“Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.” Coco Chanel
If you have read my previous Discover Thailand: Phuket post you will already know that I wasn’t too chuffed to be staying in Patong itself but I was somewhat appeased when I found out that the suggested hotel, La Flora Resort was part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World Group (SLH).
My hopes were raised further when I booked the hotel transport and a BMW 760 glided round the corner to collect us at the airport, must be a good hotel I thought if this car was part of its fleet. As we relaxed in this beast of a car (more like a limo) I was feeling upbeat until we arrived in seedy raucous Patong whizzing past a Hooters and loads of sleazy looking local bars, massage shops and market stalls and pulled up outside a McDonalds, yep La Flora Resort was sandwiched pretty much right in the thick of the action between a Ronald McDonald statue and a Starbucks (you can imagine my face).
Set slightly back the hotel itself was quite narrow but stretched back to Patong Beach at the rear, arriving at 1am I didn’t really appreciate its overall location but was more alarmed by the abundance of nightlife on its doorstep. ‘Understated glamour on Phuket’s South-West Shoreline’ SLH said in its description and I guess in comparison to some of the surrounding hotels that could be classed as true. I think the seafront suites with their own private plunge pools that faced the beach or the ground floor villas with direct pool access definitely had the wow factor that our second floor deluxe room lacked.
On a positive note the room was large, clean and well-equipped but lacked storage in the form of any drawers, the small balcony was above one of the lap pools which was nice and had views to the beach. The huge bathroom had a walk in rain shower and a bath that could be exposed to the bedroom via a sliding door. The mini bar was free as was plenty of bottled water.
The stylish modern accommodation that was promised in this sixty-seven room boutique hotel was a bit dated in my opinion and the luxury part was cancelled out by the scuffed walls, patches of peeling paint and dented furniture which gave it a shabby feel, something that I would not expect from a hotel listed at this calibre especially as it’s only ten years old, built as part of the rebuild of the area after the 2004 tsunami. There was no air conditioning in any of the corridors, no lift, the quality of bed linen and towels was poor but adequate, the wifi was free but intermittent and required you to keep logging back in often.
My favourite part of this hotel was Surface, the open-air rooftop bar which offered fabulous views across the coconut palm lined beach and was perfect for enjoying sundowners and light bites whilst watching the sunset and the many paragliders over the beach. Breakfast, which was included in our package, was served in the all-day dining Current of The Sea restaurant located on the ground floor. The selection was quite limited but it did offer both international and Thai cuisine. The outdoor terrace was a nice place to enjoy an alfresco breakfast overlooking the second pool, the restaurant (which is also open to the public) also served lunch, dinner and an extensive wine selection but we didn’t try any of this due to being out and about.
Facilities included the two aforementioned lap pools with loungers and cabanas that were positioned in parallel on either side of the hotel, a small pool bar, direct access to Patong public beach, sauna, the Flora spa and a business centre. Although located in a central noisy nighttime area (just a stones throw from notorious Bangla Road) the resort itself was quiet, you couldn’t actually hear anything from our room except at 7am when faint strains of thumping music could be made out.
The best thing about the location was being able to explore Patong easily on foot as well as its proximity to all the activities we had booked, good for time saving considering our short three night stay. The front desk staff were friendly and eager to please, helping us with our trip planning and transport arrangements. My top tip would be book a pool villa if you are proposing a longer stay relaxing at the hotel itself but if you like us you are planning to be out all day and night the deluxe rooms provide a good base.
The Nitty Gritty
La Flora Resort, 39 Thaweewong Road., Patong Beach, Kathu, Phuket 83150
Telephone: +66 76 344 241
Check-out: 12 noon
Beachside and central location
Direct beach access
Surface rooftop bar and restaurant
The Not so Good……
Room was a little shabby, quality of linen and towels was below average
Intermittent wifi connection
No air conditioning in corridors and no lift
All views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved. Additional photos used courtesy of laflorapatong.com