Luxury Phuket at the Indigo Pearl (With Baby!)

One hotel that keeps popping up on my luxury yet family friendly travel radar is the Indigo Pearl in Phuket. Chloe recently returned from a trip there with her husband and 1 year old daughter and shares her review with you lucky people:

Indigo Pearl - Backner Family

When did you go?

5th – 12th April 2014

How was the weather?

The day we arrived it was raining and extremely overcast the entire day. We thought we were in for a week of horrendous weather, but we were pleasantly surprised, as the day after up until the day we left we had nothing but glorious blue skies and sun.

Indigo Pearl - Pool 2

How did you book the trip?

We flew direct from Singapore airport, as we were in Singapore for 5 weeks prior to our Phuket trip for my husband’s work. Having done our homework, so to speak, it worked out much cheaper to book the flights ourselves through the low cost airline, Air Asia.

However, we used Trail Finders to book the hotel. As their service was amazing and they were much cheaper than the various online sources, such as booking.com, agoda.com etc

The price included bed and breakfast. Children under four years old eat for free, which was a huge bonus.

How was the flight?  

The flight from Singapore to Phuket was just under two hours so was extremely easy. Something to note though, if travelling Air Asia, is that they are very, very strict on baggage weight. They will only allow 20kg per adult, children under two years old are not entitled to baggage allowance and they will not let you purchase a seat for your under two year old. This caught us by surprise at check in and meant we had to quickly rearrange all our belongings and place a suitcase in storage in Singapore airport.

The flight from Israel to Singapore was 18 hours including, a one hour layover in Turkey. The return journey was 30 plus hours, as we had to return to Singapore on Air Asia and then stay in the airport for 12 hours before getting our flight back to Israel via Turkey on Turkish Airways. Turkish Airways are amazing, we cannot recommend them enough, offering baby food, child entertainment etc.

Having been on a lot of long haul flights with my daughter during the past year, we have learnt that it is all about night flights. We have done the long haul day flight with a baby and it isn’t fun. A night flight not only helps make the journey go a lot quicker, but it helps with jetlag.

Also, having learnt the hard way, we have several other tips for parents about to embark on long haul journeys.

–       A bassinet is useless once a baby is on the move and likes to sprawl out when sleeping. Pre booking a bassinet seat for our recent trip with an 11 month old was a complete waste of time. Not only did my husband and I end up sleeping with a sprawled out baby on us, but our seats hardly reclined, the arm rests didn’t go up and there was a horrible cold draft coming from the emergency exit door next to us. Yes the extra leg room may appeal to many, but trust us, you would rather push your luck and hope there is a spare seat on board the plane for you to give your baby a seat to sit/sleep on, obviously with your guidance. In many cases airlines will always give parent’s spare seat preference. I have been on many flights where I’ve been granted an extra seat for my daughter.

–       Getting to the airport well in advance of your flight makes the whole travelling experience a lot less stressful. This will ensure you get good seats, time to change/feed your baby and purchase anything you need from duty free

–       Always take on the flight, at least two/three change of clothes for your baby, blankets, grow bag if used, extra bottles, sterilising tablets (in case of delay, lost luggage etc), baby food/snacks, enough nappies for two/three days, two packs of wipes, toys and a medicine kit, consisting of Calpol, saline drops, Vicks, thermometer etc. Just remember, if flying from the UK, buy your Calpol through security otherwise it’ll be confiscated.

How far was the hotel from the airport?  

The airport was only a five minute taxi ride to the hotel.

What did you think of the hotel?

The Indigo Pearl hotel was fantastic. We would definitely go back. The décor was out of this world, the staff couldn’t do enough for you, especially for your children and the food was delicious.

How was your room?  What baby/kid amenities had been provided?

Our room was perfect. It is worth noting if staying at the Indigo Pearl that you ask for a ground floor room, as there are no elevators or ramps to take you up to the second floor rooms. Every room offers outdoor space and you have the option with or without private pool. We had without and it was perfect, as we spent the mornings at the kids pool with our daughter who preferred playing with other kids. Also, we had a huge private patio area with sun loungers etc attached to our room, which was great too.

There was a travel cot in our room upon arrival. It came inclusive of a super comfy mattress and clean blankets. What’s more, there was a gift bag placed in the cot consisting of baby bath foam, shampoo, talc and a toy.

How were the facilities?

The facilities were amazing. There was a gym, 4-5 restaurants, 3 swimming pools, kid’s pool, bars and more.

Indigo Pearl Pool

For the children, there was a great playground, kid’s club and children’s pool with toys. The hotel offered a babysitting service, which many of the other guests used and loved. However, we used a babysitter recommended to us from some Australian friends, who was just out of this world. Our daughter fell in love with her and so did we. She is truly amazing and can be found on Facebook – Yom Babysitter Phuket 

Indigo Pearl - Sadie & Yom

The only downfall about the hotel is that it’s not the most stroller friendly. Nevertheless, this should not stop you from going, as your overall experience will not be affected by this at all.

Was there kids club and did you use it?

Yes there was a kid’s club. Kids under four years have to be accompanied by an adult. Yom, our babysitter, spent a lot of time in there playing and colouring with our daughter.

Was there a beach?  

Yes there was a beach and it was gorgeous. The hotel provided deck chairs, a food/drink beach service etc

How was the food? 

The food was amazing. The hotels evening buffets were amazing at the Tin Mine restaurant. Also the hotel’s Black Ginger restaurant is a must go to, a small boat ride away and a very special experience.

Indigo Pearl - cocktails by bar

Eating outside the hotel, along the beach front is also a must. We tried several of the beach restaurants, but fell in love with Phen’s, a very cheap and casual beach café, offering thai and western cuisine. We ate a lot of fish and thai dishes, as they were so tasty. Their bbq fish was outstanding, accompanied by a fresh fruit blendy.

How was the staff?

The staff were fantastic. They cannot do enough for you and love, love, love kids.

How was the trip overall?  What tips would you give to someone booking this holiday?

The overall trip was fantastic. It was a very unique hotel, that offered such a special experience. It was so relaxing and idyllic.

If travelling with kids, definitely look into using Yom the babysitter or one of the hotels CPR trained babysitters. It was great everyday to have four or five hours just with the hubbie enjoying massages, lunch and cocktails during happy hour a one of the hotel’s adult only pools.

We used Yom for four-five hours during the day (1.30pm-5.30pm) and then had the evenings with our daughter, who would either sleep in the stroller whilst we were at dinner or would sit with us in a high chair. Every restaurant offer highchairs. Just remember, go with the flow when abroad with kids, you and they will definitely enjoy it more.

Indigo Pearl - lazing in pool

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