Phuket accommodations and activities

Jul 21st, 2013, 12:47 PM
  #1  
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Phuket accommodations and activities

We are planning our first trip to Thailand next April: a couple of days in Bangkok, 3 days in Chiangmai and 7 days in Phuket. I have the fist part of the trip already booked and now I am looking at Phuket. I understand the city itself is touristy and overcrowded, so we would like to pick a more secluded spot with a nice swimming beach, an authentic looking decor and not more than 1-2 floors. Indio Pearl hotel looks very nice and seems tucked away but it's also a little pricey. Le Meridien has a good price but they are multiple-floor buildings that seem too overwhelming to be peaceful (perhaps just my impression). What are your thoughts of these two and Is there anything else that you can recommend? Khao Lak may be an alternative, but is it too remote?

Also, while in Phuket, we would like to go and tour the surrounding islands. We are not divers or too active in general, but snorkeling would be great. Based on some previous treads, a privately hired boat seems to be the best for Ko Phi Phi tour, right? And, we would like to have an elephant experience but I do not want to contribute to any operations that are not perfectly humane. Should we stay a day longer in Chiangmai and see/interact with the elephants there? Or is there a nice establishment in Phuket?

Please let me know what your thoughts are. Many thanks!
Ann7544 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2013, 01:23 PM
  #2  
 
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If you are interested in elephants do it in Chiang Mai at the Elephant Nature Park or the Thai Elephant Conservation Center. There are no humane places to recommend in Phuket.

There is an enormous variety of accommodations on Phuket and the surrounding areas like Krabi and Khao Lak or Koh Lanta. All of these places have well-developed tourist infrastructure. You might want to take a look at a local booking site like www.sawasdee.com or look on agoda.com for hotels. That will give you an idea of the range available.

You should be able to get a good price as you are not traveling during high season.
Kathie is offline  
Jul 21st, 2013, 03:17 PM
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I would pick khao lak (jw Marriott or le meridian) and krabi (Sheraton) over Phuket.

I have stayed at le meridian and it is a hi-rise in Phuket, but not in K/L. the Phuket one has a nice private beach and busy pool area... both K/L hotels have fantastic private beaches and wonderful pools...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 21st, 2013, 08:44 PM
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Thanks so much for both replies! I am so glad that you mentioned the different treatment of elephants in two different areas and will look into tweaking our trip to accommodate an extra day in Chiang Mai.

As for the accommodations, we really like Khao Lak (Le Meridien looks lovely and I'll check out the Marriott as well), but is it too remote? Is there a town to go into if we get tired of eating at the hotel or just for a change of scenery? Are there stores near by? Could we take a day trip to Ko Phi Phi just as easily from Khao Lak?

Also, some of the reviews of the hotels in Khao Lak mention issues with mosquitos and other insects and no mention of it in areas closer to Phuket. Does it make a difference?

Thank you!!
Ann7544 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2013, 11:36 PM
  #5  
 
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I've stayed at Le Meridien. The beach at the resort was great. The hotel needs a make over. I don't know if I would choose to stay there again if I went. The beach would be the only reason I would go back. I went there on a recommendation from my travel agent after I vetoed a few places.

At Le Meridien they have a baby elephant that wanders around the resort. Whilst part of me thinks it is cruel the other half loved it when we saw him. His name was Valentine. I saw a number of elephants tethered up in inappropriate lodging by the side of roads in Phuket. It was sad. Not sure where you'd see elephants in the right environment.
MissGreen is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2013, 08:01 AM
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there is nothing cruel about the treatment of hotel elephants..!!

I prefer to rent a car while in khao lak and do so from pure car rentals at Phuket airport... easy drive north in 1+ hours. this allows easy access to K/L town as both hotels are a bit remote.

there are good restaurants in town--our fav is the candle... limited shopping but there is some. save that for bkk really.

the jw is nicer than meridian imo. get a rate including breakfast..
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2013, 05:40 PM
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Thank you all, really appreciate it!!
Ann7544 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2013, 12:10 AM
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Nothing cruel about the hotel elephants? Shouldn't they be in the forest with other elephants instead of walking around on hot cement near the pool doing tricks for guests so that mahout can get tips?
MissGreen is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2013, 05:34 AM
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Look at Mom Tri's Boathouse on Kata Beach, Phuket. This is not a hi-rise, and is definitely Thai style. Pool is/was small, and beach is good. You can walk right out the door to shopping and plenty of restaurants.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jul 24th, 2013, 09:01 PM
  #10  
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Just saw the last two postings. Many thanks to all!
Ann7544 is offline  
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