The first time we stayed in Kamala Beach at the Sunwing Resort. It was chosen for its seven pools, its amazing price and its Royal Pool Access Suite which allowed walking from the sun lounge on your own patio and straight into the pool. Location wise it is close to the madness of Patong without having to be in it—a short tuc-tuc ride over the hill between beaches only—but busy enough in its own right with shops and restaurants to not even warrant having to go over to Patong that often anyway. Downsides were that it is kid-friendly. I suppose that is an upside if you actually have kids. Also the pools were a little shallow for my liking (get too warm in the always hot weather). Upsides included a huge room with modern and excitingly coloured furnishings, a great pool table, and amazing, clean, friendly and reasonably priced massage services on site but street-style not spa-like. If it had a large bath, I would think it was, at a less kiddy time of the year, a goer for a re-visit.
Our second hotel was at Kata Beach. The Sugar Palm Grand Hillside. If you look on something like Trip Advisor you will get extremes of commentary you wouldn't believe possible for the same subject. Read between the lines. The particularly acerbic reviews come from people who—how shall I put this—are, maybe, lazy. The clue for people should be in the name. The resort is built on the hillside, and access, if you choose to walk, is via steep paths or stairways. You can also get in an elevator, but some upward walking is usually required. Cascading pools with infinity edges and stunning vistas over Kata Beach, its bay and surrounding countryside are the end result. This resort has few facilities: a breakfast buffet but no restaurant, no pool table. But the rooms are austerely beautiful in concrete, neutrals and black tile, with stunning huge baths and showers, and the Grand Pool Access room walks you straight into the pool outside your room which, for the most part, you seem to get all to yourself. Outside the resort Kata Beach has more than enough restaurants and shops to feed your stomach and your cravings to peruse or buy, should you have them.
And you've already heard a fair bit about the Indigo Pearl on Nai Yang Beach. Huge bath, tick. Beautiful room, tick. Pools and pool, tick, tick. Plenty to do in and out of the resort, tick. Our fault, but I didn't think the food was fabulous—we should have eaten out more. And I am a little hesitant to love a resort with vastly un-equal room types. A last-minute comparison between our room and the top room on the resort for a couple yielded a per night difference of five hundred dollars. I kind of like my resort rooms to be more egalitarian. But the artwork was stunning and it had one of the best buffet breakfasts. I'm no closer to answering the question I posed at the beginning of this blog. Pros and cons, pros and cons. Oh well, other holidays to think about in the mean time. Will have to leave this answer to when, and if, we decide Thailand is worth another visit.
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