I stayed at Connect Guest house on the Summer of 2011 and I thought back then it was great value for the price I was paying. It is located in the 'gay area' and in general I had a great time there. That's the reason I decided to stay there on my second visit to Phuket during Christmas 2012.
This second time, I made the reservation through travelhero.com, with several months in advance, to make sure I could stay in the room I wanted. The web site gave you the choice to pick the room you wish, and even show pictures of each of them. Since I knew from my first visit that the rooms facing the street were way too noisy, I made sure to pick one in the building behind....
Two weeks before my trip I emailed the Guest House and asked for arrangements to have a taxi picking me up at the airport and also asked for confirmation for my reservation. I received confirmation for the taxi but they didn't mention my reservation, so I had to emailed them two more times to get confirmation; I receive a response saying 'your reservation is confirmed. I insisted on this, because they were using a third party company for the reservation, and I found out through their website that the hotel was bought by new people, also, I didn't want to travel all the way from the US to arrive in Thailand with no Hotel.
I arrived to Phuket on December 21st, 2012 and the taxi was waiting at the airport. Everything seemed fine until I arrived to Connect. Once there, I found out that the room they said it was confirmed, was not available. The manager told me the room was not available (she didn't say why) and that instead I was getting an "upgrade" for the same rate I was promised. I asked to see the room and a very friendly guy took me there. The room was in a building located on the street behind, and to access the stairs, you have to walk through a 'laundry business', where people are working and where they actually live and sleep. The room was dark and it had two different access doors, one of them to an exterior hall, which made me feel someone could break in at any moment. Normally, I'm not so picky about places I stay, and a proof of that is that I don't write reviews, but this room was awful! I went back to Vicky, the manager, I told her there was no way I would stay there. She then offered another room on the same building but on the third floor. The room was much better so I decided to take it and make the best of my vacation... I want to point out Vicky told me this was an "upgrade", when she should have call it a "downgrade", and please know I'm not being sarcastic... As I was leaving for my room I asked her: "is everything working OK with the room, the safe, the AC?" she responded "yes, everything is fine". To my surprise, the AC was not working and it took them three days to fix it, so I had to get very drunk every night in order to sleep. They did offered that I could sleep in the "scary room" below (the one they offered first) if I was too hot, but made no offer that I could move permanently to another room.
I mentioned earlier that this room was on top of a laundry business, well, the people working there also live in the space and even sleep on the floor as I noticed it when I came back to the room late at night. Also, they would see who is coming or leaving at all times. Or you would have to go through 'their space' when they are having dinner, which was very uncomfortable for me, and I would imagine for them as well. Why on planet Earth, you would have your guests going through such an embarrassing situation?
Another thing was the mattress in the room. It was old and disgusting, you could even feel the springs with a very soft touch of your hand and it was hard as a rock. The towels were old and obviously dried on the sun because they felt like sandpaper on your skin, perhaps they don't know that towels like that are a real torture, especially when you skin is sunburned?
The Guest House was sold by the previous Swedish owners, to French ones, The new owners spent some money replacing the tables and chairs in the restaurant and it looks quite nice. My humble message to the owners is: You have a gold mine with this hotel but you are mining silver, not gold. If you want to make money, spend some money and train your staff accordingly. Relocate that laundry business, and give those people a more decent place to live. Buy decent mattresses, they don't need to be five stars hotel mattresses, but something a little better. Make a personal tour of each room in the hotel and honestly ask yourself if you can stay in that room; if your answer is no, you should not offer that room to any guest. Please believe me, I work in property management and I know what I talking about. Finally, replace your towels more often and tell your staff not to sun-dry them, because you should not offer your guests sandpaper towels....
Those are my bad experiences, however, I have to say that the boys working the restaurant are very nice and I have no complains about them. The food is very good and well priced. As I was checking out I thought that perhaps I would receive a complimentary discount for all the inconveniences, perhaps a free day or at least a half price for one day; however, I was charged full price and received no apology for what happened.
My last advice to the owners is, look after your business, make sure you are reading emails from customers, follow up directly with them while in the Guest House, and make sure your manager understands customer service where 'the customer is always right'. Also, spend some money and buy a decent software so they can keep track of the reservations, we are in the 21st century and you are using a "big book" to keep track of the reservations and rooms!
My advice to future guests: Don't stay at Connect, you don't even need a reservation to stay in the Gay Area in Patong, there are plenty of Guest Houses in the area that charge pretty much the same; come to the island with no reservation, asked to be dropped off in the Paradise Complex and walk around, I am sure you'll find a Hotel or Guest House you like.... And enjoy your vacation, this is a real Paradise!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Connect is a guesthouse located in the heart of the famous Patong beach, the most attracted place to be on Phuket island "The pearl of Andaman". Right in the middle of Paradise Complex area, with the night life entertainment, Connect welcome everybody in a 17 rooms place simply decorate. You can enjoy in our bar and restaurant, drinks from 8 am. To 2 am. And food from 8am to 0pm everyday, and our team try to do its best to help you during your stay at Connect. With only 5 min walk to Patong beach, 5 min walk to the fabulous Jungceylon shopping mall center, and many markets around, our place is the perfect location for not spending extra money in taxi, tuk tuk, or motorbike. During many years, we are proud to have many return guests, who become friends by now, and we hope that you gonna be the next one. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Hotwire, Agoda, Ctrip TA, Priceline, Hotels.com, Hotel.de and HotelQuickly so you can book your Connect Guesthouse reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Connect Guesthouse Hotel Patong
- Connect Guesthouse Patong, Phuket