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“Not meeting expectation”

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Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Kamala
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 22, 2014

The hotel is certainly a nice experience to live, although I need to recognize that it did not meet our expectations.

We chose this hotel as the last one of our honeymoon trip, as the exceptional and luxury/relaxing option for our last 5 days of such a trip.

During the 20 dais trip we chose accomodation at hotels categories with 3 and 4 stars in Luan Prabang (Laos), Hanoi, Danang, Hue, Ho Chi Ming, Halong Bay Cruise (Vietnam), Siem Rep (Cambodia) and Bangok (Thailand). In all of them we obtained an impressive quality for a reasonable cost around 30/40€ per night. For the price we paid on the Ayara Kamala one we expected something 3 or 4 times better. But unfortunately we didn't. Some comments:

First: non of the pictures presented in the hotels.com web site really corresponded to the inside of our room. We expected an isolated/private Villa with shared access to the pool, and we got a standard room.

Second: all pictures showed clasical Thai rooms style and we got a modern one that we can get in any hotel in Europe.

Third: the private beach was really dirty, impossible to take a swim there.

Forth: massages at the hotel were 6 times the street price... I may understand a nice plus of double the price, but 6 times!!??.

Fifth: very limited hotel shuttle service (11am, 14am, 16 and 18) considering that it was in the middle of nowhere with a useles private beach that forced us to go everytime somewhere else.

In all, disappointed experience for the price we paid (168€/night). I would strongly suggest the hotel to consider their rate for the standard room.

Being said that the service was really nice and friendly. Restaurante food, just fine.

Room Tip: If you can pay +200€/day, better try a private Villa. But read our comment above first. Maybe better...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank MorcityJavi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Masha S, Manager at Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 27, 2014

Dear MorcityJavi,

Greetings from Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa!

Thank you for taking the time to provide our organization with your personal and detailed feedback. It is very disappointing to learn that we have not fulfilled you and your partner with the experience you desired and we feel that we have really let you down especially as it was the last stop on your honeymoon, a very special, once in a lifetime experience.

This was made especially clear through your email sent to us one day before arrival, as you stated that you were offered, in all the destinations you went to in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, that you were offered an upgrade, dinner invitation, massages, etc., and asked if we had anything of this sort. We specialise in honeymoon, proposal and anniversary stays, and always strive to provide for guests especially when they contact us. Of course there are the special touches from the hotel for our guests which we have provided for you. However, it would be better if you informed us well in advance of demands so we would have had more time to prepare and get to know you better.

With this, we organised you special treatments of our own upon your arrival, and offered you complimentary drinks on the house to congratulate you after being welcomed, during your lunch with us. In your bedroom, we have also prepared a surprise for your wife as a courtesy on your recent marriage. To follow up the next day, we asked how you were doing, how your room was, and if we could assist you with anything for your stay here, to which you replied that everything was perfect. This left us quite confused with your review and disappointment.

We apologise we were unable to meet your expectations with the Deluxe with Pool Access room. However, it is crucial to note that we have plenty of information on the internet that clearly depicts all of our room categories very precisely and that the expectations you had seemed a little far-fetched considering what is clearly stated on our website:

" This accommodation marries the modern and the classic, with stylish wall decor and cool colours, made homely with a sleek but comfy sofa. Guests can also just take a few more steps and jump right into the infinity pool for a soak in the water while taking in the ocean view.”

We have both traditional and Thai-contemporary rooms as this one for diverse demands of customers, and we communicate it clearly with accurate visuals and descriptions displaying our offerings. There is no indication that this room is a private villa isolated from the main building, which we found quite confusing on your expectations. Again, if you had mentioned something when we asked you of your needs, we would have been able to assist in clarifying this issue, and perhaps try to tailor-make our offerings to you more.

Regarding your comments about the spa, all the prices are clearly indicated on the menu, which is very different from street prices, and here are 6 reasons why the price may be different:
1. A completely private and clean room to 5 star standards with a forest view
2. In room amenities - Air conditioning, Jacuzzi Bath, Shower/Toilet, aromatic soaps, towels and sofa
3. Sauna and Steam rooms, to use free of charge whether you use the spa or not
4. Professional trained masseuses with certified skills and education
5. Quality oils with a choice of Mint, Vanilla, Chamomile, YlangYlang, Lemongrass, etc.
6. Welcome drink, soothing tea, and a herbal foot bath

Moreover, if guests book directly with the hotel with our current offer, this service automatically becomes free for our guests for the same room type you have booked.

For the beach, we do understand that it is a more rustic and natural environment and unfortunately it has not met your expectations. We apologise for this. However, we try our best to correctly describe the beach at all times and many people appreciate the rustic natural access to the Andaman where free kayaking, snorkeling, fishing and sun beds as well as a floating pontoon are available to hotel guests only. Perhaps you would be more suited to the developed beaches with many restaurants, shops and busy beaches.

In response to your saying that we are in the middle of nowhere, it is important to realise that we are located on one of the most famous roads in Phuket and it is referred to as 'Millionaires Mile' for a reason: stunning views as well easy access to the local, calm and authentic Kamala village (5mins away with the free shuttle bus service four times a day), the hustle & bustle of Patong (15mins) and the exciting beach clubs at Surin (15mins). Therefore, we find that your comment is rather strange to us especially when we recommended the places to you and the duration to get there.

There are many other hotels in more densely populated areas of which you are free to book, however we in no way shape or form indicate ourselves to be one of them, through any of our marketing channels.

Finally, we agree with your final remarks, as all consumers should find alternatives better suited for the price they are willing to pay and their own perceived value, and apologise again that you did not feel your expectations were met.

Sebastian & Masha
Operations Managers
Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa

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Reviewed April 21, 2014

The deluxe pool villa has a fantastic view and the pool is lovely. The rest is disappointing. The breakfast was appalling with flies all over the uncovered bakery goods. The hot food was not much better and the only saving grace was the cooked to order omelette bar albeit very slow. The spa was seriously overpriced even with a promotion running and probably the most non relaxing massage I have ever had in a resort. The Thai massage was not with oil instead you wear a pyjama type top and pant. Then covered in towels so was boiling in the poorly air conditioned room. The massage itself was underwhelming so not a pleasant experience. The gym was sparse and most of the equipment broken and the air conditioning did not work. The staff had very poor English even those on reception and did not understand requests and did not inspire any confidence. Sebastian the operations manager was fantastic and when he was around simple requests were fine however forget it if he was off duty. He is only one person however and the rest of the staff poorly trained. The location is difficult being outside of the main town on the top off a hill with a shuttle which ran fine but nowhere near often enough so you constantly had to plan your day around the shuttle times which is a pain when you are on holiday. Given the poor standard of food you actually needed to go into town often and at 300 baht each time for a cab it was not good. A real shame as if the facilities and restaurant/food were up to par you could easily spend a lot more time at the resort and relax much more easily. Everything just got too hard here and we were glad to leave after our 5 night stay. Nowhere near 5 star. Highest priority ....sort out the food!

Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Lea T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Masha S, Manager at Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 24, 2014

Dear Lea T,

Greetings from Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa!

It is obviously very difficult to receive such a review and we would like to apologize for what clearly was a very disappointing experience. It is also slightly confusing that you would take to the TripAdvisor forum to express your negative feedback whilst on your way home rather than perhaps mentioning something during your 5 night stay, especially since many of our staff would have asked you how things were going. We are a small, local family run independent hotel and therefore offer a very flexible and personalized platform to enjoy and this is often highly appreciated. However, being our lowest rating in a long time, it is seriously hard felt yet motivating to strive to ensure that all our customers, even the most demanding or sensitive, receive a valuable and memorable experience for the right reasons.

We appreciate your comments and take them into consideration. Plans to update the gym and the restaurant are already underway as well as may other goals being set. As a hotel business we are constantly developing our physical features as well as our services offered year round and we therefore confidently would like to invite you back in the future and guarantee a 100% satisfaction.

On a personal note, I would like to make clear that I appreciate your comments about my handling of small requests, however, I also take full responsibility for the inconsistencies in our services delivered. As a Phuket family run business, our staff are sourced from the local area and often through family or friends, therefore I understand the importance of training and will continue to hold training sessions as well as lead by example. As one of the senior managers, it is important to ensure that all staff are able to perform their job to the standards we set in relation to the market demands and their changing shapes.

Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa expresses another sincerest regret that we were unable to fulfill your needs and provide to you what was promised and apologize for not adding value to what should have been a relaxing, lovely, memorable getaway.

Best regards from all of us here,

Sebastian & Masha
Operations Managers
Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa.

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Reviewed April 21, 2014 via mobile

Writing this review while on my way to Phuket airport. Ayara Kamala Resort provides a great relaxation experience. We came to Phuket to celebrate our anniversary. The staff (especially the hotel manager) were friendly and helpful. We stayed in Deluxe Ocean View room. The room is extremely spacious and clean, and comes with a huge jacuzzi bath and a separate rain shower cubicle. We get to wake up to an amazing view of the Andaman sea every morning. One problem is the mosquitoes in the room, which is probably an issue in most beach resorts in SE Asia. The hotel provided electric insect repllent in the room, but not enough to deter the mosquitoes. The location of the hotel is rather secluded, but the hotel provides a free shuttle service to Kamala beach 4 times a day. Not an issue for us as we rented a motorbike (THB250/day) and then car (THB1200/day) from during our stay. Great experience at Ayara Kamala and we will be back again if we are coming back to Phuket.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank kaiser14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Masha S, Manager at Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 21, 2014

Dear kaiser14,

Greetings from Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa!

A big thank you from all of us here for taking the time to provide our team and the Phuket tourist market with your personal feedback. We are happy to receive your warm comments about your anniversary weekend and would also like to take this opportunity to extend our congratulations once again for a great milestone, we wish you many more in the years to come filled with much love, good health and prosperity.

Regarding the mosquitoes in the room, this does seem to be a recurring issue in South East Asia and in our a hotel a little possibly due to our many natural features from waterfalls, the fishing lagoon, more than 20 pools and our rustic beach area. We do understand the nuisance of mosquitoes and will continue to try out new techniques to make sure that they are kept away from the rooms. We apologize that they were able to disturb your experience and guarantee a 100% satisfaction on your next visit.

We hope you are well back in your respected environment and look forward to another chance to showcase our personalized take on authentic Thai hospitality fused with our natural surroundings and traditional architecture. It was a pleasure to accommodate you and your partner and we welcome you both back anytime!

Thank you again and best regards from all of us here,

Sebastian & Masha
Operations Managers
Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa.

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Reviewed March 20, 2014

I stayed here during my last night in Thailand and was completely blown away. The hotel is located in remote hillside area overlooking the ocean. The views are breathtaking. The hotel property is absolutely gorgeous. Everywhere you turn are fresh fragrant flowers growing and lots jungleish scenery. This was by far the nicest place I stayed in Thailand. As others have said the infinity pool is absolutely gorgeous.
I had standard room and was shocked by the size, it was bigger than my apartment! Also the hotel really pays attention to detail. Our room had flowers located on the bed and Thai elephant towels. Also there was fresh fruit waiting for us upon arrival in our room.
The bathroom was amazing. It was huge and even had sitting tables and a jacuzzi!
The views from the room were spectacular! At night we saw a shooting star! The daytime views were gorgeous. We were able to see the sunset over the ocean.

Besides the five star amenities, the service really blew me away. I checked in Saturday night and only paid for one night. We had a flight the next night leaving 1am, Monday morning. Rather than make us pay for an extra day the hotel allowed us to check out later and spend the rest of the day at hotel using their amenities for no extra charge. They graciously let us use spa to shower and were so kind to us the entire day. They arranged for us to have a car at 11pm to take us the airport, which was right on time.
The only drawback in my opinion is the location. You will need a car to get to town and to the beach. You cannot swim at hotel beach. While there are shuttles that the hotel offers (complimentary) they were infrequent and end by 6pm. If you want to go to town to get dinner you have to pay almost 300 bhat each way which is very pricey. The hotel does have their own restaurant which was very good.
However, this is great spot for quiet getaway with tranquility. I would love to come back here if in Thailand again!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank ckamink1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Masha S, Manager at Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 1, 2014

Dear ckamink1,

Greetings from Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa!

We would like to express a big gratitude to you for taking the time to write such a beautiful review about your experience with us. We are delighted that you enjoyed our grounds located close to the ocean and gardens, as well as your Grand Thai room. It was very important for us that you would have the most convenience before your travels to the next destination, so we do our best to consider our guests' situations and try to accommodate them as much as we can. The location of our resort is indeed 5-10 minutes away from Kamala beach, but we do try to have four shuttle buses to take our guests per day. Moreover, depending on occupancy, we can be very flexible with transfers to Kamala beach without charges external to the daily schedule. As for the beach, although it is quite rustic and natural, we have a pontoon stretched out to the Andaman so that guests can swim or kayak for some snorkeling and fishing as well during the high season.

Thank you very much again for such an amazing review, and we hope to welcome you here again on your next visit to Thailand.

Warmest regards from all of us here,

Masha, Sebastian & the Team.

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Reviewed March 16, 2014

The place is built for relaxation. Great spa, rooms are clean and well kept, the kitchen really knows how to prepare great thai dishes and the staff is polite and interested in accommodating their guests in the best way possible. Short taxi ride into Kamala for a break form the spa/tanning lifestyle.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank FrithjofCK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Masha S, Manager at Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 27, 2014

Dear FrithjofCK,

Greetings from Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa!

Thank you very much for such a highly-rated review! We are glad to know that you have enjoyed our spa, rooms and the restaurant, and have communicated to our staff who are happy of your positive experience. We will definitely continue to strive to ameliorate our services for our guests, and wish you the best back in Oslo.

We hope to welcome you here again in the near future!

Warmest regards from all of us here,

Sebastian, Masha & the Team

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Reviewed March 12, 2014

This was without a doubt the best resort we have stayed in. The staff were fantastic, the location and views are incredible and the facilities/services are perfect!

We stayed here for 4 nights (4-8 March 2014) and had a deluxe room with pool access. The room was incredible, with the most comfortable beds in Phuket! We actually want to get one for our home. We couldn't fault the rooms at all. The showers were the best also.
I like that they give you 4 bottles of complimentary water, rather than just 2 like a lot of other places give.

The pool access room is incredible. We loved just opening our door and being able to sunbathe right there, or else jump in to the infinity pool. The water they use is amazing too. It's got some special scientific side to it, and is much nicer than any other pool we stayed at, or even the beach!

The restaurant provided great food, all at a reasonable price. The 2 for 1 cocktails also went down a treat! The breakfasts were good, and the only comment I would make with regard to breakfast is that it would be improved by keeping the milk cold. Only one hotel we stayed at in Phuket kept their milk in jugs on ice so that is wasn't warm for cereal etc. Other than that, it was brilliant.

The free shuttle service into Kamala is very useful, and we used this a couple of times. However, we loved the resort so much that we stayed there most of the time. It has a games room, library, spa, restaurant and so much more, so we saw no need to leave.

The staff were fantastic. The best service we received from Phuket was at this resort. They are very friendly and accommodating and ensure that your stay at the hotel is as perfect as can be! Particular mention goes out to the finest resort Managers in Phuket, Sebastian and Masha - they were just brilliant and provided incredible service!

It was the perfect way to finish our honeymoon, and we were sad to leave. We will definitely be coming back to stay at this resort, and we highly recommend it to everyone!

Room Tip: Choose a room with pool access - it's the best decision you can make!
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Taylor-NZ-2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Masha S, Manager at Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 27, 2014

Dear Taylor-NZ-2014,

Greetings from Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa!

Having read your review has definitely put a big smile on all our faces, knowing that you have enjoyed your time here in Phuket and at our resort! All our staff have been really happy to have accommodated you and your partner here, as the team, from the kitchen to the housekeeping and the front desk, have enjoyed welcoming you. Sebastian and Masha also feel very rewarded to have had a special mention, which is motivating for them to keep helping to run the resort. We greatly thank you for all the great feedback, and will continue to improve our products and services to satisfy all our guests. As for the breakfast, we thank you very much for the comment. Therefore, also have taken the milk situation into consideration and now serve our milk jug on ice to keep it cold, as well as introduced more made-to-order breakfast choices for freshness.

Last but certainly not the least, we wish you another congratulations on your honeymoon, and wish you all the best back in New Zealand, hoping to welcome you here again in the near future.

Warmest regards from all of us here,

Ayara Kamala Team

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Reviewed March 9, 2014

We stayed in this incredible report for about 3 nights and regret not being able to stay longer. The private villas are amazing and definitely worth booking. The staff are friendly and very helpful, making our holiday that much better. Between the beautiful pools and private beach, relaxing comes naturally at Ayara Kamala Resort. Thanks to Ayara for making our holiday so special. I could not think of a better place to get engaged and appreciate all the extra things which you did for us.

Room Tip: Private villas are a must
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Jacqui F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Masha S, Manager at Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 27, 2014

Dear Jacqui F,

Greetings from Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa!

We greatly appreciate such a sweet review from you about your stay with us! Our Ayara team thank you very much for your kind compliments regarding our Grand Pool Villa, relaxing atmosphere and service. More importantly, we wish you a big congratulations again on getting engaged at our resort, as it is a great honour to have been part of your special life moment.

We wish you all the best back home, and hopefully see you next time for your honeymoon!

Warmest regards from all of us here,

Masha, Sebastian & the Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa

Address: 22 Moo 6, Layi-Nakalay Rd, Kamala, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Kathu > Kamala
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Kamala
#2 Luxury Hotel in Kamala
#8 Romantic Hotel in Kamala
#9 Family Hotel in Kamala
Price Range: $119 - $506 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sleep, eat, indulge, explore and rejuvenate at our homely resort in our naturally private setting, along millionaire’s mile located south west of the treasured island of Phuket. Through using the traditional and authentic craftsmanship of Khun V, this wonderful promontory paradise has been converted into a magnificent hotel consisting of 42 rooms and villas sprawling the hillside down to the private rustic beach. His Swiss educated daughter, Masha, blends her Thai service foundations with some of the Swiss touches she picked up studying abroad to deliver a unique and harmonious style service culture. All the rooms and villas are designed with the concept of ‘Ayara’, corresponding with the nature of ‘elephants’ that are gentle and kind and of course, need their space to rest. They are decorated contemporarily and traditionally, from stylish black tiles to luxuriously marbled bathroom floors, to wooden and earthly tones. Our restaurant maintains quality local ingredients with delightful homemade recipes as well as including a few of the normal favorites from around Thailand and the rest of the world. We’ve got the gym, the spa and a private rustic beach, everything you need to feel comfortable. So, whether young and fresh or mature and experienced, Ayara Kamala provides you with our local founded atmosphere whilst our international touches amaze and surprise combining on a personal level a unique harmony, nowhere else found.Our noble ‘Kamalians’ strive to make sure you obtain that unique warmth in this promontory paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ayara Kamala Resort And Spa
Ayara Kamala Hotel Kamala
Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa Phuket

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