After much reviewing of travel books and the internet I finally chose Expat Hotel and it turned out to be a good choice. Also, while I was there I did check out other possible hotels for future reference, and found that Expat Hotel has a number of advantages. I paid 1790 baht/night ($60/night) excluding breakfast, which I thought was somewhat expensive for Thailand (it was my most expensive hotel of the four I stayed in Thailand and the room was the plainest) – Phuket is probably the most expensive place in Thailand. They did require a 40% or so deposit over the internet with various timetables of getting some of it back but there is a heavy loss if you do not like the place and only stay one night. You do need to book all your room time ahead of time as it is a very popular place and gets booked up. However, after I visited and checked out a number of other hotels in Patong, I found that this hotel has enough positives to outweigh the lower costs of some of the other hotels. I found you can get a nice room elsewhere for $40/night but it would be a good long walk from Bangla Road ( at least 15 minutes ) and it would not have a pool or pleasant area outside to relax in. Expat’s main positive is its location. It is located just a 3 minute walk from Bangla Road but in a quiet location as it is setback inland from Rat-U-Thit Rd., and you do not hear any of the traffic noise or bar noises. My first criterion for a hotel room is that it should be quiet and that is what I got here. Only during the day there was some noise from construction of a new apartment/condo complex behind the hotel, but it was a muffled noise and no noise at night. It did not interfere with any of my sleep. The bathroom is very old, plain and small. Hot water was fine.
My room was situated on the second floor. It was in one of its unrenovated rooms. It is very plain. I would suggest that you ask for a renovated room. When I turned on the air conditioner I could smell the mildew coming from it and the toilet would not totally shut off. When I asked to change rooms I was informed they were at the moment fully booked. The following day they did fix the toilet. On about the third day to my surprise they removed and replaced the air conditioner with a brand new unit which ran quieter and had no mildew smell. They then did offer me a renovated room on the third floor when it became available, but I decided to stay where I was. So after that I found the room plain but comfortable. The bed was a little hard but acceptable and I always had a good night sleep. The t.v. channels were just so-so and I think it had only one English speaking channel. The t.v. was an older model. There is an electric security box in the closet. The room door lockset is low security type but they do have someone at the desk 24 hours. The pool setting is quite nice and comfortable. The pool was clean. There is a bar and you can order food there. However, it was cheaper for me to have breakfast elsewhere. Most of the time, I took a nice long walk to the beach, located near Sawatdirak Road, to have a cheaper breakfast on the beach which was quite pleasant. There is internet there but I think it cost too much and I found a better place just off of Bangla Rd.
The public transportation around Phuket Island is horrible and I still cannot believe it is so bad. In order to get from one beach area to another by bus, you must first take a bus to the Town of Phuket, 45 minutes away; then change to a bus that goes to the area you want to go to and that could take another hour to get to. Needless to say I did not pursue that option. You can take a motorcycle taxi, but they all want to charge 400 to 500 baht or more one way to get to the next beach. A car taxi would even be more expensive. Why this island does not have song-taa-ous that are reasonably priced is beyond me. The cheapest option is to rent a motorbike but there is no insurance and the island is known for all its tourist motorbike accidents. I did not notice rental bicycles but I will look more carefully next time.
There are many excursions you can go on and I did go to Phi Phi Island which was worth it. The restaurants are nice and the beach area is very pleasant.
Finally, I saw no remnants of the tsunami of 2004. There are signs showing evacuation routes if another one occurs.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC