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Advice on where to stay in Phuket

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Sep 21st, 2009, 09:16 AM
  #1
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Advice on where to stay in Phuket

Hi, we are planning a trip to Thailand in December. We've been to Bangkok several times, but this time we also want to go to Phuket. Could you suggest where we should stay? It looks like there are several beach areas like Bang Tao, Surin, etc. Which area do you feel is the best? We would like a beautiful hotel with a private beach (if possible) and a decent range of water sports offered. We're just looking to kick back and soak up some sun.

Also - I have seen accomodation options for beach front villas and apartments. Are those recommended? We are 4 adults (all family), so we wouldn't mind taking a 2-bedroom villa or apartment as long as it was (a) on the beach and (b) part of a complex that had all the hotel-like facilities such as restaurants, gym, water sports, etc.

Thanks in advance!
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Sep 21st, 2009, 09:45 AM
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There's no such thing as a private beach in Thailand but some hotels, the exclusive ones, do have beaches that no one else go to. What type of price range are you looking for? December is THE expensive month for Phuket.
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Sep 21st, 2009, 09:57 AM
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the price range is the important thing....the meridien in phuket is very lovely with tons of private (almost private) beach area and water sports...its not that far from town with tons of restaurants, bars, shopping, etc...

karon beach area and some of the others are really nice as well...

many hotels are across the road from the beach...

hua hin is a very nice beach area too and you can motor there from bkk or the airport....i love the hyatt there and it would have all you want....

samui is also nice..
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Sep 21st, 2009, 11:42 AM
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We were thinking about $300 per night per room, or $600 per night for a 2 bedroom suite or villa. It seems like Phuket is much more expensive than Bangkok. We are getting quotes of $175 per night for a junior suite at the Dusit Thani or $225 per night for a suite at the Lebua State Towers. Is $300 per night do-able?
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Sep 21st, 2009, 11:44 AM
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I should have clarified - those quotes were for the Bangkok hotels.

I checked the Dusit in Phuket and was startled to find it was saying "rooms not available" during the dates we wanted. Unless that is a particularly popular hotel, I can only assume they have blocked the rooms for now and may release them later.
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Sep 21st, 2009, 12:10 PM
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You will find that Phuket is already pretty well booked up, as December and January are very popular months for visiting there.

Look at the Kata Thani on Kata Noi beach. It is mostly a private beach, and the resort is very nice. You would want to taxi to other restaurants and activities.

My only advice is to avoid Patong Beach. It is filled with touts and has an atmosphere of the sleazier side of Phuket IMO.

Re: Bangkok I would not want a hotel that isn't handy to the skytrain or subway (you've been to BKK so you know about traffic snarls). You list LeBua as a possibility... for me, it's too far off the beaten path. I do not know the location of the Dusit.

Take a look at hotels along Sukhumvit Road. What about a serviced apartment? With your nightly rate, you might get a 2-bedroom apartment at a place such as the Emporium. There are many apartment hotel choices in Bangkok. I prefer them over hotel rooms, as they have more space, and you have separate livingroom (usually) and bedroom/s, unless you go for a studio.

Carol
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Sep 21st, 2009, 12:58 PM
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Thanks Carol. We will look at the Kata Thani. And we will avoid Patong Beach. I had also been told that Bang Tao Beach is nice. What about Surin Beach?

Yeah, in Bangkok, we have a lot of choices but do not want to stay on Sukhumvit Road. We stayed once at the Sukhothai and while the hotel is beautiful, it just felt like too much of a business area. We usually like to stay Riverside (have stayed at the Shangrila and Marriott in the past). For us, we usually like to have a car and driver while we are there, so we don't have to cope with cab hassles, etc. We were thinking of the Dusit as it overlooks Lumpini Park which I am told is very pretty and is quite centrally located but away from the business-ish areas (if I'm wrong, the Bangkok experts can correct me). The Emporium Suites is maybe a good option too.
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Sep 21st, 2009, 06:39 PM
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last year at xmas we stayed at the chedi. it is a secluded beach, just above surin beach. the chedi beach is stunning and no one is there except its guests. the hotel is beautiful, and please pay the extra to be near the beach, not at the back with tons of stairs. surin beach itself is to be avoided, except at night when it is a wonderful place to find a beach front restaurants to eat. there are several expensive restaurants at the chedi. I think we booked thru agoda- breakfast was included and was amazing. for lunch there is a small private restaurant on the beach not affiliated with the hotel- more than adequate. we did not eat dinner at the hotel, but took the shuttle or cab into surin (less thank 5 minutes, but around the bay away so chedi quite isolated and private) I think it was paradise, and quiet and restful even at busy christmas time!
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Sep 21st, 2009, 07:12 PM
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The Dusit in Bangkok is an excellent location, with both the subway and skytrain right outside your door.

Bang Tao beach means the Laguna integrated resort - I think it's now 8 affiliated hotels: Dusit, Banyan Tree, Sheraton, Alamanda, etc. Dusit has one of the best spots, right on the beach, and with its popularity among hi-so Thais as well as international guests, I wouldn't be surprised if it really were fully booked already for December. Laguna has all the benefits of an integrated resort - you can shop and eat at any of the properties and charge stuff to your room, but you also have the drawback of being somewhat isolated from the 'real' Thailand within a tourist enclave (Laguna is the closest thing in Thailand to Bali's Nusa Dua, I think).

You might also consider the 'new' area of Mai Kao, where the JW Marriott and Anantara are located. The Anantara is quite nice, but it may be out of your price target.
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Sep 21st, 2009, 07:26 PM
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how about the peninsula or the shangri-la,,, the latter being a very good option...

the conrad is near to the park also as is the centre point wireless...

i don't think dusit overlooks the park....well i guess it does from across the very busy rama IV....

the hyatt might work too or the four seasons...

the kata thani is well located in phuket and is one of those near to a small shopping area away from patong, as is villa royale...
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Sep 21st, 2009, 08:32 PM
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The Dusit does overlook the park but not all rooms have park view. If you choose the Dusit make sure you request one. It's also situated at a major intersection at the beginning of Silom road, a business zone, but it does have the underground and BTS right outside it's door.

The Four Seasons overlooking the grounds of the Royal bangkok Sport Club or the new Centara at Central World would be good choices too IMO.

For Phuket in December a two bedroom suite or villa will run around $1,000 or more a night in a 5 stars hotel.
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Sep 21st, 2009, 08:51 PM
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Avoid Phuket. I thought it was a dump and too touristy. Go to Samui or Krabi instead. Take a boat out to Koh Phi Phi too.
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Sep 21st, 2009, 11:40 PM
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As a Laguna Homes resident, would hardly describe the whole of Phuket as a dump (itself an ugly choice of word ) !

There are some very nice parts as well as not so nice--and as to Laguna not being Thailand, soon as you leave the complex--the chickens are right there--the village of Cherngtalay is still very Thai.

Lagua hotels are all 5 str--there are many many rental options from small 2 bed villas nr Laguna for $60 thru ones costing $1000 plus a night .

Should you need any more info happy to [email protected]
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Sep 22nd, 2009, 03:47 AM
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I just got back from a holiday in Phuket and it was awesome. A little negotiation via email with the hotel and we ended up with a room with an amazing view of Kata beach for an incredibly reasonable price. Kata town is fairly small so easy to walk around but the beach is long and beautiful. Everyone in Kata was so friendly and happy to see us as the tourism industry is still slowly recovering (something that makes the prices much cheaper!)
Anyway, if cheap isn’t good enough the Thai tourism bureau is even giving away free trips to Phuket as part of a publicity campaign to promote tourism there. It’s something like the amazing race or survivor style adventure travel thing called The Ultimate Thailand Explorers. Or just go to Kata anyway because the prices are great, the people are nice and they make great seafood!!! (try the glass noodle crab at the seafood restaurant next to the Ska Bar at the end of Kata.)
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Sep 22nd, 2009, 05:16 AM
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GerogeReiner,

For the off-season yes you can get good discounted prices but the OP wants to go in December - the highest of the high season month.

I hope that the OP can get special prices in December but from my experience the closer you are to the Christmas – new year period the more unlikely.
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Sep 22nd, 2009, 07:56 AM
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Ok, maybe labeling it as a dump is bit harsh, but I left with the feeling that it will probably be my last time there, especially with the better alternatives available.
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Sep 22nd, 2009, 11:05 AM
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patong is generally a littly dumpy, i would agree....the rest of the island is ok....well maybe phuket town is a bit dumpy too..
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Sep 22nd, 2009, 03:47 PM
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OK, a follow up question. Given that Phuket town is not so great, it sounds like it's just the beach area that is nice. I was thinking that maybe we should consider going to Pattaya instead? It's closer to Bangkok (3 hours drive I think) and it's supposed to have nice beaches. And I did a quick check showing that hotels are available for the dates we want (just 2-3 days but it's during the Christmas-New Year week). The town I've heard is nothing much, but I guess that may apply to Phuket as well. What do you guys think? Is there a compelling reason to go to Phuket? We are just looking for a nice beach resort to kick back and relax with the family.
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Sep 22nd, 2009, 04:35 PM
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the beach there is so so....horrible in phuket itself but better over the hill in jontiem...

pattaya town is far worse than anything you might find at phuket, imo...

what about samui or koh chang, or khoa lak or even better krabi
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Sep 22nd, 2009, 04:45 PM
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Pattaya, fyi, is the anal cavity of Thailand. Stay away unless you've exhausted every other destination or unless you're a sex tourist.
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