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Patong kills the mini-bar with the Holiday Inn Express running on empty

Patong Kills the Mini Bar, Going Express

Thursday, May 23, 2013
PHUKET: The mini bar is dead. Long live the small, empty fridge, sitting in the room waiting to be filled by the guest with items the guest actually likes and can afford.

A tour through the Holiday Inn Express Phuket Patong Beach Central reveals the trend to long names that no longer even mention resort or hotel. It also reveals a whole lot more.

Modern in style and classy in design, the HIEPPBC, for want of repeating that long name, impressively takes the leap to deal with the real needs of fast-moving guests in the 21st century.

So you've brought a big bag with you, even though you are only staying for four days? In the foyer you'll find a do-it-yourself trolley.

Want some drinks or snacks or a few cans of soft drink for your empty mini-bar? Ask at the reception desk. They'll give you what you need, at slightly higher prices than the local conventience store.

Or they'll redirect you to the Vending Room, where you can vend for yourself. It's near the Laundry, just off the foyer area, where a washing machine and a dryer and iron await you. Just like home, eh?

A few strides from Patong beach and without too many cries of ''Where you go, tuk-tuk?'' the HIEPPBC looks as bright and inviting on the inside as it does from the outside.

The restaurant here serves beakfast from 6am to 10am, and that's it. No lunch or dinner. This resort or hotel - or perhaps we should say this Express - caters for active people who are likely to be on the beach or beginning a day-trip instantly.

The emphasis is on Grab & Go. We are told that as a concession to Phuket and Patong, this Express, unlike others aimed mostly for business customers, has a swimming pool for adults and another for children.

Sure enough, the main pool is being enjoyed and guests are also sunning themselves on the nearby decks.

Close to the foyer there's the Great Room, where guests can have snacks and fun waiting for tours, and opposite sits a large library. Cooler, quieter, the library is a bit of a secret refuge.

Upstairs, the standard rooms each have balconies and the frosted glass bathroom curves to add more usable space. While the rooms are not spacious, there's no fear of claustrophobia either.

The beds are reckoned to be of premium quality and the pillows are stamped 'Soft' and 'Firm,' just so you know. The choice is yours.

Most stays here, we are told, are for three or four days, hence the Grab & Go philosophy that works for busy city folk looking to derive as much adventure from their break as they possibly can.

In summary, we found the brochure difficult to top: ''Great location, free wi-fi, free breakfast, comfy bed, great value.''

We'd just like to know whether to call it a resort or a hotel, that's all.

Resort Review Details

Holiday Inn Express Phuket Patong Beach Central
8 Hatpatong Road, Patong beach, Phuket 83150.

E Address:

Rooms: 274 standard, three suites.

Whether its a resort or a hotel, Holiday Inn Express Phuket Patong Beach Central is a candidate for Phuketwan's Phuket Resort of the Year 2013.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


I like much about the content of this article, especially the pillow option, but even more the empty fridge. I have often had arguments about what I have used from a minibar when in all my years of travel, I have never used them ever. Now I always check the content of any minibar when checking into my room to ensure it has been properly stocked. An empty fridge removes that hassle.

Posted by Logic on May 23, 2013 20:29


seems the macadonalds fast food fast service, shop & go concept is catching on,anyone want fries with that?

Posted by slickmelb on May 24, 2013 01:10

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