Monday, June 24, 2013

Hotel Review - The Royal Palm Beach Front Phuket

Not so clean hotel rooms or even a rock-hard bed can be forgiven. But terrible service and getting scammed out of money are deal breakers. There were several times in Thailand where I felt like I was being scammed and being a farang never helped. My experience at The Royal Palm Beach Front in Phuket was probably one of my worst hotel experiences in Thailand. It was so bad I didn't even end up staying there, and while nothing terrible happened to anyone in my group, losing money is probably one of the most frustrating things to happen to a backpacker on a limited budget.

After a 12 hour travel day and finally landing in Phuket, we were ready to settle into our pre-booked room for 3 at the Royal Palm Beach Front. Upon checking in we were told there would be a 800 baht (about $25) additional fee for having three people. This is standard in Thailand I learned - always investigate this when booking a hotel. For a room that cost about $35, paying nearly double for an additional person was an outrageous charge. We had booked a room with a full bed and a twin bed in advance for three people. I don't know why such a room would exist if not for two people to share a bed and the other bed for one person. To make things worse when we arrived at 11pm, our room was still not ready!
Don't be fooled by pictures online! The hotel did not look like this.
The front desk employee told us a different room was going to be provided for us and we requested to look at it first. The room had two twin beds and we were told a third bed would be moved in. However, there was absolutely no way a third bed could be shoved in this tiny room. We said no, and wanted the room we originally booked. After sitting down again in the lobby they said it still wasn't ready and the room with two beds was available. We asked to get the third person charge waived. After not getting a clear answer they said now the AC was broken. At this point it was almost midnight and we wanted our money back. We tried to settle things with Agoda (the booking site we used) online, but the Internet in the lobby wasn't working. Oh, there wasn't Internet available in the rooms either.

To top things off, there were stray dogs walking through the lobby throughout all of this. The service was incredibly rude and we are still trying to get our money back. Do not stay here-- there are so many other options available in the area.  Don't waste your time.

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