On-site activities like Thai kickboxing and cooking classes
Free Wi-Fi throughout and 24-hour room service
only included with certain packages and otherwise expensive
and other landmarks are over an hour away
Few local dining
options outside resort
pools can be noisy
The 246-room beachfront Holiday Inn Resort Phuket Mai Khao sits on Thailand’s sparkling Andaman Sea, and its breezy, modern design embraces the jungle setting at every turn. In an area of Phuket filled with plenty of expensive hotels, this upscale resort is a great value with plenty of opportunities to relax or stay active, including two on-site restaurants, a large infinity pool, fitness classes, live entertainment, and, of course, the beach. Families are especially welcome here, with special Kid Suites and plenty of options to keep kids busy, though guests looking for the wild nightlife of Patong Beach will want to look elsewhere.
The low-rise buildings and open-air floor plans in the hotel’s common areas provide glimpses of palm trees and tropical gardens at almost every turn. Soft blues and off-whites with light hardwood accents run throughout the breezy lobby and main lounge areas, a motif which carries over into the guest rooms. This resort caters to families, with Kid and Teen Zones featuring jungle gyms, ball pits, trampolines, PlayStations, and game rooms. Travelers without kids and couples will feel comfortable, too, and the resort even offers a small business center for guests that need to stay plugged into their work at home.
Peaceful beach setting
away from hectic Phuket towns
Amid tall palm trees on a quiet beach, this resort feels secluded, though it’s less than 20 minutes from Phuket International Airport by car. Sirinat National Park is also a 20-minute drive away, where nature lovers and families with adventurous kids may spot wildlife including monkeys and nesting sea turtles. Bustling Phuket Town and Patong Beach are about an hour south and Patong is accessible by shuttle three times a day for a fee. Phang Nga Bay, famous for its limestone rock islands, is 40 minutes away by car. The resort is available to help book these excursions, as well as golf trips to Blue Canyon Country Club, local safaris, and fishing expeditions.
Bright, modern rooms with
private balconies and terraces
Deluxe Rooms are bright and spacious, with minimalist contemporary touches, light wood furnishings, and good beds, though they lack wall art and the 32-inch flat-screen TVs feel too small for the space. Circular settees, iPod-dock alarm clocks, in-room kettles for coffee or tea, and mini-fridges with free bottled water come standard with Deluxe Room bookings. Bathrooms are large, with marble vanities and walk-in rainfall showers, though toiletries are generic. Only a few rooms at the resort look out on the sea, though all rooms have balconies or terraces, and Pool Access rooms open onto their own exclusive pool. Suites have similar amenities to Deluxe Rooms, but with more space, 40-inch TVs, and beach-themed black-and-white photos on the walls. Kids and Family Suites have separate kids’ rooms with playful decor and furniture. Couples and guests looking for peace and quiet may want to book rooms away from the main pool and skip Pool Access bookings, as these spots can be noisy.
Large pool, beach, and options to relax
or get active for kids and adults
From Muay Thai kickboxing to sea kayaking, paddle boarding, free yoga, game-filled Kid and Teen Zones, and a 24-hour fitness center, this resort offers plenty of chances to stay active, though options for relaxation abound, too. The beach, which feels private even though it’s not, is perfect for sunbathing and long walks, and the Tea Tree Spa offers traditional Thai massages and specialty treatments. The large infinity pool can get a little rowdy with kids during the day, and features a swim-up bar with tropical drinks as well as a wading area. There resort includes a small deli and nightly fresh seafood barbecues on the beach as well as two on-site restaurants—Pesto, which offers Italian dishes in a laid-back setting, and J’s Café & Restaurant, which has breakfast and dinner buffets featuring Thai and western dishes set around an open kitchen. While kids under 12 eat free at buffets, only select plans include a free breakfast for adults, and there are no all-inclusive deals.
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