Across the road from a private beach with scuba diving
Large, modern rooms with furnished balconies
Four restaurants with themed buffets, Thai, and Italian cuisine
Airy bars with nightly entertainment
Full-service spa with sauna and steam room
Five outdoor pools with waterfalls and waterslides
Three outdoor tennis courts
Grand ballroom and nine meeting rooms
24-hour fitness center
Fee for Wi-Fi
Breakfast not included
Beach has limited shade and loungers
The 671-room Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa is a luxury resort overlooking the Andaman Sea, situated across the road from an idyllic beach. The busy road presents a minor obstacle, but it's one shared by every hotel on this stretch of coastline, save for the adult-only Beyond Resort Karon at the far southern end of the beach. The facilities are far more expansive here, with a large spa, five pools, three tennis courts, and half a dozen restaurants and bars. The resort fee covers access to all, but then there's a fee for Wi-Fi too. Modern rooms are large, and all have furnished private patios or balconies, though not all offer sea views.
Upscale chain resort on vast tropical grounds with a lagoon
There are 75 acres of manicured tropical grounds surrounding the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, with the ocean on one side and jungle-covered mountains in the distance on the other. Footbridges span a large lagoon brimming with exotic flora in the center of the property, while idyllic paths wind past waterfalls, fountains, and colorful free range chickens exploring the underbrush. The main lobby is an open-air space filled with oversized planters and couches decorated with black and white striped pillows. The resort is popular with both couples and families with kids, and most guests lounge between the beach and numerous pools during the day, mingling in the bars with live entertainment at night.
In central Karon, across the coastal road from the beach
The resort is located in the bustling tourist area of Karon Beach, a popular stretch of Phuket on the island’s west coast. It's within walking distance of plenty of other hotels and restaurants, and it's separated from the beach by a coastal road -- the walk to the sand takes under 10 minutes. Patong Beach is about a 15-minute drive from the hotel, while the Phuket Fantasea theme park is a 50-minute drive. The area's capital, Phuket City, is a 30-minute drive northeast, while the Phuket International Airport is about an hours' drive to the north of the island.
Large bright rooms with furnished balconies or patios
With 671 rooms, this hotel is one of the largest around, but there isn't much to distinguish one room from another apart from the view. The only other major difference is bed type -- rooms come with a king-size bed or two twins, with headboards backed by attractive wood panels or kitschy frosted glass panes etched with palm tree silhouettes. All the standard rooms are the same size, and large by any measure, with tile floors and dark wood furnishings. Bright sliding doors lead out to private furnished patios or balconies, and sitting areas have armchairs or lounge chairs. Work desks, minibars, and flat-screen TVs come standard, but Wi-Fi incurs an extra fee. Big bathrooms have walk-in rainfall showers and separate tubs. The suites add sofa beds and better views, but otherwise are simply larger versions of the standard rooms.
Five outdoor pools, sandy beach, tennis courts, large spa, and multiple dining and drinking options
The beach across the road from the hotel is relatively easy to access, though guests should note that there's little shade and getting the limited loungers is an early morning chore. A scuba diving facility is on-site for instruction and equipment rentals. Less adventurous bathers can explore five different outdoor pools spread across the grounds. Some of them are interconnected and have waterfalls and a couple of small waterslides tucked into splash zones for children to explore. The large spa has 15 treatment rooms and offers the usual range of massages, facials, and body wraps. The extensive facility also has a sauna, hot tub, and steam rooms, along with a hair and nail salon. Guests can use a 24-hour fitness center as well as three outdoor tennis courts. Business travelers are catered to with a business center equipped with Macs and PCs, as well as expansive event spaces including nine meeting rooms and a ballroom that can accommodate up to 1,200 guests.
Dining choices abound, beginning with Sails Restaurant, which has a well-regarded poolside terrace and an all-day international buffet (breakfast not included in the rates). Buon Appetito serves another alfresco breakfast buffet, and an Italian menu centered around pizza and pasta, while Caffe Cino has lighter fare like salads and sandwiches. Thai Thai Restaurant covers the obligatory native cuisine with locally caught seafood. There's also a poolside bar and the Andaman Lounge is open late with nightly live entertainment.
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