Our little family planned a short getaway to Phuket in Aug. We pulled K out of school for 2 days simply because we still could, and because we wanted to avoid the crowd during holiday peak season.
Us parents have been to Patong before, so we knew what to expect of that beach. We decided on the Holiday Inn in Patong as opposed to Mai Khao cos we’d heard good things about its child-friendliness, and also because we wanted food options outside the hotel. Although we enjoyed being walking distance away from Jungceylon shopping mall (with Swensens! and Big C!), we figured that we might go for the more remote Mai Khao resort next time.
We were amazed at how much the girls enjoyed digging in the sand. It wasn’t even very nice sand. But they were so absorbed – just throw them a shovel and bucket and off they were. Even protested when we said it was time to go, almost an hour (?) later. The most “low-maintenance” activity of the trip. Love.
The resort was indeed family friendly, with no less than 5 pools at our disposal! In our 4D3Ns there, we only managed to explore 3 of the pools – would really have loved to sip from a fresh coconut at the other wing’s swim-up bar. Ahhh….
This “sail” landscaped one was cute, with a small pool for 7-11 year olds.
Here’s our not-quite-7-year-old trying to get a piece of the action.
Cutest dino slide ever.
B the chiongster really enjoyed this. K underestimated the slipperiness of the slide and got a mild scare, but went back on over and over again thereafter!
The kids’ club was a real boon, staffed by friendly crew who organised craft activities and games every 2 hours for the whole day. Yup, that’s at least 6 activities, not counting colouring or bouncing around or ad hoc hide-and-seek anytime you may want to. And it was free! If your kid is above 5, they can be left there the whole day, you just have to choose what lunch you’d like to order and pay for. Some kids chose to be left there, and their parents were seen (under our envious gaze) to be chilling by the poolside with a book, or off to some elephant show. Four. More. Years. (if we don’t have another kid, mind.) Must. Get. There. Soon.
The other thing that really delighted us on this trip was how K and B made friends at kids’ club. Being under 5, they had to be accompanied by at least 1 parent, so we got to observe them at play (from a corner, usually). Two of the older girls really took to B, and tried to mother her. She really liked one of them, and would point and scamper over to her even if she saw her outside kids’ club, e.g. at breakfast. Got to a point where B would rather sit on that jie jie’s lap than mine! Her own mother!!
The other super duper awesome thing (for a Singaporean) was the FOOD. Oh the breakfast buffet was to. DIE. for. Crazy variety of Asian and Western food meant that I could get my comfort beef soup (so good), K & B could have as many fishballs as they wanted (which was a lot), J could have his omelette, sausages, roast beef (the next day was roast chicken with cranberry sauce, then roast pork ooh la la, nicely carved periodically by the chef and warmed under a spotlight)
Lunch at Pum’s cooking school. Very underwhelming.
The other fantastic meal we treated ourselves to was steak at Sam’s steakhouse in the hotel’s premises. And the above was the kid’s meal. Serious.
It was the poshest kids’ meal plating I have ever seen. Stuffed chicken wings with sweet potato mash and I can’t recall what else. And it was delish.
All in all, it was a better trip than we’d expected. We didn’t choose Phuket cos we wanted to see Phi Phi Islands, or the apparently quite spectacular “Fantasea” show, or ride some elephants. It was just a trip to spend 24/7 (ok 24/4) with the kids, and bond as a family.
We were initially a bit worried that we’d be stuck with two wailing unhappy bored kids for four days, if the place did not suit them. But by God’s grace, it was fun! For all! And great value. So we’ll be back, Holiday Inn. Most likely at your sister resort, further away from the madding crowd.