We enjoyed our weeklong stay at the Black Pearl. We were two couples, no kids, on a Christmas vacation to Thailand - looking for a private, quiet location to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Black Pearl offered a what we were looking for and proved to be in a decent location which allowed us easy enough access to the rest of Phuket when we wanted to shop, fish, tour or eat. A few small quibbles kept this from being an excellent stay - but we don't think any of them would keep us from staying again.
The Black Pearl is a three-apartment villa built on the edge of a national park reserve in Phuket. The house sits on a small local road which is used by the occasional motorbike or car, but in no way is busy or intrudes on your experience. You are right on the beach and the view is great. As others have mentioned the villa is close to the Airport, but again we didn't find that the air traffic bothered us at all. The villa is the only one on the street and you are a 5 min. walk away from the Centara resort. The Marriott resort is also close by, but you do not see any beach traffic from either resort. The beach area in front of the house was almost always empty and we really liked feeling like the only ones around. Occasionally some locals would come to the park area near the house, but it was never intrusive.
The villa itself is showing a bit of its age and you'll notice a few rough spots. Ultimately it did not impede our vacation though it kept us from rating this stay as 'Excellent'. The dogs are nice enough and we enjoyed having them around, though one of them seems to have chewed on the edges of nearly all the deck chairs - you notice it when resting your arms on the chair. We only had two pads given to us for the loungers on the patio by the pool approximately half-way into our vacation. We thought this was a bit odd and the girls didn't much care for sitting on hardwood loungers for the first 3-4 days. Refreshing some of the lounge/pool furniture would be a welcome addition. If they need to, keep the dogs away from the pool area to prevent damage, after all isn't that why you came? to sit by the pool and beach?
One annoying point that stood out to us all was the engine/water pump which is placed two lots down from the villa. This pump is used for an in-land shrimp hatchery and runs from 8am-8pm everyday. Its not seriously loud, but its always in the background and was noticeable at the pool. It prevented us from having total peace and quiet poolside each day. A shame really as I'm not sure what the owners of the villa can do to change this. The pump runs pipes into and out of the water down the beach - these hatcheries are a reality in Thailand we know, but a shame this one placed its a noisy pump close by nonetheless.
The AC in the master bedroom stopped working sometime in the evening on two occasions, but Pak was quick to have it fixed (and ultimately replaced). I note this to indicate the speed with which concerns are addressed. These things happen sometimes, its nice to have someone who is responsive when things go bad.
We did all of our own cooking when we stayed in for meals, so we cannot comment on the maids cooking ability. We felt as though the maid service was adequate during our stay - but it wasn't excellent. A few days the beds were not made up and she seemed to come by once a day for general cleaning, after that nothing more was done. When you have a fully stocked kitchen for cooking, things get dirty at meal times, stopping by occasionally would have been appreciated.
We appreciated the fridge being stocked upon our arrival, it made breakfast/lunch on the first day very easy and allowed us to relax after our travel versus having to go to the local Tesco for groceries right away. This was a very nice touch. The villa has most everything you could possibly need - internet, A/C, fans, beach towels, plates/cups/glassware, TV, DVD player, iPod hookup for tunes by the pool, etc.
Lastly, we visited when we were the only people at the villa. I would have to say our experience would have changed considerably if we were sharing the villa with other visitors. I supposed there is no way of figuring this out in advance, unless Pak knows the owners schedule. We all agreed it would have been quite different if the other apartments (multiple bedrooms each) were full and their occupants were at the pool, etc. Not a complaint, just something to think/inquire about if you're looking for privacy.