Review: Weekend with the Mosquitoes – The Bell Pool Villa Resort Phuket

Introduction
The Beas River Chalet Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Thai Airways 609 A330-300 Business Class Hong Kong to Phuket
The Bell Pool Villa Resort Phuket
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Business Class Lounge Phuket
Thai Airways 608 A330-300 Business Class Phuket to Hong Kong


The Bell Phuket is a ~20 villa property in Kamala near, but not adjacent to, the beach. The hotel normally has astronomic prices, but they were doing a 65% discount when we booked, so the total cost came down to about HK$2000 (US$265) per family (a total price of ~US$530).

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Rates

We left the airport to find a person waving a sign with my father’s name on it, and we were instructed to wait for five minutes, which then he drove up in two big air-conditioned vans.

In the vans, we were offered scented lemongrass cold towels as well as bottles of cold water. Ahhh…

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The Bell Phuket Welcome Amenities

Right then I noticed that there was no place to put the towels, as they didn’t take them back. While that’s a small detail, they could note that, as I did notice a wet patch near my crotch after resting the towel on my lap. Oops. 😉

After about an hour drive, we arrived The Bell’s grounds, which were damn impressive from the outside.

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The Bell Phuket Entrance

The road passes by the bar and some villa entrances before getting to a pedestrian hallway, where the shuttle (and the rest of the road) stops right before.

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The Bell Phuket Bar

A hallway leads to the rest of the villas, but our villa was first up on the hallway.

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The Bell Phuket Hallway

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The Bell Phuket Villa Signage

The Bell Phuket
Check-in: Friday, February 20, 2015
Room Type: Presidential Pool Villa
Room Number: 8
Stay duration: 3 night
Check-out: Monday, February 23, 2015

The villa featured doors that opened like those at an old Chinese temple. They were double doors, but they opened like “fans”.

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Entryway

The villa had an “outside area” leading to four bedrooms, much like the Treetops Lodge and Estate Rotorua. Contrary to the cottage, though, the pool area was outdoors, and the bedrooms were indoors (which meant that the mosquitoes could freely get from one place to another).

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Pool Area

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Pool Area

The pool is huge, and can easily be a small lap pool, and even has those floating pillows (though one was broken).

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Pool

Near the pool was an outdoor shower (though it was mostly for post-swimming use, as there were no barriers between the pool, which all rooms look out to).

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Outdoor Shower

The outside area also featured lounge chairs and a dining table.

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Dining Table

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Lounge Chairs

The living room was pretty big and featured a flatscreen TV, L shaped couch, and a full sized kitchen with a minibar.

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Living Room

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Living Room TV

The living room lights were…stylish.

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Living Room Lights

There was “real” kitchen equipment, which got me excited.

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Kitchen

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Kitchen

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Kitchen

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Villa Fridge

The minibar was stocked with drinks and snacks, but they weren’t any cheaper than what you normally get at “high-end” hotels, so we never touched them.

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Minibar

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Minibar

We were offered welcome drinks on the first day, which our “butler” brought to us (more on that later). It was citrus tea and it was refreshing and delicious.

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Welcome Drink

I checked out my parents’ master bedroom. There are two master bedrooms and two smaller bedrooms, and the two of each are identical.

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Master Bedroom

The room featured a desk, a moderately comfortable bed and an in-room tub, which had gone to sh*t with dust, thus we refrained from using it.

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Master Bedroom Bed

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Master Bedroom Desk

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Master Bedroom Tub

The master bathroom featured a sink and a black walk in shower (which wasn’t actually that bad given the natural light).

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Master Bathroom Sink

There were amenity kits next to the sinks which featured standard toothbrushes.

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Master Bathroom Amenities

All bathrooms featured Panpuri amenities.

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Master Bathroom Toiletries

I went to my bedroom, one of the smaller bedrooms, where I would be staying. The room featured two beds, a desk and a fan.

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Bedroom

The desk chairs couldn’t be more unergonomic.

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Bedroom Desk

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa View of Room

The bathroom featured a sink and a walk-in shower, as well as all the amenities in the master bathroom.

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Bathroom

I liked how there was both a handheld shower and a rainforest shower, which most hotels should have.

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The Bell Phuket Presidential Pool Villa Bathroom

Was I impressed with the size? Very. However that was the only thing that blew me away. The rest of the room felt rather cheap and dirty, in my opinion, and it wasn’t modern enough for my tastes. That I totally can live with, but add in the fact that the doors aren’t properly sealed, and the mosquitoes kind of ruined our whole stay.

The hotel took action to get rid of the mosquitoes in a very old fashioned way (thank god they only do it on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and we checked in on a Friday and left on a Monday).

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The Bell Phuket Hallways Pesticide Smoke

I found the service to be good but slightly reserved. There was a clear language barrier, and I found most of the staff to just go through the motions.

Breakfast was served in villa, and didn’t really feel like what you’d expect for the villa’s normal prices. I mean, the eggs benedict I had on the first morning had gone to sh*t, and the fried rice I had for the next two mornings were pretty good, but not great.

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The Bell Phuket In-Room Breakfast Eggs Benedict

They sent up pancakes and waffles as well, to our request, which were to be ticked off a list. I also tried Nutella for the first time during my stay, which I won’t be trying again.

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The Bell Phuket In-Room Breakfast Waffles and Pancakes

The staff also put some food outside and some food in the living room, and it took a long time to figure it out. Given that each person had their own checklist for what to eat during breakfast, it would be smart to put the right things on each tray for each person.

We also had lunch in the bar one day, which featured comfortable outdoor seating.

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The Bell Phuket Bar

I’m not sure if they were going for a masquerade feel or what, but the masks sure didn’t fit with the rest of the decor (which wasn’t bad, actually – rather Chinese).

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The Bell Phuket Bar

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The Bell Phuket Bar

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The Bell Phuket Bar

The menu read as follows:

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The Bell Phuket Bar Menu

The food was mediocre, as the pad thai had that ketchup-y taste. I asked for a lemongrass panna cotta, and they said they’d bring it in-villa. Well, they did…eight hours later.

Bottom line on The Bell Phuket

This hotel was seriously underwhelming. First of all, they didn’t have a beach. Second of all, the service was weirdly reserved and unpolished. And last, and most underwhelming of all, when I book a villa stay, at least attempt to use some type of method to let us be the only inhabitants in our room.

I mean, the W Retreat Koh Samui, which I stayed in before the blog started, didn’t have mosquitoes in their villas…

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