Krabi is renowned for its picture-perfect beaches. Most famous, perhaps, is Railay beach, the subject of many a poster print. So, it was pretty high on on list of places to visit during our three-week travelling trip of Thailand. We didn’t want to stay right in tourist central, at Railay, so instead chose to stay at Amari Vogue, Krabi, above, which is located on the relatively quiet Tubkaek beach. We arrived at Ao Nang pier, from Phuket, and there was a transfer to our hotel waiting for us (organised with ferry). This took around 30 minutes. There were lots of other families on our bus transfer going to our and other hotels, so the back was stacked high with pushchairs!
I had always hoped that Thailand would live up to the posters I used to tack on my bedroom walls. I had travelled down the east coast of this wonderful country last year, and although I had been in awe at the sights I had seen while there, nothing could have prepared me for the perfect view you get from the reception of the Amari Vogue.
The hotel is built on an incline, so the accommodation is on steps that lead down to the beach, with a water feature running in the middle, all the way down. This provides an ideal frame for the uninterrupted view of the sea and iconic limestone rocks on the horizon. There are just 57 rooms, which makes it feel intimate, an Italian restaurant, Bellini, a Thai restaurant, Lotus, and a sunset bar, the Sunset Lounge. There is a main pool near the beach and Italian bar restaurant, with plenty of beds. The smaller pools can be enjoyed all to your yourselves, if you get up early enough to bag the beds!
TIP: If travelling with babies, you will most likely be taking a baby sling or carrier anyway, but you will need it here to make getting up and down the steps, easier. Also, you can book a room closer to the beach, to make tackling these a little simpler, too.
The decor in the rooms is traditional Lanna Thai-style. Lots of dark wood and big, big beds! The hotel will set up an extra bed, or crib, in the room before you arrive, if you need.
The Amari Vogue currently has a special offer for families:
All Together Family Package, 01 Mar 2016 – 30 Apr 2017, 3 Night(s) in Grand Deluxe, from 8310THB per night
The package Includes:
- Round-trip Krabi airport transfer by car
- Complimentary Extra bed with Breakfast for child
- 20% Discount on Food & Beverages
- 3-course set dinner at Bellini
- Free use of hotel Kayak
What to eat
We had most of our evening meals in the hotel’s Italian bar restaurant, Bellini, beside the beach. This was because we loved watching the sun set, and we also enjoyed the happy hour at the same place! Children will like the basic pizza pasta menu, here, which is made from the freshest ingredients, and is a real palate cleanser if you have been going hard on the Thai dishes. There is the Thai restaurant at the top of the hotel, Lotus, which is also where breakfast is served. You can get the traditional massaman and Thai curries here, but watch out for the spice levels, here. Even ordering ‘mild’ was blisteringly hot for my sad taste buds, but the staff and chefs are happy to recook if you do find yourself in a piping hot situation.
Things to do
There is no kids’ club, but the hotel does have a schedule of activities like feeding the tropical fish that children of all ages can get involved with. Amari Vogue is all about having fun on the beach. What more do you need than a bucket and spade? Well, perhaps a kayak? The hotel provides hire of these, which you can borrow from beside the beach bar. We took a couple of tandems and paddled towards the limestone rocks. Quickly realising they were further than first thought, we took a right and found a cute little cove of beach, which no one else was on. We collected shells, chased crabs and just enjoyed the peace, only interrupted by the odd passing longtail boat.
The hotel provides a shuttle a few times a day into nearby Ao Nang, the nearest large town. This has the typical seaside restaurants, bars and shops, with a long, wide stretch of beach. Monkeys live in the forests at the end of the stretch, which children might enjoy – but, beware, they love to steal from unassuming tourists! You can also take a hotel shuttle to the nearest row of restaurants, a little too far to walk for small legs. There are a few other hotels along the beach that you can also take a wander to.
If you want to take a day trip, you can either pay one of the waiting long tail boats to take you to Hong Island national park (the limestone rocks opposite the hotel), or you can book a day trip through the hotel concierge. We would recommend the Four Islands trip – but only if you have good sea legs. This tour takes you to Railay beach, Chicken island, Koh Poda and the Tup islet. On windy days it can get a little choppy, and as you are on a speedboat, that means bumpy!
We might be biased, but Tubkaek beach definitely has the edge over Ao Nang, and I’d say, even Railay. It is more peaceful and with lots less people. I don’t think you could improve the view from the sands of Tubkaek, as it is pretty postcard ready as it is – especially at sunset. Families will love the chance to really ‘get away from it all’ especially if heading here from Bangkok or Chiang Mai.
Costs: Amari Vogue Krabi
Starting rate for a family of four on B&B basis (1 bedroom villa) at THB 10,900++ (around £215) per room per night (children must be below 12 years old)
Starting rate for a couple on B&B basis (Grand deluxe Jacuzzi) at THB 7,600++ (around £150) per room per night
For more information, the latest rates and to book, visit Amari Vogue, Krabi, online