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Friendship Beach Resort & Spa by iCheck Inn 3.5

Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Cozy beachside hotel with Thai decor, koi ponds, and tropical courtyards
  • Located on Chalong Bay, with horseback riding
  • Colorful, bright rooms with flat-screen TVs, and balconies or terraces
  • Suites have kitchenettes, living rooms, and beachfront terraces
  • Beachside restaurant offers a raw/vegan menu, in addition to vegetarian and Western fare, and a tiki bar
  • Small pool and kids' pool on the beach
  • Atmanjai Wellness Spa with detox programs and a yoga studio
  • Large, cross-training fitness center and a terrace with trampolines
  • Outdoor library lounge with DVD rentals
  • Airport transfers available (for a fee)
  • Free parking and Wi-Fi throughout the property

Cons

  • Beach often has debris, and water recedes at low tide
  • Wi-Fi can be shaky
  • Location is rather isolated from the lively parts of Phuket
  • The menu at the restaurant/bar can be pricey

Bottom Line

The 31-room Friendship Beach Resort and Spa is a holistic retreat offering spa services, dexox cleanses, and fitness programs at the Atmanjai Wellness Spa. The restaurant and bar serves Thai and Western fare made with natural ingredients, with raw, vegan, and vegetarian options available. There's also a seaside pool and a cross-training fitness center with a yoga studio at the resort. The bungalow-style rooms have flat-screen TVs and beach terraces; suites include kitchens and living rooms. It's a terrific option for the price, but the location may be too remote for some and the beach isn't one of Phuket's best.

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Scene

A beachfront holistic retreat with a pool, detox wellness spa, and fitness facilities

The Friendship Beach Resort & Spa if for those looking for a quiet detox wellness vacation in Phuket. The resort is directly on the beach, which has docked boats, and horseback riding opportunities. The beach, however, recedes considerable at low tide. The resort’s modest pitched roof entrance is shaded by tropical trees. The somewhat kitschy grounds include  fountains, a koi pond, and tin and tiki roofs, which blend into the tropical landscape. The open-air lobby has a bamboo covered front desk.

Most couples and solo travelers come here to detox at the Atmanjai Wellness Spa, which feels like a separate resort with a small arched entrance, a fountain, and a rustic waterfall near the comfortable terrace and front desk. There’s a large open-air yoga studio with a corrugated tin roof and dangling bamboo lights. A steam room, outdoor trampoline area with a hammock, and casual treatment rooms are also available. Blue and gray rubber floor tiles line the open-air fitness center that offers cardio and cross-training equipment, and fresh towels.

A small green-tiled-pool and kids' pool are on the beach. The deck offers wooden lounge chairs, green umbrellas, and more towels.

Location

Tucked away on the sandy shores of Rawai

The Friendship Beach Resort is in Rawai, on the southeast coast of Phuket. The location is popular for its seafood restaurants and quiet setting. Renting a moped or car is recommended for seeing the sights. Scuba diving tours are available at Phuket Pro Dive and Sail, about a 20-minute walk from the hotel. Phuket town with its nightlife is about a 15-minute drive away. The Promthep Cape is also about a 15-minute car ride.  Patong Beach is about a 25-minute drive, and Big Buddha statue about an 18-minute drive. It’s about a 40- minute drive to the airport.

Rooms

Cottage-style rooms in Thai design with flat screen TVs and beachside balconies or terraces

Rooms come as Standard, Deluxe, and Beachfront Twins. One- and Two-Bedroom Suites are also available. Red decor, comfortable furniture, rattan ceiling designs, and white-tile floors give rooms a cottage feel. The rustic (some might say outdated in places) decor bothers some guests. Air-conditioning, ceiling fans, safes, flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, free Wi-Fi, and DVD players come with all the rooms. Balconies or terraces overlook the beach, gardens, or parking lot. Toilets in the modern, stylish bathrooms are set off. Two-Bedroom Suites include living rooms, two bathrooms, and kitchens with propane hot plates, sinks, and large refrigerators. Beachfront Suites have open-air bathrooms with circular whirlpool tubs. 

Features

Vegetarian and beachside dining, a small library, free Wi-Fi, and on-site parking

The Supernatural restaurant and bar serves Thai and Western fare with natural ingredients. The menu includes raw, vegan, and vegetarian choices. Terrace seating -- with a tiki roof -- is available on the sandy shore. The bar has a flat-screen TV, bamboo accents, and a tiki pitched roof. More seating -- under a grass-roofed terrace -- is available along the pool.

The open-air lobby houses a casual library lounge with books and DVDs for guests. A sandy parking lot offers ample space for guests to park rented cars or scooters.

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Address

27/1 Soi Mittrapap, Friendship Beach, Rawai 83130, Thailand

Phone

66-76-288-996

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