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Friday 29 September 2017

Island paradise: A perfect family destination on Phuket

When you don't want to spend too much money but want to make sure the whole family has a great time in Thailand, note down the Manathai Surin Phuket; a delightful mid-range boutique hotel set back around 100 metres from sleepy Surin Beach.

The Manathai, part of a small but fast-growing chain, is an ideal base from which to explore Phuket and perfect for all ages, with an absence of sleazy bars making the area family-friendly.

With two swimming pools, activities including a cooking school and a luxury spa, and beachfront food stalls just a stroll away, there is plenty to keep both children and adults occupied.

Surin Beach is a magnificent long uncluttered beach perfect for children and good for snorkelling, kayaking or boogie boarding im summer.

Unlike at other, snootier resorts, the staff here seem to genuinely enjoy interacting with younger guests.

The on-site Pad Thai Restaurant at The Manathai offers an intriguing mix of Thai and western dishes and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Enjoy a traditional western breakfast, or opt for a spicy noodle soup or traditional Thai porridge. Even the fussiest eater will find something to their taste.

Within a few minutes' stroll are several family-friendly restaurants and a wine bar, while the hotel offers excellent cooking classes with one of the resort's top chefs.

There are those two pools and spacious, well-equipped rooms, including satellite TV stations offering a range of movies. Kids will enjoy looking at the traditional local fishing boats dotted along the coastal walk.

The front desk can arrange trips to the island’s aquariums, gardens and Buddhist temples with activities on offer including exploring sea caves in a canoe; walking tours of historic Phuket Old Town, elephant safaris, zorbing and bungee jumping.

There are plenty of souvenir shops and low-key massage joints within a few minutes of the Manathai. 

The verdict: an impressive small hotel with warm and helpful staff, great value and a good location less than 30 minutes from the airport.

Manathai Surin Phuket, 121, 1 Moo 3 Srisunthorn Road, Cheng Talay, Thalang, Phuket. +66 7636 0250.

Manathai Hotels & Resorts is swinging into high season with an early bird promotion. Guests receive 30% discount when booking 60 days in advance for stays from November 28 onwards. Room rates are inclusive of breakfast for two persons.

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