The recently-renamed Surin resort used to be called The Chedi. This new name was chosen very badly, as the resort is NOT on well-known Surin beach, so giving guests all sorts of problems when asking for a taxi back to the Surin. Thankfully though, the stupid name is about the only significant flaw in this solid 5 star resort.
The resort's minimalist lobby and main restaurant, which enjoy an airy hillside perch high above the Andaman Sea, are cooled by continuous sea breezes, rendering the ceiling fans high above the guests superfluous. The first impression the visitor gets is that this is predominately a hillside hotel. This is a false one as, in addition to the hillside behind Pan Sea beach, The Surin occupies fully 300 metres of beach-front land, on which are built some of the best beach bungalows that Phuket has to offer.
These bungalows are not only spacious, tastefully decorated and well appointed, many have front row positions on what is effectively a private beach, shared by The Surin Resort and the even more up-market Amanpuri Resort next door.
All beaches in Thailand are government property, so anyone is allowed to sit on Pan Sea beach. It is only accessible from the sea, though, or through one of the two resorts behind it. The Surin allows people to cross its land to get to the beach, but charges THB 800 per person, a fee which puts all would-be day-trippers off and assures that the beach remains exclusively the preserve of the guests of The Surin and Amanpuri resorts.
This is a major benefit and is the reason that we have selected The Surin bungalows as the best beach bungalows on Phuket – there are never any hawkers or jet-skis close to Pan Sea beach, and guests can thoroughly relax and unwind on one of the resorts’ numerous loungers, each pair of which is beautifully parked under its own umbrella of thatched palm fronds. In this private enclave of the fortunate few, everybody minds their own business as assiduously as they attempt to forget all about it.
Kid’s Corner In many Thai resorts the children’s play room is a noisy and dinghy place which adults loathe as much as their children love. The Surin hasn’t been able to do anything about the volume problem, but has at least decorated its children’s room in jolly-looking clowns holding balloons.
Pool The unusual and tastefully tiled octagonal pool is, as is de rigeur in Thai resorts, brilliantly lit from beneath at night. The palms swaying above the pool (their coconuts safely removed) are also lit at night, creating an archetypically tropical Thai beach scene that soothes the nerves and rests the eyes.
Library This is well-stocked and beautifully located above the beach, with swaying palms forming a fringed curtain between the reader and the white-topped rollers coming in from the deep blue of the Andaman Sea.
According to contributors on www.tripadvisor.com, the food in this resort is as tasty as is to be expected from a resort of this caliber.
In all the resort’s cottages, the décor is an essay in understated elegance and is muted in tone. Fawns and browns provide a soft backdrop on which to show-case small splashes of colour, which are formed by costly-looking oriental artwork and silk cushions.
Beach Deluxe Suite
Located right on the beach, these suites have very comfortable sofas on their verandahs – ideal to laze around on, while doing nothing but listen to mother Nature’s loveliest lullaby - the soothing sound of surf. These two-bedroom bungalows are amongst Phuket’s most comfortable family accommodation.
Two Bedroom Bungalow
These are close to the beach, but not on the front row. Varnished woodwork and white walls predominate, with vividly-hued silk cushions providing a flash of colour. Bigger than the ‘Beach Deluxe Suites’, these bungalows are big enough to accommodate 2 adults, 3 children and an infant. They don’t occupy the best locations in the resort, but few guests will be disappointed.
All of these units have sea views, but require a bit of a hike up from the beach to get to. Though the great views are worth the hike, these rooms are not recommended for families with small children.
Beach Studio Deluxe
All of these bungalows, which are a great choice for a romantic hideaway, have front row sea views. Many couples staying in these bungalows order frequent room service meals, and rarely surface.