The odds seem to be stacked against Dream Phuket Hotel & Spa.
Still shiny new (they opened in December 2015), the five-star property located near Bang Tao Beach is neither beachfront nor in a central location. Surrounded by other luxury villa complexes, such as Outrigger and Laguna, there’s not much of a F&B scene in the vicinity.
Despite this, we reckon Dream will be happily subscribed for its hospitality, eco-friendly design, and tranquility, making it the perfect retreat from the rowdy crowds on Patong.
Surrounded by five buildings of rooms and suites, the heart of the hotel is very much the main swimming pool, which is fringed by cabanas and lounges made for sun bathing, as well as a swim-up pool bar. Prefer infinity pools? Head up to VU, their rooftop pool and bar, instead for sunset views and sea breezes. As with most five-star hotels, drinks are not cheap compared to the rest of Phuket – expect to fork out around 350 baht (US$10) for a non-craft cocktail or a glass of wine.
The entire check in procedure was quick and painless. The English fluency of the local members of the hospitality team surpassed our expectations for Phuket and Thai islands in general. You’ll also often see Regina, the lovely General Manager of Dream, sharing stories and laughter with guests in common areas of the hotel, adding to the “home away from home” feel that’s sorely missing at other establishments.
Most of us have a “splurge” hotel while on vacation; make the Sky Pool Suite at Dream yours, like we did. Imagine a 76 square-meter (818 square feet) apartment, complete with living room, fully equipped kitchen, and a private pool with Jacuzzi jets in the balcony – sweet! We slept well in the comfortable bed with the default pillows but there’s a pillow menu of five options should you wish to explore them.
As mentioned, there’s a lack of food choices in the area and a taxi to anywhere else will cost at least 300 baht (US$9). The main, all-day dining restaurant Trilogy does a great breakfast (please give us fresh fruit juices though!), but rather pricey lunch and dinner menu was inconsistently executed, which didn’t give us much to shout about. The tom yum soup at lunch somehow fared better than the one I ordered for dinner the previous day; my companion’s steak (he ordered rare) was perfect during one dinner but arrived medium on another occasion.
This prompted us to take advantage of the fully equipped kitchen – something to consider if you enjoy cooking since you don’t have to clean up! All you have to do is to make a one-time trip to the supermarket and procure the right kitchen tools from the housekeeping. Alternatively, eat at Dream Beach Club (open 11am to 12am daily), located five minutes away on Layan Beach.
Owned by the same folks, there’s a shuttle on standby to take hotel guests to the beach club. Decked out in vibrant hues of yellow and blue, Dream Beach is relatively quiet in the day on weekdays so you have the pick of the gorgeous cabanas. Weekends, however, see large crowds of local expats there to party it up. You won’t go wrong with the seafood platters.
There are cheapish massages available on the beach, but if you’re looking for something fancier (and more hygienic), Dream’s Sanctuary Spa will serve you well. The body scrub and massage wasn’t the best I’ve had, but at least I emerged feeling like half a new person, with less knots in my shoulders (a chronic problem of typing away at a desk for hours at a time). Again, the spa prices are higher than you’d expect for Thailand, but the hotel regularly runs promotions for in-house guests.
All things considered, we’d head back to Dream Phuket Hotel & Spa because the rooms and hospitality are worth paying for. But as spoiled Singaporeans, we hope that they’ll up their game and lower their prices when it comes to food.
Dream Phuket Hotel & Spa is located at 11/7 Moo 6, T.Cherngtalay, A.Thalang, Phuket 83110, Thailand. Rates range from US$150 per person for the Deluxe Room to US$660 for the three-bedroom Pool Villas
Top Image: VU Rooftop Pool Bar