The Surin

If you read TLE you will know I love Thailand and what’s not to like? Its friendly laid-back way of life, amazing food and fantastic beaches keep me returning again and again. If you are on a tight timescale and don’t have the luxury of pottering around different islands but want to get a flavour of island life then Phuket is a good compromise.

A one-hour flight from Bangkok and a short taxi ride from Phuket airport and you can be from the madness of the Thai capital to the luxury of a 5-star resort in next to no time. The island has undergone a mass tourism boom and hotels have popped up the length and breadth of the island so you really are spoilt for choice, but also at the mercy of lots of people spoiling your peace and relaxation. I have spent many hours researching luxury hotels in Phuket before my most recent trip and the one hotel that really caught my eye due to its consistently good reviews is The Surin. I knew I had to go and stay and I am so glad I did as it was one of the best luxury hotel experiences I have had in Thailand.

So read on and find out more about this gem of a hotel and why it is listed as one of the best luxury hotels in Phuket.

Background and Concept

Fringed by coconut palms and positioned on a gently rolling slope that leads you down to your own private beach which looks out to the Andaman Sea, you will feel like you have hit gold when you first arrive at The Surin.

The hotel is built around a central open plan pavilion which starts with the reception at the top and leads you down floor by floor past restaurants, a library and finally reaching the large hexagonal pool at the bottom with connecting beach bar and pretty much deserted beach beyond (a luxury in Phuket!). Originally The Surin was originally the Chedi when it was first built back in 1982 by famed hotel architect Ed Tuttle (architect of The Hyatt Place Vendome and Aman Resorts). A major refurbishment has given the hotel a fresh light and airy feel incorporating traditional Thai designs with modern amenities. In fact it is so design lead it is also part of Design Hotels portfolio of properties a big plus for us at TLE!

Instead of traditional hotel rooms 103 ‘shaker’ style cottages fan out across the hillside around the hotel pavilion. Each cottage is cleverly positioned so it has a view out to sea and is interspaced with mature tropical trees and plants so you have a feeling of privacy too.


Phuket is at risk of becoming over developed and those Thai picture postcard beaches that you yearn are hard to find now! However The Surin is one of the few hotels that has its own private beach cocooned by rocks on either side, so you really can have that ‘desert island’ experience as well as a luxury accommodation experience.

In addition to this, if you want to escape the hotel (but you probably won’t as it is so relaxing), it is a short walk from the main hotel entrance to Surin Town. The town is fairly compact and relaxed, unlike Patong beach a 20-minute taxi journey away. Surin has a nice selection of restaurants, bars and massage spas and a short walk from the hotel.

Its final feature is that it is around 30 minutes by taxi or transfer to Phuket airport so really convenient!

The Rooms

The cottages come in 3 categories – one-bed, two bed and beach suites. The cottages have shaker comes Thai feel to them that are fresh, bright and relaxing. Cottages are all interconnected by elevated walkways that link back to the central hotel pavilion. A word of warning the hotel is on a  hillside so the walkways do get quite steep in places – you need to be fairly fit, so not really suitable for anyone with walking difficulty (there are golf buggies that will drive you to the top of the resort)

Cottage categories depend on the position in the resort, with those lower and closer to the beach being the more expensive option. The majority of the rooms don’t have bathtubs (you’ll only find these in the beach suites) but they do have small decks for sunbathing and plenty of storage space in the large bathrooms.

We stayed in a 34sqm one-bed cottage which was very generous in size and included a private veranda and secluded sundeck. When you first walk into the cottages it does have a wow factor to it as you are guided around and the room’s features are pointed out to you. The inviting interiors are highly functional as well as comfortable featuring a king-size bed, sofa bed and desk. As day turns to night the cottage lighting creates the perfect ambience for relaxation. Step through to the en-suite bathroom that features a rain shower, a double vanity area and ‘his and her’ dressing areas.

The cat is optional and he ended up taking up residence outside our cottage door for the duration of the stay!


A nice selection of magazine to read at your leisure.

The room comes with plenty of free drinking water which is replenished each day in addition to a Nespresso style coffee machine and kettle.

The hotel also features a range of complimentary experiences each day including yoga, thai language courses. When we were there there was an afternoon tea at 4pm with sandwiches, desserts and tea and coffee.

The Bed

The Bathroom

A very generous amenity set is included in the bathroom.

There is also free natural mosquito repellent and aloe vera after-sun gel.

Food and Drink

A generous daily breakfast is served in the Lomtalay Restaurant, overlooking the pool and garden, which is a mix of international, Thai and Asian options. The glass-encased Lomtalay restaurant serves Thai food.

Lunch and dinner are served in the Sunset Café which is where we ate lunch when we first arrived at the hotel and serves a Mediterranean and Western-inspired menu.

Public Areas

The reason why you stay here is for the beach and fabulous pool. There is a beach bar next to the pool where you can buy drinks and lunch.

Final Thoughts

I loved The Surin so much I ended up staying again on the way back from visiting some other islands nearby so it really does get the seal of approval from me! Its price is reflective of the quality service and location so it is more expensive than other resorts on the island but it is worth every penny and I have no hesitation recommending this hotel.

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