Although the name doesn't give it a great first impression I really couldn't fault this up-market hostel. At first we weren't too keen to stay in a dorm in Asia but there were no other affordable double rooms in Patong, Phuket so we risked a 5 bed mixed dorm at £5 or £6 each a night. The place was a bit hard to find (behind the main shopping mall on the main road) - it's next to Banzaan market but there's also a market with the same name in Phuket town which is bigger so local people thought we meant this one. If you visit the Dive Den website you can print off a map from here and it's pretty straightforward to find it yourself.
We weren't too sure that we were actually at the right place at first because it's actually a dive shop run by a family and they've opened up the accommodation above the shop. Our room was on the top floor but they don't have a lift and it's quite a lot of flights of stairs to go up with a heavy backpack! At the top you come out onto the roof terrace where the dorm rooms are. The white room was spacious with 3 single beds on one side and 2 on the other, shelves above each bed and pale green curtains that you could pull around each bed for privacy and it was so clean it sparkled! It looked a lot like a hospital ward actually! There were 2 big fans on either wall, a fridge, a TV and a bathroom. The door also had a mosquito net door outside so that we could get some extra air in at night. We were very surprised at the place being so lovely and didn't regret our decision to stay here at all. In fact we liked it so much that our original 3 night stay turned into 8 nights!
We took a trip to the Phi Phi islands in between our stay and when we came back we upgraded to a double ensuite (about £15 a night) which, again, exceeded our expectations. We were only on the second floor this time so didn't have so many stairs to walk up. The room was the quality of that in a 3* hotel. A huge comfy double bed, bedside cabinets, a desk and mirror, a big TV and our own bathroom, plus a balcony adorned in beautiful colourful flowers, and again, spotlessly clean.
As I said above the den was across the road from a big market which sold mainly clothes and shoes - so cheap we could have re-filled our backpacks. There were also a few bars and restaurants along the same short strip of road as well as a 7/11. Across the street past the market was the main shopping centre which had lots of restaurants and cafes including Starbucks, KFC and pubs like the Hog's Head (not what our idea of Thailand was!). Entertainment was held in the middle of the centre in an open area. On the other side of the mall is the main road and Bangla Road which is the main street for entertainment in the evening. If you haven't been to Phuket before you may get quite a culture shock here with a lot of Thai ladies dancing on tables in bars whilst showing off their male private parts! If you're not warned of this in advance and end up taking your kids there they may have quite a shock - there were several children we saw who looked very confused!
Just past this road is the beautiful beach and lots more shops.
The only problem with the hostel was that the staff couldn't speak English too well. But for the accommodation you deal with the owner who understands the basic stuff. You can also book tours from here and you get picked up from outside. The absence of a lift was a problem as well as a guy who was staying there passed out and he had to be carried out on a stretcher which was obviously a huge pain carrying that down the stairs and my husband had to help out.
Overall, we couldn't believe that a small, cheap and tucked away hostel like this would be so lovely. If we ever go back to Phuket, and hopefully we will, we won't even bother looking at anywhere else to stay.
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- Also Known As:
- Dive Den Patong, Phuket