Seated on a bluff overlooking the Indian Ocean is Cape Sienna Hotel in Kamala Beach – a sleepy resort town on Thailand’s Phuket Island. The hotel is not only rated by TripAdvisor as one of the most romantic hotels in Thailand, but also in the world. From the moment you step foot into Cape Sienna’s lobby, which is up an elevator from the ground level, allowing guests to glimpse pristine views of the Indian Ocean, you realize that the hotel easily lives up to those high praises.
More like a spa than a hotel
As we sipped our rose tea, our minds quickly changed from chaotic travel mode to spa mode. The view, with the soothing sounds from the water feature in the lobby, helps with that. Our daydreaming was interrupted by one of the smiling staff members. She apologized profusely as she drew us back to reality. Our room was ready and she wanted to acclimate us to the resort grounds. We sat on one of the couches, still keeping an eye out the window, while she asked my wife to pick the scent she would like for the room’s toiletries, making Cape Sienna seem more like a spa than a hotel.
The path to the hotel rooms is quite steep and windy as it cuts through the hillside jungle. The view from all 98 rooms makes the journey worth it though, as all enjoy a sight similar to that one in the lobby. Besides, the staff carries your luggage for you. Inside the room, I completely ignored everything the bellhop said as I made a beeline towards the balcony doors, tossing them open, and making evening plans for the private Jacuzzi on our balcony. A Jacuzzi room is an upgrade from a standard room which starts at 3,190 THB (approximately 87 USD) to 3,900 THB (approximately 107 USD). Sometimes a splurge is worth it though.
Grounds so gorgeous, you almost don’t want to leave the resort
It’s easy to get “stuck” at one of Cape Sienna’s two pools – the main pool or Sienna Rocks. The main pool is off the lobby with views from the bluff while Sienna Rocks is on the beach itself (a walk down the hill). Both have modern infinity pools, soothing music, and a restaurant and bar. As you completely succumb to paradise, you can’t think of any reason to actually leave your poolside lounge chair – except for maybe the spa.
With offerings from traditional, international spa treatments to Thai massages, the spa is as relaxing as the hotel itself. Remember, this is a resort though, so a massage is nowhere near as cheap as you can find off premise. You’re paying more for atmosphere. For example, a 90 minute Thai massage runs 2,650 THB (approximately 73 USD) versus 500 THB (approximately 14 USD) in town. I wouldn’t describe the Thai massage at Cape Sienna as traditional either. It’s more of a hybrid between a Thai and a Swedish massage. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it’s a nice gateway into a Thai massage for someone who has never had their body contorted like that before.
Of course you will want to explore Kamala Beach
To only stay at the hotel would be a travesty when Kamala Beach itself has so much to offer. Unlike many of the larger beach towns on Phuket, Kamala Beach still maintains some of its sleepy fishing village charm. If the experience of local culture isn’t enough to draw you away from paradise, the prices of the hotel’s food and drink may. (Thankfully, breakfast is included with the price of the room.)
The walk to town is a bit of a trek. While it’s only 15 minutes, the hills are quite steep and the road can be a bit dangerous at night with oncoming traffic. A taxi only costs 100 THB (approximately 3 USD) though if you arrange it on your own. If the hotel helps you, expect to pay more. A closer dining option is Poo Mass – a beachside dive down the road a quarter mile (400m) from the hotel in the opposite direction from town. For further exploration of Phuket, the hotel offers a free shuttle to Patong.
One of the best hotels you'd ever stayed at
Aside from the prices of food and drink, Cape Sienna has become my standard of comparison for all other hotels. This is a hotel that promises comfort, romance and serenity.
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