I can’t believe it’s already been more than a week since we returned from one of the best trips I’ve taken to date! Phuket has won a place in my heart as a perfect vacation destination, filled with so many interesting people from all over the world, the best food I’ve tasted (outside of Taiwan, of course), and beautiful landscapes and oceans for diving.
For the first part of our stay in Thailand, we were lucky enough to experience the TwinPalms Phuket resort located near Surin Beach on the north part of the island. As soon as we landed, the hotel staff picked us up from Phuket airport which saved us from another expensive hour-long taxi ride.
Tip: If you don’t have a ride pre-arranged, use the app Grab if you’re trying to leave the airport. The taxi drivers will upcharge you more than double because there are no other transportation options if you don’t pre-arrange something. You’ll have to walk just outside of the airport (only about 5 minutes) because Grab vehicles are not allowed to enter the passenger pickup area, but it’ll be well worth it.
Once we got to the hotel, I immediately noticed that the architecture of the resort lobby was incredibly beautiful. It was reminiscent of the many temples that Thailand is famous for and oh-so relaxing to walk into thanks to the modern and sleek style.
Upon checking in, we received a perfectly crafted wristlet made out of real flowers that smelled amazing. We were lucky enough to have a beautiful ground-level room with high ceilings and all of the amenities you’d need to have a clean and relaxing stay and huge sliding glass doors that opened right up to the pool area.
In the center of all of the rooms is a pool and bar shaded from the hot sun by rows of tall palm trees. You could order a drink, grab a book, and lay by the pool ALL day. Don’t forget your sunscreen though, because the sun in Thailand is STRONG and you don’t want to be burning to a crisp during your trip!
If you walk 10 minutes toward shore, you’ll hit one of the gorgeous beaches that lines the west coast of the island. We visited early in the morning and there was almost nobody there. Closer to noon, street stands and vendors start setting up and you can get a massage on the beach, try some pad thai, or eat some freshly cut mangoes while you bask in the sun.
TwinPalms also has three restaurants that are part of the hotel, but not located on the premises where the guest rooms are. Each is just about a short 5-10 car ride away, and the hotel runs regular shuttles every hour to take guests to and from the restaurants.
We had the opportunity to try all of them and boy, was the food good!
Catch Beach Club
On one of the days, we had brunch literally two steps away from the beach and satisfied our seafood cravings with this amazing dish (appropriately called the WOW! platter). We loved every bite of our meal, but one thing I learned from another traveler during our trip was that most of the seafood sold at restaurants in Phuket isn’t indigenous to Thailand. We saw this to be true when we were diving, since we didn’t see many of these little guys swimming around in the ocean. A lot of the seafood is imported from neighboring countries for tourists, who often think that you’re “supposed” to eat seafood in Thailand. However, the Thai people typically eat chicken or tofu, but not often huge lobsters and cod.
We visited Palm Seaside another day just as the sun was setting. Also set next to the beach, you get the most amazing view as the sun paints the sky pinks and purples around dinner time. This time, we opted to get the “Taste of Thailand” set for two, which came with a ton of different small Thai dishes. The shrimp crackers they provided as an appetizer were so addicting, I wish I could’ve brought home ten bags of them to eat as snacks. The course that we ordered would be great for anyone who’s interested in trying a bite of many different dishes, like us!
HQ Beach Club
Finally, we tried their last restaurant for dinner the night before we left for our dive trip and I have to say, HQ was probably my favorite spot yet! The lamb curry pictured below blew us away and had such bold flavor and wasn’t completely laden with coconut milk like most inauthentic Thai restaurants we’ve visited before.
Location-wise, all of TwinPalm’s amenities are located near Surin beach, which is relatively far north in Phuket. This means you’ll be about 30-40 minutes away from Patong, which is the “main” tourist area. For us, it wasn’t that big of a deal since we planned around the distance, but it did eat away at our wallets to take taxis back and forth between Surin and Patong. So keep that in mind when you’re booking!
The service throughout our stay was stellar. All of the staff members were so friendly and seemed to put the guests first, no matter what. Whether it was helping us with our absurd amount of luggage (as always, I packed way too much), helping us coordinate rides and transportation, or just showing us where the nearest currency exchange booth was, all of the staff members made our stay as stress-free and relaxing as possible.
Huge thanks to the TwinPalms Phuket team for the amazing accommodations during our time in Thailand! We kicked off our two week trip here, and they definitely set the bar high.