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The worst trip experience ever ~ The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

The Naka Island

Hello, everyone I am Chifumi Maeda, a Japanese female president living in Bangkok.

Thank you, guys, for visiting this

“True comments from Japanese female presidents living in Thailand” blog.

First of all, please be informed that what you are about to

read is purely based on my own experience and therefore is nothing more than

just my personal opinion and is not something that should bias your opinion or decision. 

I’ve made a 3 nights 4 days trip, 24 March – 27 March 2022 to

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

(refer to as “The Naka Island” hereinafter).

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

I’ve been on The Naka Island 3 times already in the past.

However, it was called Six Senses Destination Spa at those times.

The Naka Island is the name that even became the name of the resort

which is the only resort that is located on the Naka Yai Island.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
The map of the Naka Yai Island

The cape where Z bar of The Naka Island is located is called the “Heart of Mythical dragon”.

You will hit the gong placed at the entrance before you enter the premise.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
Resort Map

Both my hubby and I had a very good experience and impression on

The Naka Island and dreamed of staying there again but haven’t had a chance

and time to do so after they Re-branded the place. 

We were looking forward to and were excited to stay at

The Naka Island this time but unfortunately,

our 3 nights’ stay with them turned out to be

“the worst travel experience ever”

among our stay at many places that we’ve been so far.

And I myself as an entrepreneur couldn’t help myself from thinking

why such a wonderful resort became a place as such that

we’ve recently experienced ourselves.   

Contents

Checked-in at Beach Front Pool Villa(Villa 68)but could see NO beach…

We’ve reserved Beach Front Pool Villa for our stay.

The room is the 2nd category among The Naka Island.

The top category is 2 bedrooms Royal Horizon

and the villa we’ve stayed in on this trip was the top

category among the 1 bedroom category.

My motto is to stay in the best category room available at the time

of the stay when we travel and stay somewhere.

Because I often stay in the room and relax, the panoramic view from the room

and the environment and ambience inside of the room is very important.

So, as my motto, we’ve reserved the Beach Front Pool Villa on this trip

and opened the door of the Villa dreaming of reading my favorite books

and relax listening to the sound of the waves rushing to the shore on the Beach Front. 

The above is the photo of the Beach Front Pool Villa shown on the homepage of the resort. 

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

But, but, but…,

we could see no beach when we entered into the Villa.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

And to make things worse, the Beach Front was under construction and was looking like this.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
Villa 68

The rooms that were available were 2 Tropical Pool Villas

and a Villa where a piece of the ocean could be seen.

And, there was 1 Beach Front Pool Villa that was available.

We were first told that there was no more Beach Front Pool available

but when we complained in a bit stronger manner

and she told us that there is 1 room which is still available. 

We saw all the available rooms and decided to stay at the Beach Front

as it was the best one out of all available ones and checked in at Villa 65.

It was 2 hours after our check-in at the hotel front.

However, this Villa 65 also had its Beach Front under construction

but we thought it was “somewhat better” than no beach view,

we’ve decided to stay here.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

Villa 65 also had tons of problems.

We’ve moved into the Villa 65 when the sun was already near the east horizon.

Just as it showed on the PR photo, the Villa had a wonderful sea view.

Compared to the Beach Front Villa room where had no beach in the front,

it was a big improvement I must say.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

I spent most of my time there in gazebo working and reading books.

We know that our decision to stay in the Beach Front Pool Villa was a good decision.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

I will tell you more about it later but this place all in all were terrible in the maintenance

and when things are this bad, you are no longer angry

but you will be sad and sorry that you are there,

and then finally you will be laughing at yourself of you making such a bad decision

to stay here in the place like this.   

The term Luxury is not appropriate. It is “deserted” here.

The Villa is built in harmony with the surrounding nature

and nice breeze run through the structure.

The whole structure being large and spacy makes you relaxing already.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
Scenery from the bathroom
The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
Closet has space enough.
The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
Semi-outside Bath tub. Shower is also located inside of the bathroom. We were able to use this facility for 2 days out of our 4 days stay.

However, the maintenance is so bad that there were blocks

of chlorine stuck on the water faucet

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

It was the 3rd day of our stay there that the shower stopped working.

When we told the hotel the next morning (the morning of our check-out day)

about shower not working,

Mr. D told us that “it will take 2 hours for the repair”.

We told them that repairing is no need as we will be checking out soon.

They offered us to use shower in the other Villa but we’ve had it

all just about enough starting from the first day,

we politely turned down their kind offer.  

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

Our flight back to Bangkok was at 16:05

and we were originally planning to checkout at 13:00,

we just wanted to get out of the resort as soon as we can,

we’ve finished our payment in the morning,

had our luggage pick-up at 11:40, and left The Naka Island at 12:00 already.   

We tried to change our flight to earlier time

but as all the earlier flights were fully booked,

it was not possible.

This was our first time that we felt the urge to leave the resort as soon as we can.

On us leaving The Naka Island, Director of Sales & Marketing Ms. T expressed her apology

for the series of problems that we’ve had on our stay this time.

She, Ms. T, told us that “these things never happened” however,

if and when maintenance was regularly done with checks in between,

I am sure these things have never had happened.

And it was very obvious that condition of the Villas were not being checked regularly.

I was probably the first guest that gave them the claim on the status of their asset.

In any case, it was far from being Luxury, thanks to their poor maintenance.

We have been staying in many 5-Star hotel and resorts to this day

but I can assure that The Naka Island is not at all a 5-Star destination.

The facility being old is not a problem however their maintenance,

their maintenance is not at all acceptable.

Even when the facility is old, when the maintenance is done well,

it will be considered as the “long history” or the “taste” of the place.

As I’ve mentioned in the Villa 68 and 65,

The Naka Island all in all is only a deserted place and is not anything of Luxury.

The guests who come to 5-Star destination comes for experience

of away from their daily usual as well as comfort.

If people just want to be surrounded by a beautiful sea and rich nature,

it doesn’t have to be The Naka Island.

Phuket is an International resort town and has many wonderful hotels and Villas.

Needless to say, there are many places with beautiful sea.

If we decided to come to The Naka Island,

that is because we want to experience something that only The Naka Island could offer.

Maybe my expectation was too high that I felt this way maybe,

but I can’t recall any 5-Star destination that made me feel this much of regret and disappointment.

Let me talk about a bit more in details why I think the place is not Luxury.

The lawn is withered and the garden plants and trees are not trimmed.

A 5-Star resorts has their trees and plants well taken care of

and their lawns are beautifully taken care of. 

The Naka Island had so many areas that their lawns are withered or dead

and sand bases are left with nothing being done.

And lawns are not at all taken care of and are many weeds everywhere.

When we were going to common area from the Villa 65,

the trees and plants that border the Villa from the common area were mostly brown in their color.

Other guests came into our private space and were taking the photo of our Villa.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

The trees in the resort were not at all being trimmed and to make things worse,

some of them were already brown and dead.

Made me feel very sad to see such scenery. 

Beach to Tonsai Restaurant

This is a photo of bamboo arch on the way to the spa.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
This photo was taken 10 years ago.

You can tell that it once was a beautiful bamboo arch but at some point,

the bamboos were forgotten to be taken care of

and a large part of them were dead or dying.

Sad. Very sad. Very very sad situation.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
Current photo. Same location.

The cleanings are not done properly.

As the resort is facing to the sea, there are many shells, garbage, and woods washed ashore.  

But they are not being cleaned or taken away but stay there until the nature takes care of them.

All other beach resorts that we’ve stayed in the past had people collecting debris

and cleaning the beach from the dusk to dawn.

Not a piece of broken shell was to be found.

These twigs washed to the shore were spotted in the early morning of on 27th of March

but they were still there until the time (12:00) that we were about to checkout. 

If it was a public beach, I can understand this condition

but this place claims that they are Luxury Collection.

The poolside also were carpeted with dead leafs and fallen berries from the tree

as they were clearly the sign of not being cleaned regularly.

They probably clean only once a day if they clean at all.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
Front of our Villa was never cleaned during our stay there.
The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
Sunbeds that are never collected.

I cannot help comparing this place with other resort destinations.

This is photo of Paradee on Koh Samet.

It was a resort well taken care of.

In the afternoon of 25th of March (Sat.) we spotted people cleaning poolside

but we found out that they were cleaning the area for their PR photo shooting purpose.   

During our stay there, they were busy taking PR photos but in my opinion,

I think there are things that they should do before making PR photos.

The tiles in the swimming pool were missing.

The pool is called Infinitive pool

and it seems that it is a photogenic place where they are using for their PRs.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

I love swimming so I enjoyed swimming in the pool but sadly tile pieces are missing…. 

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

The condominium that we live is almost 30 years old

but the management office will immediately repair when they find that tile is missing.

But this 5-Star Luxury resort is….

My hubby did not use the pools, the common pool and the Villa pool

as he was not comfortable to use them as they were not properly maintained.

He was concerned being ill from using such conditioned pools.  

He also avoided using Bath Tub from the same reason.

Service was also far from Luxury.

Staff education not good enough.

Staffs at the management level were giving proper services as they have longer experiences

but the younger staffs could clearly be seen that they were not trained at all.

For an example, taking away the dishes from the dining table is not in order at all.

I believe that they are graduates from Hotel Management faculty in their university

but they were working as if they were fresh graduates. 

Sunbeds stays outside even after the sun is down.

Sunbeds are not stored away.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

They are normally taken away and stored by beach-boys when it started to rain or in the evening.

And come next morning, the beds are back on their places again.

Not even once the beds were taken away during our stay there.

These things can happen in 3-Star resorts but we are talking about 5-Star here. 

No pool service at all.

In 5-star resorts, when guest sits at the sunbed, the towel setting is already there.

But not this 5-Star resort.

It seems that here they follow self-service system.

We had our Villa near the swimming pool so I went to get my own towel from my room.

What about the foods there?

There are 3 restaurants there and they are, TONSAI (Breakfast, Lunch),

RUM CHAPEL (Lunch, Dinner), My Grill (Dinner).

You know?

Even when the maintenances were not done will or services were bad,

the beach is not clean enough, when the foods are good, we can give them some credit.

But unfortunately, they were not very tasty.

We were on Half Board Plan which includes breakfast and dinner.

But as far as my husband is concerned, his appetite was gone and barely touched his foods.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
TONSAI Restaurant: Juice bar at breakfast
The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
View from TONSAI restaurant; view from the dining table
TONSAI Restaurant
TONSAI Restaurant
TONSAI Restaurant
TONSAI Restaurant
TONSAI Restaurant
TONSAI restaurant: you can have Bloody Mary already from the morning.
TONSAI Restaurant
TONSAI Restaurant: They have Thai foods and Western foods as hot dish.
TONSAI Restaurant:Noodle corner
TONSAI Restaurant:Noodle corner
RUM CHAPEL:Parma ham Pizza。
RUM CHAPEL:Parma ham Pizza。

My hubby only had 1 slice and decided not to continue with next as it was not tasty.

Not tasty, is it because there is something wrong with the preparation process?

As the Parma Ham was baked in the oven, they were ham chips and not ham any more.

Parma Ham is something you eat not cooked or baked.

The wonderful taste of the Parma Ham was sadly gone. 

RUM CHAPEL:Club Marriott Sandwich
RUM CHAPEL:Club Marriott Sandwich

We’ve ordered sandwich as we both agreed that one need more than

a talent to prepare a bad tasting sandwich.

Well, we’ve finally got it right.

The taste wasn’t anything that we can give an award but it was edible.

But if I may, as the bread was a sweet bread,

it would have been much better if they’d have used non-sweet bread to let us taste a tasty sandwich.

My hubby ordered this one but he only had one.

The good food we had during our stay there was BBQ Pork neck.

The meat was soft & juicy and the seasoning was just right.

Bottom of the photo is “barley” with a slight taste of curry that stimulates one’s appetite.

RUM CHAPEL
BBQ Pork neck
MY Grill

My husband is not found of spicy food therefore he always ask for non-spicy seasoning

but thank you very much it was nice and spicy.

And, the storing method of ingredients maybe not good enough,

the shrimp was hard and blocky….

I ate everything but my hubby had only one bite and that was all. 

I will talk about it later but the vegan foods were nice.

Good points

I’ve been making too much of my claims

and the staffs at The Naka Island may thought I am Ms. Claimer.

I do not like to make claims and do not want to make claims if I don’t have to.

I tried very hard to find positive points to make my stay nice and comfortable one. 

Which I did and found good points and they are;

The place is rich in nature

Surrounded by so many green trees, facing the beach, the nature is rich here.

It was far from the Luxury as things were not well taken care of

but when you think the place as a Natural resort,

beautiful sea and romantic sunset would have been the best dish

anyone can ever have if they came on the plate.  

Relaxed well on the gazebo in the Villa.

Comfortable sea breeze ran through the area and it was very relaxing on the gazebo.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

It was worth coming here to this place just to sit here and do nothing but looking into the sea.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

Especially in the evenings, it was very quiet and completely private; we had all the view to ourselves.

The night sky with stars were beautiful and out of this world.

We could clearly see the stars during our stay.

It was a luxury time spent watching the stars in the sky.

We could clearly see the Orion belt, the Hunter.

Orion

We sat on the beach and watched the night sky.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

This was possible because we were staying at the Beach front Pool Villa

that we were able to enjoy the night sky to our heart’s content.

Vegan foods were nice

The vegan food was the nicest among all the dishes that we had.

The chick pea Pancake that we had for lunch was so good that we could taste the ingredients.

And the Soymilk pudding in the ginger based soup that we had for desert was also very good.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
Chick pea Pancake
The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
Soymilk pudding

The staffs were very nice trying to solve the problems.

Concierge Ms. S, who helped us when we asked to change our Villa.

We appreciate it very much how much the Food & Beverage Manager

Mr. P responded to our claim on our food.

He was very sincere and have done everything that he could.

We’ve enjoyed on our gazebo the Sparkling Wine that Mr. P gave us.

Ms. S gave us a card.

We were also looking forward to have a “Wonderful day” but unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way. 

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

Spa was nice.

We’ve took advantage of 7,999THB for 5 hours promotion during our stay.

My husband and I, we’ve used 90 minutes massage and 60 minutes massage.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

The therapist has high level of technique and I was so tired after all the claims that I had made,

and it was a nice and relaxing time for me.

The facility had some past history from Six Senses Destination

which recalled our memories from the time. 

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

However, some of the facility had their ponds dried up and it presented tasteless scenery.  

Spa is the place where we can experience non-everyday experience

but the scenery of such place drew me back to the reality of my everyday life.

It would have been perfect if that haven’t been so.

The premise and the Villa is huge

The Naka Island has huge property and Villa also is built huge.

Just being huge gives you a relaxed feeling.

I love exercising but here I didn’t visit gym and did my walking in the premise of the resort.   

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

The resort has many angulations and is ideal for active walking.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
Scenery from the Z bar

They use THANN for their amenities

The amenities were THANN.

Exotic aroma spreads out that stimulates our resort feeling.  

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

So, what did all these cost us?

This is the actual cost that we’ve paid.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

This is a receipt from our Lunch, massages, and 2 bottles of wine.

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket

We don’t find it a problem that we’ve spent 17,000 baht

for our foods & beverages and massages however,

the fact that we’ve spent 80,739 baht for the Villa was way too expensive.

I personally believe that this place charges the price of 5-star Luxury and that’s it.

I strongly felt that the price does not reflect the contents quality of the place.

Summary

I’ve been writing here the things that I actually experienced there and how I’ve felt.

Due to the Covid pandemic, the Thai domestic tourism industries have been hit hard

and The Naka Island is no exception I realized.

I also run my own business and I am also not an exception of having a hard time.

I was impressed with how hard the staffs are trying to fulfill

their responsibilities within their given authority.

Having said that, I believe that so long as the resort claims that they are 5-Star Luxury,

it is a must for them that they have to stay as they claim to be.

And I don’t think its right to make guests feel obliged.

I am looking forward to see their endeavor improvement.

Resort Information

The Naka Island

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