Phuket has gained a reputation as a ‘party place’, filled with bars offering cheap alcohol, a haven for young backpackers. So, could it be right for an intrepid family seeking luxurious accommodation? We discovered exactly this at the Amari Phuket, a hotel set on the hillside at one end of the famed Patong beach, that is ideal for combining adventurous family days out with a luxurious hotel bolt hole to relax and enjoy. The Amari Phuket has recently undergone a huge facelift, with lots of renovations to the existing hotel, as well as a whole new ‘Ocean Wing’, having been built. The Ocean Wing follows a winding path up the hillside. The path is steep and although there are stairs cut in, everyone uses the on hand buggy system to get up and down.
The hotel itself has a total of 380 rooms, including luxurious suites in the Ocean Wing. Guests staying in this part of the hotel have exclusive access to the Club House: which houses an infinity pool that looks over Patong beach bay, a bar restaurant with terrace and a sun patio. There are lots of comfy beds around the pool and the service is excellent – even by Amari standards. Every day at 530pm, the Club House hosts a happy hour for its lucky guests. This means free drinks (including alcoholic), and a tiered tray of canapés. Watching the sun set while enjoying these treats is unforgettable.
There are two other swimming pools at the Amari Phuket, and five restaurants/cafe bars. An Italian and a traditional Thai are by one or other of these pools. You can walk along a seaside trail to reach the hotel’s private jetty, which stretches along to a ladder leading down to a great area for snorkelling. No life guard here though, so confident swimmers only. Although there are some great sunbeds on the jetty, this might not be the ideal place for kids. But when they are having a brilliant time in the kids’ club, it is an excellent spot for a quiet retreat!
TIP: Don’t miss a visit to the main reception bar, which is huge and has a tropical backdrop worthy of a Hollywood film. This is en route to the kids’ club…
There is a bright and breezy kids’ club at the Amari Phuket, with a big lounge area filled with toys and activities for when a break from that beautiful sunshine is needed. There is a schedule of exciting, timed activities for kids to sign up to, as well as craft things to do, such as painting a piece of pottery, which are ‘pay as you go’. so it is well worth asking reception for a copy of the timetable, when you check in.
The hotel is offering a special ‘family package’ for families staying in the new Ocean Wing:
“Planning a family holiday can sometimes be stressful and that’s why we’re here to take care of all the details. With accommodation in our new two bedroom suites and a host of special benefits including complimentary airport transfer, dinner for four at Rim Talay Restaurant and a free VIP pass to our Kids Club, our package is perfect for you to share an unforgettable holiday. Book now and take the first step to creating lasting memories – all together.”
The Amari Phuket’s private beach
The hotel’s private beach is idyllic, but the close proximity to Patong means that it is an easy stroll with a pram, or for little legs, to the bay’s main public stretch of sand. Phuket’s ‘busy busy, party party’ scene is there if you want to get involved and easily avoided, if you don’t. During the day, the public beach is often deserted, and it’s easy to find a big patch of sand to call your own.
Costs: Amari Phuket
Starting rate for a family of four in the Ocean Wing on B&B basis 9,595 THB+++ (around £188)
Starting rate for a couple in the Ocean Wing on B&B basis 5,225 THB+++ (around £102)
You can prearrange a transfer from ferry port or airport to the hotel.
For more information, the latest rates and to book, visit Amari Phuket, online