Long-haul flights are enough to put people off exploring the most beautiful of places. All it takes is a crying baby one hour in for you to regret everything and have you hesitating over future holiday destinations.
If it’s over ten hours, you need a destination that makes the journey worthwhile. Thailand is definitely worthy of a painful, long-haul flight and staying at Manathai Surin Phuket Hotel proves it.
A tourist hotspot and every traveller’s go-to destination, you need more than two weeks to explore this beautiful country. Though it has an addictive appeal that will keep you coming back for more of its white sandy beaches.
I arrived in Phuket for two weeks of exploring Thailand’s largest island and the smaller ones surrounding it. After a half hour journey from Phuket International Airport, feeling tired and a bit grubby after 24 hours of travelling, we arrived at Manathai Surin to a warm welcome. The hotel staff instantly lifted my mood after personally greeting us at the entrance with tea and cold face cloths (a godsend in the humidity). Having arrived in the early hours of the morning, I was swiftly shown to my room and despite my minor jet lag, it is impossible to miss the beauty of this hotel.
The hotel is beautiful and serene, with the lotus ponds edging the pools and the clean aesthetics it feels like a real sanctuary.
Now, just think of what it was like in the sunshine.
The hotel’s architecture is very pretty with its modern features, high ceilings and vast open space. Clean and minimalistic, a faultless combination.
My room was bright, roomy and air-conditioned, with a giant shower that puts my tiny London shower to shame. The balcony overlooked one of the two pools, fenced with water features and plants. At the head of this pool is the outdoor bar, with a happy hour to keep you poolside for even longer than usual. The second pool is set behind the hotel and a little more secluded but every bit as inviting.
Having breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, Pad Thai, I was completely lost in my surroundings as I enjoyed one of their omelettes with a side of everything from the buffet. The hotel is a stone’s throw from Surin beach and watching locals and tourists alike go about their business and making their way towards the beach is the perfect way to start your day. Green tea with a crystal-clear sea view is not something you tire of.
Surin beach plays host to a street market where you can pick up an authentic, delicious Pad Thai for £2-£3, roughly 180 Baht or freshly made coconut ice cream topped with chocolate and peanuts. Further along the beach you can sit beneath the trees and unwind with a traditional Thai massage for less than £4.
However, step back into the Manathai Hotel and you can enjoy their in-house spa with every massage you need to relax and unwind. From traditional Thai massages to oil or sports massages, there is something for everyone. They also offer cocktails and manicures for a touch of glamour to top off your stay. Be warned though, the spa gets booked up quickly so you’d be wise to book early, particularly if they have any deals on. You can also take part in a Thai cookery class in-house.
Manathai Surin is ideally located on a peaceful and picturesque part of Phuket island. The perfect hideaway for a peaceful beach holiday that doesn’t scream ‘overcrowded resort’. It’s got enough going on to keep you busy and Phuket town is only a 20-minute taxi away (or tuk tuk, if you’re brave enough).
It’s the type of hotel that makes a long-haul flight home unbearable, knowing you don’t have that luxury waiting for you on the other side.
Manathai Surin is the fourth property of the independent Thai hospitality group, the other three are situated in Hua Hin, Khao Lak and Koh Samui.
Manathai Surin Phuket, 121/1 Moo 3, Srisunthorn Road., Cheng Talay, Thalang, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Tel: +66 7636 0250
Phuket International Airport is just 8.7 miles away and about a 30-minute taxi ride which will cost roughly 700 Baht. The hotel also has free parking available for guests and an Airport Shuttle service.
Type of Hotel: 5-Star Beachfront Hotel Resort and Spa
Number Rooms: 66 rooms and suites and complimentary Wi-Fi
Insider Tip: If you fancy a spa treatment in their excellent spa, be sure to book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Price Band: Medium
Reviewer’s Rating: 7/10
Kelly Greene is a freelance travel writer based in East London, writing for Good Housekeeping and presenting for East London Radio.
Photographs courtesy of Manathai Surin Phuket