Rising Sun Residence Review
Chalong - Phuket
A stay at the Rising Sun Residences is probably going to be an indulgent experience for you, as I discovered during my visit to one of the 3 bedroom villas.
The concept envisaged by owner Methee Tahmanatragul was 'to give people a real alternative to the hotel/resort', and he should know what people want, with over 30 years experience in the hotel management industry and currently a consultant to three different hotel groups. Owner Khun Methee does indeed offer an excellent alternative by combining five star hotel luxuries with home comforts at 7 three bedroom villas with private pools and 5 one bedroom villas with shared pool.
Situated in a privately owned residential area 70m up a hill with spectacular sea views from all rooms across Wat Chalong, Chalong Bay and beyond. The location lends a nice feeling of being away from any other tourists and hotel crowds.
When we arrived check-in was swift Assistant Managing Director, Wipa Tanmanatradul, showed us to our villa. Upon entering, your senses are revived and refreshed by the housekeeper with cool drinks and cold jasmine scented towels and you’re immediately made to feel at home. The villas feel spacious from the moment you walk in without feeling too large, most interior walls are 'cut away' cleverly.
The master bedroom on the 3rd floor was tastefully decorated in keeping with the rest of the villa, featuring both bathtub and separate shower cubicle. The bathtub (master bedroom only) is easily large enough to accommodate two people. Two of the bedrooms have queen size beds and there are twin beds in the other. Televisions have been deliberately kept out of the bedrooms in favour of music systems that you can also plug your MP3 player into.
Throughout the bedrooms there's everything you'd expect from a 5 star hotel, high quality robes, a safety deposit box, beach bag, excellent toiletries; at hotels before never have I had enough coat hangers but there were plenty here. I was delighted to find an excellent cot in the master bedroom and high chair at the dining table as I had my baby daughter with me, even better was the shine the housekeeper took to her.
The two other bedrooms are on the second floor with a large lounge area between them containing two comfy sofas, a 32” widescreen TV, DVD player with dolby 5.1 surround sound system. Also featured is satellite TV including the full channel package which was good news so my father-in-law could watch his team Charlton beat West Ham 4-0 in the English Premier League, he was in an excellent mood after that.
Inside the villa the feeling of quality shines, the teak flooring throughout the upper floors is one example of this. Ceiling fans in addition to air conditioning is another. On the ground floor the kitchen will appeal to many, in conjunction with the housekeeper to clean up after you (you are supposed to be on holiday remember). The fully fitted kitchen features Smeg hobs and oven, microwave, large fridge-freezer, espresso machine, toaster, dishwasher and full set of cutlery, pots and pans etc. Methee commented 'the full kitchen is important as some people, including me, like to cook - it relaxes me and usually I don't get time unless I'm on holiday'. The housekeeper is also on hand to prepare tea, coffee, soft drinks and fresh fruit.
Breakfast is served in the dining area as requested at the time you specify. The options are plentiful with everything you'd expect on the menu, including American, continental and Asian options. Breakfast is included in the price as are many other things but I'll come back to them all.
Dinner is also available to be served in the villa in much the same way. The menu is Thai with dishes very reasonably priced, 'we don't have dishes on the menu unless we're happy we can make them well' said Khun Methee. I recommend the chicken and cashew nuts and tom ka, very tasty indeed. When you have dinner the housekeeper can stay as late as 21:00 if necessary. Discounts for guests have even been negotiated with some of Phuket's top restaurants. A hotel that isn't trying to keep you in, whatever next?
Outside, the infinity edge pool with Jacuzzi is positioned right in front of the ground floor balcony, its wonderfully relaxing to cool off in the pool (complete with outside shower) whilst taking in the view. Needless to say sun loungers are in abundance throughout the villa on each of the private balconies accompanying the bedrooms and also poolside. Should you wish, you can arrange for a therapeutic Thai massage delivered to you on your poolside lounger.
The Rising Sun Residences aren't right next to a beach, however two of the best beaches on Phuket, Nai Harn and Kata are 15 minutes drive away. To more than make up for this the villas each come with a car/minibus and driver for up to 9 hours each day to not only take you to the beach but also anywhere else you wish to go. Supermarkets, restaurants, sightseeing – all with the driver to assist and guide you along the way. I asked Methee who his guests usually are, “mainly families, often where members live in different countries from one another, come here for relaxation and a family reunion, additionally to celebrate birthdays and wedding anniversaries. We're also popular with honeymooners”. He added “sometimes a family or group of friends will each take one of our 1 bedroom villas”.
What makes the Rising Sun Residence work so well is the whole package. Included in the price is private car/minivan for up to 9 hours each day, breakfast served in your dining room, 45 minutes Thai massage per person per day in the villa, a selection of fresh tropical fruits daily, a selection of CDs and DVDs, tea and coffee and as much drinking water as you like (not just the usual 2 bottles).
Most of these things would be charged by most hotels if available, all of this contributes to the intimate feeling of 'home from home'.
This is more than an alternative to a large resort, in many ways it's so much better. Khun Methee's years in the hotel business shows throughout the villa, so many things are just right. Often he personally meets with guests after breakfast as in his vast experience guests only meet the hotel manager when there's a problem, he doesn't want that to be the case, he wants to enhance his guest's stays with his knowledge of Phuket wherever possible.
In summary the Rising Sun Residences are a wonderful relaxing private retreat with all the services of a 5 star hotel and without the crowds.