Breakfast at Novotel Kata Avista Resort
The suite room at Novotel Kata Avista Resort was great. We had a very good night sleep. Pulling away the curtains, it was already daylight. We had three balconies to walk out to for a good morning view of the surrounding. Kata Beach was very peaceful in the morning. No sunrise to watch from the resort here as the sun rose from behind the hills of Kata Town from our vantage point.
We went down to the restaurant for breakfast. The buffet spread for breakfast at this 5-star resort wasn’t lavish but was pretty good. There was the usual international fare with the local mixed of food options. We collected our food and enjoyed our breakfast.
After another round of servings, we decided not to stuff ourselves with more food. There would be more eating later in the day when we moved over to Grand Mercure Hotel at Patong Beach. We were actually looking forward to staying in Patong to do some shopping.
Enjoy Suite Room in Novotel Kata Avista Resort
Back in our room, we enjoyed our wonderful suite room. The huge bathtub in front of the bed was put to good use again while we watched TV. This morning’s TV channels were more subdued as Thailand officially entered into mourning phase. Most of the programs on TV were switched to news on the passing of the Thai king.
The balconies were great places to hang out to watch the happenings of the resort and the nice view of Kata Beach. Each balcony has a sofa set so it was another place to relax the morning away. It was a cloudy day but the gloom was due more to the country in a state of mourning. Anyway, it didn’t affect us very much.
We still had the Accor member’s welcome drinks to use. Our suite package came with afternoon high tea set as well as the evening cocktails so we waited till this morning to enjoy the complimentary drinks. Hence, we went back to the restaurant and had our drinks. The restaurant staff told us alcoholic drinks were off the menu due to the mourning of the late king which was fine with us. We had very soothing fruit smoothies to enjoy our last visit to the restaurant.
Transfer to Patong Grand Mercure Hotel
Finally, we checked out from Novotel Kata Avista Resort. We had already booked their shuttle bus service to Patong Beach at noon. So we just waited for a short while after checking out. At noon, Novotel Kata Avista Resort’s white van drove up to the entrance. We boarded the vehicle and soon were our our way to Patong Beach.
We travelled downhill passing the small town nearby where we didn’t explore and then onward to Karon Beach. After passing the idyllic Karon Beach which was not very crowded, we then headed onward towards Patong Beach. We didn’t drive into the beach area at Patong but travelled at the back road parallel to Patong Beach and soon, we alighted at Jungceylon Mall.
Jungceylone Mall was pretty busy at this time. We had visited Jungceylon Mall and Grand Mercure Hotel several times so we knew exactly which direction to go as we made our way to our hotel in Patong. It was around 10 minutes after walking past shops, restaurants and massage outlets, we arrived at Grand Mercure Hotel. We walked up to the lobby of Grand Mercure Hotel and were warmly welcomed.
Lunch at Grand Mercure Hotel
As we requested for a room with a bathtub, the room wasn’t ready. So we decided to head for lunch at the restaurant in the hotel where we had pleasant dining experience in the past. The restaurant staff were exceedingly friendly and helpful. The restaurant was empty but the ambiance was good with the swimming pool just outside the restaurant. We had local Thai food for lunch and it was great.
After lunch, we returned to front desk to check on our room. It was not ready yet. We were given access to the VIP Club lounge to rest while the hotel tried to get our room ready as soon as possible. A very pleasant lady staff escorted us to the Club lunge across the swimming pool. The lounge is very nice and a great place to relax and chill out. Food and beverages were available while we waited for our room.
From the Club lounge, we could see the swimming pool below. Hotel guests were having a great time out there. So we took our seats and relaxed over coffee and tea as well as pastries and fruits. It was a very nice touch for Grand Mercure Hotel to offer this additional perks to hotel guests. A short while later, another lady staff came over to pass us our room keys and escorted us to our room.
The room is clean and modern and very pleasant. Pulling away the curtains, we could see part of the swimming pool below. The king bed was clean and very comfy. The small sofa day bed set at the corner was nice and a plate of fruits was offered. A huge LED wall mounted TV is in front of the bed and a small table part of the feature wall is at a corner that comes with a chair.
Bathroom comes with a small bathtub and a separate toilet. Toiletries were provided. Bottled water as well as coffee and tea facility were included as well. Wifi was excellent but TV programs were almost all on the news of the passing of the Thai king. Although this room in Grand Mercure Hotel can’t be compared to our suite room at Novotel Kata Avista Resort, we were nevertheless still pleased with the room and the service of the hotel staff.
Swim at Grand Mercure Hotel
Next was to head to the swimming pool for a swim since it was bright and sunny out there. There was this resort feel here at Grand Mercure Hotel as well. This hotel was more crowded than Novotel Kata Avista Resort and more guests were using the swimming pool and other facilities as well. Staff were setting up stalls for the Friday seafood barbeque dinner near the swimming pool.
We returned to our room after the swim to get ready to head out back to Jungceylon Mall to do some shopping. Earlier, we booked the free shuttle service to Jungceylon Mall at 4.15 pm. We were back at the hotel lobby slightly after 4 pm to catch the shuttle service to the mall. Over at the lobby, hotel staff were busy setting up portrait of their late king in preparation for the mourning event.
The shuttle bus arrived shortly and we boarded the bus. Hotel staff were also taking this bus to head to town after their shift work. The bus moved off soon after and in under 5 minutes, we arrived at the back of Jungceylon Mall. This was where we alighted while the bus made its way to Phuket town. This bus would also head to Central Festival in town.
The skies were overcast and we worried it might rain later. There are cafes and restaurants outside the mall. It was too early for dinner and as such, it was quite quiet out here.
We then made our way into Jungceylon Mall. Junceylon Mall was pleasant, very modern and clean. The anchor tenants here are Big C Supermarket and Robinson Departmental Store. There were events at the atriums while we were there.
We had been here many times and we had nothing in particular to buy over here. So we strolled through the mall and did only window shopping. We then exited this part of the mall. The outdoor area was very pleasant. More eateries are outside here with the unmistakable Jungceylon sail boat there as a permanent decorative feature of this mall.
Entering the front part of the mall, we did more window shopping. There are many branded retails shops here selling clothes, shoes, bags and sports gears. There are more restaurants here as well. Pushcarts are every where along the passage ways. Atriums were occupied with sales events.
The food court is at basement level. It was quiet too as it was too early for dinner. Many smaller shops here sell local products, arts and crafts as well as souvenirs. This would be where tourists could buy souvenirs and local snacks to bring home.
We did ask around prices of certain things we might want to buy to check the market. Our real shopping would be the next day over at Jinda Shop along the beach road at Patong Beach. This would be the shop we always buy clothes and other stuff from where we won’t have to bargain. The prices of goods at Jungceylon Mall, in particular from those pushcarts, are ridiculously high. You would have to bargain hard not to be ripped off.
Return to Grand Mercure Hotel
So having surveyed Jungceylon Mall and soaked in the window shopping fun, we exited the mall from the front. We then turned left to walk back to Grand Mercure Hotel. At the same time, we checked out some shops as we went along and soon we were near Grand Mercure Hotel. We walked further up the road near to Hard Rock Cafe and then decided to turn back when it was about to drizzle.
Turning back, we went into a convenience store to buy bottled water before walking up the slope back to Grand Mercure Hotel. The location of Grand Mercure Hotel is pretty good. Patong OTOP Mart is just right in front of the hotel. There are plenty of shops and eateries all over the vicinity of the hotel. The beach is not far away as well. In fact, the hotel provides regular shuttle service to the beach as well as to Jungceylon Mall and Central Festival.
Evening Dinner and Refreshment
The sun was setting as we made our way into the hotel. Back to Grand Mercure Hotel, we went straight to the restaurant for dinner. We are not fans of seafood, so we gave the barbeque seafood dinner a miss. We ordered Pad Thai and the pineapple rice. The dinner was very good. We like authentic Thai food and we were satisfied with this simple dinner.
After dinner, we went back to the lobby to check out the French Deli Shop. It has a special name Chou Chou Deli Shop. The ambiance of this café was exceptional, so was the service of the lady staff attending to us. There was 50% discounts given for cakes and pastries after 7 pm. So we bought some items to bring home the next day.
We also ordered our Accor member’s welcome drinks to drink inside the café. We had Mocha as well as a pot of Earl Grey tea. At the same time, we also ordered tiramisu cake to go with our beverages. It was our little indulgence after dinner over here as there wasn’t much to do any more in the evening.
Due to the official mourning of the passing of the Thai king, all entertainments were curtailed. The hotel was playing slow music and songs composed by the late king. They were pretty unique though like you were back in post World War Two era. Quite a nostalgic ambiance this evening, I would say if you like to slow down over here.
With the nice time at the deli shop chatting away and communicating with friends and children back home, we didn’t even realize we had spent quite some time here. So we returned to our room to rest.
There were no movies to watch on TV. The exception was the Chinese CCTV news channel that was still operating as per normal but that was not our idea of entertainment. Hence, we caught up with events out of the country with the excellent wifi provided by the hotel.
Eventually, we called it a night. It was an easy day transferring from Novotel Kata Avista Resort to Grand Mercure Hotel in Patong Beach. We were more than pleased with both of these 5-star properties under the Accor Group. The service we received was more than satisfying. So we went to bed to prepare for some real shopping the next day before we head for home at night.
Continue to Day 3 …