15th June 2018: Amy, Travel Specialist at our Abergavenny branch, has recently returned from a stunning luxurious trip to Phuket. Guided by a knowledgeable Kuoni travel guide, Amy was shown the beautiful array of luxury hotels available on the island. Not only this, Amy was also shown a whole host of amazing experiences which are just waiting to be had when you arrive on the island. Amy shares with us her experiences and explains just some of the wonderful things Phuket has to offer.
Khao Phing Kan
We were up at 4.30am to make our way to Khao Phing Kan, otherwise known as the iconic James Bond Island. Once we had arrived, we boarded out private speedboat and headed off stopping en route to explore some underwater caves.
Seeing James Bond Island was absolutely breath taking. Up until this point I had only seen this location in brochures but to actually see it for myself was truly something else! For me, seeing this location first-hand is a must see if you’re travelling to this part of the country.
Our next hotel was located on Koh Yao Yai and our transfer from Phuket marina was just 20 minutes by speedboat. On our approach, you really get a feel of just how private this hotel is. Each villa has uninterrupted views of the emerald green ocean and surrounding small deserted islands, and each has a private bath on the balcony to ensure to don't miss any of the views whilst relaxing.
No cars are allowed on the resort grounds, so transport up the hills to your rooms are by the hotel’s own tuk-tuk service.
The resort allows you to do as much or as little as you like and the spa treatments, private island tours and Thai cooking lessons are second-to-none. I took myself out of my comfort zone and even tried Thai boxing for the first time.
Banyan Tree Resort
One of the largest hotels on the island of Phuket, they Banyan Tree Resort boasts 136 pool villas scattered around a picturesque lagoon and are arranged in the style of a Thai village.
The two other properties here are the Banyan Tree Sanctuary and the Doublepool Villas which have 38 private villas between them. All resorts are accessible by golf buggy or by bicycle.
Sunrise yoga and a state-of-the-art fitness pavilion are also available here making this hotel the perfect place for some well needed rest and relaxation.
During my time here, I stayed in a two bedroomed pool villa and I can tell you with ease that I have never stayed in such a beautiful room. The living/dining area overlooked the private walled garden and had a large private pool, jacuzzi and sun loungers. My bedroom opened out onto the swimming pool area and my bathroom was the size of another bedroom!
Big Buddha, Phuket
One of the most important and revered landmarks on the island and standing at 45 meters tall, this beautiful statue sits on top of the Nakkered Hill between Chalong and Kata.
The Big Buddha was constructed in 2004 and is made with reinforced concrete, layered with Bermese which jade marble. The area offers the best 360-degree views of the island with views of Phuket town, Kata town, Karon and Chalong.
That evening we arrived at our next hotel in Patong. Set on a secluded private beach with panoramic views over Patong beach we were in for a treat when we arrived at the Amari Phuket! After dinner, we headed into the heart of Patong by disco tuk-tuk.
That’s right, a disco tuk-tuk! It was clear to see, Patong really comes alive at night and is quite an eye opener. Some parts of the town are certainly not for the faint hearted but, all-in-all a very fun place to be.
A great all-rounder, the Kata Thani is set amongst beautiful manicured gardens and located right on the beach. Still within walking distance of the local town of Kata, we dined at the Kata Rocks hotel which wouldn't look out of place in Ibiza with its ultra-modern decor.
Famous for its sunsets, we dined on lobster, Thai curries and Pad Thai as the sun disappeared over the horizon. It was beautiful.
This hotel has a very colonial feel. Set around a steep cliff, the hotel has a little tram which takes you between the hotel and the beach. That evening, we ate at the beachfront plantation house and was treated to a traditional Thai feast. It’s easy to see why this hotel is one of the long-standing favourites for clients visiting Phuket.
Overall, I absolutely loved Phuket. I can see why people return year after year no wonder it's called the ‘land of smiles’. Travelling with Kuoni, the island was an absolute dream to discover. Kuoni’s knowledgeable guides help you explore the area as fully as possible while also helping you relax and unwind in a way that only Kuoni can. This experience was truly world class.