Phuket Hotel Advice

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by Traveling Momma, Aug 23, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    Hi all -

    I'm in the final phases of planning our trip to Thailand. I just need a little more input on hotel suggestions in Phuket. We'll be arriving from BKK on 3/24 and staying through the night of 3/28th (5 nights).

    I am Gold with Hilton, Platinum with Accor and have no status with Marriott or Starwood.

    Here's some of the input I've culled from friendly MPs and FTer's. Let me know your suggestions and why for a family of 3 who want luxury, great location and good food.

    Phuket Hotels
    1. The Hilton in Karon Beach is a GREAT hotel. Gold includes breakfast and usually a category upgrade.
    2. Le Meridien, between Karon and Patong, is BUSY, but a great looking hotel with its own private beach. Restaurants nestled between the huge pool on both sides. The decor/design of the resort are great. The staff are great, beach is lovely. Nestled between Karon and Patong Beaches, some find it difficult to get in and out. Quiet but not far from everything. Platinums get nicer rooms (rooms being the weaker link) and breakfast.
    3. Renaissance Phuket - I wasn't able to find much on this property. Can anyone comment on this one?
    4. Westin Siray bay - Terraced and a bit disconnected from the beach
    What about these properties? Anyone have any comments to share on these?
    • Boathouse On Kata Beach
    • The Royal Phuket yachet Club
    • Banyan Tree\
    • Amanpuri
     
  2. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    This will not fit your description of what you are looking for in a hotel but hoping someone else can use the info.

    We stayed at the JW Marriot Phuket shortly after it was built. One could walk for miles on the beach & not see a single other soul (for some reason, all visitors to the property were pool hounds, almost no one took a LONG walk on the beach).

    I hate being tied to eating at a resort, thankfully there was a tiny shack of a place off to the north end of the resort, right off the property, great food. There were also a couple other restaurants that were cheap to get to via cab/resort shuttle.

    The only downside is that if one has an interest in visiting the towns on Phuket, the resort is quite removed.
     
  3. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    Same experience as Sweet Willie... which I think is similar for many of the resorts that are far removed from the Phuket town area. However, from what I saw in Phuket town, although limited, I didn't think we were missing all that much. My experience of Phuket was to go to enjoy the resort and relaxation... save the city and excitement for Bangkok or other parts of Thailand.
     
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  4. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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  5. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    +1
     
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  6. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    True there isn't much at Phuket Town other than - maybe - the Chinese-Portuguese architecture as Phuket Town is an interior city within the island and it is its administrative center. Not too many Westerners stay at Phuket Town. Phuket is a huge island with many locals including: the isolated Mai Khao beach north of the airport (HKT), Karon, Kata, Kamala, Patong, Surin, Panwa, Rawaii, etc. Most popular beaches are located on its western and southern shores with the main port for ferries to Ko Phi Phi Islands, Ko Lanta, Krabi, and beyond is at its eastern coast at Rassada Pier.

    This is again a question of what would you like to do in Phuket: sit by the pool and vegetate all day, party and excitement, or a little bit of both?

    As in the case with Khao Lak' hotels, the Renaissance is located at the isolated (others might call it secluded) Mai Kao Beach north of the airport, while the Hilton and Le Meridien have good locations. My preference is a nice property at the southern edge of Patong where you'd have the best of both world. The Holiday Inn Patong Beach would be a great choice. If the Holiday Inn's rates are too steep, you might want to try the Burasari Resort just across the street.

    We stayed at the Burasari Resort for four nights in November 2007 (high season) and paid about $155/night all in (net) through ratestogo.com. Rates are much lower nowadays though. It is a very nice boutique-style hotel rather than a resort. This place is very popular with Europeans and Australians. Our room was a comfortable premier-type (around 400 sq ft) with king size bed, shower/bathtub in bathroom, and a flat screen TV. The property has a great location just across the street from the beach and close by the main party street (Bangla Rd.). Beach basket is provided in the room complete with towels and beach blanket … all you need to provide is your own sunscreen. The hotel has its own section of the public beach complete with beach chairs, umbrellas and full service bar. Nice pool and reception areas. Complimentary mini bar replenished daily with goodies including beer, soda, chocolates, etc. Full breakfast was included in the room rate and the food quality was excellent. Indian-influenced British restaurant on premises with its menu by a famous TV chef at that time. This is a beautiful place and we had mostly a positive experience there.

    For more information, Phuket thread is here: http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/phuket-share-your-photos-of-jewel-of-the-andaman.2823/

    Koh Phi Phi thread: http://milepoint.com/forums/threads...are-your-photos-of-the-paradise-islands.2819/

    [​IMG]
    Mrs. Kalboz paragliding above Patong Beach.
    [​IMG]
    Burasari Resort
    [​IMG]
    Sunset at Kata Beach
    [​IMG]
    Phuket Town
    [​IMG]
    Patong

    More photos here: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Phuket&w=17726320@N03
     
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  7. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    All great suggestions guys. Thank you. We ended up booking Le Meridian Phuket. I was able to book the entire stay on points. Since the 5th night is free I "paid" 32,000 points for a room that would cost me approx $250 USD/night. That's a pretty good redemption. I have no status with Starwood so will likely get an average room but I'm not really there to stay in the room much.

    Your input was very valuable.
     
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  8. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    Great report via the link. This is exactly what we like. However, this time were traveling with our 5 year old so being in a busier environment will keep him engaged and the rest of us happier. We opted for Le Meriden this time.
     
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  9. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    It is best to pre-book your airport-hotel transportation ahead of arrival. We have had meter-taxi on several occasions and even when we tell the driver to go straight to the hotel, they stop in the middle on nowhere and people from a building come out trying to sell us tours or rebook us at a different hotel. Not trying to alarm you here, but I have read reports that some travelers were roughed up when vocally protested this "detention". For a traveling family, it is best to arrange transportation with your hotel prior to your arrival and avoid dealings with this airport taxi mafia.
     
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  10. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    We changed our itinerary based on feedback from a Flyer Talk member we met at the bbque DO last week arranged BT @sweetwillie. Here is the final trip!


    Tentative ITINERARY

    Arrive late the 20 staying at JW Marriott (3 nights – 20, 21, 22) - on points

    Bangkok 21st, 22nd afternoon of 23rd fly to Chiang Mai
    • 21 – ½ day city tour with Tong
    • 22 (Saturday) - Chatuchak Weekend Market Take the BTS to Mo Chit station
    • 23 – more touring on our own – river ride, fly to Chiang Mai in the afternoon

    Must see: Grand Palace, Vinmanmek Mansion (same entry ticket but you'll need to take a cab from one to the other), Wat Arun (morning) and probably Jim Thompson's house -- all those in one day is possible [or split 21/23].


    http://www.bangkok.com/most-popular-historical.htm

    Chiang Mai 23, 24, 25 at Le Meridien on points
    • 23 - settle in at hotel and do Night Bazaar and dinner out that evening
    • 24 - temple visits IE: Doi Suthep/Wat Phrathat: This steep hike up 309 stairs, (or tram ride for a tiny fee) will bring you to the peak of Doi Suthep. From here you can take in breathtaking views of Chiang Mai’s countryside. While up here your visit is not complete without exploring Wat Phrathat. Night Safari in evening
    • 25 - Chiang Dao Elephant Training Center After breakfast, head out on an excursion to visit an elephant working site located at Ta Yaak Village, Chiang Dao District, approximately 70 km from Chiang Mai. On the way, you can observe the way of living of people who live in the outskirt of Chiang Mai area and pass by Mae Rim, Mae Taeng and many of hill tribe villages including the long-neck hill tribe. Can we fit in the San Kamphaeng District here or the hot springs or Muan On Cave?

    Must see: In and around Chiang Mai there are numerous Wats (i.e., Chedi Luang) 'inside the walls' and wall-to-wall is only 1 mile so anybody in decent shape can walk one side to another. Chiang Mai Cultural Center and Lanna Folklife Museum.
    Doi Suthep (Doi = mountain, Mountain name is Suthep) is cool and easy to get to -- I'd take the $1 tram up to Wat Pratat and hike down the stairs, Better, but many visitors don't do it, venture even further up the same road you'll find Phuping Palace, which was/is still the getaway for the royal family -- more gardenish/architecture than Wat at DST. Rented/hired a golf cart for $10 for 1-2 hrs to get around since it was hilly


    Fly Phuket morning of the 26 on points
    26, 27, 28 Phuket
    • 26 – Settle in to hotel and spend the day relaxing at the beach, have a nice dinner
    • 27 – Phang Nga Bay during the day, Phantasea for show (Do not do dinner here)
    • 28 – Rang Hill visit for lunch http://www.phuket101.net/2011/05/kao-rang-hill.html and back to the hotel to chill this afternoon.

    29 Fly home leaving at 2am from Phuket airport

    did I miss anything here that the group considers a MUST?
     
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