Tuesday, April 23

Hideaway Hotels on the Quiet Side of Phuket

Those who have been to Thailand will agree that the land of smiles are one of those unique holiday destinations that has the ability to draw you in the moment you arrive. You connect, immediately feel relaxed and at home, almost like you have always meant to be there and, when the day arrives to depart the intensity of your satisfaction is only surpassed by a feeling of regret for having to leave. The country's most beloved island, Phuket, is of course the cherry on the cake. Many of the island's annual 8 000 000 guests will anticipate their next visit relishing in their own particular memories. Some will think of Patong Beach's wild and exotic nightlife scene and some will think of the excitement of adrenaline pumping water sports one of the island's many vibrant beaches.

As for me, my best memories are made on the island's secluded beaches, away from the mulling crowds. Each year I look for the best hotels in Phuket hidden away from the world toward the northern or southern end of the west coast, because here I share paradise with much fewer others, enjoy personal space and can become absorbed by exotic nature, tranquility and idyllic scenery rather than be amused by the man-made attractions of busier areas. I have come to learn that an island holiday in Phuket really comes to its full when you can connect with the intoxicating serenity and beauty of the landscape without too much disturbance . If this is also your idea of a holiday on an exotic island I suggest you consider hotel accommodation in one of the following locations.

Mai Khao

Mai Khao Beach and its surroundings captures the true essence of being on a tropical island. At eleven kilometers you can enjoy evening strolls without coming across another soul or just find a spot to lie down to enjoy the complete tranquility without any hindrances. Commercial activity in the area is limited so noise is basically non-existent and the distance between the area's few resorts means lots of personal space and privacy. The beach also falls within a protected national park so you can expect the untouched nature to be beyond pristine. A holiday in Mai Khao does not mean you will get bored due to a lack of attractions and activity. The mainly 5 star hotels in this area makes it the perfect destination for a romantic honeymoon, but also for a family holiday with facilities to ensure nobody is left wanting. If you want to spend quality family time in Mai Khao, Centara Grand West Sands Resort is a master in keeping the youngest to the oldest happily occupied. It is home to the famous Splash Jungle Water Park which is a haven for kids and adults. If its your anniversary and you need some time to your self the children are not going to blame you for leaving them at the resort's kids club. In fact, you might have a tough time getting them out of there. Sala Phuket has to be one of the ultimate resorts on the entire island to stay at if you are on a romantic couples break by offering stylish villas each featuring their own private pool. Likewise the luxury Anantara Pool Villa Resort and the 5 star J.W Marriott Resort and Spa are two hotels which are not only the epitome of luxury, but also offer every conceivable recreational facility to enjoy your holiday to the fullest.

Nai Yang

Just below Mai Khao, Nai Yang is probably even more chilled out. It also partly falls within the boundaries of the same national park as Mai Khao, so once again pristine nature is your friend here. It does have a few hang-outs where you can order a beer and the area is also popular with kite surfers. Apart from this it is you, a deserted beach lined with Causarina trees and a vast ocean. Nai Yang is home to one of the most unique and best beach resorts in Phuket namely Indigo Pearl which makes sure you endure not a dull moment. Horse riding on the beach, tennis courts, water sport and a golf driving range to name a few is all part of the deal. The only difference is you are not part of a too big crowd and standing queue to get your turn. The resort's kids club and child activities has also seen its popularity rise as a family friendly destination. But wait, the best is yet to come. If you want a spa journey with a twist, Indigo Pearl has no equal. The aptly called Coqoon Spa is exactly what its name suggest. The luxury tree top spa is shaped like a cocoon and located in a rain forest setting where you are pampered to no end with out of this world spa rituals and other delights.

Kata Noi

Kata Beach is way down south to the other end of the island and Kata Noi Beach (noi meaning small) is an intimate and borderline exclusive part cut off from the main beach by a rocky outcrop. You will see a few more people and activity here, but still experience laid back tranquility. This is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, its pure white sand contrasting with the crystal clear blue of the ocean. Here you will also be closer to restaurants and shops than in Mai Khao for example, but still far enough for silence to be interrupted mostly by sounds of nature. The area is also home to one of the top restaurants on the island, namely Mom Tri's Kitchen. The Shore at Katathani Phuket is a five star beach resort cleverly situated to capitalize on the scenery with sweeping views from your villa's private pool. Katathani and Mom Tri's Villa Royale are another two of the best beachfront hotels in this part of the island.

Other Islands close to Phuket

If you really want to kick back in utter serenity, be surrounded by profound exotic beauty and close the door on the outside world, consider one of the small islands in mysterious Phang Nga Bay, just a quick boat ride from Phuket. Places like the Six Senses Yao Noi Resort on the small and pristine island of Koh Yao Noi is wrapped in tranquility and seduces you with captivating views of the bay from your own private pool. Similarly places like Racha Island and Bon Island are paradises in their own right and captures the true meaning of holidaying on a tropical island. No cars, no noise and loads of adventure in nature.

In Conclusion

Even if you do want to spend part of your holiday in a more vibrant scene, start your vacation by spending a few nights in one of the above areas. It is the fastest way to shake the stresses of the rat race world we are all used to and get your batteries re-charged. It will also allow you to experience more than one side of the island, rather than just spending your entire vacation in one location. Phuket hotels in quieter like these are mostly 5 star luxury and exclusive, but it will be money well spent.

Author: George Conradie has spent the last 4 years of his life in Thailand. After many holidays to the land of smiles he decided it was better to simply settle here on a permanent basis. He now works in the local tourism industry representing www.hotelsphuket.travel. He still regularly travel to all corners of the country every opportunity he gets and then do his best to share his knowledge and experiences by writing articles he hopes will be useful to travelers panning a trip to Thailand.