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Spotlight review

Kata Rocks Resort & Residences


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Edit 30 Sep 2020-01 Oct 2020 (0 guests)

Perched on a cliff overlooking Kata Beach and the Andaman Sea, this new lifestyle hotel offers some beautiful modern villas in a compact setting with all the advantages of a full-service hotel.

Comprising 34 villas ranging in size from one to four bedrooms, Kata Rocks is a great alternative to the usual hotel-style resort. It has won numerous awards – more than 40 of them in recent years – including Best Luxury Private Pool Villa and Best Boutique Luxury Spa Asia.  

Styled more like a villa that you would expect to find in Ibiza, the sleek, linear, white box-framed ‘houses’ sit on a steep hillside with outstanding views over the sea. Each comes with a fully fitted kitchen and large, open-plan living room. Outside, an expansive, partially shaded deck with a sunbathing area has either a seven- or a 14-metre infinity-edge swimming pool, depending on the size of the villa. Bedrooms are ample with big ensuite bathrooms. Each has a walk-in shower, and the master bedroom contains a bathtub.

A great asset with every villa (how many times would I have wanted one of these while travelling?) is the ‘Handy’, a handset similar in size to an iPhone 7. This comes with free, unlimited international and local calls and 4G mobile internet. Pre-loaded for guests with popular apps and maps of the area, it also has access to the resort’s ‘Rock Stars’ – what they call their concierge team.

Dining is good but a bit limited. There’s only one main restaurant and bar, and while the latter serves snacks, including a tapas-style lunch, many guests choose to use the in-room kitchen facilities and room service. There is also the option of hiring a private chef for an en-suite barbecue. Conveniently, the resort will pre-stock your fridge with items you require, ready for your arrival. Request this in advance and they will bill you locally for the goods.

There’s a children’s club for kids up to 12, but I would say that if the ones you are with need full-blown entertainment day and night, then this may not be the place for you. The club is small, and in only one room.
The resort is within walking distance (or hop on a buggy) to Kata and the lovely sandy beaches of Kata Noi and Kata Yai. To conclude, if you’re looking to go somewhere with modern facilities and are happy to have a quasi, self-catering situation, then this would be the perfect place for you.

Baring All
  • Be careful booking if you have mobility issues – there are many steps and (fitness fanatics aside) buggies are the only way to safely navigate the hills to your villa

  • If a room with a view is paramount, ask when you book. Some villa bedrooms do not have ocean views, but all have living rooms and pools facing the ocean
  • Kitchens come with washing machines 

  • Book a private dining experience on the rocks below the hotel 

  • f you’re a superyacht spotter, the Kata Rocks Superyacht Rendezvous (KRSR) is one of Asia’s top superyacht events – each December

  • Blow the budget and book a four-bedroom villa – the 14-metre pools are worth the expense and the two master bedrooms come with private hot tubs on ocean-facing terraces

Why we like it
Why we like it

Unique for Phuket, this is Ibiza-style, cool accommodation with all the benefits of Thai service. I loved the villas – perfect for lazy days in the privacy of your own ‘home’.  The hotel’s location is a great base for those wanting to explore Phuket; it’s a convenient distance to Patong and Phuket Town, where the night markets beckon, plus there’s ideal access to the Big Buddha and various temples nearby. Boat trips can be organised to islands such as Phang Nga Bay, otherwise known as James Bond Island (from The Man With the Golden Gun).

Finally, should you crave interaction with other guests, then head to the main pool – especially at sundown, when the bar is the place to take advantage of the stunning sunsets.

Just so you know
Just so you know

There is only one restaurant/bar. Continental and Thai in terms of its dishes, the establishment recently won the Best Burger of Phuket award. The bar, with its award-winning gin, is the perfect spot for sundowners.

It’s only a two- or three-minute walk into Kata, where you can find lots of bars and restaurants. Plus, it’s only a 20-minute drive to Patong Beach, close enough if you crave the hustle and bustle of Phuket’s busiest resort with shopping and nightlife at full pelt.

The spa is small but award-winning, and it has specialist equipment including a chromotherapy room for coloured-light therapy; a waterbed room equipped with an Italian-made Iso-Benessere water-massage bed to aid spinal integration; and a sleeping-pod room with a MetroNap pod to enhance recovery and reduce jet lag. Yoga and Pilates are available but, oddly for Thailand, are strictly private; they do not offer any complimentary sessions.

Do try the Thai cooking school in the surroundings of your villa with an English-speaking Thai chef. This is great value at around £80 per person (minimum of two) and includes all the menu ingredients and some little ‘goodies’ for you to take away.

Best suited for
Best suited for

Privacy-seeking couples and families who seek villa-style accommodation for a good price but don’t want a massive resort full of activities and people. Kata Rocks is more for those who want a convenient base to explore Phuket or just relax and do nothing for a few days.

I didn’t see many guests while I was there, as during the day most folk are in their villas or out exploring. The place attracts a lot of Australian and Chinese guests, who like it for the unusual experience it offers as it is not Thai in style. Staff are predominantly local, so service was very friendly and charming on the whole. I did note that there were a few staff members with a limited grasp of the English language who needed some help.

General information

  • icon-briefcase
    How to get here

    45 minutes by road from Phuket International Airport

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    34 suites & villas


  • Wi-Fi


  • Swimming pool

    Swimming pool

  • Spa


  • Gym


  • Restaurant


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