Located on a steep hill (lots of stairs), accessed via a dangerous road for walking
Pools are shallow and need a solid cleaning
Some bathrooms need maintenance work
Complaints of cleanliness in the rooms
Kalima Resort & Spa is a stylish 190-room option that's more about looks than substance. Yes, the views of Phuket and the Andaman Sea from the infinity edge rooftop pool are almost never ending, but the water's a little murky and the hilltop location means never ending stairs to get there. Past guests report cleanliness and maintenance issues in the otherwise chic rooms; the best ones have sunken living rooms, semi-private pools, and more of those stunning views. There are two restaurants and two bars on the property, though high prices and the out-of-the-way location makes some guests feel marooned. While there isn't a proper beach, there is a sandy area set with sun loungers. Still, prices are relatively low for an upscale property, the spa is luxe, and Wi-Fi is free.
From the outside, the Kalima Resort & Spa is obviously complex, built into the hill with right angles, a gray facade, and jutting layers of balconies and pagodas. Guests encounter their first set of stairs after walking up a slight hill where they're greeted at the street level lobby with a cold tea and chilled towel. The modern lobby has soaring ceilings, clean lines, and low-lying wicker sofas next to the reception desk. Wooden inlays on the ceiling draw the eye upward. Upstairs (lots of stairs), there's an artificial beach next to a small pool. The views of the ocean are some of the best we've seen in Thailand. Past guests have complained that navigating the elevators and stairs from the rooms to the public areas is like following a maze.
Though kids are welcome here, the stairs may make it difficult for little ones to get around. This property is popular with Korean and Chinese bus tours, and younger couples.
The hotel is located off a main north-south beach road that's too busy with dangerous traffic for walking, though some guests do cross the road to get to the ocean; there's little else of interest in the neighborhood. Taxi touts sit outside of the hotel waiting for clients, and past guests have reported unfair prices. There's a thrice-daily free shuttle to Patong, or guests can expect a 10- to 15-minute drive to get there. Parking at the hotel is free.
Modern and minimalist with creature comforts and some cleaning problems
Rooms at Kalima Resort & Spa are soothing and mellow with light wood and blue tones. Abstract wooden art hangs on the walls and the beds have cool blue LED lights. Free Wi-Fi, a minibar, flat-screen TV, and coffee making facilities come standard in each. Furnished balconies can have amazing sea views, and though there's an industrial roof between some rooms and the water, it's been covered with artificial grass to make it less of an eyesore. Bathrooms include soaking bathtubs and separate showers with rainfall showerheads. The Double Room has a retro-inspired sunken living room that leads onto a terrace with access to a long, semi-private, infinity-edge pool. There's a wooden deck, too -- but not much room for the tired-looking sun loungers placed on it. Bathrooms could use a solid scrub and the occasional re-grouting, and past guests have complained about lax housekeeping in general.
The crown jewel of the Kalima Resort & Spa is the rooftop infinity pool with unbelievable views of the Aegean Sea and islands in the distance. It would be hard to find a better spot for a panoramic photo, or a cute selfie. Still, the pool water could use a good cleaning. There's a second smaller, rectangular pool with more great views, next to the artificial sand beach that's set with sun loungers. A limited breakfast buffet is served every morning (included with some packages) and there are two restaurants and two bars on-site. Malika is an open-air restaurant for a la carte lunch and dinner. Thai-Taste serves, obviously, Thai food all day long. Lima Rock has living room-style seating and cocktails with ocean views, while Trio's Pool Bar serves cocktails by the pool. There isn't any waiter service available at the sun loungers, unfortunately.
The spa is lavishly decorated with Asian elements like Buddhist statues and altars. Treatment rooms are luxe and geared towards couples with double tubs and massage beds. The mini-golf course is an unexpected treat, and with its hillside location, probably pretty challenging. A small fitness center is nothing special but gets the job done with Life Fitness cardio machines and free weights. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property.
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