This was my 3rd visit to Thailand but I had never stayed in or visited Kamala before and I was wondering if I had made the right decision right up to the moment we arrived. Turns out it was a great choice. Kamala is quieter and far less seedy than many of the other beaches in Phuket. Sure you still get a few middle aged overweight men pulling up to the bars on their scooters at sunset but generally it has a much nicer feel to it than Patong, Karon or Kata. From the main road it doesn't look much but the beach is very nice. Yes it has it's fair share of rubbish, sun beds for rent and everything else that you would expect to find on a Thai beach but it's not too big, has a nice atmosphere and is pretty.
If you want to get around the Island I would recommend hiring a car. We hired a 4x4 for 1,000 baht per day (Insured with an excess of 5,000 baht). You can get cheaper cars but we wanted something a little bigger. Taxi's can be pretty expensive in comparison to the rest of Thailand so a hire car is good value for money. Driving in Phuket looks a little crazy but it was a lot of fun. Keep an eye on your mirrors for the motorbikes that appear from nowhere and take your turn at intersections. You soon get used to it.
A selection of restaurants, tailors, bars, a mini mart and a few other tourist shops are just a short walk down the beach from the Sunwing. There's also a small night market out front of the hotel every Friday night but by far the best shopping is found at the weekend markets on the outskirts of Phuket town. Don't be put off by the online comments that it's hard to find. Follow the signs to Phuket town. When you see the mall on your left turn right at the lights then take a left at the next lights and look for the sheds on your right. The markets are open from 4-10pm Sat & Sun.
The Sunwing was also a great choice for us as a family of 5. Our Children who are 8, 6 and 4 loved it. This hotel isn't perfect but it is exceptional value for money and is very clean. The staff are friendly and helpful, the pools are awesome, the gardens are well kept and it's obvious by the painting and maintenance that was going on that the management want to keep this hotel in great condition (don't worry there was no noise and no inconvenience). I agree with other comments on this forum that I wouldn't want to stay during high season as I think it could be a little manic with all the kids.
We had originally booked 2 of the beachfront units but changed to a family suite to keep our young family together in 1 room. I'm so glad that we did as the beach front rooms are close to the beach but do not have a very clear view of the sea due to vegetation and the massage huts on the beach. They are also a little removed from the pool area. When we arrived we were shown to a family suite with pool access and no safety gate. We asked to be changed as not all of our Children can swim. The reception staff soon came up with an alternative room in the main building which we loved. Sadly our love didn't last long as we soon realised that what sounded like a small heard of elephants was staying in the room above us and was stampeding around until the early hours of the morning. That combined with the gentleman next door who made a late night phone call to Sweden and was convinced that the only way his friend could hear him was if he yelled. Thankfully the call only lasted 45 minutes!!!!!!!!!
The next morning I visited reception again and requested that we move to the fourth floor to escape the noise. The entire floor was undergoing a low season spring clean but the staff very kindly made a room available but advised that it would only be available the next day. That night the elephants were very quiet and our neighbour must have lost his mobile phone so I was feeling that I had over reacted until a couple of families checked in late at night and spent the next few hours running between their rooms talking non stop at maximum volume.
To sum up the hard clean surfaces of the hotel rooms and hallways which make it look so clean and modern also echo every little sound. The poor sound proofing in the main building is the only complaint I have of this hotel and once we had shifted rooms peace was restored and we were very happy.
The Sunwing is totally set up for families. The cartoons projected onto the wall at night, the entertainment, the rooms and the pools made this our Kid's favourite Thai hotel. Children eat free with adults at night which made it just as cheap to eat in as it was to eat in Kamala. The breakfasts had a good selection and you certainly wouldn't go hungry but again it was targeted to satisfy Children. It just looked a little budget when compared with the other hotels we had stayed at in Thailand.
We had a great time at the Sunwing despite the noisy start and if we ever return to Phuket I don't think that our Kid's would let us stay anywhere else.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A fully contained family resort with its own restaurants, entertainment programs and a host of activities for all ages. The resort includes all the fun, adventure, and luxury that families want most, elevating the family vacation to world-class standards on the unspoiled Kamala beach of Phuket. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Sunwing Resort - Kamala Beach Hotel Kamala
- Sunwing Kamala Beach Phuket