Family Getaway On A Tropical Thai Beach

The Location

The place we found that has something to keep us all entertained and happy was a relatively unspoiled 20km stretch of sandy beaches on the Andaman coast with a tropical jungle backdrop. -The region is called Khao Lak and it is roughly an hour’s drive from Phuket International airport, and within Khao Lak is 3 main tourist spots; Bang La On, Khuk Khak & Bang Niang. Khao Lak literally means Lak Mountain and there is a nature reserve on the mountain that makes for one of the local attractions which we thoroughly enjoyed during our nature walks and guided Jungle treks. Each of the three spots are fairly quiet, and have accommodations ranging from the height of luxury all the way through to the backpackers spots to offer something for all budgets and make this quaint, beautiful location in Thailand accessible for all to experience. Actually if you like the more quiet side of things while on holiday then Khao Lak is not only somewhere that is perfect as a family holiday spot, but also for anyone who is wanting to unwind and relax in nature, and in my opinion it makes for the ideal honeymoon location as there are many attractions that are impressive and interesting, while not being too flashy and intrusive. If you want to go and Khao Lak at an especially quiet time of year then I would advise going during the low season months which are from April-November.

The Accommodation

Like I mentioned earlier in this post; there are accommodations to suit all budgets and cater for most tastes and requirements in a place to lay their head. We opted for renting a villa within a resort as we know from experience that this will make our lives easier with their being staff on all during most hours to support us with whatever we needed. Also we like the privacy you get with a villa while still having a resort swimming pool, bar, restaurant and in this specific case – a Kids Club, which suited us perfectly. So during the days we could leave the children to enjoy themselves with whatever the Kids Club had organised for that day, while my wife and I would go off on our scooter or on a guided tour to investigate the nearby attractions and places of interest – which there are many. The Villa also had a stunning sea view over the beach that according to local people had the best, most beautiful sunset in the province. The beach is your ideal, soft, sandy type and the sea water is warm and as clear as can be, actually scuba diving is known to be quite enjoyable in this area as there is lots of sea life and many interesting things to see. So if you enjoying diving, then be sure to book some fun dives when visiting Khao Lak.

Info of Koh Lanta, Thailand

Accommodation

A complex in the midst of the jungle, blending superbly with the natural beauty of the island, the boutique hotel offers a selection of tastefully decorated suites and pool villas, all with great sea views.

We tried 2 of their range of room categories:

Pool Villa, a 204 sqm built on a piece of hilly land. Spacious, elegant Thai architectural design, it provides wide views of Ba Kan Tiang bay and the surrounding lush tropical forest. The sundeck featuring a private infinity edge swimming pool and a luxurious baldaquin is where you can read their luxury Southeast Asia travel guides.

Bay front Deluxe Room is placed on a small hill, and at 7-8m in front of us, the beach. The sound of waves rousted me out of bed early everyday ready to walk and swim and smile. The first image in the morning, when waking up, was the one of the sea.. incredible feeling for someone that has always dreamed to live by the sea!

The UK’s Sunday Times magazine included only one Thai beach, Kan Tiang, in its list of the world’s 10 best beaches. Pimalai resort was also awarded the ‘Luxury Resorts Awards’ award for ‘Best Scenic Environment’. The award was for the best scenic environment in the world! I haven’t traveled the world to check, but I can only say this scenery it’s breathtaking, it has a WOW factor! I set my expectations and standards pretty high after being in this place! Let’s see what other place can beat this scenery! … Just kidding! Actually every place is so different, and especially in Asia you really can not compare one place with another, they all have their own charm! And they really cast a spell on you!

Dining

With a superb choice of eight fantastic restaurants and bars (in high season) and 3 in low season, settings range from beach casual to sophisticate dining experience and all complemented by the unforgettable sea views. In all the restaurants we found reasonably priced and very well selected wines.

“Seven Seas” restaurant with its infinity pool at the top, is giving guests a sweeping panoramic view of the sun setting over the bay and surrounding hills.

“Under the Banyan tree” restaurant, with its traditional thai cuisine, splurged our dinners with famous Thai dishes such as Tom Yam goong, Morning glory, Goong makam, Som Tam, deep- fried sea bass with crispy kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass& herbs, served with Thai spicy sauce.

My favorite place to dine, with the sand between the toes, watching the waves crushing, is Rak Talay beach restaurant. The restaurant is given the name of the plant surrounding it. It has a very original design that compliments the beach charm. Fabulously crafted dishes, cooked to perfection, a glass of Louis Roederer, the spectacle of Andaman.. and the love of my life next to me.. idyllic scenery.

Service is always friendly& efficient yet never intrusive. The attention to the details is astounding. In terms of service and dinner experience, the traditional Thai hospitality meets the French sophistication in details, such as refined cutlery, great wine list, as the GM is a French, island adopted for the last 13 yrs.

For those wanting to explore the bay, there are few nice places to go along the shores. My favorite is Same Same But Different, this quintessential Robinson Crusoe style restaurant, a ten-minute walk down the beach, with an easygoing ambiance.

The feel of the island

Just feel the nature
The Banyan tree is the central piece of this resort and actually the older one. On top of the hill, sitting under the Banyan tree we had the most spectacular view of the bay. Buddhist believers regard Banyan tree as holy tree. The banyan tree is the tree where the founder of the Buddhism has achieved great awakening. It is associated to consciousness or intelligence. It refers to the state when a person becomes wake for something suddenly or comes to realize the truth or reaches an outstanding level in comprehending the world. It is thought of as perfectly symbolizing eternal life due to its seemingly unending expansion.

Activities

  • Island hopping

Once being here, in Ba Kan Tiang bay, one can choose the island and Emerald Cave excursions, snorkeling trips, world-class diving sites, coral reefs, trekking in Lanta Marine National Park, mangrove Eco-tour, elephant trekking, or visit Old Lanta Town. These are experiences that define a sublime resort getaway.
On the islands trip, we visited the Emerald Bay.

Apparently just a hole in a rock, after 100m of swimming through a dark cave, led only by the guide’s flashlight, we reached this hidden beach. Visiting the Eastern islands, went shoring on Koh Talabeng.

  • Sports

Maybe it was my state of mind but I can’t imagine there’s ever been a better Yoga experience than just at dawn, with the sea view in front, surrounded by palm and rubber trees and many exotic flowers.

  • Cooking classes

Cooking Thai – Thai food is the most delicious food in the world and its relatively easy to cook. Our cooking teacher was a very nice girl from Chiang Mai. Actually the best cooking classes in Thailand are in Chiang Mai and Bangkok. Even if you don’t plan to cook back home, at least you get to spend a day making and eating food. We had a cooking class and learn to cook a 4 course meal: spicy green papaya salad, green curry with chicken, red rich curry with filet of sea bass and grilled spicy beef salad. We also bought 7 kilos of their vegetables and cook Thai food back home the next week

  • Spa time and massages

The Spa is in the shape of a village style, in the middle of the natural beauty of the jungle, an oasis of serenity. One can choose from a variety of spa treatments. I had the traditional Thai massage, which is an ancient method of aligning and balancing the energies of the body, originating from the time of Buddha. The technique employed is the use of palm pressure on the body’s pressure points and energy lines “Sen”, along with a variety of stretching movements. After this, we felt spiritually and physically refreshed, strengthened and rejuvenated. Its invigorating and totally relaxing all at once, as the body will be rid of any niggling aches and pains.
As the day of our departure from these amazing southern shores came, I find myself capturing the memories like photographs in my mind.

Choose An Affordable Hotel

Follow the Traditional Route

There is a traditional way to choose an affordable hotel. This is called the worth of mouth approach. All you need to do is ask around your friends to find out what they think about the hotels in your area.

Your friends may have a good or bad experience staying at a hotel. You can benefit from their experience to weed good hotels from bad ones. As a matter of fact, this is the best way to make sure you don’t regret your decision later on. In addition, people don’t have a personal interest when they recommend something to someone. So, you can trust their recommendations.

Use the Internet

Lastly, you may want to search for a hotel on the Internet as well. You may want to go to hotel review websites where you can read a lot of reviews left by other people who stayed at different hotels. These reviews will tell you if they had a good or bad experience. This is an ideal way of looking for a cheap hotel without spending any money. You will just use your internet to look for the help you need.

Set Realistic Expectations

Choosing a cheap hotel is not an easy process. However, if you know how to look for one at an affordable rate, know that you won’t make the wrong choice. Searching for good accommodation can be easier if you set realistic expectations and know where to find good rooms at a good price. You can circumvent the typical process and have a great time at a good place.

Reasons To Go To France

A Feast for the Senses

Your senses will be stunned for the entire time you are in France. The sights are beautiful beyond description. The Eiffel Tower in Paris rises up like a giant erector set, with an elevator to take you to the top for views out over the Seine and the city. At night the tower is set aglow, best to be viewed from a boat as it drifts along the Seine, passing under one lovely bridge after another.

The Orsay, once an elegant turn-of-the-century train station that was built to welcome guests to the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle, now houses a startling collection of impressionist art – Monet, Renoir, van Gogh, Dégas, Gauguin, Cézanne, Seurat – within a building that is itself an historic, architectural treasure. Here you will be able to lunch in the grand ballroom of the former grand hotel attached to the train station, and look through the glass of the giant clock that faces the river and makes this building distinctively easy to spot.

There is more and more to come… The glories of Notre Dame. The remarkable stained-glass windows of Saint Chapelle Chapel… The beautiful flowers and statuary of Tuileries Gardens… The onslaught of visual sensations of the Champs-Élysées… The towering Arch de Triomphe, facing the smaller Arch in front of the Louvre at the other end of the five-mile grand boulevard where Napoleon pictured himself leading a march of his victorious armies.

There will be the glorious tastes of the food and wine. You will hear marvelous music of all sorts, from the Vivaldi at Saint Chapelle, to the lively piano bars and boat bars along the left bank of the Seine in Paris and atop Mont St. Michel, to the mighty organ of Notre Dame. You will walk through flower markets, vivid with colors and scents, and shop at weekly markets, alive with people and all manner of tempting offerings.

This assault to the senses will remain with you in memory long after your travels are over.

Intro to the Good Life

The last, but certainly not the least, reason to visit France is that it will introduce you to another, and a better, way of life. You will experience a different manner of interpersonal interaction in France – more engaged, curious, outgoing, and animated. The French truly recognize the importance of enjoying the best of life.

Here dining is a delightful experience, not just a stop to refuel. Food is an art form, combined always with the ideal wines to enhance the meal. Waiters take pride in their work, striving to make dining a memorable occasion by offering up their expertise, and carefully guarding your right to take all the time you need to enjoy your meal without feeling rushed.

People in France are carefully polite with each other, and will be with you. You always will be addressed as ma’am or sir, and asked with a please, followed by a thank you. Cordiality is not only suggested in France, it is expected and omnipresent. You will quickly grow to anticipate and appreciate this.

From the first moment you walk down a street passing all the umbrella-shielded outdoor tables of the cafés, you will notice that this is a culture where people gather together to enjoy each other’s company. Old, young, families, singles, rich, modest, fashionable, artistic, intellectual – everyone is out in the squares and along the avenues, drinking in cafés and eating in restaurants. It becomes easy to join in and be stimulated by the lively, friendly atmosphere. Musicians wander the streets, from old men playing accordions outside the restaurants, to full jazz bands playing in city squares. And because the house wine is so inexpensive, stopping off for a glass or a carafe is a customary, not an exceptional, occurrence.

At the tables that surround you at these cafés, you will notice couples engaged in animated conversation, looking intently into each other’s eyes. France is a culture of philosophy and art, science and technology, style and literature, and of love. As you take all this in, you may begin to find it has an impact on you and how you yourself relate to others. You’ll notice yourself listening more actively, expressing yourself more earnestly and clearly, paying closer attention, acting more considerately, showing more curiosity and interest.

The luxury of time for all this gathering together is in part thanks to the French commitment to keeping an optimal balance between work and life. Shops close for lunch so workers can focus their attention on enjoying a good meal and the company of friends and colleagues. Employees who work 39 or more hours a week must receive more than the legally-required five weeks of vacation per year.

While you are traveling in France, you will come to enjoy and to expect this higher level of connection, this enhanced appreciation of food and wine, this better balance between work and life. You will never forget what you have learned about a different, and better, way of living life.

Hotels Near Universal Studios Guide

Budget Hotels and Bus Shuttles

There are over a dozen hotels within two miles of the park. Regardless of your budget, there should be at least one hotel or resort that you can afford to spend a few nights at. Many of the nearby hotels offer free bus shuttles to and from the Universal Studios entrance.

There are budget Inns like El Patio, which is located a mere 1.6-miles from the park. It offers amenities like free parking, free Wi-Fi, and 24/7 desk service. The BLVD Hotel & Spa is just half a mile away and has nearly 70 pretty rooms, spa services, coffee shop, pool, and fitness center / lounge.

Booking a Package

Some hotels near Universal Studios work with the park to provide exclusive package deals to tourists. If you stay at one of the preferred hotels, you’ll receive perks such as early park admission to Harry Potter World. This early admission begins one hour before the park opens and is subject to availability and change.

A few of these hotels you might be interested in include:

  • Best Western Plus Media Center Inn & Suites
  • The Tangerine
  • Hilton Garden Inn (Burbank Downtown)
  • Sheraton Universal
  • Safari Inn (a Coast Hotel)
  • The Garland
  • Lexen Hotel North Hollywood
  • Comfort Inn & Suites
  • Hilton Los Angeles (Universal City)

The prices range depending on the hotel or inn. Most of the hotels near Universal Studios are located in either Hollywood or Burbank.

Other Considerations

Don’t just automatically assume that the cheapest package is the best. Think carefully about where you want to stay. Read reviews from previous guests to learn about their experience. While some reviews can be biased, they’re still worth reading to gleam some insights. If you don’t plan on renting a car, will it be easy for you to get to the hotel from the airport, and does the hotel offer a bus to the park?

If you do rent a car, will you be able to get free parking? Of all of the hotels near Universal Studios, which one offers all of the amenities you’ll know for sure you’ll be needing? Keep these questions in mind when comparing rates.

Karnataka Travel

  • Sightseeing Coorg
    Snuggled in the gorgeous hills and lush valleys of Karnataka, Coorg is a famous tourist destination. The place is blessed with attractive charm and scenic vistas. Alluring atmosphere makes this enthralling hill station out of the ordinary. It is blessed with cultural and historic backdrop.

Witnessing the exquisiteness of the ancient Omkareshwar Temple, exoticness of the Raja’s Seat and Abbey’s Falls, is not all, you would also get an opportunity to relish Tibetan flavors at Golden Temple.

Coorg, famous as Scotland of India, is a wondrous place to revitalize your senses. After exploring the beauty of this ancient temple, enjoy delicious lunch. Thereafter, get yourself away from the hustle and bustle of the city right in the lap of the nature at the stunning Abbey’s fall and Raja’s seat. Later in the evening, return back to the hotel for a stress bursting overnight stay.

  • Sightseeing Mysore
    Tipu Sultan’s Palace, famous as the Wooden Palace, one the best places to visit in Karnataka, is also situated in Mysore. Also, a sanctifying jaunt to the peaceful Chennakesava Temple will surely purify your soul.

A Trip to Mysore will also give you an opportunity to spend some time with the wild. Nagerhole National Park abodes a wide range of fauna and flora. An evening jungle safari to witness the wilds relaxing in their natural habitat will surely be an affair to remember. Capture the sights of Four-Horned Antelope, Mouse-deer, Porcupine, Jackal, etc. while rambling in the park.

A trip to Karnataka is sure give you revive your senses. Visiting the popular sightseeing places, going to the known ancient sites, spending some time with the wild or witnessing the holiness of the old and interesting temples, you would have enough things to do and enjoy in Karnataka. Else, a relaxing stay at the hotel could never be ignored as well.

Planning A Family Adventure

  • Know everyone’s expectations:
    Discuss with each member of your family what their expectations are and then start scheduling a travel itinerary which makes everyone happy.
  • Airfare takes the most money:
    Airfare isn’t cheap especially when buying multiple tickets so you should start planning the trip at least three months beforehand. Check various websites for airfare to your destination. Don’t buy the first deal you see because airlines change airfare constantly. Repeatedly check multiple times a week before you buy your tickets.
  • Keep adventure during the journey minimal:
    Often times, people choose flights with multiple layovers to save money. If you’re traveling solo then it’s great but a long flight with children can turn into a nightmare. Keeping the travel time as minimum as your budget allows. Kids throwing up on the plane or throwing tantrums is not the kind of adventure you want!
  • Good accommodations are hard to find:
    Once you’ve decided your destination and bought tickets, focus on the accommodations. Hotels can be very expensive so look online for B&Bs. You can even rent a house, and that’s often what families do.
  • Use your trip as a learning opportunity:
    Yes, the purpose of the trip is adventure but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it more meaningful than that. I know a friend who recently took her family to Greece for a vacation. She chose it because Greece has lots of sights and adventure but also because she wanted her children to interact with the Syrian refugees there. Her kids were so grateful for that experience because they were able to make a positive difference in someone else’s life. She says her kids have become more mature after that trip. So pick a spot which reflects the values you’re trying to instill in your children.
  • Keep safety and comfort in mind:
    While your teenager will love waterfall rappelling, it might be a frightening and uncomfortable experience for the six year old. Beaches are great but a rugged and rocky shoreline is not the safest place to take your kids. Places like safaris and wildlife sanctuaries are adventure spots kids love the most. Recently, Costa Rica has emerged as a popular spot for family adventures. It has beautiful beaches, dense rainforests, ziplining, wildlife sanctuaries, volcanos, caves and hiking trails.
  • Pay attention to the tour agency:
    Adventure spots and sports require a proper guide and safety precautions. It’s very important to first thoroughly vet the tour agency you choose for your trip. Luckily, reviews for every place and every company can be found online. So do your research before you put the safety and enjoyment of your family in someone else’s hands.

Selecting the Best Hotel at a Tourist Place

  1. The first work you will do is to filter and sort hotels on the basis of facilities they provide and the budget you can afford. First of all, put in the name of the city and the date on which you need to book a hotel.
  2. After filtering date and locations wise, now you can sort resorts amenity wise. There are hotels which offer free Wi-Fi services, parking and swimming facilities to guests. I for myself will always select a hotel offering these amenities.
  3. If you are travelling along with your family then you can look for a family hotel in the city and travel with a Girlfriend or wife, then you can look for a “romantic” type of hotel.
  4. A good hotel is one that is located close to the airport and has decent road and rail links. Although these resorts mention these details in their description, it is not possible for a traveller to read the description of each hotel.
  5. There are some hotels booking sites that show hotels on a single map. You can use their map to find a hotel that meets your travel requirements.
  6. Some people intentionally look for a hotel that offers its guests free breakfast while as others don’t consider free breakfast as that much important. Similarly, some homestay have free Wi-Fi service for guests. If you really need internet then only makes it a deciding factor.
  7. These days every hotel has its own website where they make announcements and update their guests about any new development. People post their reviews directly on their website. Read those reviews and what people think about the hotel.
  8. Price is the deciding factor when it comes to making a hotel booking for an average person. An average income person may not be able to afford a costly hotel. Booking engines sort hotels price wise. Some resorts offer discounts to their guests. So check out that which hotel in the city is offering discounts on bookings.

Guide Of Planning Family Holidays

Choose a family friendly destination

This is the most important thing you can start with when planning for your family holiday. There are so many holiday destinations promising you the time of your life, but only a family friendly one will be worthwhile for your travel. Family friendliness means that you can find everything that is necessary to keep everyone happy throughout your vacation. Think activities and accommodation as well as amenities when selecting the perfect destination for the family. There should be enough offers for the kids and for the adults too in the destination that you have selected.

Avoid the rush and start planning early

Managing your time well can be very rewarding in the end. When you have enough time in your hands, you will be able to find the best holiday deals for you and your family. Early planning amounts to amazing flight deals and accommodation deals and you have all the flexibility to choose what is most suitable for your family. It is especially important to make bookings early if you plan to travel to your destination during peak season and still want the best for your family holiday. Your options are not limited when there are only a few holidaymakers looking for the same things you are.

Make it fun for the kids

Choosing disposable cameras for your kids is one of the approaches you can use to make the family holiday fun for them without incurring costly losses. Kids may not be very careful with items like cameras and hence instead of getting digital cameras that can be costly, especially when lost, you should go for the disposable option so they are able to enjoy clicking fun too without too many risks involved. Think of inexpensive ways of keeping your children engaged and they will have fun without bursting your holiday budget.

Think of tailor made holidays

They ease the work of having to ensure that everything is in place yourself. Tailor made holidays are designed according to your preferences so you are able to explore your interests, get accommodation that suits you perfectly and even enjoy expert knowledge and professional guide for your holiday. All you need to do is communicate exactly what you want and expect and your travel company will do the work for you so everything is ready and waiting by the time travel time approaches.

Sofitel Luxury Hotel Brisbane

  • Guests must be able to contact a property representative in the case of an emergency; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact details and phone numbers must be clearly displayed in-room and/or on-site.

Sofitel Brisbane has a 24 hour Concierge, 7 days per week. This means they have someone working 24 hours a day to help you hail a cab or advise on things to do. Someone present in the lobby providing “guest services” 24 hours a day. The in-room guest book provided details and phone numbers should you require this service. We did use this service and was given courteous, prompt and satisfactory service to a high standard.

  • The property must feature a dedicated reception area and/or service desk for guest arrivals and departures.

The reception area was appropriate for guest arrivals and departures and the staff were friendly and accommodating.

  • Bedding (blankets/quilts, sheets and pillow, applicable to local climate) must be provided for all beds and included in the rate.

We striped back the bed to check everything. The bed, protection, and pillows were in good order. There were no signs of staining. The sheets were crisp and clean and matched the bed with no short sheeting (short sheeting is where the sheet doesn’t fit the bed so they have made sure it tucks in securely at the top but not the bottom) the bedding covers were appropriate but questionable about the cleanliness. As with every accommodation facility – only the sheets, pillow cases etc are changed. Bed covers/Blankets etc are not. So whilst it may look clean, unless it was steam cleaned before you arrived, it will still have the last guests smells, or anything else on it.

  • One towel per guest and bath mat per room must be provided and included in the rate.

The room was provided with the appropriate amount of towels. The towels and rest of the bathroom linen were of good quality and were clean. There were no extra charges.

  • Soap (or dispensed liquid soap) must be provided per guest and included in the rate.

The complimentary bathroom condiments were appropriate and satisfactory.

  • Daily housekeeping services are available for all guests.

Housekeeping services were exceptional

  • Property must include shower and toilet facilities.

The room provided a spacious bathroom