Leaving Surin Beach, we headed down the coast to the turquoise blue waters of Karon Beach. The drive was breath taking, with cliff views overlooking the pristine blue waters and white sandy beaches. The lush greenery continued down the coast, and the skies were clear and the brightest of blues.
As we made our way to Karon Beach, we passed through the popular Patong Beach area. Looking around, we noticed bar after bar, tattoo parlours, night clubs, and lots of people. We were glad we chose not to stay there with the children, as we could only imagine what it was like in the evening. However, if you’re looking for lots to do, nightlife and a tourist spot, this is your place to be, or at least visit while staying in a more tranquil place such at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa in Karon.
The entrance to the Hilton is grand, as you would expect from the Hilton name. An expansive and lush 75 acres welcome you, instantly transporting you into the mode of vacation relaxation. We were taken to the Welcome Lobby, which sits just inside the main gates. Here, we were then transported via trolley car to the Main Lobby. On our trolly ride, we couldn’t help but notice the five impressive pools, the walkways, the nine restaurants and other amenities available to us. There is even a putting green to spend your time if you choose.
Attention to detail was evident in the small things, such as the welcome beverage while you check in, essential oil burners in the bathrooms, smiles from every staff member you walk by and even peacocks roaming around the hotel. We stayed in a junior suite with sea view. The canopy bed was every girl’s dream and the meditation area brought a little bit of culture inside. The linens were fresh and everything was clean.
A few of the highlights we enjoyed at the Hilton Phuket were the daily breakfast, the kids club and the spa:
The breakfast buffet had everything from a juicer station to the typical omelette station. You could enjoy traditional Asian breakfast foods or pancakes and bacon. My kids were satisfied with the selection, as were we. However, I found the pricing for the breakfast to be on the expensive side, especially for kids who don’t eat very much.
The Kidz Paradise is for guests from 4 to 12 years old. It offers a wide range of fun activities, such as arts and crafts activities, video games, pretend play and building blocks, on a complimentary basis. There are also mini camps you can sign up for if your time allows. Twice we tried picking our children up after a suitable amount of time to play, only to be turned down, begging us to let them remain in the Kidz Paradise. That’s a good sign if you ask me.
At the Spa, you can relax in one of the 15 private treatment rooms. Choose a steam or Jacuzzi, or enjoy a haircut or pedicure at the beauty salon. We chose the massages and pedicure treatments, and found each to be a wonderful Thai experience. The spa experience ends with some quiet time on the veranda over looking the lagoon, while sipping on fresh ginger tea.
Getting out and about can be costly if you’re planning to go far, as once again, taxis are expensive, especially the hotel taxis. The easiest thing to do is walk out to the road on the beach side of the hotel. There, turn left, and you’re on your way into the cute beach town of Karon. (A little hint: for great food, hospitality and laundry walk to the corner where Green Mart is…about an 8 minute walk. Turn left, go up just a ways, and you’ll run into a restaurant on the left with signs for “Thai Food, European Food and The Best Pizza” called Baan Sailom. The service is friendly and the food is good!)
If you continued on the beach road, you’ll have lots of shopping and dining options. You’ll walk by Dino Golf, a themed putt-putt place for families featuring dinosaurs, volcanoes and food. Walking even farther down the road, about 8-10 minutes total, you’ll run into Kata Beach area. Turn left at the “Beach Center” sign, walk all the way up the road to the intersection, and turn left. Ask for “Nang Built” restaurant…cheap, busy and GOOD! For dessert, look for “Red Duck” where you can enjoy traditional mango coconut sticky rice. A little more hustle and bustle can be found here, with some amazing street side restaurants.
All in all, we found Karon Beach to be beautiful, tranquil and just perfect for a family with young children. The beach was clean and had the softest sand. The Hilton was a wonderful stop to pamper ourselves for a few days, and satisfy my children’s need for some kid down time. I’d highly recommend the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa.
*Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa offered a Media Rate for this stay.