Photographer’s paradise – that is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about foto Hotel. Its monochrome & modern decor provides an excellent backdrop for photos. Its interesting design keeps your creativity going, there are excellent photos (b&w of course) on the walls for inspiration and some old cameras around that will speak to your geeky side. And if that’s not enough – they have one of the best views of the sunset in Phuket. I couldn’t put my camera aside for long during our stay there, there was always an interesting thing or different angle to photograph.
Very spacious, with an enormous bed in the centre. Smartly fitted desk behind the bed head which I found comfortable and called it my office. There is a complimentary water and soft drinks in the mini bar and coffee plunger if you like to make your coffee.
Air conditioning, fan and lights can be all managed from one console – I was missing only a button to open blinds in the morning, it would be so much more spectacular than getting up and doing it manually. Another more tech advanced feature was the TV access to room service, hotel information and bill access just to name a few, which was an interesting alternative for those thick books you usually get and provided useful information without the need of calling reception.
Our room – Ozone Hall – had bath and shower in the bathroom. I noticed some rooms had also a jacuzzi on the balcony, while ours offered a day bed and access to a astro turf deck instead.
Breakfast: there were 3 sets of cooked breakfasts to choose from and a small buffet with pastries, bread, juices and fruits. While on the first day I was quite enjoying my morning coffee, on the other occasion I received more froth than liquid. I was absolutely in love with the cooked breakfast presentation, served in a bamboo steamer made a really good impression. Also what’s worth mentioning – breakfast is available until 1pm, so if you’re not a morning person, you don’t have to worry at all about missing breakfast.
Lunch/Dinner: Menu is not too broad, so over 3 days we’ve managed to try most of the dishes (pad thai being my favourite). Most of the dishes are Thai with some Western options like spaghetti or fries.
Cocktails: Well done and tastefully presented. My favourite was 911 – rum-based, with lemongrass, mint and chilli – creative, with a nice kick. During our stay happy hour was twice a day: 1pm-2pm & 5pm-6pm, where buying one drink meant getting the second one for free.
The only colourful wall in the whole hotel is in the Tiffin Mama Restaurant – it divides the dining area from the kitchen and creates a friendly atmosphere. It also contains some interesting items, so I spent quite a long time looking, reading and admiring. I like unusual things.
The main attraction of the hotel is the pool offering great panoramic views. Water was quite chilly even when the sun was strong, which was super refreshing (and so much needed on those hot days!). Unfortunately for us, non-smoking people, smoking is allowed around the pool, which was inconvenient when we tried to relax.
There are sunbeds around the pool and a chill out area with oversized bean bags. Closer to sunset it was harder to find available seats.
There are also a spa and a gym, which I didn’t have time to try myself. Free shuttle to the Kata beach is available a few times a day, but it’s better to book it early to make sure they have enough space.
Travel desk offers advice on local trips and water-proof cameras are available for rental.
In a walking distance
Just around the corner, there are 2 local restaurants. One night we went to the farther one and had a great local dining experience, during which we’ve met all family members of the owners, including their dogs and a cat. Lovely people and good food. [2017 update: I walked up the hill to that restaurant, only to find it doesn’t exist anymore 😔]
If you don’t mind a bit of exercise walk down the hill (about 10-15 minutes) to all the shops, bars and restaurants Kata has to offer – and to the beach of course. The walk up the hill again is not that easy, especially when it’s sunny, so I would recommend waiting for a shuttle bus or taking a tuk-tuk taxi.
foto hotel will speak to young people, photography fans, cocktail-with-the-view lovers and those who look for something a bit more different and quirky.
218/9 Koktanod Road [Kata-Saiyuan], Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand
For rates and reservations visit foto Hotel website. Our 2-night stay courtesy of foto Hotel. All opinions and photos are my own.