SAii Laguna Phuket with the Kids and Friends
From the moment the shuttle van pulled into the carport, we were taken with all of the lovely details at SAii Laguna Phuket. Part of Saii Resorts, this beachside property offers you a grand and cozy welcome all at the same time. The high ceilings and imposing light fixtures, are balanced by quaint seating areas, dark wood, brightly framed pictures, and a tempting snack bar (which thankfully our kids did not discover until the day before we left). Intentionally taking a quiet moment in one of these chairs is ideallyic in the late afternoon sun. Picture yourself here.
Formerly part of the Outrigger hotel group, this resort had reopened just a day before our arrival. At over 20 years old, we knew that the resort had also recently completed some updates. Despite a change in ownership and the challenges caused by COVID, our time here was seamless. It was made even easier by the SAii app. As part of check-in, be sure to download the app where you can browse and book services (from activities to spa treatments), check the activity schedule, order room service, and live chat with staff.
Sitting nearly in the center of Bangtao Beach, the resort gives you great views along the sand and easy strolling access to other beachfront restaurants. If you’ve never been to Bangtao, then prepare yourself for soft sand, swaying palm trees, and clear waters. If you don’t love a lot of marine life swimming around you, then this is your spot as this bay is almost entirely sandy bottoms.
The resort rests between the shore of the Andaman and the banks of a sizeable lagoon. It’s hard not to see water while here. Laguna Phuket is the development woven through the series of lagoons. In addition to hotel and residential properties, there are shops, restaurants, and grocers. It’s an easy walk or you can hop into a kayak and explore the lagoons through a series of canals.
SAii Laguna Phuket is built around it’s pools with most of the rooms looking towards the sea. The common areas and connecting walkways are open air so you can enjoy that ocean breeze even while moving through the resort. With several nods to Thai architecture, the vibe is a relaxed beach feel with a few quirks thrown in for fun – who doesn’t want to shower off the sand in a hot pink telephone booth?!
To house our family of 6, we had adjoining beachfront terrace rooms. From our sliding glass door, we stepped onto our own patio, then onto the grass, and directly onto the beach. It made all of the comings and goings from the pool and beach so much easier for our active tribe. These rooms are located in the last hotel building of the resort, but we quickly learned shortcuts across lawns and pool decks. Our friends, a family of 4, had the same room but not adjoining.
The rooms have a king sized bed which and a daybed in an oversized bay window. This daybed can be used for sleeping and we slept one of our kids there. Our friends fit both of their children in this daybed. For our baby, the hotel provided a playpen style crib. The rooms were spacious and the closets and cabinets had ample storage. There is a mini fridge, kettle, and glassware in each room. An unexpected perk is the french press and coffee which was replenished daily. Housekeeping also restocked our water supply each day.
Besides the ocean views, we all agreed that the bathroom was our favourite room feature. Behind the sink, the wall panel slides affording you those same watery views even while brushing-up. The toilet is behind another privacy door. The most unique feature was a shower / rain head / tub combination. It may sound like hodge podge, but it was lovely. You could rinse off with the hand held shower, or relax under the rain head, or recline against the backrest and soak. Why choose – do all three. SAii Laguna Phuket also provided a smaller baby tub and child’s potty.
With three swimming pools, SAii Laguna Phuket also boasts one of the longest water slides on Phuket. Grab a blue mat (for extra speed) and join your kiddos on the slide.
If watery loops are not your thing, then there are ample lawn chairs, tables and umbrellas. Several cabanas surround the pools – especially the upper pool which tended to attract less children. The pools and surrounding garden area are layered in tiers to allow more people to appreciate the ocean view. The smallest of the pools is just deep enough for the littlest of littles to wade into the waters safely. From where the pool deck touches the sands, the beach slopes down towards the water and parents can happily perch on lawn chairs at the top while still keeping a mindful eye on children on the sand, in the sea, or in the pools.
Aptly named, The Club, was an inviting space where we spent a lot of time. Sitting partially over the lagoon (the staircases are a challenge for kids in strollers), The Club has both open air and AC spaces. While water, coffee, tea, and soda were available throughout the day, from 14:00 to 17:00, light snacks were served. Then at 18:00, guests could enjoy one cocktail and a tasting plate curated by the head chef. These treats and nibbles were often enough to see us through until diner time.
There are several dinning options at the resort. Mr. Tom Yam sits between the pools and the beach and also has a circular poolbar near the waterside. A variety of food is available here and you can expect resort prices, but maybe you won’t mind with your toes in the sand. Locavore, the largest restaurant was closed while we were there.
On the ground floor, Ms Olive Oil served a buffet breakfast in the mornings and changed gears to be a restaurant in the evenings. The breakfast offerings were diverse that even after a week, we still found things we enjoyed. Sitting outside worked well as the kids would play in the lawns allowing the adults to linger over a second (or third) cup of coffee.
Our package included a seafood diner for two but we were able to exchange this for the Friday evening beach barbecue. With live music, the moonlit sky, and the ocean crashing in the background, we enjoyed our evening dining outdoors. In addition to buffet style food, you can also select fresh meat (pork, chicken, beef, fish) and the cooks will grill your selections and deliver them to your table.
For those wanting to stay fit, there is a great gym at SAii Laguna Phuket (full disclosure, our friends made way better use of this than we did). There is also a spa on site if you’re needing some extra down time.
The activities are a mix of included and pay-to-play. Just outside the main entrance is a sport complex with several outdoor tennis courts, an indoor tennis court, driving range, archery, and bicycles. Be sure to check with reception or with staff at the sports complex for prices. Trainers are available for lessons too.
Located near The Club, there is a squash court, ping pong, and pool table. Ping pong and pool are free to use but squash equipment needs to be rented (unless you have your own).
The water sports centre sits at the far end of the resort on a strip of land and beach that separates the lagoon and the Andaman. Kayaks and SUP’s were free to use. You could also try out sailing and windsurfing. We had signed the kids up for windsurfing lessons before realizing the equipment is only adult-sized. There is also a beach volleyball net here and we were incredibly thankful for the kindness of the water sports staff who stopped our volleyball from going into the water on more than one occasion.
There is also a kids’ club, but COVID restrictions had this closed during our stay.
If you’re looking for family fun or time with friends (perhaps like us – you’re looking for both), then be sure to explore SAii Laguna Phuket.