We stayed at M Resort for one week in July 2014, on a Groupon package, and upgraded to the garden jacuzzi villa. We read some of the previous reviews with some concern, but we had a wonderful, relaxing week. If you are looking to come to Phuket for a week of relaxation and romance, and you can get a good deal eg through Groupon, then this place is perfect.
As you may, like me, have read lots of the other reviews (all quite entertaining actually!), I will give my views on some of the issues raised on this forum (btw thanks again to TripAdvisor for letting us all be informed consumers)...
(1) Location - this resort is NOT right on the beach, so if you are looking for a beach holiday, it is probably not the right choice (although they do have shuttle buses to and from the beach). We are more beach than pool people - but we really liked this place as the resort grounds are really beautiful and tranquil - lots of nice flowers, trees, lizards, birds, frogs, etc, which helps with the relaxing vibe, and you can see the ocean in the distance. It's about an hour from Phuket airport. If you definitely want to come to Phuket, then I would absolutely recommend this place (we didn't love Phuket as we found it a bit touristy and there was a vague sewerage smell - not at the resort but everywhere else, eg we were at Kata beach for two weeks before coming to this resort - but this could have just been due to the storms that are common during low season).
(2) Food - we ate a few times at the resort restaurant for dinner, and had lunch one day by the pool - all the meals were good quality, albeit at resort-prices (not street-prices). We also did the pre-booked (better value) two buffets, which were great - lots of variety and good quality. The Gems of Asia meal was particularly good. For a change of pace/budget, try Kooks (turn right out of the resort and you will hit it in 5 mins) or a Mexican place if you get sick of Thai food (turn left at Kooks and walk 5 mins). There is also a mini-mart opposite Kooks where you can get water and a basic Western breakfast to eat in your room (cereal and milk), if you aren't big breakfast people (which we are not). Some of the restaurant items were a little overpriced, eg fruit shakes, but this is to be expected in a fancy resort. NOTE: management might consider adding a food special each day/night, at a slightly lower price, just for variety.
(3) Spa - we had a free 30 minute massage with our Groupon deal, and upgraded for an extra 400 baht each to the full hour massage - I really enjoyed the spa, beautiful setting and very relaxing and luxurious feel. If we were on a different holiday (ie a short break from a stressful job, rather than our nine month world trip), I would definitely have done the 500 minutes for 11.6k baht spa package and gone to the spa every day - more expensive than the street spas, but way more relaxing, and very professionally run. I have been to spas in NY, London and Sydney, and this was very good.
(4) Facilities - the pool was lovely, even for us who are not really pool people. I also went to the gym a couple of times (and expect a medal for this...), and it was better than your average resort gym - lots of machines and free weights plus good aircon and a nice view. NOTE: the management should consider adding gym mats as there were none in there. We also did the free yoga class at 7 am Monday, which was great - management could consider adding more classes, even with a small charge for attending (although 7 am is rather brutal for holiday time : )...).
(5) Rooms - we had a lovely big bungalow, with great views out over the garden and to the ocean. It was very peaceful and relaxing, and well set up. The outdoor jacuzzi is great. NOTE: My two suggestions to management are: (a) as discussed with Ian, please add more thatching to the outdoor bathroom section of room 105 - all the thatching is gone, so other rooms/people wandering around the resort can see in, from certain angles (this made for some very short showers and toilet trips : )); and (b) add bigger mugs or a pot for us tea/coffee-guzzling Westerns - the tea cups in the room are delightfully pretty, but teeny tiny! The wi-fi was ok but not great (which was perfect for a romantic relaxing holiday!).
(6) The "hard sell" - we had read some of the negative reviews of the so-called hard sell so were braced for repeated and aggressive intrusions. Yet none came - we got a free breakfast with Ian, and once he found out we were on a nine month world trip, and largely backpacking along the way (with the occasional luxury stop over via Groupon etc), he just told us to have a nice holiday, which we certainly did. We saw a couple of other people signing up to whatever was being offered, and there were a few people there who were obviously "members", so I suspect it was a tempting offer, just not for people in our position.
(7) Staff - they really were exceptionally friendly and helpful, consistent with our experiences throughout Asia (so far Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand).
So to sum up: we had a really great week here. We didn't love Phuket, but we loved this resort. If you are in a stressful job (and who isn't these days??) and looking for a relaxing, romantic week in Phuket, this is a perfect choice.
Finally: a comment to the owner (whom we didn't meet): your comments on TA are hilarious and very entertaining. However, in today's overcrowded accommodation market, they might be offputting to some potential customers. You have a beautiful resort which is very well-run. I want it to be as successful as possible, so I very respectfully suggest you tone down some of the responses, as most people on TA are just trying to be constructive and helpful to other travellers and also to the resort management (and those that are just venting are obviously doing so and thus disregarded).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mangosteen Resort & Ayurveda Spa, Phuket. Located near Nai Harn Beach in the South of Phuket, Mangosteen Resort & Ayurveda Spa sits on a private hillside. This adult only Boutique Resort offers high standards of personalized service in a secluded and serene environment. Only 41 villa style rooms ensure privacy and tranquility. The rooms are designed as a "home away from home" by Interior Designer John Underwood to ensure guests have a most enjoyable stay. Surrounded by tropical gardens, each Villa feels like a piece of private paradise. Private Villa gardens offer a Jacuzzi tub. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Andaman Sea and Phuket Island. All units are generous in space. The center of the resort consists of the 680 sqm free form pool, the Restaurant, the Lounge Bar and the Ayurveda Destination Spa. A free shuttle service is offered to the guests to make the short trip to Nai Harn beach, one of the best beaches in Phuket and Asia. Your unique Ayurveda Destination Spa Resort near Phuket's best beach. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Golden Tulip Mangosteen Hotel Rawai
- Mangosteen Hotel Nai Harn
- Mangosteen Resort Nai Harn
- Mangosteen Resort & Ayurveda Spa Phuket/Rawai