JULY 2014

Sawadee Ka Nirmala,

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I really really loved our trip to Thailand and would love to go back. I am subtly trying to influence Philip to do so (he loved it too, but is more of the mind, let’s try something different, closer to home, the islands etc.). I lived overseas for many years and really enjoy other cultures and places. The Centara Grand was such a lovely place to stay, I am very glad that we went with this choice. The resort building is lovely, spacious and open, very relaxing. The breakfast was amazing; my son was first in the queue at the pancake cart every morning. The room was perhaps a little cramped for three. The resort grounds are really lovely and well looked after, it is very spacious, and the beach for me was practically empty (I lived in Rome for a long time and am used to packed European beaches), and the water is beautiful, warm and clean. The swimming pool is just great, with the separate areas and palms/greenery in the little islands in the middle. The staffs were lovely, you get the impression that they remember you, and many of them go out of their way to help you. For families it is a particularly good choice, as it feels very safe, spacious and has lots of activities (and heaps of kids to play with). The grounds are luxurious and it feels relaxing, although I guess it might have been full. Koh Samui was a delight, from our trips out of Chaweng, snorkelling, Chaweng itself (the Centara end is the quiet end, enough restaurants and shops for amusement, and a bit of life when sought after, but very family friendly and not too noisy), and even the airport is quite unique, with its tropical cabana theme. It’s nice to think about it again.

We also really loved Bangkok, and squeezed lots in in our two days there. The hotel location was great - so close to the Ramchatadhri sky train and the city centre. The hotel room was great, spacious, with a small kitchen and washing machine and a vertiginous view of the city centre. We also loved the spa - sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. We did so many things, Ikea (!), MBK, Siam Paragon and one other Siam, shopping and exploring around the hotel, a river boat ride on the Chao Praya, the Emerald temple, a hair raising Tuk Tuk ride, Jim Thompson’s house and some lovely meals.

Thank you very much for your help and advice, we made a great choice,