Banthai Beach Resort and Spa has secured one of the best locations in the heart of lively Patong. With Starbucks, McDonalds, Warner Bros and Haagen Daas right on its doorstep, and located just off the beach road, Banthai is perfect for tourists wanting a close-up look at Phuket’s most lively tourist town.
Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised that Patong’s energetic ambience did not spill over into Banthai - being set back from the main road made all the difference. The road leading up to the hotel is protected by security, so the buzz of tourist crowds stops at the gate, thus genuinely backing up Banthai’s claim to be a ‘Retreat’ hotel.
- Phuket FantaSea Cultural Theme Park
- Phi Phi Islands Tour with Express Boat
- James Bond Island Full-Day Tour via Big Boat
- Coral & Racha Islands Full-Day Tour
- Whitewater Rafting & 4-Wheel-Drive Adventure
- Sea Kayaking at Ang Thong Marine Park
- Flying Hanuman Ziplining Experience
- Canoeing Excursion in Phang Nga Bay with Thai Buffet Lunch
- Introduction to City Tour
- John Gray's Cave Canoeing Tour in Phang Nga Bay
Lobby - Reception
The lobby is impressive. Different to any other hotel lobby I’d seen, it’s located between two accommodation buildings. The lofty roof is made of tensioned white canvas that forms several conical towers; natural daylight fills the lobby giving an airy feel. The effect is completed with running fountains.
The style and design of the hotel décor is modern and minimalist, a theme, which propagates throughout. Everywhere you look there are sleek flowing lines complemented by soft tones. With 300 rooms the hotel is both chic and compact. Smartly designed, all rooms command a pool view and there are direct pool access rooms on the ground floor although unfortunately none were available for me. It’s easy to see why these are so popular – only a few steps to the pool is very cool in every sense of the word...
I stayed in a deluxe room and upon entering I liked what I saw: plain simplistic décor with a very large comfortable-looking bed. An interesting addition to the room was the wireless keyboard - something that I wasn’t expecting at all. It’s part of the CVS multi-lingual system which, via the television, enables you to view your bill, select music, browse the Internet, send email, select pay-per-view movies, play games and even send a message to another room.
I can foresee this system becoming commonplace in the future and adopting this technology early on fits in with the modern design and thinking present throughout Banthai. Another interesting feature of the room is that the sink is not in the bathroom but in the main part of the room. Initially, I found this a little odd and was a little unsure what to make of it but by doing this, the room actually feels bigger than it is.
Watching Patong Go By
Banthai boasts three unusually shaped pools equipped with Jacuzzi areas, shallow bubble areas and a pool bar in each. Other facilities include a modern gym with all the latest equipment and a chic spa. The facilities I liked most were the bar and dining areas out on the beach road.
The perfect place to people watch in Patong has been created in the form of two open-air bars adjacent to the pavement. On these barstools you’ll make the acquaintance of other like-minded folk who also like to drink beer or cocktails while watching the sun go down and soaking up the general craziness of Patong.
For dinner we found a table at The Port restaurant, the hotel’s popular dining spot – also outdoor and adjacent to the beach road. Here, an accomplished Filipino band belts out modern pop and classic hits to appreciative diners and passers-by alike. The warm and lively atmosphere entices many to come in from the street to have dinner or drinks. Some diners even danced and it was obvious that the band could feel the audience’s appreciation. Here, there’s a really nice vibe going down.
The seafood feast displayed at the front of the restaurant also draws in other diners. The tom ka was very good (fragrant soup with lemongrass and coconut milk), as were the giant prawns in garlic. The duck curry was excellent but the winner with a unanimous decision was the spicy beef salad. Many Thai dishes are offered at very reasonable prices in addition to international dishes such as NZ lamb chops, Australian rib-eye steaks and pasta dishes, which also offer excellent value. The food arrived in good time and drinks were flowing so the service at Banthai also gets the thumbs up.
The following morning our taste buds were once again delighted, this time by the very generous breakfast buffet which combined Asian and Western flavours with espresso coffee and tropical fruit platters. In keeping with the contemporary hotel style, the breakfast area was also very ‘trendy’ from the hip tables and chairs to the funkily dressed wait staff.
Nowhere else comes close to offering so much for visitors looking for a comfortable stylish hotel in a central location without the noise. In fact I’d go as far as saying that there is no better location in Patong, a stay at Banthai will be fun, fun, fun!