Le Méridien Phuket Beach Resort is a superb demonstration of how much you can do with a limited amount of space. The 470-room resort is built in the narrow confines of a private cove, roughly halfway between Patong and Karon on Phuket’s exciting west coast. Covering 40 acres, its range of facilities are more than a match for any of the huge, sprawling resorts elsewhere and include some of Patong’s top restaurants, a 980-capacity conference centre and one of the biggest swimming pools on the island.
The resort has wide appeal, being good for families, foodies, fitness fanatics and those seeking relaxation. It is equally possible to feel totally isolated and segregated from the worries of the world or, with free Wi-Fi internet access throughout and modern computers free for use by hotel guests, to stay connected while enjoying paradise. Here are some more of the reasons why we love Le Méridien Phuket Beach Resort – and why you will, too.
A 500m stretch of fine white sand is accessible only through Le Méridien Phuket Beach Resort. The narrow cove in which the resort lies has the twofold advantage of making this particular beach both exclusive and fairly private as well as making it one of the safest, with highly-trained lifeguards on staff to make it even safer. The resort is right on the sand, with plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas available nearby.
The resort achieves the remarkable feat of being both isolated while still being convenient for local attractions. It is very easy to cut yourself off from the rest of the world, but those wishing to explore the great nightlife and shopping opportunities of Patong or Karon can do so with ease as both of these lively towns are just a five-minute drive away, with plenty of parking and taxis available.
Besides the state-of-the-art gym with daily yoga, Pilates and fitness classes, Le Méridien Phuket boasts tennis, squash and basketball courts as well as an archery range, a climbing wall, a golf driving range, and some great snorkelling spots just metres from the beach. Best of all, it’s all free and equipment is included!
There are no less than seven restaurants at Le Méridien, some of which are counted amongst the top eateries in the Patong area. These include a beach-side pizzeria with a wood-fired oven, the area’s only top-class Japanese restaurant and the brand’s all-day dining signature option – Latest Recipe – which has a different theme every evening. There are also three bars, one with live sports.
The Penguin Club is a lot more than just a glorified crèche. It has a full programme of activities, taking advantage of the resort’s numerous recreational facilities. It also has swimming and cooking lessons, batik painting, Thai language lessons and much more. For teenagers out of the age range of the club, a computer games room is available.
You will inevitably spend the majority of your holiday time around the pool, simply relaxing, sunbathing, splashing around and, if you’re feeling energetic, doing a couple of lengths. The two huge pools at Le Méridien have facilities for all of this and more. One is mostly shallow enough to be ideal for families, has a shaded off-shoot for small children, two Jacuzzi sections for relaxation and a lap pool for lengths. The second pool is significantly deeper, making it more of a grown-ups pool, and has a calmer and quieter atmosphere.
Le Méridien takes their facilities very seriously and Le Spa is a prime example of this. You can find tranquillity and relaxation in the teakwood treatment rooms, which boast a stylish and natural design and the services of well-trained and experienced masseuses using first-class products and a combination of signature and traditional techniques. It is the Jacuzzi bath, however, which really stands out, being of the traditional Japanese style – essentially looking like a giant wooden barrel. It takes up to two hours to fully prepare.
Despite the long list of facilities, the resort has a compact layout which is great for convenience. The majority of the restaurants are in one area, the outdoor activities in another, the kids clubs in another and so on. This means that changing your mind about what you want to eat in the evening doesn’t mean trekking right to the other end of the resort for an alternative. Almost everything can be reached along roofed or shaded walkways - keeping you cool during the short walk.
You’ve been there, you’ve done that, you’ve got the t-shirt…but have you eaten the éclair? Every Le Méridien property has its own signature pastry, and this one is a great reflection of the resort. It is sweet, smooth and chic, with pistachio filling and grated coconut to add a taste of the tropics. It is as fine a demonstration of European heritage meeting Asian exoticism as the hotel itself. It even has a green roof (pistachio icing), just like the resort!
The 470 modern, chic rooms and suites have all been recently renovated. Each has a private balcony on which to enjoy a view of either the glittering sea or the gorgeous landscaped gardens, as well as such modern conveniences as an LCD television with satellite channels, in-house movie entertainment, hair dryers, in-rooms safes, laptop connectors, a fully-stocked mini-bar and more. This level of luxurious comfort is available at a remarkably good price.