A mere slice of our 100 square meters of rented space.
It's no. 1 on TripAdvisor not just in Patong but in the whole of Phuket for a reason. Thanks to a sweet last-minute deal, we got to stay at BYD Lofts Boutique Hotel and Serviced Apartments for 3 nights last week. Here's a rundown of our experience.
Reservation and check-in
You can always get a room from a bevy of hotel booking sites but BYD has its own booking facility, which was no hassle at all. They also don't charge you the whole amount until you're actually there but of course cancellation policies apply. Guests also have the option to book airport transfers with them but because it's a Mercedes Benz sedan (two of them actually), it costs more than a regular cab. There's also a surcharge if your arrival or departure is between 10pm to around 5 or 6am I think.
The front desk at the lobby. It's not much.
Checking in was just as smooth. We arrived past midnight and we were welcomed with drinks, leis of fresh flowers, and a really fragrant cold towel to wake us up. Before long, we were already ushered to our room.
BYD is located in the heart of Phuket's busy and lively Patong district yet it's comfortably shielded from all the noise. Restaurants, cafes, food stands, money changers, convenience stores, spas, and other establishments are well within a few steps from the hotel, making it a very convenient location. And as with almost any other hotel in Patong, BYD is not a beachfront property although the beach is just a 5 to 10-minute walk away.
Architecture and ambiance
BYD sits on a complex of small buildings, of which 3 are theirs--the main building, an annex, and yet another new annex. Sporting a modern architectural design, the structures are no more than 5 storeys high and where white dominates both interior and exterior. Glass is likewise generously employed. If you're looking for that exotic Thai design you won't find that here, though. But I liked it.
A section of the diminutive lobby. Comfy, though.
The lift and wine shop. I never got quite used to that glass floor by the lift, though.
The lobby at the main building was small, which is typical of boutique hotels. Apart from the front desk, there's just a comfy couch and two armchairs for seating or lounging. Next to it is the restaurant and bar, then the lift and a wine shop (wholesale prices promised) on the opposite end, while paintings and other pieces of modern art adorn the walls. The bright and airy atmosphere of this hotel may not be as evident on the ground floor as it is in the rooms but my, space is never an issue with the accommodation options here!
Our (fantastic) suite
We got a grand deluxe suite, which was nothing short of spectacular with its very generous 100 sqm of space. Other accommodation options include deluxe (65sqm), grand deluxe - pool access (100sqm), 2-bedroom suite (160sqm), and 2-bedroom penthouse (140sqm).
Our suite boasted of a spacious living room, a fully-furnished kitchen, a separate bedroom with toilet and bath, and a sizable balcony. The walls are painted white, contrasted by the black leather living room set, kitchen counter top, and other furniture. To cushion the harsh contrast, pops of color are provided by the paintings mounted on the walls. The glass windows and doors, on the other hand, allow for maximum amount of daylight in, so the whole space is bright and airy. Add to that the lovely orchids on our coffee table and in the bathroom.
Our living area. Just a few more square meters and it's gonna be as big as our apartment's back home.
Another view of our living room. That's the main door to our suite on the right.
Yet another view, this time showing the kitchen. If I were a single guy, this could very well be my flat!
As for amenities, there's a 42" TV in the living room, another 46" internet TV in the bedroom, an iPod dock with sound system, and complimentary WiFi. Meanwhile, the kitchen has a network of cabinets and drawers that hide behind them a full-size fridge and freezer, pots, pans and other utensils for cooking and dining, an airpot and a bread toaster, dish racks and whatnot. In view are a microwave oven, an electric stove, and a Nespresso-like coffeemaker. There's also some cool chairs in addition to the leather couches.
Two TVs! And I can watch both from our bedroom!
Love them chairs. My Bibe swears the one on the left is the perfect one for reading.
Switches galore. Lights can be dimmed and all that.
Our accommodation already came with breakfast, which is served at the restaurant. But if you wish to eat in the comfort of your suite, you can have it served there at an additional service fee of 100 Baht (plus tax). There's an order checklist that you have to leave at your door before 2am, however.
The white cabinets hide lots of different things. Love how neat everything looks!
If you wish to cook your own food, you can very well do so here.
Furnished with a table and chair set and adorned with a couple of well-manicured plants, the terrace is a nice place to sit back, especially if you want a little break from all the air conditioning. There are no fantastic sweeping views of the beach, however; just the other buildings in the complex.
A section of the balcony.
As if that open square space wasn't enough, the balcony actually extends through the entire length of our suite.
For a little more privacy, the bedroom can be shut close with a pair of sliding doors. Inside are a king-size bed bordered by side tables, a writing desk, and closet spaces. Behind the cabinets are an electronic safe, a pair of robes, beach towels, a flat iron and an ironing board, and a couple other things. And of course there's the 46" TV.
That bright and airy feel extends to the bathroom where there are mirrors, smoked glass and all that. The shower offers a rain shower head and a handheld option. There's no bathtub here, however.
Our bed. I'm a bit doubtful if it's actually a king-size one, though.
While our room looks quite normal, it was a totally different story when we first arrived. I mean...
Tada! Floral arrangement and towel art to boot.
The view of the bedroom from the living area.
I love that fiber glass office chair.
The hotel's main dining place, BYD Bar & Bistro, looks perfectly unassuming yet it has earned a TripAdvisor distinction. It's an open-air space with a casual dining setup, with the bar tucked in one corner and the kitchen visible to diners. The tables are quite small but the orchids atop each one will charm you.
A section of the restaurant. I like that glass thingy with cascading water. It runs from the topmost floor of the building all the way to the little man-made pond below.
Another view. That's the bar on the left.
The view from the other end.
I really love this wall decor of human figures rappelling by the restaurant's main entrance. There's actually more of them throughout the hotel. Cool, huh?
Service is just about fine; neither too slow or impressively fast. The restaurant staff are nice and friendly, and are quick to attend to your call.
With regard to the food, overall it's good and reasonably priced (at par with most restaurants). While I didn't quite like their chicken satay, I was wowed by their Pad Thai with shrimp, which had loads of shrimp in it, including a huge king prawn on top. Their seafood linguine was also great and I also loved their mixed veggies. Breakfast offered a decent selection of fruit, cereals, salads, cheese and cold cuts, bread and pastries, and hot dishes, including Thai specialties. Aside from those on the buffet, you'll be asked for additional orders like eggs, pancakes and a medley of other food choices.
Pad Thai with shrimp. I couldn't see the noodles anymore.
BYD has also just opened another bar called Café Soho at their newest annex. Upon check-in we were given some coupons for Buy 1, Take 1 on drinks.
Facilities and amenities
Other than the restaurant, the wine store, and its 2 bars, there's not much in this hotel. However, each of their 3 buildings has a small rooftop pool. Again, it's small with only a few sunbeds. But you're supposed to be on the beach, right?
The rooftop pool on the main building.
Beyond the buildings and construction sites, at least you're afforded with views of surprisingly still lush mountains.
Service here is great and efficient. On our first day, our breakfast arrived promptly at the exact time we indicated in our order slip. Housekeeping likewise does a really good job at cleaning. Please note, however, that housekeeping services are only until 4pm, so if that "Do not disturb" sign is still on your door knob, you can't expect them to come in. But if you really wish to have your room cleaned after 4pm, you can still request for it but expect a little surcharge.
I love this hotel, period. I mean, the sheer size of their suites is already enough to cover your money's worth. It's clean, service is great, and the location is pretty convenient. BYD Lofts is, without doubt, a place I strongly recommend you trying if you're coming to Patong.
Our welcome leis and fruit tray. Till next time!
For more information, go visit the BYD Lofts website.