Sam & Drew spend six nights in Phuket visit three unique hotels showcasing the different parts of the island. They started in Patong, the island’s party hub and key beachfront city. Patong offers a mix of city attractions, great restaurants, nightlife including some popular gay clubs and nearly 3km’s of white fine sand. The second stop takes them to Mai Khao Beach on the northwest coast of Phuket. This peaceful beach stretches 11km and is undeveloped except for a handful of luxury resorts. Their final destination is the island of Naka Yai, a short 10-minute boat from Phuket. The island is home to just one exclusive resort. Sam tells us more about his time in Phuket below.
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PATONG, PHUKET’S PARTY TOWN
Millennium Patong Phuket was the first stop of my Thailand getaway, and I couldn’t have asked for a better start. My flight got in late and we arrived at around midnight to check-in, thats when the friendly team at Millennium showed us to our beautiful room which they had upgraded to have private pool access. Millennium is perfectly located in Patong which allowed for a short walk to the beach, the best shopping and also the famous Bangla Road. On top of it’s great location, the resort itself had an amazing pool (with bar!) and gym facilities we used every day, and the buffet breakfast was also a highlight.
Staying at the Millenium as a gay guest, we felt more than welcomed and comfortable. By the end of the stay, all the staff knew us by name and were giving us advice on what to do, including making dinner reservations with the best seats in the house at Joe’s Downunder, a must do for a good meal and best view of the sunsets. Honestly, the highlight of our stay was seeing how excited the team at Millenium were that we were enjoying ourselves so much.
See the room
QUIET LUX AT MAI KHAO BEACH
The Renaissance Phuket was the second stop on our Thailand trip, and it did not disappoint. The Renaissance is away from the hustle and bustle in the Thalang District and is only 20 mins from Phuket Airport. From the moment you arrive into the property at Renaissance we were blown away at how beautiful it was. Located right on the beach (stunning white sands and crystal blue water which we basically had to ourselves), we spent our time here doing nothing (literally nothing) but relaxing. The location down by the waterfront right next to the amazing pool is a must for afternoon drinks (try the berry margaritas!) as well as the most beautiful buffet breakfast you could ask for, situated on a big deck over a pond where you could easily sit for hours and just keep eating.
To top of the stay at the Renaissance, the staff were kind enough to upgrade us to a private villa which had its own private pool which our bedroom opened up to, and to be honest we spent a lot of our time relaxing here. I would also highly recommend visiting the spa (you will understand when you see it – it’s incredible) and taking advantage of the free activities that the hotel hosts every day (we did Thai boxing each morning with a trainer which we loved!). Overall, Renaissance get’s a 5 star rating, a must do if you truely want to relax and be pampered.
The Renaissance Phuket were more than accommodating and some of the kindest people in Thailand. The privacy and luxuriousness are second to none, and the activities on offer each day (boxing, fitness, stand-up paddle-boarding etc) were really fun and a good way to break up your day of doing nothing but relaxing.
This Pool Villa
Muay Thai Boxing
HONEYMOON VIBES AT NAKA YAI ISLAND
The Naka Island was one of the great highlights of this trip. A short 10 minute boat ride off the mainland, we arrived to Naka on the jetty where we were welcomed to island by ringing a gong (a tradition on the island when arriving) and greeted by the most beautiful staff. We were driven around the resort and shown all the facilities, and then taken to our villa. When we opened the doors and were shown into our villa my mouth literally dropped. I have stayed in some nice places in my time, but nothing had compared to this. The trip turned from a holiday to what felt more like a honeymoon. Words won’t describe how beautiful the villa was and how luxurious we felt. We decided to stay an additional night at the Naka because we literally just did not want to leave.
We would start each day with a run around the island, exploring the jungle, the beaches and the small town in the centre, we’d would take advantage of the amazing buffet breakfast (get the pancakes, trust me) and then either lay by our private pool or wander down to the main pool. One morning we were lucky enough to be served a floating champagne breakfast in our own villa pool which was incredible (see the pictures for proof!), and we also took advantage of the hotels activities including Thai boxing, the gym, Thai language classes and also canoeing through the mangroves (a must do!). The staff also arranged for day boat trip to a few of the surrounding islands, including the famous James Bond Island which is another must-see (especially just before sunset).
Overall, words can’t describe how amazing the Naka Island stay was. We will definitely be back. And for anyone looking at an overseas wedding, or honeymoon spot…. Naka Island is it!
Beach Front Pool Villa
Pool Villa Floating Breakfast
What A Way To Wake Up
7 Incredible Beaches
Thailand is a beautiful country with some of the best beaches in the world. Whether you’re vacationing with family or looking for a romantic getaway, there’s a beach for you. The country offers countless choices of islands and islets and miles of picturesque coastline for sightseeing, adventure, or solitude. The ideal climate, food, entertainment, and unique experiences available in Thailand makes it a popular choice for tourists, especially beach lovers. The beaches feature crystal clear waters and clean, white sand. You can hire long tail boat vendors for exploring or venturing into some of the less traveled areas. Some of the best beaches in Thailand are described in a bit more detail below.
1. Phra Nang Beach – Krabi
Phra Nang Beach is considered one of the best and most beautiful beaches in the world. It’s located in Krabi, which is about 20 minutes away from Ao Hang by boat. It’s not accessible by road. Long tail boat vendors are usually available to transport you to this tropical paradise. The breathtaking views include a stretch of gorgeous white sand beach and tall limestone cliffs that rise out of the water. The area has coral reefs and a variety of caves for sightseeing. A few vendors are some usually present to provide food and refreshments to visitors.
2. Railay Beach – Krabi
Railay is another fantastic beach in Krabi. It’s surrounded by limestone cliffs and accessible only by boat. Long tail boats and ferries are available for trips to and from this beach from various locations, including Phuket. Railay’s pristine beach offers a variety of activities, such as snorkeling, kayaking, and rock climbing. You can also relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere on the beach or go exploring in the many hidden coves. A few shops, bars, and restaurants are available for shopping, dining, and cocktails.
3. Kata Beach – Phuket
Kata Beach is a great location for couples or families who are looking for a relaxed atmosphere with quality dining options and a bit of entertainment. It’s a short distance from Karon Beach, which is known for its boisterous nightlife. Kata Beach is more laid back and offers the same amazing white sand beach and clear water. Visitors who choose to spend the day unwinding on the shore can find plenty of shade underneath its line of palm trees. The beach offers a variety of great restaurants and nightlife for those looking for a fun time.
4. Kiantiang Beach – Koh Lanta
Kiantiang Beach offers seclusion within a national park located in Koh Lanta. It’s considered the most beautiful beach in Koh Lanta, which is chock full of outstanding beaches. Kiantiang Beach features soft gold sand and gorgeous turquoise water. You have to walk through the park to access this beach because there’s no road that leads to it. The experience offers some sights and sounds of jungle life because the beach is located within a national park. You may spot a monkey or two on your trek, but they’re usually not in the beach area. Spend your day enjoying the solitude or climb the adjacent cliff to visit the abandoned lighthouse or get some awesome views of the beach and park.
5. Maya Bay – Koh Phi Phi
Maya Bay is located on a tiny islet in Koh Phi Phi, and was made famous by a film called “The Beach.” The area has been commercialized and is often crowded with tourists, but it’s still worth a visit because of its astonishing beauty. This area is one of many that’s only accessible by boat, so it’s necessary to reserve a good part of a day for the visit. You can indulge in water activities and many others that are geared towards young adults. The beach, surrounding cliffs, and jungle backdrop are absolutely breathtaking. The soft white sand, colorful marine life, underwater coral, and clear water all contribute to the stunning imagery offered by Maya Bay. The best time to visit this area is between November and April because of the unpredictable weather.
6. Thongtakian Beach – Koh Samui
Thongtakian Beach is one of the many pristine beaches in Thailand, but it’s especially gorgeous because its natural beauty is completely untouched and unspoiled. Also known as Silver Beach, this small beach on Koh Samui is surrounded by hills and a few picturesque rock formations and coconut trees. White powdery sand and clean, clear water welcomes you for a day trip or longer stays if you’re vacationing in the area. Accommodations include resorts, and the area features many restaurants and bars for dining and cocktails.
7. Had Yao – Krabi
Had Yao Beach offers a variety of activities for active people, but also provides a peaceful experience for visitors who need to relax in a quiet environment. Palm trees provide shade on one side of the beach and the warm, clear waters are perfect for wading or swimming. The white sand is soft and inviting for a nice walk along the beach, and it also adds to the stunning views. Many locals and visitors describe Had Yao as a perfect beach setting. The beach also features a coral reef for snorkeling, and diving is popular in the area.
Abby Drexler is a contributing writer and media specialist for Barefoot Luxury Villas. She regularly produces content for a variety of travel blogs.