I’ve posted a number of glowing reviews about the fabulous Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort (HRPR). In the interests of full disclosure, on my second stay, the important feature of the hotel that I’d been looking forward to trying — the Regency Club — turned out to be very disappointing.

Disappointment is a function of expectations. Based on other experiences at this hotel and a few other Hyatt Regency hotels in Asia, my expectations for the Regency Club at HRPR were sky high.

Hyatt Regency Clubs

“Regency Club” is Hyatt’s brand name for executive/club lounges at Hyatt Regency hotels. Access is limited to certain members of the World of Hyatt program and guests staying rooms that include club access in the room rate. Food service at most Regency Clubs includes a limited breakfast buffet, evening snacks, mini entrées, salads, hors d’oeuvres, desserts and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and sometimes a nightcap service. All food and drinks are free except many Regency Clubs in the U.S. charge for alcoholic beverages.

Regency Clubs also offer private check in and check out, concierge services, office services, and lounge and meeting space.

I first stayed at HRPR in 2021 when Thailand began accepting tourists under extensive Covid restrictions. HRPR used the time when tourists weren’t around to renovate rooms and facilities. The Regency Club was closed for remodeling in 2021.

But HRPR provided a very acceptable substitute. Staff served a selection of hors d’oeuvres and drinks in the One80° pool bar overlooking the large infinity pool and Andaman Sea.

Hyatt Regency Phuket Regency Club

All of the foregoing, along with every other aspect of my experience at HRPR, set a high bar for the remodeled Regency Club when I returned in 2022

The Regency Club was located at the very top of the property. No problem. I decided to walk it and figured the club would be more than worth the climb up the steep switchbacks that led to the summit of the hill on which the hotel was perched.

Approaching the lounge, I was impressed by the floor-to-ceiling windows that promised sweeping views. So far, so good. Unfortunately, as it turned out, views were the best feature of this Regency Club.

Furnishings consisted of dinning tables and chairs and a few couches. Clutter from previous guests made it harder to find a table. Beverages were available at a small bar. Many of the guests were children. The atmosphere was not conducive to relaxing or working.

The open kitchen concept was nice except it seemed that there was little, if any, food preparation taking place. The buffet in front was empty.

I missed the greeter at the entrance and seated myself. It wasn’t clear how things worked. A waitress came over after a bit to take my order. They had beer and wine but no liquor, as I recall. There was no menu but she mentioned shrimp cocktail and some kind of canapé, which sounded good. I was shocked when the food was delivered.

They should be embarrassed. A single tiny shrimp with a razor-thin slice of lemon served in something smaller than a shot glass is a shrimp cocktail??? I thought about trying an Oliver Twist imitation and pleading for “more”. Staff, however, seemed to have no interest in accommodating additional requests.

Even though the view was great, that was my only visit to the Regency Club at HRPR. The previous experience in the temporary club at One80° pool bar was far more enjoyable than the experience in the official remodeled Regency Club.

Final Thoughts

The Regency Club at the Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort was a big letdown. From the general manger’s reply to my comments in the post-stay survey, it seemed likely that there would be improvements. Also I was comparing the Regency Club at this resort to others at hotels in large metropolitan areas. This resort, while still quite luxurious by my standards, had a more informal, family-friendly vibe.

As a retired solo traveler of middleclass means, informality is something I appreciate. HRPR wasn’t a bit awkward as was the stay at the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives (a.k.a. Honeymoon City) and my wardrobe fit in better than it did at the Ritz Carlton Tokyo.

Thanks for reading. What hotel experiences have you had that fell far below your expectations?