Phuket Part 1 (Which hotel and its reviews)

Hello everyone!

As promised to document my recent Phuket trip of 4D3N for our 6th Anniversary, so here it is! Because the whole trip was quite fruitful in terms of activities scheduled back to back (all thanks to my bf, although it was damnnnnn tiring!), I decided to divide them into few blog posts.

We took an afternoon flight from Jetstar and arrived Phuket in the evening. Just to highlight, we booked our flight and hotel separately as well as our island-hopping adventure (bf got it off Groupon), so there were loads of homework and research to be done.

Personally, I prefer Jetstar over Tigerair because it is more spacious, especially leg space. Tested and proven by my bf because he’s quite tall, standing at around 1.78m, so his longggg legs usually have limited leg space. The same goes for bus seats… poor boy, HAHAHA!


Unless you are willing to splurge on private villas and private swimming pools and all, located just infront of beaches, which is quite costly, I would recommend cheaper hotels/resorts which are situated a walking distance away from the beach.

And while walking towards the beach, you would also be able to shop along the way….just remember not to spend all your money away even before reaching the beach! HAHA!

The hotel resort which we resided in was none other than… Sawaddi Patong Resort & Spa!

It may not be one of the top-notch hotel resorts available such as Novotel, Holiday Inn etc…but still very satisfactory.

This brings me to my next point.

I may not be a frequent traveller, but planning for your own trip and conducting loads of researches has taught me a few tips or two, which I would like to share with you guys πŸ™‚

How to choose a good hotel?

With the technology at hand, you can find out almost everything and anything!

Google has always been my dearest best friend and review websites such as Tripadvisor/Agoda (although it’s mainly for booking of hotels but they include reviews from customers as well) are the best places to check out reviews!

We actually shortlisted a few such as Mecure Hotel, Patong Resort, Simplitel, Sawaddi…but decided to forgo them mainly due to :

1. Location (especially the distance from the beach) as well as which town in Phuket

2. Cost of accommodation

3. Facilities (Wi-Fi access in rooms is a MUST for me!)

4. Reviews from other customers/travellers

5. Cost of Airport transfer (because we didn’t get a hotel package, we were left to book our own airport transfer – 2 way preferred – although you may consider cabbing to and fro from the hotel)

So these were the main considerations when choosing a hotel, generally speaking I guess.


We had a hard time deciding between Patong or Karon.

Patong is a more exciting and busier place filled with more nightlife there is more intense than Karon. The latter is much quieter and more relaxing.

Both of us had been to Phuket before but without each other and because we thought it might be bored at night without much things to do, we decided to reside in the main tourist resort which is the centre ofΒ Phuket’s nightlife and shopping – Patong.

I think the town should be the most important factor and overarching consideration to have in mind before you can settle on which hotel to stay at.

After deciding on which town to reside at, cost of accommodation was the next factor.

Cost of accommodation

I wouldn’t say that we were on a tight budget but to us, because we spend more time outdoors than indoors (especially in resort islands than shopping cities such as Bangkok), it didn’t make much sense if we were to stay in a very expensive hotel that is gorgeously well-furnished with private swimming pools and all.

I mean it is just not that worth it in our opinion.

Our daily routine was like this : Wake up – Headed outdoors for the whole day – Come back all knocked out.

Does it make much sense if we had golden taps and all? Or super king-sized bed filled with the right amount of springs?

The lack of time did not permit us to appreciate intricate heavenly details like that.

Because it was such a tiring event everyday, even if without a bed, I bet we could easily fall asleep on the floor…LOL!

So yes anyway, we got upgraded to Deluxe Room free because of the promotional period! Another plus point in choosing this hotel!

Stylish and harmonious, the 30 mΒ² Deluxe room comes with and without balcony (for those with younger children) and a choice of king size or twin beds. An extra deep bathtub with a built-in shower is the perfect place to ease away your cares and refresh your senses. Choose from city, pool or garden view rooms and delight in the comfort of your own personal sanctuary.

Professional photos :

Deluxe Room

Deluxe Room

Deluxe Room

Deluxe Room

Our photos :















  • Individual air conditioning
  • 32″ LCD TV
  • DVD player
  • Cable TV
  • Wireless internet access
  • Electronic laptop-size safe
  • IDD telephone
  • Alarm clock
  • Mini bar
  • Kettle
  • Tea/coffee
  • Bottle-opener / Wine-opener
  • Bathrobe
  • Slippers
  • Umbrella
  • Hairdryer
  • Flashlight
  • Laundry bag
  • Pencil
  • Message pad
  • Adapter
  • 220V Electricity system
  • Iron & iron board on requested
  • Hand soap
  • Cotton buds
  • Bath gel
  • Shampoo and conditioner set
  • Shower cap
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Two bottles drinking water
  • Tea/coffee
  • Welcome drink
  • Welcome Phuketien Cookies

So as you can see, the room is well-furnished with all the necessities.

The cost of our accommodation was around SGD$50/pax /night? That is freaking cheap! Really value for money for such awesome hotel!

Reading reviews of other affordable hotels with similar rates was another pulling factor as well as these other hotels, although they suited our budget, unfortunately had very very poor reviews in terms of hygiene, customer service, hotel management and facilities.


As mentioned, the necessary facilities must be there but what was another important factor I considered was the access to internet, even in the rooms.

Okay, it was not so much of a wake up-go out-knock out and sleep kinda thing, at least not immediately. We had some spare time (which we forced ourselves to stay awake) to catch some shows (for a very short while), to have supper and bassically to slack in the room (while connecting back to the social media world).

I am quite a heavy social media-user so Wi-Fi access in rooms is a MUST MUST MUST!

Swimming pool was another aspect we considered.

We hardly frequent the swimming pools back in Singapore so we thought it would be good to have some good chilling swimming bonding session! HAHAHA!

The swimming pool was not crowded and thankfully, they had reasonable depths which I could survive in. I am not a fantastic swimmer so security in reaching the ground is a MUST. I suspect I have some ‘water-phobia’ all along. 😦

The swimming pool had awesome chairs and tents and the splendid pool bar side!

Professional photos :



Our photos :


Because it was so appealing, we couldn’t resist but to order icy cold beer and fries to chill by the pool side. I wished I didn’t have to come back.

Oh wait, that sounds kinda off.

Correction, I wished I could this the same back in Singapore without having to work…study…basically just chill my life away without any worries…

Reviews from other customers/travellers (and ours)

Just read here!

Oh wait, did I just see very recent bad reviews?

But to be fair, let me share with you our experience.

Apart from the location, cost, facilities…I place great importance on customer service etiquette.

The staff were generally very polite, smiley and helpful except for one incident.

Let’s talk about the plus points first.

We managed to get them to reschedule their airport transfer timing due to some delay by the flight and initially, they informed us that their staff were already on the way to the airport which is approx 1 hr from the hotel, but then later told us that a reschedule can be arranged and acceded to our request. So everything was settled.

Even on our last day, we requested for earlier departure from the hotel, taking into consideration that the roads would be jammed during a Saturday night (which was true). The driver arrived 15mins earlier than expected and yes, we got to the airport with ample time to check-in, grab a small bite, walk around a little (nothing much compared to our Changi Airport).

Both car rides were great. Drivers were not reckless.

Since we are on the topic of Thai drivers and road courtesy, I want to share with you guys on the differences between them and our local drivers back in our sunny island.

Thai drivers, although their road infrastructure is not that well-furnished as evident where roads are not cemented with bitumen/tartar (whatever material they use?) and where there are no directions on the road grounds…and where they don’t even have traffic lights at certain junctions….Thai drivers’ road etiquette is better than our local drivers’.

As a Singaporean, I feel kinda ashamed because our road infrastructure is so much better equipped but our drivers are…

Thai drivers seldom horn at other road users and they know how to give way, although not always. Β However, it is true that it seems more dangerous when using the road compared to our local counterparts due to the lack of infrastructure.

Okay, point made. Heh.

And because our flight back was late at night, we requested for a late check-out on the last day. The usual check-out time is 12pm and while I have read that late check-out can mean 2pm, the hotel staff told us that 1pm would be the latest. Compromising, we agreed. But we were 10 to 15mins late (rushing after our morning swim, to bathe and pack up) and they weren’t calculative as to charge us for that. So for that, kudos for the customer service at the reception and as well as hotel room service where most importantly, nothing was stolen from us (of course, please be smart to lock up all valuable belongings and don’t take it for granted that it is 100% safe – there is a safe provided in the wardrobe as well).

Further on that, customer service at dining area on our 2nd bfast experience annoyed me.

We thought bfast operates from 6.30am to 11am but little did we know it actually ends at 10.30am.

So we reached at 10.30am at the restaurant and the staff at the entrance was blatantly RUDE!

I mean yes we are sorry that we made a mistake of the operating hours, but his attitude was totally uncalled for. I felt we were chided as if we were little kid. As the mini open kitchen area for individual orders for eggs (sunny side up, scrambled, hard/half boiled) were located at the entrance of the restaurant as well, we hurriedly requested for sunny side up eggs when we were told that bfast is ending.

But the staff and chef were plain reluctant to even fry 2 eggs for us. Their expressions and body languages said so.

Hello? How long does it take to fry 2 eggs, especially since you have more than 1 wok and stove?

Nevertheless, they did fry those eggs but when served to us, it wasn’t well done at all.

It was not sunny side up but this.

Don’t try and say I’m being difficult but correct if I’m wrong. I thought sunny side up should look like this?

Maybe it doesn’t matter to some of you, but it does to people like us who opt for sunny side up for a reason – to sense the ‘shiokness’ when the yolk oozes out…it’s the same feeling with eggs benny/poached eggs, no?

And although we were the last customers to step in, we weren’t the last to step out. There were still many other customers in the restaurant, still serving themselves with food (buffet style)…and others who were still eating when we left.

I thought the staff at the restaurant could do better than this.

Next, another minus point would be mozzies.

There were a handful of mozzies in our hotel room and although we used the electric mozzie plug, it didn’t work. We got stung the next morning when we woke up, but nothing serious. I hadn’t read anything regarding mozzies in the reviews I have gone through though.

Cost of Airport Transfer (2-way)

You need to factor this in when deciding and travelling. You may consider hiring a cab which quoted us 800baht to the airport from our hotel but we paid 950baht for each journey. It may be more pricey (150baht more which is equivalent to SGD$6 for 2 pax) but I guess comfort and safety justify themselves.

Anyway, car rides as mentioned above, were okay. Seats were comfortable and spacious. Car model was Toyota Altis (if I recalled correctly). Although the car ride was kinda long, especially on the way back when traffic was heavy, I slept and woke up many times (I hate sleeping while sitting).

So I guess that’s about all on hotel reviews, stay tuned for my next post on where to go in Phuket for our fun-filled activities!

Bintan Trip Day 1 – Bintan Spa Villa Beach Resort

Went for a short getaway with bf and his friend and his friend’s gf early this July, so it was like a double-date kind of vacation. πŸ™‚

We were actually deciding between Bali, Phuket and Bintan and ended up purchasing our package from Groupon for a Bintan trip.

Bf and I are hoping to visit Bali some time soon πŸ™‚

Because I have very few days of leaves from work, we couldn’t travel far and for a longer period of time.

And as of date, I OFFICIALLY HAVE NO MORE LEAVE DAYS ANYMORE! ZERO! KOSONG! 16days of leave, just vanished into thin air within a mere blink of the eyes.

Most of the leaves were for legitimate reasons, mind you. As I am still studying (for my Master of Laws) and am a self-study exam candidate (there’s nobody teaching in SG!), sacrifices have to be made. Thus, most were taken for exam purposes. As there are 2 exam sessions (which I take 4 mods in May and 2 in Oct), 16 days of leave days is totally insufficient!

Apart from my bday trip on board Superstar Virgo Cruise and a handful of 1-day JB trips, I’ve not even gone for a proper vacation this year! 😦

And strictly speaking, if Β ‘vacation’ consists of a requirement of crossing borders by airplanes, Bintan is not even considered a proper one too! 😦

Okay, enough of ranting.

We bought the Bintan package where our resort resided atΒ Bintan Spa VillaΒ which was just besideΒ Bintan Agro Beach Resort. I am just as skeptical as you are when ordering from Groupon (especially when they facing a recent lawsuit), and what more for travel packages (cheat money, bring us go to ulu place and kena chopped into pieces how?!)!

But I am super glad that everything went well and I am back alive. Not that we encountered any life-threatening events though πŸ˜‰

We bought the $99 for 2D1N Bintan Spa Villa Resort and had to pay $2 for tipping, $55 for weekday extension and $25 for seaport tax. So 1 pax amounted to $181.

Here’s what happened during DAY ONE :

Part of our package includes a half day city tour (although we didn’t really walk half a day because it was extremely boringggg so we headed to the resort earlier than scheduled).

We were brought to 2 ‘shopping malls’ for a start. I inverted the phrase because I wouldn’t consider them shopping malls and I bet your sentiments would be exactly.

Don’t believe? Check out the pictures.


And yes, of course I was wearing shorts underneath the long tank top πŸ™‚



Our travel buddies – Kelvin and Kylie. We call them the ‘K-couple’ and ‘Big K’ and ‘Small K’ individually, haha how cute!


Our first group picture taken by our friendly tour guide, Michael, who speaks English better than I’d expected πŸ™‚


Kylie pointed this out and I thought that it was worth snapping. πŸ˜‰


There was an official opening of a shop and hence the lion dance as well as the ‘flower boards’ you saw in the earlier pictures above.


I thought this was really cool! A private ‘boxed-up’ Karaoke space!



And because it was freaking boring, we pretended to pose for the camera, trying to serenade our audiences πŸ™‚

These karaoke boxes were from the 2nd mall we visited, where there was an arcade which we spent most of our time at. LOL. Claiming prizes (hair ties) from tickets (there’s a private joke to these tickets but I shan’t divulge :p) and the hair ties snapped the next day when I tried to tie my hair with them. Blame it on the expected poor quality and thickness of my hair!

After that, we proceeded to have our Ayam Penyet which was part of our package. This little cafe popped outta nowhere and because our sunny island is totally congested with buildings, we found it a little strange to find it located in the middle of nowhere.


Another group picture! We chose to sit on this ground bench area since it’s rare in Singapore! Everything also MUST TRY! πŸ™‚


K-couple! πŸ™‚


Love and I! πŸ™‚


Bf and I ordered fried chicken for our meals.


While K-couple ordered the grilled version πŸ™‚


I found the soup to be quite tasty, mainly because I am a soup-lover. But the melons (I assume?) were a little too hard to chew, especially with my braces on.


We ordered extra dishes (which we have to top up with cash), but the portion seems to be quite small and the Oxtail (the black colour dish on the right) was extremely spicy! Even the chilli that comes with the Ayam Penyet could kill!!!

And as you can see, my soup depleted faster than the rest’s πŸ˜‰ And I even drank bf’s one. :p


Even menu also might snap. Typical snap-everything-Singaporean πŸ™‚


And another group picture! πŸ˜€

Big K commented that he felt like an animal in the farm because of the fences, LOL :p

After filling our hungry stomachs, we were brought to visit 2 temples.


Main entrance of the huge temple.



The whole area is extremely huge!!! I believe it can house several HDB buildings back here. The setting made me felt like I was in China, rather than Indonesia.




Look how tiny we were!



Tiny bf! πŸ˜›


The girls! πŸ˜€


Nice contrails and I think I shall just position my arm like this in pictures in the future because it looks slim la! πŸ˜€


We nearly died squinting. We tried out best to open our eyes but the blazing sun resulted in our funny faces.




And being a cloud-lover (you would know this if you have followed on Instagram @shootingstar18 HAHA!), I knew I had to snap the statues with the cloudy sky.

They are really really fluffy that I was gonna dieeee! πŸ˜€





Apart from the plantations at the entrance, there’s another mini plantation of dragon fruits too πŸ™‚


Close-up of a dragon fruit. I know how suaku we as Singaporeans are because we don’t have such things back home! 😦

So anyway, here comes the HILARIOUS part. I think it was the most hilarious throughout the whole trip!


No photoshop was done – mainly because I don’t know how to?! =x


Michael was very pro in taking jump shots and it was him who suggested that we take jump shots! I am impressed! And am even more impressed with his jump shot stunts! πŸ˜€

Successful jump shot – where everyone’s up in the air. AND I KNOW I CAN ADVERT FOR A SHAMPOO COMMERCIAL πŸ˜€

There are several shots that failed the bench mark!

Like this :


I was the only one lagging, I know -.-

I looked like I was gonna fart, hence the icon :p

It was blazing hot and we stand under the scorching sun for some time, I was ‘gao wei’ with perspiration, especially with make-up on.

Okay, fine, I’m just slow and relatively inactive than the rest! Not forgetting fatter too… ARGH!


And that’s Michael, together with K-couple!


Bf and I took jump shots with Michael too!

Now now, I’m not the only one lagging here anymore… only because Big K sucked at taking jump shots! =x

And I look like I’ve truckloads of farts again! -.-


Told you he really sucked at taking jump shots! =x He snapped at the count of 2!

Wondering about my position?

Look below.


Chit-chatting and getting prepared while this Big-K figure out how to snap a jump shot successfully… And he snapped unintentionally while doing so LOL


OKAY, I cannot tahan anymore!

All these pictures never fail to make me ROFL.

I look like I am sitting on a chair!!! HAHAHA!!!

Now what did I tell you? Michael’s really good at snapping jump shots as well as posing in the air !!! KUNGFU JACKIE CHAN WANNABE!


We didn’t discuss our positions prior to snapping this picture, so here you go. Bf kicking me ass and I am extremely happy that I got my ass kicked!

And I can haz hairy face too!!!


Look at how cute this couple is! Only that Big-K’s left foot should be up and straightened out as well!


HAHAHAHA!!! Another failed shot but better than the 1st one because Small-K’s hadouken meant to target his stomach but he jumped too low, hence shot at his head instead!

We also visited another temple which was very much smaller than this.


This small temple has tree trunks, branches and roots intertwining into it. We asked Michael which came first, the tree or the temple, and he told us that the latter was first built followed by the tree. Quite cool isn’t it?


A close-up look of the temple with clearer view of the intertwining roots and branches, with leaves.


And a close-up view of the huge tree standing strong and firm.


The girls! πŸ™‚


And the guys! πŸ™‚

After fooling around, we headed to our long awaited villa resort! πŸ˜€


Welcome! πŸ˜€


Lovely resort rooms built upon water. We didn’t upgrade to this because we thought the price difference wasn’t justifiable. This is known as the Royal Ocean Villa while we took the Seaview Deluxe that was already included in the package.


Lovely sea… away from the buzzling urban city πŸ™‚


Island boat tour which we rode on the next day! Stay tuned for my next post! πŸ™‚

Went up to our rooms after checking-in πŸ™‚


Our resort room was on the 3rd level. Back to the primitive style – no escalators/elevators, so it was climbing up and down, up and down for the whole 3 days! 😦


The must-take-picture-of-your-hotel/resort-room-when-you-first-check-in photo πŸ™‚


The must-cover-all-angles/areas-of-your-hotel/resort-room picture.


Outdoor balcony! πŸ™‚


The man with his phone.




One of the many pictures that constantly and provokingly remind me that I should go on a diet soon before I drown in my own pool of fats.


Hello neighbours! πŸ˜€



Views from our resort room on the 3rd level.

Our rooms weren’t considered really seaview but if we look out from our balcony, we are still able to see the sea la… so… yeah *awkward smile*.

After resting for awhile, we excitedly proceeded to check out the whole resort! πŸ™‚


Our favourite swinging chair and I really do mean F-A-V-O-U-R-I-T-E because throughout the whole vacation we’ve sat in it for countless of times! Plus, it’s better than sitting on chairs lepaking while spamming the wifi… πŸ˜€


The mini bar area…


Big-K doing what he does best.


The guys having their own game.


So small K and I entertained ourselves with darts!



This picture looks a little funny if the dart board wasn’t there, like she’s doing some chicken-dance =x


Trying to aim.

Ignore sharp pointed face and chin, jiggly flabby arms and thunder thighs pls.


Look at the speed of the dart! Nah, I’m kidding :p

And then we got bored and swopped with the guys. Okay, only small K did, I was entertaining myself with my camera while they were busy…




Testing and practising my photography skills….

Here are some of the pictures I took.




Focusing again. Trying to snap a postcard-quality photo…



There’s an outdoor Jacuzzi as well but it looked kinda dirty, so we didn’t try it out at all.

And then everyone got bored of the 2 games so we decided to explore Spa Villa further.


New Ocean Suite.


And as the name suggests, there’s a ‘spa’ area for customers too.

We got to try this out which was included in our package as well. Read below to find out more πŸ™‚

Walked further…




Beach Volleyball net! πŸ˜€

We played this as well but on another island – yes we island hopped! Will blog about this in my next post for Day 2! πŸ™‚


Big K imagining himself as a goalie…


Everywhere also can do pull-ups, but bad idea because the metal was rusty!


Took this back shot of bf without him knowing and he loves it! πŸ˜€


The guys are more enthu in getting soaked first than us girls.


Doing the BBOY stance.


A lonely emo palm tree…


Palm trees in the sky.


Another postcard-wannabe picture by yours truly πŸ˜‰

So we decided to have our spa massage before our dinner, because it makes sense right? You don’t want to feel all weird and quirky and bloated when you are supposed to enjoy a relaxing massage…


The spa rooms. Really facing the sea! Super relaxing πŸ™‚

And the ingredients used…




I wasn’t sure which scrub they used but it smelled really sweet like honey… It might just be the milk scrub?

Before we got onto the massage beds for our full body massage, we were also given a good foot scrub massage. No pictures because I felt really paiseh to snap pictures of the masseurs. It’s like kinda rude, no? Plus, I was cringing and tolerating the ticklish feel all the way… Trying my best not to burst out laughing. That happened too during the body massage. =x

Oh yes, for those who have no idea, like me, this traditional full body massage differs from the Thai massage where the latter helps to ‘crack’ your bones. Plus, this spa massage requires you to strip all the way down… But you will be provided with a disposable underwear and a towel wrap. There were times I had to unwrap the towel e.g. to face down on the bed naked and the flip and rest on my back… it was really really embarrassing. So yes, do prepare yourself mentally okay?

And naturally, we got hungry and sourced for food thereafter.

There was nothing much to eat around there except for the little cafe at our resort lobby.

We ordered the expensive BBQ sets.



It costs approx $30 for each set and the seafood were quite tiny! Plus, we sat at the alfresco area so there were insects around, like mozzies and a worm which big K found in their baked potato. He requested for a change but was quite upset when met reluctance from the staff who took awhile to believe him. The new potato took quite some time to be served and it was cold. Even more upsetting.

So it’s not really worth it.

We didn’t know that they serve ala carte food too because they only had the posters promoting their BBQ sets. Totally regretted! 😦


Anyway, what’s chilling without some booze? πŸ˜‰

So… we went back chilling at the swinging seat again….

What did I tell you? πŸ˜‰




As requested by bf, smiling with my teeth and braces shown. I’m still hoping to perfect my smile and teeth but seems like without a jaw reduction, I still look awkward although bf always assures me that I look fine :’)

And another reason why I hate smiling with teeth shown is because I feel it makes me already huge round nose even bigger! πŸ˜₯

And and and, it deepens my laugh lines compared to smiling…

Ok ok, I know I’m damn problematic 😦

So, that pretty sums up day 1!

Psst, here are some tips, if you are contemplating to travel with Groupon and with Spa Villa.

1. Read every single fine prints for the Groupon package, as with any other vouchers they offer.Β 

2. Clarify with the travel agency, everything and anything you don’t know.

3. Don’t try the BBQ sets at Spa Villa – expensive and too little.

4. Sit indoors if you don’t wish to dine with insects.

5. Must go for their massages! But must be mentally-prepared to strip.

6. There’s a shuttle bus which fetches visitors to Bintan Agro Beach Resort – which seems more promising than Spa Villa. They are located quite near to each other actually. More on Agro in my next post πŸ™‚

7. Must definitely plan activities to do (if not you would be bored to death) – Snorkelling, Diving, Island Boat Tour etc. All’s stated in theirΒ website πŸ™‚

8. With activities in mind + city tour – 2D1N is definitely not enough so extension is highly recommendable by me and depending on your own schedule and budget, you can extend either on weekdays or weekends.Β 

9. Consider bringing an insect repellent along, but the resort provides a little small bottle – not sure if it’s complimentary though. But things sold there are pricey – At Agro beach because Spa Villa doesn’t have a shop.

10. Expensive food with small portions at Spa Villa – bring along cup noodles. Food at Agro is much better – will blog about this in the next post. πŸ™‚

Hope you enjoyed reading and found these tips useful! πŸ™‚

Phew, I think this is one of my longest entry post!

Stay tuned for Day 2 and 3!