This Summer my family and I took ourselves to Phuket in Thailand for a 15 day break from the Desert that is Dubai. The far-east has always been on or to-do list and Phuket seemed like a great choice as it’s a 6.5 hour direct flight from Dubai.
We took a chance and went in July/August which is low/monsoon season, but thankfully we only witnessed rain a handful of times which didn’t last too long.
We chose to split our stay up into three resorts: Patong, Kata and Nai Yang beach all of which are within less than an hour of each other.
P A T O N G
We stayed in Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach
This hotel is in the tranquil location of Tri Trang which is 5 minutes drive from Patong. The staff were friendly, helpful and wonderfully welcoming after the flight and transfer. The rooms were on the basic side but catered for us as a family perfectly well. It had great amenities including great restaurants, a kids club full of activities, pools and private access to a stunning secluded beach. Both ends of the beach had family ran Thai massage shacks, which are, let’s say, on the rustic side but for 300 Baht the equivalent of £6, I got a full hour-long Thai massage that left me feeling invigorated as though I’d been in an intense yoga work out. However, if rustic isnt your bag then the hotel offers massage in the spa for around 1000 Baht.
From our hotel we could head into the centre of Patong for around 200 Baht in a taxi. Patong has some lovely elements to it including the beach and the views as you drive around, but it isn’t for the faint of heart. This place is famous for wild goings on involving ping-pong balls and a party atmosphere, luckily anything explicit is behind closed doors, but while we were in Patong we were very aware of its presence particularly in the evening.
We took a walk down the central strip around 8pm and saw scantily clad go-go dancers on tables, the music blaring out from the bars was ear muffling. For us it was an interesting albeit eye-opening bit of entertainment, but thankfully Thai people are considerate of children as any evidence of the somewhat explicit ping-pong signage would be swiftly moved out of sight from young eyes. Our kids didn’t really bat an eyelid, they were mostly interested in other goings on around them. Lola set her sights on the street vendors selling fidget spinners and of course that was that…
Central Patong seemed more suited to those looking for a boozy night out and perhaps something, if I dare say, a little more exotic? However there were plenty of families with young kids in Patong and like us, they tended to stay in the lesser of the busy tourist areas for most of the time.
I R E C O M M E N D Blue Mango Restaurant, which is right next door to the Marriot hotel in the Twin Sands resort. It has delicious food with a mixture of Thai/italian on the menu and views over Tri Trang bay.
K A T A
We stayed in The View Phuket apartments.
These luxurious apartments are situated up a very high hill right in between Karon and Kata. As you’ve guessed from the name, the apartments bestow stunning panoramic views. As well as being beautifully furnished, the apartment was fully serviced, which for me worked best with the kids as I could cook meals for a fussy baby who’s not too keen on baby jars and pouches. We had two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and a pool/Jacuzzi on the balcony which gave it a luxurious feel alongside those stunning views.
The only thing I could possibly complain about is the road leading up the complex. It was on a very steep gradient, so steep infact that we completely avoided trying to push the pram up it. We had to get taxi’s or call the hotels own shuttle service to take us up and down the hill. Thankfully we never had to wait too long but travelling up and down that incline was nail-biting stuff at times depending on how well the transport could handle it.
The resort of Kata is somewhat sleepy and reserved in comparison to Patong. Some of the bars and places to eat along the streets were closed mid day which meant a lot less hustle and bustle, when we headed towards the beach there were more bars and restaurants which were open all day. We explored the area a little and found some interesting places that seemed hidden from the main street.
Kata really seemed to come alive in the evening with plenty of bars and restaurants which are more on the family orientated side.
I R E C O M M E N D Kata Rocks restaurant, for great food and breathtaking ocieanic views.
K A R O N
We headed to Karon beach one morning which is about a 25 minute walk from Kata beach. Karon has a similar sleepy vibe to Kata.
N A I Y A N G B E A C H
We stayed at The Slate hotel.
Out of the three hotels this has to be my favourite. The appearance of The Slate is based on the tin mines which used to operate Phuket. It’s full of eye-engaging details that have an industrial aesthetic, this against the rain forest surroundings makes the whole place look striking.
Attention to detail seemed to run through the whole complex including our room, my favourite part had to be the outdoor bathtub.
I absolutely loved the restaurant, Black Ginger, which offers a delicious Thai menu. As we walked up to it we were welcomed by a traditional looking alley way. We then had to take a raft across a lake to reach the restaurant.
We could access the beautiful Nai Yang beach at the end of the hotels grounds, here there were mini supermarkets market stalls, restaurants, bars and of course Thai massage huts.
I R E C O M M E N D Grabbing yourself an ice cream from the mini supermarket and take a lovely peaceful walk along Nai Yang beach at sunset…
Please keep a look out for the next post in the Adventure Diaries, and check out my favourite places to visit in Phuket…