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Thailand Honeymoon Help for Nov/Dec 2018

Thailand Honeymoon Help for Nov/Dec 2018

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Old Jan 29, 18, 12:52 pm
  #1  
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Thailand Honeymoon Help for Nov/Dec 2018

Hey everyone,

First, thanks already for all the help. This forum has been a tremendous resource for planning our honeymoon. With that said, I was hoping the FT community could weigh in on our itinerary. Should we remove certain spots? Add others? Best value accommodation wise?

We are thinking of an 18 day trip through Thailand with a budget around $10K USD for all hotel stays. We are young and fairly active so we don't mind being on the move too much.
  • Bangkok: Nov. 20th - 23rd
    • Hotels: Marriott Marquis Queens Park or Marriott Suk. (in order of preference from my research)
    • My finance is Platinum with Marriott/SPG and has a free night certificate to use, which should help with overall trip affordability
  • Chiang Mai: Nov. 23rd - 27th
    • Hotels: 137 Pillars, Four Seasons Chiang Mai, Dhara Dhevi, Anantara
    • Currently booked at Dhara Dhevi with a refundable rate through Amex FHR as it seems like the best bang for buck as of now with their 3rd night free offer
    • We had our hearts set on 137 Pillars, but rates recently skyrocketed compared to a week ago. This is probably due to Loy Krathong Festival. Not sure if this is permanent or we can expect them to come back down.
  • Golden Triangle: Nov. 27th - 29th
    • Hotels: Four Seasons Tented Camp, Anantara GT
    • Budgeted for Anantara as it appears FS is just too expensive for our budget
  • Phuket/Krabi: Nov. 29th - Dec. 3rd
    • Hotels: Ritz-Carlton Phulay Bay, Rayavadee, Renaissance Phuket, JW Marriott Phuket, JW Khao Lak
    • Fiance's heart is set on Phulay Bay, but we (mainly me) are intrigued by Rayavadee's Experience Package which comes to about $2200 USD for breakfast, dinners, couples massage, and cooking class/rock climbing excursion
    • We are generally leaning towards Krabi over Phuket as well based off what I have read here and other places
  • Koh Samui: Dec. 3rd - 7th
    • Hotels: Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Conrad, W
    • We have budgeted for Four Seasons as our biggest splurge stay, but could be willing to switch depending on options
Thanks again in advance!
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Old Jan 29, 18, 1:42 pm
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The Thai Four Seasons resorts are, in my opinion, among the best FS resorts globally and punch above their weight (I also have good hopes for the upcoming FS BKK).
In particular I would definitely not consider anything else in Koh Samui.
Let them know it's your honeymoon in advance and they will take good care of you.
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Old Jan 29, 18, 2:08 pm
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Have you considered swapping CNX and CEI to take better advantage of the air schd?
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Old Jan 29, 18, 2:10 pm
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Wow - that’s way too much moving around to enjoy much of anything, in my opinion I would advise cutting out one of the beach destinations and redistributing those nights to stay longer in Chiang Rai as well.

I think Four Seasons or Anantara Golden Triangle warrant a stay of four nights. Definitely no fewer than three night. I prefer to stay for five nights.
I would suggest choosing either FS Koh Samui OR Rayavadee, but not both. Or, if you prefer Phuket I suggest Trisara.

If flying CNX-HKT, there is a direct TG flight. So, it would be better to go to Chiang Rai first, take ground transportation to Chiang Mai, and then fly directly to Phuket (Krabi can also be reached by car from Phuket airport). Otherwise, you’ll essentially lose a full day in transit through BKK, door to door.

Last edited by MikeFromTokyo; Jan 29, 18 at 2:17 pm
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Old Jan 29, 18, 2:30 pm
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Originally Posted by ABG View Post
Have you considered swapping CNX and CEI to take better advantage of the air schd?
I had not mainly because we thought being in Chiang Mai on the 23rd would be interesting with the Loy Krathong/Yee Peng Festival going on. Maybe it isn't necessary, but seems like a good event to take advantage of since it falls within our travel window.
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Old Jan 29, 18, 6:51 pm
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I would stay at the BKK Starwood properties if your Marriott free certs allow like St. Regis or SGS Luxury Collection.
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Old Jan 29, 18, 7:09 pm
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I agree. There is also the Athénée LC.
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Old Jan 29, 18, 7:15 pm
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Doing Phuket AND Koh Samui is a bit of a waste really. It's fine if you live near Southeast Asia or are a frequent traveler and can split the stay across different trips, but I see no real reason to do both.
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Old Jan 29, 18, 7:18 pm
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Originally Posted by szacksanders View Post
I had not mainly because we thought being in Chiang Mai on the 23rd would be interesting with the Loy Krathong/Yee Peng Festival going on. Maybe it isn't necessary, but seems like a good event to take advantage of since it falls within our travel window.
Maybe someone has better experience, but i was always led to believe the crowds (both local and tourist) make this not the experience it seems to be
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Old Jan 29, 18, 8:21 pm
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Originally Posted by 0bsidian View Post
The Thai Four Seasons resorts are, in my opinion, among the best FS resorts globally and punch above their weight (I also have good hopes for the upcoming FS BKK).
In particular I would definitely not consider anything else in Koh Samui.
Let them know it's your honeymoon in advance and they will take good care of you.
Completely agree with this statement. My wife and I spent our honeymoon hoping around Thailand staying in multiple Four Seasons properties. Can't say enough good things about FS Samui. The hard product was outstanding and service was very good. Only drawback was the food in the restaurants minus breakfast and the Once in Blue Moon dinner was rather average. Although with the exception of FS Kyoto and FS Seattle I find the food at most FS properties average. The setup on the beach is quite good as there's Wifi and each seat has a call button for service thus you don't have to wait long for a beverage or snack. We spent a week and never left the property. I recommend doing the Muay Thai lesson. Expensive but fun and a good workout.
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Old Jan 29, 18, 8:37 pm
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Another rave for the four seasons koh Sami. We were there for our honeymoon in 2013 and still talk about how amazing it was there.

In Chang mai we stayed at the chedi (now anatara) and the grounds are quite nice.
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Old Jan 30, 18, 12:41 am
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Second the StR BKK and avoid the W Samui. It's pretty, but it tries to be hip and cool like most Ws. We paid $900 a night for the Ocean View Escape and checked out after 2 nights. Rain didn't help, but there's not much to do. Frankly USM is not a luxury destination once you leave the resort you're amongst backpackers.
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Old Jan 30, 18, 2:30 am
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I enjoy moving around a lot so personally I think your schedule is doable, but there is not a huge amount of advantage to be had from doing both Phuket and Koh Samui. They're logistically very far apart and ultimately are pretty inter-changeable. Both islands are nowadays spoilt by tourism, but have some exceptional hotels. The FS Koh Samui is (by reputation) fantastic, though Phuket is usually better value than Koh Samui and has an Aman and a number of top end hotels like Trisara which you could consider. I would back up Mohamed and say that I personally wasn't over-awed by the W Samui, especially given the price.

If you're young and active have you considered taking a 1-night boat trip out to one of the smaller remote islands and staying at somewhere a bit more shack on a beach for one night? It will be a really memorable experience, and there's a full range from electricity free beach huts (maybe that's taking it a bit far) to something like The Place on Koh Tao (check out the view from their Honeymoon Villa) - all secluded, private, and really not costing very much, but also undeniably not a luxury experience. For me, this would greatly add to the richness of a trip where you otherwise get quite used to having someone always nearby with a cold hand towel.

You have many great options in Bangkok, so personally I would skip the Marriott hotels. Best at the top end are the Siam or Mandarin Oriental, the Peninsula is one of the world's great hotels and is now in the middle range of price (check out tablet.com for special offers) and the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit is a bit favourite of people on the Starwood forum (including my own) for top level service at a very reasonable price.

Last edited by EuropeanPete; Jan 30, 18 at 2:36 am
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Old Jan 30, 18, 2:35 am
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Hi szacksanders! Congrats and hope you have a great honeymoon.

For hotels in Bangkok, I would be sure wherever you stay in convenient to the sites that you want to see, and to a BTS (skytrain) or at least an MRT (subway) stop. The Marriott Sukhumvit is close a BTS stop, is nearby some great restaurants in Thonglor, and has a great rooftop bar. Can't speak to their rooms, unfortunately. I've never been to the Marriott Marquis Queens Park, but I would make sure you can exit out the back towards the park. Otherwise, it will be a long sweaty walk to the BTS, EmQuartier, and most other place you will want to visit Prong Phom. As others have said, The StR is an incredible hotel, and it has a direct connection to the BTS. I personally like the Westin and the Sheraton Grand (not to be confused with the truly awful Royal Orchard Sheraton) as well.

A few words of caution. Your trip seems a bit hurried for a honeymoon, unless that is your style of travel. Also, I love Thailand, but some of the beaches, even at high end properties, are eroding very badly and dirty (at least beyond the resort's property line). I would research this carefully before selecting your beach resorts.
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Old Jan 30, 18, 2:40 am
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I would also check the weather. HKT and USM have completely different climates depending on time of year.
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