Monday, 10 January 2011

Move over Mr Cameron, I need a room for Christmas!


(3 bedroom villa, pool area at Six Senses Yao Noi)

(Beach at Soneva Kiri by Six Senses, Koh Kood)

Our Director Oliver mixed work with pleasure in December, travelling all over Thailand to visit new hotels to offer our clients.

The highlight of which was a short stay at Soneva Kiri by Six Senses, read on to learn more…

Being a travel agent, I like to have my own holidays very organised and my December visit to Thailand was arranged way back in April. Various trade shows, conferences and events later, my hotel visits had tripled and our relaxing winter sun break had changed into a hop around Thailand, packing in as many new hotels and resorts as possible. Of course I had no reason to complain, the hotels I would be visiting are amongst the top in Asia and as someone who has grown up being toured around properties all over the world, it is in my nature to check out what’s new!

We started at the new Le Meridien in Bangkok (bedroom pictured below), right opposite the Patpong night market, in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the city. A contemporary hotel with a flair for using modern art, the rooms gave superb views over the city and it was a real oasis amongst the smells and sounds of the street sellers.

(Le Meridien, Bangkok)

Our trip then took us to Yao Noi, just an hours flight from Bangkok to Phuket followed by a 40 minute speed boat ride through beautiful island scenery. Passing traditional Thai fishing boats we arrived sun kissed at Six Senses Yao Noi. Perched on a hillside, this private pool villa getaway is a real Robinson Crusoe escape. Ideal for couples looking for a honeymoon style holiday, you can day trip to Krabi or Phi Phi island, watch sunsets over the limestone islands jutting out from the sea in the distance and enjoy the relaxed ‘barefoot’ luxury concept of the Six Senses brand.
(Garden Pool villa at Six Senses Yao Noi)

(Arrival view of Six Senses Yao Noi)

On our return to Phuket we enjoyed white water rafting, quite an exhilarating experience that I hadn’t undertaken before. There were holidaymakers from all over the world, of all ages and everyone managed well with no ‘overboards’! The guides were very well trained and looked after us really well.

Also in Phuket we stayed at the Sala Resort. A private pool villa hotel, again perfect for romantic holidays set on miles of beautiful protected white beaches. The lack of beach sellers was a bonus, as was the neighbouring Anantara, Marriot and Renaissance resorts which offered an alternative dinner arrangements which was nice to be able to sample the array of food on offer.
(Sala Pool villa at Sala Resort Phuket)

The highlight of the trip however was most definitely the final resort we visited. After many frantic phone calls trying to arrange a bed for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day, the confirmation came through. We were to make our way back to Bangkok, connect with another flight to Trat, be transferred by 4x4 for 40 minutes, wait 2 hours and then be taken by speed boat for 50 minutes to the island of Koh Kood to stay at Soneva Kiri. I should note here that our clients would only have to take a simple 1 hour flight by private 8 seater plane direct to the resorts very own landing strip – a much simpler journey! For me however it was a jaunt and a half, but well worth it! Rumour has it a certain prime minister was originally booked in to stay over Christmas but cancelled at the last minute, maybe this is why we could be accommodated!

(Beachfront Villa at Soneva Kiri by Six Senses)

Soneva Kiri by Six Senses really is a cut above the rest. Covering a large area it is suitable for families and romantic couples alike who can enjoy the breathtaking setting and experiences on offer. The Six Senses brand is all about respecting their local cultures and using eco-friendly materials wherever possible. They also offer visitors many local ‘experiences’ and the highlight for me was their ‘Tree Top Dining’. We were hoisted up into the trees hanging in a purpose build giant basked and served a traditional Thai feast for Christmas dinner, by our waiters who zip-lined to us! We were also taken down the coast just 2km and into a rivers mouth where we moored up at a local restaurant funded by the resort and taken through a 7 course taster menu to taste the delights of South eastern Thai cuisine.

(Tree Top dining at Soneva Kiri by Six Senses)

Each villa has its own pool, and some like ours, their own private beach. Golf buggies are the mode of transport and much fun was to be had navigating our way around the jungle like location. A truly unique resort, and you never know, you may bump into ‘Rock Royalty’!

Although our trip was short, it was truly memorable and a 5-7 night stay would be recommended as part of your Thai adventure. The service offered throughout Thailand was second to none and I will most definitely return.

To view pictures of my trip visit www.robertbroadtravel.co.uk/gallery. For further details on these hotels please visit www.robertbroadtravel.co.uk/thailand.

To discuss planning your holiday to Thailand please do contact us on 01543 258631 or email Oliver directly: oliver@robertbroadtravel.co.uk.

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