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“Absolute Bliss!!!”

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Friendship Beach Resort & Atmanjai Wellness Centre
Ranked #7 of 43 Hotels in Rawai
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 12, 2011

Just returned from 6 nights at this beautiful paradise! From the first greeting to the final farewell, you are made to feel like family. Charlie the chef is wonderful and took care in cooking our daily catch, a large Tuna. The menu is delightful and I can't recommend strongly enough to try the Goong Sarong, a shrimp wrapped in fine vermicelli and deep fried, served with sweet chili sauce for the dippin', oh so tasty!
We booked two tours via the reception desk, one an elephant trek and the other a fishing trip, both were great and worth the time and nominal expense.
The beach in front of the resort is calm and while very shallow ( you could walk at least a few hundred yards and still be only waist deep during low tide) it is beautiful and serene. We ventured to Chalong city to dinner one night and to see the local night life, but we much preferred the Rawai Beach area, its a smaller more quiet beach town to the south of the resort.
Our room was pleasant and I loved the Balinese style shower, and especially the visiting geckos and lizards that took showers with me several times! Speaking of animals, there is a cute chorus of frogs in the evening to listen to and some adorable cats and dogs that live at the resort. Sweet and well tempered the animals seem to love visitors, so much so that on my last night i felt compelled to bring one of the little cats into my room to snuggle and love on a bit before I left.
Definately a must see is Promthep Cape, its a look out about 15 minutes by taxi on the southern most point of the island. Go around an hour before sunset, do some shopping in the little stores in the parking lot at the cape, then make your way to the restaurant and enjoy a great view with dinner and cocktails (sundowners, they are called) The restaurant has beautiful gardens including some very nice Bonsai trees and quite a few friendly cats that come to stare at you for snacks, but not so much as a bother, just a friendly sit-at-your-feet and let you know they are happy for anything that just happens to fall off your plate.
Another treat was the Green Man Pub. As an American, I was amazed that this pub could look like it was in the middle of the Cotswalds but is still in the middle of Thailand and the jungles. Try the fish and chips,

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank artrep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SeasideResort, Owner at Friendship Beach Resort & Atmanjai Wellness Centre, responded to this reviewResponded October 14, 2011

You have no idea how good it makes us all feel to receive reviews like this. Your experience is heartwarming and all the Friendship Beach staff say thank you. Should you venture this way again, we will strive to honor you as you have honored us with your stay.

Blessings,
STARR

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384 - 390 of 502 reviews

Reviewed September 22, 2011

This resort has no star rating, but my experience was a six star experience. This is a true resort, peaceful, comfortable and clean. The staff are all like one big family. The atmosphere is very relaxing, not too touristy or noisy.
The food was excellent with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. The chef Charlie from New York was always very helpful making food recommendations. He even catered to a late night meal requests after the kitchen had closed as we arrived quite late.
The swimming pool is a salt water pool which is better than a chlorinated pool. The rooms were immaculate with outdoor (open to the sky) showers.
It is not the place to go to if you are looking for a busy night life or lots of tourist type shopping. It is a place to go to lie on the beach or by the pool and totally relax. They have a wellness spa right next door for detox programmes, yoga and massage.

Room Tip: There are rooms that are on the poolside that have a little self service kitchen area and a living r...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank nargis r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SeasideResort, Owner at Friendship Beach Resort & Atmanjai Wellness Centre, responded to this reviewResponded September 24, 2011

WOW. If we had an advertising team, you would head it....but then, we're not big enough for that. Thanks so much for the wonderful comments. I don't know who you are but please visit us again and enjoy.
Best regards,
STARR

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Reviewed September 18, 2011

We stayed 11 nights at Friendship Beach as a time to rest, relax and explore after my partner had surgery at Phuket International Hospital. We came here on the recommendation of Gordon Williams of River Rovers eco-tours (also highly recommended! www.riverrovers.com), and could not have been more happy with our stay. We booked a "Superior" room with a single queen bed on a great deal from agoda.com, and had absolutely everything we needed. The "Bali-style" shower is partly open to the air (but still private) and features its own little garden at one end. We will miss the Thai-style bathrooms, tiled throughout with a walk-in shower area, with the toilet-side sprayer, as we return to the States. Being open to the outside means that the bathroom is not air-conditioned, which can take some getting used to on hot days, but you may come to like the sauna effect as much as we did.

The grounds are lovely and constantly maintained and improved; the beach-side pool is delicious, with two wading pools, two fountains, and a jetted corner; and the sunny staff keep the atmosphere both serene and light-hearted. Starr, the American owner, who lives on-site, maintains a mellow feeling of humor and comfort. He treats his staff like family, and it really makes a difference. Most staff speak enough English to make communications easy (although you'll have even more fun if you learn some Thai), and the experts in the reception office can help you connect with everything you need, from tours to taxis to nights on the town.

Charlie's open-air restaurant is so good (both Euro-American and Thai) and so reasonably priced that you might never want to leave the beach. You can spend entire days by the pool and strolling on the beach, watching Chalong Bay change dramatically between the tides. At high tide you can do some swimming on the beach, and at low tide you can walk long distances on the tidal flat. This side of the island does not boast soft, cake-like sands like the more crowded beaches on the west coast, but you cannot beat the changing views of sky, sea, and islands. Walk just a few steps up the drive to the main drag, and you'll find everything from the Kebab House at the entrance (serving Turkish, Polish and Thai food!) and a coffee house, to "OK Yummy" Thai restaurant across the street, a 7-11 on the corner, and taxi stands with genial gents offering fair prices and no pressure to take you anywhere you want to go (especially if you speak a little Thai). With a little patience you can also hop a bus south to Rawai and Naiharn, or north to Phuket Town (where you can catch the buses to each of the main beaches, as well as the government bus to the airport), for less than a tenth the price of a taxi.

There is a big Tesco about 2.5km north, and lots more shopping and eateries from the swanky to the street along the way. If you don't mind a long walk in the heat, you can do some delicious and profitable exploring. Don't miss the Batik House on the west side of the road, about 0.5km north of the resort. You can watch them painting their batiks in the attached workshop, and they offer a wide range both of their own creations as well as imported fabrics and clothing.

The local market is held across the road from the entrance to Friendship Beach on Tuesdays and Fridays, so don't miss your chance for a wide range of genuine (and cheap) Thai food and the sounds and smells of all the produce and seafood, as well as an easy way to pick up any housewares or sundries you might need. The resort hosts live music on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons, and the pool is open to anyone (especially local families) who also uses the restaurant and/or bar, which helps Friendship Beach feel even more like home.

We did not do a detox program at the Atmanjai Wellness Center at the resort, but we did very much enjoy the high-quality products from the spa that graced our bathroom. You can also get a range of massage and spa services at the Wellness Center, as well as participate in morning yoga, even if you are not doing a detox program. We enjoyed meeting other guests at the resort, and have made new friends.

We found our bliss at Friendship Beach. Come find yours!

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ABBIE A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SeasideResort, Owner at Friendship Beach Resort & Atmanjai Wellness Centre, responded to this reviewResponded October 20, 2011

What a lovely epistle you have submitted. Your accolades are greatly appreciated and I am certain that other travelers will appreciate your lengthy description of what to do, where to go, what to see.

Yes, all the staff are treated as family and the guests as well. We treasur guests like you who make it all worthwhile and help maintain the informal atmosphere in a well kept resort.

Many thanks for your input.

Blessings,
STARR

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Reviewed September 18, 2011

Friendship Beach Resort is not like a normal resort. When you stay here, you feel like you really belong, like you are part of a family you never knew about. Every guest here feels at ease to strike up a conversation with another, no matter where you are from. It is an open, welcome place that allows the local community to come by for a meal and a swim in the pool, but never gets too many people that it becomes a nuisance. The staff are friendly and willing to assist where they can, and the food is amazing! Also a great place for vegetarians and vegans to eat at. It's a great location, halfway between Rawaii and Chalong, and also right on the beach. There isn't anything bad I can say about this hotel. It's good for any ages and any amount of people travelling together.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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Thank humanmonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SeasideResort, Owner at Friendship Beach Resort & Atmanjai Wellness Centre, responded to this reviewResponded September 19, 2011

Thank you for mentioning that "Friendship Beach Resort is not like a normal resort." It is the home-like atmosphere in a Thai-Western setting that we strive to portray. We are not trying to compete with any other waterfront resort; if the guests are happy we are happy. We seem to be doing something right as 50%+ of our guests are repeats. You are most gracious in your review and we appreciate it very much.
Blessings,
STARR

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Reviewed September 5, 2011

After visiting the place for three times, we can say that this is really our home in Thailand. Great and clean rooms, nice beach to stroll with the kids (swimming could be a challenge because of the tides), food (local, international) is amazing (usually our kids a picky, but not here...) and above all the staff (specially Starr) are the main reason to stay...

  • Stayed: November 2010
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2  Thank Airsealands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StarrFriendshipBeach, Owner at Friendship Beach Resort & Atmanjai Wellness Centre, responded to this reviewResponded September 14, 2011

It is people like you that we strive to attract. Over 50% of our clients are repeats. We don't spend a lot of money on advertising and thus keep our rates low. It was a pleasure to have had you with us once again. We will keep 'your home' at Friendship Beach Waterfront Resort intact for your next visit. Be good to yourself and stay well. As Will Rogers once said: ". Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco."
Blessings,
STARR

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Reviewed September 2, 2011

I have lived locally for many years and know the resort well. But I have never taken part in a detox process before - this was my first very sceptical try. I have to say that I was absolutely amazed at the helpfulness and professionalism of all the staff; nothing was too much, ask and it was made so. Fantastic. I didn't eat for 5 days and at no time was I hungry - what an experience. I met some really lovely people on the course, and as a bonus lost some 7 kilos. The big bonus was how well I felt at the end.

What a superb experience, wish I had tried it earlier. I would advise anyone thinking of coming to Atmanjai 'don't delay, take the plunge' you will be so glad you did. I am still a mainline cynic but in this case I am converted.

Stayed: August 2011, traveled solo
1  Thank KenFergus0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StarrFriendshipBeach, Owner at Friendship Beach Resort & Atmanjai Wellness Centre, responded to this reviewResponded September 3, 2011

Your experience was enhanced by the fact that you were a "cynic" but obviously that got turned around. Others have experienced the same. The Atmanjai de-tox/wellness regimen is truly rewarding if one enters without reservation into the program and experiences its total effects. We're so pleased that you enjoyed and benefited from all we have to offer - it was you who made the effort and you that got the results - it was really all up to you. Thanks so much for your kind epistle.

Best,
STARR

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Reviewed August 19, 2011

We stayed at The friendship beach resort for 18 days as part of a detox package at Atmanjai detox and well being centre which is part of the resort. I can't say enough about the quality of this place. the staff were superb and incredibly friendly and the facilities were clean and well maintained. Food was great (when we wern't fasting)and the atmosphere was ideal for a relaxing detox holiday. Collections to and from the airport were efficient and free of charge and the prices for treatments in the Atmanjai spa were of great value in relation to the superb therapists who were simply first class. This is an outstanding resort for fasting and detox, but would also satisfy people looking for a nice quite and romantic break in Phuket. There are three teat rooms which literally face out directly to the small beach with stunning views. The pool is a recent size (approx 18 metres end to end ) and very well maintained so it's good for swimming and or just relaxing. The resort is small and quiet but made by the enthusiasm and quality of the staff. They are like one big happy family there and we will definitely return here again. A wonderful place.

  • Stayed: August 2011
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1  Thank Jackp0ts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StarrFriendshipBeach, Owner at Friendship Beach Resort & Atmanjai Wellness Centre, responded to this reviewResponded September 3, 2011

With comments like this, it makes our efforts all worth-while. We strive to maintain a family atmosphere at the resort and Atmanjai and the Thai staff is very good at doing this. It really is easy when we have customers like you and your appreciation will be passed on to the staff. Be well, take care of today, tomorrow you can do the same.

Best,
STARR

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Additional Information about Friendship Beach Resort & Atmanjai Wellness Centre

Address: 27/1 Soi Mittrapap | Friendship Beach, Rawai, Phuket 83130, Thailand (Formerly Friendship Beach Resort & Spa by iCheck Inn)
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Rawai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Rawai
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Rawai
#6 Spa Hotel in Rawai
#7 Family Hotel in Rawai
#8 Romantic Hotel in Rawai
Price Range: $42 - $340 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Friendship Beach Resort & Atmanjai Wellness Centre 3.5*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Friendship Beach Resort & Atmanjai Wellness Centre is your very own private hideaway located on the south east coast of Phuket Island. Situated right on the beach, our comfortable 30 rooms and suites offer exceptional value in a stunning location and are just a stones throw from the resort's pool and secluded beach.The hotel offers breathtaking panoramic views of Chalong Bay and is the perfect location in which to explore the Andaman's famous archipelago of islands.Located on beautiful Chalong Bay.Friendship Beach Resort & Atmanjai Wellness Centre has a spa and private beach and offers free Wi-Fi throughout. The 30 air-conditioned rooms feature a minibar, satellite TV and private hot shower and are just a short walk from the beach and boast a high ceiling, tile floor and Bali-style decor. All rooms at Friendship Beach Resort & Spa come with a fridge and a personal safe.Central Shopping Mall, Tesco Lotus Mall and the Home Pro Village Mall are a 10-minute drive from the hotel. It is a 25-minute drive from Patong Beach and a 45-minute drive from Phuket Airport. On-site parking is free. Atmanjai Wellness Centre offers spa treatments and detox programs, as well as oceanside yoga classes. Guests can lounge by the outdoor pool, enjoy the garden or unwind with a massage.The hotel's restaurant offers al fresco dining, serving up Thai and Western favourites. It is open daily from 07:00-22:00. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Friendship Beach Waterfront Hotel Rawai
Friendship Beach Resort & Atmanjai Wellness Centre Phuket/Rawai

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