Thursday, 7 May 2015

Dreaming of Phuket........

The next stop on our adventure was Phuket. We took a transfer booked through a local agency for 1,800 THB, which took almost three hours and finally reached our destination Twin Palms. On arrival we were presented with a welcome glass of champagne and flower bracelets before being taken to our room. As it was our Honeymoon the hotel had kindly upgraded us to a fantastic suite and provided a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine at the restaurant.

The hotel itself is laid out around the pool so all rooms have a lovely poolside view, some are located with direct pool access as well. Our suite was huge and spotless with a lovely big terrace to relax on. We had a TV in the lounge and in the bedroom with English channels! The bathroom was massive with a large soaking tub, separate rain shower and dressing area. The only frustration was the room had lots of items such as a beach bag and sun hat etc etc but were all "for sale", I found this a little tacky and unnecessary.

Breakfast here was a real treat with all the Full English and American options as well as Thai and continental. There was also sparkling wine, which never goes amiss when in holiday mode. We ate at the restaurant Oriental Spoon one evening and the food here was very good. There is a full poolside and room service menu available with the usual classics such as club sandwiches. This hotel does not have direct beach access but does have a beach area and two beach clubs, which provide a free drink per guest during sunset. The pool is lovely though and we ended up lounging here for our three full days. Also if you come out of the hotel, turn left and walk for about 3 mins you will find a very cheap convenience store but also a little spa where I had a pedicure for 350 THB, which is also open late!

The hotel is located a short stroll from the main promenade of Surin Beach. Bimi and Catch beach clubs are affiliated to Twin Palms so you can sign food and drinks to your room. However, there are a nice selection of bars and restaurants here and one we dined in, although I cannot remember the name served up the best fish taco's I have ever tasted!

Twin Palms didn't quite live up to the Sarojin but it was far, far more reasonable to stay here and still definitely a 5* experience. Unfortunately I cannot blog too much about Phuket as if I am being honest, for our three nights here we did nothing but sleep and read by the pool and eat and drink during the evenings but it was just what we needed after all of our sightseeing and activities prior to our arrival. I would definitely recommend a stay here to anyone coming to Thailand and who wants to be slightly less secluded than other beach resorts available.

We weren't quite done with our relaxing in Phuket yet so we took a short taxi and a complementary speed boat to our next destination Naka Island. Our villa with a private pool was our home for two further nights of sunbathing and peace before heading back to civilization and similar to our time at The Twin Palms we did nothing but enjoy ourselves. The only quick note about this island is no matter how much repellent you use, how long your evening wear is or whether you sleep under the net provided you WILL get bitten, which was a bit of a shame and downer on our stay.

The arrival by speed boat takes a few short minutes in the clear water surrounded by islands and makes you feel like you are in a James Bond movie! You arrive and are given a welcome drink and told to bang the gong for good luck before being whisked to your villa in a golf buggy for check in.

The villa's are really cool and very private! You get your own swimming pool with sun loungers and also a separate garden sala and outdoor seating area. The bedroom is also massive with a large bed and sunken desk. The bathroom has a shower and double sinks but then there is also an outside soaking tub big enough for two and rain forest shower. I used the outside bathing facilities each evening; there is something very luxurious about showering outside when the sun is setting! The inside shower also turns into a steam room at the touch of a button! The villas came with bikes for travelling around the island if you wanted to explore.

The staff here simply cannot do enough for you and are so friendly and helpful. There is a full spa, garden games, a lovely bar and other activities to keep you occupied. However, after breakfast we spent the morning on the beach with the odd dip in the gorgeous infinity pool before retiring to our private villa to relax with our own facilities. Each evening we went for sun downer cocktails at the Z Bar, which had gorgeous views over the ocean and each morning we made sure we were up in time for the delicious breakfast offerings. Everything you could imagine was on offer including juice in coconuts with straws, which we took away to our sun loungers each morning. Breakfast had buffet and A La Carte options as well as sparkling wine!

You are very secluded at Naka so I wouldn't recommend a long stay; getting off the island for dinner is a pain and it will cost you. As we only had two nights this was fine for us and we decided to try both of the hotel restaurants. My Grill was quite expensive and the idea was very simple. You chose a "meat or fish", how you would like it cooked, a side and a sauce. The food was good but I wouldn't rave about it and it was pricey. The Thai restaurant was lovely and I wish we had eaten here on both nights. They run a buffet with themed nights for those who want it or at all times you can dine A La Carte, which is what we chose to do and the Thai food was delicious and available at a reasonable price. The hotel also serve homemade ice cream by the communal pool each afternoon and had a full room service menu available.

All in all we were very happy with our stay at Naka. As I mentioned I don't think you could stay here for your full holiday as you do need to be in the mix a little bit but for a short private and romantic break you can't really beat this unique property. It's got a rustic charm that I have never experienced anywhere else.