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Reviewed March 15, 2010

I have just returned from a weeks holiday at this resort, and i'd like to leave a review on here as many places i look at i refer to tripadvisor and other peoples comments

Arrival

When we arrived we were greeted promptly and the staff were fantastic, the drive from the airport takes about 45 minutes, but its all worth it when you get to the last stretch of road and turn left before the hotel... The views are amazing.

Our Stay

We wanted to use this hotel as a base from which we could go and explore, and during our seven day stay we did that quite a bit. We hired a car from Purecar rental in Phuket town, (much cheaper than internet prices) and very friendly, although i was a bit cautious of leaving my passport with them for 4 days, but everything worked out fine. The car we got was basic but it did what we needed it to do..

Our room was fantastic, we requested a sea view and got one, (room 205a does have one) we got to see the sunset from our room, and it was a very large room, nice balcony, and the room was very tidy.

After hiring a car we decided to go and explore (If driving over there please use caution - 5 people on one scooter we saw, and there everywhere stop at traffic lights and be prepared to have 15 - 20 scooters around you waiting to go, but it wasnt that bad driving on the roads really)

We went over to Kata and Karon beach, and mmmnn not impressed by these beaches, it looked like it was blackpool beach on a good day, with all the plastic loungers and poor quality parasols. We stayed over that side for a day, and we were glad / over the moon as we had booked at Kantary bay..

Yes there is no beach at Kantary Bay, however the sister hotel does have one - Cape Panwa Hotel. And this beach in comparison to those at Karon, Kata and Patong was a millions times better. We were so glad to spend a few days there, the sea was clear beach was lovely, and there was no pestering by anyone, at Kata, Karon you would be sat down for two minutes before someone would come try sell you something.
Would i rate the beach at Cape Panwa Hotel, oh yes, its quiet, clean, you get stunning views, and an ace sun tan. The beach bar is ideal, and came in handy.

Kantary bay let us park our rental vehicle at the front of the hotel, and i would recommend driving over there if staying at this hotel, as it is a distance away from anything else.

As for restuarants, We stayed b and b, breakfast we had no issues, good food, and staff were always ready to offer more tea and coffee.
We ate at a few restuarants on the front, the one that was ace, was in the Radisson resort called the 'Azur' about 5 minute walk from Kantary bay, slightly elevated prices to that on the front, but the service and quality of food from this restuarant was ace.
(If you look on your i phone / i pod there is a application for phuket resturants, it came in handy as it details location, and prices of resturant, thats how we found about the Azur, just a shame we didnt have time to go back to this resturant, it was top notch)
We had not issues with food, although i did have a slight stomach upset, no doubt caused by the change in food from English to Thai, but that was to be expected.

Overall, in summary Kantary Bay is a great resort to stay at if you are looking for Quiet, Relaxation, and just a chill out. If this hotel didnt have the extra facilities at the sister hotel, ie the beach etc then i would probably would have been dissappointed but all in all we had a great time. We saw most of the island via the car we rented, and Kantary Bay was a good base.

They provided mini buses to Patong (which was good to go up there - not my cup of tea Patong, came across very cheap and sleazy, and it had the most horrible smell when passing certain places) made it all the better to stay at Kantary bay.

The other thing that was good was Cape Promthep, if you get a chance go watch sunset here, absolutely amazing..

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank gleneccles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 15, 2010

I agree with 5-03-2010 review by byribm7727, Perth, Australia. In no way did this hotel match Kuoni’s description or the reviews on Tripadvisor which persuaded us to stay here. Initial room offered was 238 in the Bay View wing with a view of blank wall 4 storeys high one foot from the end of the balcony. Receptionist made a hasty exit when she saw the look on our faces. On returning to reception to request a change of room the receptionist exclaimed whilst we were 20 feet from reception “I know it’s about the room and I am sorry about its condition”. The receptionist then pleaded with us to stay at the hotel. Our mention that we had booked with Kuoni finally secured a move next day to room 337 which had a garden view and side ways sea view. I informed both the hotel and the Asian Trails (Kuoni Rep) representative that I would be making a formal complaint on my return to Kuoni, which I have now done so.Room 337 proved barely acceptable with poor décor, grubby walls, erratic shower that could scald and sink plugs that did not work. The Asian Trails rep had informed us there was little chance on being moved to another hotel as it was peak season so we had to stick it out.

This is common practice at the hotel, several couples had the same experience and requested a move, and one couple was moved 5 times in as many days, all with pleading from the receptionists to stay at the hotel. This reflects poor hotel management policy that treats guests with little or no regard.

Staff are friendly and helpful and the restaurants at the hotel were reasonably priced with the exception of the Café Andaman with the ridiculous charge for the buffet off 847 THB inc ++. Breakfast was OK but limited with some food being barely warm namely the bacon, fruit was not covered and we avoided this.

No mention made in Kuoni’s description or Tripadvisor that 25% or more rooms are used by long term residents for between 1 - 3 or more months who get the best rooms. These residents also act as if they own the place forming cliques who have volunteers to take the shuttle over to the beach at Cape Panwa early each morning to reserve the best sun beds. The sight of bottles of Marmite brought down each morning to the breakfast room left a lot to be desired.

The hotel felt like a retirement home and is also widely used by the lower end of the Package holiday market, not something I would have expected from a hotel marketed by Kuoni. All paper administration was handled by the Cape Panwa sister Hotel and a request for a bill update could take up to 2 hours to obtain, except at check out of course!! Overall very poor value for money in particular the ++ additions, which are common in the Far East, applied to everything even getting a magnum ice cream from the beach bar at the Cape Panwa, disgraceful. Several asbestos roofs at the hotel were cracked giving rise to health and safety fears. Mosquito prevention was poor at both hotels with no sign of any spraying.

We had doubts about visiting Phuket after reports that it was now over developed and chose the hotel with care to avoid this and enable us to judge for ourselves what Phuket was like. Bad choice we will never go back and this felt like hell after the previous 8 days we had spent in Koh Samui.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Gensi52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 14, 2010

As previously stated the foyer is very nice but it does have a large amount of stairs so no good for any kind of disability. The check in staff are nice and friendly but are left in the unenviable position of giving you the news that you will not be getting a room with a view, something they seem to have to deliver several times a day not per week as you might expect this is true right now anyway. In our 5 night stay we had to move 5 times to get the dream type room, 3 times in the first day to say that I was disturbed by this was an understatement. In fairness to the hotel the last move (5) was by choice after the dream room became available so our last 2 nights were great. The 4th room had a side view of the ocean that seemed great after looking at a wall for 2 previous nights and we would have stayed but there but there was a leak in the bathroom so when a better room became available we moved.

During my stay I became ill and the staff were very caring and concerned I thought it was to much sun but the previous comment about food is a little concerning as I know that many people were ill during our stay but it was extremely hot and humid and my partner remained well throughout so the reason will remain debatable.

I think that for the price and the reciprocal rights with Cape Panwa Hotel and Spa that offers high standards and a great beach area (more on that later) the hotel does offer good value some nice rooms in fact some are very nice yes they do need some renovation, tiles in the bathroom, the baths themselves and the lounge furniture particularly maybe a new flat screen TV and more channels especially movies.

The biggest problem for this hotel is that some rooms are simply unacceptable this is just the rooms I experienced the first 201in the first block behind reception had a great view of the carpark and some toilet like shed from the bedroom this I was told was an upgrade a shock and not a good first impression. This is when our moves began the second 122 in the middle block a brick wall at back and someone elses entrance door at the front, horrendous and brought me to tears but I was so tired at the time I just waited for the new room to be found. The third room that day although a pleasant enough room with a outside jacuzzi it also looked at a brick wall it's saving grace that it was right at the front of the building (apricot) so you could walk out at street level and there was nice cool lounge area for guest with tea and coffee. The 4th 505b was as I said with a view although side on more than acceptable, the best by a really long way above our expectations was 503 full sea views and great room we were over the moon.

My last comment concerns Cape Panwa Hotel it is a high standard hotel with good ammenities but the beach itself (water and sand) needs attention immediately the dead coral would be easily removed by raking daily this coral is useless to the sea as it is dead it can be used as mulch in the garden. The greatest urgent job however concerns rocks in the water we witnessed and suffered foot injuries from these hidden gems surely at low tide many of these could be removed. The hotel needs to display notices on the beach for unsuspecting new guest, god help any fool who dives into the water , the last concern was with rubbish in the water (bags etc) I know this is from passing boats but hotels of this level need to keep ontop of this problem. I have seen these problems dealt with in Bali (Nusa Dua) daily.

In conclusion this hotel does offer value for money if you get the right room. The staff are all friendly and caring. The deal with its sister hotel makes it an even better deal for the price and its best attribute is its quiet location. Far enough away from the mad house Patong area but still within easy reach if that's what you need for a taste of the wild side or shopping.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank jules8556
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 5, 2010

This hotel is one of the worst places I have ever been to.

We stayed here as a result of previous reviews on trip advisor.

We must either have high expectations, or a lot of previous clients here must have very low standards.

When you first arrive in the lobby you'll be amazed, but trust me it all goes downhill from there.

We had one of the infamous 'roof view' rooms that so many people have complained about on here, however we didn't get our room changed, despite telling staff that it was my wifes 30th birthday.

Check out the photo I've posted.

That's the sea view - yep one of those 'technical' sea views, so if you go out onto the balcony, stand right in the corner, stand as high as you can on your tip toes (I'm 181cm), you can see about 40 sq cm of sea.

The rooms are tired and old, think yellow grout in the bathroom with big black spots of mould in the sealant, stains on the sofas, bedsheets with holes.

If this is the #1 hotel in Cape Panwa, it doesn't say much for the other hotels in Cape Panwa.

The hotel is very remote in relation to the rest of the island, which in itself is one of the reasons we booked it.

Because of this the hotel seems to play on the naiivety/laziness of its guests by charging 847 THB for an all you can eat buffet, which by western prices isn't too bad, but you're in Thailand, where at the vast majority of restaurants a main course costs between 90-120 THB per dish.

All of the prices at the restaurant are the dreaded ++ meaning plus 10% service charge, plus 7% government tax. You have to ask yourself - does any one NOT have to pay this? I asked the hotel, and they said everyone pays this, so why not just say what the price is in the 1st place?

Kantary Bay is the poor little sister of Cape Panwa Hotel, and very much lives in the shadow of it. There is a free shuttle bus running between the two hotels, but you have to ask yourself how many Cape Panwa guests use the facilities at Kantary Bay?

Our price included breakfast.

So you have hotel staff using bare fingers to flick the ants off the pastries - how's about changing them? Flies all over the cut fruit which was uncovered. Staff with colds and sneezing/coughing and not covering their faces. We ate breakfast each day at different times depending on what we were doing that day - 6.30 am all the way through to 9.30am. Not once did we see any food in the keep warm containers getting changed.

Take your diarrahoea tablets...

There is a definate clique between guests staying at the hotel long term including regular customers. For us service was frosty at best, it seemed apparent from day one that if you wasn't going to tip them, you wasn't going to get a smile.

This is a low end hotel charging high end prices.

What is good for Cape Panwa is right next to this hotel they are building a new development, which should do one of two things, put Kantary Bay out of business or make them get their complacent fingers out and renovate this property which looks like it's had no work on it since it was built in the 90's.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank ribm7727
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
marketingCPH, Management team at Kantary Bay, Phuket, responded to this reviewResponded March 8, 2010

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments regarding your recent stay with us. The points you raised are well received and we genuinely regret that you were disappointed with your stay.

Your concerns are being given due attention as we constantly strive to rectify our shortcomings and find better ways to meet our guest’s expectations and serve them better.

Again, thank you for your comments.

The Staff and Management

The Kantary Bay hotel, Phuket

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 2, 2010

We stayed here on our final phase of our holiday in Thailand after previously visiting Bangkok and the beautiful Phi Phi Island.

We arrived and were initially disappointed as there were two Thompson reps stating quite emphatically that one of their holiday makers were not happy with their room. We just seemed to be there with nobody taking any notice. When the receptionist realised we needed to check in though, she could not have been more helpful. We were taken to room 126 and my face must have said it all. Granted we had arrived from a luxurious hotel so this may have added slightly to the disappointment, but the room was all one room, it smelled musty and the window (no balcony) overlooked the walkway. Before I really had to say much the receptionist (who had showed us to our room) must have seen my face and advised that if we didn't like it they could move us tomorrow. We didn't really have much of an option. it was also my partner's birthday that day so needless to say we were really disappointed. We were staying for 5 nights but if it was any longer, we would probably have moved hotel.

They did move us, first thing the next day to a room with a balcony in the block with the roof top pool. We were much happier here, the room didn't smell and we preferred the roof top pool to the main one. In addition, my partner was not well on our last day and we weren't being collected to the evening so they did arrange for us to have another room for the day so that he could lie down (albeit down a dark smelly walkway with a view of a brick wall!).

After our initial disappointment, this hotel is fine. The staff are extremely helpful and the common areas are kept very clean. I think our expectations may have been a bit too high. After reading reviews, it suggested that the Kantary Bay is far superior to the Cape Panwa - after having visited both i would not say this is the case.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Pinky&PerkyCwmbran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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