PHUKET: For the previous two days before our tour, Best Western Patong Beach recorded 100 percent occupancy. Having only been open for a month, and with the high season just beginning, that's an indication that three-and-a-half stars can glitter like a whole galaxy.
The rooftop pool may not exactly match the best that Singapore or even Phuket has to offer, but then the views are great and the air is relatively fresh.
And parking is always difficult to find in Phuket's west coast holiday hub, with taxis and tuk-tuks still taking out much of the space that was meant to be for the public. No worries. The Best Western has space off-street for 40 cars.
With a restaurant bar at the front of Rat-U-Tit 200 Pi Road offering all the beer you can drink for 399 baht, the pitch here is no frills but there's a welcoming approach that makes this new resort instantly likable.
Mirrors help to convey the feeling of space and there's no variation in the 25 square metres of space per room, although guests do have a choice of twins or double.
Western-height balcony railings look sturdy but the balconies are wide enough for just a party of one and the need for guests to register an interest if they wish to use them to smoke is a step towards safety-consciousness.
Staff listened politely when Phuketwan made the point that the best resorts on the island also made guests aware of the dangers at Patong's beaches, not just during the low season but all year round.
The fact that at least one Patong resort takes an active interest in safety of guests both inside and outside the resort gives Best Western a plus that extends beyond the choice of plain or rain shower in the bathroom.
Best Western Patong Beach is a candidate for Phuketwan's Phuket Resort of the Year 2014.