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Starwood/Marriott in Thailand - December 2006

Starwood/Marriott in Thailand - December 2006

Sep 12th, 2006, 03:31 AM
  #1  
klangner
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Starwood/Marriott in Thailand - December 2006

Hi! My husband and I are in our early 30's and are looking to plan a 3 week trip to Thailand in December. We plan to spend 1-2 nights in Bangkok at either the Marriott on the river or the Royal Orchid. Then we would like to travel to a few islands . We have Starwood and Marriott points so are considering redeeming them for free nights. The Starwood properties with availability seem to be in Pattaya, Krabi, and Phuket. I haven't yet looked into Marriott locations. Does anyone who has stayed at Starwood or Marriott properties on these islands have specific recommendations? Or recommend which islands to visit? We are looking to relax with good beaches/pools and explore the area- nightlife is not a concern. We would consider a mix of Starwood/Marriott properties and smaller local accomodations also. Thanks in advance! We are busy researching possibilites and would appreciate any feedback as this is our first trip to Thailand!
 
Sep 12th, 2006, 03:46 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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The Sheraton Krabi is very nice -- new with an almost boutique atmosphere, even though it's large. Low buildings, spread across oceanfront. Resident elephant, Ra Ra who swims with the guests. the tours they offer are pricey though; instead, go outside and book with an agency on the street (snorkeling, phi phi, etc.)
Jim0884 is offline  
Sep 12th, 2006, 05:40 AM
  #3  
 
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Sheraton Grande at Laguna (starwood) in Phuket is nice enough. I was there 2 years ago. Marriot Phuket is newer and nice too. The beaches are nice too. Another resort I would recommend in Thailand is Santiburi in Koh Samui.
borgo is offline  
Sep 12th, 2006, 05:41 AM
  #4  
 
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Well, three weeks in December is certainly a nice long time at a very good time of year weather-wise for most of Thailand. The Marriott Riverside has a large number of fans here, myself among them, so I would pick that over the Royal Orchid. Although the Royal Orchid is a little bid closer to the action, the Marriott has the far superior pool IMO, nice grounds and some gardens and a fantastic staff, and I actually enjoy the boat up the river, to me its all part of the Bangkok experience.

I really love the Marriott Phuket, and with three weeks there is no reason you could not go to both Krabi and Phuket. The Sheraton on Krabi does sound nice, I have not seen it myself. I have stayed at the Sheraton Laguna Grande on Phuket but not on many years and it has gotten very mixed reviews in past years as it is getting old, so I would say do the Marriott on Phuket and then go to Krabi. There are some other Sheratons on Phuket but I don't know them.

There are also a Sheraton in Chiang Mai which you might also want to consider, I don't knew them, but Chiang Mai is an interesting area, and again with 3 weeks, free rooms and at a good time of year you might want to put that on the list.

There is a Sheraton and a Renaissance on Krabi, but that would be a little iffy in December unless you are talking about the latter half, then you would probably avoid the rain, and in that case you might want to consider the Baan Tangling Naan which is lovely or the Renaissance which is brand new and quite nice. However if you are divers, you might want to give that side of Thailand a miss anyway as the rainy season would have just ended and water clarity will not be that good yet.

I also have to put in a good word for Hong Kong, which is a logical stop over on the way to Bangkok, has fantastic weather in December, the skyscrapers will be dressed for Christmas and there are several Marriotts and one Sheraton. In order of preference I would pick the JW Marriott, the Atrium, the Sheraton Hong Kong Towers, the Renaissance Harbour View, the Renaissance Kowloon and the Le Meriden Cyberport (the latter mostly because of location, its not really convenient for visitors).


Cicerone is offline  
Sep 12th, 2006, 06:11 AM
  #5  
 
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I always stay at the Royal Orchid, but I only recommend it if you stay in the Towers. In the cost of your Towers room is breakfast, evening cocktails and canapes, free internet access in the lounge, and free laundry (6 pieces per person per day). The Royal Orchid has a really lovely pool area which is located on the grounds of the Portuguese Embassy. I expect Cicerone forgot about that pool. The Royal Orchod's pool by the river is brutally hot, and I've not seen anyone use it except for laps in the early morning, but the other pool is in a lush and shady garden.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 12th, 2006, 07:47 AM
  #6  
klangner
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Thanks for all the responses! Kathie, you mentioned we want to be on the Phuket side of the island. Are Koh Samui and Krabi more likely to have rain in December? My husband posted under Simonolog (not realizing I already started a thread), so feel free to streamline ideas/advice into this thread. I'm sure we'll have a lot more questions as we start to narrow down options.
 
Sep 12th, 2006, 08:09 AM
  #7  
klangner
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After reading several threads, we're thinking Krabi, Ko Lanta and Phuket. Are any of these in great danger of being rainy in December. The timing of our trip is Dec 4-24th, and we can visit islands in any order at this point. Still looking into Starwood/Marriott properties to use points. Surprisingly they all have availability so we just need to pick our top spots. Thoughts on the island choices? Any to skip/add?
 
Sep 12th, 2006, 08:42 AM
  #8  
 
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the marriott resort and spa in bkk is our overall favorite place in thailand as most of you know...it is sort of an oasis in the midst of chaos in bkk...a real resort feeling to it...

the marriott phuket is a fantastic place and only about 3 years or so old...it is however removed from much of the fray in phuket...it is at the very north end of the island

the sheraton pattaya is also about 3 years old and i am staying there in november...reports are that it is very nice

the jw marriott is a nice hotel in bkk as well but in the center of the city in the shopping and entertainment area..

there is a new rennaissance conversion hotel on samui...

there is also a marriott hotel at pattaya but it is a little tired, except that like bkk it has a fantastic pool area and directly across the road from the pattaya beach which is nothing special...

the sheraton chiang mai is older and a hi rise....its ok but slightly outside the town...

rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 12th, 2006, 09:11 AM
  #9  
 
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Yes, you have the right idea in terms of which areas, Krabi, Ko Lanta and Phuket will all have good weather in December.

If you opt to go norther to Cm, don't use your Starwood points as the Sheraton there is very cheap
Kathie is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 01:23 AM
  #10  
klangner
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Ok experts We're starting to narrow down options...please help us with feedback on the following island choices/resorts. Quick recap! Trip timing is Dec 4-24th. We want to be where it is least likely to rain! We have free nights at Starwood/Marriott where applicable. Also, given our approx 20 nights, how much should time should we spend in each. We really want relaxing beach vacation with access to a little exploration, but aren't concerned with nightlife.

Our current thoughts:

Bangkok (2 nights)- Marriott Resort&Spa

We want to visit 3 islands and are considering the following:

- Which are most likely to have best weather (no rain)
- What order should we visit? (flying in and out of Bangkok)

Phuket - JW Marriott (other possibilities include Le Meridien, Le Royal Meridien and Sheraton Grande Laguna)

Krabi - Sheraton Krabi

Koh Lanta - I've read in these threads that Pimalai, Sri Lanta and Layana Resort are all recommended - any thoughts?

Phi Phi Island - Phi Phi Island Village Resort, Zeavola?

If you had to pick 3 islands to visit with our given criteria, which would they be?? THANK YOU!!
 
Sep 13th, 2006, 01:38 AM
  #11  
 
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Spend more time in Bangkok, it deserve it, and you can also relax by taking days or afternoons off and relaxing at the pool at the Marriott. I see Kathie's comment that the Sheraton in Chiang Mai is not nice, that could be the case, but that may still be a place you want to consider. Also consider a place like Ankor Wat. YOu have 20 days which many people do not have, so to spend 18 of them at a beach seems like a bit of a shame IMO.

The beaches in Phuket and Krabi are quite pretty, but are in no way spetacular, so to go all that way to sit on a beach is a waste of air miles and hotel points IMO. Once you get out into boats and to some of the destered island areas you will see some really lovely beaches as well, but it is really the people of Thailand, the food, culture, religion that make the trip special, IMO. You will not find a lot of that in Phuket/Krabi, other than the food. If you really want just a relaxing beach holiday and have points then in those months and want really nice beaches, I would go to the Carribean personally, or see if there are Sheraton properties in the Maldives where the beaches really ARE spetacular and there is nothing to do but relax. (There aren't any Marriott properties.)
Cicerone is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 01:43 AM
  #12  
 
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Just to finish, you are not going to encounter rain in that part of Thailand durng that timeframe. The rainy season will have ended. You might want to get a map just to see the area, as all the places you have listed, other than Bangkok, are on the same western side of Phuket on the Andaman Sea and are out of monsoon range at that time. FYI, Krabi is not an island it is a province on the mainland coast of south western Thailand, which makes me think you may need to consult a map or a guidebook....
Cicerone is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 01:46 AM
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Sorry, one more thing, check blackout dates for the points, as Christmas week is probably THE most popular week in Phuket and Krabi. You may need to go there first and do Bangkok during Christmas if you aren't allowed to use free points during Christmas week in Phuket. Come to think of it, ify ou are talking about December 2005, and if you don't already have hotel reservations now for Christmas week, I think you are going to be hard pressed to get a room at any of those hotels, I would start checking immediately.
Cicerone is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 01:47 AM
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December 2006 is what I meant, sorry my computer keeps crashing and posting.... I just think you will find hotels booked out already, many many expats from here (I live in Hong Kong)and other parts of Asia go to Phuket for Christmas.
Cicerone is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 01:52 AM
  #15  
klangner
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We have already checked and all the Starwood/Marriott properties have availability using points, so that is not an issue. We have been in Europe for the past 6 months (originally from Chicago) and are overdue for a far-flung yet relaxing holiday and have 3 weeks to do it. Thailand seemed an ideal place to see a new part of the world but also not feel compelled to be "sight-seeing" the whole time. We will go back and do that, but this trip we want to relax with a dose of exploration (go out by boat to explore islands, see wildlife, take walks, etc.) - Are you really saying you don't think Thailand could be this type of trip??
 
Sep 13th, 2006, 02:05 AM
  #16  
 
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Sure, if you think you will go back to Thailand at some point than that would be fine, although I would still spend more time in Bangkok, if for nothing else than the fact that it may take you 2 hours to get to the Marriott from the new airport and you may not feel like doing that again right away....Most people don't go to Thailand for an inactive holiday they go for more active sightseeing and culture, so I was not sure if you were expecting soft white sand beaches and turqoise waters which you won't find. If you want that and a vacation where you don't have to feel compelled to do anything, I would still say if you should consider the Maldives, or look into Tahiti or Fiji where I believe there are Sheratons and a new St Regis.

I am quite surprised you found available rooms over Christmas week in Phuket.
Cicerone is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 06:30 AM
  #17  
 
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one thought....the marriott in bkk gives you the feel of being at a far away place at a resort/beach area, so if you extended there you would get that feeling and have the benefit of being able to eat at some really fabulous restuarants around bkk....

jw marriott in phuket would give you complete relaxation and beach and pools in a tranquil setting away from the fray.....but with the option to take the 40 minute ride into town...

i would go to 3 places total on a 3 week trip...

remember this is not like europe....you can't just run here or there quickly...everything moves quite slowly and the heat is a killer

thailand is perfect for you i think
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 08:13 AM
  #18  
klangner
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Thank you! We were beginning to be discouraged but I think it still may be the perfect place for us. Do you have any suggestions as to the order in which we should visit each location? Or how to allocate the number of nights we have (approx 18)? Right now we are thinking:

Bangkok (3-4 nights)
and a mix of:
Phuket (JW Marriott)
Krabi (Sheraton?)
Ko Lanta (Pimalai or Sri Lanta)
Phi Phi Island (Zeavola or PP Island Village resort)
 
Sep 13th, 2006, 08:26 AM
  #19  
 
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We always use Starwood points to stay in Thailand. THe ROS in BKK is very centrally located. You can gewt a Towers room by using an additional 1500 points per night.

In Phuket, we found the Royal meridien phuket Yacht Club to be very nice. it is relatively isolated, but close to Kata, Karon and Patong.

The Sheraton Krabi is a lot of fun. RaRA the baby elephant is wonderful. If you go there, buy bananas at the store just outside the grounds before RaRa appears. This will make you very popular with RaRa. also, the restaurant just across the road from the hotel is very good. The Deep fried fish in chili sauce is superb.
Gpanda is offline  
Sep 13th, 2006, 08:33 AM
  #20  
klangner
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Gpanda,

Are you also familiar with the JW Marriott in Phuket? Would you recommend the Royal Meridien over the Marriott?
 

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