Monday Morning Consultant – Phuket Edition – Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort Review

Frequent Flyers love the change of new places and countries, but they like consistency in hotels and service just as much as the change in locale – this tends to be a paradox of sorts. It with the search for consistency in mind, that I booked another “Free night” award at the Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort. I chose this hotel because I had stayed here 4 years ago and was really pleased with the hotel and service.

One should note that this is an older hotel that is currently going through some renovations. This shows on the reception area. This is not a knock on the hotel, it’s just a reflection that this isn’t a newer hotel.

SPG Platinum Check In Experience

Checking into the hotel was as pleasant as I remembered it. Typical mid level “wais” and welcome drink were presented. They had my room waiting for us and my upgrade was waiting, unlike some SPG hotels on this trip where I had to ask for the upgrade.

Additionally, they had researched the fact that I had been there 4 years ago, and recognized the fact. (This is one of those small touches, that doesn’t show up in reviews but really does add up to an overall difference). We were escorted to the room by the Guest Services Manager, who apologized for the walk around the corner to the room.

The lobby and check in area had not changed over the past 4 years … so I’ll just include a 4 yr old picture of the area.

Once we checked in, the staff came by with more welcome gifts

  • Le Meridien boutique bag with 2 Le Meridien polo shirts, gift certificates and area information.
  • Fruit basket with local fruit and description of each fruit in the basket. (Yet another great touch – my GF for instance had never eaten Mangosteen before and the pamphlet included was a really good idea). They also refreshed the fruit basket daily!
  • Plats also get free daily Buffet Breakfast for two at the main restaurant. This is easily a $50 daily benefit and sets up your day perfectly. Definitely an awesome Plat perk at this hotel and yet another “differentiator” with this hotel.
  • Plats get free Internet also (typical – but your mileage sometime varies on this one)

As a SPG Plat, we were upgraded us to one of the Terrace Suites in the corner of the hotel. The room is exactly as shown on the website … it’s just too bad it was a rainy day on check in.

Coming out of the room, you’re treated to the full terrace view. Personally, I felt that the terrace was a waste of space, but if you have tons of friends staying with you, then this is an awesome party space overlooking the resort. This space would be phenomenal if optimized with some sort of jacuzzi or pool.

5+1 tips to enhance your Le Meridien stay even further

A couple tips to get the best out of your Le Meridien Phuket Beach resort experience

  1. This resort isn’t in the main area in Phuket, so you will need to find some transportation into town. It is about a 6-9 minute ride into Beach Road, but you have at least 5 options of getting into town.
    • Using the hotel shuttle, which leaves every 30 mins (7am – 9pm) will cost 100 baht per person.
    • Using the hotel private taxi will cost you 300 baht in total with no waiting.
    • Walking into the parking lot, outside the main area are local taxi drivers. It will cost between 150 – 200 baht total (all depends on your negotiating skills) for their car.
    • You can walk outside the main gate (3 min walk) and there are a couple locals who have setup businesses right outside the hotel compound. You can find a taxi service there – negotiate the same ride and you can spend between 100 – 150 baht to get into town.
    • Finally, you can walk to the main road and flag down a “tuk tuk“. Expect to pay between 100-150 baht to get into town. Don’t expect the local price unless you’ve been around Thailand a while and know a little bit of Thai.
  2. All your shopping, massages and eating should be done in town. Booking any tours (Phi Phi Island, Phang Nha/James Bond Island /Krabi) should be down in town. For instance:
    • Using the extremely convenient tour service desk at the hotel, will cost between 2200 – 2800 baht per person for a Phi Phi Islands tour
    • Going into town and find a random tour desk/hawkers (located all along Beach Road) will cost you between 1000 – 1300 a person with the one hour taxi ride to the Marina thrown in. (We paid 2200 for two people for the exact same tour). I’m sure, if you’re super price sensitive – you can haggle even further – if you so choose.
  3. Look for the baby elephant that walks through the hotel every day at 10:30am and 3pm. Kids and adults go bonkers for the baby elephant!But these are wild animals and will behave as they please … 😛

  4. This hotel has some great pools and one large enough for doing laps. Use it!
  5. If you want to get some suits made (I highly recommend making some of them in Phuket) – use the hotel tailor to get an idea of prices, then walk outside the compound to find out more prices from the tailor outside the hotel and then finally head into town and get your suits made for a reasonable price. (I had three suits, 11 shirts and ties made for about 1000$ CDN – your price will vary based on the cloth you use – but it is ALWAYS an excellent value compared to anything in North America)

Overall :

This hotel is like an old girlfriend – it might not have the perkiest facilities and sexy artsy nuances, but it is reliable and more than makes up for any comparative short comings with attention to detail, extremely good customer service and an over arching commitment to please their Platinum guests.

This hotel is a family type hotel, so expect the rugrats roaming around in the pool. However, it is an oasis from the nonsense that Beach and Bangla Roads tend to be. You will definitely relax away from all that hustle and bustle, unless you’re looking to be in the heat of the action. If you’re looking for the action, then this is not the hotel for you and there are a million other well positioned alternatives in another Cancun of Asia.

There is no business lounge and little Wi-Fi connectivity – yet again … my signature pet peeve with all the Starwood hotels in this side of the world.

So overall, this is hotel is another awesome value for the the “SPG Free Nights” promotion … and I’ll definitely want to stay here again, when I come back to Phuket.

Don’t forget to enjoy the sunsets in Phuket

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at [email protected]