Villa Zolitude Resort and Spa
After being in China for over a week, staying in hotels whose air conditioning didn't work (at the height of the summer - HORRIBLE!), smelled of mold, were in the basements of buildings...you get the point, we were ready for a change! We wanted a hotel that we could spend 90%-100% of our time at and just unwind from our hectic trip. (We had just taken the Florida Bar and had spent almost 3 weeks traveling through Japan and China - we thought we'd take a time out and actually relax so we'd be refreshed for the rest of our trip.)
Researching on Hotels.com, we found Villa Zolitude Resort & Spa - a little haven on a hill overlooking Chalong Bay, where you rent villas instead of rooms. We booked. For $248/night (I know, I know - budget travelers are probably rolling their eyes at this), we stayed in a private 2 story villa with our own private pool. I've stayed in some really nice hotels here in the US (Ritz Carlton, JW Marriott) and some luxury Starwood Hotels around the world, but honestly, nothing has compared to Villa Zolitude.
Now, if you know about hotels in Thailand, and Southeast Asia in general, $248 is a "bargain" for a luxury hotel. It was actually one of the cheaper ones we saw on Hotels.com. There's an abundance of hotels that go for $400-$1000+ a night that we definitely weren't going to go near. Another thing about Villa Zolitude was that we didn't go for the base room, the Deluxe Pool Villa, which is beautiful in its own right (private villa, private pool, one story) - we went for the Grand Pool Villa (private villa, private pool, 2 stories).
When we arrived in Phuket, we stayed in a budget hotel the first night as our plane got in pretty late. The next morning after shopping at a market, picking up some alcohol and snacks, we found a taxi that would take us from near the airport to Chalong Bay without trying to completely take advantage of us. If you've been to Phuket, you know that getting around can sometimes take a while (especially if you're traveling the length of the island). The roads aren't straight forward and many times taxis have to travel further to even get a road that will take you to your destination - and Chalong Bay is basically at the other end of the island from the airport. After driving what seemed like forever, getting lost, and not being able to find the place, we were finally dropped off at the resort.
First thing you notice is that the parking is down the hill from the lobby/restaurant area and villas. There are several little carts zipping around picking guests up or dropping them off around the resort. It took no time for someone to see us standing there, take our bags and load them into the cart to bring us to the lobby to check-in.
The lobby is gorgeous. We were asked to sit and were given drinks and chilled towels while we waited for another couple to be checked in. When it was our turn, the receptionist came over and did the transactions where we were seated. We noticed that everyone was very professional and courteous, and that the atmosphere of the resort was very serene. Perfect!
After the seamless check-in, we were whisked away to our private villa. Someone came along and toured the place with us then left. In our villa, 305, the main floor was a large bedroom with about 50% of the walls being floor to ceiling windows (that are covered at night, of course). The floor included a large 2 person bathtub overlooking the bed area, a separate walk in closet, a separate shower and toilet area, and desk. Outside, a set of stairs led down to the first floor that includes an air conditioned sitting area with tv, bathroom, bar, and private pool with chaise lounges.
The resort itself has a spa (didn't make use of it), a larger pool with lounges, game area, library (with free book/dvd rentals) and restaurant. We were a little wary at the restaurant as resort restaurants can often be underwhelming and expensive (as you are pretty much captive without a car) - but we happily ate at Villa Zolitude's restaurant everyday (for breakfast (free), lunch, and dinner). We were definitely surprised at the quality of the food and the reasonable prices!
Note that you get added amenities for the price which is pretty exceptional: free mini bar, free breakfast, and free wifi (every villa has its own wifi and password). If it wasn't apparent before, we totally 100% recommend Villa Zolitude Resort & Spa. Go there to splurge (like we did), or go for your honeymoon or a special vacation with your significant other. This place is very much for couples but we did see a handful of families while we were there - (I believe they may have larger villas that have multiple rooms).
|Entrance to our villa|
|Villa # 305|
|Our villa's private pool|
|Beautiful and very comfortable sitting area downstairs - watched plenty of DVDs and TV down here!|
|DVD players provided|
|Our gate/villa door|
|Walking down to the restaurant for lunch|
|Beautiful open restaurant|
|Sunset from the villa|
|Sampling of breakfast from the included breakfast buffet|
|The resort's pool|
|Library downstairs, lobby upstairs|
|Enjoying the private pool|
|Zoomed in view over Chalong Bay from our villa|
Villa Zolitude Resort & Spa
Chalong, 53/25 Moo 5 Soi Bann Nai Trok
Chaofa Nok Rd.
Chalong Muang Phuket 83130