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Review of the Anantara, Phuket – 1st trip with a 3 month old baby

Who:  Frankie, her husband and gorgeous 3 month old baby Alexa
Where:  The Anantara, Phuket – Thailand
When:  Dec 2012

Flight
I was pretty apprehensive about travelling for the first time with a baby but it was actually fine.  We flew with Dragonair from Hong Kong.  I made use of one of the breastfeeding rooms at Hong Kong airport.  It was basic but nice to be able to feed somewhere quiet.  We took our Quinny and Maxi-Cosi Cabrio with us and checked them in plane side in 2 pieces which wa fine – although I’m not sure I could have managed without 2 pairs of hands.  We pre-booked a bassinet which made a huge difference as she slept in it for 2 hours each way.  The Baby Bjorn was useful for getting on & off the plane to keep hands free for bags.  We did have one drama during the flight – the breast milk which I had put in Dr Brown bottles to feed her on take off and landing spit all over the place.  Not sure if this was to do with the pressure?

Anantara 

Transfer
The hotel sent a car t omeet us, and it’s only a 20 minute drive from the airport.

Arrival
When we arrived we were greeted with flower garlands and big smiles.  The staff were very friendly and helpful throughout our stay.

Food
The hotel complex is made up of lots of villas with private pools spread around a lagoon and it’s right by the beach.  The grounds are well maintained and it feels spacious and quiet.  There are two restaurants ,  you can order food and dine in your villa, and you can eat by the pool.  The food was excellent.  Good quality Thai, big buffet breakfasts and delicious grilled seafood.

Villa
Our villa was lovely.  A huge comfortable bed overlooking the pool, a dressing area, big bathroom, sunken bath, outdoor shower and outdoor pavillion by the pool.  The hotel provided a cot, and a baby bath (complete with Johnson’s baby products which was a nice touch).  I had planned to put her in the cot in the dressing area but it wasn’t air conditioned, so she ended up sleeping in our room with us.  We took our monitor with us so we could sit outside by the pool when she was napping.  The water was a lovely temperature – much warmer than the private pools in Bali – so we took her swimming a couple of times.

Anantara Room

Anantara Villa Pool

Facilities
There is also a big pool with lots of sun loungers and a big grassy area near the beach, and the beach itself was very clean and quiet, although quite a steep slope into the sea.  There’s a small gym and classes like Thai boxing and yoga etc.  I did notice there’s also a kids club.  I didn’t ask about babysitting as we took her with  us in her pushchair to dinner a couple of evenings and she slept happily.  We both had a massage in the spa which was lovely.

Anantara Beach Anantara Pool

Surrounding Area
There is a shopping complex next door to the hotel which includes a supermarket where you can buy nappies etc as well as a coffee shop, an English style pub (I can’t comment as this was the last thing we wanted to do while in Thailand!), a Jim Thompson and various other shops largely filled with tat.

I would happily to go back for a long weekend.  I might get a bit restless if it was a longer trip, as there isn’t a choice of other restaurants within walking distance, besides a couple of other hotels (a Hyatt I think).  And I think all the villas are one bedroom so it’s probably not suitable for larger families.  But overall a lovely resort, with a very friendly staff, delicious food, and a great atmosphere.

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