Located in well-heeled Surin, on Phuket’s west coast strip known as ‘Millionaires Row’, Twinpalms has generated quite a buzz in since it opened in late 2004. There’s no doubt about it, Twinpalms is a beautiful hotel in every sense of the word.
Happily, the stuffy, sterile atmosphere present in many luxury hotels is absent here with unobtrusive staff - which is a huge plus in terms of ambience. Check in was smooth and effortless. Another aspect that reinforces the relaxed atmosphere is the size of the hotel; with only 76 rooms and suites, it is not too large to be impersonal but not too small either.
Clearly, a feng shui master helped design this hotel; Twinpalms oozes style, the layout is very well planned with pools snaking their way around the grounds – there are, if you can picture this, even sun loungers in the pool.
The rooms are a good example of everything that is right about this hotel; they are light and airy and all face in to the central pool area. Fifteen of the ground floor rooms have direct pool access via the balcony that has steps into the pool.
The Grand Deluxe Lagoon Rooms, where I’m staying are very impressive, beautifully decorated with a hardwood floor, built in sunken bath, twin vanities and at 62sqm. (including the balcony) are very large.
The kingsize bed (180 x 205cm) is located in the middle of the room and décor is in a modern minimalist style with high quality furniture.
You can choose between air conditioning and/or a ceiling fan, the air conditioning stops after one minute after you open the sliding door to the balcony – an excellent energy saving feature which reduces carbon footprint.
The bathtub is large enough for two people and there’s a separate shower area with both rain and hand showers. The dressing area has ‘his n’ hers’ vanities in addition to large wardrobes which have masses of storage space and contain his n’ hers women’s sized bathrobes instead of the usual ‘his n’ his’ choice of sizes.
On the balcony there are comfortable chairs and a daybed along with wooden slatted shutters to ensure privacy whilst still enabling you to see out and allowing light in. An outdoor ceiling fan keeps things comfortable on hot days.
Features & Details
Other room features are: A 32” Sony flatscreen TV with all major international channels, CD/DVD/Radio combo unit (DVD selection available from the small boutique), complimentary high speed Internet access, computer controlled everything from a handy console located on the bedside table. The minibar stocks wine, beer, soft drinks, chocolate and even champagne. For coffee lovers a French press is provided with a sachet of ground coffee beans.
It’s the small things that have the biggest impact and the attention to detail shows clearly here. The smaller Deluxe Lagoon & Palm room are 51sqm. (including the balcony), the main difference is that there’s no bath tub, apart from being a little smaller than the Grand Deluxe Lagoon & Palm rooms they’re pretty much the same.
Twinpalms misses out on not being on the beach but it’s a mere stroll away, just 175m across a park that used to be Thailand’s first golf course.
Transport is provided in the form of a genuine Bangkok tuk tuk painted in Twinpalms jet-black.
The ride is great fun and as a result I found myself wishing the beach was a little further away.
Restaurants & Food
Twinpalms’ Catch Beach Club restaurant and bar features nightly live music from renowned international artists and is located on the beach. It’s all very chic and popular; outside, the comfy seats are perfect for lounging, watching the sunset and chatting to friends over pre (or post) dinner drinks.
Inside Catch, it’s funky dining encapsulated with starched white table linen and a white chocolate fountain. Here again, the staff are professional and attentive while remaining relaxed and informal. They serve to meet your needs and do not try to climb over you to serve from ‘the correct side’ as other high-end hotels insist.
The food itself is simply divine. We were lucky to secure a table at the hugely popular Friday night buffet which is made up almost exclusively of western food.
The imported oysters on ice were amazing, the other items included a choice of beef, pork or Spanish mackerel steaks, several different salads, chicken satay, the chocolate fountain, the famous Catch crème brûlée, attentive but not pretentious service, a great mix of clientele, chefs cooking on a barbeque in front on the beach… and all this with live music.
There wasn’t a single table free so I’d recommend advance booking for your stay. The Sunday brunch at Catch is legendary if you’re around for it, and it’s fast becoming an institution – an institution that boasts good wine, smoked salmon, a huge selection of continental bread and fruit, an eggs counter and that’s just for starters. There are well spaced out tables and a raised platform with sofas for relaxed dining.
Breakfast in The Oriental Spoon restaurant is wonderful – you can choose to eat inside or al fresco. Food choices are plentiful with an egg counter, smoked salmon, warm leg of roast ham, cheese selection, real English breakfast sausages (rarely available in Thailand) and freshly baked breads amongst the other bits and pieces.
Other things that should be mentioned are the complimentary 15-minute massage for arriving guests, the well equipped very modern gym and the library – a lovely quiet space with an excellent selection of books, magazines and games.
Overall, the hotel is compact but not at all cramped, it makes great use of space. Twinpalms say themselves that their hotel is unsuitable for children but there’s absolutely nothing stopping you taking the kids. I really enjoyed staying at Twinpalms; I just wish it had been for longer.
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