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Chanalai Garden Resort 3.5

Kata Beach, Karon, Phuket

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Kata Beach is across the street, a two-minute walk
  • Two attractive, landscaped swimming pools with sea views
  • All rooms have balconies, some with breathtaking Andaman views
  • Small plunge pool and kids' club for children  
  • Traditional buffet restaurant plus pool snack bars
  • Free Wi-Fi available throughout the property
  • Large gym with cardio-machines and rooftop views 

Cons

  • Steep stairs throughout the property may be difficult
  • Window panel between the bathroom and bedroom offers less privacy
  • Food gets mixed reviews from guests
  • No spa

Bottom Line

This three-and-a-half-pearl, 206-room resort is just across from Kata Beach and makes a fine tropical getaway, with two lovely outdoor pools. These are a huge selling point, and feature ocean views and swim-up snack bars. Rooms are simply decorated, but romantic touches like built-in bathroom windows in higher-grade rooms are designed with couples in mind. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and private balconies, with higher-category rooms offering views of the Andaman Sea. There's a good choice of Thai and International food from two restaurants and pool snack bars. The fitness centre has rooftop views, weights, and cardio-machines but there's no spa, which is a bummer for a hotel in this category. Travelers who'd prefer their sea views in a more secluded setting should consider the Boomerang Village Resort instead.

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Scene

Large resort near Kata Beach with attractive outdoor pools and coastal views

Like any good tropical resort, the outdoor pools at this upper-middle-range resort are a major attraction, while the hotel's proximity to the beach is a big draw for couples and families. A small children’s pool and kids club are available, making the resort popular with young families in particular. Inside, the spacious open plan lobby has ample leather armchairs beside the check-in desk that provide a quieter spot to relax throughout the day. The decor is traditional throughout the property, particularly in the restaurant, where Thai-style furniture is dated, but functional. While it certainly doesn't live up to its own luxury claims, plenty of couples, groups of friends, and families all pass through the hotel. All in all, it's a convenient base, ideal for hopping around Kata, Karon, and Patong Beaches.

Location

Close to Kata Beach, with beautiful sea views; and 11-minute drive to Karon Beach

This hotel's location might be one of its best assets, as it sits just across the road from the tiny pedestrian access lane to Kata Beach. Surfing novices can practice their technique on a wave machine at the indoor Surf House, which is a six-minute walk from Kata Beach. From the hotel, Karon Beach -- famed for its excellent snorkeling spots -- is a 11-minute drive away. Guests who like a livelier scene may want to make the 20-minute drive to Patong Beach, with its wealth of bars and nightclubs along Soi Bangla (Bangla Road). For a quiet alternative, the Promthep Cape viewpoint is an 18-minute drive away and is the spot for romantic sunset views. The hotel is a 30-minute drive from the Big Buddha statue that offers 360-degree views of southern Phuket. Those who want to venture farther afield can take a 90-minute boat ride from Phuket to Phi Phi Island to explore its secluded beaches and discover colorful marine life. The resort is at least an hour from Phuket International Airport by car, depending on traffic.

Rooms

Modern rooms with free Wi-Fi and air-conditioning, plus private balconies -- some with great sea views

These simply decorated, clean, and spacious rooms have light wooden paneled feature walls and Thai-style furniture, some of which looks a bit dated. In Superior Rooms, little extras like red cushions decorating the bed and a vase of fresh flowers on the bureau are thoughtful touches. The rooms cater to couples, friends and families with the choice of double or twin beds covered with fresh white linen. All rooms have ample space, starting at 36 square meters (388 square feet). However, while all rooms feature a private balcony with scooped wooden patio chairs, higher-category rooms overlook the pool and the sea from an elevated position. Be aware that some higher rooms are accessed via steep stairs which might not suit guests with limited mobility. All rooms include LCD TVs, air-conditioning, minibars, electronic laptop safes, kettles, free Wi-Fi, and umbrellas. In the rooms we visited, we spotted a large window panel between the bathroom and bedroom, which can be covered with a blind, but might suit couples more than families. The contemporary white bathrooms include rainfall showerheads over full-sized bathtubs. Attractive wood panelling decorates the wall behind the toilet, clean tiled floors are underfoot, and neutral marble surrounds the sink and bath. A hairdryer, white towels, and basic toiletries are provided. 

Features

Two pleasant outdoor pools with swim-up bars and buffet dining

This resort is a relaxing base with a good selection of facilities, including two outdoor pools. Both pools are flanked by well-maintained gardens, and the second includes an in-pool waterfall, a children’s plunge pool, and plenty of colorful sun loungers. It also has a swim-up bar. Throughout the day, drinks and snacks are served from both poolside bars and the lobby lounge. The simple open-plan restaurant has traditional wooden chairs and tables accented with colorful tableware, and serves a Thai and international evening buffet. A second restaurant offers barbecues in the evenings. Breakfast includes hot drinks, juices, pastries, and a hot-and-cold buffet, but isn't included in the standard room rate and all meals only score mixed reviews from previous guests. A well-equipped fitness centre has rooftop views and an extensive range of weights and cardio-machines, and the hotel has a kids' club as well. There's an on-site conference room and simple business center with two computers, but free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property, which suits most guests. 

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Address

247 Kata Road, Kata Beach, Kata Beach, Karon 83100, Thailand

Also Known As

  • Tropical Garden Resort

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