December 2006 - Bangkok and ??

Dec 27th, 2005, 06:33 PM
  #1  
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December 2006 - Bangkok and ??

We are moving to Taiwan in a month and our families would like to visit us next Christmas. After a few days in Taipei, everyone would like to travel to Bangkok and a beach. We'd be a group of 8, possibly 10, ages 17 - 52, but if my in laws join us, our ages go up into the mid 70s.

We were in thailand years ago and loved it. stayed in Bangkok at the Royal Orchid and in Phuket at a place I don't recall.

Would love some current info from recent visitors. We don't need someplace too quiet -- the younger set will want some activities. We're not budget travelers, but not looking for top of the line, either.

If Phuket is not the right destination, where do you suggest?

Thanks for all your help.
jgmc is offline  
Dec 27th, 2005, 06:38 PM
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the amari emerald cove, written about in robmac's report just above, is fantastic on koh chang....

samui island is great...bophut beach area offers lots for all ages...i liked the peace resort with a beach front bungalow---

in any case you must reserve rooms early everywhere to avoid disappointment...

the jw marriott on phuket is wonderful...no need to ever leave and would satisfy all ages for activities---fairly expensive...

krabi is another destination
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 27th, 2005, 07:08 PM
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There are many beach ares that would meet your needs. Koh Chang, mentioned above, may be too quiet for you. Phuket is an option as is Koh Samui. You may also want to consider the Hua Hin area - lots of nice resorts. For a family group with that age range, the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin would be a great place to stay.

In Bangkok, I'd recommend that you again stay on the river. The Royal Orchid is my home away from home in Bangkok, but there are several other hotels on the river to consider. Bob (rhkkmk) always recommends the Marriott Resort and Spa which is also on the river.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 27th, 2005, 07:41 PM
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one reason in this case that i would suggest the marriott is the lovely large gardens at the marriott, where the older folks could just relax while the younger ones ran around or enjoyed the pool or tennis courts...or video games in the mall, etc.....there is also mcdonalds and burger king in the mall as well as sweansons ice cream...perfect place for an extended family....better really than the sheraton or any big hotel...
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 03:40 AM
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If there is going to be a big group of you perhaps a good place to considor would be Hua Hin as it's 2.5 hours by road, you can get a mini-van and that saves buying lots of air tickets.
It also covers the wide age group, you can elephant ride/trek, kite-surf, golf, national park trips, and for those who want some culture the Old Palace, temples around Phetchaburi and Takiab, historic buildings, plus you have the beach. Lots of restaurants, bars, and several shows these days, Hua hin Thai show and Sasi for Thai dance.
Some good mid range resorts are the Marriott resort, the Wora Bura resort, even the Hyatt isn't bad around USD 120, though more than the Marriott, also lots well under that in the $50 region.
JamesA is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 06:37 AM
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i would second what james has suggested...hyatt would be especially nice in HH....they might give you a good rate for so many rooms...
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 06:55 PM
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The Meridian in Phuket was terrific. They arranged a private guide for us to go snorkeling. We felt very comfortable there.
moldyhotelsaregross is offline  
Dec 29th, 2005, 06:12 AM
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Thanks -- Hua Hin sounds like a great idea. The photos of the Marriott look lovely. I remember the Meridien in Phuket : beautiful. Will start my research!
jgmc is offline  
Dec 29th, 2005, 07:10 PM
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Do tell us more on the budget side because you can also find serviced condo's etc which are good value for a large group if you are happy to go for that sort of place, the Hyatt is great and I 'guess' if you book all those rooms under the one name you could pick up a lot of Hyatt points/mileage!, same goes for Marriott.
JamesA is offline  
Dec 29th, 2005, 07:39 PM
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When we toured the Royal Barge Museum in Bangkok this December the tour guide said that for the King's birthday next year (Dec. 5) in honor of the anniversary of his reign, they will have a royal barge procession down the river--held very rarely now, last one was about 5+ years ago. I would have thought this would have been done on the actual anniversary when he was crowned so check with the tourist administration to confirm if this will happen in December. Might be worth seeing--depending on how much time you can take then.
smeddum is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 06:02 PM
  #11  
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I've been looking at Hua Hin hotels based on the suggestions of this forum. It looks like a perfect idea. But I seem to be finding a lot of "not available" signs up for Christmas week or right after New Year's. Am I really too late? I was thinking of going to Bangkok first for sightseeing, and then on to Hua Hin for beaches and elephants, but will I still have problems even I reverse the order?

Are some websites better than others for booking rooms?

I thought I had plenty of lead time. . .

We're looking to 1) stay someplace on the river in Bangkok (any suugestions? Don't need the Peninsula; probably TOO pricey though we're not averse to very nice) and 2) a beach someplace for 8 people, ages 17 - 53.

If you have comforting words or words of advice, I'll be very grateful.
jgmc is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 06:13 PM
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You aren't too late, you are too early for many hotels. This far in advance, most big chain hotels offer only rack rates, and non-chains as well will offer rack rates on direct inquiry. Any discounter won't have rates until summer or sometimes even later. You may be able to put in a request and get the rate later. Or you might do direct booking with the hotels, asking for this year's best rate, or you might just wait. You have plenty of time to plan and consider before you book. Plenty.

Bangkok river hotels are the Peninsula, Marriott Resort and Spa, Shangri-La, Royal Orchid Sheraton, Millenium Hilton (opening soon), Oriental...these are the biggies. There are a couple more, Menam and Montien, I think, but they don't come close to the level of the others. There is also the Ibrik resort, which if you like, you might want to book now as it's very small and you'd likely need the whole place.

KimJapan is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 06:38 PM
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I usually book through asiahotels.com If they don't have prices posted you can ask them to inquire. I'd also seriously consider calling the hotel directly ask about that many rooms. The Hyatt at Hua Hin would be my beach pick for that many people. In Bangkok, Bob's choice of the Marriott Resort and Spa on the river would be a good choice. The Ibrik is likely too small to accommoddate you, and won't have all the services a group that size would want. The Royal Orchid or teh Shangri-La would also be good picks. As Kim says, the Menam and Montien would not be up to your standards, I expect.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 07:14 PM
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Wow. Do I feel better!

I've stayed at the Royal Orchid Sheraton in Bangkok, but will look at the Marriott too. These might be a tad less than the Oriental, Pen or Shangri-La?

Again -- Thanks for the reassurance. Most appreciated.
jgmc is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 07:27 PM
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Both the Royal Orchid and the Marriott will be less than the Oriental, Pen and Shangri-La.

Good luck!
Kathie is offline  
Jan 15th, 2006, 12:10 AM
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Most places won't have their rates settled yet, mid year should be fine to book, but going on last Christmas period rates you need to appreciate rates really do shoot up, these are some ballpark ideas of Hua hin beach resorts with very rough Christmas season prices ( and in brackets the May-Oct low season prices:
The Hyatt I think is great, but there are lots of others

Hyatt Regency Resort around 240 ( 115 )
Hilton Resort 180 ( 89 )
Marriott resort 150 ( 80 )
Anantara Resort 150++ ( 85 )
Wora Bura 150 ( 85 )
Sofitel 160 ( 90 )

Local sites:
www.huahinwhatson.com/hua_hin_hotels.html
www.huahin.20m.com
www.beachsiam.com/hua_hin_hotels.html

There are lots of smaller resort and boutique beach resorts, also serviced apartments, boutique B&Bs etc
The new Sheraton Hua Hin is due to open in August so that will be interesting.
JamesA is offline  
Jan 15th, 2006, 12:18 AM
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On the elephants in Hua hin you have several choices, the Elephant ride/trek in the hills above Hua Hin, the Elephants down at Khao Takiab Bay and also there is a day trip to spend a day working with the elephants, helping to feed, wash them and get a ride, that one might appeal to the younger ones in the group. You can also do the national Park for the way which has coast, caves, temples and wetlands ( birdwatching etc ) and with a group that size you can get your own mini-van and guide cheaper.
JamesA is offline  
Jan 15th, 2006, 05:49 AM
  #18  
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James and Kathie -- What are the Hyatt's advantages over the Marriott in Hua Hin?There seems to be a price difference - is it the beach? the pool? the location?

Where will the new Sheraton be located?

Thanks for your help. I'm very appreciative.
jgmc is offline  
Jan 17th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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Just moving this up, in case someone has strong opinions on the Marriott vs the Hyatt in Hua Hin.

I've emailed the Sheraton but haven't heard anything about their opening.

Very cold in NY - Thailand is sounding good!
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Jan 17th, 2006, 08:59 AM
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The Hyatt has absolutely gorgeous grounds. There are several pools, including one with a big water slide. The beach there is also very nice, wide and sandy.

The Marriott is right in town (which is an advantage or disadvantage, depending on your point of view). Even our resident Marriot person on the board admits that the rooms at the Marriot are rather dark and unattractive. If you spend no time in your room, that probably doesn't matter.

The Hyatt is a much newer hotel than the Marriott.
Kathie is offline  

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