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Reviewed 28 February 2012

We stayed at the Hilton Phuket at Karon Beach for 8 nights in February 2012. The hotel and grounds are beautiful, and it is about a 1 hour drive from the Phuket airport. We got a taxi at the desk at the airport for 750 BHT. My husband is an HHonors diamond member, and we used award points for our stay. At check in, we had a warm greeting, cold fruit juices, a cold towel, I got a bouquet of orchids, and my husband a garland of jasmine and orchids. However, we were told that they were giving us a standard King room, as opposed to our reservation, which was for a “King Deluxe Seaview”. Luckily I had our reservation printed out. They were able to get us a king deluxe in the renovated Andaman wing near the beach if we waited 20 minutes for the room to be ready (which we did). They also gave us a voucher for the dinner buffet, and promised to keep searching for a sea view room in the next few days. True to their word, 2 nights later we were able to move to an identical room with a beautiful sea view. The rooms came with 2 bottled waters per day, which was nice since you can’t drink the tap water. Water and snacks in local convenience stores and 7-11 stores are also inexpensive.
When we had a problem with the shower drain, maintenance came immediately to fix the problem. Also, when we moved rooms, the bellman appeared in minutes to help us pack up and move everything. We found all of the staff hard working and friendly.
As a diamond member, we had breakfast included. We could eat in the Executive Lounge or at the Sails restaurant buffet. We chose Sails, as it was much larger with more selection. The buffet was delicious, with a variety of foods including pancakes, egg station, bacon, fried rice, Indian dishes, fresh fruits and juices, cereal, oatmeal, pastries, etc. It also goes until 11am, which was great when we wanted to sleep in and have a long, lazy breakfast.
We used our dinner voucher one night for the buffet at the hotel. Drinks were not included, and with my one shake and my husband’s beer, the bill ended up costing as much as any of our other meals around Karon. If you walk along the sidewalk by the beach for 10 minutes in either direction, you will find great Thai food for much less than the hotel. We went back twice to Bai Joey restaurant and Mama Restaurant. Most of our dinners were $25 with drinks, appetizer, and 2 entrees. All of the wait staff understood English and warned us if dishes would be too spicy for us! Not as impressed with the Hungry Corner restaurant or Chillis.

We did 2 day tours during our stay: Elephant Trekking and Phi Phi Islands tour. We booked the Elephant trek through the hotel leisure desk. We booked Phi Phi islands (and our return airport taxi) through one of the tour desks on the side streets near the hotel. The lady we used was named Phen, and to get to her tour desk we went left on the sidewalk by the beach, and about 2 minute walk up the first street on the left. There are not that many streets, it is easy to find. Both the islands tour (with V-Marine, http://v-marine-tour.com/phiphi.htm) and our return taxi were less than half of what the hotel leisure desk charged, and were great. We could also pay by credit card, which was nice.
We have stayed at Hiltons all over the world, and different hotels have different types of Executive Lounges. The one here had soft drinks all day, but that was about it (and they weren’t cold!). The only complimentary alcohol was during an early happy hour. We like to stay on the beach until sunset (6:30pm), so we never made it for that. They did have 2 computers with internet access, which was nice, but the lounge closed pretty early (9pm). Compared to other lounges, which offer snacks all day, alcohol after 5:30pm, and stayed open later, it was a bit of a disappointment. For instance, in Paris, we were able to have an after dinner drink, some dessert, and use the internet until 11pm. So it wasn’t much of a benefit in Phuket.

Karon Beach was right across the street from the hotel, and there was a crossing guard to help you across the busy road day and night. A chair and umbrella set on the beach costs 200 BHT per day. Make sure you hold on to your receipt in case you want to leave and come back. Also, you have to sit in the same area you pay for, as different locals own different areas, and the boundaries are not that clear. The local snack bars on the beach are great, we had cold coconuts every day. Don’t be afraid to ask them to split open the coconut or for a spoon so you can eat the meat inside. We also got 1 hour Thai massages right on the beach for 300 BHT. So wonderful!

We did experience some “sea lice” (as we heard it called by others) in the ocean water, which stung and left red welts. I think they may be jellyfish larvae? From what I’ve read online, they are only there at certain times, and on our last day, we did not get bites. It did take away from our enjoyment of the water on those days. We headed to the hotel pools, which are very nice. We especially liked the Tranquility area (no children, radios, etc). I would suggest to Hilton to either make the area larger, or put more chairs there, as it was really our favorite spot. I am not sure about how clean the pools are, at least compared to the USA. I don’t think they are chlorinated and we often saw bugs, leaves, hair, etc floating around. They may want to step up their filtration/skimming a bit.

Be careful of sun exposure even while under an umbrella. You can get a dark burn pretty quickly. We did carry-on luggage, so we weren’t able to bring sun block over 3 oz. We bought some at 7-11, but be aware that it is the one item that seems very expensive in Phuket!

I hope some of the tips are helpful to other travelers to the Hilton Phuket. We really did have a nice, relaxing stay there, and would recommend it to other travelers!

Date of stay: February 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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10  Thank chernd00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonPhuketArcadia, General Manager at Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 1 March 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your valuable feedback and for taking the time to post your comprehensive and detailed comments of your experience with us on TripAdvisor.com

Feedback is always important as it is integral in our continuous evaluation and review of our services and facilities that we provide our guests in order to refine our offerings. We have noted all your comments and will be reviewing each of these with our respective Department Heads.

Most importantly, I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed your overall stay at our hotel. We thank you for your truly valuable comments and we look forward to welcoming you back on your next trip to Phuket.

Best regards,
Andre A Gomez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2012

We spent a week here with our two boys, 8 and 12 years old.
The hotel is very big with a nice green area. However, we were not very happy.
The rooms were worn down and it seemed clear that maintanance had been halted quite a while ago. This was far from the 5-star standard I had expected. The view was nice though.

This is a multi-purpose hotel which also caters to business people and conferences. We never got that intimate, friendly feeling you so often get at other good hotels in Thailand, I felt rather like I was living in a machine.

Prices at the hotel for food and drinks was very high. Juice or coke was double what we paid at an other 5-star hotel in Kaho Lak. Eating lunch and dinner there was out of the question.

In order to get to the (very) public beach, you need to cross a fairly traficated road and a littered pathway. We ended up hardly ever using this beach.

I will not return to this hotel.

Date of stay: February 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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1  Thank svein s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonPhuketArcadia, General Manager at Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 1 March 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share feedback of your experience with us on TripAdvisor.
We are of course disappointed to hear that some aspects of your stay was not up to your expectations.

You will be pleased to know that we have in the last 6 months initiated a refurbishment program to our rooms where one third of our rooms have been completed. This is very much part of our improvement plan as part of our goal of enhancing our guest experience. In addition, our maintenance team has planned an extensive maintenance in the rest of the rooms after this Peak Season in order to ensure that our room condition is always at its best.
Our hotel provides services and facilities to support both business travellers and holiday makers continually and we look to enhance these offerings accordingly. We thank you for your comments which only reinforces the work that we are now doing to reassure our guests that they will always receive warm Thai hospitality during their stay.
As you have outlined, Karon Beach is indeed a public beach where it is easily accessible from the hotel by crossing the beachfront road and our security guard is always on standby to assist our guests to cross the road 24 hours a day. As an alternative for our hotel guests, we have 3 pools where one of them overlooks the ocean and they are fully equipped with umbrellas and sun loungers where our guests can enjoy swimming in different environments. This includes a sand court that provides a semi beach feel to your afternoon.
We appreciate your comment on our Food & Beverage pricing and we have noted your comments on our food prices as part of our next menu review process.
In spite of your disappointments, we are pleased to hear that you liked our gardens and our views and we trust that you also enjoyed the other facilities & service offered here during your stay.

We thank you again for your feedback.

Best regards,
Andre A Gomez
General Manager

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Reviewed 24 February 2012

The bathroom was amazing! There was a huge shower with an ordinary and a rain shower. It was light-flooded as two of the walls were made of glass. Actually, the whole room was great!
The staff was really friendly and the service perfect.
The hotel has a huge park with lots of palm trees and water. To go to the beach, you have to cross the main street, but there's someone who stops the cars for you.
If you want to take the tuk tuk or taxi, there is a station right next to the hotel on the street.

Date of stay: January 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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2  Thank YaJu0906
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonPhuketArcadia, General Manager at Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 28 February 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for staying at Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa and taking time in commenting on our property through TripAdvisor.

Most importantly, we are pleased to hear that you had an enjoyable stay with us and that you liked our shower and our hotel grounds. It gives us great pleasure to know that you felt well taken care of by our friendly and attentive team members during your trip to Phuket.

Thank you again for this review and we look forward to welcoming you back to our resort on your next visit.

Best regards,
Andre A Gomez
General Manager

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Reviewed 24 February 2012

We stayed at this hotel in a ocean view delux for 13 nights with a 3 year old. Overall very satisfied with the hotel, the Maid was the sweetest making rabbits and elephants of the towels for our son, and kissing swans for us:-) the pool guys at the pool were also great- always smiling and playing with our son. Breakfast superb, best we have ever tried! As for the grounds- a bit old and huge- lacking personality , But we enjoyed it- it is close to the beach, restaurants and shopping, it also feels very safe with good security. The spa is very idyllic, but try body&mind dayspa at Karon instead- so much more for your money! The beach is not the best option for kids- big waves and rip currents. But only a 200 baht drive to kata and nai harn beach witch Are superb. Karon is a quiet place comparred to patong, great og you travel with family. Would surely recommend this resort!

Date of stay: February 2012
    • Value
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1  Thank imiNorway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonPhuketArcadia, General Manager at Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 28 February 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for staying at Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa and for taking the time to post this special review on TripAdvisor.

It is such a pleasure to read that you and your family enjoyed your overall stay at our hotel. We are glad that you liked our Hilton Breakfast and our hotel location with easy access to Karon Beach, restaurants and shopping areas. We are delighted to hear that you feel safe staying here and you trust our hotel security.

We are thrilled to read that you recognised the attentiveness of our team members and their efforts to deliver warm hospitality and exceptional services. It is great to know that you appreciated the efforts of our housekeeper and that your son was well taken care of by our pool team. Your feedback will only be of great motivation to the team.

Thank you again for this review and we look forward to welcoming you and your family back to our resort on your next trip to Phuket.


Kind regards,
Andre A Gomez
General Manager

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Reviewed 22 February 2012

Before arriving to Phuket we were looking for a small boutique type hotel/villa with private pool. but as we didn't have enough time we ended up staying at this hotel. the property of this hotel is huge. its really big they 3 or even 4 building with more one thousand rooms, 3 swimming pools and a number of restaurants. first night we had a pleasant dinner along with a nice 3 talented singers band. the stuff and service are highly professional and polite. Thai people actually very pleasant, polite and warm. they always smile what makes you feel better every time.
The best thing we experienced here was spa. They have separate spa section, one of the most quiet and relaxing places in the whole area. Small wooden houses have their one names and assigned to different spa treatments. the spa therapists are very professional and know exactly have to make you completely relaxed.
The only thing that beach is a bit far from the hotel and Italian restaurant isn't that good. But if you go down outside of the hotel there is one of the best Italian restaurants ever, they have delicious pizzas there.
One thing which made as a bit uncomfortable is that when i suddenly fell sick and when we called the reception for any medicine they denied and said that they don't have any so we had to go out quiet far away to find a chemist store.
Otherwise its a nice place to stay but next time we'd prefer to try smth different.

Date of stay: October 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Camilla_1107
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonPhuketArcadia, General Manager at Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 24 February 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your pleasing comments and for staying at Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa. It is always encouraging to receive feedback.

Most importantly, I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed your overall stay at our hotel and in particular the warm hospitality of our team members and the Spa. We are also delighted to know that you enjoyed your dinner on the first night as much as you enjoyed the live music from our in-house band. We will be sure to communicate this back to the band and our team.
We thank you for your comments on Boun Appettito where we will share your comments with our Executive Chef for review and improvement. We apologise for the inconvenience relating to your request for medication as it seems there has been a miscommunication. We always look to assist guests requiring medical support where we recommend them to go to the hotel First Aid Centre where is daily open from 08.00-21.00 hours. There is a certified nurse on standby and a qualified doctor is also available from 15.00-16.00 hours. Failing this, a doctor is also available on call for visits outside of these hours for a fee.

With this in mind, again thank you for your comments. We look forward to welcoming you back to Phuket.

Best regards,
Andre A Gomez
General Manager

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