The Surin Phuket
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Historical Traveler Reviews The Surin Phuket Thalang
I cannot believe that this website only gives the Chedi 3 stars. If this is not a 5 star resort, then I don't know what is!
We enjoyed every minute at the Chedi - the service, the surroundings, the facilities, the rooms, the food, everything was wonderful. We stayed in a 2 bedroom cottage, and it was lovely - not at all tired. They supply beautiful shower products and the attention to detail in the room was impressive. A bowl of fruit with a card addressed to me on arrival, turndown service with lovely orchids on the pillows and yummy biscuits every day, thorough cleaning, usually performed quite discreetly while we were at breakfast, comfortable beds, a good shower, it was all good. Our room was very close to the pool and the beach - the sound of the waves crashing on the beach at night was wonderful.
The buffet breakfast each morning was supurb, with a wide range options, including eggs, pancakes or waffles cooked to order right in front of you. The Sunset Cafe was also wonderful, offering service directly to the sun loungers by the pool (the height of laziness, I know!).
The staff were accommodating when we had another friend of ours come to join us for a few days, without prior warning in our booking. She was made to feel as welcome as we were.
Only 2 small problems:
Firstly, one day I was quite ill and spent the day in bed - the staff were aware that I was ill, as I had to cancel my place on a tour we were booked into. They did not stop ringing the room all day, often to ask the same questions that I had just answered 5 minutes prior. And it wasn't that they were ringing to ask how I was (even though the lady at reception had promised my friend that she would, when they left on the tour without me). No, it was a series of fairly unimportant queries about our flight details when we left, what time we would be checking out, did we want a car, etc. As I had already given this information more than once, it seemed unnecessary - especially as we were not leaving until the next day, and I had told them that I was ill in bed. The housekeeping service also repeatedly knocked on the door and phoned to ask when they could clean the room, even though I kept telling them that they couldn't that day, as I was in bed. I know they meant well, but it was quite irritating when I was just trying to sleep. It was my holiday, after all - not boarding school. Even if I wasn't ill, surely spending a day in bed is the customer's prerogative. (they don't seem to have a "do not disturb" option)
The other minor issue is that the red flags were up at the beach every single day we were there. However, the sea was not actually rough at all. I swam a few times, and there was no problem at all (and I was not the only person out there). They need to watch that the fixture of the red flags doesn't make them lose their value as a warning tool. If the red flag is always up when it's safe and people swim anyway, how will they know when it really is not safe?
Otherwise, the Chedi was perfect - we loved it!
Good times at the Chedi
We stayed at the Chedi in early April 2005 and were absolutely delighted with our trip. Everyone from Daniel the general manager to Chuk the waiter were courteous and pleasant to deal with.
We arranged our stay by directly calling the Chedi and were able to get a deluxe room at substantially discounted prices without any haggling. Our airport transfer to/from the hotel as well as breakfast were also complimentary.
The deluxe room that we had offered great views of the Surin beach and the Andaman sea...wonderful to wake up to the sunny skies and white beaches and relaxing to fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves. It was very close to the beach and the beach restaurant (which was closed during our stay).
We thought the dining experience was great. The BBQ lobster and prawns were especially delicious. The views from either restaurant further enhanced our dining experience.
We also did a couples' spa package which was very relaxing. With the sun setting, waves crashing and birds chirping in the background, it was almost dreamlike.
Like other reviewers, we also considered staying at the Amanpuri next door. Our room was as close to the Amanpuri as possible, so we took a stroll down and checked it out. While we were not able to see the rooms, but noted that the beach area for the Amanpuri was a lot smaller than I guessed. Based on beach frontage, it is probably about 25% that of the Chedi's, and probably about 10% based on square footage. If you like spending time on the beach (instead of the rooms), the Chedi is actually better as it does not feel as congested as the Amanpuri's truncated beach area.
I would recommend the Chedi to anybody. Moreover, Phuket is doing very well and should be commended for all their rebuilding efforts. I hope that in due time, tourism to Phuket will rebound quickly.
Beautiful beach, huts a bit tired
We stayed at the Chedi in March for a long weekend. The beach is incredibly beautiful - the water so clear and warm. Hardly anyone was on the beach - massage ladies & drinks sellers outnumbered the guests!
Was a little disappointed with the huts - the one we had was in need of a bit of maintenance. I agree with a previous reviewer about the expense of the hotel taxi service - if you walk down the hill, you can get a meter taxi (much cheaper than the hotel version). The food and drinks were quite reasonably priced.
Hope the tourists return to Phuket soon....they need our tourist dollars!
You gotta love staying in a villa on Phuket's best beach
The Chedi is a beautiful hotel right on, one of the nicest beaches in phuket-Surin Beach. When you are here-you will forget that most of Phuket is horribly built up. We had a deluxe room, but were able to haggle for a beach front bungalow-for an extra $50 per night (this was during their low season april-october). The room was beautiful. Very comfortable and the second bedroom was nice to relax in. The food was so so. The Thai food wasn't very good-quite bland. I wish there were more choices on their menu. Breakfast buffet was quite nice. One nice thing about this hotel is that it is located right next to the exculsive Amanpuri hotel-you are welcome to use their restaurants, except their staff will keep reminding you that you are from the Chedi. The Chedi has a golf cart to take you to and from the Amanpuri. The Amanpuri has a great Thai restaurant (also have an Italian one)and well worth the visit. In the evening you will hear wonderful noises coming from the lily pond by the reception-you won't believe that frogs can make so much noise.
The only issue about this place is that it's hard to get a taxi from the hotel. The staff want you to arrange transport with them for around 800tbt, which is ridiculous-since if you use a metered cab from the airport to the hotel it should cost 300tbt. They won't call any of the taxi companies for you-so you are stuck with them if you have an early morning flight. During the day you can walk down to the main street and get a cab or songtaew to take you were you want to go.
Chilled-out style - great place to stay
We normally aren't "beach holiday" people, so we booked 14 nights at the Chedi with some trepidation. However, we had stayed at sister hotels in Bali (The Chedi Ubud and the now rebadged Serai in Chandi Dasa), so were emboldened by previous great experiences with GHM hotels.
Our first reaction was "their website does this no justice"! With all the cottage rooms melting into the hillside, the stylish communal building is a striking, yet fitting view from the spacious, private beach. With modern-Thai rooms that still feel individual, and the small number of guests, we felt completely at home and relaxed throughout our stay.
We love our food, so we were very happy to see a wide range of on-site options ranging from the pool bar, through beach BBQs (although the term doesn't do the great food and white linen tablecloths justice), to the high-cuisine fusion restaurant at the far end of the beach. On nights we fancied a change, a free shuttle into nearby Patong Beach was available (a lively, but not gourmet option!), as were recommendations for excellent local restaurants outside the resort.
The staff were incredably friendly and welcoming, and it was simple to excursions ranging from elephant treking or sea-kayaking to private or group diving expediations and the Chedi's own excellent cookery course.
I can't recomend the Chedi highly enough, or the sister hotels in Bali. I think we have finally found a beach holiday we can cope with!
We visited The Chedi at Easter 2003 and had a lovely time. Within 1 day it felt we had been there for a week! The hotel is not flash / fancy, unlike the Amanpuri next door, but it had everything you need and the service was fantastic. The Chedi was great value, and the beach one of the best, if not the best in Thailand. I only hope it is on the road to recovery after the Tsunami.
We especially liked the recommendation of the manager to venture out to a new modern thai restaurant, off the beaten track.
We did a cooking course, which was great fun and insightful, and included a market tour in a nearby town.
An early morning swim out to the pontoon, along with the beautifully coloured fish, before breakfast was a great way to start each day. The quality of the food was great for a hotel, and reasonably priced (although there are some great, cheap places outside of hotels).
Our room was up the hill, but on the beachfront, and still had water views, and it provided some exercise walking to and from the beach or pool! Perfect for sunsets! I am not sure you would want the rooms up the back towards / on the other side of the Spa.
All in all it was a great stay, and we have recommended several friends to the Chedi, who also enjoyed it.
The "romantic" place to be
Just returning from this marvelous place!
One of the best intimate and lovely "small" hotels of the island...
Far from big resorts, a lot of stairs to climb, but isolated in the heart of vegetation with unique view...
So not a family place but the best romantic hotel of Phuket!!
We love it
Paradise with frogs!
We stayed at the Chedi for 5 nights in August this year (2004) and it is a fabulous place.
Having just spent 3 days and nights in polluted, congested Bangkok, arriving in the peace and tranquility of Phuket was a delight (how can there be such a contrast in driving styles from BK to Phuket?) We were driven from the airport at a sedate 50KPH for about 20 minutes through stunning countryside and villages to arrive at the oasis that is The Chedi.
All the rooms are small thatched huts starting on the beach and going up the hill - be warned, up at the top rooms it's a bit of a climb up those stairs. I was certainly a lot fitter by the time I left! Inside the room was the main room (huge bed) with a separate dressing area with walk in shower and separate WC. There are robes provided and luxurious toiletries including nail scissors (makes a change from the usual useless showercap!) You also have Satellite TV and a minibar. They provide you with unlimited free bottled water in the room and there was a supply of about 20 bottles in a cupboard under the sink.
Outside the room is your own secluded sundeck with loungers and table. Ours had a gorgeous view of the beach down below. The rooms/huts are set out in such a way that no-one walks past your deck so it's very private and peaceful.
The staff cannot do enough for you. Never before have we been offered seats while checking in. As with most of Thailand, the staff are extremely polite and friendly. You never have to carry your luggage to or from your room - they have teams of people to do that carrying stuff!
Either side of the open air reception is a lily pond and every night, dozens of frogs and toads would sit on the lilypads croaking away - very soothing and tropical.
Just down from the reception overlooking the beach and hexagonal pool is the Sunset Bar. Here you can order drinks, cocktails and lovely meals while again being attentively waited upon. It is a truly magnificent sunset view too with palm trees silhouetted in the foreground you can't resist taking postcard-like photos.
The white sanded beach is only accessible from the Chedi and neighbouring Amanpuri hotel and therefore is pretty much empty all the time. While we were there (low season) the sea was too rough to swim in and red flags were displayed every day. However, you could paddle in it and it was lovely and warm.
Getting about - The hotel has it's own minibus and taxis (both airconditioned thankfully) and you could go to nearby Patong for 500 baht (about £7) which is expensive for Thailand but worth it for the lack of hassle and the cost is added to your hotel bill. They also ran a free nightly minibus to Patpong which left at 9pm and returned at 12.30am. 3 1/2 hours in Patong is enough for anyone on a night! Reception can also arrange a range of excursions for you. We did the James Bond Island speedboat day - very good if a somewhat early start (picked up at 7am - ouch!) for 2600 baht (£35) per person. You can book these excursions cheaper in Patong town but we sort of trusted the hotel more!
The restaurant in the hotel was lovely and very reasonable. The only particularly expensive thing is wine - very pricey in Thailand thanks to the 340% tax levied on it by the government. We had a traditional Thai meal with a bottle of white wine which came to about £25 for two - still very reasonable for such a fine dining experience. The only thing it could have done with is A/C but that's a bit difficult when the whole place is very open air. You get used to the heat eventually and the spinning ceiling fans help. They also do a Thai theme night once or twice a week with traditional Thai entertainment and music.
Other facilities available were:
-internet for hire in reception
-a free library (with novels etc. set out in their different languages)
-a Thai cookery course
-a shop for all those essentials, postcards and souvenirs
-A Spa for being pampered and massaged.
All in all a lovely relaxing time with long days spent lounging on the beach being sold cans of soft drinks served in bags of ice by local sellers (also very polite and non-hassling) or coconuts wit staws in for 30 bahts each (£0.50.)
I was truly sad to leave at the end of our five days and would love to go back. Full marks to all at The Chedi.
My husband and I spent 3 days at the Chedi in August 2004 and we only wished we could spend more time there. We received a warm welcome on arrival and continued to be extremely impressed with the hospitability of the staff. The resort staff were very friendly and attentive to our needs but were never intrusive. It was the rainy season of the year when we went and the resort was not full. I estimate the ratio of staff to guest at that time to be approximately at least 2-3 to 1.
The resort is beautifully constructed along a hill facing the Surin beach. Each suite is a separate bangalow. In the afternoons I enjoyed reading a book in the lounge chair outside the bungalow while looking out at the ocean and listening to the trees whisper to the gentle winds. The Chedi is secluded for maximum relaxation, but the resort also provides two daily shuttle services to the Patong beach for shopping, dining and hanging out. Other means of transportation from Patong back to the resort, i.e. Tuc-tucs (and maybe cabs), can be found easily. There are far more Tuc-tucs in Phuket than cabs though. The fare is rather inexpensive - around $10 for a cab ride and $5-6 for a Tuc-tuc, subject to negotiation.
If you are at the Chedi, make sure to visit the spa at least once for a traditional massage, and try the Thai cooking lesson. We had a great time learning to cook Thai food with the chef, and were taken on a tour to the local market. In summary, Chedi offered superb service. If you want an experience without noisy kids running around, this is a place you should seriously consider.
My husband and I stayed here in August 2000. It is a truly exceptional hotel. Beautifully designed on a private beach, the hotel is an oasis. The only other hotel to share the beach is the Amanapuri which is about 4 times as much. The Chedi is equally beautiful at a fraction of the price. We had our own private bungalow, beautifully decorated with an ocean view. There isn't anything immediately around the hotel, you have to get a taxi into town, but we ended up spending most evenings in the hotel since the food was great and it was so peaceful. All of the staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful, we cannot recommend this hotel enough.
TripAdvisor Reviews The Surin Phuket Thalang
Travel Blogs from Thalang
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