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biga Jan 16th, 2007 03:18 PM

Thailand - April/May Honeymoon
I've been browsing the forum and have already gotten some wonderful tips. However, I've been going in circles the past couple weeks and was hoping for some advice on my late April/early May honeymoon. My fiance and I will be there 12 days. We have a good bit of starwood (Sheraton/Le Meridian) points and at least enough Marriott points for a few nights and would like to use those where it makes sense.

1) We get into Bangkok late 11:15pm. Would you just recommend spending the night at the airport hotel and then traveling the next day or spending a couple nights in Bangkok and then moving on? (I am planning to do 2 full days/3 nights in Bangkok at the end of the trip).

2) From what I've read we are right on the border of rainy season in Phuket & Krabi/Phi Phi. Would you risk it there? I'm all for Samui, but I don't think we want to do a week there as we'd rather see more. I guess I'm having trouble selecting which 2 of the three to do or if there is something I am missing like a remote island near Samui, I'd be interested in that also. Any advice here?

During the leisure part of our trip we'd like to spend the first few days at the beach/pool/spa and then begin adventuring (Temples, Elephants, partying etc).

Hotels we are considering: JW Marriott Phuket, LM Yaht Club Phuket, Sheraton Krabi, LM Baan Talig Ngam (Samui), Koyao Island Resort (or something else off the beaten path on a smaller island). I'm also open to paying in Samui as we may be ready for some action and I hear LM is a bit removed.

Sorry for the long post. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

rhkkmk Jan 16th, 2007 03:47 PM

some thoughts....don't stay at the airport go into town...if you can spend two nites before you move on, i would highly suggest this...the sheraton orchid has fantastic point deals so check it out...they have a very nice pool in the portugese embassy too for relaxing and catching up with yourselves...don't underestimate the jet lague ....

the marriott resort is also a good place to unwind and you can use points there easily....i would save my marriott points for the jw in phuket however which is really fantastic...

the jw is issolated however from most everything in phuket...its a good place to just hang out...

there is a newly converted rennaissance hotel on samui which takes marriott points...

samui is very nice...

an alternative choice is hua hin....the hyatt there is flight necessary for going here....its a 2-3 hour drive...

we stayed recently in the sheraton at pattaya which is a fantastic might look at that also...its only 1.5 hours drive...

you might like a day or two at the peninsula in bkk at the end of your honeymoon....a perfect way to end off and spend some of the $$ gifts you will receive...

the sheraton grande on sukhumvit is a very nice hotel as well in is right in the middle of the action...

Gpanda Jan 17th, 2007 06:08 AM

Biga-we always use Starwood points to stay in Thailand. In BKK, we stay at the Royal orchid Sheraton. The points are low and the location is excellent. It's a joy to hop on the river ferry and ride up or downb the river. The hotel is fine, but not extraordinary. As noted, the pool is great. We've stayed there 9 times.

In Phuket, we've stayed at both Meridien's. I think the one at Relax Bay is slightly better. Both are very good.

JamesA Jan 17th, 2007 07:10 AM

One good thing about late April / early May is that it is already into low season Phuket / Phi Phi way, if you don't mind being flexible a good idea I think is that if you say book a couple of nights on Samui and then check the weather, if all looks ok then you can very easily get to krabi/Phi Phi/Phuket, if however the weather isn't good then either stay put on Samui or perhaps head to Koh Tao for a few days.
End of April and beginning of may you are not going to have any problem finding accommodation down South so as long as you are open to flexibility then that is an idea that covers you for whether weather is fine or not.

biga Jan 17th, 2007 08:24 AM

Thank you all for the responses. That is some great advice and I will definitely check out the hotels that were recommended.

JamesA (or anyone), do you know how difficult it is to travel last minute around Thailand? Is it like the US where airfare goes through the roof or do prices remain rather firm?

Also, what can we expect on Koh Tao? I haven't had a chance to research it yet. Is it simialar to Phi Phi or completely different. Any hotel recs?

Aside from this, my only concern about going "flexible" might be the reduced possibility of upgrades. Between status, being honeymooners and some SPG and Marriott connections, I think we have a pretty good chance if we book ahead. I guess I can book and cancel if the weather doesn't cooperate...

Hmmm, lots to think about here. And I thought this would make things easier :) Seriously, though, thanks for the advice and ideas!

rhkkmk Jan 17th, 2007 09:24 AM

not booking in advance can of course lead to some disappointments and if it is your honeymoon why spend any time making arrangements then when it could be done in advance...

planes tend to be pretty full in thailand so i always book ahead....some of the "low cost" airlines have walk-ons however...

i recently took a thai air flt to chiang mai on a 747---bkk-CM-bkk and every seat was full...

often the day before or two days before one can find availability....but again why take the chance...many fodorites wing it and do just fine, but for me that is too chancy....

DoctorCarrie Jan 17th, 2007 06:56 PM

We decided to "wing" it, and ran into some problems - as rhkkmk said, flights can get full and discount hotel sites usually require 48 hours notice or more for booking. It ended up working out fine, but it was definitely unnecessary stress on the ground.

However, the price of the tix is not majorly affected - it's still pretty cheap to buy last minute tix on the discount carriers - Air Asia, Nok, 1-2-Go, etc. - but availability can definitely be an issue. Cheers, Carrie

JamesA Jan 18th, 2007 11:41 PM

Normaly I would not suggest 'winging it' but I mentioned as you seemed keen on trying to see Krabi / Phi Phi, there is a Sheraton in krabi, but it would be disappointing if you booked there and came back to us that it rained !
However, you have probably a good chance of using award points at that time as is not a busy time, if you don't mind the risk of rain and are prepared to shrug it off, if it rains head to the spa and still enjoy then perhaps Sheraton Krabi would be worth thinking about, you can ferry/car between Samui and Krabi very easily.If weather holds out it's a win-win.

StanKase Jan 19th, 2007 07:01 AM

You are correct May can have rain but not constant. Much worse in Sept onward.
Koh samui is fine but 5 full days is more than enough. Last year rates went down May 1st by 20% at the Sala Samui, but I would not recommend it, over-rated and over-priced. When in Samui take the small fast boat, NOT theBIG Boat to Koh Tao for excellent snorkeling. I think iut was $70/person but bring lunch.
I would take a Premier taxi, large car, from airport upon arrival ($25). If all goes well you will be in your hotel room by 12:45 AM. It will be very hot in Bangkok, but when is it ever under 87-88 but April/May it is 95 but we endured it for 4 full days and enjoyed it.You might want 3 full days in Chiangi Mai and a full day in Chiangi Rai. Thast is pretty close to your 14 days. Enjoy.

biga Jan 19th, 2007 09:06 AM

All - Thank you again for the advice! It's great to hear the different opinions. At this point, I think I am going to book it out and do my best to minimize the risk of heavy rain. Normally, I'd be all about leaving it flexible, but with all the wedding planning to do, I just don't think I can deal with having the honeymoon unsettled. We'll just have to plan another trip to see more, JOY!

Here is my current agenda:
-->Arrive BKK 11:15pm, stay downtown at Sheraton property (likely Orchid) with early afternoon flight to Phuket.

It seems like the mild consensus says stay downtown vs. airport.

--> 3 nights at JW Marriott Phuket

--> Fly to Samui and do 2 of the following 3 for 3 nights each: (LM Baan Taling Ngam Samui, Buri Rasa Boutique Samui, or Thipwimarn Resort Koh Tao).

Any opinions on which two are more than welcome.

--> Fly to Bangkok and spend 3 nights at Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit

I welcome any opinions or critiques to make this better. I know it will be a fantastic time!


simpsonc510 Jan 19th, 2007 09:26 AM

It's probably good that you will have all flights and reservations pre-booked. No sense worrying about that when on your honeymoon.

But that said, in my nine trips to BKK/Thailand, I've only pre-booked my in-country side trip accom and flight during absolute peak season (New Years Eve). Otherwise, I determine the day before, and go see a travel agent to arrange my flight and hotel. I've done this for Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Samui. No problems finding suitable accom & air. And no, the price does not go up the closer you get to travel date. The price, as far as I can see, is constant with the airlines I've used in Thailand, no matter how far out it is booked.

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