As part of my 2014 annual Year-End Asian Escapade(tm), I plan to redeem HHonors points for a 5-night stay at one of two Hilton properties on Phuket Island: DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Phuket - Surin Beach: Located by the white sands & crystal waters of Surin Beach, 5min walk from the Catch Beach Club dining and nightlife. 25 minutes from Phuket airport. Rate: 16K HHonors points/night. Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa: Located on Karon Beach, this 75-acre resort has 3 outdoor pools, Thai spa, fitness centre and kids' club. Rate: 32K HHonors points/night. Both properties clearly have very affordable standard rooms available for redeeming during the time that I plan to be there, which will straddle New Year day. However, I have no idea which of the two is considered to have the better location. The Hilton Phuket Arcadia is about 45 min from the airport (HKT), whereas the DT Resort is much closer to HKT (25 min). That is one slight advantage for the DT. Looking at the pictures of the two associated beaches, Surin and Karon, the latter seems more lively, and since I plan to be there over the New Year's eve festivities, I'd rather have lively than beautiful or pristine. I would therefore appreciate any insights or recommendations that folks who have been to Phuket can offer, not necessarily about the two HHonors properties, but about the two beaches on which the properties are located. BTW, do not let the very low redemption rates for standard rooms at these properties fool you. There is availability for 10 different types of premium rooms at Hilton Phuket (the DT is out of rooms except for just 1, uno!), but the rates start at around 217K HHonors points/night and go up from there. This means that it is very important to book early. Once the standard rooms are gone, a property is free to set any rate they choose for their premium rooms to ensure they will be available (read: affordable) for booking only to paying customers. Book early because the rates in the redemption charts are for standard rooms only. The premium room rates are the ones that shock everyone; heck, they even make the top standard room rate of 95K/night seem very affordable! Thank you in advance for any insights on Surin Beach vs. Karon Beach that you can provide.