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Cape Panwa Kantary Bay

20 Feb 2010  Calm, quiet setting
0.0 of 5 stars based on 0 votes

We arrived in Phuket, all set for our 8N stay in Kantary Bay Hotel. Our dates Feb11-19 - celebrating our 27th anniversary on Valentine's.

I am once again reminded that what others view as "fantastic, wonderful, highly recommended" is subjective. With all the rave reviews about Kantary, we expected so much more esp with the room views. We felt it was more like a well kept 3star motel rather than a resort with great views.

THankfully we werent going to allow our disappointing experience with the 1st two rooms to ruin our mood. It did however make us a little disorientated for the first 2 or 3 nights - never had to move rooms so often before. We used to be too embarrassed to express our unhappiness but now we realise it pays to let the reception know when we get a lousy deal. They cant expect guests to pay the same rates for views facing the bay or views facing a wall and construction site. In fact some rooms are so badly located, they shouldnt even be offered at all. If more guests made it clear it was unacceptable, perhaps the hotel would think twice about giving us such rooms.

Anyway, it was a relief when we experienced good service and authentic thai food at Kantary & the sister hotel. The shuttle runs every 10 mins up this narrow uphill road - a little dangerous to walk esp if two vehicles come from opposite directions at the same time. There's no proper pavement for pedestrians.

It was good to be able to enjoy the sprawling grounds of the sister hotel - getting a good view of the sea, sand and having the breeze esp in the morning. The humidity was extremely high and when the wind died down, the heat was pretty uncomfortable. Guess we get the sun and humidity all year round and so we werent keen on sunning ourselves at the beach like the caucasians escaping their winter.

I dont think we will return to Phuket - the queues at the airport when we departed was truly long. All the way outside to where the shuttle dropped us. Its a little chaotic at times when people dont queue up and its annoying even at the immigration lines. What an anticlimax exp if one has had a relaxing time before returning to our home country. There are many budget airlines flying into Phuket and its good for their tourism - but for us, just too crowded.

So all in all, this wasnt one of our best trips because we were so disappointed at arrival with the kind of rooms they assigned us to. (I did a review on this). Yes, it was great value if you dont think about the views - but at this stage of our lives, we would rather pay more for quality (eg. japanese ryokans). We chose kantary based on all the rave reviews - pity these reviewers didnt warn us that the place has quite a larger percentage of rooms that have lousy views.

There were ground floor garden units with the jacuzzi at the balcony. Can you imagine the gardener and everyone walking on the pedestrian linking the lobby to that block gawking at you if you are in the jacuzzi? Its in full view of the public eye.

I realised there was also this problem at the sister hotel Cape Panwa - at least 4 or 5 Cape Jacuzzi suites were near the tram line and so there's no privacy if you want to soak in the jacuzzi with nothing but your skin on. Unless these units are heavily discounted, it really isnt ethical to be paying the same as those units which dont have this problem.

Wow..its been a long time since I complained so much. Perhaps its been a long time since we went to a resort in Msia or Thailand - this is one of the reasons we havent done so. They charge exorbitant rates and its not really value for what we have to pay.

Well, at least kantary doesnt disappoint in terms of service, food and cleanliness. But we wont be returning because the hassle of getting a good room is too tiring.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Cape Panwa
  • Category: Recent trip
  • Traveler type: Beachgoers
  • Appeals to: Seniors
  • Seasons: Winter