Breakfast at Grand Mercure Hotel
Since there was nothing to watch on TV due to the passing of the Thai king, we slept quite early. Hence we also woke up early. When our stomach started calling, we went to the restaurant for breakfast.
We thought we were going for breakfast early, however, the restaurant was already quite packed with hotel guests. Occupancy rate was quite high for this popular hotel located in the middle of Patong. So the restaurant was a little noisy.
We managed to be seated and regular coffee was served to us. But the restaurant staff were very busy and hardly had time for small chats like the day before. They were obviously rather stressed up with tourists from certain countries.
We went to collect our food and surprisingly, we found the breakfast spread here better than what we had over at Novotel Kata Avista Resort. The variety and quality of food here were very good. We went to get food a few rounds, a little each time to sample the food here.
After many of the noisy tourists left the restaurant, one of the staff asked whether we would like to have some special coffee. We were of course delighted and we requested for mocha to wash down the wonderful breakfast we had just moments ago.
Shuttle Bus to Patong Beach
Back in our room after the sumptuous breakfast, we rested for a while and made ourselves comfortable. We would be heading out to Patong Beach for some shopping. Near to 10 am, we went to the lobby. Grand Mercure Hotel provides regular shuttle service to Patong Beach and Jungceylon Mall as well as Central Festival in Phuket Town.
When the shuttle bus pulled up at the main entrance, we boarded the bus. After a short while, we left and headed towards Patong Beach. A couple of minutes later, we arrived along the beach road at Patong Beach near Bangla Walking Street. After alighting from the shuttle bus, we found the road and the ground wet. We were so sheltered at Grand Mercure Hotel and we didn’t even know it rained earlier in the morning.
The skies were however cloudy but still rather hot and humid out here. The beach area was relatively quiet. It was just shortly after 10 am and those who partied late the night before would still be in bed. Patong would come to live much later in the morning. Patong Beach was rather pleasant. It wasn’t clustered with left over rubbish and the air here was fresh. This would be quite a good place to relax on the beach.
Popular Jinda Shop
We walked further up the road checking out shops. Business seemed to be slow at this time and some shops were still not open yet. We crossed the road and walked up to our favourite shop, Jinda. This is the shop we always patronize whenever we visit Patong. We won’t have to bargain with the shop owner as the prices here are not jacked up many folds waiting for customers to bargain down the price before making purchases.
The elderly lady shop owner still recognized us. We spent a bit of time here looking at what the shop had this time. After checking out the shop, we bought T-shirts, shorts, leather wallets and belt. The prices were reasonable and we were happy with our purchase. We then walked back towards Bangla Walking Street.
Shopping at Jungceylon Mall
Once at the junction, we walked along Bangla Street. This street was very quiet. Nothing much was happening though shops were open for business. This place would come alive at night which we always avoid as we prefer quiet and relaxing places to chill out. Having walked through the street, we reached Jungceylon Mall just across the road.
When we arrived at Junceylon Mall, the mall wasn’t open yet. We waited a short while and then everyone went into the mall when the security personnel opened the glass doors of the mall to begin business. We made a quick trip to check out some shops again like the day before. It was still the same with no additional promotional events this weekend. We spent a bit of time at the main atrium to buy some local tidbits to bring home. Once done, we made our way back to Grand Mercure Hotel.
It was quite a hot day and we were perspiring when we arrived Grand Mercure Hotel. We wasted no time to head for a shower. It was so good. We needed to pack up and get ready to check out. Grand Mercure Hotel was unable to accommodate a very late check out for us due to high occupancy. This hotel is really popular.
Lunch at Grand Mercure Hotel and VIP Club Lounge
When we were ready, we went to the lobby and checked out our room. Once done, we went to the restaurant for lunch. We were still quite full after the huge breakfast in the morning. Once again, we ordered Thai food. The lunch was good. The staff were chatty again during this lull period and talked with us over lunch. Breakfast time was no joke. They were so busy and some tourists could be hard to handle.
After lunch, we adjourned to the VIP Club lounge across the swimming pool. Our flight back to Singapore was 10 pm. We still had plenty of time to chill out over at Grand Mercure Hotel. The property of Grand Mercure Hotel is very pleasant. The swimming pool is nice with resort-liked landscaping. There are sufficient shades from plants and trees to make the swimming pool area appealing and attractive.
Up at the Club lounge, we parked ourselves there for hours. We could help ourselves with sandwiches, pastries, cakes, cookies and fruits. We could order special coffee like cappuccino and mocha as well as our favourite Earl Grey tea. So we spent the afternoon over at the Club lounge using our mobile phones. We were provided temporary access to wifi after checking out from the hotel. Hence, we could entertain ourselves in air-conditioned comfort with food and drinks available. It was really good. This additional perks are great selling points for Grand Mercure Hotel.
Dinner at Grand Mercure Hotel
We had arranged airport transfer with Phuket SRC Tours. The agent would send a vehicle to pick us up at 6.30 pm. The tour agent’s office is located at the OTOP Mart just in front of Grand Mercure Hotel. The transfer cost is among the lowest at 600 THB from Patong to the airport. The service is very good. We could arrange transfer over whatsapp and the agent even followed up with us to ensure all was well after we arrived home.
So we went back to the restaurant for an early dinner at around 5.30 pm. Actually, we could hardly eat after spending so much time at the VIP Club lounge enjoying ourselves with complimentary refreshment. We needed to eat something anyway and we were not keen to eat at the airport. So we had local food again for dinner. We ate what we could as we were not very hungry yet. But the food was good. After chatting with the restaurant staff again, we went to the lobby to wait for our transfer to the airport.
Phuket SRC Tours Transfer to Airport
While we were sitting at the lobby near 6.30 pm, a staff from Phuket SRC Tours came in to look for us. So we followed him to the main entrance, boarded a white van and then left this wonderful hotel Grand Mercure in Patong. We really enjoyed our stay here. Customer service from the staff was impeccable. The location of this hotel is great, right in the middle of Patong, very convenient for shopping as well as heading to the beach. This would be our top choice when we next visit Patong.
It was getting dark as we travelled away from Patong Beach. There were some traffic congestions along the way. But the experienced driver from Phuket SRC Tours knew short-cuts and avoided a lot of congested roads. In about an hour, we arrived at the new Phuket Airport. We paid him 600 THB and then proceeded to enter this very new terminal building.
Spanking New Phuket Airport
This new terminal building is very modern, spacious and clean. We then went over to Jetstar’s counter to get our boarding passes. We didn’t have to queue very long and we were done. A portrait of the late Thai king was placed in the terminal building. It was nicely done up. There are some shops and eateries out here.
With nothing left to settle here, we entered the immigration hall and cleared immigration without any trouble. Once inside the secured area of the terminal building, it was a completely different atmosphere here. This part of the building is so much more appealing.
The facilities here are comparable to airports in big cities. Water dispensers are available. Of course, money changers are inside the terminal as well as tax refund counters for tourists to collect their tax refund. A very huge pick up counter service is here too for those who have made purchases from duty free shops to collect their items here inside the terminal building.
There are plenty of shops and specialty stalls mostly selling high-end goods. Besides the huge duty free shop, there are shops that sell local snacks and tidbits for those who still wish to bring home some of the local products. The shops are nicely spread out in the terminal building. It is like a small shopping mall inside the airport. The ambiance is really good.
For those who need to have a meal before flight, there are many restaurants and cafes to choose from and even a pub is available here. There is a Japanese restaurant and a Chinese restaurant here as well as the fast food restaurant Burger King. So food options inside the airport are pretty good. These eateries have very pleasant environment to sit back to relax before taking a flight home.
Having checked out this new airport, and with nothing much left to do, we went to our boarding gate to wait for our flight. There are plenty of seats inside the airport. They are very new and of course quite comfortable.
Flight to Singapore and Final Thoughts
Soon, we were called to board our flight home. The short flight back to Singapore was rather smooth. We landed at Changi Airport and this ended our very short getaway to chill, eat, dine and shop at Phuket. It was an enjoyable trip. The passing of the Thai king was unexpected during our visit. It didn’t really affect our trip too much except there wasn’t much to watch on TV during our stay which is rather understandable.
Our first night at Novotel Kata Avista Resort was fantastic. Our suite room was amazing and this suite room package came with afternoon high tea set, evening cocktails on top of our Accor member’s welcome drinks. The views from the three balconies were great. The huge round bathtub in the bedroom was nice as well as we could watch TV during bath time. We didn’t go any where and simply enjoyed the resort facilities.
The second and third day at Grand Mercure Hotel was equally good. The location of this hotel is very strategic right in the middle of Patong Beach. Jungceylon Mall is walking distance around 10 minutes and OTOP Mart is just right in front of the hotel. There are plenty of shops, restaurants, massage outlets near the hotel. Besides, Grand Mercure Hotel also provides shuttle service to the beach, Jungceylong Mall as well as Central Festival in Phuket Town. This would be a great choice hotel for visitors wishing to stay at Patong Beach.
We won’t know when we would visit Phuket again. But this experience at Phuket gave us new insights to the Thai people during the mourning of their Thai king. With cheap air tickets and fantastic hotel accommodations booked during the Accor Super Sales, we didn’t break the bank for this short trip. It was a great trip.