Have Baby Will Travel’s trip reports for Thailand are organized alphabetically by city or region within the country. Simply scroll down to read them all. Each trip report has been provided to Have Baby Will Travel in hopes of giving other parents a clearer picture of what to expect when traveling to Thailand with a baby or toddler.
BANGKOK: CONRAD BANGKOK
Rowena & Family
Conrad Residence offers a range of self-contained apartments, which are available for a minimum booking of 1 week. It is within the same tower as the main hotel, but on lower floors. Apartments are accessed via a separate lift well with their own (small) reception area, however you can still use all of the hotel’s facilities. We spent a great deal of time at the hotel pool, which was brilliant – a large tropical oasis which was a highlight for us – the children loved it. I thought in many ways it was nicer (and certainly bigger) than the Sheraton Suhkumvit pool.
Location is good with a complementary shuttle bus to the train. It was also linked to All Seasons Place. This small upper end mall was handy, with a couple of good restaurants and a small supermarket.
After reading reviews about how wonderful the hotel rooms are, I was disappointed in our two bedroom / two bathroom apartment. The furniture was starting to show its age, and was pretty tired – quite a few chips and dents. However, room size was good and the kitchen was equipped with most items. Each floor has a free washing machine and dryer, which we appreciated. Friends staying there had a washer/ dryer in their room – bonus!
We had problems with one shower, which had extremely poor water pressure. A call to maintenance resulted in it being fixed within 5 minutes. Room service was excellent, with a comprehensive menu at good prices.
The service within the hotel was exceptional, and really made our stay. The staff was consistently excellent, and for this reason alone, we would return.
HOLIDAY INN SILOM ROAD
CHIANG MAI: CBM BLUE HOUSE & ROYAL LANNA
MAE HONG SUN: FERN RESORT
PHUKET: KATA PALM RESORT
JJ & Family (babies 22mos)
Here is a bit of a report on our experiences/hotels, etc during our recent trip to Thailand, with our 22-month old twins…
Bangkok – stayed at the Holiday Inn Silom Road, very friendly, and handy to the Skytrain (but this has stairs, not ideal if you have a stroller!), shops, street food, river boats. Only downside was that we were only allowed one baby cot in the room (although promised 2 by email previously) and they took away the mattress (for our second baby bed) when they made up the room! Had to insist it be returned asap, for their daytime nap! Other than this, we had no complaints. 2-for-1 happy hour downstairs was nice! We visited Khao San Road, but were glad to be staying away from it this time around! The pier for the Chao Praya river boats has a ‘tourist ticket’ booth, which sells all-day tickets for 100baht, and makes it seem like you have to pre-purchase tickets for the boat. Not so! Bought the tickets on board, like everyone else does, and it cost 29baht for 4 of us to go all the way up to Pra Arthit (Khao San Rd), a 1/2hr journey. A bit arduous for the little ones, so we took a 70-baht taxi back. We later stayed at the Shangri-La in Bangkok – pricey, but very luxurious and well worth it for a treat! Cots provided here, no problem. Patpong was not as I’d expected – great shopping, girly-bars, but also families wandering around, and some more ‘normal’ bars that we found!
Not to be missed in Bangkok, if you have a night out (and some clothes to dress up in – no trainers/flip-flops/t-shirts allowed) is the Sky Bar, on the 64th floor of the State Tower (on Silom Road). It was quite an experience, we were gobsmacked! The views were amazing, and you stand outside with the gold dome (at the top of the buildin) towering over you! Well worth a visit! The staff on the 64th floor tried to steer us to a neighbouring bar, but we insisted on the Sky Bar, and were glad we did. The V9 wine bar at the top of the Sofitel hotel is nice too.
We flew Nok Air for all our domestic trips, they were good. Bookings in advance on their website seemed cheaper, and were easy to do. When I had to buy a last-minute ticket, I tried the Nok Air counter at the airport in Bangkok – their quoted price was twice as much as I got it for online, on nokair.com, later that day!
Chiang Mai – tried a night at the CM Blue House, but decided our backpacker guesthouse days are over! Their family room was large, and clean, but they could only provide a mattress for the kids… which was so threadbare you could actually see the springs through it, it was awful to lie on! Having said that, they went out of their way to help us out with extra pillows, etc, but at the end of the day there were too many stairs, no room in the small courtyard for the kids to run around, and we checked out after 1 night. We’d have loved the place back in our pre-kid backpacking days though!
We moved to the Royal Lanna hotel in Chiang Mai, 1450 baht/night including brekkie and mattresses on the floor for the kids. It is right by the night market, and all the restaurants/bars. Perfect location, and with the pavements being almost non-existent in many parts of Chiang Mai, being in the midst of things made for much easier stroller pushing! There was no noise from the market or anything, but a terrific German restaurant next door. We also checked out the Suriwongse Hotel – 2100-2400 baht/night, nicer, bigger rooms, but same sort of location. Their sister hotel, Star Hotel (which they sent us to) was pretty dingy, and the same price as the much nicer Royal Lanna. The Downtown Inn, also nearly next door, was similar in price to the Royal Lanna, and we nearly chose it, but the Royal Lanna had brighter, bigger rooms. The breakfast at the Royal Lanna was a highlight (they had high chairs – plenty of them which was good, as there were tons of families!), and the best coffee we had our whole stay! They were very friendly here too, and the pool was nice (had a small kids pool adjoining the big one).
In Chiang Mai we ran out of formula and nappies, and were directed to Rimping Market not far from the night market, just across the small bridge and to the right (hotel staff told us about it) – obviously where expats shop, it had all the things we get at home, including the same formula, Huggies nappies, even baked beans and vegemite! There was also a decent selection of wines
Mae Hong Son – well worth the (35mins on Nok Air) trip, mostly because of the Fern Resort, idyllic place, the kids got so much attention, and spent their days running around the rice paddies, chasing dragonflies/butterflies, inspecting centipedes, etc. Lovely resort, we only spent 2 nights and wish we’d stayed a couple more. We booked it through sawasdee.com – we always seemed to get good rates through them, but it’s worth checking the hotel’s website rates too. The pool was nice at this resort as well, and there were apparently some good walking trails nearby (we didn’t venture out on them though). We went to see the closest ‘long-neck’ village, which was good, and only 30mins by car, and went for a 10-minute elephant ride (they’re 1hr usually for 600baht, but that was no good for us, so we negotiated for a short ride for 200baht instead). We organised the car/driver to take us to these places, through the hotel. I think it was 500baht for a few hours, but not certain. Only downside about the Fern resort was that they had no high chairs, and no baby cots (we used a big mattress on the floor).
Phuket – stayed at the Kata Palm Resort. Great place, super pool (with lots of shallow bits/waterfalls for the kids), decent brekkie (restaurants had high chairs), friendly staff, big rooms and cots provided. Only downside was doors that don’t lock from the inside (our two kept trying to run off!) and a ‘kids club’ that’s only a small corner of the fitness centre, with no barrier and not much in the way of toys. It’s not staffed, so not a true ‘kids club’ as it’s usually referred to. The room’s balcony was great though, safe for the kids. The resort was in a great location, only a short walk (with no hills) to the beach and the shops/restaurants, where kids all seem welcome! There was a ‘Tesco Lotus’ store in Phuket town, where some people we met were able to buy a stroller to replace theirs that broke! I think it would have lots of western items/food too. The ‘Ska Bar’ at the end of the beach (on the beach) in Kata was a super little place, loads of character, and fire shows some evenings.
On the safety front, we didn’t take car seats, and found (from our experiences in taxis without the kids) that the taxi drivers seemed to drive much more carefully when we had the kids in the back with us. There were no seatbelts in any taxis in Bangkok, but in Phuket the taxi (private car) that took us back to the airport had rear-seat belts, which was a treat! In Bangkok it seemed that the traffic was that bad, we never got much past 40km/hr anyway! We took a stroller (double), and were glad we did. We usually managed to find pavement space in Bangkok, or walk along the edge of the road in smaller towns. I personally can’t imagine putting them in and out of baby backpacks in that heat! The stroller worked fine, and was good for airports too. Ours had a little hood/roof thing, that flips over and shades them from the sun a bit, and we found that useful. We also brought a couple of baby ‘leashes’ along – they attach with velcro (must have velcro, or they come undone – I tried a few before we left!) onto their wrist, and you hold the other end. A lifesaver at the airports, when they wouldn’t be held, and the immigration/security queues were long! On the flight over, the travel-size etch-a-sketches that someone recommended were great. I took a cooler bag with lots of food for the kids too. On all flights the check-in people automatically blocked out 2 spare seats for us, so we were spoiled for space. I think this is automatic if you’re travelling with infants, and if there are spare seats. Also, Jetstar (who were hopeless in many regards, but that’s another report!) gave us a bassinette on the way home – despite saying our kids were too big for one, when I rang them months ago. True enough, our daughter’s feet dangled way out, but she slept like a log! We were very grateful!
On the food front, street food was our saviour! Especially places with skewered meat – liver apparently never tasted so good (to the kids that is!) We were careful to choose spots popular with locals, and none of us had any problems. We bought milk at 7-11, and also yoghurts, which we kept in our hotel room fridges. The hotel/resort food was always fine too, in our experiences this trip.
For sleeping, mattresses on the floor worked surprisingly well! Took more settling than normal, and sometimes we’d fall asleep in the dark as we settled them, ruining our chances of a quiet beer on the balcony later! But while cots were easier, mattresses were fine too. We usually managed to rearrange the furniture to make plenty of room for either!
All in all, the kids got so much attention, it was lovely! The suit/tour/massage salesmen usually forgot to give us their pitch, as they clamoured to pinch the kiddies’ cheeks and say hello to them! We found that Thailand was definitely a great holiday destination for a family!
I wanted add that there were a couple of excellent options we found for babysitters/nannies while in Thailand. We felt comfortable enough with the services/people we found to have no qualms about leaving our twins with one every so often.
In Bangkok there is a nanny/babysitting agency called Thai Kids Home. I checked several references before we left and it seems their nannies are popular with local expats, and well-trained. Their website is www.thaikidshome.com, and they cost 150baht/hr for one child, 240baht/hour for 2. They are very professional – we met with a ‘customer relations manager’ before the nanny/babysitter started with us, and the babysitter came in a uniform and with activities for the kids (colouring, playdoh, etc). You can take their nannies with you anywhere in Thailand (6000 baht for 6 days (10hrs/day) is their long term rate) and I think they’re planning on opening a branch in Phuket in the near future. Our babysitter was good, but our only issue was that her experience was more with babies, and less with toddlers, and so I think she found 2 of them a bit of a challenge! We were given a profile about her, detailing her experience, before we booked her, so I think next time we’ll look more closely at what age groups the nanny has worked with previously.
In Chiang Mai we happened upon an ‘occasional care’ nursery type place, where you could arrive unannounced and drop your kids off for an hour or two, or longer if that was your preference. Our kids loved it, and kept asking to go back to play with all the toys that they had there. It cost 50baht/hr, and was located behind the night market at 73/5 Chareonprathet road. We used it most days for an hour or two in the evenings, while we had dinner, and as there were only ever 2 or 3 kids there (and 2-3 staff) they got lots of attention. They have a microwave for heating food, a pit of balls to play in, cots for babies, a TV with cartoons, loads of toys, etc. and were very professional.
I know it’s a separate debate about hiring babysitters overseas, but I felt that we all benefited… hubby needed a few hours to relax here and there, and the kids I think appreciated playing with toys and other kids/carers as a change from being dragged around cities in the heat!
HUA HIN: SOFITEL CENTARA GRAND RESORT & VILLAS
H.M. & Family
My husband, toddler and baby stayed at the Sofitel Centara Hua Hin from July 26-28 primarily to attend our friends’ wedding at the hotel. Contacted hotel directly and they were kind enough to give us an early check in (5:00am) for only 2000B.
We arrived at 5am from the BKK Airport very tired and we just wanted to check in and settle in as quickly as possible. But the front desk officer gave us a horrible time. We booked a Deluxe Room in the garden wing (from reading previous reviews). He said none was available and that he will give us a standard room in the colonial wing. He then said that he could transfer us the next day to another standard room in the garden wing. We didn’t want to transfer because it’s such a hassle with small children. I showed him email print out of communication with their reservation office stating that we are confirmed to get a Deluxe room (2 queen beds as opposed to the standard 1 double bed). Then later we found out that all along there were deluxe rooms available in the garden wing. To make the long story short, despite proof of email communication with the hotel, he insisted that we get a standard room. We told him that the deluxe was what we booked because of beds since we’re with children and that was arranged long before. He was very rude to us and was so exasperated and didn’t bother hiding it. He also kept talking in Thai to the bellboy. I’m half Thai and understood parts of it and knew he was complaining about us!
The room is ok. It’s colonial/old style. I prefer modern sleek interiors. But I was too tired to care. Beds were very comfortable because we had 2 queens. We liked our room location, it was right beside one of the pools. Downside were the mosquitoes in the room! We constantly put Burt’s Bees Insect Repellant, but I guess the Thai mosquitoes were immune to it! My kids had nasty bites!
Breakfast was nice. Location of hotel is great! Tuktuks were right outside the gate. My husband tried massage and he liked it. Gardens and topiaries were really interesting. Wedding was really beautiful. It was held in the garden, cocktails at the Museum, dinner near the pool, party in a function room. No problems at all. Food was good too – best Pad Thai I’ve tried.
We didn’t swim in the beach, just at the pools. My friend’s son had a nasty jellyfish sting on his leg from swimming in the ocean. Upon hearing that, we really avoided the beach.
It was a nice relaxing experience despite the horrid front desk officer.
AMPHUR MUANG: TUBKAAK RESORT
Mamtha & Family (baby 14mos.)
Our sun, sand & spa getaway at Krabi was one of the best holidays we’ve had in a while. Though we did have unexpected showers (which by the way landed almost all our pictures underexposed!!!) the resort was simply breathtaking. It was truly one of a kind. Listed among Thailand’s “Unseen Paradises”, the resort excelled in almost everything that my husband & I were expecting from our getaway. The last minute switch from Tubkaek Sunset to Tubkaak Boutique Resort was the best decision we’d made, the deluxe room was tastefully decorated and yet simple enough to manage a 14-month-old brat. The staff at the resort had taken all the necessary pains to make our stay comfortable and memorable. We were provided with a complementary baby cot and the room came with an open-air bath that was just out of the world and a DVD player that kept our little one busy while we enjoyed the exceptionally breathtaking view from the balcony. The beach bags that were provided were beautiful and had everything you needed to lie on the beach and relax including a bottle of mosquito repellent, a straw hat, beach slippers and towels.
The hotel also has several tour packages either in a group by the express boat or in private by the traditional long tail boat. Our stay was for 3 days and to our bad luck we didn’t have much sunshine despite that, we had a great time. We’d taken a trip to the three islands by the traditional long tail boat on the second day… the islands, Koh Hong, Paradise Island & Koh Pak Bia were something incredibly spectacular, the sea was clear and had a beautiful emerald green to it. There weren’t many people around and we almost had the islands to ourselves. At the paradise island, all we had to do was enter the water and we were flanked by hundreds of fish feeding from our hands and playfully following our moves, a great place for snorkelling & Scuba. The pool is well designed and very relaxing. The bean bags and hammocks on the beach are an absolute treat. The staff in the hotel right from the driver who picked us up from the airport to the manager in the hotel were all very friendly and hospitable and were eager to help before and after we booked the hotel which I was really very impressed compared to many other hotels I’d contacted including Sheraton.
I would absolutely recommend this place. Here are a few pointers if you plan to go…
If you’re traveling with kids, you have to be extra careful and keep a close eye, as they have several lotus ponds everywhere. However, we had no problem managing our little one there. They do have baby sitter services however, you need to call and book in advance and remind them a couple of times. The food is very average and definitely would need some improvement. If you’re a spice lover like me, you might have to inform them while you make your order. The library had a few good books but the internet could have been faster, you could also bring along your laptops as they do have dial ups from the room. Make sure you carry your medications, baby food and other necessary things if you’re planning on staying for long as this resort is on the outskirts and there are no shops around. We were also able to get a glimpse of most of the resorts we passed on our way. The Tubkaak beach is towards the end and we were thankful that we didn’t book ourselves at Sofitel or any other resort near by as the beach was extremely dirty with cargo ships anchored on the shore. The very sight was depressing and would have made any holiday an absolute disaster! Tubkaak’s private beach was clean and beautiful though not as clear as the beaches on the island, it was definitely better than the others we’d passed.
We totally loved our holiday at Tubkaak Resort and would definitely make another trip again. We must give special thanks to K. Teerasak and K. Jiraporn for the exceptional service that we’d been given.
KRABI: AO NANG VILLA RESORT KRABI
Charlotte & Family (Baby 1yr)
We arrived at the hotel late in the evening with our 1-year-old son, after a long journey from the UK.
We were immediately greeted by a very friendly bell boy and shown to reception, where we were checked in quickly and with plenty of smiles!
Our room was perfect for us. It was large with a huge double bed, and had a big balcony overlooking the Coral Pool. It was absolutely spotless, and kept this way on a daily basis. The baby cot was clean and safe.
I had previously read negative reviews, and I can’t understand why some people seem to have had such bad experiences. I thought the staff were all very friendly, and greeted us every time with a smile and genuine warmth.
Breakfast was plentiful and I did not have a problem with the cleanliness of the tables or the food preparation. There was lots of choice, from fresh fruit, cereal, toast and pastries to an egg station and typical Thai breakfast options.
We mainly used the Coral pool, which my son absolutely loved! It was great having a little bar at the edge of the pool too!
Location of the hotel could not be any better. Right next to the beautiful Andaman Sea, and close to the many restaurants and shops.
We didn’t eat in the hotel at night, as we just loved trying out all the local restaurants. We couldn’t believe how friendly the local people were especially to our baby. He was treated like royalty, and whenever we sat down to eat, he was entertained by the waiting staff – which meant we could enjoy a meal in peace!
Our favourite restaurant was Thailandia, but the best food we had was at a small stall in a square inside an old shopping mall. Every night, about 7 stalls opened up here, and the food was so fresh, tasty and very, very cheap. You will find this place on the street heading away from Aonang beach towards Noppharat Beach. (Just past Blue Mango restaurant)
We went on a lot of trips, and would definitely recommend going to the Phi Phi Islands. We went by speedboat, which only took about 45mins. The snorkeling was out of this world!
We also went to the Hong Islands and on the James Bond Tour, although we were a bit disappointed with this.
We loved the Thai cookery class from Mrs Ya. Definitely recommend doing this as it is a lot of fun and you learn so much about Thai food.
Overall, loved our holiday in Thailand, and thought it was an ideal place to bring a baby. We will be back, and will stay again at Ao-Nang Villas!!
PHUKET: HOLIDAY INN PHUKET
Rowena & Family
Stayed in a Family Suite room in the main hotel for a week in July 07 (school holidays). The hotel was absolutely full, which may have impacted our experience. Children (including ours 4 + 6) were everywhere. So many people in the main pool that you couldn’t move, however we always managed to find lounges (in spite of the hated lounge hoggers ie towel but no person).
Room – was very good, we had a pirate suite, and it is exactly as you see on the website. Strangely though, there was only one bathroom, when in effect we had two rooms. Room was nicely furnished and beds freshly made each day. Red Earth accessories were excellent. Pirate room had an xBox with a set of games, however the games were too old and violent for our children – shame. We couldn’t buy any either, as no-one sold that version of xBox games.
Maintenance issues – TV in pirate room did not work, as did a number of light bulbs. Called maintenance 2pm on Saturday afternoon. 10pm Saturday night they phoned back to ask if they could come and fix the TV right then. NO (children asleep). I asked at reception again on Monday evening – reception called maintenance – maintenance would come by tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10am. No show. Tuesday afternoon, asked the maid to help. She couldn’t speak English, but could understand what needed to be fixed. At last maintenance arrived and fixed everything. Not an impressive performance.
Children’s facilities were great. Children’s pool seemed less crowded than the main pool, and the water slide was very popular. Parents of toddlers will appreciate the reasonable sized but separate and more calm toddler pool. Lounges always available at toddler pool and some seating available at the children’s pool. Children’s club was complimentary (wow!), and was great. It was however so busy, that on many days it was full by 10am and no further children admitted.
Restaurants – the main buffet restaurant handled a huge breakfast crowd, however the tables are well spread out so you don’t feel crowded. There is an overflow room (un-used conference room next door) which they used every morning – peak time seemed from about 9am.
Other meals were very good and generally well priced. We ate at all the restaurants except Sam’s Steakhouse (deluxe – not really for small children). Special children’s menu had a large assortment of meals and included a soft drink for 110 baht.
The thing that lets the hotel down was the attitude of the staff. They were not very friendly or helpful, however this may have been because of the number of guests. Would we go back – maybe, but definitely not in the school holidays.
PHUKET: KATATHANI PHUKET BEACH RESORT
Kathryn & Family (baby 2yrs)
We recently stayed at the Katathani for 3 nights – we were meeting friends who were staying there. I booked the accommodation through their website which was fantastic – we had no issues and got a great deal. We stayed in a grand suite (spa package) and the room was fantastic – we loved it. We overlooked the beach in the Thani wing and the room had a huge bath and shower (outdoor style). We had our 2-year-old with us and there was heaps of room for all of us (even her cot). There was a couch and a king size bed.
The pool surrounds were amazing, my husband couldn’t believe how beautiful the gardens and pool surrounds were, and although it was too rough for us to swim in the beach, it did look fabulous. As others have explained, there are 2 resort areas that make up the Katathani. The Thani wings are older style and right on the beach – it has the main grounds, pools, spa, restaurants etc. The Bhuri wing is about a 5 min walk away down the road (beach is over the road – 2 min walk). Our friends stayed here. It is a much newer complex surrounding a restaurant and really great pool / kids pool. Actually the kids pool there was brilliant (has little fountains and great shade), our kids loved it. Our friends’ room was much smaller than ours – quite compact with a 2-year-old as well, but still nice & modern. All rooms seem to overlook the pool area.
We thought the hotel was great overall and would stay here again. It is very relaxed and peaceful. The staff probably aren’t as attentive as some of the big 5 star resorts, but this didn’t worry us. Kata Noi is the last beach on the coast from Patong and we thought it was great. The road between the 2 buildings has 2 mini-marts where you can get supplies (including milk, juice, crackers, toiletries for the little ones), laundry facilities, 2 really good local restaurants and some little shops selling t-shirts, pool toys, hats etc. It is the perfect location for relaxing and being away from the craziness of Patong. A tuk tuk is easy to get and costs about 350THB (about A$12 each way into Patong). We actually hired a car for the day (900THB or approx A$30 + petrol) and drove around the island. You can also hire scooters etc (as our friends did).
We would definitely recommend the Katathani in a Grand suite (spa package was good too – the day spa is wonderful and reasonable as well).
PHUKET: LE MERIDIEN PHUKET BEACH RESORT
Kathryn & Family (baby 2yrs)
We stayed at the Le Meridien for 4 nights (after staying at the Katathani (Kata beach). We stayed here 7 years ago and loved it but were a little bit disappointed this time when we first arrived as the hotel is a little tired now (and we’d had such a great time / large room etc at the Katathani).
However in saying that as our stay progressed we did have a fabulous time. Our room was spacious enough for a standard pool room (and we had a 2-year-old in a cot which was fine). The bathroom was small and in need of an update but generally fine for us – it was very clean.
The actual hotel is quite large and the pools amazing (they have 2 children’s pools – one of which was still too deep for our daughter, however there was one large section where it was shallow enough.
The beach is beautiful and very private (a bit rough at this time of year, but my husband had a swim and said it was fine). The hotel does have a lovely atmosphere and we encountered no issues. The staff are amazing and very attentive, the rooms, restaurants etc are all kept very clean and anything you need is provided quickly.
I can’t really recommend the restaurant food (expensive – normal hotel prices) as we didn’t eat in any of them. We did have room service on the first night and it was terrible, the kids’ meal was also awful. So, we just grabbed the hotel shuttle / taxi (which is only approx A$12 return for 2 adults and ate in local restaurants in Patong and Kata. I know many people have complained about having to pay for the shuttle bus, but we thought it quite reasonable and used it every day sometimes twice a day. We went into Patong several times for early dinners – we can highly recommend the Terazzo restaurant (part of the Holiday Inn) in Patong’s main road. The kid’s food is great, you have healthy options with fruit and they include a glass of milk, which was great for us with a toddler.
The breakfasts at Le Meridien were actually quite good and everything was available (they even tried to make our daughter a babycino!).
The day spa was fabulous and we had several treatments each (it is probably the same prices as in Australia but they had some good specials on and we got some cheaper deals.
One real plus of this hotel is the Penguin Club for children. Our daughter is only 2 so we couldn’t leave her there in their care but we took her there a few times and stayed with her while she played. It’s a fantastic set-up with heaps of toys, video games, TV, play equipment outside, drawing, painting etc. She loved it and it gave her a bit of normality. You can leave older kids there and while I was in there I watched the carers with the children and they are great with the kids (you would have no issues leaving them there for a few hours) and have lots of group activities etc.
Overall while the hotel is a little bit tired and probably not a true 5* hotel, we did have a great time and just enjoyed the experience.
KOH MOOK: SIVALAI BEACH RESORT
Mamtha & Family
The Sivalai Beach Resort is the only resort that lies on the cape of the island Koh Mook. About 25mins from the Trang pier by the long tail boat and 15mins by speed boat, the Sivalai leaves you with a stunning view of the emerald waters and islands nearby. With a castaway setting, Sivalai is a perfect place to unwind and relax & indulge in activities offered at the resort, including Mountain biking, Kayaking, Snorkelling, Squid fishing and Island hopping tours by the long tail boat organized by the resort themselves! There are only about 3 resorts in Koh Mook, among which Sivalai is definitely the best. The white sandy beach on the resort is calm and clean & is safe for swimming compared to the Charlie beach resort where the surf is slightly on the rougher side. The resort’s manager & staff were extremely friendly & were always willing to help. The beach villas are very comfortable and are right on the beach, giving you a perfect view of the sea right from your bed! The air-conditioning works from 5:00pm to 10:a.m however you could ask the resort to provide you with a fan. The only thing found wanting was hot water, which was available only in the suites and not the beach villas. On the other hand, the room service cleans up the room twice leaving you with fresh towels and your bed made up with little flowers alongside the sheets.
The trip to the islands Koh Ngai, Koh Ma, Koh Kradan & the emerald cave is definitely a must see. Snorkelling gear is provided by the resort for free. The resort also offers free use of mountain bikes, which can be used to explore the fisherman village, pier & the Farang Beach about 30mins from Sivalai where the other resorts are located. The spa is under renovation & we were told that it would be ready sometime in November. The restaurant at the resort is quite good providing you with a fairly good menu at a reasonable price.
All in all, it was a wonderful holiday in a typical castaway setting. However here are a few pointers:
- If traveling with infants & kids, book for a baby cot available at the resort in advance.
- Always carry mosquito/insect repellents at all times.
- Carry medications, infant food etc or pick them up from Trang before heading out to the pier as there are no shops or 711 available in the island.
- Always check the WEATHER before booking! The best time to visit the island is between Nov to April. Anytime else, be prepared for unexpected showers.
- Plan how you want to get there in advance…
There’s only one flight – Nok Air, flying from Bangkok to Trang & back. However the timings by the train are much better. The Bangkok-Trang express leaves Bangkok at 5:00p.m & reaches Trang at 8:00a.m the following morning. I would recommend the first class cabin that are very comfortable & needs to be booked at least a day in advance. The resort also provides transfer services from the Airport/Railway Station to the Resort.
An excellent holiday getaway – be sure to carry your camera & loads of film/memory!