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The Naka Island Resort, Phuket Thailand [Master Thread]

The Naka Island Resort, Phuket Thailand [Master Thread]

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Old Nov 3, 11, 3:24 pm
  #1  
MKB
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Arrow The Naka Island Resort, Phuket Thailand [Master Thread]

Originally Posted by JohnnyP View Post
Hotel opened yesterday ... anyone there?
I didn't make the opening night, but was there for the second night yesterday with my partner. (Just a one-night stay sandwiched between Le Méridien stays.)

We arrived at the Ao Po Grand Marina in a car arranged by Le Méridien (at a cost of 1010BHT. - Naka Island Resort offered the same transfer in their BMW Series 7 for 3000BHT.) Their speed boat was waiting for us and transferred us to Naka Yai island in just under five minutes. All room rates seem to include this transfer at the moment, but I was told that, when charged separately, the cost is 1500 BHT per person each way which seems very pricey for such a short journey.

As you can see from this map, the resort is on the North-Eastern tip of the island, having closed as the Six Senses Wellness Resort on July 31. The resort has its own private pier where you arrive. The fishing village to the south has a public pier.

We were met by Pol, our excellent and very enthusiastic butler and greeted by Erich the General Manager. Pol took us in a buggy directly from the end of the pier to our villa where he showed us around and did check in. This villa definitely had a wow! factor. We had been upgraded to a Seaview Pool villa as a Platinum, but all villas seemed to be equally impressive from what I could see, the differences being only in view and whether they have a pool. (I'm excluding the Royal Horizon villa, which I think is the enormous complex in the top right of the resort on the map, and dwarfs all the others.)

Accommodation consists of a large air-conditioned bedroom with glass windows on all sides. The rest of the accommodation is outdoors and surrounded at the sides and rear by a high wall to ensure privacy. Behind the bedroom is an open garden area. Behind this is a covered vanity area with two sinks. A wardrobe and combined shower/steam room lie behind this. Off to the side is a door to the toilet. To the other side of the garden is a semi-enclosed sunken bath with shuttered blinds that can be opened to look out on to the sea. Next to the bath "room" there is an outdoor shower.

The outdoor location of the toilet and sinks may not appeal to everyone as you are at the mercy of the mosquitoes and other insects and creepy crawlies -- there are plenty! -- but we loved it. Candles are placed along the paths to the bathroom at night, and mosquito coils are burned. An incense burner is also lit.

In front of the bedroom, steps lead out to the covered sala with ceiling fan and loungers. This is next to the plunge pool. Two more loungers lie on the other side of the pool with their own sunshade.

As a Platinum, we were offered late check-out and one free drink per guest per day at the Z Bar on the North-Western tip of the resort. We were also sent two vouchers for a complimentary welcome 30-minute massage at the spa. I don't know if this was a Platinum gift, an opening offer or standard. The treatment was pleasant, if brief, consisting of a 3-minute foot wash and 15-minute massage. The spa facilities look extensive but sections, such as the Chinese Spa, were not yet open.

The main pool looked very inviting but we did not use it. We found a second semi-circular pool with glass side, reminiscent of the seal show tanks at theme parks, but that was not yet open.

The food was ok. We had the two vegetarian Thai options at dinner and they were a little underwhelming - nowhere near as good as the food at Le Méridien's Thai restaurant. The background music in the restaurants and Z Bar was poorly chosen. I suspect they were aiming for a chilled Ibiza sound, but we got an ultra bland muzak with occasional hints of funk and jazz.

We borrowed a couple of DVDs from the Concierge to play in the room (complimentary). The seats in the room don't face the tv, nor will the tv swivel to face the bed. You have to physically move the base of the tv to achieve the latter, and then prop yourself up on the bed. Housekeeping will have lowered the mosquito nets around the bed at turndown, so you have to tie them up again to watch tv in the evening.

Today, we walked to the fishing village to the south, and then across to the beautiful sandy beach on the east of the island. After a few hours enjoying our private pool and sala, and also the fast wifi connection in the room, we were checked out in our room by Pol and escorted back to the speed boat by buggy.

All of the staff are very keen to please and the location itself is pure heaven. My only regret is that we didn't have time to stay longer. I would return in an instant.
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Old Nov 3, 11, 3:30 pm
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Forgot to add a word of warning: as I discovered to my cost, if you have wet feet, the floor in the bedroom is like an ice rink. Pol called while I was in the plunge pool, and when I stepped into the bedroom to answer, I went flying.
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Old Nov 3, 11, 4:24 pm
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I cannot thank you enough for your report! I have been waiting anxiously to hear about it since I have booked my in-laws there in February.

So glad to hear that it had a wow factor and that you would not hesitate to return there.

I have a bunch of questions for you if you can manage to answer some or all!

1. In terms of mosquitos, I imagine that this changes a bit depending on the season, but 'how bad are they'? I know that this can potentially ruin a trip...

2. Does the outdoor toilet feel like an outhouse or is it a nice feature? My inlaws certainly will not be accustomed to this and am hoping that it will not be a topic that I end up hearing about on a regular basis from them.

3. How did the menu look, and were there a lot of choices including non-meat options?

4. Did you get any impressions on how they changed the facilities from the previous incarnations as Six Senses?

5. Was there any of that health-retreat vibe or activities left over from the previous incarnation?

6. What were the activities available, if any? Would 4 nights there be 'too-much?

7. Do you think a day trip or two to phuket town is manageable from the resort?

8. Were the villas updated, or newish looking inside? Would you consider them luxury or spartan?

9. How do you think this property compares to more expensive villa options on Phuket?

10. How were the other aspects of service that you encountered?

Any pics??
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Old Nov 4, 11, 4:15 am
  #4  
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only villas with private pools, only the 4th starwood like that http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/starw...ol-villas.html

six senses ran it as destination spa (full board and daily spa treatment) and opened with rates of $2K/nt
crisis led to major rate drop, and presumably owner and six senses disagreed over destination spa
they spent $2MM+ before reopening

2BR villas may have been converted to suites
6 villa enclave with communal area
27K ft2 3BR with 2 adjoining villas

revenue ouch
H12011 $2MM
2010 $3MM
2009 $2MM
2008 $0.5MM

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Nov 6, 11 at 10:16 am
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Old Nov 4, 11, 8:04 am
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Is it safe to bring toddlers? What I mean is, the pool outside the room, is it too "easily" accessible?
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Old Nov 4, 11, 9:25 am
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Thanks so much for this insight, Kage.
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Old Nov 4, 11, 11:06 am
  #7  
MKB
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I'll have a go at answering your questions:

1. In terms of mosquitos, I imagine that this changes a bit depending on the season, but 'how bad are they'?

We hardly noticed them. The ones that bit us did so without our realising. I have four bites and partner has seven. However, we are pretty sure that only one of those was while on property. The others were during the walk around the island when we had stupidly forgotten to apply insect repellent. The resort, including each villa, is "fogged" daily to keep down the mosquitoes.

2. Does the outdoor toilet feel like an outhouse or is it a nice feature?

Yes, to both!

3. How did the menu look, and were there a lot of choices including non-meat options?

We paid attention only to the vegetarian options, so I can't answer for the rest of the menu. There is "My Grill" restaurant that specialises in seafood and steak next to Tonsai that covers Thai and Italian. Z-bar does bar snacks until 21:30 and there is 24-hour room service. The Director of Food and Beverage told us that they were pretty much all vegetarian as Six Senses so the chefs have lots of vegetarian menus they can use, and to ask for anything we wanted. It would be nice if they could put together a list of these options, as it somewhat ruins the dining-out experience to dictate to the chef what you want.

4. Did you get any impressions on how they changed the facilities from the previous incarnations as Six Senses?

We thought the property was new. It came as a surprise to discover that it had been operating for three years. No idea what has changed.

5. Was there any of that health-retreat vibe or activities left over from the previous incarnation?

The resort feels like a place to luxuriate rather than keep fit. I can't compare to what went before.

6. What were the activities available, if any? Would 4 nights there be 'too-much?

There were plenty of day trips available, many using the hotel's speed boat, but similar trips are available from the hotels on Phuket Island for a fraction of the price. If you want to see Phuket or do boat trips, I would base myself elsewhere to do those. There were a few water sports options, but they were all at extra charge so I didn't pay attention. I wasn't aware of any resort-style activities, but this isn't that sort of place. You would come here to chill primarily and enjoy the beauty of the place. Whether four nights is too much would depend on how long you enjoy reading, relaxing, sunbathing, swimming, etc. My threshold for these things is pretty low, but I could easily manage 2 to 3 days here. I think a lot of people would enjoy longer.

7. Do you think a day trip or two to phuket town is manageable from the resort?

Easily possible, but expensive from here.

8. Were the villas updated, or newish looking inside? Would you consider them luxury or spartan?

We thought they were new!

9. How do you think this property compares to more expensive villa options on Phuket?

Don't know.

10. How were the other aspects of service that you encountered?

Not sure what you are asking. Service was good throughout.

Any pics??

Will try and post when I've had chance to download them to my netbook.

Hope that helps.
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Old Nov 4, 11, 1:30 pm
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Originally Posted by flyerduck View Post
Is it safe to bring toddlers? What I mean is, the pool outside the room, is it too "easily" accessible?
not sure about service, but in luxury hotels forum there are reports of properties "child-proofing" private pools. its something you could talk to the property about. but theoretically you might have to be ready to move if it doesnt seem to work out once you arrive. looking at the incoming general manager (hmm) im not sure who you should reach out to to talk about that.

speaking of which, i wonder what the staff situation is like considering its a reflag

the property used to have min age of 16, but that was only because it was a destination spa

blueline7, that was for people outside the luxury hotels forum

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Nov 6, 11 at 11:33 am
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Old Nov 4, 11, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by MKB View Post
I'll have a go at answering your questions:

.....
Hope that helps.
Thank you SO much!
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Old Nov 5, 11, 7:04 am
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can't wait to be there in next january!!!
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Old Nov 5, 11, 8:33 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by flyerduck View Post
Is it safe to bring toddlers? What I mean is, the pool outside the room, is it too "easily" accessible?
There are two bolts on the door from the bedroom to the front garden with the pool, one at the bottom and one at the top, so you use that to prevent toddler access.

There is another route to the pool via the entrance door to the bedroom. You could lock this. The lock is at about 1m height from the ground, so probably not reachable by a toddler.

However, the desk area in the room is sunken. Your seat at the desk is at the same height as the floor of the rest of the room. There is the possibility that a toddler could fall into this area. You would need to get a guard put round this.
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Old Nov 5, 11, 9:55 am
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I can't work out how to upload images to Flyertalk from my laptop, i.e. images that are not already on the net somewhere. Surely there is a way to do this?
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Old Nov 5, 11, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by MKB View Post
I can't work out how to upload images to Flyertalk from my laptop, i.e. images that are not already on the net somewhere. Surely there is a way to do this?
Unfortunately, I believe that the only way is to first upload to a photosharing site like photobucket, and then include the links here....
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Old Nov 5, 11, 1:57 pm
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http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/album.php?do=addalbum
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Old Nov 5, 11, 2:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
Wow - I had NO idea - thanks Kage!
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