Phuket or Hua Hin

Feb 25th, 2005, 05:06 AM
  #1  
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Phuket or Hua Hin

We were planning a holiday this year in either Goa or Vietnam helped by the people on this forum, however when I phoned Thai Airlines regarding the flight to Vietnam they told me they had a special return price of €398.00 to Bangkok, which is extremely low, we have therefore decided to change our plans & return to Thailand as it was always 1 of our favourite places. We loved Koh Samui but would like to see somewhere else. I've read the reports on this forum that Phuket is nearly back to normal so I was thinking it might be a good idea to profit from the low prices at the moment & go there,probably to 1 of the Laguna hotels maybe the Dusit or Laguna Beach, however the only problem might be the weather. What is it like in May. Our other choice is Hua Hin, which I believe would be better weather wise but the beaches don't seem to be up to much. Does anyone know if all the beaches at the hotels are private ones. We would like a hotel that has it's own loungers on the beach.
Thanks
Clark55 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2005, 06:46 AM
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Phuket and Hua Hin are 'totally' different in almost every respect.
Phuket is very much back to normal. If you enjoyed the tropical Island atmosphere of Koh Samui then you will probably also enjoy Phuket, however, there is one big difference when it comes to hotel / resort location. Samui has far more places that are 'rgith on the beach' or as some say 'absolute beachfront', Phuket just not so many although they exist. The Laguna area might suit but if you like to go out eating and shopping in the evenings you might prefer Kata beach, reasonably busy but not packed, your choice on absolute beachfront is limied but the Kata beach resort or at Karon the Karon beach resort are right on the beach and nice places not over the top money wise. Le Meridien at relax Bay between Patong and Karon is in it's very own 'cove' so private beach in reality and very nice, though when I drove past a week back the "light were off !!", anyone who knows the Meridien knows it can't be missed when you drive from Karon to Patong due to all the lights, so maybe they are still repairing, but by May should be fine.
Weatherwise it's the luck of the draw, you might get 2 weeks of solid sunshine or you could get a lot of rain, it really is luck, but if you are into beaches then Phuket might be your best choice.
Hua Hin is very very different, the beaches are no where near as nice as Samui or Phuket, but the other side is that there are plenty of 'absolute beachfront' places and many with virtually ( though not officially ) private beaches, the Anantara, Dusit Resort virtually have their 'own' beach and many others are right on the beach.
But again, if you enjoyed Koh Samui you might find Hua hin too quiet, I would perhaps gamble on the weather being fine and take a look at the Kata beach and Karon beach resorts plus Le Meridien, there are others right on the beach but they tend to be a bit out of the way. I always think Kata beach is a good balance between quiet yet still very easy access to lots of restaurants, shopping, and close enough to Patong for street stall/market/nightlife side. Try www.beachsiam and look at those beaches, lots of photos, reviews etc.
Good luck, is that price Euros?, wow, cheap !!
JamesA is offline  
Feb 25th, 2005, 06:52 AM
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Also worth mentioning if you are looking for 'value for money' is the "In on the beach" at Karon, unique location being right on the beach itself, air-con and comfortable, adequote unless you are looking for big luxury place, but this place has 'location-location-location', im May if you are talking Euros about 35 a night twin or a small suite about 48/50 Euros a night with breakfast. It is not glamerous but get good reviews and if you like having a drink overlooking the beach then it's very good for the price.
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Feb 25th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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James you were a great help to me last year when we went to Langkawi, I followed all your advice & had a great holiday at the Pelangi, definitely the best place to stay in Langkawi, so I'm going to follow your advice here & head for Phuket. It seems like the best choice would be the Meridien as it's location seems to be better than the Laguna hotels & it's also a luxury hotel but I've checked out their website & you can make a reservation but it only gives rates for 1 type of room & I would definitely want a quote for other rooms, I'm wondering if maybe their seaview rooms & suites were so badly damaged that they're not available at the moment & won't be for May. It's also strange that there's no contact e-mail address which is a problem bcoz it means you can't contact them directly. If anyone has info on this could you please let me know.
I'm gonna check out the beachsiam site.
Yes the price is in Euro's & there probably won't be an offer like this again that's why I changed my plans.
Clark55 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2005, 09:28 AM
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James, I called the Meridien reservations centre here in Italy & they say that it's only due to open on the 1st of June, so that's out.
Clark55 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2005, 09:56 AM
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There was little mentioned about Le Meridien and I had guessed based on it's location it would have only been the pool and restaurants damaged, I was quite surprised to see it in total 'darkness'.
As you liked the Pelangi that gives an idea of the standard you want and enjoy. Tricky getting absolute beachfront unless you are way off from restaurants and things, sure you can get a taxi but I think it's easier to be 10/15 minutes away.
The Karon Beach Resort is only I guess 3 star but you need to weigh up it's absolute beachfront and pool right onto the sand ( swim up bar etc ). seaview rooms overlooking the beach ( great sunset location !! ) with the fact that it's only about 3 star, but in the Euro 55-70 bracket it's good value as 'all' the rooms are seaview rooms with balcony.
Mom Tri's is famous for great location but you would be looking at Euro 190 + for a seafront studio.
I was in Karon this time last week and it was reasonably busy, in fact I couldn't get a table at my fav restaurant ( Red Onion on main street in Karon )!
As you stayed at pelangi I would cancel ideas for In on the Beach as although great value the Karon beach resort I am sure would be more to your idea.
Phuket is a more getting out and about place so you might be spending less time at the resort itself, if you don't mind pleasant 3 star style you probably can't beat the Karon Beach Resort for value.
I am guessing if you liked the Pelangi plus also enjoyed Samui then the Karon Beach resort is about on par for what you are looking for.
Take a look at the pics, it shows Euro 51 including tax/service/breakfast for May

http://www.r24.org/beachsiam.com/phu...each/pictures/
JamesA is offline  
Feb 25th, 2005, 10:07 AM
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could another alternative for you be koh chang---clark.....we are heading there in june for a few days...

perhaps more rustic but there are some quality places there...
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 25th, 2005, 11:03 PM
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James, we've never stayed in a 3 star hotel before but the Karon Beach resort does have great reviews. When I phoned my friends & suggested this there was a silence on the other end of the line & they weren't really happy with the idea of a 3 star they said they preffered to stay in a 5 star & take a taxi in the evenings to the restaurants so I think I'll have to look for something else. The Hilton Arcadia is also in that area, it looks like it's not directly on the beach, the website doesn't give much details as to it's location. What do you think James?
Clark55 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 04:05 AM
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No the Hilton Arcadia isn't on the beach but across the road. Karon beach is very wide, you then walk across wooden boardwalk over a sand dune/grass area to the beacgh road, the Hilton is on the other side. It is very much a conference/meetings type place. Not Pelangi style at all.

Take a look at the Kata Thani Resort and Buri, which is large and choice of room types, and re look at Mom Tri's Boathouse which is boutique luxury, otherwise you are back to the Sheraton Laguna / Dusit Laguna area and then taxi to places in the evenings. The Sheraton has some amazing choices of accommodation styles.
Perhaps take a look also at the Chedi
JamesA is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 04:11 AM
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The Amanpuri is normally very expensive but they have apparently some promotions at the moment.
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Feb 26th, 2005, 04:58 AM
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James, thank you so much for all your help. I've checked out all 3 websites & anyone of them would suit us. Now location wise which of them do you think is the better? The Kata Thani beach looks amazing.I remember when we were looking last year for our hotel in Langkawi we were undecided between the Datai & the Andaman & then you advised us to go with Pelangi bcoz of the location & you were absolutely right bcoz we visited the Datai beach hotels & although they're luxury hotels I was so glad we didn't end up there bcoz they're just too isolated. We are intending to take tuk tuk or taxi's in the evening but it would be nice to have some beach places for a quick lunch or drink without having to stay in the hotel.
When I phoned the Meridien Reservation office to enquire if the other hotel was open they gave me a rate for the Meridien Yacht Club but I kind of dismissed it bcoz it looks isolated.
Let me know which would be your choice & we'll go with whatever you choose.
Thanks again.
Clark55 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 08:45 AM
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Can't say anything about the resorts in Kata or Karon, but had to put in my two cenths worth with regards the Meridien Phuket Yacht Club. It is an absolutely gorgeous property and all the rooms face the ocean. The beach is almost private but is, to my mind, the most beautiful in Phuket, super clear blue water, pretty crescent shaped bay and a forest in the background instead of concrete/other hotels. That said, it is at the end point of Phuket so is the farthest from the airport, around 45min by car/taxi, to Patong (main beach area), 20 mins, to Kata, maybe 10mins. It is a bit isolated yes, but when we stayed there last year we barely left the beach anyway and just taxied to dinners at night. By the way, Amanpuri was mentioned earlier, and until end of October05 they are at 50% discount. So rooms should be starting at USD400++

Bear in mind that Phuket in May isn't going to be her best, sea isn't as calm as in December when it's glasslike, and probably expect some rain. But still pretty and well worth a visit.
Pitainbkk is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 08:54 AM
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Kata is a nice location as there is a fine sweep of beach and there are quite a lot of restaurants in the area. The Boathouse Restaurant is not justy famous locally it is pretty much 'world famous' with an amzing wine cellar, it really is a must go ( if you can afford it ), a truly 'fine' restaurant and lovely location. Around Kata you will find lots of places to eat and you will never be too far from shops. It is perhaps 5 minutes into the shopping area of Kata and another 5 minutes over a small hill into Karon beach area.
If you want to visit Patong beach area for more fine restaurants and perhaps the street markets and stalls it is no more than 15 minutes. If you go for nice rooms at the Kata Thani I doubt you would be disappointed as well established for many years, also you can get spa and massage, it also attracts many Thai guests also and has a good sturdy reputation, I think you will find it quite similar to the Pelangi.
I never like 'knocking' any place or area as people like different things, but if you asked me point blank I would perhaps rate Kata with a 9/10 and Laguna area 2/10, but that is personal opinion. You can mix upmarket with 'down to earth' easier in Kata area than just the plush resort places at Laguna.
JamesA is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 08:57 AM
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Look at ther posting I have 'ttt' headed Katathani resort and Spa, there you have a December review of the place from BACanuck and it gives you lots of information
JamesA is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 11:45 PM
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Thanks James, we've decided on the Kata Thani. BACanuch certainly enjoyed it there.
BTW if BACanuck is still around maybe he can tell me if we should book the Junior Suite or the Grand Suite. From the Kata Thani website it doesn't give much info on the difference between one & the other.

James? why don't you write a book on travel in Asia? I would certainly buy it.
Clark55 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 09:24 PM
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Look at the updated posting from lanaB who stayed in the Junior Suites. It should be a few posts down from this.
JamesA is offline  

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