With no easy airport access, this is not exactly an airport hotel, but if you are a plane spotter and are planning a trip to Phuket, you might want to consider the Grand West Sands Resort & Villas Phuket as some of the rooms offer excellent views of the airport, especially of departing traffic.
Getting to the Hotel & Checking-in
As mentioned above, the hotel is not easily accessible, and so, unless you are renting a car, a taxi is probably your best bet. Since it’s located on the other side of the airport than the terminals are, walking is not really an option.
In my case, I wasn’t staying at the hotel, but rather “borrowing” my friends’s room for a couple of hours before my departure back to Japan. And, to get to the hotel, we had a rental car that we could park at the property for free.
The Grand West Sands Resort & Villas Phuket featured an open-air lobby with some seating, as well as the reception. While checking-in, we were offered some grape juice as a welcome drink.
Separately, there was also a bar that we visited later in the day for a glass of Thai ice tea, and there was also a water park on the hotel’s premises that could be accessed for an extra fee.
After asking for a room with airport view, we were assigned room 6716 in building number 6 to which we were then taken by a buggy. And, as you will see later, if you are a plane spotter, I can only recommend this room and other similarly facing rooms in that building.
As for the room itself, it was fairly simple.
It included two single beds, a small “kitchen corner” without any appliances except for a hot pot, and a fairly large bathroom well stocked with amenities.
One thing that I personally find important in a hotel room yet was missing from this one was a working desk. But then again, it was a resort hotel, so it was understandable.
Plane Spotting from the Hotel
The best part of the room was, at least for aviation enthusiasts, a fairly spacey balcony that offered excellent views of Phuket airport’s terminal. And, while during our visit, it was backlit, it still provided for some great night photo opportunities.
During summer months, however, the light should be behind your back. And, so, if you are lucky and it’s sunny with runway 27 in use, you should be able to get photos such as the one below (taken at 160 mm APS-C) without it being backlit.
If you prefer to just read off registrations, then this place is perfect all year round as you can get all the traffic easily.
Grand West Sands Resort & Villas Phuket Summary
While I did not stay at the hotel (only visited it for several hours), it seemed like a decent place to stay at if you are looking to combine vacation with some plane spotting. If that’s your goal, then make sure to ask for one of the rooms facing airport when making a booking.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a quiet place, then you might prefer a hotel away from the airport since the rooms are not sound proofed well and so you might get annoyed by the sounds of aircraft taking off and landing.
Especially now that there are tens of flights arriving and departing in the middle of the night as well!