Hotel review of Serenity Resort & Residences located in Rawai Phuket.
We caught taxi to Serenity from the Indigo Pearl. The girl who checked us in seemed to be off with the fairies a bit … She went through how much she was putting on hold on our credit card, the amount changed 2 or 3 times as she worked it out….
She also confirmed the suite we were staying in as the “Penthouse Suite” and I said no I booked the H20 suite, which she giggled at and said yes it’s the same, apparently we are the silly ones for not knowing that.She didn’t acknowledge that we were returning guests and rambled on about what the hotel offers.
She took us up to our room, she showed us around the room and went into the bathroom and handed me 2 soaps asking which one we wanted as well as putting out the shampoo, condition and soap in the shower… Is this not something housekeeping should have organized before we arrived?
The room at Serenity was nice, not as nice as the room we were upgraded to the year before. We stayed in the H20 Suite as it had a private pool on the roof.
The room was nice, the bed was very large and comfortable and the bathroom had a large bath and a strangely large shower. It feels like the shower could do with another shower head at the other end as it seems like wasted space for a shower.
The lounge and kitchen area was very nice. The lounge had a large comfortable couch and a large TV with dvd player. The kitchen is a full kitchen with a stove, fridge and cooking and eating utensils.
The outdoor area was nice and had a great view (you could see the Big Buddah from our pool area!), the outdoor furniture and decking area were a little weather worn! From our stay last year we were surprised as the resort looked well maintained.
I agree with previous reviews saying that a microwave in the kitchen would be handy, I have also seen a reply from the GM saying they are available on request but there is nothing in the compendium to state this.
Our experience with housekeeping at Serenity was less than impressive this time around…
No soap or shampoo and conditioner in the bath so we had to move it to and from the shower to the bath anytime we wanted to use it.
They would come in and clean which involved making the bed and folding a t-shirt and cleaning the glasses we used.
I wanted to use the shaver provided and the box was empty, I left it clearly open so that housekeeping would see it and replace it but they didn’t, so it was left on the bench for days, never to replaced!
Housekeeping never went up to the pool area. They just kept replacing the pool towels in the bathroom. Did they not notice that the used towels weren’t there anymore?? Maybe they just forgot that these rooms had pools??
We didn’t use the Serenity public pool as we had our own on the rooftop of our room.. It was really nice but once again housekeeping never came up to clean the area, so there was dirt and leaves around.
It would be nice to see the “pool person” offering sunscreen to people or cheap/hotel made ice creams (as done by a few other hotels in Phuket) – it is after all a service industry, they need to try to stand out a bit more (so far the experience we have had here compared to the last 5 hotels has been below average).
The food at Serenity’s restaurant “East 88” is the most amazing thing of this hotel. It helped to rectify some of the issues we have had. It is a pity that we are not able to get room service after 10pm. The “Aloha burger” is to die for!! Yum Yum!
Breakfast was always so busy, we had to sit at the bar on a couple of days as the restaurant was full. When asking for a coffee while getting my breakfast I was told to order this at the bar on one day… then the next day when I ordered coffee at the bar they told me to order it at the restaurant. (Being consistent would be good as it can get very confusing.)
Breakfast itself was very yummy. Although it was disappointing that there wasn’t much Thai/local fruits this year and hardly any fried rice (!!!!) served. We were told by Pascal (F&B/Exec manager) that we could just ask the Chef and they would make it for us, which was awesome! I didn’t really bother most mornings because Phet, the lovely chef made the yummiest omelettes and there was plenty of other foods to eat.
I can’t fault the food, it is just amazing! Chef O (and all the chef’s) are still doing a great job!
Loved the “Senses by Serenity” Spa, they offered really good massages, facials and scrubs!
I did have a bit of a bad experience. I decided to have an Aloe Wrap as I was VERY sunburnt, it was the suggested treatment for sunburn. The therapist commented on how badly burnt I was (in a polite way). I was not aware that the wrap includes a massage (firm massage), I can tell you that a massage + Sun burn = Extremely painful!!! The GM’s response was “as I was not aware that this could be an issue if guests are sun burnt.” (really????). Please for the love of sunburn take the massage OUT of the Aloe wrap! (or at least for people who are clearly sunburnt). I would have thought that this would be common sense…
Serenity located in the quiet and peaceful area of Rawai Phuket. We are well aware of the location and prefer it as it is away from the hustle and bustle of Patong! It would be nice to see more shuttles when the one Patong shuttle is full, maybe run another shuttle a little before or after and ask that people make sure to book their “on the way back” trips. I have read review where the GM has replied to saying that the demand is not there, but it must be if it’s always full? I understand this is a complimentary service that the hotel offers but this is a service industry and it is what guests are asking for.. Being so far away from Patong people want to be able to go there from the hotel and not have to pay the taxi mafia camped outside the hotel. If cost is the issue, I’m sure people wouldn’t mind pay a small fee to have another shuttle run.
(we could see the “Big Buddah” from our pool!)
Staff worth special mention –
Thank you to all the lovely chef’s for making the most amazing yummy food!
Ya & Aoy In the spa – Gave lovely treatments! Ya really fixed up my back! (I wish I could bring her home with me)
Kai, Thai, Kai, Kung in the restaurant were lovely. There was no Gun this year, at no fault of the hotel but we did notice as none of the staff were very chatty or overly friendly.
General Summary –
When we decided to come back, we emailed the hotel and asked to order some mugs as we love the way they fit in our hand perfectly. Pascal was very helpful and ordered us 4 mugs. (We did pay for these – we didn’t expect to get them for free- but they are worth it!)
We were returning guests to the hotel and were a little disappointed. Other hotels we have been have made sure to make us feel really welcome and make a big deal that we have chosen to stay with them again (or even for the first time)… at Serenity we got a “welcome back note” from the GM that was scribed down, we couldn’t really read it and It was left in the little fruit bowl with the sad looking fruit.
I did try to order a Feather pillow over the phone which was so impossible, I had to go down to the front desk and show them the piece of paper (pillow menu)! The GM tells us that they have hired an English teacher and last year we were told that they are receiving English lessons. I honestly can’t say I see a difference since last year.
I think we held this hotel to a higher standard, maybe because of the last 5 hotels we have stayed in or maybe because we know they can do better. We had such an amazing experience last year. A little disappointing …Will we return when we are next in Phuket..… maybe…maybe not.. ??
We love this Hotel and had a disappointing stay, maybe we will return one day.