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When trying to narrow down your hotel choices in Phuket it is easy to become easily overwhelmed. Because Phuket was going to be our first stop after Singapore, I knew that I wanted a place away from crowds where the kids could lounge by the pool and I could get some work done. The Yama Hotel Phuket met all of those criteria, not to mention, being a 4-star hotel I knew that our family would be able to truly relax.

Because the weeks leading up to our Thailand travels had been crazy I completely forgot to call the hotel to pre-arrange transportation. Thankfully, I located the official metered taxi stand, after wading through a sea of “taxi” calls from unofficial and potentially scam operations. They were able to provide me with a clear quote of how much it would cost to deliver directly to The Yama Hotel (1000thb approx. $31USD) and they personally introduced us to our driver. After everything was sorted we headed off, only to sit in traffic for over 2.5 hours on our way to Karon. As we got closer to the hotel our driver became very confused about where the hotel actually was in Karon. Thankfully Google Maps on my phone came to the rescue and utilizing the Maps directions in Thai we traversed up the winding hills to The Yama Hotel.

 

Check-in

The staff came out to assist us with our bags and directed us to check-in. As we started our check-in process we were greeted with a refreshing welcome drink for the entire family. I have no idea what kind of juice it was and we were sad that we couldn’t order another round of them, they were just that tasty!

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Our check-in process was quick and efficient, and within 5 minutes we were escorted to our Deluxe Sea View Room, which overlooked the hotel pool and had sweeping views of the mountains and ocean landscape.

 

The Room

The room was spacious and airy which was a welcomed change from the space conserving concepts we had experienced in the previous countries. The room featured a King sized bed, a sofa bed, and they also provided Lightning Bug with a crib.

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The bathroom featured a separate toilet, and we all know how much I love those as a traveling family! Having a separate toilet avoids what I like to call the “banging door effect” where the moment you decide to have a peaceful shower or bath your child decides that they need to use the restroom and they cannot hold it under any circumstances.


Now I have to admit that the dark concept of the bathroom was my least favorite feature of the bathroom, primarily because I don’t like to feel like I am in a dungeon when I am taking a shower or relieving myself, but also because it did not fit in with the beautiful aesthetics of the room or hotel. What I did like, however, about the shower area was that it was the wet-room concept. If you are unfamiliar it is basically an entire room that can get wet, it almost feels as though the entire room is the shower.

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The is a great feature for families like mine because Roo loves to be independent, but has superpower abilities when it comes to getting the entire bathroom wet. When you have a wet-room concept there is typically a shower type of door to the room which contains all of the water. We took full advantage of the spacious shower to allow Lightning Bug to actually enjoy getting clean. That child absolutely despises everything about showers so it was nice for her to get the chance to splash around in the tub, it resulted in zero tears, and quite a few smiles instead.

Hotel Amenities


As a traveling family, something that is incredibly important to us when choosing an accommodation is the availability of activities for Roo. We don’t require that a hotel or resort has a kids club, but let’s face it a pool just doesn’t always cut it, so when I learned that The Yama Hotel offered an indoor play zone I was sold. The Kids Room is open daily from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm each day and it blew my mind with the variety of play items they had available.
 
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This allowed for the girls to play together in the same space which doesn’t frequently happen because of their significant age difference. Don’t worry teens, there is a Teenage Room close-by that offers comfortable loungers, gaming systems, and other activities.

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The Yama Hotel also offers a variety of activities throughout the day for adults, including Rooftop Yoga and Traditional Thai Dance classes.

Looking to get a workout in? The Yama Hotel offers a gym with a generous offering of exercise equipment and space. It is open 24 hours daily so you can get a workout in day or night.

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But what about the pool right?


I saved the best for last! The pool is the true standout feature of The Yama Hotel aside from the beautiful open-air lobby.

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The pool area features a lounging area will lounge chairs that rest in the water so that you can easily transition from drinking a refreshing beverage (or adult juice as we call it around here) right into the pool or the jacuzzi. Directly next to the Jacuzzi is a small recessed pool with shallow water.

 

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This wasn’t directly identified as the kid’s pool, but that is exactly what Roo used it as. The water level was low enough where we felt comfortable with her playing which also giving her the independence to work on her swimming technique.

Dining


The Yama Hotel features one restaurant called Senzees, it serves a breakfast buffet in the morning and regular restaurant service for lunch and dinner.

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A few nights throughout the week the restaurant offers a themed buffet as well, during our stay they were featuring a Thai Themed Buffet and while it looked delicious, I have a peanut allergy and did not want to risk cross contamination.

 

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Breakfast had a variety of options from pre-prepared items like meats, fried rice, fruits but also the option to have pancakes and eggs cooked to order from the chef.
Because our primary mission for our stay in Phuket was to relax we only ventured from the hotel once to visit Kata Beach.

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We did notice that the food prices were significantly higher at the resort, but this is not an uncommon practice at resorts everywhere. The meal options we chose throughout our stay were plentiful and the attention to detail the staff showed in preparing our meals was masterful.

 

If you are looking for a delicious “adult juice” The Yama Hotel offers a sip pool bar all day as well as rooftop bar in the evenings complete with happy hour offerings.

Proximity to tourist attractions

When I was reading the reviews on the hotel I realized that the negative reviews of the hotel lowered their rating of the hotel because of how remote it is. I will admit, if you are planning on visiting Kata Beach frequently or want to see more of the hotel this may not be the best hotel for you. As I mentioned before, we were looking for a place to relax and soak in the amenities that come from a luxury property, so The Yama Hotel fit the bill for us. 


We did venture into town once and it was a bit of a confusing mess with shuttle service as they leave once an hour and you have to sign up for the shuttle. Thankfully we were flexible with our time for the day, but if you are thinking about booking with The Yama Hotel be sure to book all of your times at check-in to ensure that you secure the time you want to head into town.

 


*Family travel note: If you are squeamish about traveling with your little ones in the back of a pickup truck you may want to arrange a taxi to head into town. The Yama Hotel, like a lot of hotels and activities in Thailand, utilizes a specially designed pick-up truck with a cover on it and 2 benches on each side to transport their guests. We wear Lightning Bug so we just had Roo sit as close to the inside as possible, Christa set next closest to the inside with Lightning Big, and then me on the outside. This ensured that if anyone fell out of the truck it was an adult. This was our first experience with this type of transport, but have since encountered it over and over and feel 100% comfortable with the girls traveling in them as well.

 

Sitting high utop Mount Nagakerd is the breathtaking Phra Phutta Ming Mongkol Akenakiri, affectionately known as the Big Buddha. The Big Buddha is an astounding 45 meters tall and is adorned with white Burmese jade marble. Not only is the Big Buddha is a must see because of the overwhelming feeling of peace and tranquility, but it also offers a 360° view of the southern portion of Phuket. **Kid tip: Check with your accommodation to arrange a driver to the top of the mountain, the road is narrow and winding. We saw people walking on our way, but this is not a hike for littles. The Yama Hotel arranged a private driver who pointed out the sights as we climbed the mountain, suggested that we try the delicious coconut ice cream, and then drove us back to our hotel. It was such a peaceful experience.A post shared by Tribe on a Quest™ (@tribeonaquest) on


The hotel is also able to arrange tours with their in-house tour company (you can find them in the lobby) and they can also arrange a taxi. They arranged a private taxi to visit Big Buddha at a reasonable rate, which meant we didn’t have to haggle with a driver, and our driver pointed out landmarks and points of interest along the way!

The Verdict?

If you are thinking about booking a room at The Yama Hotel you need to consider a few things:
Are you wanting to be close to the action of Kata or Karon? This isn’t the hotel for you.
Are you hoping to sample a vast array of cuisines during your stay? This hotel isn’t for you unless you opt to take the hotel shuttle or taxi into town.
Are you entitled and have little to no patience with a language barrier in a country, and expect for each person you encounter to speak English? This hotel isn’t for you.


Do you want to be spoiled with first-rate customer service that goes above and beyond to make your stay memorable for the entire family? The Yama Hotel is a good pick for you!

Do you want to lounge by the pool with the option to have a room that you can climb directly into the main pool? The Yama Hotel is a good pick for you!
Do you want to wake up to a gorgeous sunrise and end your day with a breathtaking sunset that is unobstructed and gives you a panoramic view of the sea and mountains of Phuket? The Yama Hotel is a good pick for you!

The Yama Hotel
5 Patak Soi 2, Patak Road
Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100 Thailand