Avista Phuket Resort & Spa – A Review By Punam Mohandas
The Avista Phuket is located on Kata, on a hillock; this adds an extra safety measure factor for guests in the event of a tsunami, which the region is prone to.
Classified as a four-star, the Avista has an open-air lobby with ceiling fans and comfortable modern Thai-style seating. The hotel has 143-keys split between two wings that are connected by elevators and a short walkway. Room categories include Deluxe, Grand Deluxe, Club Rooms and two suites. All rooms come with balconies and all bathrooms are equipped with bath tubs as well as shower stalls. Other in-room amenities include tea/coffee maker; flat screen TV; DVD player and electronic safe. Wi-fi is available through the property.
The Grand Deluxe rooms come with a king-size bed as also a double bed, with basic kitchenette facilities including a microwave and small fridge – good for families not wishing for separate rooms. The suites are fairly luxurious and quite spacious and come with two balconies, and a much larger bathroom space with two wash bowls. There are two large-screen TV’s; one in the sitting area and one above the bathtub. The suites get a romantic touch by the addition of a round bath tub in the bedroom, adjacent to the balcony, with a view out to the sea.
The only F&B outlet is En Vogue, which is an open-air all-day dining restaurant serving Thai, Asian and international cuisine, as also imported meats for barbecues. The food is good; no complaints here. The British executive chef effortlessly juggles cuisines, although his team at breakfast time do struggle to keep pace both with cooked-egg requests as well as the English language, considering the staff is Thai/Filipino and most guests are Scandinavian/Russian. In-room dining is available around-the-clock. There is also C2C, the wine lounge, while Zing is the pool bar.
The Avista offers a small spa that has three treatment rooms with twin beds. The Sukko is the signature treatment here that combines Thai massage with aromatherapy. The sauna is located within the spa and the cost is THB300 per 15-minutes; bit unusual, that.
Other recreational facilities include two swimming pools; a Jacuzzi, a small but adequate gym overlooking the pool; a Kids Club and a Games room with darts, pool and table tennis. There is a library as well, near the bigger pool, which has been done up like a comfortable lounge, and stocks books in English, Russian and Scandinavian languages. Additionally, guests can use the computers here free of charge, as also take some essential print-outs such as ticket or passport copies.
Conference facilities are fairly minimal and can hold a maximum of 100pax cocktail style. Meeting facilities can handle up to 80pax while banqueting can cater for 60pax.
Minor downsides include a lack of attention to small details; for instance, a towel hook and soap rack in the bathroom would be much appreciated. Housekeeping staff need to pay heed to replenishing amenities without being asked. Pest and mosquito control on the premises overall could be better executed.
The Avista Phuket Resort and Spa is located about 6-8 minutes from Kata beach to the right as you exit; an exceedingly clean beach with soft sand. Do bear in mind that the walk back will be slightly uphill. Kata’s market area is about three minutes away to the left of the hotel as you exit. One of the more sensible benefits the hotel provides is a daily complimentary shuttle bus service to Kata beach (dep 11am and 2pm; return 2.15pm and 5pm) and to Patong beach about 15-20 minutes away (dep 12noon and 5pm; return 6pm and 11pm).
The Avista Phuket is also coming up with a new five-star property close to Patong beach, which is expected to be operational by end 2012. Known as the Hideaway, it will comprise of 150-keys with room size being among the largest from Phuket hotels. Room categories will comprise Deluxe; Grand Family; Avista Club; Jacuzzi Suite; Pool Villa Suite and Duplex Pool Villa Suite. The interiors are aesthetically done up; minimal yet tasteful. While all rooms will have an iPad to programme the mood lighting, TV and air conditioning; 42-inch LCD TV’s; DVD players; electronic safes and tea/coffee makers, all the Club rooms will have a sea view and share a pool to themselves. Amenities include a small fridge and microwave to complement the room, which will have large balconies with twin daybeds. The Hideway will offer butler service as well.
While business facilities will accommodate 80pax in the main meeting room, recreational facilities will include three swimming pools on the premises, all with attendant bars including a swim-up bar; a Games room where virtual golf will be possible; squash court; internet room; library; gym and yoga room; kids club and a spa with ten treatment rooms. F&B here will have two options – a barbeque restaurant and an all-day dining outlet. Additionally, there will be two rooftop bars. The Hideaway also has a private beach club located about five minutes from the hotel. As with the Avista Phuket, this hotel too will offer complimentary shuttle services to nearby beaches.
Getting to Phuket is easy; it has its own airport. Flights from Bangkok take approximately 55-minutes. You can also take the overnight train from Bangkok’s Hua Lampong railway station to Surat Thani (748baht for 2nd class air conditioned sleeper), from where you have to change to either a bus or a taxi. The fare from Surat Thani to Phuket is 220baht in an air conditioned bus and the journey takes about four hours. Alternatively, you can take an overnight bus from Bangkok which is exceedingly comfortable too; the fare is under 1000baht for 1st class and approximately 650baht for 2nd class (air conditioned).
AVISTA PHUKET RESORT AND SPA
TEL: +66 76 298888
FAX: +66 76 298889