cant say I would want to pay for cheap food in a resort like Sala, the quality of the food (we also met the Chef on NYE after he came and introduced himself as we standing by the bar enjoying cocktails and tapas, top guy...) was top drawer. Was the service fast? Not really. Do you want fast service on holiday or do you want to relax? Exactly. The only night that the service could have been a bit sharper was New Years Day, however this happened to fall on the very busy 'rib night', and to be honest if the staff were as hungover as some of the guests were after NYE then I don't blame them for being a bit slower than usual...

NYE was a great night, cocktails and tapas by the pool bar, superb food menu including Lobster and Wagyu Beef Cheeks washed down with some lovely wine, then down to the beach side for more cocktails from the ice bar and finished with some great fireworks.

We booked a trip to Ko Phi Phi which was great fun, and all in all were gutted to leave Sala. It's far away from Patong, thank god, if you really must go then you wont mind travelling a bit, if you don't get to go then go to Blackpool, apparently it's very similar. The only time we really ventured outside of Sala was when we took the bikes to Turtle Village, not much to see but worth a visit to Bill Bentley's for a 'pint'.

All in all, our experience was fantastic, would we go back? Not sure, it might not live up to our experience, but would recommend to friends/family without hesitation.

Room Tip: If you can go for a private pool villa...do it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SB161113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SALA_General_Manager, General Manager at SALA Phuket Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2014

Dear Signature SB161113 London, UK.Thank you both for your positive review and constructive feedback, we are glad you enjoyed the resort, location and guest facilities and of course our NYE party held on the 31st of December at the resort. We are fortunate to have Jan our Executive Chef and EAM who is extremely passionate about his cuisine and guest experience along with such a positive team of employees, We look forward to welcoming you or any of your family and friends as you have mentioned back to SALA in the near future. Regards, Jon Ashenden General Manager SALA Phuket Resort and Spa

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Additional Information about SALA Phuket Resort and Spa

Address: 333, Moo 3 | Mai Khao Beach, Mai Khao, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Thalang District > Mai Khao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Mai Khao
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Mai Khao
#5 Business Hotel in Mai Khao
#5 Spa Hotel in Mai Khao
#5 Luxury Hotel in Mai Khao
#8 Family Hotel in Mai Khao
Price Range: $185 - $791 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — SALA Phuket Resort and Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 79
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
SALA Phuket Resort and Spa is a stunning deluxe pool villa resort, featuring private swimming pools in 63 out of 79 rooms, villas, and suites. SALA Phuket boutique resort is an impressive compliment to its popular sister property, SALA Samui. SALA Phuket combines rare historical Sino - Portuguese architecture with modern 5-star facilities. Located on pristine Mai Khao beach on Phuket's northwest shoreline, SALA Phuket Resort and Spa is just 20 minutes from Phuket International Airport. The famous Blue Canyon Golf Course is a short distance from SALA Phuket and the picturesque Phang Nga Bay is located just 25 minutes away. SALA Phuket is the ideal location for a Phuket wedding and honeymoon with its vast and private pristine golden sand beach and lush beach side lawn surrounded by a coconut tree plantation swaying in the wind. In addition to friendly, professional and personalized service, SALA Phuket luxury resort offers facilities including:- 3 large beachfront swimming pools, world class international beachfront restaurant and bar with an air-conditioned dining option, Award winning SALA Spa, full equipped gym, steam rooms & salon, complimentary wi-fi internet connection throughout the entire resort, gift shop, business traveler services, entertainment and theme nights, nightly villa turn down service, In-Villa dining, miles of untouched beach front, the longest and least developed in Phuket, an array of local activities and excursions are available. Weddings at SALA Phuket, marriage is an occasion that should be cherished always. A variety of locations for your ceremony are available, from golden sand beach stretches, lush green lawn expanses or an intimate sunset rooftop vantage. Our personal and intuitive staff will ensure your special occasion receives the attention it deserves. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sala Phuket Mai Khao
Sala Phuket Hotel Mai Khao
SALA Phuket Resort And Spa Mai Khao

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