Just recently I was on a somewhat “forced” vacation. I needed to stay 14 nights in Phuket to be able to go home to Chiang Mai. This was instead of a 14 night ASQ(alternative state quarantine) quarantine in Bangkok. So it allowed me to take a closer look at Phuket. My choice of hotel was Andamantra Resort & Villas in Kalim Bay. First and foremost I was looking for a decent resort for a reasonable price. On a hotel booking site, I got a good deal. 11000 baht including breakfast in a Premium room! For two weeks! So how was it?
Andamantra Resort & Villas is on the west coast of Phuket. Just 2 kilometres from Patong and a short drive from Kamala and Surin beaches. Kalim beach or bay is a very nice place to stay since it is a small district with a local community. The majority of the people living here are Muslims. There is a mosque and a school. Kalim beach is very short, mostly you see people fishing and it is popular with surfers. Quite a lot of rocks. Between the hotel and the beach, there is a road. But, this is the case in most places around Phuket. I highly appreciated the food scene. Both the local street food vendors and the international cuisine in the area. Read more about Kalim beach and its fantastic restaurants here.
Laundry service, 7/11 and motorbike rentals just outside the resort.
Many people go for the rooms on the hill with great panoramic views of the ocean. If you do, be ready for a short shuttle car transfer up and down or quite a walk. Some people would drive their rental motorbikes the whole way up. I had a friend that stayed at Andamantra just before I came. He recommended I ask for rooms near the breakfast and the lobby. Therefore I ended up in building 2. In this part of the hotel, you don’t get any smashing views, but the swimming pool and breakfast were close. Someone said that the internet connection worked better here also. Anyway, I rely more on my phone and 4G than hotel wifi.
The room was large with a king-size bed and a big balcony. Be prepared that the rooms are a bit worn, old school. A display by the bed to control the lights and the central air-conditioning, but no power outlet near the bed to charge the phone. There is a slight sweet-toned smell from moisture. This happens in many hotels in the tropics though where there is high humidity, and I can understand the problems it must have been for many of these hotels to keep up maintenance during the pandemic.
Vast washroom and a good shower. The toilet flushed well but slowly. Sometimes need to press the button twice.
You could hear motorbikes driving up and down outside the room and the occasional minaret call to prayer as well as some roaster and hens cluck-cluck, chuck-chuck. It didn’t bother me. But I met a digital nomad that asked for a room change because he was so disturbed by what he said was the noise from the road.
I never turned on the TV so I have no idea if there were any good channels.
I don’t want to be too harsh against the hotel since they tried to provide a buffet. That indicates that there were quite a lot of choices. The hotel provided rice porridge, some salad, warm Thai dishes, fried egg, sausages and fruits such as watermelon and pineapple. In terms of bread, only white toast bread and some banana cakes(delicious). Some day you could get pancakes. For the warm food, the main ingredient was chicken in almost all dishes every day.
Juice and coffee was nothing to write home about. But the 7/11 outside the hotel had great coffee for 25 baht. So every morning I headed straight to 7/11 after breakfast. For the price, I paid I must say that there were enough choices to enable me to leave the breakfast full every morning. It does help if you can eat rice and chicken basil for breakfast though.
If you are dependent on yoghurt, many choices of bread and so on. Then you will not appreciate this breakfast. I did suggest they have some more variation politely. They do have a real coffee machine but for a latte and cappuccino, it is something you need to pay for.
I have only positive things to say. When I asked for the Sha + hotel confirmation to use for my COE, it took less than 15 minutes to receive the document from their reservations. Housekeeping, reception, breakfast staff were all very friendly and efficient.
Andamantra served my purpose perfectly. A decent hotel at a great location near the sea for a very reasonable price. If you are looking for something more modern, with a high-quality breakfast during the early stages of the return of tourism to Thailand you can find some amazing deals for five star and luxury resorts. I heard of people that expected a lot more from Andamantra. That photos and booking sites gave the impression of a resort that was almost 5 stars. Some photos of the resort are indeed amazing. Good value for money I would say but old, and not at all that smashing.