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Old April 13, 2012, 06:47 PM   #1
hockman4357
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Phuket Beach Club Villa Recommendation

My wife, daughter (25 years old) and I are going to spend the week of June 29-July 6 at the Phuket Beach Club. I would like to request in advance the best villa possible. An ocean view would be awesome but from what I have read, ocean views don't exist at this resort.

Which phase should I request? Is it better to have a ground floor or a top floor? If you have stayed at the Phuket Beach Club and have a specific recommended villa number that you could share with me, it would be greatly appreciated!

Also, how are villa requsts made in advance since the resort is located in Thailand?

Happy travels!!!
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Old April 13, 2012, 08:36 PM   #2
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Hello! Congrats on your visit to Phuket. You will love it. They recently have brought back the resident elephant! You are correct, there are no ocean view units. As the resort is in a national park with turtle nesting, they are very sensitive about lighting near the beach. If you were looking at a map of the property with the water in front and away from you the road running left to right nearest you, the hotel, restaurants and facilities would be in the center. The original villas would be on the right and the newer on the left. The units are identical, but are in lush vegetation. We prefer the highest floor possible for that reason. We do like the new section because that pool is farthest from the kids' pool and has the Blue Bar. We love sunset at the Blue Bar.

(The ground floor units will have patios, but not at all private due to foot traffic. The upper floors have two balconies.)

BTW I do recommend enjoying the in room barbecue. There will be a menu in your room. Two chefs grill a delicious dinner in your villa. Its totally interactive. Great food and fun.

I hope that helps.
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Old April 14, 2012, 02:25 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by hockman4357 View Post
My wife, daughter (25 years old) and I are going to spend the week of June 29-July 6 at the Phuket Beach Club. I would like to request in advance the best villa possible. An ocean view would be awesome but from what I have read, ocean views don't exist at this resort.

Which phase should I request? Is it better to have a ground floor or a top floor? If you have stayed at the Phuket Beach Club and have a specific recommended villa number that you could share with me, it would be greatly appreciated!

Also, how are villa requsts made in advance since the resort is located in Thailand?

Happy travels!!!
I guess we qualify as one of the resorts most regular guests since we stay there twice each year. The resort is a regular winner of the MVCI resort of the year and certainly deserves the award in my view.

First there will be no guarantee of a specific unit number. Unit allocation is only made 24 hours before you check in and that is just how they do it. You should get an eMail from the MVCI vacation experience planning team prior to arrival (about 2 weeks) and you can place a request via them.

The units are located either side of the JW Marriott and share all the facilities such as pools, fitness centre, Spa and tennis etc. All units are built in small blocks of 12 units with 3 on each level. In my view no unit has what could be called a sea view. The gardens in the resort are very tropical in nature and the trees are as high as the units. Personally I think this makes the resort blend in very well with the area since it is a national park.

Our personal preference is for units in Phase 2 and specifically those starting with a number 3. units with a partial sea view are 3441, 3442 and 3443 these being the top floor of the block that is furthest away from the hotel lobby and closest to the south pool and Thai restaurant.

However, the north pool is designated as a tranquility pool, children are discouraged and it is intended as somewhere for a bit of peace and quiet. Units closest to this pool are phase one and start with a number 1.

The south pool has the swim up bar and so can get a little rowdy in the later part of the day !

We usually request a ground floor unit in the blocks nearest the south pool but that is a personal choice. The team in the office will do their best to meet your requests within the available units but they will give no guarantees on placement.

Enjoy your stay at Phuket Beach Club.
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Old April 14, 2012, 06:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by MALC9990 View Post
I guess we qualify as one of the resorts most regular guests since we stay there twice each year. The resort is a regular winner of the MVCI resort of the year and certainly deserves the award in my view.

First there will be no guarantee of a specific unit number. Unit allocation is only made 24 hours before you check in and that is just how they do it. You should get an eMail from the MVCI vacation experience planning team prior to arrival (about 2 weeks) and you can place a request via them.

The units are located either side of the JW Marriott and share all the facilities such as pools, fitness centre, Spa and tennis etc. All units are built in small blocks of 12 units with 3 on each level. In my view no unit has what could be called a sea view. The gardens in the resort are very tropical in nature and the trees are as high as the units. Personally I think this makes the resort blend in very well with the area since it is a national park.

Our personal preference is for units in Phase 2 and specifically those starting with a number 3. units with a partial sea view are 3441, 3442 and 3443 these being the top floor of the block that is furthest away from the hotel lobby and closest to the south pool and Thai restaurant.

However, the north pool is designated as a tranquility pool, children are discouraged and it is intended as somewhere for a bit of peace and quiet. Units closest to this pool are phase one and start with a number 1.

The south pool has the swim up bar and so can get a little rowdy in the later part of the day !

We usually request a ground floor unit in the blocks nearest the south pool but that is a personal choice. The team in the office will do their best to meet your requests within the available units but they will give no guarantees on placement.

Enjoy your stay at Phuket Beach Club.
Twice a year? Now you are just showing off. I wish we could get there every year. Travel is too far for us. We get there about every other year.
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Old April 14, 2012, 10:47 AM   #5
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I really appreciate all of the villa suggestions. It is going to be a tough choice deciding between a ground floor villa and an upper floor villa. We usually prefer upper floors, but the ground floor villas at this resort sound exceptional. I'm assuming that 3411, 3412, and 3413 would be a good choice for ground floor villas. Where can I find a map of the resort that shows the layout and various phase/block locations?

If we want to go into Phuket, what is the most economical way to get there?

Really looking forward to this trip! After we leave Phuket, we are going to slowly work our way north to Chiang Mai. This will no doubt be an amazing 3week vacation!!!
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Old April 14, 2012, 10:55 AM   #6
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Twice a year? Now you are just showing off. I wish we could get there every year. Travel is too far for us. We get there about every other year.
Not so far for us as it is for you and I'm working through my accumulated stock of FF miles with BA. Also EVA Air offer really good value flights to BKK from LHR. But yes you are right we need to diversify a bit so this year we will go to St Kitts instead of Phuket Beach Club so no second trip to Phuket in 2012 or 2013.

Phuket Beach Club still remains my No. 1 favourite MVCI resort but that might change after our trip to St. Kitts.
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Old April 14, 2012, 12:18 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by hockman4357 View Post
I really appreciate all of the villa suggestions. It is going to be a tough choice deciding between a ground floor villa and an upper floor villa. We usually prefer upper floors, but the ground floor villas at this resort sound exceptional. I'm assuming that 3411, 3412, and 3413 would be a good choice for ground floor villas. Where can I find a map of the resort that shows the layout and various phase/block locations?

If we want to go into Phuket, what is the most economical way to get there?

Really looking forward to this trip! After we leave Phuket, we are going to slowly work our way north to Chiang Mai. This will no doubt be an amazing 3week vacation!!!
PBC has a very simple unit numbering system where each unit has a 4 digit number. Digit one denotes the phase. There were actual 3 build phases. Second digit denotes the block within the phase (Phase 3 has 4 blocks). Third digit denotes the floor level (1 being ground floor and then 2,3 & 4). Fourth digit denotes the actual unit number on the floor - 3 units on each level.

So 3411, 3412 and 3413 are the ground floor units in block 4 of phase 3. This is the block furthest away from the hotel close to the south pool and the Thai Restaurant (Ginja). If you like a high floor then this block units 3441, 3442 and 3443 have the only real sea views of the resort. Personally I think the best sea views are from the top of the beach.

The resort map available on the PBC page on the MVCI website is very out of date since it only shows Phase one units.

Talking of the beach. Mai Khao Beach is one of the quietest in Phuket. It is about 11 kilometers long and stretches from the end of the airport runway to the very northern tip of the island. The whole 11 k of the beach is designated a turtle nesting area by the Thai authorities and so no resort sun beds are allowed onto the beach. In high season (winter) the resort has free water sports on the beach - hobiecats and kayaks.

You will be pleasantly surprised by the levels of service you receive. In the units, each day the housekeeping staff will visit and tidy, make beds and santise the toilets. They will replace towels left on the floor - just like in a hotel. Mid week they will do a full clean. If you call housekeeping they will be happy to agree a time when they will visit your unit, otherwise the times will vary depending on their daily schedule and whether any units are checking in and out. We always ask for them to visit at about 11am - by which time we will be out and not hanging around the unit. We also often eat lunch back in the unit and thus they are finished by the time we want lunch. Housekeeping also wash all dirty dishes left in the kitchen since there is no dishwasher. Staff are cheaper than dishwashers in Thailand.

Pool staff. Each pool is manned by a team of Thai staff. They are there to look after the guests. One will be a trained lifeguard and first aider. The rest of the team will find sun beds and provide pool towels, iced water and take orders for food and drinks etc.

Security. Security at the resort is pretty tight. At the hotel entrance all vehicles are stopped and checked. They will inspect the underside of the vehicle with a mirror. They may ask the driver to pop the trunk to check that also. There are three other vehicle entrances and all are manned by security. The security is 24X7. Security staff also patrol the resort 24X7 and during the day especially the beach area. There is a lifeguard on the beach during the high season. Green, Yellow and Red flags denote whether it is safe to swim in the sea.

Restaurants. The JW has 6 restaurants - Italian, Japanese, Marriott Cafe, Andaman Grill for steak and Seafood, Ginja for Thai and the Deli for all day snacks and light meals and drinks. There are two pool bars - at the South Pool and Main Hotel Pool. There are also several bars in the resort.

Outside the resort there is a small shopping mall that is only a few minutes walk. There you will find a British Pub, Coffee Shop, Ice Cream place, a small supermarket and various tourist type shops as well as the usual tailor and jewelry store.

One word of warning. The next door Hotel - The Anantara is developing its own Timeshare points system to compete with MVCI - they employ touts who roam the shopping mall. if you take the offer of the gift for the presentation be prepared for a hard sell session.

Other places nearby - Mai Khao Beach Club is the sister Timeshare in the MVCI Asia Pacific system and guests there do not have access to the JW pools. So PBC guests do not have access to the pool at MKB however all guests may use the restaurants in the KW and at MKB (which has two restaurants).

There is also a Renaissance a short walk along the beach, There they have two restaurant that you may like to try. Transport to the Renn is easy to find.

Between the JW and the Renaissance there is a small boutique hotel (The Sala) this has a very nice restaurant and they will provide complimentary transport if you wish to reserve and dine there. Also the Spa at the Sala is cheaper than the JW Spa and again they will provide transport if you book a spa session there.

For transport around Phuket from the Marriott there are two options.

1. Hire Car. Avis and Hertz operate out of the airport terminal. I always use one of these - whoever offers the best deal. Driving for Americans can be a challenge. Thailand drives on the left hand side of the road (like in the UK, Australia and Japan). Driving style in Thailand is also a challenge but one gets used to it quickly. Most Thai people cannot afford a car and rely on a moped or small motorcycle and it is not unusual to see a whole family on one motorcycle.

2. Local Taxi. There are several local taxi stands in the Mai Khao area around the hotel and by the shopping mall. These are not metered taxis and so you should negotiate a price before you take a ride. A driver will take you somewhere and then wait for you and bring you back for an agreed price.

Personally I always have a rental car and drive everywhere and just take care.

For good local advice on Phuket try the following link:

http://jamie-monk.blogspot.co.uk/

Jamie runs a dive school in Phuket and is British and has lived there for 10 years or so.
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Old April 14, 2012, 01:11 PM   #8
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Not so far for us as it is for you and I'm working through my accumulated stock of FF miles with BA. Also EVA Air offer really good value flights to BKK from LHR. But yes you are right we need to diversify a bit so this year we will go to St Kitts instead of Phuket Beach Club so no second trip to Phuket in 2012 or 2013.

Phuket Beach Club still remains my No. 1 favourite MVCI resort but that might change after our trip to St. Kitts.
Every time we go to a place other than PBC, we end up comparing. Of course as you pointed out in your other post--the service is above reproach. We did get to spread our wings in Hawaii etc, but always want to "get home" to Phuket.
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Old April 19, 2012, 06:28 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=MALC9990;1277518]For transport around Phuket from the Marriott there are two options.

1. Hire Car. Avis and Hertz operate out of the airport terminal. I always use one of these - whoever offers the best deal. Driving for Americans can be a challenge. Thailand drives on the left hand side of the road (like in the UK, Australia and Japan). Driving style in Thailand is also a challenge but one gets used to it quickly. Most Thai people cannot afford a car and rely on a moped or small motorcycle and it is not unusual to see a whole family on one motorcycle.

2. Local Taxi. There are several local taxi stands in the Mai Khao area around the hotel and by the shopping mall. These are not metered taxis and so you should negotiate a price before you take a ride. A driver will take you somewhere and then wait for you and bring you back for an agreed price.

Personally I always have a rental car and drive everywhere and just take care.
QUOTE]

So, how hard would it be for an American to pick up driving in Thailand since they drive on the left side of the road? If I decide to rent a car, is it best to reserve it in advance or do so upon arrival at the Phuket airport?

If I decide against renting a car, how much should I expect to pay for a roundtrip taxi ride into Phukett Town?

Decisions, decisions. I mainly want to pick up groceries a time or two and do a little exploring.
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Old April 20, 2012, 02:49 AM   #10
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Decisions, Decisions!

OK, since you obviously have some concerns about driving in Phuket and so here is what I would recommend. Picking a pre-booked car at the airport sounds fine and is for those of us who are regulars at PBC and experienced in the local driving culture.

You may not expect to use a car every day and possibly only on a few days of your stay and so feel that having a rental car there for use just in case you decide to go out is a waste of money. If this is the case and you do not want your first experience of driving to be at the first rather stressful point of the vacation just after you have arrived at the Phuket Airport which is quite frenetic with crowds of people outside waiting for passenger and lots of the typical Thai taxi touts, I would not pre-book a rental for arrival at the airport.

Contact the resort and get them to pre-book a limo to meet you and transport you to the resort. They will send a car and driver to collectbyounandnyour party. Expensive - perhaps but a safe and non-stressful way to arrive. Phuket Beach Club has a large kiosk with seating and cool drinks for arriving guests at the domestic end of the arrivals terminal. OK they are there to lure people into a presentation but justbsaybyou have one pre-booked and they will not push it. They should find your driver for you, take the luggage to the car and you will be on your way with no real hassle. This should be a hotel limo not a taxi and is usually a Mercedes.

Local taxis charge about 500 Baht (about $17) for a trip to a local nearby restaurant and wait there to return you back to the resort. A car rental by the day will start at about $50 per day for a small car such as a Honda Jazz. A taxi trip to the main shopping Mall (Central Festival) where there is an excellent international supermarket will be between 1500 & 2000 Baht and will include waiting time and the return journey.

The small supermarket in the local mall (Turtle Village) can supply the immediate needs for a vacation -beer, wine, spirits, soft drinks, milk bread etc. at a higher price than the main supermarkets but if you count in the cost of transport it is a reasonable option.

So get a hotel limo to meet you at the airport and when you need a car get the hotel concierge, transport desk to get you a rental car for a day or several days as you require to meet your needs.

The area around the resort is one of the quietest parts of the island and so a good place to get used to driving on the left hand side of the road. The main north - south highway on the island is where you would connect from the resort and remember when driving out to the highway which is divided and has two lanes in each direction TURN LEFT onto the highway. So turn left onto the highway heading north and then find the first U-Turn point to turn south.

On my first visit to PBC I used the hotel limo from the airport and then rented a car for the days that I wanted a car. Since then I pick up a car at the airport but I'm now tuned into the local driving style and know where I am going after 7 years of visiting Phuket.

I have always found the local taxi drivers in the Mai Khao area to be friendly and helpful.
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Old April 20, 2012, 07:47 AM   #11
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Thanks again for all of the helpful advise! I am so tempted to rent a car, but I will need to give it some additional thought. I am a Driver Ed teacher, so I'm very tuned into defensive driving strategies. I have also driven in Mexico many times. It's just driving on the left side of the road that has me a bit apprehensive.

My daughter and her friend are going to arrive a few days after we do, so she will need a ride from the airport as well. A rental car would be so convenient and provide so much more flexibility.
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Old April 20, 2012, 08:46 AM   #12
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Thanks again for all of the helpful advise! I am so tempted to rent a car, but I will need to give it some additional thought. I am a Driver Ed teacher, so I'm very tuned into defensive driving strategies. I have also driven in Mexico many times. It's just driving on the left side of the road that has me a bit apprehensive.

My daughter and her friend are going to arrive a few days after we do, so she will need a ride from the airport as well. A rental car would be so convenient and provide so much more flexibility.
So - you should probably take a hotel limo when you arrive and the day you need to collect your daughter from the airport have a rental car delivered to the hotel in the morning which you can book thru the concierge transport desk as soon as you are settled into the resort. Then get acuctomed to driving on the left before you head off to the airport to collect your daughter and friend. If you have a car from AVIS then the airport security will allow you free parking at the arrivals - car park out front. Just park and meet your daughter and then drive out - the AVIS sticker in the windshield will get you through the exit check point without the need to pay. Should also work with Hertz but I have only ever used AVIS.
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