Contemporary rooms and suites with private outdoor areas
Some rooms have private pools and kitchenettes
Infinity-edge pool faces the beach
88 East Restaurant serves free breakfast buffet and a ala carte lunch and dinner
Daily Happy Hour at Balu's Lounge indoor/outdoor bar
Relaxing Senses by Serenity Spa for Himalayan hot stone therapy
On-site fitness center and yoga classes
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Kayaks to borrow
Beach is tiny (especially at low tide when swimming is restricted)
Isolated location with little to do in the immediate area
Most affordable rooms are a bit dull
Limited daily shuttle
Reported maintenance issues
Some rooms have uninspiring views
The upscale Serenity Resort & Residences Phuket is located on a tiny stretch of Rawai Beach in a quiet part of Chalong Bay. Prices are low for the most affordable rooms, with upgrades such as private pools, beach views, and kitchenettes available for those who want to spend a bit more cash. 88 East restaurant serves Western and Thai dishes, along with a free breakfast buffet. Standout features include an infinity-edge pool, yoga classes, and a (limited) free shuttle to town. Overall, this resort is a solid choice for couples who want to stay put and keep rates low. Those that want to explore should check out Sea Pearl Villas Resort.
The Serenity Resort's facade is an imposing wall of glass, neutral rocks, and a pretty water feature. Palm trees and ferns add a touch of green. Inside, the lobby is small but bright, set with a reception desk and cluster of wicker chairs in front of a floor-to-ceiling window overlooking greenery. Abstract sculptures and paintings decorate the space. The guest rooms are built in several stand-alone buildings on a hill, ending at the pool and restaurant. Though there are golf carts for getting around, this is a smaller resort so it's easy enough to walk. Wooden shrines adorned with fruit, flowers, and candles mark the outdoor entrance. The majority of guests are European and American couples on vacation.
Rawai is known more for its cheap housing and backpacker scene than it is for luxury hotels, so Serenity is one of the few high-end properties in the neighborhood. A large north to south road that runs the entirety of Phuket passes Serenity Resort, before ending right down the road. Just outside the front entrance is a 7-Eleven convenience store, ATM, and small gift shop. There are a few Thai food stalls, but not a lot of restaurants. Expect an hour's drive to Phuket International Airport and 30-minutes to Patong Beach. Parking at the resort is free and there's a daily, but limited, shuttle to town that's also free.
There are 64 rooms divided into four categories at Serenity Resort. Serenity Rooms are the most affordable, with one king bed in a single square room. There's a small furnished balcony that overlooks poorly maintained neighboring roofs. The bathroom includes a glass-encased rainhead shower, single bowl sink, and a bamboo ladder that holds white towels. Upgrade to the H20 Suite for a soaking bathtub, living room with a sectional sofa, kitchenette, and rooftop swimming pool overlooking the Andaman Sea. Note that neighboring pools are only separated by a short bamboo fence, so there isn't any true privacy. All rooms come standard with free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, stocked minibars, and tea- and coffee-making facilities.
Beach access, outdoor pool, spa, and fitness center
Features at Serenity Resort cater to couples who don't want to leave the property, though some are nicer than others. There is a picturesque, though not entirely functional, sandy strip of Rawai Beach. At low tide, swimming is restricted. Guests can borrow kayaks for free. The infinity-edge pool isn't enormous, but crowding isn't a problem and there are ample sun loungers and day beds. Relaxing Senses by Serenity Spa offers Himalayan and Thai treatments, along with a couples' massage room. The fitness center is clean and well-lit. Cardio machines, free-weights, strength-training machines, and flat-screen TVs mounted to the wall are provided. Scheduled yoga classes are available, too. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property. Staff can arrange Champagne cruises on a traditional long boat and horseback riding on the beach.
Free breakfast buffet, East 88 restaurant, and Balu's Lounge
The day usually starts at beachfront East 88, where a free breakfast buffet is served to all guests. For lunch and dinner, Thai and Western cuisine is served a la carte on a covered deck near the pool. Wicker couches and wooden tables are comfortable. Balu's Lounge is located on the opposite end of the pool, offering more sea views along with Happy Hour, gelato, and cocktails. Room service is available with limited hours and staff can set up private barbecues or island picnics.
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