I knew that it would be a great weekend as our Air Berlin flight sailed over the water and the beach to land at Phuket International Airport. The gorgeous red sunset visible outside the airplane window simply sealed the deal. After a swift trip through immigration, we were in a taxi headed south to Karon Beach and the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa.
Our taxi deposited us at the welcome lobby, where we then boarded the hotel shuttle bus for the quick ride to the main part of the hotel. We were greeted by the smiling staff and ushered into the Andaman Lobby for check in. The open air design of the area is the perfect way to bring the beautiful Thai outside in, and the breezes were delightful as we waited to check in to our room.
Check in was efficient despite the fact that there were many other guests arriving at the same time we did. We received our keys as well as a map and directions, and made the short walk past one of the pools to the Lotus Wing where we would stay for four glorious nights. I opened the door to our room and stepped onto the hardwood floors to find the space softly lit, artfully decorated with Thai inspired furnishings and decor, and a lovely basket of fruit. I slipped out to the spacious balcony to see the lush mountains illuminated by an almost-full moon. A few drinks and a snack later, we were snuggled in the comfy bed after a long day of travel. Yep, heaven.
The following morning I had breakfast on my mind, and the Sails Restaurant was the answer. While fairly bustling with the guests hurrying to eat before activities, the buffet style tables and stations were laden with sweet and savory treats of all kinds. Thai and other Asian foods shared the space with omelette and fresh juice stations, and the pastry tables offered up sugary morsels of all shapes and sizes. A friendly host showed us to a table and provided coffee and tea carafes, then we attacked the spread with gusto. I was pleased to know that I could look forward to this each morning.
Our next stop was a visit to the hotel’s tour desk. We had a good idea of the activities we wanted to do, considering our relatively short time in Phuket, and the tour agent was able to get us booked on a Phang Na Bay kayaking trip within minutes. I was pleased to notice the wide array of tour and activity companies that Hilton Phuket works with, and an undecided guest would have no trouble choosing an activity that perfectly
A stroll around the park-like tropical grounds revealed five pools, nine restaurants and bars, three tennis courts, a lovely spa with traditional Thai treatments on offer and a fully staffed kids’ club. After a morning walk on the beach and lunch in the nearby village, we opted for a swim and two shaded lounge chairs next to the pool as our afternoon activity. I was just getting settled with my book when a staff member arrived to offer me a cold slice of watermelon on a stick. That was the perfect touch.
While we spent the majority of the rest of our time in Phuket away from the hotel taking advantage of our kayaking and diving adventures, it was such a pleasure to return each afternoon to our sparkling clean room, complete with a hand towel folded into an elephant shape in the bathroom. An evening round of cocktails in the Andaman Lounge was the perfect way to end our wonderful days on or under the water.
Our last day in Phuket came all too quickly, but we made sure to visit Sails Restaurant one last time for breakfast. We then made arrangements with guest services for airport transportation and stowed our bags with the porter desk in the lobby. The few hours that we had before leaving for the airport were spent by another Hilton Phuket pool with a cold drink, and a snack in the lobby bar. Before I knew it, it was time to collect our bags and meet our car to the airport. As the sun set over southern Phuket, I bade the Hilton a fond farewell.
Appealing to families, couples, and groups, the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa is a great choice in southern Thailand. The amenities are plentiful, the staff generous and professional, and the property is beautiful. Our sole complaint was the high charge for internet access, but I was informed by our liaison that management is looking into ways to make wifi more accessible and more reasonably priced for guests. I fully recommend the Hilton Phuket to any traveler looking for an exquisite stay in beautiful Phuket, Thailand.
Disclaimer: Our stay was partially sponsored by the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa, but our opinions are entirely our own.