Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Hotels and Places to Stay > Marriott | Marriott Bonvoy
Reload this Page >

Need advice: South of Thailand, 5n stay at a beach hotel

Need advice: South of Thailand, 5n stay at a beach hotel

Reply

Old Dec 19, 18, 12:02 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 67
Question Need advice: South of Thailand, 5n stay at a beach hotel

Hi!

To be quick, we are spending a week in Thailand at the end of March, it will be the last leg of a 4 week vacation. Same as with our previous trip, we would like to end the trip spending 4-5n at some beach resort somewhere in the south of Thailand.

I have a cat-5 5n package, but wouldn't mind staying at a cat-6 either. And i will have Platinum status as well.

We are a family of 3, including a 3yo. Last time, we stayed at the Ritz in Bali, and what was nice about it, was that we had a room with Pool access, that was great because if we put the baby to sleep, we could simply swim at night. This hotel also had club lounge, which upon paying a daily fee, provided 4 services, that way we didnt end up eating at the Ritz branded restaurants and the overall food bill was pretty decent.

For this time, we would simply like to relax and not worry about much else, and if there is a nice beach in front, much better.

I'd love to go to Railey ( or Ao Nang ), as we went last year, but 4n/5n there is too much, plus there are no Marriott properties nearby.

Now, my choices are Phuket, Koh Samui, and Phu Quoc ( i know, not thailand ).

- Phuket is my least favorite destination, given how popular it is and the beach does not seem particularly nice. But flying there is rather cheap, and there are a couple of properties worth checking out.
- Koh Samui is the ideal place, but there are only 2 cat-5s and the rest are cat-7 i think. Not sure about either the Ritz or the W, there are very mixed reviews. Also the fact that flying there is not cheap at all. Around $1k ( CAD ) for 3 people. Although someone told me i could use Etihad with Bangkok Airways, so that would help a bit.
- Phu Quoc, i've read plenty of decent reviews, and we do enjoy the JW brand a lot. Main problem is getting there. flights have a similar cost to Koh Samui, and direct flights dont go everyday. If we were to fly via SGN, then i think we have to pay for a visa, which would increase costs even more. But, of all hotels, this is the one i like the most, and also the hardest to get to.


So, im looking for recommendations, i'm sure people here have been at most of the hotels in the area, and i would like to see different opinions.

I've read a few reviews here and there, but nothing helps me so far making a decision.

Thanks in advance!
coljung is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 20, 18, 11:55 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Oakland, California, USA
Programs: AA PLT,AS,UA PP,J6,FB,EY,LH,SQ,HH Dmd,Hyatt Expl,Marriott Plat,IHG Plat,Accor Gold
Posts: 10,361
Can't really comment on these options I'm afraid. But if you're open to others, the Andaman in Langkawi, Malaysia is one my wife's and my favorite hotels of the many we've stayed in across SE Asia. It's a category 5. Located on an island just south of Thailand, so maybe flyable from Bangkok or Hong Kong??? Beautiful, placid beach on the edge of a tropical rain forest. Nice island to easily drive around for a day, if you're so inclined.

Of course, check the reviews here at FT and at Tripadvisor to get a sense of whether it might be your cup of tea.
Thunderroad is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 18, 12:01 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: zurich
Programs: Miles&Smiles Gold
Posts: 358
Phu Quoc belongs to Vietnam not Thailand
northernstar84 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 18, 1:49 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: London
Programs: MUCCI; BAEC Lifetime Gold; TG ROP Silver; Marriott Bonvoy Emeritus Titanium; Hertz#1
Posts: 2,846
Which beach are you looking at inPhuket? Mai Khao beach where the JW is located is a lovely beach.
johnaalex is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 18, 4:09 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Bangkok and Palm Coast, FL. Exiled, again, from the Bay Area.
Programs: Only the good ones
Posts: 4,372
Originally Posted by johnaalex View Post
Which beach are you looking at inPhuket? Mai Khao beach where the JW is located is a lovely beach.
Second that as Mai Khao is my favorite with the JW and a Ren which is actually pretty nice. The beach is pristine, uncrowded and far from the crowds in the southern parts of Phuket.

That said, we're doing 3 nts at the Anatara (between the Ren and JW) in the villas with the private (smallish) pools. It's a timeshare promo deal that is offered at booths all over Bangkok at the better malls. $379 all in for the 3 nights in a villa including free breakfast. Of course, the restaurants are very pricy, but our favorite beach food truck, Rimhead, is right nextdoor the Anatara, and they'll move your table and chairs over by the beach, so you can enjoy the sunset while you're feasting on fresh fish and great Thai dishes. Decent beach massage tables right there also.

Langkwai mentioned in an earlier post is also great, and easy, inexpensive airfare from KUL.
rbAA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 18, 5:27 am
  #6  
soy
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: DUB-BOS
Programs: Rapidly decreasing - BA Silver, O6 *G, HH DIA, Mrr PLT, Assorted debris
Posts: 2,442
JW Khao Lak has a fantastic beach, Andaman is great also. Both have better beaches than Phu Quoc, though the Phu Quoc rooms are exceptional.
Have not been to Mai Khao
soy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 18, 4:06 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: London, UK
Posts: 169
Renaissance is very nice, I was there in November. Great service, breakfast is amazing, pool is spectacular by the beach. Got upgraded from the standard room to the two bedroom private pool villa, right next to the pool and beach!

Also stayed at the Anantara Vacation Club (different to the Anantara Villas Mai Khao, not as great). If you can bargain a good rate direct, it's worth it. I paid 180/nt incl taxes for a 2 bedroom pool villa for 4 people. You have to listen to a 2 hour sales pitch for the timeshare though.

Between the Ren and the AVC, definitely the Ren is better. But likely more expensive too.
boonkoh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 23, 18, 4:52 pm
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 67
Originally Posted by northernstar84 View Post
Phu Quoc belongs to Vietnam not Thailand
Yep, reason why i wrote that I would have to go through SGN ( Ho Chi Minh ) and pat for the visa, unless i take a direct flight, which is more expensive and doesnt fly everyday.
coljung is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 23, 18, 4:56 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 67
Originally Posted by Thunderroad View Post
Can't really comment on these options I'm afraid. But if you're open to others, the Andaman in Langkawi, Malaysia is one my wife's and my favorite hotels of the many we've stayed in across SE Asia. It's a category 5. Located on an island just south of Thailand, so maybe flyable from Bangkok or Hong Kong??? Beautiful, placid beach on the edge of a tropical rain forest. Nice island to easily drive around for a day, if you're so inclined.

Of course, check the reviews here at FT and at Tripadvisor to get a sense of whether it might be your cup of tea.
Originally Posted by johnaalex View Post
Which beach are you looking at inPhuket? Mai Khao beach where the JW is located is a lovely beach.
Originally Posted by soy View Post
JW Khao Lak has a fantastic beach, Andaman is great also. Both have better beaches than Phu Quoc, though the Phu Quoc rooms are exceptional.
Have not been to Mai Khao
Originally Posted by rbAA View Post
Second that as Mai Khao is my favorite with the JW and a Ren which is actually pretty nice. The beach is pristine, uncrowded and far from the crowds in the southern parts of Phuket.

That said, we're doing 3 nts at the Anatara (between the Ren and JW) in the villas with the private (smallish) pools. It's a timeshare promo deal that is offered at booths all over Bangkok at the better malls. $379 all in for the 3 nights in a villa including free breakfast. Of course, the restaurants are very pricy, but our favorite beach food truck, Rimhead, is right nextdoor the Anatara, and they'll move your table and chairs over by the beach, so you can enjoy the sunset while you're feasting on fresh fish and great Thai dishes. Decent beach massage tables right there also.

Langkwai mentioned in an earlier post is also great, and easy, inexpensive airfare from KUL.
Originally Posted by boonkoh View Post
Renaissance is very nice, I was there in November. Great service, breakfast is amazing, pool is spectacular by the beach. Got upgraded from the standard room to the two bedroom private pool villa, right next to the pool and beach!

Also stayed at the Anantara Vacation Club (different to the Anantara Villas Mai Khao, not as great). If you can bargain a good rate direct, it's worth it. I paid 180/nt incl taxes for a 2 bedroom pool villa for 4 people. You have to listen to a 2 hour sales pitch for the timeshare though.

Between the Ren and the AVC, definitely the Ren is better. But likely more expensive too.

Any thoughts about the Vana Belle in Koh Samui?

I recently found out that i could use Etihad miles to fly Bangkok-UMS, and that would make it a lot cheaper to get there. Having said this, choices in Koh Samui are either the 2 cat-5, or the other cat-7s. Vana Belle looks gorgeous, and i believe is going up in price next week.

Anyone has stayed there ?

Thanks for all the other replies btw, JW in Phuket was my main option, but im unsure if they have rooms with Pool access.
coljung is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 23, 18, 4:56 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: LHR
Programs: Accor PLT,Thai Silver, HH Dia, SPG PLT (LT Gold), TK Gold, M&M S, BA Silver, Hyatt Dia
Posts: 4,279
If you want to sit on the beach and chill. Avoid the sordid nightlife. Eat good seafood and meet friendly people I would say JW Khao Lak.
ExpatSomchai is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 23, 18, 5:56 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K 1MM; AS MVPG; Marriott Plat Premier; Hilton Diamond (Aspire); Hyatt Refugeeist
Posts: 38,532
Originally Posted by coljung View Post
Any thoughts about the Vana Belle in Koh Samui?
Beautiful resort with stunning views, great service. All the rooms have plunge pools (but they are not suites, despite the name). Beach is okay, not fabulous. Main Chaweng beach has nicer sand than Chaweng Noi, but it's much more crowded. Depending on paid rates 60k/night is often not a very good deal here.

I like Samui much more than Phuket, though I have not stayed up at Mai Khao.

Originally Posted by coljung View Post
Vana Belle looks gorgeous, and i believe is going up in price next week.
You have until March to book at 60k.
Kacee is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 10, 19, 9:06 am
  #12  
Moderator, El Al and Marriott Bonvoy
Hyatt Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge 2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: SIN
Programs: TG*G, Mar LTBT, Hyatt Glb, AA PLT-LTG, LY, HH, IC, BA, DL, UA SLV
Posts: 10,861
Originally Posted by coljung View Post
Any thoughts about the Vana Belle in Koh Samui?

I recently found out that i could use Etihad miles to fly Bangkok-UMS, and that would make it a lot cheaper to get there. Having said this, choices in Koh Samui are either the 2 cat-5, or the other cat-7s. Vana Belle looks gorgeous, and i believe is going up in price next week.

Anyone has stayed there ?

Thanks for all the other replies btw, JW in Phuket was my main option, but im unsure if they have rooms with Pool access.

The beach at Vana Belle was the first time in my life I understood why people like the beach. Going back for the fourth time in May.

That said, JW Khao Lak would be great.
yosithezet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 25, 19, 11:32 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: New York, N.Y.
Posts: 237
Koh Samui: Standard room at Vana Belle or beachfront villa at Renaissance?

My wife and I are looking to spend a few days on the beach in July as part of our first trip to Thailand. For the dates we're travelling, it looks like we could stay for roughly the same price at either the Vana Belle in a standard (jungle) pool suite or at the Renaissance Koh Samui in a beachfront pool villa. Both hotels seem to get good reviews here, but the Vana Belle is likely the nicer resort. I'm wondering if this group has any thoughts about whether it makes more sense to stay at a higher-category room at a somewhat less nice resort versus a standard room at a purportedly more luxurious property. I lean toward the Renaissance, because I like the idea of an oceanview from the room, but I wonder if we'd be missing something special if we skip the Vana Belle.

(The Le Meridian Koh Samui is quite a bit less expensive for a pool suite, but the reviews for that hotel on FT seem mixed at best. And, for what it's worth, we've only got Gold status, so not counting on any upgrades or other special treatment at either hotels.)

Last edited by DCAview; Mar 25, 19 at 11:45 pm
DCAview is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 26, 19, 1:06 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Programs: Marriott Titanium, Hilton Gold, United Silver
Posts: 123
I can comment on the Renaissance: Stayed there last summer in an ocean view villa (upgraded from garden).

There are three ocean view villas which sit above the main swimming pool. The rest directly look out onto the sea. We had the former, which reduced our privacy significantly but also proved convenient for us to use the main pool when it was empty.

The villa itself was a good size. The shower/bath setup was odd as it is essentially just a deeper larger shower you can fill up. The plunge pool was a reasonable size for 2 people to be in at once.

Food variety and quality was of a high standard as was the buffet breakfast.

Not perfect, however:
1. For an area riddled with mosquitoes there were some bizarre areas of standing water behind the villas which looked horrific. They did though spray the resort and I do not recall seeing a mosquito.
2. We had a lizard fall off a ceiling beam. It was killed on impact with the floor, but then a large number of insects appeared apparently from no where to feast on the victim. The staff dealt with it, but it was offputting.
3. Staff were variable. Had to complain about one who flat refused to apply the platinum 20% discount.

Overall we came away satisfied with our stay. A key aspect from my perspective is that I felt it was tremendous value for money, the villa rate was around $400 per night for a last minute booking in peak season. I actually had a reservation beforehand at the Le Meridien but cancelled based on the deluge of bad reviews.

Whether it is better than the Vana Belle, I will let posters who stayed there chime in. That property was beyond our budget for that trip so cannot comment. Given the price difference I would expect it to be better.
MrM2016 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 26, 19, 1:39 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Programs: SPG Lifetime Platinum
Posts: 747
Vana Belle is fabulous. Just fabulous.

I have not stayed at Renaissance but have at JW next door. Nice. You can't go wrong but VB is special, nicer beach and better location (tucked away and quiet but close to activity if wanted) while beach and location of.Ren not great.

Couple? Do VB. Kids? Do Ren
SHLTP is online now  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread