Hyatt Regency Phuket Review – Not Up to Standards
Built in 2014, the Hyatt Regency Phuket is beautiful…..from a distance. This hotel (which apparently is owned by the same company as the Park Hyatt Maldives) sits on a cliffside overlooking the Andaman Sea. It’s adult infinity pool, Regency Club and most rooms have sweeping views from high above and its massive main pool is wonderful for families. It’s almost as if it was designed to look like a postcard, except that doesn’t hold up when you look a little closer.
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Admittedly this view from the @hyattregencyphuket #adultsonly infinity pool does not suck. 12K World of Hyatt points per night. @hyatt #globalist #regencyclub #spectacular #oceanview #oceanvista #hillside #ocean #pool #luxuryvacation #luxurytravel #luxlifesavings #milestomemories
To start, I emailed this property about a month before arrival to ask a few questions about rooms, upgrades, etc. During that first interaction I was told my daughter would receive free Regency Club access as a courtesy, since my Globalist status gave me access for two. That should have set off alarm bells since the terms say you get 2 adults and 2 children, but I let it go and moved on.
Four days before our stay I received an email asking about or arrival and confirming our stay. I had to split my reservation in an effort to secure a suite upgrade, so I replied asking to confirm the suite upgrade cert was applied while also providing the information they requested. Four days passed and I only received an email the morning of arrival that unfortunately did not address my question.
So I arrived just after Noon to a chaotic scene as the somewhat busy hotel had a lot of people checking out. Upon our arrival a front desk supervisor was checking us in and upon me inquiring about the suite upgrade he disappeared. He never said whether it was attached, but I suspect it wasn’t. Either way he returned about 20 minutes later saying it was all resolved and our suite 7009 would be ready at 3pm. We also did all of the check-in paperwork. I understood why we had to wait given their occupancy, so this wasn’t an issue at all.
For the next three hours we killed a little time and even took the hotel’s complimentary shuttle into the nearby town for some lunch and shopping. We returned to the Regency Club just before 3pm and were met at 3:11pm by the same supervisor who drove us down to our room. On the way we passed 7009 and eventually ended up at 5009.
I immediately asked what happened to my room and the guy said, “Don’t worry this room is better.” (They are the same layout.) This involuntary change seemed off to me and immediately I saw why. Instead of the sweeping sea views I had been promised, there was a giant tree outside of the balcony. After pushing I was told the person who was in 7009 extended their stay one night. I asked why I wasn’t given options. It just seemed that he hoped I didn’t notice the original room number.
With no view and without the room we were promised, we headed down to the lobby where I asked to speak to what I believed was the General Manager, but who I now believe was another Front Desk Supervisor. I expressed frustration about the situation and asked why I wasn’t given any options instead of being tricked. He acknowledged he would be upset too and offered for us to stay in 5009 for one night and move to 7009 the next night. He even went above and beyond and comped that first night.
Unfortunately I discovered something that was a bit frustrating. Neither 5009 nor 7009 are considered suites by the hotel. Both rooms are categorized as “Deluxe 2 Bedroom” which is below the “Regency Suite King” the certificate confirms into. That would have been fine, however they charged me the certificate knowing I wasn’t getting a suite. Only after I pressed the General Manager via email twice did he agree to return it.
On the second day we were contacted by the Front Desk Manager and told the new room would be ready around 3pm and asked to pack our things so the hotel could move everything. Indeed the room was done around 3pm and they did move everything. After several requests from my wife as she left for town (they didn’t understand her) they even brought the key to me up in the Regency Club adult pool.
It was with excitement that I left the pool to head down to my new room for a shower. Upon walking in I noticed some dust and a lot of smudges on the window. Jasmine and Ellie were in town and never entered the room, so I knew these were from the previous guests. I also quickly noticed half of the weather stripping on the back door was missing. Ironically they even have a sticker telling you to keep it closed because of mosquitoes, but without that stripping there was a gap nearly half an inch thick.
I once again emailed management and told them what happened and attached pictures. For the first time I also decided to post publicly about it. Keep it mind I never use this blog as leverage nor do I ever tell the hotel I am a blogger, etc. before arriving. I felt though that enough had gone wrong and I had given them enough chances to make things right that it was justified. I also didn’t ask for anything other than for the room to be cleaned and the door fixed. (Check out all of the pics below.)
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So the view from the lounge is good, but the cleanliness is not. This is our room when we arrived today and this was after being moved because they gave away this room to someone else yesterday after checking us into it. Notice the lack of weather stripping on the door which leaves us exposed and the sticker telling us to keep it closed because of mosquitos. And fingerprints on multiple surfaces. #Unfiltered @hyattregencyphuket #eww #gross #isthisahyatt #notfivestars Pretty sure we are going to leave tomorrow. That will be the first time I have ever left a @hyatt hotel early.
Within 30 minutes of my email a guy showed up and cleaned the numerous surfaces with fingerprints and two men showed up to install temporary weather stripping. It doesn’t look very good, but it does solve the problem! They left and management never followed up. (I did miss one call, but no message was left nor did anyone call back.) Sigh.
Which brings me to why I am leaving this hotel early. It just isn’t up to Hyatt standards. For example, that giant beautiful pool is falling apart. There are literally hundreds of quick patch jobs where the tile has broken off. Their cool deck is also peeling. On the first day Ellie got a pebble lodged deep within her foot while walking on it. While their friendly staff helped to perform first aid and document the situation (Ellie couldn’t walk on it but once the pebble was removed with tweezers she was fine), it just shouldn’t happen. The five year old hotel is falling apart.
One other thing I feel I should point out is the staff. To start, all of the staff is incredibly hardworking and friendly. To a point where you notice it. With that said, almost no one speaks fluent English or can understand more than a basic question. For example, at the breakfast buffet if you ask one of the 10 workers for something they will have to get the hostess to translate since she appears to be the only one to speak fluent English.
Everything I have mentioned above is also repeated in reviews on both the Hyatt website and TripAdvisor. Check out the latest review from yesterday by user MSILBERSTEIN for example. Yikes!. Note that like him/her I have also been told the General Manager is on a trip despite his stay happening a month ago. (Come out come out wherever you are!) 🙂 While I normally read reviews like that with a grain of salt, having stayed here I believe it 100%. And no bringing non-alcoholic drinks from the Club? WTF?!?
Keep in mind and I want to be clear that most (but FAR from a consensus) reviews are positive, but if you look closely you’ll see mention of the deteriorating property, untrained staff and cutbacks including the Regency Club which has among the worst spreads I have seen outside of the United States.
So I have now asked management to let me leave two days early (they responded and agreed after more than 3 hours) so I can stay elsewhere in a hotel I feel more aligns with the standards I have come to expect from Hyatt Regency. Keep in mind I am not judging this hotel by the standards of the Four Seasons, but in relation to other Hyatt beach resorts I have been to. It simply doesn’t stack up. That’s too bad since we were supposed to spend Ellie’s 4th birthday here, making it a very special stay.
Remember how I told you it looks good from far but then has issues when you peak closer? As I mentioned the pool is falling apart, but so are the decks around the resort and even things like our shower has patches. What they did with the weather stripping seems to be what they do everywhere. Slap a quick fix on it and move on.
There are other things I could bring up like areas of our room that look like they haven’t been dusted in a month, or how my wife asked housekeeping to search the other room for a missing Airpod only to be told they couldn’t find it. After pressing the Housekeeping Manager to allow her to look, she found it within a couple of minutes. Clearly the staff just didn’t look hard enough.
I am not saying the Hyatt Regency Phuket is a hellhole, but it isn’t a five star hotel when it comes to build quality, materials, service or just about anything else in my opinion. The views are stunning, but low tide exposes a ton of rocks and that awesome giant pool sits 5 feet from a road so you hear loud tuk tuks, motorbikes and even tour buses pass by all day. I knew those things before going in, but they were concessions I was willing to make. The rest of it is just a bit too far.
Yes, I have stayed in far worse hotels during my travels, but never a worse Hyatt resort.