The last time we were in Phuket was prob 5 years back and we had opted for JW Marriott. It was nice but as with any typical international hotel, it was safe in design and everything is at double the premium. So this time round, we tried 2 new luxury resorts instead - the Indigo Pearl Resort and Sala Phuket Resort for a change.
We had a lovely time.
Actually that would be an incorrect.
Truth was, we had a fking glorious freaking time there!
Two main reasons why the hol was such a great getaway. Firstly, there were hardly any loud American nor China-chinese in plain sight. Sure there was one or two there. Yet fortunately they belong to the gratifying civilised, cultured and considerate soft spoken ones. (No offence to people from there but we all know many people from these 2 ctries love to talk 24x7hr and has no concept of sparing other people from their loud booming conversation or nasal twang.)
The 2nd reason for the great hol was that there were NO noisy toddlers, babies, children within miles of my room as well as the pool we laze around in. In Indigo Pearl, there were 3 large pools. One was a dedicated adult and children pool, while the other 2 were strictly off limits to kids and children below 16yr (as one pool serve alco within). It was by far the best fking miracle for any holidays I have been to date. I mean what are the chances of that? A truly quiet tranquil getaway.
We stayed 4 day 3 nights in Indigo and another 4 day 3 night at Sala.
I first heard about Indigo resort when I was travelling to Bangkok for work and I got acquainted with this Brazil guy, whose friend was the designer for the hotel. He was telling me all about the resort and I had been pretty intrigued then. Throw in rave reviews from Trip advisor, I just couldnt resist.
Sala was a recommendation from my husband's colleague who also happen to be there within the same week. I didnt check out the place online before heading there so I had no expectation but I was truly completely blown away with its sleek contemporary feel, and the sense of space. Do u know what a great change in scenery it is from cram HK? The infinite green, long lap pools to indulge the swimmer in me, the beautiful SPICY food. Christ I forgot how much I miss those spicy hot cuisine.
We move one room type up from Kelly Quarters at Indigo because many reviews had said the room was small. So we had the suite with the outdoor bath tub and balcony and we had a really great room at 3237. The size was just right! It was smacked right between the 2 adult pools with a garden view between but relatively far away so you dont hear much noise. To the left was the infinity pool and to our right, the adult pool with mini bar.
We had the corner room on the 2nd level so we are position to catch the cross blowing breeze. The room had a separate and more than sufficient changing area, with a rod across to hang clothes rather than a cabinet. (Our corner room directly behind me from the infinity photo below)
Both the bathroom and the bedroom open up to the balcony.
The only thing that I thought could be improved was adding a shower curtain at the showering area. They forgot the cold draft can get in...I suppose its one trick to make one conserves water with shorter shower time :) I love the overhead fan but it creaks so much in motion that I didnt have the option of leaving it on.
The weather during the whole week was lovely. Heaven couldnt be kinder. It was mildly overcast the first 2 days and I had thought it was gonna be a drabby trip but hell was I wrong. The remaining week was bright, sunny and windy throughout the day, only raining in the middle of the night during our sleep, having it all cleared up again when we woke. Perfect!
The food at Indigo was pretty good. In fact we were spoilt for choice. There were so many restaurants to choose from - starting with Siamese food from Black Ginger, Western from Grill Rivet, and the Tin Mine buffet cafe. We had like 2-3 other cafes/ bars to choose from and honestly, everyday I was stuff beyond imagination. Breakfast was a great and delicious spread of asian and Continental breakie. I stuck to asia breakfast the whole hol of course. Why would I, brought up in Singapore, be eating only boring cereal and bread in the morning when I can a range of solid good minced pork porridge, noodles, dimsum and soup to pick from? The fruits was amazing. No, the MANGOES were amazingly sweet. People were fighting for it. I swear it's true.
A side story to Mango at breakie buffet.
Everyone was making a beeline for it. So u can imagine it was always gone in a flash. Yet, all the Caucasian men were just standing there. Not very bright to me considering there was a Thai woman standing just behind the counter peeling other fruits, but her line of vision to the fruit platter was blocked by the ornaments. So this is when I came into the picture. Rather than just hovering around and waiting for something to happen, I politely informed the lady that the mango ran out. She smiled and quickly get to work and started on peeling new mangoes. Now this is the part where I found it a little rich and distasteful for my liking. Those men who were earlier just surrounding the empty plates like vultures, forcefully stood before the mix fruit plates. I stepped back to make way for OTHER people to grab other fruits. Guess what?
When the thai lady barely place the mango down by the counter top next to her, all those waiting men simply rush in, reached over and stab at the mangoes to their plates like it was the last they will ever have. They just push off everyone else who happen to be there. Greedy guts. Over a mango to say the least. I got really fed up so I snuck in between them and grab the mango plate from them and placed it firmly back to the original fruit area. One of the man had the audacity to glare at me, when his plate was already full with 4-5 slices, and he wasnt even the first ones there. Arsehole. I ignore him of course and when I was done, politely relinquish the fruit picker to another lady who was Q'ing up behind me. I got my revenge seeing his red face and empty mango plate.
Anycase, they were only a small handful of people who didnt display much social grace.
There was another contrasting story that I really wanted to highlight.
They were the PERFECT example of how parents should behave with small kids in tow. They are truly one of a kind. The sort you want to hold their head, kiss their forehead and say "bless ur heart".
The story goes like this. We were having dinner at Black Ginger restaurant. It's the sort where more refined manners are expected though unspoken. Quiet conversation in the nice quiet ambiance. So stroll in this french speaking couple with their daughter about 6yrs and son about over 1yrs old. When I realise they were gonna be seated next to me, I wanted to sigh. Generally I hate gettin stuck at dinner next to children because you cannot control their behaviour or noises they make. If I could, I would avoid families like plague. To prove my point, the boy was restless and started whining away. I was almost resigned to my fate when 5 minutes into the seating and some serious low-toned discussion in french between the parents, the father stood up with the boy in his arms and told the waitress.
"I'm sorry but I have to cancel my dinner tonight. My son is making noise and I dont want to disturb other diners in the restaurant and spoil their lovely eve." The wife then stood up, apologised again and left together with the daughter. I was stunned. That was the MOST considerate and lovely thing the family did. How many parents esp on hols would do that? To sacrifice their dining experience because they didnt want to ruin the dinner for others? Most would stick to their diner and hope for the best. They are the first couple I know who are so sensitive to their surroundings. I was truly stunned and held much admiration for the parents. They are one hell of a living example to folks out there who had no qualms to leave their human products running amok in public, making a monkey nuisance out of themselves.
It's amazing how we live in the same world, but it produces such contrasting different behaviours. The desirable are often overshadowed by bad behavior but it is days like this that makes me optimistic that perhaps there is hope afterall, that not all parents out there, are blatantly selfish and oblivious to the "pain" they inflict on others with their kids...