We have stayed 8 nights starting February 10th.
I have read carefully almost 100 reviews of this hotel first before the booking and mainly later - before our stay.
This hotel has already almost 250 reviews and so what valuable to add?
I am going to provide a structured view divided to single bullet points.
1) When arriving by a plane - there are free maps and various discount vouchers available in the Phuket's airport baggage claim area
2) Taxi Airport to Renaissance Resort - the price is negotiable however the bottom price is more or less fixed. They may ask you for 800 or more Bahts (which you really should not pay) and you will probably finish on 500 Bahts. Yes, I agree that in Bangkok (and especially using the Taximeter) you can pay around 1/3 of the price for a comparable trip but I have to accept that probability to find a customer for the trip back is rather low. For the way back from Resort to the airport you will pay 500 Bahts anyway because it is a fixed (not negotiable) price of the local taxis.
3) Staying 8 nights we have rented a car for one week. Although I do not wish to support any company I have to say that we were very satisfied with http://www.purecarrent.com/. They have delivered the car directly to the resort and they also collected the car from the same place - we just left the the car keys at the reception. Everything was quick & simple, and of very good value for the price paid.
4) Rent a car or not? If you do not want to stay all the time at the resort then I fully recommend to rent a car, nevertheless with some remarks. a) You should be an experienced and relaxed driver if you decide to drive in rush hours at (or close to) Phuket town. Especially beware of scooters. b) Phuket maps - your rent a car agency will provide a map and everyone will say that travelling across Phuket is easy. Do not believe... You will get just a very very basic map and so what we recommend is to compare always 2-3 maps for your better orientation (we had airport, another from rent a car company and another from our hotel... and it was really a puzzle). c) Direction signs - are mostly in Thai, sometimes with small English letters. It takes some time to get used and it is much better when you split your responsibilities that one is driving and the other navigating (neither one role is easy) d) Phuket's streets (especially main ones) are surprisingly very busy and in rush hours you can spend long minutes in local traffic jams e) With my wife we have agreed that renting a car for 3-4 days should be more than enough
5) The Renaissance resort - we simply loved it! However it much depends on what is your expectation. - Fully recommended when you wish to stay in a relaxed atmosphere of a top resort, out of the crowd but also out of typical tourist attractions.
6) Rooms - we have stayed in a one bedroom Suite and we were fully satisfied.
7) Breakfast - is till 11am every day and so very comfortable. You can sit both inside and outside. A top breakfast both in its assortment and quality. Surprisingly it sometimes takes even ten minutes before you get the ordered tea or coffee.
8) Sand box restaurant and bar - very good food, very good service
9) Takieng restaurant - our favourite! Delicious food and an excellent service!
10) Happy hours (second drink of the same category is free): Sand box 17:00 till 18:30 and the Pub in the Lounge (if we remember well) 20:00 till 21:30, so if in a good mood you can enjoy both before and after your dinner.
11) Wine - if you are wine lovers you can be suffering by high prices of wine in Thailand. At the resort's restaurants you can enjoy a bottle from circa 1.800 Bahts (+VAT and service). An alternative tip is to buy a bottle by yourself (Phuket, http://www.wineconnection.co.th/) for about a half price and pay a corkage of 300 Bahts in the resort's restaurant. This may help to make the wine prices acceptable.
12) Be careful if you are afraid of a hot Thai cuisine and inform your waiter. We love it hot and so even encouraged staff to be more daring.
13) Local restaurants close to the resort - very simple, more in a booth style. Well, we have enjoyed for a couple of times, especially for a late lunch. While at the resort you pay for a beer (33cl) 160,- Bahts (+VAT + service) = almost 190 Bahts, the same beer you get for 60 Bahts 150 meters away along the beach. Also meals are very cheap - mostly between 100 and 150 Bahts (which is also circa 1/3 of hotel prices). Nevertheless it does not mean that we would prefer this local booths. It was good, satisfying and very simple food but usually nothing to really enjoy... So, up to you.
14) Massage - as mentioned in most of reviews there are local massage booths very close (the nearest is just a few meters from the resort) and the price there for any kind of a provided massage is 400 Bahts per hour. I have carefully watched both local massage booth and the resort's massage services and it seemed that the locals have maybe 10 times more customers than the resort's spa. Sure, having a massage in a booth is definitely not a luxury but will you really care when you pay circa 5x less?
15) Our visit of the JW Marriot - a luxury resort, much bigger than the Renaissance. - We would not change! ... One evening we visited the JW's Japanese restaurant Kabuki - an excellent food but so overpriced... Actually, we paid close to 6.000 Bahts and we have left the restaurant (almost hungry) within 30 minutes from a moment we were seated. What a fine dining!?
A couple of small remarks addressed to the Resort's management:
A) Did you seriously considered prices of your spa procedures? I am not questioning a quality, service and luxury which is provided in the Spa, nevertheless I am not sure if it can compete with locals when they offer prices five times lower (per hour and including VAT and service).
B) We have appreciated to have a tea bags in the room however there was only a black tea available - a kind a a herbal tea would definitely a nice complement.
C) It is rather funny but I have to say that we never experienced in 4 or 5 star hotel such a low quality of a toilet paper.
Although I did not exult throughout all my review I honestly say that the Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa is one of the best resorts we ever visited, that the resort is very well managed, have very kind and well trained staff and most of things work quite perfect there. We have enjoyed our stay and hope that one day we return!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled amidst tropical gardens, the chic boutique-like Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa, a Marriott Luxury & Lifestyle Hotel, offers privacy and is only 15 minutes leisurely drive from Phuket International Airport. Our Phuket, Thailand resort's location is ideally adjacent to beautiful Sirinath Marine National Park, as well, providing the chance to completely enjoy the magic of our island. We offer 22 Pool Villas and 4 Ocean Front Pool Villas with private pool and large patio, 4 One Bedroom Suites and 150 Deluxe Rooms. Two outdoor swimming pools, Quan Spa with eight treatment rooms, 6 event venues, steam rooms, outdoor massage sala, fitness centre, bike rides, cooking school, diving lessons, Kid's world and children's pavilion with indoor recreation area and outdoor pool all delight travelers to Thailand. Golf is available nearby, and for your gastronomical journey, our hotel offers an all-day restaurant with fresh ingredients - our signature Loca Vore, Takieng - Thai Restaurant. We also provide The Lounge, Doppio for gourmet deli with coffee and tea leaf bar and Sand Box at Mai Khao beachfront serving international cuisine during the day and BBQ at night. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Renaissance Phuket Resort And Spa
- Renaissance Phuket Hotel Mai Khao
- Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa Mai Khao