Planning a trip to Phuket with kids? Wondering where to go, what to see, where to stay? Boy Eats World blogger Aleney De Winter recently visited with her kids Raffles and Sugarpuff, and they have quite a few suggestions…
There’s no question that accommodation can make or break a family holiday because let’s face it, when you’re travelling with young kids, you’re going to be spending a fair chunk of your time in it, and your activities can be fairly restricted by its location.
The Novotel Phuket Karon Beach Resort and Spa is most definitely a maker, not a breaker. A fun-filled, family-friendly resort that’s conveniently close to all the shopping, dining and beach action of Karon Beach – a much more family-friendly locale than Patong and its ping pong princesses – it cooks up a truly unique family break for my tribe.
Novotel always treats kids like VIP’s but the Novotel Phuket Karon Beach kicks it up a notch with extra special treatment and loads of activities for their littlest guests. Raffles particularly enjoys a Thai cooking lesson with the resort’s Executive Chef and there’s also the opportunity for a private Muay Thai Lesson where Raffles kicks some serious butt.
Sugarpuff chooses to focus on crafts and games at the excellent free kids’ club. She elects to spend an hour getting creative with the lovely trained staff each morning, after filling up on a fabulous buffet breakfast.
But it is the resort’s awesome swimming pools that win their hearts. There are three to choose from. One is exclusively for the use of adults, one for kids and one massive lagoon style resort pool that’s for everyone. The kids’ pool has a built-in water slide, which they fly down at speed repeatedly, as well as a fountain area, which Sugarpuff delights in dancing under.
Located next to the kids’ club, there are plenty of supervised activities happening during the day. Raffles even gets an opportunity to show off his Zorbing skills … which are dubious at best.
I manage to lure my kids from the pool to walk the five minutes to the Karon Temple Market, where we munch on street food and the kids stock up on cheap souvenirs.
After filling up on quail eggs, bbq fish and unexplained things on sticks, the kids decide to explore the temple, Wat Suwan Khiri Khet. Raffles faces off with the two huge blue monsters (yak) that stand guard, and is enchanted by the never-ending bright green serpents (naga) that wind their wily way around the colourful confection of a temple.
As the temps drop in the late afternoon we cross the road to gorgeous Karon Beach, a three kilometre stretch of squeaky fine sand where we watch parasailing daredevils do their thing.
That first night we continue along the beach to the main strip of Karon to dine on local seafood delights, but quickly realise that the prices at our resort are just as reasonable and the food just as good.
For the remainder of our stay we elect to dine in at Novotel’s TAI Asian restaurant, and scoff Thai treats (and ice cream) at Joe Kools Pool Grill, where Raffles also treats our fellow guests to some impromptu live Green Day.
When it’s time to sleep, there is a separate bedroom as well as a comfortable lounge area with a couch that converts into beds for the kids. At least it would if they actually slept in it instead of leaping into my king size bed where they perform acrobatics all night, while I attempt to snooze.
With one set of feet in my face and another in my back, I don’t catch all that many z’s but I don’t really mind, it’s not like I’ll need all that much energy for another day of being ferried around by buggy, lolling in the pool and drinking bargain pina coladas.