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“An oasis of calm after the bustling city”

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Absolute Chandara Resort & Spa
Ranked #85 of 97 Hotels in Thalang District
Reviewed 6 April 2012

Having read the TA reviews I was a little uneasy about booking (mixed reviews), so I sought advice from someone who had stayed previously - and went ahead with the booking and I'm glad we did.. Bought a deal through Agoda - studio villa with upgrade to Pool Villa with breakfast.
We had a hire car, and finding Chandara was no easy feat! After travelling the same road back and forth a couple of times, wrong turns and incorrect maps we finally found it! FYI it is pass the sign that says Gibbon Rehabilitation (can't really remember anymore!).
Drove through a little fishing village on the way and there it was!
On first impressions it looked lovely. Up the stairs to the reception which overlooks the infinity pool and the bay. Easy check in.
Our Villa didn't have a view of the water (so try to upgrade/request one that has). Small basket of fruit on arrival, kitchen, lounge with TV, huge bedroom and bed, dressing room and a big bathroom which had a huge bath set in stones and overlooks the pool. You can access the bathroom via the outdoor shower which leads to the pool. Outdoors we had a table with 2 chairs, 2 sunloungers with umbrella and a gorgeous private pool. Note - the pool floor and stairs were rather slippery. (The hot water trickles into the bath, so if you want one, start it early!)
Unpacked and headed out to explore the resort. The restaurant overlooks the beach - we enjoyed a storm complete with heavy rain, lightning and thunder (umbrellas supplied). Restaurant wasn't busy, and they have a lady singing (carefull she'll invite you to belt out a tune - not my scene, but a few had a go). Staff are very friendly, and by the end of our stay they knew I was a coffee drinker, and always stopped by to ask if I wanted a refill.
Breakfast is served in the restaurant, and is plentiful, eggs anyway you like, cereals, toasts etc (I did notice that depending on the guests at that time, the breakfast menu reflected some of their dishes - eg rice, stir fried vegies when there Chinese/Japenese).
Chandara is a departure point for tours to islands, so during breakfast busloads of tourers are dropped off for their tours (they don't come into where you are eating though).
Good variety of food at restaurant for dinner, and if you want somewhere else to eat the Happy Place (a couple we met said they had great cheap food), or the Marina (great food - we ate there a couple of times - a meeting place for the boaties).
Resort quiet during the day, the pool was empty most of the time till a group holding a convention arrived (Russians) - they took over! - and the restaurant was shut one night due to this but wasn't a problem.
Took advantage of the free boat trip to Naka Island which departs twice daily (the beach in front of Chandara is not suitable for swimming) - take some money with you and have a drink at the bars overlooking the water, or have your photo taken with monkeys!
Wanted to go on an elephant safari and the gentleman booking the tours was more than happy to help with this, and offered some great advice. The tour company will pick you up from Chandara - we did the Sealand Elephant Trekking/White Water Rafting (see seperate review - great value for money).
Met a couple from the UK who were spending a whole month at Chandara (and they were really impressed and used the shuttle bus a few times and told us about the different tours they had done)
Used room service one night when hubby was ill (with a bug), expensive, but I didn't want to eat in the restaurant by myself.
We didn't have an adaptor, so they kindly supplied us with one, and didn't realise there were different towels available for our own pool, but when requested, they were bought to us with a smile!
Free internet available in the library and so many books and magazines for you to buy!
We didn't use the kitchen facilities to cook, but liked the fact we had a big fridge to store all our duty free in and keep cold. Better ice trays would be a great idea. Bottled water supplied each day.
Used the laundry service - reasonably priced and comes back smelling oh so fresh!
After the hustle and bustle of Kata Beach, Chandara was the perfect place to sit back and relax. Wished we had spent more time just lazing about the pool and doing nothing!
Yes, the villas are a bit tired, and could do with a spruce up, sometimes the cleaners missed things (only minor) - all in all, we enjoyed our stay and will recommend it to others.
If you are looking for nightlife and shopping, this is not the place for you - Chandara is the place to sit back with a good book and relax from the stress of everyday life..

Room Tip: Request a villa with a view of the water.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank frangipani69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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19 - 23 of 89 reviews

Reviewed 12 March 2012

Nice hotel with breathtaking views of the ocean. We stayed in a 1 bedroom villa, which was huge. It was almost as big as a house. The villa pool was nice to lounge around in private. The bathroom was very big too.

Staff- very friendly and spoke good english. There was a few who spoke little english, but we are in Thailand not America. The resturant staff was very friendly and would do anything to make your meal or drinks enjoyable. The lady who sings at night at the resturant is a wonderful lady and woudl always stop by our table to chat. Its not 5 star service, but they sure did try to make it that way. Some of the waiters were young and inexperienced, but they did a better job then I would of.

Naka Island- Its a must. We went to Naka Island 2 days in a row. My wife and I would have the whole beach to ourselves for 2-3 hours, then a boat of tourists would show up for an hour then leave, but they did there thing on the other end of the beach. So it was very peaceful and the water is very clean with nice white sand. Make sure you bring some money so you can buy drinks at the littel grass shack bar, also tip the local for using their lounge chairs and umbrella. We also rented the jet ski. Its kinda pricey but ive seen it pricer everywhere else around the world, so I took advantage of it and had a blast.

The resort if beautiful, but it does need a renovation. Needs some paint and patch work on the outside of the villas and they need to clean the lounge chairs from the meldew on the cushions. If the owners would pump some money into the resort this would be a HUGE 5 STAR, but i would say its currently a 4 star resort.

I know many people complained about the beach/water. I didnt see anyone at the beach and just a few locals in the water with their fishing nets. I would of swam in the water if I stayed there longer, but with the option of going to Naka Island, I would pick Naka Island everytime. The main resort pool is very nice with lots of lounge chairs. You had to walk to the resturant to order food or drinks. We reccommended to the staff thay they should have a waiter to walk around the pool area to take orders. They said they never thought of that, so hopefully they implement it.

Location- If you like isolation then this is the place to be. Its about a 30-40 minute drive into Phuket. So if you ar elooking for night life action this is not the place to stay. They do offer a free shuttle into town, but I think they should have more frequency. My wife and I are not into the Bar scene so we were prefectly fine with the isolation during our 3 nights here.

Overall this is a nice resort with a lot of potential to become great. I hope they spend the money for renovations.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank yeahawaii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2012

We have just returned from a 30 day stay at Chandara. We stayed in a 1 bedroom pool villa (999) with a wonderful view, we thought it ,the best holiday accommodation we have ever had. Waking up and having a swim in your very own pool was amazing. We are very surprised at some of the negative comments posted. As far as we were concerned breakfast was fine (yes when asked for bacon was always available). The manager and all the staff (especially Annie) were very friendly and helpful. Gardens and pool areas were idyllic , at times we seemed to have them all to ourselves. Courtesy shuttle both to the Island and Patong /Phuket fulfilled all our needs. The restaurant had an extensive menu which seemed to suit all tastes. Walking around the gardens listening to the birds singing and frogs croaking will remain with us for many months to come. Many thanks to the manager who asked about our welfare on a regular basis. Yes it is very quiet, but evening strolls out of the resort were very safe, walking to the Happy Hut Diner and the Marina bar/restaurant or the local village. Many thanks to the Tour East shuttle driver (Simon) for some excellent trips back and forth to Patong .

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Brentony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2012

The pictures on the website are very nice and that is the reason why we booked it. The first bungalow we got was next to the blower of the kitchen.very loud... Allthough I especially asked them to give us a calm bungalow. The dinner was a desaster, has not a lot to do with thai food. More for tourists who want to eat European thai food....
The breakfast is poor.
After having heavily complained we could move to another bungalow. Nice and calm.
The pool area is nice but run down as well. The beach is between 2 big marinas and is is not nice at all. it is more likely a pick-up place for a bunch of russians who go on a daytrip (10 minivans) every morning. with coffee welcome and shopping at the reception and breakfast area of the hotel. They even come to the restaurant and take come photos.... no private area for the hotel guests who would like to take their breakfast.
Only one possibility to eat outside. The "happy hut" :) it was really good! There is NOTHING to do else!!! Free shuttle service to Phuket town but the times are ridiculous! They make sure you are back to the hotel in the evening to spend your money there .... otherwise about 700bath for a taxi drive one way.
The price is absolutely NOT OK for the service and quality they offer. We are not picky but if we pay that much we expect a clean and nice bungalow and not some rund down ...
Some might have liked it.... some might have had more luck ... but I can not recommend not by any stretch of my imagination.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Sziszi77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2012

We stayed here for 10 nights in July and couldn't fault the resort. Perhaps the only thing was that most of the staff didn't speak English, at all really, but they were faultless in their service and friendliness, and a few mimes and sign language and patience and all worked out well, except for when we asked for garlic bread and after trying to explain it using hand gestures and facial expressions, they went off nodding and smiling and came back with a basket of every bread known to man! Except garlic bread!! But they were so proud and we were happy to pretend that it was just what we wanted! It really is not an issue if you have a sense of humour and respect these lovely people and appreciate they are trying their very best!

The resort is quite secluded and there is really nowhere to walk to for shops, except for a little supermarket just to right of the resort. However, there is a little boat that is free of charge and makes 2 trips a day over to Na Ka Island....... it is soooooo worth it, my husband and I were the only ones aboard on the occasions that we went. It is marvellous scenery and such a pretty little beach, perfect for swimming. There is a little bar on the beach that sells beer, soft drink and cocktails in coconuts!

We were upgraded (never hurts to ask) free of charge on our 4th night there to a pool villa overlooking the ocean! Wow! We spent hours leaning on the edge of the infinity pool watching the long boats and yachts go past, how special did we feel?

The food was lovely,especially the breakfasts, which are in a lovely open air room overlooking the bay, but we still went into Phuket a few times to eat and shop,which is only 30 minutes away. We had a wonderful driver named Simon, who gave us his mobile, he even took us for a days sightseeing on his day off..... of course we agreed a price before we left, it cost us about $25! Well worth it. He took us to The Big Buddha, the Temples and to see some spectacular views. Another "must do" is the Siam Elephant Safari day trip,which we booked through the resort, which is fabulous. They are very well cared for, and well fed!! We were shown how to tap rubber trees for sap and then how they make rubber, how they harvest rice, we rode on a cart pulled by water buffalo and the day ended on a Junk (traditional Thai boat) with a lovely dinner whilst cruising around the bay!

If you are looking for great nightlife and hustle and bustle this resort is not for you, as most of the time, due to the fact that most of the other guests went off on day trips, we pretty much had the place to ourselves! Aaaaaaah..... wonderful!

It was our third trip to Thailand, and with each trip we love it even more! We are off to Koh Samui in 5 weeks....... cannot wait. The Thai people and their homeland gets under your skin and we are totally addicted!

So, la khorn kha ( goodbye) for now.... might see you there.

Cheers, Jude and Garry.

Room Tip: Try for one overlooking the ocean...... bliss!
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Jude13SouthAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Absolute Chandara Resort & Spa

Address: 99/1 Moo 6, Ban Ao Por, Pa Khlok, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Phuket > Thalang District
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#30 Top resorts Hotel in Thalang District
#48 Spa Hotel in Thalang District
#49 On the Beach Hotel in Thalang District
#56 Luxury Hotel in Thalang District
Price Range: €39 - €2,395 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Absolute Chandara Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Absolute Chandara Resort & Spa in Phuket, Thailand. Reserve online now and get instant confirmation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Absolute Chandara Hotel Thalang
Absolute Chandara Resort And Spa
Absolute Chandara Resort & Spa Phuket, Thailand

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