IC Phuket (Master Thread)

Old Oct 8, 19, 7:36 am
  #1  
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IC Phuket (Master Thread)

I've just booked a week at the recently opened Intercontinental Phuket in early December. Has anybody been and do you have any tips? I booked a King Club Ocean View Room and am hoping that my Spire Elite Ambassador status scores me some sort of an upgrade too.

Since it's absolutely brand new, is there still construction going on in the area? Are all the hotel facilities open? How is access to the hotel -- what's the best way to get there from the Phuket (HKT) airport? Any advice is appreciated!

Last edited by Gentleman Adventurer; Oct 8, 19 at 7:42 am Reason: fixed a typo
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Old Oct 8, 19, 9:30 am
  #2  
 
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Some info here (but not very recent update):
IC Phuket Pre-Opening Master Thread (Scheduled Aug 01, 2019)
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Old Oct 8, 19, 10:04 am
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https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/31575490-post108.html

I dont know what happened to this resort. It was available for booking from September 01. And some people stayed. Now they say opening November 01. Must have been underwhelming experience. The tripadvisor reviews are fine. But I think the rates are quite high for a resort separated by a main road...
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Old Oct 8, 19, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by nrgetik View Post
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/31575490-post108.html

I dont know what happened to this resort. It was available for booking from September 01. And some people stayed. Now they say opening November 01. Must have been underwhelming experience. The tripadvisor reviews are fine. But I think the rates are quite high for a resort separated by a main road...
According to some info I read on Trip Advisor, they had a "soft opening" in September and the grand opening will be October or November. There are reviews and photos on TripAdvisor already...
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Old Oct 8, 19, 11:46 pm
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I was staying there last month (booked a few month earlier).
The hotel has two parts divided by a major road and connected by a public tunnel. The part on the ocean side was open, the other side was still under construction. They told me the other side might open in October, possibly later.
They offered a 50 % discount on the room rate plus upgrade to club plus several other discounts (had the opening special) which made it to one of the cheapest IC ever.

I was not too impressed. Aside from the rough edges a new hotel usually has some of my observations:
- room layout is not very practical. No workdesk (had to put my notebook on the extended bed stand and bend down. Horrible chair. No space toopen a regular size suitcase except on the floor. Not enough power outlets. Not enough shelf space and hangers. This was the worst room layout of any new IC i was staying in the last few years
- bathroom was big, but again a weird layout. Big sliding doors to the room, but the bathtub standing where the doors open.
- lots of stairs (slippery when raining) without handrail - accident waiting to happen
- beach and pool nice, better than at the other ICs in Pattaya, Hua Hin and Samui (supposed to have more pools on the inland side)
- service was very friendly and personal, but also very inefficient
- food in the club lounge was not up to the standard of other ICs in asia. This could be a opening issue or caused by giving all guest club access
- food in the only other open restaurant (Thai) did not taste like thai food and was borderline inedible
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Old Oct 9, 19, 10:12 am
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Originally Posted by Unterwegs View Post
I was staying there last month (booked a few month earlier).
The hotel has two parts divided by a major road and connected by a public tunnel. The part on the ocean side was open, the other side was still under construction. They told me the other side might open in October, possibly later.
They offered a 50 % discount on the room rate plus upgrade to club plus several other discounts (had the opening special) which made it to one of the cheapest IC ever.

I was not too impressed. Aside from the rough edges a new hotel usually has some of my observations:
- room layout is not very practical. No workdesk (had to put my notebook on the extended bed stand and bend down. Horrible chair. No space toopen a regular size suitcase except on the floor. Not enough power outlets. Not enough shelf space and hangers. This was the worst room layout of any new IC i was staying in the last few years
- bathroom was big, but again a weird layout. Big sliding doors to the room, but the bathtub standing where the doors open.
- lots of stairs (slippery when raining) without handrail - accident waiting to happen
- beach and pool nice, better than at the other ICs in Pattaya, Hua Hin and Samui (supposed to have more pools on the inland side)
- service was very friendly and personal, but also very inefficient
- food in the club lounge was not up to the standard of other ICs in asia. This could be a opening issue or caused by giving all guest club access
- food in the only other open restaurant (Thai) did not taste like thai food and was borderline inedible
Wow. That's super helpful. Many thanks, @Unterwegs.

I'm a bit concerned now that I know there is possibly still construction going on at the main part of the hotel and that there is a major road that runs right through the resort. I don't think they are very transparent about that on the IC website.

I sure hope they smooth out the edges and are truly ready for business by the time I get there in December. I'll be sure to post a review with photos here.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 8:03 pm
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Upcoming january stay

Originally Posted by Unterwegs View Post
I was staying there last month (booked a few month earlier).
The hotel has two parts divided by a major road and connected by a public tunnel. The part on the ocean side was open, the other side was still under construction. They told me the other side might open in October, possibly later.
They offered a 50 % discount on the room rate plus upgrade to club plus several other discounts (had the opening special) which made it to one of the cheapest IC ever.

I was not too impressed. Aside from the rough edges a new hotel usually has some of my observations:
- room layout is not very practical. No workdesk (had to put my notebook on the extended bed stand and bend down. Horrible chair. No space toopen a regular size suitcase except on the floor. Not enough power outlets. Not enough shelf space and hangers. This was the worst room layout of any new IC i was staying in the last few years
- bathroom was big, but again a weird layout. Big sliding doors to the room, but the bathtub standing where the doors open.
- lots of stairs (slippery when raining) without handrail - accident waiting to happen
- beach and pool nice, better than at the other ICs in Pattaya, Hua Hin and Samui (supposed to have more pools on the inland side)
- service was very friendly and personal, but also very inefficient
- food in the club lounge was not up to the standard of other ICs in asia. This could be a opening issue or caused by giving all guest club access
- food in the only other open restaurant (Thai) did not taste like thai food and was borderline inedible
Hi Unterwegs

I have a 4 day stay in early January on points. I cannot figure out what are the pools for non club guests. I have seen some videos /photos which show two pools near the beach, one beach level and one elevated.

I am confused as the general manager indicated in the video that beach level pool is club only and that there are two other pools (one adult only and the main one being the lagoon pool).

Finally, if you are staying on the mountain side, how are you supposed to go to the beach?

I have seen very good reviews on Tripadvisor but I have not been overly impressed by the videos/photos. If hotel is offering very cheap rates during soft opening, the excellent reviews may be influenced by that.




Thanks
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Old Oct 9, 19, 11:52 pm
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Originally Posted by palermo View Post
Hi Unterwegs

I have a 4 day stay in early January on points. I cannot figure out what are the pools for non club guests. I have seen some videos /photos which show two pools near the beach, one beach level and one elevated.

I am confused as the general manager indicated in the video that beach level pool is club only and that there are two other pools (one adult only and the main one being the lagoon pool).

Finally, if you are staying on the mountain side, how are you supposed to go to the beach?

I have seen very good reviews on Tripadvisor but I have not been overly impressed by the videos/photos. If hotel is offering very cheap rates during soft opening, the excellent reviews may be influenced by that.


Thanks
Let me try to anser some of your questions.

They have two pools in the ocean side part of the resort. One is a large pool on the left side (when seen from the street) at beach level and one club pool on the right side two levels up. Also good size. Access is from the terrace in front of the club. It was always deserted and did not look very attractive. They are supposed to have more pools on the inland side, most likely all public since the club rooms are on the ocean side. The pool villas are also on the inland side and supposed to have their own small pools. I did not go there, this is just what they told me.

If you are on the mountain side you need to walk down to the street area, then down into the public tnnel which end just in front of the entrance of the ocean side. Then it is another 2 or 3 floors down there and a few more meters to the beach.

Look at google maps/satellite. It still shows the construction site, but gives you a better idea.
The bigh building on the inland side shows a rooftop pool with reception (was not open in September). Behind is the majority of the rooms and the villas. It is on a hillside, the villas are higher up than the reception building. But it seems that none of the rooms in that area has an ocean view.

You can see the tunnel entrance ramp on the south end of the inland side next to the (new) road there. The tunnel ends on the other side next to the street (you can guess on the picture where the ramp is.

Two buildings on the ocean side. It seems both have club rooms, all have an ocean view. The club itself is the lowest floor of the norther building, the club terrace in front. You can guess where the pool is at the north border of the property. The ocean side is much narrower than the inland side. The bigger pool is next to the L-shaped building (you can see part of it below the trees and reaching over to a small building with the bar. The pool/beach area was nice and not too crowded, but then they also had less than 40 rooms occupied.

If you change to streetview you can see the tunnel and the position of the buildings. Yo can also see where the Twinpalms is next door (not part of the IC).
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Old Oct 10, 19, 5:50 am
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thanks Unterweg. This is a map which I have now got from their info team.


This is a map which I have received from the resort when I asked this question
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Old Oct 10, 19, 1:00 pm
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Thanks for sharing the map. Looks like the club pool is the one to the right of the M (Pine Bar). This is two levels higher and accessible from the terrace in front of the club (Ocean side of north L building.I would assume that the beach pool can be acessed by all guests, it is on the same level as the beach and it would be difficult to block access.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 2:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Unterwegs View Post
Thanks for sharing the map. Looks like the club pool is the one to the right of the M (Pine Bar). This is two levels higher and accessible from the terrace in front of the club (Ocean side of north L building.I would assume that the beach pool can be acessed by all guests, it is on the same level as the beach and it would be difficult to block access.
Yes, they confirmed that the beach level pool is general use. I am curious re the adults only - mountain side.

I asked when construction was going to be fully completed and they did not say but that they will do their best to give me a great experience.

I wish it was not rainy season in Bali, I will happy go to the Indigo Seminyak again. Pay rates at IC phuket are like 500 euro in early january. Phuket prices in general are crazy that time of the year. Even the Novotel next door is almost 300 euro
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Old Oct 11, 19, 12:29 am
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Did you look at Hua Hin? Personally I would prefer this IC over Phuket. Just make sure you get a room on the ocean side, not on the other side of the road (i believe they call it blue wing). The city is nice with lots of good restaurants, a shopping mall just across the street. You don't feel trapped there. And their room rate was less than half of Phuket when I checked for next year.

The Pattaya IC is also nice, but the city is a dump.

I would avoid Samui.
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Old Oct 11, 19, 1:36 am
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Originally Posted by Unterwegs View Post
Did you look at Hua Hin? Personally I would prefer this IC over Phuket. Just make sure you get a room on the ocean side, not on the other side of the road (i believe they call it blue wing). The city is nice with lots of good restaurants, a shopping mall just across the street. You don't feel trapped there. And their room rate was less than half of Phuket when I checked for next year.

The Pattaya IC is also nice, but the city is a dump.

I would avoid Samui.
The Pattaya IC is much nicer than the Hua Hin IC I thought. The Hua Hin IC seems to be in need of a refurb at least if the villa we had was indicative. Service was mixed but was acceptable, the mall across the road was good and the pool villas were nicely designed but not huge. I thought Pattaya was far better value for money. Whilst Pattaya itself is a bit of a dump (you might say the same for Patong, Chaweng or parts of Hua Hin) there are a decent number of quality places to eat and drink etc.

I also would avoid the IC Samui like the plague, I would never stay there again.

Whilst I am not a big fan of Phuket overall (I generally find it an expensive and massively overrated and overdeveloped island), I do like the fact that there are plenty of pool villas at the IC Phuket, so will almost certainly give it a whirl if I retain RA next year.
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Old Oct 11, 19, 2:02 am
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thanks Unterweg and Land of Miles

I am going to go to one of the Islands, probably Phi Phi (for some diving) and I have the outbound flight to Phuket with miles on QR.

I have been to Samui at the IC 3 or 4 times, I have some very negative posts in the relevant thread in FT so I fully agree with you LoM re the iC Samui.

I don't mind Pattaya if weather is good and I agree that the IC Pattaya is solid and good value for money. My partner hates Pattaya so it is a dealbreaker.

I do like Phuket and I don't mind Patong, the issue is the prices for other suitable alternatives in early January.

Has anyone stayed at the Pullman Arcadia? . From the pictures it looks nicer than the IC but i think it has not aged well.

Unterweg- do you think your opinion would change if all the facilities were up and running or it is hotel and room lay-out + area, etc which would prevent you from choosing it again?

I have an extra 3 days so I may look into Hua Hin.
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Old Oct 11, 19, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by palermo View Post
thanks Unterweg and Land of Miles
....
Unterweg- do you think your opinion would change if all the facilities were up and running or it is hotel and room lay-out + area, etc which would prevent you from choosing it again?

I have an extra 3 days so I may look into Hua Hin.
If Phuket is more expensive than Hua Hin or Pattaya I would not go back, even with better food and service it would not be worth more money.
The club rooms are nothing special in Phuket, the view is nice, they are new and modern but the layout just does not work.
As RA they told my that the pool villas are excluded from upgrades. And if they did I would be on the other side with a fairly long walk from the pool villa to the club lounge. In addition I would like to see the ocean from the room and the pool villas all seem to have only mountain view.
For me personally the answer is most likely: no

Most likely my next visit will be to Hua Hin. Easy to get to from Bangkok (one way usually around 2200 to 2500 bath,3 hours door to door, just avoid Friday afternoon to Hua Hin and Sunday to Bangkok)
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