From Singapore, we were thirsty for more beach. I still wanted luxury, but didn't want to spend so much, given that Shangri-La already set me back a lot. So, the most obvious choice is Phuket, since it is relatively nearer than Bali (thus cheaper airfares). I searched extensively for a great resort, but with an affordable price. Low and behold, I never thought I would end up in a Marriot property in the quieter and more luxurious northern part of Phuket. Welcome to the Renaissance Phuket Resort and Spa.
It was actually a no-brainer. As soon as I saw the images, I wanted to experience the resort. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised to know that a night in this resort only cost me P4,000 baht nett (around P5,200). This rate came with free breakfast and this spectacular room.
I didn't want to keep my expectations high when I saw the pictures online, but as soon as I stepped into that door, I shook my head with a knowing smile. The room was huge, nicely designed, had an addicting new room smell and a bathroom that is worth every penny spent.
It was night when we arrived, so I wasn't able to see the resort in its full glory. We just had a light dinner in the Sandbox, as pictured below in the daytime. Sandbox was their bar and restaurant near the beach and the pool area.
The next day, we woke up excited and refreshed. We stepped out of our room and made our way to breakfast.
I loved the design of this resort. It satisfied my taste for aesthetics. It wasn't the conventional grand resort. An to think it was a Marriot property. The Renaissance Phuket may not be the most popular resort in Phuket, but it certainly has one of the best designs. Its neighbor, Sala Phuket is a more popular resort because of its design, and though I contemplated staying there, it was just twice more expensive than Renaissance.
And I made the right choice. Imagine, we had breakfast beside a lagoon that had a cascading waterfall. Then I realized the resort is quite big after all. There were three more buildings facing the lagoon. There were also villas near the beach.
I really loved the landscaping of this resort. Sand was used to replace green grass, making it unique. There were even cacti mixing with bamboo and other tropical plants.
Their main restaurant, Loca Vore offers casual fine dining. Its breakfast buffet selection was extensive. They even served smoked salmon eggs benedict. They even served homemade ice cream and a whole lot of other interesting dishes for breakfast.
They have free wifi throughout the entire resort. And their gym is even 24 hours open! I wasn't able to get on a treadmill though, because there were so much more to do for the day.
There were computer desktops that guests can use to surf the internet and even print out stuff they need like tickets and other hotel bookings. They had a coffeehouse named Doppio that served wonderful pastries.
I even booked a massage at Quan Spa, which had a central water feature surrounded by the therapy rooms. There was even a lounge that had another waterfall fountain.
There are two pools open to all guests. One is this children's pool complete with a pool slide and even a treehouse.
And this was the main pool, an infinity one that is also elegantly designed. I particularly loved the jacuzzi in the middle of the pool.
There were sun lounges facing the sea in front of the pool. I positioned myself here while reading Flipboard in my iPad. It was THE life indeed, especially after the waiter served up free fruit kebabs and sorbet to the guests.
And since this was Thailand, the beach was of course, gorgeous. It was called Mai Khao. At first, I was disappointed that it wasn't white sand but that was quickly wiped off when I laid my feet on its sand.
It was like brown sugar, tiny granules of light brown that felt so good on the feet. And the beach was empty and seemingly extended for miles on both ends. The waves were strong, so it wasn't advisable to swim that day. We got the chance to go deeper into sea the next day.
We spent 2 nights in this wonderful resort. We even explored Patong Beach that afternoon of Day 2. It was an hour long drive to town, so we rented a car for 24 hours as it would be more economical in the end (we drove ourselves to the airport the next day as well). We kind of shopped in Jungceylon. Lizzy had her nails done while I had a facial. We ended our day with a roadside dinner in 3 Spices.
At the end of the trip, I learned that booking through the official websites may turn out to be cheaper than booking in sites such as Agoda. In this case, I became a Marriot Rewards member to avail of the unbelievably low rate. Agoda's rate was more expensive.
And so, in 3 days, I got to experience the sweet life in Phuket without breaking the bank. I was so happy with this discovery in Phuket. I couldn't wait to go back.
Renaissance Phuket Resort and Spa
555, Moo 3, Mai Khao, Talang
Phuket, 83110 Thailand