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Reviewed 7 March 2011

We stayed here February 25th-March 5th 2011. It's a beautiful hotel, but very old & the rooms need much upgrading. I'd say it was probably built in the 1980's & the garden view rooms were pretty old. We only know this since we got upgraded to a ocean view after one day we had bees, ants, & a huge cockroach in our sink in the garden view room. I told my husband that I wasn't staying in this room & wanted another room. We called & requested another room, I did not care where it was, only that it didn't have insects. It was nice of them to upgrade us to a ocean view room, but you have to realize all the ocean view rooms are still not "right on the beach" kinda view you'd expect. The trees block most of the excellent view on all the beach view rooms since it sits back from the beach front. We booked this hotel knowing it wasn't right on the beach, but knowing it was the Hilton we figured it would keep the same quality we'd been used to in the states, & for the most part it did. We pre-bought the AM breakfast/brunch buffet every day & it was good, but rarely was it changed up in the 9 days we were there except for a few potato dishes. It was always hot & most was fresh, I did not see an empty dish - they always kept everything full of food. There was your typical western buffet style food which comprised most of the buffet, but also had an asian section of about 3-4 dishes & also an area of what me & my husband would say was indian food (which was wonderful).

The hotel was a bit confusing getting around & they gave you a map which helped. I found all the staff there very friendly, although there was a bit of a language barrier, if they couldn't understand you they'd find someone who did. I did not find this bothersome since we are in a different country & you can't expect everyone to know english. The hotel was pretty clean, except for the insect problem I listed above, all I saw was workers constantly cleaning the ponds, cleaning up towels & plates, they did a good job. The service was very good even if there was a language barrier... their jasmine soaked cold washcloths that they passed out at each restaurant before dinner & occasionally at the pool & at check-in were my favorite part of the hotels service along with the Lychee juice! The other nice thing was if you were sitting pool side at any of the pools, the pool guys came around with fruit on a stick, cold jasmine washcloths, & several times to ask for drinks in the 3 hours we were there. The downside is you don't get a chair at prime time (between 10-2PM) period. We like most vacationers liked to sleep in & then go to our brunch at about 10/10:30 then go to the room & change into our beach clothes & head to the pool. If you don't get to the pool by 9AM you're not getting a chair, I found this a little upsetting considering I was on vacation & just wanted to relax. Most other days we always went down to the beach since it was quieter & didn't have kids yelling & splashing in the pool. It would have been nice to have a kids wing/pool area for those of us that don't have kids & wanted peace & quiet. They did however have some pool toys/sand toys for the kids which I thought was a nice gesture. The beach was very clean & peaceful (much nicer than sitting by the pool) but you had to pay 200 baht (about $6.50) for a chair & umbrella daily since you didn't want to be in the baking sun for more than 2 hours. Word & warning about the sunshine down there... both me & my husband are people who normally tan pretty fast & after 3 hours of being in the sun we burned badly & ended up staying out of the sun for almost 4 days while our skin healed! I'm big on sunblock & just wanted a bit of a tan, but it was very hard to tell that we had burned at all, so just be very careful.

The location was good, wished it was right on the beach, but after my research I found few to little hotels that were situated right on the beach that weren't $350+/night. But you can't move the hotel, so I'll say it was a good location. My parents & sister stayed up in Patong & I was very happy that we did not stay there at all. There was only one side of the street to walk on & that happened to be the side that had all the store merchants asking you every 5 feet, "want a DVD, want sunglasses, want dress" This was not just asking but at one point after my sister went into one shop to look at some dresses the girl got very upset that my sister would not take her price & shoved a calculator at her to put in her price. My sister said she was just looking but the girl just kept on badgering her as she walked out of the store. Made me vey mad & I had to tell her to back off. I wished the shop owners & staff knew that if they just left you alone to look & when you needed help with a product then you'd ask. All I felt was like I was badgered every time we went out & were trying to find a place to eat since you had to walk past these rows & rows of shops each time. The Hilton Phuket was located about a 15 minute taxi ride from Patong where all the peddlers were. That wasn't to bad, but the taxi rides were $10-15 dollars one way. We couldn't talk them any lower than $10 for a 15 minute taxi ride! Later we read a newspaper article that the government is trying to put a cap on what the taxi drivers can charge since they don't run off a meter they can charge whatever they want. After going to Patong 3 days that added up to over 60+ dollars! So if you're looking for action & night life stay in Patong, if you're looking for peace & quiet & "some" shopping a little walk from the Hilton then stay at the Hilton on Karon Beach.

As for the value of the hotel it was ok. I felt it was a bit much paying $227 a night (even though we got breakfast) for a garden view room. Luckily the insect problem allowed us to get an ocean view, but for anyone booking a garden view room $227 is a lot to pay to me.

The rooms are ok, & I really mean ok. Since we stayed in each a garden view & ocean view I feel we have a good representation of each room. The first room was a garden view room & it was on the very end (last room). I had the gut feeling that it may have not been used in a while. The TV was not like the plasma flat screen that was in the pictures when we booked it, but a regular TV maybe a 25 inch & an old TV. It was kinda hideous. The ocean view room was more our taste but still basic & not over the top, just much newer. We very much liked the ocean view room, not for the ocean view since there was trees blocking the view a bit, but for the openness of the room & the newness to it. It does bother me that with as much as this hotel has probably coming into it that they haven't upgraded the rooms in the other wing. Our garden view room was in a totally different tower than the ocean view room (there are 4 towers of rooms I think).

Sleep quality was ok. My husband & I are used to sleeping on Tempur Pedic pillows which are a bit more firm than the pillows that they offered. If I could've packed my pillow I would've! These pillows with 2 stacked up were very flat & made for an uncomfortable night sleep. I ended up using one of the couch pillows which was a little more firm. Also both the beds in the garden view & ocean view rooms were equally hard. I thought by booking an American based hotel that the beds wouldn't be your typical asian hard bed, but they were. I mostly slept good since our days were packed with tours & fun in the sun & I was usually drained at the end of the day & slept well. We rarely heard any noise in the hotel except some rude people who don't realize that others don't get up at 8AM on vacation & like to slam doors.

One of the other things to be aware of is the Hilton does NOT have any free internet period. No WiFi or DSL at all. The price was approx. $20 per day, $8 for one hour from your room or at the business center. There was a $5 for 30 minutes but that could only be bought at the coffee place on their computers inside. We ended up using my families free WiFi at their hotel in Patong to just check for work & pet emails from people back home. I thought this was a hugely outrageous charge on the hotel's part, but realizing that most places in Thailand charged some sort of fee for internet usage seemed the norm.

The food was actually decently priced & I was a little shocked since the price of the hotel & internet was so much, I figured the food would be a little pricy. We ate at the Thai restaurant (about $10 per plate), the italian restaurant (also about $10 per plate) very delicious, & did a steak buffet at the Sails restaurant (about $30/person), & then ate 2 meals at the Ocean Beach Club at the main pool (this is the cheapest to eat at if looking for a lower budget). All were very good food! I have no complaints about the food. One issue came up when we went to order drinks & wondered what was in them. The menu at some of the restaurants did not have any drink description & some were hotel created drinks that we had no clue what was in it & if you'd like it. We asked one of the waiters & he had a difficult time understanding what we meant by asking "what's in the drink" it was like doing charades trying to get him to understand. Finally he brought a bartender stapled paper with all the drinks & it's ingredients. It would've been a bit simpler if they would've just listed what was in the drink on their menus. Some of the restaurants had menus that described the drinks & others did not, there was no consistency in this area for those of us that like to drink alcoholic beverages on vacation.

The spa was very nice & a bit in the back of the hotel, but a perfect place I guess for quiet away from the business of the rest of the hotel. We got a couples room massage, 1.5 hours & it was approximately $160 total. (This was also with a 15% discount if we booked it between 10-2PM). It was very nice & peaceful since they brought you to your own separate small building type room. Basically the spa did not have rooms it had separate small buildings. Each small building had a bathroom & shower outside but was enclosed by walls so no one could see you using it. The massage was wonderful & the girls always asked if the pressure was ok. I know you can get cheaper massages (like the one we had up in Bangkok for $85 for 2 people) but I saw some of the massage places in Patong & felt like they looked a little to sketchy. Ones that probably offered a happy ending if you will. I preferred one that was clean & such so we went with the one at the Hilton. They met our expectations well.

All in all, I'd stay agin if I couldn't find a nicer hotel, but think there's nicer & newer ones in the Karon Beach area. If you can get the ocean view rooms for a price that you feel comfortable paying then go for it, otherwise I'd not stay in the garden view rooms again.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Jessdoll17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2011

This is a great Hilton resort, with direct access to Karon beach (I'd say Karon is not the best beach in Phuket island, but not bad at all).

This hotel has amazing HHonors checkin staff. The lady in charge (I think the director) was extremely professional and courteous. I'd have to say it was one of the best checkin experiences I've had. Simply felt good.

The kids' paradise wasn't the best as the staff weren't very friendly as compared with other hotels in the area, and neither was the executive lounge manager -or at least wannabe manager who had weird attitude, as if she owned the place or something-, which was a great punchline to the jokes I kept making -at least she was useful that way-. These small issues in no way bothered me or affected the qualify of the hotel, just small things I wanted to mention, though were the reason I took away one star from the service.

Overall, this place is awesome. Proximity to beach, variety of pools (for kids and adults), amazing views, and excellent overall service make it a great place to stay. I would definitely stay here again. In fact, my wife wanted to visit the area again just to stay here again. Maybe she was exaggerating...

Rooms were beautifully decorated and renovated, though the buildings themselves are a bit old. Just an architectural observation as the rooms were still one of the best in the area at comparable and even better ranked hotels.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
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Thank KevNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2011

we had a choice between this and another Luxury brand, but we chose this as this hotel was ideal for a large grp.
close to the 'happening' area for members of the grp, spa in hotel, comfortable rooms facing the sea, so much to do , that few days r less to explore this great property. To add to it , the grand ball room is ideal for a function of more than 450 people with dj and stage..
needless to say, the staff is very helpful and courteous too..

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled on business
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Thank Vikrantg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2011

We had a weeklong stay at the Hilton, a favorite of mine wherver I go and this time I was trying this with family and demanding teenagers. Property is expansive and large, with many facilties, access to beach, fun and leisure. However, the experience always left you with 'something missing' feeling. Service is great, when you ask for it. Food is ok but there are multiple options beyond the hotel. Rooms are spacious but not all have a view to the sea. Breakfast is something to look forward to as there are hundreds of option and its an awesome spread.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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Thank rakesh1198
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2011

We visited Phuket and stayed at the hotel for 4 days. Outstanding resort..... sprawling acres of green... spoilt for choices on different restaurants ( we tried the Chinese, the Italian and the Vietnamese restaurants). Have multiple options to keep both adults and kids engaged.

Got a beginners preview into snorkelling and ventured into taking the beginners course. Visited Phuket Fantasea on one day, while curled up with an inhouse novel at the beach on another day. The sea was just awesome and the best part was it is only a 5 mins walk from the hotel !

The only questionable experience was with the seaview being obstructed from the 2nd floor room (though we had opted for a seaview room). However, the hotel was very prompt in quickly changing our room to the 5th floor which was a sea change (pun intended)

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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Thank ArijitBasu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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