The Serenity Destination Guide

In keeping with our ‘Top 10′ theme, this week we have decided to showcase the ‘Top 10 Water activities and water sports in and around Phuket. As a keen sailor, this was perhaps the article that i was most looking forward to writing…and researching!

Serenity Sea Canoe

As Phuket is one of the world’s leading beach destinations, this was much harder than i first thought it would be, with a wealth of water based activities available, ranging from the thrill-seeking extreme water sports through to the water activities for children and families. Here i have presented a mix of the two, enjoy…

1. Long Tail boat trip to Coral Island

Take a local long tail boat from the East 88 Beach Lounge to the local Coral island, where you can enjoy the pristine beach, crystal clear waters and great snorkeling. Contact our concierge for details.

2. Phuket Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Phuket is among the top 10 diving destinations in the world, with some fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving locations. With spectacular reefs, rock formations and a stunning assortment of marine life, Phuket is a wonderful place for beginners and advanced divers to enjoy. There are a myriad of day trips, dive points and you can even complete PADI dive courses. Contact our concierge for details.

3. Sea Kayaking

For the energetic amongst you, Sea kayaks are available to Serenity Guests free of charge from the East 88 beach lounge. Contact the East 88 team to find out about Tides.

4. Cable Ski and Wake board

Phuket Cable Ski & Wake board park offers fun and challenging water sports activities for adults and children from beginners to experts, with facilities for Water skiing, wakeboarding and knee boarding. Full safety and sports equipment can be hired with basic lessons given to beginners. Located near Kathu, the cable ski is a great place to spend an afternoon

5. Surf House Phuket

Great for surfers of all skill levels, the Surf house in Kata, is every surfers dream, offering all year round surfing, no matter the weather conditions. The surf house is an artificial surfing platform with a high-pressure wave machine. Safe for beginners as well as experts, the Surf house is great fun for all the family.

6. John Gray Sea Canoe

Tour the various caves and mysterious ‘hongs’ (caves in English) by Sea Canoe in one of the romantic and beautiful day trips, exploring the wonderful scenery that the Phang nga bay has to offer. Contact our concierge for details.

7. Whitewater rafting

Relatively new to Thailand, are the whitewater rafting tours though the tree-lined rivers of Phang Nga. Whitewater rafting is an unforgettable day out with visits to the local waterfalls, which are a sight to behold. Be prepared to get wet though!

8. Kite Surfing Phuket

Not for the feint-hearted and classified as an ‘extreme sport’, Kite surfing is rapidly becoming one of the most popular water sports. Phuket is a perfect destination for Kite Surfers, with the gentle breezes of the south-east coast ideal for less experienced kite surfers and the North-west of the island ideal for more advanced kite surfers. Kite surfing can be dangerous however and should only be done through a certified kite surfing school, of which there are many in Phuket, contact our concierge for details.

9. Splash Jungle

The new splash jungle water park in Mai Khao, has a range of water slides and rides, Ideal for children and families. The splash jungle features a 335 meter lazy river as well as the heart-stopping ‘boomerango’ slide to name a few. Splash jungle is also home to a kids aquarium and kids slide pool, making this a great day out for the kids.

10. Game & Sport Fishing in Phuket

While everybody knows that Phuket has some of the most amazing beaches, many people do not know that Phuket is also a world-class sport fishing and angling location. There are many great fishing tours available, contact our concierge for details.

 

Do you agree? Do you think there are other some better local water sports or water activities that i didn’t mention? Think others would agree? Let us know your thoughts at blog@serenityphuket.com.

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On 8th December, SKAL Phuket, with the help of some familiar faces from the Serenity Team, hosted the ‘Full Monty’ charity event to raise funds for local charities. The event was a phenomenal success with over 300,000 Baht being raised for Phuket Children’s charities.

Full Monty Charity Event

The event was held at The Bliss Beach Club, with our very own General Manager (Urs) and our Executive Assistant Manager (Pascal) taking part in the show! From the 300,000 baht raised, SKAL Phuket was able to donate 150,000 to the ‘Phuket has been good to us’ childrens educational charity and 150,000 was donated to SKAL Phuket’s own educational charity programs benefiting children in Rawai and Khao Lak.

SKAL Phuket is the world’s largest travel and tourism organisation, made up of the top executives in the industry, to promote global tourism and friendship.

Click here to read the Skal Phuket Press Release.

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The Serenity Team take our Social Responsibility seriously and recently joined the Burns supper auction event at Pullman Phuket Arcadia, in support of the ‘Phuket has been good to us’ foundation. By providing one of the auction prizes, Serenity were able to help the Burns Supper raise over 474,000 Baht, which will fund an English teacher for a year.

Phuket has been good to us

The ‘Phuket has been good to us’ foundation supports more than 900 underprivileged children around Phuket, helping to “improve the economic opportunities and life chances of young people around Phuket by funding and implementing high quality, practical English language Education in government schools on Phuket Island”.

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In Phuket on Sunday 10th February 2013? Celebrate Chinese New Year and bring in the ‘Year of the Snake’ in style at the East 88 Beach Lounge at Serenity Resort & Residences Phuket! The East 88 2013 Chinese New Year Party features Asian style chillout, Chinese-Thai Drum show, flying lanterns and more. Enjoy our unique buffet with Asian delicacies as well as our tasty cocktails.

Chinese New Year

Here is some of the history about Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is literally translated to ‘Spring Festival’ and is the start of the ancient Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year is by far the most important of all the Traditional Chinese holidays and marks the end of the winter season.

Chinese New Year, based on the lunar calendar, is celebrated by China and many Asian countries including Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and more. Chinese New Year is a family orientated festival, starting with a family feast, culminating with fireworks. Tradition says that Chinese New Year is a time to forget all grudges reconcile and wish those around you peace, happiness, health and prosperity for the coming year.

Celebrate the Chinese New Year with us at Serenity & East 88 on Sunday 10th February, where there will be food, drinks and entertainment. From just THB 888++ for adults and THB 333++ for Children under 12. Don’t miss the magical evening, book early, contact us at east88@serenityphuket.com to make your reservation!

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Top 10 Bars and Night Clubs in Phuket!

Edward Kennedy   |   January 19, 2013   |   Food & Drink   |   0 Comments

Now that your ‘In-the-know’ about the Top local restaurants, its only fair that we dish the dirt on the best bars and nightclubs in the area. First of all you should know that Phuket is home to an eclectic mix of Bars and night clubs, ranging from the chilled-out nightspots, through to the downright bizarre…here, we will focus more on the former.

Balu's Bar Rawai Phuket

Once again, our in-house connoisseurs (Urs & Pascal) were consulted for their recommendations, so here they are, our local Top 10 bars and nightclubs in Phuket.

1. Balu’s Bar

What list of great bars in Phuket would be complete without Balu’s bar i hear you say. Balu’s bar offers friendly staff, a cool relaxing setting beside the sea and a range of unique cocktails, excellent wines and International drinks of all kinds.

2. O2 Beach Club

Chalong’s newest nightspot is the O2 beach club, a chilled-out beach club / night club, with a kids corner in the day time and lively music in the evenings. Popular with tourists, the O2 beach club is one of the larger beach / night clubs in Phuket’s south.

3. V Lounge at Da Vinci

The V lounge in the Da Vinci Restaurant, is an upmarket lounge bar with comfortable sofa seats and a large range of wines and cocktails. Offering a chilled out environment, the V lounge is popular for after-dinner drinks.

4. Timber Hut

The Timber hut in Phuket Town, has been one of the most popular night spots in Phuket for almost 27 years, popular with tourists and locals alike. Timber Hut has a live in-house band who perform a mix of Thai and International Pop songs.

5. Sofa Pub

Sofa Pub in Phuket town, is a modern style nightclub complex, often featuring live bands and even livlier DJs. Sofa is a late night night club popular with tourists and locals in Phuket’s town centre.

6. Sanaeha Bar

Sanaeha is a hip young bar in Phuket town centre, known as ‘old town’, with live music a few nights a week. Ideal for a date or a night out for a small group of friends, Sanaeha, offers an intimate and vibrant setting and a range of wines, beers and spirits.

7. Factory Bar

The factory bar in Patong is perhaps the most lively of our Top 10, set in the heart of Patong. The factory bar is a lively night club/bar with chilled-out sofa seats, popular with the younger tourist crowd.

8. Freedom Bar

Freedom bar in Rawai, is a lively local hang-out and a sports bar. Showing all the major sporting events, Freedom is popular among the younger visitors to Rawai.

9. Orange’s Irish Pub

The brand new Oranges Irish Pub in Nai Harn village, is the newest edition to the Nai Harn Bar scene, offering all the traditional Irish and international beverages.

10. Friendship Beach

Friendship Beach, Serenity’s neighbour, offers a chilled-out setting beside the sea, ideal for after dinner drinks, with it’s romantic setting and large range of drinks and cocktails.

Do you agree? Do you think there are other some better local bars to visit in Phuket? Think others would agree? Let us know your thoughts at blog@serenityphuket.com.

 

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The 2nd Saturday in January in Thailand…today…is national childrens day or ‘Wan Dek’. Childrens day is a wonderful time, where families and children get together to celebrate and give kids the opportunity to have fun. The streets are awash with local events and festivities for the kids, with many government offices open to families and their children.

Serenity Bicycle Donation

Children can enjoy tours of everything from official government buildings like Government house through to guided tours of military aircraft and ships, with many businesses providing free entry to attractions and more.

In keeping with Children’s day traditions, the Serenity team took this opportunity to give something back to the local community,  here are 2 of our Children’s day initiatives:

Serenity donates Bicycles for local underprivileged children

The team of Serenity (top) led by Financial Controller Ms. Tang (third from left) and Human Resources Manager Ms. Mook (far right) recently donated bicycles for underprivileged children of the local Rawai community. The donation was received by a local representative of the village.

Serenity donates gift sets for Children at Watsawangarom School

Serenity Childrens day donation

Serenity donated 100 gift sets for the children at Watsawangarom School in Rawai for the occasion of the National children’s day.

Happy Children’s day to all!

Find more information about the Serenity Community Social Responsibility scheme here.

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The Top 10 Local Restaurants in Phuket!

Edward Kennedy   |   January 5, 2013   |   Food & Drink   |   1 Comment

One of the most common questions we get asked by our guests, is which local restaurants we recommend. One thing that Phuket has a lot of is restaurants, with a huge selection, from Fast food all the way through to International standard fine dining.

East 88 Beach Lounge

Urs (General Manager) and Pascal (Food & Beverage Manager) are our resident (and in-corruptible) culinary experts, and were on hand to recommend a selection of some of their favorite local restaurants. So here they are…10 of the top local restaurants in Phuket, to help steer you towards the ‘Good’ food of Phuket, and hopefully avoid the ‘Bad and the Ugly':

1. East 88 Beach Lounge, Rawai

Perhaps we are being a little bias here, but no visit to Phuket’s sunny shores would be complete without a visit to East 88. East 88 offers a wide selection of International and Thai dishes, including fresh seafood and new takes on classic dishes.

2. M&Ms Pizza, Nai Harn

M&M’s Pizza is a bustling restaurant in the heart of Nai Harn Village, serving traditional Italian Cusine, with a wide selection of freshly made pizza’s, pasta’s and Italian delicacies.

3. Parlai seafood, Chalong

Those with a taste for seafood, should not miss a visit to Palai, a few kilometers north of Serenity, with a stunning range of the freshest seafood, offering fabulous value for money.

4. Da Vinci Restaurant, Nai Harn

Da Vinci Restaurant, is an upmarket International Italian fine dining eaterie, in the center of Nai Harn Village, not far from Serenity, with a selection of fine wines, pizza’s, pasta’s and meats.

5. Kan Eang @ Pier

Enjoy the marvellous view overlooking chalong bay and a wide selection of fresh seafood and Thai dishes, at the popular Kan Eang @ Pier Restaurant, 1 kilometer north of Serenity.

6. Saigon Restaurant, Rawai

The Saigon Restaurant in Rawai, provides an excellent selection of traditional and authentic Vietnamese food.

7. Wine Lovers Restaurant, Rawai

The Wine Lovers Restaurant in Rawai, offers Thai Fusion and International cuisine including a wide selection of wines.

8. Nikitas Restaurant, Rawai

Nikitas in Rawai, popular is foreign visitors, offers a wide selection of Thai and International favourites, located beside the sea on Rawai Beach.

9. Seafood Market, Rawai

Rawai Fresh Seafood Market, a favourite of the locals, is your spot for some of the freshest seafood around, offering great value for money.

10. Tamachart Restaurant, Phuket Town

Enjoy a slice of Traditional Thai food and unusual surroundings at the Tamachart Restaurant in Phuket Town, with a large selection of meat and seafood dishes.

 

Do you agree? Do you think there are other some better local restaurants to visit in Phuket? Think others would agree? Let us know your thoughts at blog@serenityphuket.com.

 

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Top 10 Family Activities in Phuket

Following the overwhelming popularity and stellar success of our post ‘The Top 10 Couples Activities in Phuket‘…by popular demand, here it is…The Top 10 Family Activities in Phuket!

As Serenity has spacious rooms with cooking facilities, our resort is also popular for families with children. Fortunately, several members of the Serenity Team have children and were on hand to recommend their families Top 10 activities and adventures in Phuket. After hours of deliberation and discussion…here they are, the results:

1. Family Shopping Trip to Central Festival

What family getaway would be complete without a shopping trip! Central Festival is sure to keep the whole family entertained with everything from shops and restaurants to computer games machines and even a movie Theatre.

2. Visit to The Big Buddha

Just a few kilometers from Serenity, is ‘The Big Buddha’, one of Phuket’s most revered and important landmarks, sat on the Nakkerd Hills with spectacular views over Phuket. Now open as a tourist attraction, Chalong’s Big Buddha is a must visit destination for all the family.

3. Family Outing to Nai Harn Beach

Chill with the family at Nai Harn Beach, recognized as one of Phuket’s best beaches, ideal for sunbathing, swimming and relaxing.

4. Sea Kayak from Serenity

For the energetic amongst you, take one of our Free Sea Kayak’s for a spin around Chalong Bay.

5. Day Trip to Coral Island by Longtail Boat

Just a short long tail boat ride from Serenity, visit Coral Island (locally known as Koh Hae) where you can snorkel off the coral reef and enjoy the untouched scenery.

6. Wat Chalong Sightseeing

Not far from Serenity, is Wat Chalong, Phuket’s largest and most famous Temple. Wat (Thai for ‘Temple’) Chalong features some amazing architecture and is a must-see.

7. Elephant Trekking

Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime elephant trekking adventure in the jungles of Phuket, fun for all the family.

8. Serenity Kids club

Our fully equipped in-house Kids Club is sure to keep the kids entertained for hours, with computer games, toys and more.

9. Day Trip by Boat to Phi Phi island

Without doubt, Phi-Phi Island is one of the most popular day trips for visitors to Phuket. Take a family day trip to Koh Phi Phi and enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving and island sightseeing in one of Thailand’s scenic gems.

10. Phuket Aquarium & Butterfly Farm

Phuket Aquarium is home to more than 30 tanks with various fresh water and sea creatures, giving the kids a fascinating insight into underwater life in Phuket.

Do you agree? Do you think there are other some better family places to visit in Phuket? Think others would agree? Let us know your thoughts at blog@serenityphuket.com.

If you’re coming to visit us and would like some help booking your tour, contact our concierge at: excursions@serenityphuket.com.

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Top 10 Activities in Phuket for Couples

As Serenity is such a romantic place for couples, popular for Honeymoons and weddings, we decided that it would be a good idea to write about ‘The 10 best things to do in Phuket for Couples’. We have scoured Phuket, searched high and low, for THE perfect 10 things that couples visiting Phuket should experience.

We selected the most romantic people in our team (sadly I didn’t make the shortlist) who then hand-picked ten of the best couple activities for visitors to Phuket, here are the results:

1. Couples Sunset stroll at Promthep Cape

Promthep Cape or Laem Promthep as it is known, at the most southern tip of Phuket, is perhaps one of Phuket’s most beautiful sunset viewpoints. Promthep Cape is a rocky headland, which juts into the sea, with spectacular views of the ocean and the nearby Nai Harn Bay. From here, you can take an early evening stroll or relax with a cold drink and watch the sun set on the horizon. A must see for couples!

2. John Gray’s sea canoe

Experience the exotic and stunning scenery with a Sea Canoe Adventure, exploring caves, and ‘hongs’ in a romantic day trip with the John Gray’s Sea Canoe tour.

3. Trip to Phi Phi island

Internationally renowned, Phi Phi island or Koh Phi Phi, is a great day out for couples. From nearby Chalong Bay, you can take a local speed boat to the islands, where you can enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving and some truly spectacular sightseeing.

4. The Serenity Senses Spa

No visit to Serenity, would be complete without a visit to our famous Senses Spa, enjoy a wondrous range of treatments and therapies to help you relax and de-stress, ready for your next activity!

5. Nai Harn Beach

Nai Harn Beach is widely accepted as one of Phuket Island’s best beaches, ideal for those wanting to chill out in the sun or swim in the sea.

6. Phuket Fantasea

Phuket Fantasea is Phuket’s biggest show, with everything from trapeze artists to performing elephants. The Fantasea show presents a stunning story line, mixing Thai tradition and fantasy to create a spectacular night out.

7. Wat Chalong

Take a tour of Phuket’s Largest and most famous Buddhist Temple and experience a slice of traditional Thai Culture and Enjoy ‘Wat’ (Thai for ‘Temple’) Chalong’s wonderful architecture.

8. Romantic dinner on the balcony

Spend some quality time with your loved one or just to chill out and take advantage of Serenity Phuket’s exceptional in-room dining services, including breakfast in bed, private barbecues and chef-prepared gourmet meals.

9. Central Festival shopping

Enjoy some retail therapy at Phuket’s largest shopping center, where there are shops of all kinds, restaurants and even a movie theater.

10. Night life in Patong

The Infamous Patong has a myriad of bars and night clubs, with something for everyone, ranging from upmarket bars and eateries through to the more weird and wonderful night spots, an experience not to be missed.

Do you agree? Do you think there are other some better couple places to visit in Phuket? Think others would agree? Let us know your thoughts at blog@serenityphuket.com.

If you’re coming to visit us and would like some help booking your tour, contact our concierge at: excursions@serenityphuket.com.

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Loy Krathong at Serenity Phuket

Edward Kennedy   |   November 15, 2012   |   Events & Celebrations   |   0 Comments

Loy Krathong, Thailand’s ‘Festival of lights’, on 28th November 2012, is an annual event, held on the evening of the Full moon of the 12th month of the Thai Lunar Calendar. “Loy” which means ‘to float’ and ‘krathong’ which means ‘a leaf cup or bowl’, is a must see event for Phuket’s visitors and is a great evening for for families and couples.

Loy Krathong Festival Phuket

‘Krathongs’ are released into the ocean or rivers, at sunset, with a prayer, to promote good luck for the coming year. Some people even place personal items on their Krathongs, like strands of hair, to symbolise the washing away of their sins and misfortunes of the previous year. For the romantic amongst you, Loy Krathong is also the time for couples to wish for happiness and success in Love in the coming year.

Krathongs can be purchased from one of the many makeshift market stalls along the streets, and are made from Banana Leaves, flowers, leaving room for candles and incense sticks. Loy Krathong always falls on Thai school holidays, so during the day the whole family are often involved in making elaborately decorated Kratongs. Often, thousands of ‘Khom Loi’ or Chinese Lanterns are launched into the night sky, truly a sight to behold.

Loy Krathong 2012 at Serenity Phuket and East 88

Celebrate the Loy Krathong festival with us at Serenity & East 88 on 28th November, where there will be food, drinks and entertainment. From just 1,200++ for adults and 500++ for Children, enjoy our traditional Thai Buffet, welcome cocktail, Thai Dance Show, competitions and more. Don’t miss the magical evening, contact us at east88@serenityphuket.com to make your reservation!

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