The Bell Pool Villa Resort Phuket
What We Love
- The quiet, private setting in laid-back Kamala
- Traditional Thai spa treatments on your very own peak-roofed sala
- Butlers on speed dial
- Private swimming pools big enough to do laps in
What To Know
- The Bell runs five free shuttle buses a day to the beach, which is two miles away
- Free bicycles are available for guests to putter around the village
- There’s no communal pool
- Free WiFi
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Two centuries ago, a boom in tin mining lured thousands of Chinese immigrants to Phuket’s sunny shores, and much of their history remains. The Bell Pool Villas, in laid-back Kamala, taps into this rich heritage with a Sino-chic look. There’s only one public space: the reception-cum-restaurant, which is strewn with scarlet lanterns, fierce-looking Peking Opera masks and oversize bamboo sofas and chairs. It’s at its most alluring in the evening, bathed in the glow of candles, moonlight and lamps. All of the 16 villas are enclosed within high stone walls covered in jungle greenery, and they feel exceptionally private. A subtle Chinese aesthetic carries through each one, from the expansive living spaces to the bedrooms, which feature large brass bell chandeliers and red lacquer furnishings set against putty-colored walls. The bathrooms are generously proportioned, with swaths of black marble, twin sinks, big tubs and lemongrass and mandarin amenities from swish Thai perfumery Panpuri, while the outdoor spaces have huge swimming pools, wooden decks, salas and sun loungers. The only place to mingle with other guests is at the ruby-hued Zhong lounge and restaurant, which serves Thai and pan-Asian cuisine and is open for lunch and dinner. Not that the lack of shared facilities is a problem; most of the guests prefer to stick to their villas, where breakfast can be taken in bed, barbecue lunches can be cooked by the pool, and starlit dinners can be served on the deck.
In the Area
Although it’s a resort town, Kamala is one of Phuket’s calmer corners, and it retains a laid-back village vibe. Nip down to the beach in the morning and you can still see fisherman setting off in longtail boats in search of white snapper, sailfish and wahoo. In the evening a night market sets up on the roadside, with traders selling everything from knockoff handbags and wooden Buddhas to bags of spicy salad, soup, sauces and rice. For a flashier scene, take a taxi over the hill to Surin, where you’ll find the island’s beautiful people hanging out at glam beach clubs Catch and Bimi.
How to Get There
Wow this place was way better than we had imagined. There was 30 of us and we had 4 villas. The villas are top quality and with the private pool we couldn’t ask for more. Staff there are amazing. From the cleaners to reception staff they all accommodated to our needs. They have a free shuttle service to Kamala beach which we used everyday to go for massages and food. A very big thank you to the staff there for putting up with 30 lads and offering top quality service. Would highly recommend this hotel if staying in Phuket. You wouldn’t regret it.
The Bell is nicely secluded, yet a 5 minute shuttle away from Kamala beach. We had originally reserved a 2 bedroom. However, only after a couple days, the price dropped by about $100 per night. Expedia contacted the resort on our behalf, but the resort would not budge on a refund of the difference. We contacted the resort by email ourselves, and were able to negotiate at least an upgrade to a 3 bedroom for the same price. So not a total loss, although we had to pay extra for some additional guests. If you can, would recommend booking closer to a month before you go, as it seems prices drop dramatically.
The private villa itself is exquisite, well landscaped and meticulously decorated throughout. The private pool is extremely refreshing especially after a hot day in Phuket. So nice to wake up and jump in the pool straight from your bedroom in the mornings to start your day. Breakfast is also included in some packages, delivered and setup for you each morning by a friendly staff. Definitely living in the lap of luxury at the Bell.
There is not much within walking distance, the closest is about a 30 minute walk to a couple restaurants and shops. The shuttle will take you to Kamala beach, operates on an hourly schedule, but will charge after 5pm. However, the shuttle is not always on time, so I recommend having the resort phone number handy or have your butler on WhatsApp before you leave as well as lots of patience. It came in handy more than once to be able to communicate with our butler from outside the resort.
Some points that made the Bell just short of a full 5 star resort. Understandably some of these factors are out of the resort’s control. One is the water is not drinkable, other than the very noticeable yellow discoloration, it didn’t seem to irritate our skin, and no one got sick from swimming in the pool. However, when we asked for more bottled water, we were initially told there was a charge if you go over the limit of 2 bottles a day per guest, which we thought was way too low. We were able to buy gallons of drinking water outside the resort, but also the resort ended up giving us more water anyways. And you definitely need lots of drinking water there!
Second are the mosquitos, the villa is designed in a way that each room is not connected; therefore, you need to walk outside in order to enter another room. This introduces mosquitos into the room as well as increases your chances of getting bitten. Mosquitos are definitely in abundance in the resort, and you need to be careful. We all had our malaria treatments, so no one in our party got sick. The resort does provide mosquito repellent in the rooms, but be sure to ask which are complementary and which are for purchase, although there should be signs.
Other than some very noticeable wear and tear on the appliances, it was a very nice resort, just a bit short of a true 5 star resort. Nevertheless, everyone had a safe fun time, and we enjoyed the friendly staff.
Bell pool villas are close to Kamala Beach. The villas are beautiful and provide a great space for families or groups. Stunning private pools.
The only thing that let the place down a little was the cleanliness of the villa kitchen. It needed a more thorough clean and had residues left on the cupboards from previous guests.
I would return again with a group.
Stayed for 3 nights - fantastic pool and breakfast. Bella our butler was reachable via WhatsApp and helped plan our transport/trip. The master room and bathroom were huge. But the side room was tiny - the living room was larger than our room...The pool was just right for the 4 of us. The Resort has a selection of many in-house activities that we didn't want to leave the villa. The resort is a 200thb tuk tuk ride (10min) from Kamala Beach and approx. 1100thb (50mins) from airport.
Good size villa , but other than the master bedroom the other room is pretty small not good for two people. The villa was not cleaned very well while we were there. House keeping needs to be improved.
Breakfast and reception were good.