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DECEMBER 2015

Hi Nirmala,

Sorry: been really busy but finally have a moment to send through my feedback.

Centara Karon Resort Phuket was great.  Good location, good pools and beautiful clean beach.  Service was awesome and the food was good. Starting to show its age and we were kept awake one night by the kids disco but that’s probably more of a reflection on us that on the resort!  Lots of rowdy Poms and Germans playing loud music by the pool which I could have done without but it didn’t bother the kids. We did a boat trip to Phi Phi Island and another one to Phang Nga Bay (James Bond Island etc) and they were both fantastic.  Absolute must dos.  And Karon Beach itself was fabulous for swimming.  However, I think that if people are going to travel all the way to Thailand, it would be a shame if they don’t travel beyond Phuket because it’s not the real Thailand.

Elephant Hills was sensational – you really should push this experience as it was definitely a highlight.  Phuket was very touristy and not very authentically Thai, but here we really felt that we were seeing the real Thailand. 2 nights would be ok but I really recommend 3 nights like we had.  It is a long drive there and it would be such a shame to miss staying on the lake because that was one of the most incredible experiences of my life (and I have travelled a lot). 10/10.

We arrived at Koh Samui to discover that our hotel and just become a Novotel, which was a bit confusing.  Building site in the area that we were meant to stay in so we were upgraded to down near the beach J.  Beautiful big room and lovely pool and restaurant. Lots of Thai people staying there so it was lovely and quiet.  Overall I liked Koh Samui more than Phuket because it had more of an island feel to it and I loved being able to walk along the beach and be among the restaurants etc.  However, the beach there is filthy – so we only swam in the pool.  It seriously needs to be cleaned up like Phuket.

Grande Centre Point Ratchadamri in Bangkok was also fantastic.  Awesome location and it was great to have a washer/dryer in our room. 

Kwai River Rafts was definitely the low point of the trip. I felt like a backpacker. 1 night would have been ok, 3 nights were a struggle.  We spent one of the full days there doing a tour of the World War 2 sites which was really good, but could easily have been done on the way there (so instead of a direct transfer to the rafts, visit the sites along the way, and then you could get away with a 1 night stay.  The rooms were really small – 4 rooms shared a raft and there were only 2 sun loungers per raft – so up to 12 people fighting for 2 sun loungers.  Also, we were on the first raft which meant everyone jumped off our raft into the river to float down to the other end.  So not particularly relaxing. The Float House looked much nicer but lost the sun really early and apparently the current there is too strong to swim in.

The tour from Bangkok to Chiang Mai with Absolutely Fantastic Holidays was absolutely fantastic.  We had the most wonderful tour guide and driver.  They really went out of their way for us.  The accommodation was definitely 3 star – but always in great locations.  One hiccup with the beds (we were given a double room with no extra bed) but our guide, Suri, sorted that very quickly.

We arrived at the Novotel Clarke Quay Singapore at about 10pm and checked in.  Went to the room to discover that we had no extra bed.  Raced back down to reception and the guy said he would sort it.  Half an hour later, still no bed so I went back to reception and screamed at them.  We were absolutely knackered and needed to get to bed.  Finally the bed turned up – but that was not a good start!  However, apart from that, the hotel was fine. Awesome breakfasts and great location.

And then we checked into the Marina Bay Sands Singapore.  Definitely the other highlight of the trip. Gorgeous room, incredible breakfasts and we saw the New Year in watching the fireworks from the infinity pool.  They were right in front of us – there wasn’t a person in Singapore that night in a better spot than us.  Worth every cent!

Accommodation aside, everything went like clockwork.  Flights and transfers all on time.   We had a great time!

Kind regards

Isobel