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A happy stay in the house of many steps

Right: Eric Scott and the always happy Jai. Below right: one of the three sdwimming pools; Bottom right Good food and ambience in the Ruen Thong restaurant.

Photos by Deanne Scott.

The Phuket Novotel on Patong Beach is a genteel but slightly faded resort set on the hillside above the beach. It is also a resort that cares well for its guests with a warm, friendly, and welcoming staff from the front

desk to the restaura

nt waitresses and cleaning personnel.

Every day everyone greeted us with smiles.

Jai, who welcomed us to the hotel, was always a joy to

talk to; he has a quick wit, knows everyone’s name and everything about the hotel. He is an asset well worth preserving.

Little Elisabet from East Timor was another top staff member. She was another

who knew the names of her

guests and was always there

to find a good table in the

Coffee House restaurant.

When we left it was like saying goodbye to old friends.

The place is on many levels, which means climbing innumerable steps to get to and from the rooms to the lobby and dining rooms. There are no lifts, so it is not a place for anyone with mobility problems. The resort is also a long downhill walk to the street and beach, but this is no problem; the hotel’s shuttle service to and from the street is fast efficient and always there when needed. There is also a shuttle to rooms further up the hillside.

There are bits of peeling paintwork and few cracks in the façade, but the ambience has not been affected. And there are signs of a rejuvenation program at the top of the hill where rooms are being renovated. There is also the promise of lifts being installed during 2016.

My wife and I spent a idyllic 13 days at the resort and enjoyed every minute.

Our room was spacious. The furnishings were excellent, and the bed comfortable. It was also clean and well kept. The balcony was roomy with chairs and table, but the refurbishing need was apparent here for the cushions were far from waterproof and tended to fill with water when it rained (and we were rainy season travellers).

There are several dining areas and bars and nightly international buffet as well as a la carte dining is available at the Coffee House. There is a different buffet every night.

We sampled two, the Thai and Italian nights and found we had plenty of variety and quantity. The Ruen Thong delivered a delicious Thai menu.

The Hour Glass Bar was the main watering hole with panoramic view of the Andaman and some wonderful sunsets. That is where we enjoyed our nightly cocktails. Local spirits are reasonably priced, but wine is very much out of reach of the ordinary pocket.

The there is the Le Mirage Pool Bar, which is open daily from 8 am to 10 pm.

But the main attractions are the three, swimming pools, each on its own level of the hillside, and each with its own atmosphere and plenty of pool chairs and umbrellas. We spent many hours swimming in the perfect water.

The gym too is well set out with plenty of exercise machines, while the massage room is tranquil and the exponents of Thai massage expert. We were on a $1000 for two 10-day break with an extra three days added. This included nightly cocktails, two themed meals, and three hours of massage. The hotel also offers free wifi.

Despite the steps this is a place I would willingly return for its peace and friendliness.


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