Sugar Palm Resort Review

Kata Beach - Phuket

Kata’s Sugar Palm Resort and Spa delivers what it promises on the label – yet at a very affordable price. This small ‘boutique’ style resort combines style with value in very nice packaging.

Situated just 200 metres from Kata Beach, this cool hotel will leave you wishing you could stay longer. The architecture and décor is in a contemporary style that will appeal strongly to younger adults, touches like the black swimming pool and wifi internet throughout, make this hotel modern in every way.

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Everyone Loves Kata

 Not surprisingly Kata is a very popular destination for a multitude of reasons, including the stunning stretch of beautiful beach that boasts excellent snorkelling and an array of water sports that can be enjoyed year round, May to October features Phuket’s best surfing. Close to the nightlife of Patong but with none of the accompanying noise Kata also has many excellent restaurants and nightlife of its own.

Sugar Palm Resort & Spa opened for business with a fanfare in November 2005. The lobby is tall, airy and inviting, although covered it feels more like it’s outside with a breeze flowing through. One of the first things you notice is the modern décor and furniture that’s painfully cool, all the décor’s very hip.

Great Rooms

 We arrived at the height of the ‘green season’ to torrential showers and nothing was too much effort for the staff who dashed out with umbrellas and valet parked our car after they personally unloaded our luggage and delivered to our room. Luckily the weather quickly dried up and my wife and daughter got the chance to enjoy our pool access room which leads straight into the black swimming pool and Jacuzzi, more on that later.

Our room is pretty impressive, décor in the rooms is as modern as the rest of the hotel. Each floor has a different colour scheme, our room is tinged with a hint of violet. If only all hotel rooms came with a 32” widescreen plasma TV with all the channels you could possibly want… and also sofa and oversized bed. The separate bath and shower is great for getting ready at the same time, I like the small coloured tiles (“mosaic” according to the wife) that serve no purpose other than to look good. Tall sliding frosted panels separate the bathroom and bedroom, when open make the rooms feel bigger than 37.5 sqm. Being able to watch TV from the bath or even just have a chat is nice, however privacy can be restored in a jiffy. 

 One of the many things that set this hotel aside is the in-room minibar, usually a licence for a hotel to print money via extortionate prices, not so here – a can of coke is priced at 14 baht and Heineken at 35 baht, the same prices as the 7-Eleven closeby! Another service that hotels often used to extort money from their guests is high speed internet access, here it costs just 1 baht per minute (US$ 0.03, less than US$ 2 per hour) whether you use your laptop or the hotel’s internet café, that’s the same price as the internet cafés all around Kata, no nasty mark-ups here, great news.

The deluxe pool view rooms are the same as the pool access rooms except with ordinary TVs. Overlooking the small cul-de-sac in which the hotel is located are the superior rooms which are actually the largest rooms at 40.5 sqm, with only a shower in the bathroom instead of both shower and bath – these offer excellent value being the least expensive and yet largest rooms.

Stepping directly from the balcony to the pool is a luxury, it costs a little more but is well worth it. Surprisingly (to me at least) there’s no step-ladder into the pool from the balcony, just a hinged gate that can be closed for safety, even sitting on the balcony is different with the sound of the pool lapping beside you.

The Pool

The pool area is the centrepiece of the hotel, jet black tiles instead of the usual blue gives the pool area an exclusive feel, the Jacuzzi is large enough for 12 people. A large tiled arch supports 3 ‘rain’ shower heads, turn it on and all 3 expel a large volume of water such as you’d get in a heavy downpour. Wooden decking surrounds the pool for grip with bare feet however the black marble floor does look a little slippery when it rains however the black marble floor in the lobby does look a little slippery when wet.

The entire hotel is squeezed into a fairly small space so the pool area is a little compact, this is not an issue because as nice as the pool area is the beach is a bigger draw and only a couple of minutes walk away (that’s why you’re going to Kata, right?). There’s a sauna and steam room next to the pool that’s free to use and close by is the gym which has the basics.

Mali Restaurant

Breakfast is served in the baby palm restaurant, there’s not too much to say about it really apart from the orange juice is a bit too sweet for my taste and that continental, English/American and Asian breakfast items include fresh fruits, bread/toast counter, egg counter, pancakes, sausages, bacon, rice soup, curry etc. A standard hotel buffet breakfast.

Dining in the hotel’s Mali restaurant however is a pleasure, again exemplary furnishings with an ambience to match. I can’t recall another restaurant in Phuket with such chic décor. Being completely open to the street down one side is an excellent move, I love being able to watch the world go by as I dine. The Thai set menu for dinner is a version of Thai food designed with the western palate in mind (ie not spicy), 3 courses begins with soup and a fresh salad buffet, then for the main course the chicken satay is very authentic, deep fried fish with sweet chilli sauce excellent, phad pak ruam (stir fried vegetables with oyster sauce) is very tasty.

The clear soup is good but I’m already full by the time I try it. OK, I can manage just a little ice cream. The restaurant also offers lunch specials which feature items such as a burger or sandwich and chips with a soft drink. What’s really surprising is the quality of the restaurant for the price, this is no tired eatery in need of modernising, it’s cool and new, you might expect to pay twice the price.


In summary this hotel is unlike any other hotel in Kata, hip and trendy and in a superb location close to the beach, perfect for your pocket with bags of style for trendy twenty somethings, you won’t want to leave.

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