Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hotel review - Aleenta Phuket Resort and Spa Part 3 - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Location: Phuket, Thailand

Note: This article was written base on experience of staying in Aleenta Resort and Spa Phuket's Pool Villa. The following info is important to you because it tells you on which month we stayed, and the price relative to the amount of time between the date of stay to the date of booking. You may experience higher or lower price at different months/seasons and if you book further or nearer to the date of stay.

We booked on:     September 2014
We stayed on:      October 2014
We paid in total:  THB27,659.50 (~RM2771) (tax included) @ Pool Villa, 2 persons, 2 nights, breakfast inclusive

The overview of the whole hotel experience can be accessed from here: Thailand - Aleenta Phuket Resort and Spa

A lazy wake up and a swim in the pool later, we strolled to The Natai, Aleenta Phuket’s in-house restaurant serving local delicacies and our breakfast spot perched high over the seaview. With a spectacular view towards the endless sea and a nicely landscaped garden of pools, it couldn’t make a morning any more pleasant.

The Natai's menu in wooden cover

Upon seating, a tiered platter of appetizers was served while we flipped through a wood covered menu for our choices of breakfast. The available choices were mesmerizing, and we chose something local to reflect our location. After all, we didn’t travel to Thailand to sample non-Thai dishes. While waiting, we dined on the delectable pastries and juicy fruits, a combined offering of the best appetizers from the east and the west.

It took no time for the cook to prepare our orders, ranging between days from a freshly cooked omelet to sunny side up to a bowl of chicken porridge. We found the tiered platter fulfilling but the cook went one better with these seemingly simple dishes. 

Tiered platter for serving seasonal fruits and appetizing western delights, including cheese and croissants.

Breakfast with sunny side up, bacon and sausages to go with the standard breakfast servings.

Coffee, tea or mee?

A very delicious chicken porridge! Really need to order this if you are there! Seldom tasted porridge with such aroma and taste before!

A stalk for your sunny side up, with sausage and bacon to go with. Nothing could go wrong with this combination.

Tired with sunny side up? Go for omelette!

This is not enough! I demand more of this ham filled omelette to sate my appetite! It really had riled up my morning appetite for more breakfast, and I blame Aleenta Phuket's chef for making me voracious...

Prefer outdoor seating? There are plenty for you to choose from if you prefer basking under the warm sunlight, especially if you chased the sun from a wintry climate to enjoy the warmth.

Or would you prefer facing the sea and listening to the crashing of the waves?

I on the other hand has had enough sunlight and prefer the airy indoor seating.

Noon came rather quickly and with a filled stomach, we were thinking about foregoing lunch, a notion rather quickly changed when we recalled our isolated location and decided to stuff something light. Since we tried The Natai in the morning, we went for the more chic restaurant, the sibling aptly named The Edge for its closer proximity to the sea.

One could step right off the restaurant onto the sandy beach and be back for a Piña Colada. I mean, what else would be more appropriate than the famous cocktail of coconut cream, pineapple and rum in a glass, made popular in Puerto Rico and reserved for all beach occasions? Well, technically one could ask for another similarly refreshing drink for a sunny beach, a minty Mojito. Both could not be any more similar with each other – they both originated from Central America (Mojito is from Havana) and contain rum. To be exact, a Mojito consists of white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water or soda, and mint. For us, we couldn’t care less as long as they were both refreshingly cool and suited our mood after some suntan.

For something solid and local (we do support local tastes!), we got ourselves Tom Yam Goong and a light meal of Blue Crab Spring Rolls. The former was nice, with just a hint of spiciness but our tastes were more attuned to the Malaysian variant. The spring rolls, in our humble opinion, were just so-so.

Since we weren't too hungry during lunchtime, we got ourselves a munchies that was Blue Crab Spring Rolls (THB160, about RM16.20) in The Edge. The rolls are wrapped in an elastic and resilient rice wrap, and of course the contents comprise of rice, greens and crab. More suited to vegetarians though.

No visit to Thailand is complete without Tom Yam Goong (THB310, about RM31.40), and The Edge offers it in choices of shrimp, sweet, sour or spicy (we chose shrimp). The amount is enough for 2 (the bowl's size is rather misleading), and despite it not labeled as 'spicy' it is still hot to the sensitive tongue. It isn't as tasty as we thought, but maybe tasting the Malaysian version has changed our perception. There is no doubt about the shrimps - it is succulent and bouncy, fitting for a bowl of tom yam.

My favorite drink, Piña Colada (THB250, about RM25.30), made better by Aleenta Phuket's The Edge. By combining Pampero Rum, Malibu, pineapple juice, coconut milk and syrup, a beachside favorite with a Puerto Rican origin was born. This ice blended version is just nice after a suntan for cooling off.

My wife's favorite is Virgin Mojito (THB140, about RM14.20), a sparkling combination of soda, white sugar, mint leaves and lime. This is another beachside favorite, the minty flavor refreshing and soothing.

Dinner was a struggle to choose between The Natai and The Edge since both were available for dinner (breakfast was only available in The Natai and lunch only in The Edge). In the end The Natai prevailed with its lure of local delights (The Edge was more modern and western in choices). For a hearty meal we chose Kai Yang Gor Lae, a chicken breast dish that I found too dry to my liking, and Phad Pla Krapong, which I preferred for its spiciness.

Dinner was done back in The Natai to sample more local delights. One could choose outdor seating to enjoy the balmy sea breeze from an elevated position, but we prefer indoors.

A romantic affair

Mocktails for our health - a Watermelon Monkey (THB120, about RM12.10) and an Aleenta Booster (THB140, about RM120). The former comprises of watermelon and pineapple, and the latter is a mixture of carrot, banana, orange, watermelon and honey. Both are refreshing but with such a mixture of fruits, the taste just got a little confusing, especially for Aleenta Booster. Still I recommend both for health conscious diners.

Kai Yang Gor-Lae (ไก่ย่างกอและ) (THB590, about RM59.70) is not a dish I relish, though it isn't that bad either. The chicken breast in itself is succulent but the dish in overall is rather dry. The tempura leaves is an unusual addition to the dish, one which I am not accustomed to as it felt like a cow eating fried grass. The sticky rice, on the other hand, I like.

Phad Pla Krapong (ปลากระพงผัดขีเมา) (THB510, about RM51.60) receives a better recognition from my taste buds. This spicy dish is not for the sensitive tongue but the mixture of crunchy water chestnut into a dish of snapper fish is just godsend. The heavenly flavor of salty and sweet oyster sauce just elevates the rating I want to give to this dish.

The twin containers of rice, and a cabinet full of wines.

The general atmosphere for both The Natai and The Edge was quite nice - The Edge for its modern hip and The Natai for blending in Thai elements. In general we were quite satisfied with the offerings which both provided although we had our preferences for certain dishes over another. A fond farewell will mark the end of this series of posts of our stay in Aleenta Phuket.

Environment:          A relaxing beachfront with private beach facing the Andamans
Suitable for:             Couples, honeymoon
Price:                           luxurious (>RM20 per meal per pax)
Food score:               8/10
Food:                             4.0/5.0
Service:                         5.0/5.0
Value:                            3.5/5.0
Ambient:                       4.0/5.0
Operating hours:   The Edge 
                                        (lunch)       12.00 p.m. -   4.00 p.m.
                                        (dinner)       6.30 p.m. - 10.00 p.m.
                                        The Natai
                                        (breakfast)  6.30 a.m. -  10.30 a.m.
                                        (dinner)       6.30 p.m. - 10.30 p.m.

Visit worthiness:   9.5/10 
Sleep quality:              5.0/5.0 
Surroundings:            4.5/5.0
Service:                        5.0/5.0
Value:                           4.5/5.0
Cleanliness:                 4.5/5.0
Architecture/decor:   5.0/5.0
Room rate:                THB11,750 (~RM1186)/night @ pool villa (not inclusive of tax)
                                        THB13,829.75 (~RM1396)/night @ pool villa (inclusive of tax)
                                        check latest room rates and availability here
Check-in time:         after 2.00 p.m.
Check-out time:      before 12.00 p.m.

Website:                   http://www.aleenta.com/phuket/

Contact:                    +66  7658 0333 (Guess Service Relations)
                                      +66 2514 8112 (Reservations)
E-mail:                      grm.aph@aleenta.com (Guess Service Relations)
                                      rsvn@ahmhotels.com (Reservations)
Address:                   Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa, 33 Moo 5, Takua Thung, Khok Kloi, Phang Nga Phuket, 82140 Thailand.

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