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Reviewed August 7, 2012

So, what's an average 6-star stay? For a room that goes for over US$700 per night, I guess you just come away not feeling blown away.

The rooms are spectacular. Easily the most visually stunning I have ever stayed in. Huge too. Decor is sort of Casablanca meets Ayuttaya. None of the pictures do it justice. It's really remarkable. Sexy, too. Arny Freytag could shoot a dozen covers or centerfolds here. Great feeling of seclusion too.

Grounds also lovely...not quite as singular as the rooms, but very nice. One drawback is you cannot really walk them, quite a labyrinth like setup, need the golf carts always on call, but it's a minor point. The pool and all is great, looking out to sea.

Other reviewers remarked that the location is very strange, and I can't agree more. OK, it's one thing to put a high-end inclusive resort in the middle of nowhere (Aman), but usually there's a reason...stunning local feature to celebrate, or whatever. PB seems to be in a very average location, and why I cannot imagine. It has no beach, it's rather far from everything, the views are lovely, but the same Andaman views can be had for about 200 miles of coastline (not to mention islands) and I have to think they could have chosen somewhere better. It is totally isolated, next to a quarry and behind a mudflat, with the nearest real airport 180 km away. Sure, the resort is gorgeous, but why put it here??

Service is high end luxury resort-standard. Nothing to fault; equivalent to any of the other 6-8 such places I have stayed in the last few years. Standard butler bit comes with the villa.

What really lets this place down, though, is the food. It's just not good. I am afraid there is just no way around this one. And to make matters infinitely worse, it is hugely expensive. If it were inclusive and free, I suppose you could just suffer in silence (Maldives), but jeez, asking 800 Baht for a cup and a half of bland fried rice? We tried 6-8 different dishes both Western and Thai, and none of them were any good. The pizza comes on a frozen crust. The tomyam soup had no spice, and no lime flavor. The burger meat was frozen (and then they ran out of it!). They wanted to charge 6,000 baht for a seafood bbq meal. Per person. (!!!) I can eat at Robuchon for that - in Paris!

And, they effectively have you captive. There isn't anything around here. Unlike all the other high-end Thai resorts we've hit, there isn't a little beach shack selling lovely hot wok-smoky fried rice for B80 and Singha straight out of the ice, with a lady doing massages right on the beach for B160. (Probably because there is no beach!). I mean, you are really stuck. You gotta face the fact that as long as you are here, it's very mediocre food, and for a ton of money. It's probably fair to say, this isn't really fair to the guests. If they are going to lock you up like this, they should go to some length to see the food is at least acceptable. it's not.

So, if the touchpoints of a resort like this are: hardware (room and grounds), service, and food, then they get 2 out of 3. Which is average.

I really wanted to love it. And some of it I did.

Date of stay: July 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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6  Thank HKguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2012

We checked into Phulay Bay for a short break away from the crowded, polluted and noisy cities and seeking for peace, relax and “us time”.
The arrival pavilion represented what we were about to experience during our stay: we were met by an overwhelming welcoming committee and after a refreshing drink and a cold towel; we were swiftly escorted to our villa.
The villa was absolutely stunning: it had the biggest bed I’ve ever seen in my life (4 meters wide?!?!?) along with the endless list of amenities you would expect in a hotel of this caliber. One to highlight were the pair of Crocks (male and female!) available to use during the stay. These guys have thought of everything!
The service in the hotel is brilliant; attentive and efficient, and not intrusive at all. The resort’s landscaping is breathtaking (I believe they’ve won some awards), and the food, although slightly pricey, is very good (we loved the risotto in the Italian restaurant). The Spa, managed by the posh ESPA Company was excellent.
The resort offers a free boat shuttle to the nearby Hong Island. It’s like a half day tour and one of the entertainment chaps goes along to ensure you are looked after and everything is ok while away from the hotel. It’s a nice touch and gives one peace of mind especially since we don’t speak Thai.
The view from the sunset bar is first class. Nice cocktails, nice music and a sunset to remember.
The hotel is very secluded and exclusive, which is exactly what we were looking for. It’s about 10 minutes away from the nearest town called Ao Nang. There you can find shops, restaurants and bars.
Finally, there is this Spanish chap (the manager). Was there for the warm welcome, checked on us every day, and was there for the farewell too. You can tell he is been around and knows what great hospitality is about. He made us feel like if we were friends staying over his place. Quite a unique feeling nowadays in this world we are living in, and something more luxury hotels should work on delivering rather than fancy gadgets or outrageous amenities.
To recap, great place, very recommendable. We’ll be back for sure.

Date of stay: July 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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3  Thank rj911jr
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2012

OK so if you like visiting faous hotels that have been in films (Hangover 2) or like Ritz Carlton Hotels then this place will work for you.

The rooms were great....the biggest beds I have ever seen! Great bathrooms etc etc.

I found the fact you needed to ring your butler to collect you to go anywhere in the hotel a little frustrating...they were always punctual and reacted immediatly...but sometimes I just want to take a moonlit stroll with my other half to diner...and you can't really in this place.

Food in all restaurantes was great. Pool area really cool and in a lovely setting.

Sometimes the service here left a little to be desired...and we found management not really involved enough to manage the issue if they were entertaining certain guests. That said our butler was fantastic...nothing was to much trouble for her.

Spa and Gym was good too

I would have no problem staying at this hotel again...it is an interesting place to visit...and its architecture a spectacle...but because of this it seemed a little stale or uncharecterful (is that a word?) and kind of missed the charm of Thailand...which for me is what Thailand is about. However that said if you like the Ritz Carlton hotel thing then you'll love this place... I just wanted a little more charm for the high price this place is.

Room tip: The standard room is huge....so only upgrade if you feel you need to... but the standard room comes with butler and everything you could possibly imagine...
Date of stay: February 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank Cheify
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2012

n the arrival we were totally blown away with the reception pavilion!! Beautiful scenery with an excellent welcome cocktail to go along with as well as the famous so called "Thai Smiles"! We were welcomed by the very nice GM as well as our lovely butler Annie. Even though it was raining it was a moment that we will never forget!

If you are looking to get away from all the madness of you're daily life this is the place to be. All the scenery of the hotel is so relaxed and beautiful and you can always see everything being taken care of by maintenance. Everything is always in perfect conditions!

The staff is amazing!! Always available even if it is at 7 a.m. or 2.a.m. Always there to help with a huge smile on their face and always eager to make our stay unforgettable. Our needs were always anticipated, there was this one time when we were at the pool and there was one of the staff that came to us and told us that in 10 minutes it would be raining if we wanted to call our butler with the buggie? We loved it and indeed after ten minutes it was pouring rain and our buggie was ready to take us to our room..

The room was our high point of the stay not only because of it's dimension but also because of it's beautiful decoration and environment! Privacy is absolute and even lets you think that maybe your are alone on that little piece of paradise.

Breakfast is served with a view to the sea with excellent quality of local products and even better the fruit and juices! We were once again blown away with the staff because even though we only stayed two nights, on the second morning the girl that had already seen us the morning before already knew what we wanted to have. Amazing!

The butler service is magnificent and without doubt is one of the big things that helps you're stay become a memorable one, giving the clients the opportunity to enjoy everything to the maximum! Our butler Annie went out of her ways to help us with everything! On our last day there was a problem with our transfer, which we hired outside of the hotel, and we didn't even notice that there was a problem because she automatically took care of everything without us even noticing!

It was really hard to leave, if we could we would have spent a month there! It is too good to be true!!

Without any doubt it is one place that we will always cherish and remember! We will have to go back one day for sure!

Date of stay: June 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank Andre G
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2012

Yes it is very dramatic and secluded, and we only went there for dinner, but I am not sure we would come back. The whole experience with the golf carts winding through a maze of passages and narrow doorways to get the resturant was strange and somewhat creepy. The reception area is a floating room in a completely dark space with candles around the walls - and you have to walk on very difficult to see stepping stones across a dark mirrored lake. Honestly I thought was uninviting and I could have been in some strange nightmare. Plus there was no one there at all. Empty. The resturant had three tables of people in it who on the whole were silent. There was no atmosphere. The resturant was surrounded by a moat with murky brown water. The food? A deconstructed cob salad was memorable but strange, and a very good pizza. The rest was forgettable - and this was BY FAR the most expensive meal we had in Thailand. I am sorry, may be the experience for guests is different and I am sure it is better in the daytime but at night it is creepy. We won't be going back.

Date of stay: July 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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2  Thank OneGiantLeapForward
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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