Marriott Vacation Club, Phuket, Thailand
Vacation time!! Yeayyy!! Karan planned a short trip to Phuket for my 31st birthday. We had a lot of guests over the last few months so it’s been busy and we needed a small vacay to unwind. But travelling with a 6-month old baby is so different from any holiday we have previously been on.
Resort: Marriott Vacation Club
We stayed at the Marriott Vacation Club at Mai Khao Beach. It is away from the city and Potong beach. Our main focus was just to relax since it was our first vacation with Karma. Hence, we were quite okay with being away from the hustle-bustle.
We were very happy with the resort. The beach was just 500 metres away and there was a nice path way leading to it. The pool at the resort was also pretty cool though we didn’t try it out. (I just realised I didn’t take any photos of all that. Ah well, you live, you learn!). They had a pool side bar and two restaurants as well. The menu was the same as the room service menu – Western, local and Indian food items. The breakfast buffet gets full points. Lot of variety and good yummy breakfast. Local and American with a lot of fruits, pastries and salads.
We had a two bedroom suite with a plunge pool (We got a good deal!!). The rooms were amazing. There was a washer-dryer too and a small fully equipped kitchen. (Yes, this is what happens after a baby… You get more excited about a kitchenette than a sprawling luxurious bathroom!).
We had asked for a cot which they provided. Karma is not used to travel cots and she cried the first time we put her in it. I think she felt enclosed but got used to it pretty quickly and slept well. I had taken her blankets from home and I’m glad I did. The baby blanket they had with the cot was a little heavy for her as she is still quite small. So I used that as another layer above the mattress. There was a big diaper accident (Oops!) so it protected the mattress underneath… LOL! The staff was very quick to change it. In fact, overall the cleaning staff was excellent. Our rooms looked impeccable everyday!!
The plunge pool at the suite was surprisingly deep for a small pool. I’m around 5.5′-5.6′ and my feet would not touch the bottom. We took Karma for a dip and she cried for the first five minutes because the water was a bit cold. But once she got comfy, she had a good time splashing around.
In & Around:
We went for a walk on Mai Khao beach in the evening. The water is a bit rough and the sand is wet so it’s not a ‘don my bikini and chill’ kinda beach. It was July-end and wind was very strong. Lot of those small sand coloured crabs around too. But it’s a beautiful sight and a lovely walk. You do need a big stroller if you have an infant. We took our Joovy jogger and it was really handy. A smaller stroller would have conked off on that beach or at least the baby would be very uncomfortable.
There is a (much easier) path that connects all the hotels along that strip. We took that the second day. There were some small massage stalls along the way with decent cheap massages. Lot of restaurants and bars too but since these are mostly part of different hotels and resorts, they are slightly expensive. Right next to JW Marriott resort, there are a few small food stands with delicious Thai food on the beach itself. If you’re not looking for fancy stuff and just wanna sit around, drink a few beers and eat some good papaya salad, try this out.There is also Turtle Village right next to the hotel. It’s a small market area with shops and restaurants. Mostly branded stuff which you can get anywhere. At max, I would recommend the souvenir shop but otherwise it’s just a back up to go and kill sometime. There is a reasonably big mart which has all essentials, baby stuff and snacks and drinks. So that was quite handy.In front of Turtle Village, there were street food stalls which were pretty good. Some yummy spicy sausage and local banana pan cake (though it seemed more like a crepe).
Overall, we had a great time at the Marriott Vacation Club. It was just the kind of easy going luxurious break we needed. I recommend taking a sturdy stroller if you are travelling with an infant. Most places will not have a ramp and roads are bumpy. A lighter stroller will be easier to carry over stairs but rest of the areas might be very uncomfortable for the baby.