Phi Phi Village Island
Updated: Sep 28, 2020
We can't argue with the great deal - but our timing was certainly off
We decided to take advantage of their generous deal, details here (buy one night, get one free - valid for trips booked and taken by 25th December 2020), and booked the Phi Phi Island Village Resort for 2 nights. We arrived by boat (we opted for the private transfer) to the gorgeous beachfront hotel, and were met with polite and efficient check in staff. After a short wait (where we were moved out of the lobby to make way for the film crew - more on this later), we were shown to our room. The grounds were natural and rustic, and rooms dotted around the lush greenery were a delight to walk among.
We opted for the standard Superior Bungalow room, with perfectly comfortable double bed, small daybed for our 5 year old plus decent sized bathroom with a huge walk in shower. We got unpacked and headed out for lunch and to explore.
Where to Dine
There is only 1 restaurant open right now, API - which is understandable as the volumes just don't call for anything more. However, it would have been nice if we were informed when booking, (as Ruan Thai restaurant, The Beach House Grill & Chill, poolside restaurant and both poolside bars were all closed when we visited. The Library was also not accessible for guests due to the film crew).
So, the decision was made for us and we headed to API Restaurant. We ordered our drinks (varied drinks menu and good wine list so thumbs up for that), and everything was going well until we tried to order some starters to share. No soft shell crab tacos, no Vietnamese spring rolls, no Moo Takrai - unfortunately the only available appetizer was the crispy chicken, so we ordered that along with a Caesar salad and Poke Saku Tuna.
The food arrived and the chicken was quite average, a bit dry really. They did better with the Caesar salad, and again improved by the time we got to my Poke Saku Tuna dish, which was a flavorful, successful dish.
After lunch we made use of the 'fun pool' area with slide. The benefit of resorts and beaches now in Thailand is that you get some peace and quiet because places are deserted - so on a positive note, you can enjoy without the normal crowds, but on the other side you really see how much the tourism sector is struggling. Despite the rain we had a wonderful afternoon playing in the large pool, on the slide, and had it all to ourselves no less.
After a fun afternoon at the pool, we went for a beach stroll to find hermit crabs before returning to the room to freshen up for a sunset cocktail. Unfortunately you could only sit at Api (The Beach House Grill & Chill was open that night, but only for the film crew - It did look lovely though so worth a visit if open in future). So we headed for an early dinner, (this time tried some Thai food which was fine), a few glasses of wine and an early night enjoyed on our huge terrace once our little one was asleep.
The Film Crew
We have no issues with a film crew being around, it did create some buzz and excitement. However, if we had known we would have waited to go another weekend. Although the resort is huge, there was only 1 restaurant open so there was a restriction on places to sit or eat at. We were moved by film crew from communal areas and reception, and unfortunately we couldn't use the library when it was raining because it was reserved for the film crew (as you can see below).
OK, so not ideal and this really was down to unlucky timing. Anyway, we took a day trip long-tail boat out which was organised by Marine Discovery Center (this was a great setup, helpful, informative and interesting for kids and adults to learn about their marine wildlife efforts). We had a wonderful day, and even got to see some monkeys too, all for around 1,500 bht for 3 hours.
So, we arrived back from our fun day out, and relaxed at the quieter pool which was peaceful. We then headed to the room to get ready for dinner and plan our final day's activities. As we were booked (confirmed by email prior to arriving) on the hotel speedboat for 2pm the following day we decided that we would take on the viewpoint walk and explore the local area a bit more if the rain allowed.
Our plans were sadly halted by a 'text message' on the hotel's application around 5pm, to say that we were not on the hotel transfer speedboat now as it was full due to the film crew and luggage. On hearing this, I headed to reception and asked to speak to the manager.
The manager came to speak to us, but sadly did not offer much of a solution. The hotel boat was full (despite our email confirmation), there was no other boat, and they would not arrange another hotel boat transfer. So we either stay another night (which was offered at current discount rate) or we leave by 7:45am on a long tail to go to Ton Sai bay and be put on a public speedboat at 8:30am. The manager said that we could get on the hotel speedboat (which was full) but we would need to stand for the journey from Phi Phi to Phuket. I pointed out that I have a 5 year old and this was dangerous to be either over capacity or have a child stand for an hour sea transfer from Phi Phi to Phuket - but this was dismissed as 'not dangerous.' Needless to say we did not take this option and instead felt we were left with no alternative but leave very early missing a whole day of our holiday. The manager did give us a free dinner (food only - we ordered a pizza and one shared main course), as a consolation.
Not a Great Last Impression
Waking my 5 year old up at 7:00 am when he was fast asleep was not ideal, and with no offer of breakfast in the room we had to rush to eat and leave. There was no sight of the manager as we hopped on the longtail either . .
The Bottom Line
+ Large resort with beautiful grounds / Nice terrace areas on entry level Superior Bungalow / Check in staff / Marine Discover Center / Location to explore by longtail / Normally convenient hotel pier for speedboat transfers
- Managements ability to find a safe solution / A film crew taking up areas and moving people on / Food items being unavailable / Lack of speed boat coordination / No access to library (due to film crew) /
The Deal - 5,500bht for 2 nights in Superior Bungalow
Phi Phi Island Village Resort
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