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Phuket Hotels with quiet beach

Old Oct 14th, 2006, 05:17 PM
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Phuket Hotels with quiet beach

We (mum + dad + 1-year old)are planning to go to Phuket or Hua Hin but are not sure which hotel suits us best. We are trying to find a really good resort hotel close to the beach but want the hotel to be a bit secluded away from the crowd. We have come across some names but really have no ideas which one is the best:

Amanpuri (Phuket)
Banyan Tree (Phutket)
Bundarika (Phuet)
Evason (Hua Hin)
Sofitel (Hua Hin)


Alternatively, we are thinking of going to Chiang Mai - but as far as we know, there is certainly no beach in Chiang Mai but the hotels like 4 seasons and mandarin there are quite ok.
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Old Oct 14th, 2006, 06:26 PM
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One thing that I have noticed about your choices is that, with the exception of Sofitel Hua Hin and maybe the Banyan Tree, they are all very couple oriented hotels.

Now that you are traveling as a family and not a couple, you need to consider things like the appropriateness of a place for kids. Kids may be welcome, but you may not feel that having a private plunge pool or the sea right outside of your villa is safe...it only takes a second for a toddler to fall in. There is also the other guests...while you find your child charming, I'm not sure other guests who are paying a high price for an aesthically pleasing hotel with a peaceful and sophisticated atmosphere would be particularly charmed by a presense of a baby...consider yourself before your child was born...I remember you went to Bali for a pre-baby getaway. How would you have felt had your pre-baby romantic, private getaway in a stunning hotel turned out to have a baby in the next room...even the most laid back kids cry and complain...see where I am going?

For example, when our daughter was 3 years old, we stayed in a very nice place in Koh Samui that was absolutely family oriented and special. One second I saw talking to our daughter and watching her play with some other kids, I turned around for maybe a minute to order a drink, and next thing I knew, Teaghan and her friend Sophie were nowhere to be seen...it took no time at all for them to just disappear. The other mother and I quickly checked the beach and pool, both right next to the play area and restaurant...no girls, and we hoped they hadn't wandered INTO the sea. The staff was soon looking for them, and had radioed to the parking area and spa security booth, and he hadn't seen them. Soon, a woman came out of the kitchen and said that they had wandered in there and asked if it was OK if she gave them fruit. The whole "event" took less than 5 minutes, but felt like an eternity. Moral of the story...kids can and do wander off, even when you think they are playing and even when you are watching and take your eyes off for a minute. We were lucky in that at that particular hotel, the staff and other guests were very friendly and it was very homelike, so that the kids were looked out for, and the kitchen staff knew to find us to let us know the kids were with her and to ask about feeding them.

It might be really nice to have a place where you can have a reliable babysitter so you and your husband can enjoy a dinner...you could arrange it so you eat late and the sitter just stays with your sleeping child. At age 1, our daughter quite enjoyed playing on the beach, digging in sand and watching water fill canals we made and collecting shells...you need to be very careful that little kids don't eat the sand and such from the beach - for some reason, many kids find beach sand delicious.

It's also nice to stay in a place where there are other families, and even nicer if its a small place where you can get to know the other families...kids can play together, even at age one. We've stayed at quite a few small places where we've been friendly with other families...often the kids eat together a bit earlier, then go off to play with a sitter or watch a DVD and the adults can enjoy the company of each other...it's quite nice, and it is very easy to meet other families. Before having a child, we did not meet other couples with such ease...it's a bonus of traveling with a child I think.

Maybe start to look from the viewpoint of what would be enjoyable for your child...what kind of experience you want for your child, and the rest will fall into place.

About Chiang Mai...I had asked on the luxury hotel board on flyertalk.com about the Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental, as they both advertise kids clubs that look and sound very good. Our daughter is now 9, and I was considering them for a luxury stay. The replies I got were mixed but quite informative and useful. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=611170

A very good website for information purposes on traveling with babies in general is www.babygoes2.com I wouldn't say they are strong for booking or hotel ideas, as they are really very limited, but the general information and advice is spot on.
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Old Oct 14th, 2006, 06:45 PM
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Check out the Katathani resort on Kata Noi beach, Phuket. It is very nice. The beach is quiet but lovely. There are several nice pools on the grounds, as well as restaurants and a great breakfast buffet. There are two of the best restaurants on the island (IMO) very close by... short taxi ride to Mom Tri's Boathouse Grill or walk to Mom Tri's Kitchen (you can just walk up the beach stairs to the Kitchen).
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Old Oct 14th, 2006, 08:06 PM
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Since you picked some of the finest hotels around - Amanpuri and Banyan Tree - you might try something like:

http://5starthailand.com/best_of_the_best.htm

Kind of a review of the best hotels/resorts in Thailand.
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Old Oct 14th, 2006, 08:07 PM
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You might also take a look at Trisara - six star resort - all villas - stunning sea views.
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Old Oct 14th, 2006, 08:15 PM
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i think you need to tell us a bit more of what YOU expect from the hotel and what you desire, other than quiet away from the crowd....phuket is not usually considered away from the crowd....you might take a look at the jw marriott on phuket which is way away from the crowd and is a medium sized hotel with everything you might want without leaving the hotel...

most you have suggested are at the top expense rung....is this what you intend??

what are your beach/pool desires?
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Old Oct 14th, 2006, 11:02 PM
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Thanks for all the very good advice - I think we certainly would try to be as considerate as possible. Maybe I can elaborate a bit more on what each family member wants and you can further advise based on that:

Dad (wants to relax and get away from the hectic business life - a very nice and quiet hotel is all he wants!)
Baby (wants milk and more milk, and spends time with mum and dad)
Mum (wants baby to breath some clean air which is impossible in Hong Kong and plays with some clean sand and water)

Now, our daughter is very quiet and she typically does not pose much threat and disturbance to the surrounding - but i don't know whether people will think she is a killer to the romantic atmosephere. Dad really wants to go to Chiang Mai 4 seasons but mum is a bit worried that there isn't much for the baby - no sand and water. Of course water can still be found in the hotel pool I guess - but it is a bit different - you know what i mean.

Btw, we also want a direct flight from HK - so Krabi is out - otherwise we really like the rayavadee... we also consider revisit Koh Samui and stay in either le meridien or santiburi .... well anyway we are still planning and you help is much appreciated!!!
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Old Oct 14th, 2006, 11:30 PM
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Btw KimJapan, I suspect from your user name that you are probably from Japan. My husband and I always love to visit Japan because of its hospitality. Do you have any recommendations on beach resorts in Japan that is suitable for our family? Thanks a lot.
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Old Oct 14th, 2006, 11:38 PM
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The way you describe your daughter, as quiet and wanting milk and more miik is quite the same as our daughter was I think. I honestly don't recall her as being a crier. We've always taken her out and about with us wherever we go. I think that may have a lot to do with how kids behave in different situations...if they are accustomed to nice restaurants and hotels then they won't ever be a problem. If they are never taken anywhere, they can never learn the appropriate manners.

So how old exactly will she be when you go? There is really a tremendous difference between even a 12 month old and an 18 month old. Growing up happens rapidly in the first few years...they can do so much, and quicker than you think.

At the FS in Chiang Mai there is of course no beach. But there are plenty of butterflies, the pool (one of the pools does not allow children, but the main pool does), elephants (which are as awesome a creature as any imo). Maybe booking a residence would be nice...privacy for you and for the other guests so you would't worry about bothering them. We are still considering this place for us, so I'd be curious about your impressions if you went. I love the Chiang Mai area. But know that the FS is a good ways out of town...more than 30 minutes by car one way. If that's OK for you then I do think it might be a good choice. I love the look of the place, but worry a bit about the comments I got on flyertalk still.

Maybe the Anantara in Hua Hin or the Sofitel? My daughter informs that those two places seem suitable for her...she's older, but a kid still The Anantara would be quieter and is somewhat isolated...the Sofitel is right in the town. You could fly into BKK and be down to Hua Hin by car in a short time.

In Phuket, the Village Resort and Spa looks nice, and some friends stayed there and quite enjoyed it. Problem is it's 200 meters to the beach across a street,, not right on the beach.

Someplace that might be quite nice is Khao Lak. It's only an hour from Phuket Airport (same amount of time it takes to transfer to many hotels right on Phuket). The Sarojin might be a very nice choice, or Le Meridien quite nearby. La Flora is also nice looking.
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Old Oct 14th, 2006, 11:46 PM
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katkat...I just now saw your question about Japan. We have lived in Japan for 11 years. We are both American. Our daughter was born here.

Beaches in Japan are just not the way I'd like them to be. With so much coastline, you'd think it would be otherwise...but it's not. Traditionally, the sea is a place to get food from, and a threat. A lot of concrete has been used to build breakwaters and walls to stop the sea...many people would never consider swimming in the sea. Many beaches allow cars and fires...some beaches are officially driving beaches. In 11 years we have yet to find a beach that isn't littered with various kinds of trash...fishing gear, boat parts, food wrappers, garbage leftover from a bbq. Several times we have seen entire toilets left on the beach...the beach is often a dump. We go to other countries to find nice beaches.

One place that might be an exception is Okinawa. We have not been there, but it is heavily marketed domestically here as a beach/tropical destination. We've never been as it's cheaper for us to go to elsewhere in Asia or even to the states than it is for us to travel to Okiinawa. The other reason is that there are so many highrise concrete box hotels that I don't think I'd find it particularly attractive...it seems that Japanese people can somehow filter out the unattractiveness of these concrete giant hotels and find the wonderful.

So, no, I really don't think Japan is your beach destination. But for a quiet relaxing time away from the sea, it might be perfect.
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Old Oct 14th, 2006, 11:50 PM
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Thanks Kim. Our daugther is 11 month old and in fact one reason we go on trip is to celebrate her 1-year-old birthday.

We probably will stay 99% of our time in the resort; hence having a full-service resort would be nice...

btw, do u have the link on flyertalk on Chiang Mai FS? Want to check out any negative comments before we make a decision.
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Old Oct 14th, 2006, 11:54 PM
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Hi kim, ha.. i got your link above.. so don't bother...

guess we will go to japan next time when our daughter can walk and want something more than milk...
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Old Oct 15th, 2006, 12:02 AM
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I posted the link to the flyertalk discussion in the first message I wrote...it's the long link.

I remember Teaghan's first birthday...some friends threw her a party with a cake and candles. I had no idea that she would reach out and grab the lit candles....pretty I suppose, and in restrospect I was so foolish not to have imagined the scenario beforehand. Anyway, she burned her hand, more painful than serious, but it was a lasting memory, and until she was 7, she could not even hear the beginning of the happy birthday song without crying. She could not stay in the room with a birthday cake with candles...she'd run away.

The point...kids at age 1 certainly do remember events that are big, whether they are good or bad.

Maybe Disney Sea in Tokyo would be fun. The Miracosta hotel there is exquisite. There is plenty of 1 year old activity in Disney Sea...a whole underwater themed area with Ariel, with great lighting, a water play area where there are mats with squirting place that squirt water randomly...great fun. A kids "active" area with soft floors. There is a great merry go round, and a medieval castle with a boat that you can climb around too, with some squirters as well.

Disney Land does a very nice halloween theme at this time of year with a nice parade and themed offerings throughout the park.

Just another thought...totally not the beach, but maybe fun for her and memorable - in a good way!

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Old Oct 15th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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katkat
I still think you might like the Katathani on Kata Noi beach. I have photos of this resort posted in an album on my web site. Go to cjscollection.com and click on the photo gallery link on the left side of the home page. There are five photo albums. If you look at the Asia album, you will see the Katathani as well as other hotels in Thailand.
Carol
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Old Oct 15th, 2006, 06:41 AM
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http://www.cjscollection.com/album2.php

I don't know if this link will work, but this is the Asia album. The Phuket photos are near the end of the slide show.
Carol
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Old Oct 17th, 2006, 07:39 AM
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Hi,
Phuket! Phuket!

The Phuket hotels at your list are great. I'm familiar with them all. you might consider the Meridian as well (Has a private beach)or merlin beach resort. they are both located at quiet places BUT not that far from the "busy area"

www.allaboutphuket.com
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Old Oct 21st, 2006, 12:40 PM
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Le meridien phuket sounds right for you. Is over the hill from patong but only a 5 minute taxi/tuk tuk ride for dinner. the resort has a great private beach and pools with life guards on duty. It also has a host of other childs activities. We have stayed here twice now and would return yearly if my partner had his own way. Get the pool view room if you can afford the up grade.
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Old Oct 21st, 2006, 07:36 PM
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I second the Kata Thani in Phuket, it's a great family hotel, it's also situated on one of the beaches in Phuket, Kata Noi Beach. Make sure you book a Junior Suite. We have also stayed at the Le Meridien, it's too big and impersonal and the Sheraton which is nice but a bit far out. http://www.phuket.com/katathani/rooms.htm
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Old Oct 21st, 2006, 07:37 PM
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sorry meant to say on one of the best beaches in Phuket.
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