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“Not one to recommend, much better alternatives elsewhere.”
Review of Pen Villa Hotel

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Pen Villa Hotel
Ranked #16 of 36 Hotels in Choeng Thale
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 24, 2013

After reading the reviews on Tripadvisor we were looking forward to a great experience at Pen Villa. However from the first impressions through to check-out it never materialised.

The accommodation is basic, over-priced and the towels are very rough and 'cheap'.

We were hoping for so much more, but it never got close to meeting our expectations. It has a very strange atmosphere hanging over the main Reception / Bar area, people don't seem to be encouraged to be happy and enjoy themselves ?

Overall, it's one to put down to experience, but we definitely won't be repeating this experience !

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Maggie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PenVilla, General Manager at Pen Villa Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for taking the time to post a review about your stay at Pen Villa. It does seem somewhat coincidental that you and your son would both be moved to write reviews some 10 months after staying at Pen Villa. As we stated in our response to your son’s recent review (JamesandNichola), it is a pity that you didn’t raise any concerns with us at the time, as our managers are at the hotel 7 days a week and they are only too happy to discuss any issues directly with our guests.
We would have been happy to assist you to find alternative accommodation if we had known that you were not satisfied with Pen Villa. As we use the same quality, large room towels that are used at a nearby 4 Star hotel we now have some idea of the standard of your expectations. As stated on our website, we are a small, 3 star, family run hotel, and we believe that the descriptions and photos that we have included on various websites accurately represent the facilities at Pen Villa.
Our restaurant/lobby/bar area is located in the centre of the middle floor of the hotel and it is a natural meeting point for most of our guests. We have background music playing during the day and evening with a selection of world music, Thai music, jazz, reggae, contemporary music etc. We also have a large screen tv we use to show major sporting events (English Premier League, European Champions League, Spanish La Liga, Formula 1, Moto GP, Rugby Union Internationals, Tennis Grand Slam tournaments, NFL, NBA, etc), children’s programming, premium movie channels, international news etc for our guests to enjoy. We have a small library in the lobby with books in English, Danish, Russian, German, French and Italian and several Thai travel books. We also have a small selection of games and toys for children, beach toys, and several sets of playing cards. Many of our guests enjoy taking breakfast or dinner on the light and airy terrace and a number of guests enjoy the drinks available at our bar including soft drinks, juices, fresh fruit smoothies and shakes, a selection of teas, freshly brewed Thai coffee, local Thai beers, and a range of cocktails made with premium spirits and liqueurs. We regularly arrange massage, spa and beauty treatment, day trips, excursions and onward travel for our guests in this area. We are also very happy to discuss the various attractions on and around Phuket Island and to provide recommendations and suggestions. We genuinely enjoy interacting with our guests and we frequently have conversations with them about their experiences in Thailand and at home; the variety of cultures and nationalities of our guests is something that we appreciate and enjoy.
It is unfortunate that none of the above appealed to you.
We trust that you will find suitable accommodation to meet your expectations and requirements on your next visit to Thailand.
With our kind regards,
Winnie, General Manager.

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139 - 145 of 281 reviews

Reviewed November 22, 2013

I stayed at the Pen Villa for 5 days after a busy work trip. I came from a 5* hotel in Hong Kong, and I can safely say I'd choose the Pen Villa every single time!

I wanted time to relax and recover my energy, and from the second I walked through the door of the hotel at 1am I felt better. Peter and Winnie looked after me like family, often working out what was good for me before my holiday brain could decide. Peter was always quietly on hand to help, have a chat, or arrange anything I needed. Winnie gave me a great cookery lesson and I've been perfecting my Tom Yum soup on a daily basis since I got back! Each day when I wandered back into the hotel she would check what I felt like eating, taking me to the kitchen and showing me what was on offer. I'd end up with something that wasn't on the menu and was utterly delicious.

I had slipped into a dangerously relaxed state when Winnie checked that I was happy and could they organise any sightseeing for me. I'm normally not one for arranged trips, but travelling on my own and with such a short time in Thailand made me decide on a boat trip. Peter recommended a company, got me a hefty discount and booked the whole thing before I had a chance to blink. I had a day I will remember for the rest of my life.

My room was big, the bed comfortable, and everything was spotlessly clean and looked after really well. The bathroom was basic but again big enough for a party if you so wish!

Travelling solo can be a lonely business on occasion, and having friendly people to talk to at the end of each day made this the perfect holiday.

Before I got to Thailand I thought it would take a month off somewhere exotic to recover after a tough 6 months - after 5 days I felt better than I had in years. Thank you Winnie and Peter for getting the service absolutely spot on.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank DancingAnna111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2013

We stayed at Pen Villa for 5 nights last January, based on the fantastic reviews it gets on Tripadvisor. I'm a big fan of this travellers reviewing forum, and we've benefitted many times from other peoples experiences and their helpful feedback.

I'm sorry folks - you've got this one way off the mark !

I just can't see how people are genuinely being so gushing in their praise ? Almost every review reads like the perfect venue "the best hosts in THE WORLD", "it's fantastic" etc.

I can only apologise it's taken so long for me to submit a balanced review to this one-sided opinion. It's okay……no more, no less. The pool is nice, and the pool boy works hard to keep it well presented. I give the 2nd * based on the fact that Winnie managed to source us a Hire Car when we couldn't find one available. Thank you for that.

Failing that it's a very ordinary, mid-standard hotel room. As regular travellers throughout Thailand over the last 14 years (spending 120+ nights in all ratings of accommodation) we have a reasonable knowledge of the fabulous hospitality that this country offers.

Sadly this was never even close to being achieved at Pen Villa. For a rate of £70 the room is nothing special at all, the much-touted 'best food' in Thailand was probably the most bland meal we experienced during our month long visit to Phuket and Koh Lanta !

The concept of 'no menu's and Winnie will prepare the food based on her wishes' just doesn't work. We LOVE south-east Asian cuisine - the chicken & basil concoction here was particularly poor. We never bothered to eat here again after that first disappointment.

Peter 'the fabulous host' just floats about, trying his best to avoid eye-contact or conversation with any of the guests. I've never met such a reticent Aussie ?

All-in all, I'm stunned at how this hotel gets such a high rating. Please consider carefully where to spend your hard-earned holiday time & money - there are MUCH better alternatives to Pen Villa.

Be warned ! The massively positive reviews may not match your actual experience.

Room Tip: Stay elsewhere ! We paid for an upgraded room, my wife's parents didn't. I didn't see mu...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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7  Thank JamesandNichola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PenVilla, Owner at Pen Villa Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay at Pen Villa. We genuinely appreciate the feedback we receive from our guests, moreso if they can include constructive criticisms in their personal commentaries, so that we can make improvements where required and also pass on their compliments to our staff. Winnie and Peter are great believers in forthright communication and are grateful when guests speak directly to them so that they can address any concerns or issues that a guest may have. As Winnie and Peter are both at the hotel essentially 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it is a pity that you didn’t seek an opportunity to discuss your situation with either of them during your stay.

We enjoy interacting with all of our guests and we certainly remember your party well. You stayed in a Deluxe double room and your parents stayed in a Superior double room. The price difference between the 2 rooms is around 5 British pounds, so, yes, the rooms are similarly appointed. As a seasoned traveler in this part of the world, you would be aware that our room rates are comparable with similar hotels in the Surin Beach area.

We regularly review the information and photographs that we have included on various websites to ensure that they accurately represent our rooms and facilities. It is clearly stated that Pen Villa is a small, family run, 3 star hotel located in a quiet area around 500 metres from Surin Beach and away from the main tourist areas. Pen Villa is one of the original hotels in the Surin Beach area and we have attempted to retain as much of the original character as possible. Certainly, we do not expect our style to have universal appeal, but as Phuket offers a range of hotels that cater to almost all budgets and all tastes, there is something available for everyone. If you had voiced your dissatisfaction with our rooms and service at the time, we would have assisted you to find something that better suited your requirements and expectations.

Regarding meals offered at Pen Villa, some of our guests will leave it to our discretion to prepare a meal for them. In general, however, we offer a small white board menu that we vary depending on the fresh produce that we purchase daily from the local markets. We will discuss the various menu options with each interested guest, including the type of food that they would like to eat, their tolerance to chilies and other Thai herbs and spices, any food allergies that they may have, etc. We then individually prepare meals to each guest’s requests and requirements. For your meal, Maggie, your mother, requested the food to be mild and to have no chilies. During the course of a meal, we talk with every diner to ascertain if they are satisfied with their meal. If you had informed us that you were not satisfied we would have modified the dish or prepared an alternative dish for you. Unfortunately, we only learned of your dissatisfaction from your belated review. Winnie is a passionate cook and is always excited to be able to present new Thai food experiences to our guests. We are confident that we could have prepared something to challenge even your well travelled taste buds had you advised us at the time.

We sincerely hope that on your next visit to Thailand you find a hotel that is compatible with your expectations and requirements.

With our kind regards,
Winnie and Peter

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Reviewed November 15, 2013 via mobile

The Pen Villa hotel is the perfect place to stay if you want a relaxing holiday in Phuket. The hotel is in a great location - walking distance to Surin, Lam Sing and Bang Tao beach ,which are all stunning.

The hotel is extremely clean and the service is awesome. The rooms are huge too. As two girls travelling, we also felt very safe.

I will definitely be back to stay at the Pen Villa.

Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
4  Thank Hollie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2013

Just returned from an amazing trip from Phuket. Pen Villa is a very nice place to stay in Phuket. It is very close to the beach and away from hustle and bustle of other crowded places. Very impressed with great hospitality of the owners. They took care of planning various trips and helping me with currency conversion.

My sincere thanks to Peter for making my trip memorable. He and his wife are amazing host. Spending personal time with each host and taking care of their smallest needs.

I would very strongly recommend to stay at Pen Villa if you are looking for a quite relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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Thank TravellerDelhiIndia0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2013

The Pen Villa was a delightful surprise. The owners, Peter, and his beautiful wife, were the perfect hosts, and I don't know where they found such thoughtful, helpful employees. The rooms are large and VERY clean. The only down size was a lack of storage, but it certainly didn't take away from the overall enjoyment of the visit. The breakfast is not included, but it is very reasonable and very tasty. They also serve lunch and dinner. Surprisingly they also have an excellent bar and a very cool, relaxing area to have that evening drink. Even thought Surin is a small beach,there are many places to eat, and we enjoyed the overall ambiance of the area. We will certainly return to the Pen Villa on our next trip to Thailand

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank bkb6018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2013

We had a great time here at Pen Villa, with all the nice and respectful people and staff. The rooms were clean, comfortable and presentable. The beach was very nice, and the pool was cool and clean, very well-kept. My friend and I went down to the bar one night and the ambiance was great. It was an amazing night we had there to relax and just have fun. The atmosphere of the whole hotel was very inviting and homey. It was relaxed with the vegetation and the flowers. I like how spacious it was because I really enjoy moving about. We had a balcony in our room and many seats outside to enjoy ourselves, and enjoy, we did!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Floyd C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pen Villa Hotel

Address: 9/1, Soi Haad Surin 4, Srisoontorn Road, Choeng Thale, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Thalang District > Choeng Thale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Choeng Thale
#3 Family Hotel in Choeng Thale
#3 Best Value Hotel in Choeng Thale
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Choeng Thale
Price Range: $66 - $192 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Pen Villa Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pen Villa is a family run hotel set among the hills of Surin. The hotel is located away from the main road, its surroundings are serene and private, and Surin Beach is an easy 10 min walk away. The hotel offers some of the best value hotel accommodation in Phuket.Our rooms are spacious and perfectly suited for long-stay guests. All rooms overlook our large swimming pool and tropical garden. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pen Villa Hotel Phuket, Thailand

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