Phuket: Day 1 to Holiday Inn Resort

Travel Period :  Oct 2016 (Friday – Monday)

4 DAYS 3 NIGHTS PATONG BEACH VACATION

DAY 1 TO PHUKET

THE STORY

We booked one month in advance before his exams and didn’t tell him until two days before we flew, on the LAST day of his exams. SURPRISE!

Dar had been begging to go overseas since we didn’t travel last year. Knowing that Vin would not be able to take annual leave (company matters) during the December school holidays, I decided to seize the long weekend of Deepavali holiday (until Monday) to take this trip.

As it was more of a relaxing, getaway trip, I didn’t plan any places of interest to visit or things to do, for the first time! I just wanted to relax and celebrate my baby finally reaching a year old.


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FLIGHT ON SILK AIR

The Silk Air flight was memorable as it was Ling’s first flight out of Singapore at 1-year-old.

When we first boarded, a flight attendant who noted that I had a baby, became friendly and chatted with me. We settled easily into our seats right behind the entrance at the bassinet area. On knowing that it was our first time taking a flight with Ling, she offered me some tips and was attentive throughout our ride.

When it comes to fastening the seat belts, Ling became terrified when the air stewardess placed the infant seatbelt around her waist, to fasten to mine. She is afraid of strangers coming near her and cried out so much. I couldn’t buckle her myself because I didn’t know how to, since it was my first time using it. Fortunately, she calmed down once the person left.

Later on, the flight attendant even offered to help carry her while we ate our meals. However, knowing that she’s terrified of strangers taking hold of her, I declined her offer. She stayed around though to entertain Ling for a while by attempting to make faces or talk to her. I was grateful for that.

Thus, we ended up taking turns to carry Ling on our lap, while trying to eat our meal on the small table (a feat!). She just didn’t want to sit in the bassinet we ordered for her at all. Later on, she did some more fussing as she wanted to move about in the plane but there wasn’t anymore space (after the bassinet). Fortunately, after giving her some milk, she fell asleep. We had some peace for a while before the plane quickly landed.

That’s why I didn’t want to go anywhere too far for our first flight and chose Phuket!

ARRIVAL AT PHUKET AIRPORT

It was 5.10pm (thailand time) when we landed, after 1hr 45mins of flight. I was surprised the airport was quite huge and well-developed since this was just an island. We had no time to explore around because we are in a rush to grab a taxi to our resort before it was too late. The sky was already turning dark.

To book a taxi to our resort, we walked out of the airport to where there was a taxi center. The personnel would arrange for a taxi driver to bring us there and it was a fixed rate. By the time we boarded the taxi and headed out, it was already 5.57pm.

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It was another hour more of journey by car before we finally reached our hotel. She was in my baby carrier during the ride and started getting restless because the journey was too long. To quieten her, I fed her some baby biscuits. Meanwhile, Dar built the Silk Air model airplane he bought in-flight.

SIDE-STORY: TAXI DRIVER

By the way, here’s a side-story and a cautionary note about taxi drivers from the airport.

The taxi driver actually drove us to a building halfway and parked outside it, saying he needed to stop. We were so puzzled at his action but couldn’t do anything since he just abruptly walked off into the building.

While sitting in the taxi waiting for him and lamenting his service, a sales person suddenly appeared to chat and wanted to know our travel plans for the next few days! She had some tours for us if we are interested. Argh…we declined politely, repeating that it was impossible to go anywhere since we have a baby. After a while, she knew it was pointless to continue and left. We were totally annoyed by this time, since we were already in a rush to go to the resort and still had to go through this sales talk. It’s like being held hostage in a taxi, because we couldn’t go off and didn’t know where we were!

I got a bit worried for our safety, thinking whether he would take a long time to come back. Fortunately, once she left, the taxi driver returned. He tried to pacify Vin with a coffee. We didn’t want to argue since we were in foreign land and he continued driving us to our destination, causing us to take more than an hour to reach! Therefore, beware of taking a taxi to the resort…We didn’t even know who to complain to.

HOTEL RESORT

The lobby of the Holiday Inn Resort Phuket was nicely decorated. We felt relaxed the moment we stepped in at about 7.10pm (Thailand’s time is one hour behind Singapore). While Vin was busy at the counter, the energetic baby girl was exploring all around the seating areas. She didn’t know how to walk yet, so I could only keep her on the comfortable sofas.

ROOM STAY

We were given a room on the third level, facing the kid’s pool. The hotel room was huge and comfy enough for all four of us, with two double beds. We also requested a cot for Ling, which was like a travel cot and comfortable for her. Dar was however disappointed that there was no bathtub for him to play.

There was a balcony outside with deck chairs and a table, but we seldom venture out in case of mosquitoes. Eventually, we used that area to dry our swim wear during the day. The new few days, I discovered a nice view of the pool and surroundings, but we were out so often during the day that it didn’t matter much to us.

EXPLORING

To get to the streets of Patong Beach, we had to walk to the breakfast area and beyond the swimming pools. There was a back entrance with a security guard. Stepping out, we were right on the streets of Patong Beach. Turning right, we had our first Thai Dinner in the first restaurant we came across.


DAY 2 – BREAKFAST IN RESORT

We woke up early for our buffet breakfast. There was a variety of Western and Chinese cuisine. I love that they had proper high chairs for infants. We took a while to eat our fill so we could have a later lunch. Ling was restless however, and kept wanting to stand up in the high chair, so we had to take turns to carry her.

After breakfast, we walked across to the same exit, where there was a pedestrian crossing to Patong Beach right outside. The security guard at the gate helped us slow/stop the traffic by raising his hand, so we could cross the road safely. I really like this initiative since we have children with us.

Holiday Inn Resort Phuket is really a family friendly hotel. We would discover more of the fun for the rest of our 4 days 3 nights stay. Read more about the activities we did in the next few posts coming up!

{ Accommodation Info }

Location : Holiday Inn Resort Phuket
Choice due to: near Patong Beach and Family Friendly
Room Type: 2 Double Beds Superior with Breakfast
Price: 15,765.93 (THB) for 3 nights
Incentive: Sign up as their IHG member when we did the booking to earn reward points.
Airport Transfer: 1,500 baht per car per way, one car can fit 3 people with luggage.
(Compare: taxi counter to book taxi, price approximately 850 – 1,200 baht per car per way. We didn’t use their service and booked taxi from taxi counter directly. Regretted! Read “Side-Story” above)
Website: Holiday Inn Resort Phuket

*As with all our reviews previously, we did not reveal our status as blog writers to them and thus this hotel review is entirely based on our experiences and observations.

{ Next Post : Holiday Inn Resort Swim }