If there is one thing we can't control when planning a trip, it's the whim of Mother Nature, and when torrential storms hit while you're on holidays with kids you'd better hope you're staying somewhere like the Novotel Phuket Karon Beach Resort and Spa - where kids are so well looked after they don't even mind that it's raining buckets outside...and even better, they're so entertained that you're left to fill your days with relaxing, reading, spa-time, delicious meals and cocktails.
When we arrived in Phuket it had been raining for a day so, and it let up for a few hours on our second day which made me think the storms had passed. But no, the eastern Thai wet season had set in, and the rain has poured down for the rest of our time there.
Luckily for us the the Novotel is set up to give kids the best time ever - rain or shine - so we still had a fabulous stay. Here's why:
Our beautiful villa and the awesome welcome for kids.
Our villa had a huge bedroom and separate living room, a large bathroom and an outside plunge pool just off the bedroom. Kids are welcomed to the resort like no other place we have stayed - there was a welcome card on the door for Emmie, her bed was made up for her in Hello Kitty linen with soft toys and a Hello Kitty tent in the bedroom. There were clues for her to follow within the room that led to hidden chocolates, and a treasure hunt with a prize waiting at Kids World.
The fabulous Kids World kids club.
Em spent hours here making balloon art, playing Playstation games (her first time and I think she is now hooked), creating with play-doh, hula hooping, getting her nails done and having henna tattoos painted on her arm. It’s open from 8am to 9pm and when it’s not raining offers lots of outdoor activities including swimming lessons in the rooftop pool that’s right next to Kids World. It caters for kids aged four to 12, and kids under age can attend if with an adult - or you can hire a babysitter to stay with them. Kids World has a ball pit and slippery dip for younger kids, and a big TV with shows like Thomas the Tank Engine.
Special kids activities like lunchtime pizza making.
Emmie and two little friends made their own pizza at an outdoor pizza station that was then cooked in the resort kitchen and delivered hot for them to eat by the pool. Kids can also join Thai cooking lessons with their parents or try boxing classes each day (we probably should have done this, I was being very lazy and enjoying my wines instead).
Waterslide and swimming pools.
One day the day the rain stopped just enough for waterslide fun for all the kids and their parents, taking turns to reach the top of the slide and shoot down, creating waves across the rooftop pool. There are two other pools at the resort, one is fun for all ages with a swim up bar and sports on the poolside TV while the third is definitely more secluded for adult time sans kids running around.
Delicious room service meals.
We ordered in a lot when we were rained in our room. Yummy burgers, nuggets, chips, pizza, bowls of broccoli and spaghetti bolognese for Emmie and green curry chicken, thai beef salad a seafood glass noodle salads for me. The food was so great and delivered by lovely staff with a big smile even though it was teaming down with rain outside.
Our bill for the six days was just over $200 and we ate all our meals at the hotel - obviously if it had been sunny we would have been out and about more, but it’s good to know that eating in-house won’t break the bank. Breakfast was included in our room rate and offered a good mix of dishes, from an egg and omelette station, pancakes, fresh fruit and salad, curries and noodles and chicken soup, pastries, sausages, tomatoes and fried potatoes. There’s also freshly made juices, tea and coffee.
Fabulous on-site restaurants.
We had lunch at Tai, the resort's signature restaurant, which serves Asian cuisine and also western dishes like the amazing caprese salad I devoured. You can order asian and western meals at Joe Kools Poolside Grill by the pool. Breakfast each day was in the Horizon restaurant with fresh juice, fruit, pastries and pancakes hot dishes, salads and an egg-station.
Gorgeous day spa.
I was so relaxed and happy after my facial and massage at the Novotel’sIn Balance Day Spa. The spa is so beautifully decorated and smells divine, and I just love how my feet were washed before treatment started. One of the best massages ever, I was walking on clouds afterwards.
Karon Town is only a five minute walk from the resort and there’s lots going on. Massages, restaurants, hair braiding, shopping and bars. We walked into Karon Town one lunchtime and had a delicious papaya salad and coconut milkshake for lunch (Em had nuggets and Sprite, sigh) for 300 TBT, about$11 AUD. Em had her hair braided and I had an awesome foot massage.
I think our wonderful stay at the Novotel Phuket Karon Beach Resort & Spa has a lot to do with the lovely, kind and helpful staff at the resort who are always smiling and happy and are just so helpful. Our experience at the Novotel was so great, and having a happy, helpful team that gives you a big, smiling ’good morning’ greeting each day and are so happy to help starts the day off perfectly.
We didn't get to see much outside the resort this visit but next time we are there we will definitely go and see the Big Buddha, the Karon Buddhist temple, take a tour of the islands including the beautiful Phi Phi and spent time at the beach. We can’t wait to get back to our favourite Phuket resort!
- There was lots to do at kids club - craft, games, making pizza…and I made friends.
- Our villa had a pool just outside, even though we only went in it a few times because of the rain it was lots of fun
- The waterslide was so much fun and even more fun when the mummies and daddies went on it too.
- Riding around on the buggies to get to our room.
- So many kids were in KidsWorld on those raining days and the staff managed so well. I have no doubts about the ability of the Novotel’s Kids World to handle big kids days.
- The price. Rooms are so reasonably priced, especially for a family. Room service is also not very expensive and it’s even cheaper if you eat just down the road in Karon town where there are lots of yummy restaurants and massage places.
- Happy helpful staff - it just makes a resort a wonderful place to be.