RNR in Phuket

Eco Adventure PADI Dive Resort & Hostel & Music Café in Kata Beach

This venue is permanently closed

Phuket certainly has its share of colourful characters and one of the most genial is Ricky Zen, an American-born entertainer who has been on the island for 15 years. Ricky has seen a lot of the world through his role as an all-round entertainer, host, and musician; his wry interpretations of evergreens, rock ‘n roll, and comic rewrites of songs are staples of his show. Like many people who visit the island, the heady mix of great weather, beautiful beaches, friendly people, and good food seduced him to stay a while; then to stay a while a little longer, and finally to settle.

Ricky’s now running RNR Eco Adventures Pool Villa Dive Resort & Hostel in Kata – a hotel cum hostel, cum restaurant, cum dive centre. In fact it’s so many things rolled into one that it’s nigh on impossible to put your finger on exactly what the main thrust of the place is but it is safe to say that if you’re looking for a friendly bunch of people RNR is the place to head to. RNR is also an eco sustainable resort and the driving force of unitedplanetprotectors.com promoting Reef Restoration & Ocean Cleanup Projects assisting Go Eco Phuket along with supporting Thailand's Forest & Jungle preservation.

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At RNR you’ll find a garden restaurant and a bar next to the hostel’s swimming pool along with Kasha – a Mollucan cockatoo, and Jackie – a scarlet greenback macaw, both amazingly intelligent birds. As befitting an eco resort the garden is also home to butterflies, bats, turtles, squirrels and lots of other exotic creatures and is a pleasant setting for the restaurant which is so informal it’s almost like dining at home.

For such a compact restaurant RNR’s menu is surprisingly far reaching and offers standard Thai classics such as khao phad and phad thai along with green curry but it also has free reign in various healthy dishes as well as Mexican treats along with an amazing Italian pizza quesadilla – yes that’s right a pizza quesadilla.

We sample some cocktails and nibble on vegetarian Mexican tacos (120 baht) and after a while a masaman curry is served up (100 baht) which is spanking fresh and flirts with spice rather than attacking the taste buds. Again, the friendly aspect of the restaurant does more to the flavour than any herb or sauce could do and this is a lesson in priorities that many tourist-dollar-orientated eateries should learn in Phuket.

But the biggest surprise of the evening (apart from Kasha trying to swipe things from my bag) is the Italian pizza quesadilla (140 baht). Even though the idea sounds like it was conceived during an acute attack of the munchies it’s an almost perfect blend of textures and tastes and a great main course. Diners here can also enjoy apple or blueberry fruit pies (120 baht) along with a scoop of ice cream (50 baht). If you hadn’t already noticed, the prices here are amazingly low for a west coast restaurant and they are just one reason why RNR is a highly recommendable place.


  • Location: 7 Khoktanod Road, Kata (by the fire station)
  • Tel: +66 (0)81 088 4965
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