If your idea of a perfect vacation is lounging by a huge swimming pool by the sea, snorkeling around a reef, and sipping tropical cocktails and eating well, make a beeline to the Hyatt Regency Phuket resort in the Kamala Beach area of Thailand.
Asia was more cautious in opening back up than a lot of other regions and this Hyatt Regency in Phuket was closed for 18 months solid. It used that time to spruce up, renovate, and then serve domestic travelers until foreign families could come to visit again. They gutted the bars and restaurants to start over, adding on a new wing, and refurbished the “soft goods” at a minimum in all the resort’s rooms.
The “Phuket Sandbox” program meant this region opened up first, however, so by the time I got there at the end of 2022 they were running close to capacity and getting booked up for winter getaway season. The smiling staffers looked happy to be busy again.
The Hyatt’s Swimming Pools, Reef, and Activities
The biggest claim to fame for this Hyatt resort in Phuket is a big feature: the largest waterfront swimming pool in all of Phuket. None of the others even come close, actually, including some newer openings in recent years. This infinity pool sits a bit above ground level, giving a view out to the sea through some trees from almost any angle. It is lined with lounge chairs with waiter service and there are some tiled lounge chairs in the water for keeping cool.
Nearby is an impressive kids club with giant twisting slides, games, and a long list of organized activities. Those include fun things like paper umbrella painting, muffin decorating, and Thai boxing for kids.
The beach in front of the Phuket Hyatt resort is not the wide expanse of sand you find on Kamala Beach itself, like in front of the Intercontinental. As the tide goes out you see a sea of rocks instead of water. The owners did a great job of taking that lemon and turning it into lemonade though, setting up a snorkeling course with a map of things to look for like Stark Tower, Neptune’s Forest, and Nemo’s Cave. Guests can go out on their own or follow a guide from the resort along the route.
There’s another swimming pool on the hillside, that one next to Casa Boho, a place billed as “mid-century modern meets ‘70s Palm Springs.” It’s a smaller infinity pool that is geared more to adults, with an expansive view of the coast. I loved how there are seats in the water and a counter in front—with a pathway around the outside where a waiter or waitress can come around with a drink. Sometimes it turns into a party at night and to add to the fun there’s a game room in the same building with pool tables, a giant TV, and video games.
The resort also has a large, sunlit fitness center for working off some of the great food and drinks, as well as Nuhm Spa in a country where they know a thing or two about stress-relieving massages.
Dining at Hyatt Phuket
My group of two couples only had a day to experience this resort but we made the most of it, having two excellent meals on site. The second had an especially tough audience since all four of us have lived in Mexico: Casa Boho is billed as a tapas bar, but the focus of the menu and decor is contemporary Mexico.
Considering how far away we were from Mexico, the dinner was a success as we started with the surf & turf sharing platter and worked our way through ceviche, carne asada, empanadas, and birria tacos. We finished things off right with an order of churros.
Lunch was even better though since it was a mix of Thai food and Indian food at the main outlet by the pool: The Poolhouse Kitchen. We sampled an array of flavorful dishes, with the highlights being Phuket-style braised pork belly, a fried noodle dish with squid and poached egg, king prawns, and a sampling of Indian curries.
The last dining outlet is a Japanese teppanyaki restaurant. All of these have both outdoor and indoor seating. There are also several bars on site, including one overlooking the pool and sea.
Rooms and Suites at the Hyatt Regency
There are 201 rooms at this Hyatt in Phuket, one wing of them added when the resort was shut down for a year and a half. They are all spacious, with the smallest standards coming in at close to 500 square feet, plus 80% of the rooms have an ocean view.
The standards have either laminate hardwood floors or a mix of that and patterned floor tiles, with a calm palate of mostly neutral grays, whites, and earth tones. A fish motif is above the beds, marble-topped tables are beside the beds, and there’s an oversized circular loveseat and regular chair. Even these rooms have a separate bath and shower and a furnished balcony. Amenities include minibars, electric tea kettles, and a Bluetooth music player.
This being a family resort, there are rooms set up for guests with kids, including a two-bedroom family room that has bunk beds in the room for children. Other categories include one with a whirlpool terrace that’s bigger than the actual room, a few that come with access to the club lounge, and several suite choices. The largest is the two-bedroom Regency Suite, with its separate living room and a large balcony with daybed.
Booking a Stay at Hyatt Phuket
There are only a few international chain hotels in Phuket where loyalty members can cash in points, so this property gets a lot of action from those who want to turn their business travel rewards into a nice family vacation. Book as far ahead in advance if you’re planning to come in the busy January through April period, especially since this is a popular venue for destination weddings in Phuket.
Rates start as low as $118 for an advance non-refundable rate outside of high season, but more often the nightly price is in the range of $280 to $600. There’s also a mandatory 10% service charge and then taxes on top of that. See more information at the official Hyatt site or check rates online at Hotels.com.
Review, video, and photos by travel editor Tim Leffel, who was hosted for a day at Hyatt Regency Phuket while vacationing in Thailand. As always, all opinions are his own.