Our last trip to Phuket was two years ago. So we were waiting for Jetstar to launch another round of sales for this destination. We managed to purchase cheap return tickets to Phuket for under $75 for October. Our intention was to get away for two nights to chill out in Phuket to shop and dine. Our flights details were as follows:
Singapore to Phuket 8.20 am to 9.10 am
Phuket to Singapore 10.00 pm to 12.50 am
This flight timings gave us three full days to enjoy Phuket while we spent only two nights on hotel accommodations. Hence, besides offering us opportunity to chill out at 5-star hotels, we would have sufficient occasion to do some shopping as well. We won’t be heading out for island hopping tours this time for our short stay.
The Accor Group’s Super Sales event also happened to coincide with Jetstar Sales. So on the same day we booked our flights, we also booked a one night stay at Kata Beach and another night stay over at Patong Beach. For Kata Beach, we booked a suite room package from Novotel Phuket Kata Avista Resort And Spa and for Patong Beach, we booked Grand Mercure Phuket Patong. Both accommodations are 5-star hotels and cost slightly over $100 each night during the super sales event.
For airport transfers, we contacted Phuket SRC Tours via whatsapp. Transfer from Phuket Airport to Kata Beach cost 700 THB and returning to the airport from Patong Beach cost 600 THB. This agent is pretty efficient and their transfer charges are among the lowest. We find them very reliable and their service has been very good. The contact number for Phuket SRC Tours is +66 86 270 7585.
Singapore to Phuket
Our air tickets and hotels were booked in August. October came so quickly. We arrived at Changi Airport rather early before 6.30 am. Since we had already done our web check in, we cleared immigration, had a quick breakfast over at McDonalds at Terminal 2 and then went to the boarding gate at Terminal 1 to wait for our flight to Phuket. Not long after, we were called to board our flight and soon on our way to Phuket. We landed on schedule.
After clearing immigration, we exited the departure hall to look for our driver from Phuket SRC Tours. This airport in Phuket is very new. We were told it was just opened less than a month ago upon our arrival. Once outside the terminal building, travel agents and drivers from hotels were all lined up holding cards and papers with names of arriving visitors. It was pretty chaotic.
Phuket SRC Airport Transfer to Kata Novotel Resort
We failed to find our driver so we contacted our agent from Phuket SRC Tours via whatsapp using the free wifi from the airport. Soon our driver approached us and led us to wait along the road outside the terminal building while he went to get his vehicle from the multi storey carpark just in front of the airport building. The facilities in this airport are brand new. A short while later, our driver showed up in a big white van.
We boarded the van and we were on our way to Kata Beach. It started to rain as we travelled towards to our hotel in Kata Beach. By the time we arrived Novotel Phuket Kata Avista Resort, the rain had stopped. The travelling time was about an hour. We paid the driver 700 THB and entered the resort. We were immediately served a light bluish welcome drinks. The drinks were cold and refreshing.
The resort lobby area is airy and pleasant with plenty of sitting area for resort guests. After processing our check in, we were shown to our suite room by one of the front desk staff. This very pleasant lady staff brought us to a top floor corner unit. Once she opened the door to show us into our suite room, it was a very pleasant surprise. We were told this was the best room here in the resort. We thank this staff and then began to explore our suite room.
The front section of the suite room is a pantry area. Electric kettle, bottled water, coffee and tea, including a coffee maker are part of the set up. The other side of the wall is a fridge, microwave oven and a small wash basin. There are plenty of cabinet space in the pantry.
In front of this section is a dining table with two chairs. Behind this partition is a day bed sofa set and a huge LED TV. On the right of this living area is the bedroom proper. This bedroom can be closed up with folding doors that separate the living area for privacy. There are two balconies at the living area. From the balconies, we could see Kata Town as well as Kata Beach.
The bedroom is also very unique. There is a huge round bathtub in front of the very nice, clean and comfy king bed. The bed was also nicely decorated with towels folded in the shape of a small elephant. It was so cute and lovely. The last time we experienced such deco was quite a few years back when we stayed in Phuket Marriot Resort.
There is another big TV mounted on the wall. So we could watch TV while taking a bath. Outside the bathtub area is another balcony. From this balcony, we could see the swimming pool and other area of this resort. Further out would be the Andaman Sea. This would be a great place to watch sunset in Phuket.
Behind the king bed is a long writing desk with a big nice chair. There are many power sockets here very useful for charging mobile phones and other electrical or electronics devices. A telephone is also set up on the desk.
Behind the bedroom is the bathroom proper. A walk in wardrobe is on one side of the wall with bathrobes and slippers as well as towels. There are two modern wash basins and full range of toiletries was provided. The other side of the bathroom is the toilet and a separate shower stall with rain shower fixtures. The bathroom is huge.
Sofa sets are also provided at each of the three balconies. Since the location of Novotel Phuket Kata Avista Resort is on top of a hill sandwiched between Kata Beach and Karon Beach, the views from the balconies are simply magnificent. The town area could be seen as well as some parts of Kata Beach. The swimming pool and the restaurant of the resort are just below.
There are plenty of programs on TV and wifi is excellent too. Air con was very good as well. We had everything we needed and this resort is definitely beyond our expectation. We were also given a plate of fruits shortly after we had checked in. This is definitely worth every cent we paid for the night stay, especially booked during Accor Super Sales event.
So with no issues to raise, we went to the restaurant for lunch. The restaurant has a pleasant ambiance. It is located in front of the resort lobby and next to the swimming pool. By now, the sky was cleared and rain was gone. It was rather sunny too. The restaurant was empty when we went there for lunch. We ordered local Thai dishes and prawn crackers were served as well. The lunch was simple but tasty. It was a good lunch.
After lunch, we walked around the resort to explore the facilities. The swimming pools are of good size. There are plenty of deck chairs for resort guests to laze around on a lazy day. There is a gym in the resort but we didn’t use the gym. The wellness centre looks very good but we didn’t find any staff there during our visit. There is a game room as well. A billiard table, a table tennis table and a table soccer set are provided in this game room. There are computers at the hotel lobby for guests to use as well.
Next we returned to our room to rest. Back in our room, we laze around and watched TV. It was reported on TV that the Thai king had passed on. We knew he was already in hospital for a while before we travelled to Phuket. So we just wait and see what the Thais would do with this unfolding event of the passing of their much revered king. TV programs were still going on as normal.
With this wonderful resort, we didn’t feel a need to head to Kata Beach or town to explore. Our suite room was so comfortable and enjoyable with everything that we needed. It would be a waste to spend time elsewhere. Anyway there wasn’t much we needed to shop in town. So enjoying our wonderful suite room was now our priority.
From our balcony, we could see the swimming pool was quite empty. So we changed and went down for a swim. The water was rather warm. The plants and trees around the pool and the resort provide an excellent resort feel to the entire property even though the land area of Novotel Phuket Kata Avista Resort is not very huge. The upper pool is an infinity pool. We could swim to the edge and look down to the restaurant below. Looking further out would be Kata Beach though not very much could be seen at this height. After a nice swim, we returned to our room.
In the late afternoon, we went back down to the restaurant. Our suite package came with a high tea set for two persons. The restaurant was again empty. We supposed everyone was out on the beach or shopping in town. We ordered a nice cup of cappuccino each and soon the high tea set arrived. There were croissant sandwiches, spring rolls, cupcakes and a Thai coconut pastry. This high tea set was great as we while away our time in the resort.
Next we went over to the game room for some fun. My wife and I started with the table soccer set. I trashed her soundly. It was so funny because she was not used to playing table soccer. Next we had a few rounds of table tennis. She wasn’t so bad with table tennis so we could carry on for a little while. It was more tiring picking up the ping pong ball from the ground than the actual game itself. The billiard table was occupied by other guests so we didn’t have a change to play billiard. We stopped after a while and returned to our room.
Back in our room again after the nice high tea refreshment and the wonderful games, we watched TV. English movies were still available at this point in time while the country was preparing to enter into the mourning phase of the passing of their beloved king.
From time to time we went out to the lobby to enjoy the excellent views for this part of Phuket. We had been to Phuket several times staying at different area but this was the first time we stayed at Kata Beach. This hilltop Novotel Resort provided a great getaway for us to chill out and slow down our pace towards the end of the year.
Evening soon came and the skies were turning dark with some dark clouds around this area. The sun was setting soon. We watched this sunset moment in the direction of Karon Beach from our vantage point. The tall tress were blocking the horizon and when the sun went behind those trees we also returned to our room.
We weren’t too hungry as we had quite a bit to eat during high tea in the late afternoon. So we continued to watch TV and dipping in the huge bathtub was great. The wall mounted TV could be adjusted to our desired direction so we would not strain our neck while dipping in the huge tub. We really loved this huge bathtub setup.
Later in the evening, it was time to head to the restaurant one more time. As expected, we were the only diners there. This time we ordered western meals for dinner. We had soup, pasta and pizza. We also used the complimentary evening cocktails during dinner. The cocktails are part of the suite room package.
We had a selection of the drinks to choose from and little did we realize that the cocktail drinks came with appetizers as well. On top of the bread and butter that came with our dinner, we were completely filled. We enjoyed this quiet dinner even though certain portions of the pizza were quite salty. Perhaps salt was unevenly spread over the pizza. Anyway, it was a good dinner.
After dinner, we went to the lobby and used the computer to perform our web check in for our return flight in two days’ time. We managed to check in our flight but there wasn’t any printer connected to the computers at the lobby. So we approached front desk for help. It was sorted out by sending the boarding passes to the resort’s email address. The staff then helped us print out our boarding passes. So our flight back to Singapore was settled.
Returning to our room, we continued to enjoy the facility in our suite room. There are plenty of channels on TV. My dear wife was watching her own program in the bedroom while I watched mine in the living room. So with two huge TVs were great as we could watch different channels at the same time. We had a great time watching TV and eating fruits provided by the resort.
As we while away our time watching TV and chatting with the children and friends using the excellent wifi from the hotel, it was getting really late. We would be checking out from this resort to head over to Grand Mercure Hotel at Patong Beach the next day. We had also booked the resort’s shuttle service to Patong Beach. From there, we could walk over to check in at Grand Mercure Hotel near Jungceylon Mall.
Actually, this service is only provided for resort guests and not for guests checking out from the resort. Since we were travelling very light with only one piece of hand carry duffle bag, we were allowed to use this service after we check out from the resort. This would save us some transfer cost to Patong Beach. Taxi fares are not cheap in Phuket and taxis don’t usually go by the meters.
Novotel Phuket Kata Avista Resort provides free shuttle service to Kata Beach at 11 am and 2 pm and pick up from Kata Beach is at 2.15 pm and 5 pm. The shuttle service to Patong Beach is 12 noon and 5 pm from the resort and return trip from Patong Beach is 6 pm and 11 pm. So staying up on a hilltop resort is not a bad idea with this free shuttle service. Anyway, there are taxis available outside the resort for those who prefer to travel out at their own time.
We were really glad we chose this resort for our first night stay. The service of the resort staff had been excellent. Our suite room was simply great. We really enjoyed our stay at this resort and we didn’t feel we had missed out on anything for not heading out of the resort to explore the area in town. So we went to bed and looked forward to a great stay at Grand Mercure Hotel the next day.
Continue to Day 2 …