Want to book a Phuket villa but hesitant to forego the convenient amenities of a resort? Here’s how to get the best of both worlds, mama!
I don’t know about you – but I tend to find that people either fall into the self catering/villa or the hotel camp when it comes to holiday accommodation. We have always been very much in the villa market, especially since having kids. Concerns that hotels are too expensive and too small — not to mention you’re all stuffed in one room and the fact that my kids wake up at 6am every day, have all made me shy away from hotels.
So when I was researching our latest family holiday to Phuket, I came across the best solution: Anantara Vacation Club Mai Khao Phuket. It’s a total hybrid: take the best parts of a hotel – restaurants, room service, breakfast, daily maid cleaning, kids’ club, clean towels, babysitting, fab location – and the best parts of a Villa – private pool, separate bedrooms, kitchen, washing machine, tumble dryer, space, privacy, and boom! You’ve got the Anantara Vacation Club.
Our 2-Bedroom, Private Pool Villa was so beautiful – huge bathrooms and bedrooms; fab, very well stocked kitchen, including Nespresso coffee machine, fridge, washing machine (and washing soap ready to use) and tumble dryer, iron etc. Daily milk and water topped up, too.
Plus at 5pm every day a little afternoon treat was delivered to the door! Lemongrass Crème Brulee mmmm! The pool was perfect – shallow end for little ones – and just the right length for a few lengths for me!
This villa was so perfect for families it’s unreal; I only wish I had discovered this when the kids, now 8 and 5, were younger. If you have toddlers or babies it would be spot on – they even have paths for strollers!
Free bike hire and buggies meant we could get around really easily, making use of the three hotels there (Anantara Vacation Club, Anantara Phuket Villas resort and JW Marriott Phuket) and opening us up to over 10 restaurants. We had fab stone baked pizza at Crust on the Vacation Club site, and then for a Thai fix we loved Ginja at JW Marriott – great kids’ menu there, too!
The on-site kids club’ offers rock climbing, Muay Thai lessons, cookery classes, an outdoor movie night – the options are endless and the kids’ staff were so friendly. My kids were signing themselves in when we weren’t looking!
This did give us the opportunity to pop across the road to the Anantara Phuket Villas resort … and make use of the amazing Anantara Spa! We had the signature treatment in a couple’s room – and it was 90 minutes of heaven!
So what’s the difference between Anantara Vacation Club and the main resort? Both cost about the same ($750-$850 per night for a 2-Bedroom Villa), but at the latter you won’t get a kitchen or washing machine. The hotel is slightly closer to the beach, but again with the free bikes and buggies it’s quite easy to get around. The Vacation Club even has its own huge pool!
The real beauty of the Vacation Club vs the hotel is the fact thats it’s a shared ownership concept, so you pay a one-off fixed amount, and your holidays are sorted around the world! No more time lost planning and worrying about how the hotel will be — it’s a dead cert to be good quality, family luxury around the world. Or you can just keep going back to the same place!! Totally flexible and simple!
All in all, it was a fabulous family holiday: super easy, short flight, just a 10-minute trip from the airport. In short, all the comforts of home combined with a bit of hotel luxury.