We recently spent 5 nights at Avista as part of our 10 night trip to Phuket. It was our third trip to Phuket and this was a R & R holiday for our wedding anniversary and "babymoon" so relaxation and pool/beach time was the key.
We stayed at another resort in Kata for 5 nights prior to this. Checked in at about midday to Avista.
We had booked a club room (there best room other than a suite) via their hotel website.
First impression - big attractive lobby, very busy with people checking out at that time of day. Got a welcome drink and promptly our passports/details were taken for the check in process.
Unfortunately, this was where the speedy check in ended.Now i know we were about 1.5 hrs early for check in time, but once our details etc had been taken we were left to sit in the lobby for an hour with no update as to when our room would be ready or if it was close to being ready. We would have been fine with waiting till 2pm had someone come and told us "your room wont be ready until the usual time", but as they had taken our details/done the formalities so fast we were under the impression our room was nearly ready. Also, while we sat there at least 5 lots of Russian package tourists arrived and were greeted and taken to their rooms almost immediately - which left us with the impression that this hotel very much catered to the Russian package tourist market and they were given preference. In the end we asked what was going on and they rang housekeeping to check then told us our room would be 15 more minutes.Fine, no worries. We then watched another couple start to be taken to their room with our bags! We had to chase the porter and get them back. Eventually after about 1 hr 20 of waiting we got into our room.
The rooms here are in 2 towers, we were in the back tower which involves taking a lift to level 2 from the lobby, then a short walk to the next tower, then a lift to the 5th floor.
We were in club room #519 which was on the top floor. I had requested an ocean view for our anniversary and they did a great job in allocating this, our view was fabulous. They had also decorated our bed for our anniversary which was really sweet. A cake was later left in our fridge and a complimentary bottle of champagne brought to our room (at 10.30pm at night which was a little odd with the timing!), which were lovely touches and made up a bit for our check in experience.
The room was nice, king bed, lounge, flat screen tv and dvd player, balcony with comfy chairs, nice bathroom. Some bits looking a little worn eg the coffee table had scratches all over it. Good lighting system with all the switches by the bed, very handy.Only one key so couldnt leave the aircon on when going out but it cooled down fast. We found there to be some corridor noise at night (just unlucky with drunk guests i think) but otherwise slept well. Bit of a funny smell in the corridors each afternoon (that Thai drain smell) tha seemed to linger. Water pressure and hot/cold in the shower a bit erratic. But the view was great and the balcony good for an arvo drink and to watch the sunset :) Free wireless in the room which we used with our laptop/smart phone, a good perk but it can be slow. Lots of english speaking tv channels/radio which was nice and great to have a dvd player too.
There are 2 pools at Avista, one up top and one on a level below, plus a small kids pool. The pool area/lounges are not big enough for the amount of guests at this resort. Im not sure if the resort was totally full but it was VERY busy, predominantly Russian clientele who dominated the sun lounges with their towels from the very early hours. If you want a lounge, put your towel down early. The resort seemed to be very popular with families and there were kids running around the pool alot. Be careful of the tiles by the pool as they are super slippery. There is a swim up bar in the top pool but we didnt use it so cant comment on service etc. The resort could definitely do with an extra pool and more lounges to cater for the amount of guests. We didnt manage to swim in the top pool at all as it was pretty busy all the time so we stuck to the smaller bottom pool which was very refreshing.
Breakfast spread here was great, heaps to choose from - cereals, egg station, eastern/western brekky, everything you could want really. The service at brekky is not the best, they are slow to come with the first coffee and we constantly had to ask for a refill rather than them offer it which they have at all the other places we have stayed at.
Gym here was really good, nice and cool with newish equipment and sound system, i used it pretty much every day we were there.
Staff - overall didnt really seem that happy to be there? Some we got the genuine smile and "sawadee ka" but others, particularly the brekky staff, just didnt seem to want to be there.Management i think is Russian rather than Thai.
Avista is located at the top of a steep hill above Kata centre (the northern end of Kata with Karon beach directly north and Kata beach south). Its about a 10 minute walk down the hill to the northern end of Kata Beach. About 5 mins walk down to the shops/bars of Kata centre, theres a couple of small minimarts down there, ATMS, laundry place etc.
The hill - yes its steep, but its only about 200 metres long. It gets the heartrate up but i was 23 weeks pregnant when i stayed here and i was fine doing it a couple of times a day. There are tuk tuks outside the resort if you cant be bothered with the walk. I didnt mind doing it a couple of times a day.
We found Kata centre to be lacking in restraunts so each night we were here we walked or tuk tukked back down to the southern end of Kata for dinner. Its about a 15-20 minute walk along the beach road or Kata road or 200 baht in a tuk tuk.We much prefer the southern end and would go back to staying down that way in the future.
I probably havent left a great impression of this resort. We found it good, but not "great". It is really busy and very much caters to the package tourist which is fine, but just a bit too overrun with people for our liking. Aswell i think there are better locations in Kata, being the southern end, as this was a bit out of the way for restaurants unless you dont mind a big walk or a tuk tuk ride. The brekky, gym and club room view are all top notch. The pool area,location and service let it down a bit for us.
We wouldnt return to Avista but would reccommend if you like the big, busy resort feel.
Pick a club room for an ocean view/sunset view. We had 519 and the view was great.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC