I am ⅔ of the way done with my reviews of my trip to SE Asia. Thus far I’ve posted:
And then we’ll have for later:
Review: Intercontinental Singapore
Review: EVA Royal Laurel (Business) Class 777-300ER Singapore to Taipei to JFK
Today, I’ll be talking about our stay in the Holiday Inn Express Patong Beach Phuket, right in the thick of things on the main beach town of Phuket Island. We arrived at HKT from our 1.5 hour Jetstar flight from Singapore. I purchased the relatively cheap Jetstar tickets using my Arrival+ card, so I could redeem my Arrival points for a statement credit. One of the unfortunate things about staying at Patong beach is the drive from the airport; it takes 30-45 minutes depending on traffic.
We found a shuttle for about $12 per person (in Thai Baht) and settled in. There were a lot of flight arrivals at that time, and it took 50 minutes until we got to Patong. Fortunately, the shuttle dropped us right in front of the hotel, which we found is only a 5 minute walk from the beach. And next door is a scooter rental place, and next to that is a 7-11. Pretty awesome location I must say, it was only about a 10-15 minute walk to Bangla Street (the center of town).
I actually paid cash for our three nights there. It’s only 10k IHG points per night, but then again it’s only $60USD per night, plus I was participating in the Fall’s IHG Into the Nights promo, and these stays counted.
The lobby is open and beautiful, and the desk attendants were most friendly, as is the case with most Thai establishments. Check-in was quick and easy, and she showed us around the property, including the breakfast area (breakfast is complimentary there) and the courtyard pool, which is very beautiful.
Our room was on the 3rd floor right off the lobby, and facing the courtyard, and featured a very comfortable king-size bed and nice if not luxurious bathroom.
Breakfasts were good, not great, but free food automatically tastes better. It never felt crowded, and had a surprisingly laid back feel despite it’s location. Hanging out by the pool in the early evening was a surprisingly chill experience.
We of course hang out at the beach a lot. Fortunately it wasn’t high tourist season, so it wasn’t too packed. There are still too many hawkers walking the beaches for my taste, but that’s the price you pay for going to Patong Beach; a lot of the island’s other beaches (which are easily accessible with scooters) are a lot more remote.
We took a day trip to Koh Phi Phi, and to see Maya Beach. It is super touristy nowadays (thanks Leo…), but also super beautiful. You’ve got to check it out, at least once in your life.
We also of course rented a scooter to check out the island. I highly recommend checking out Patong Gokart Speedway (full disclosure – my wife’s best friend’s family owns the place). We had a lot of fun. After that we went to an amazing seafood joint, Savoey, where you pick out the fish you want, and they prepare it in any style you wish. It was amazing.
A spa we hit for massages that was exceptional was Burasari Spa. There are cheaper options all around for sure, but we got a steam bath, aromatherapy, and a 90 min massage for $60 per person, all in a beautiful setting removed from all the bustle of Patong.
Finally, no trip to Patong is complete without a stroll along infamous Bangla Road at night!
All in all, it was a great trip and a great (and highly affordable) place to stay. I doubt we’ll be going back to Patong Beach, but if we do, we’ll definitely stay here again!