Thai Phuket This Summer – Probably!
Subject to further tweaking of plans by both the Thai and UK Governments in the next few weeks, it is highly probable the resort island of Phuket will re-open to international travellers from the first week of July.
This coincides with a once-weekly direct flight introduction from Thai Airways. The schedule of the flight is departing every Saturday at mid-day from London Heathrow. You arrive in Phuket at 06.10 the following morning (Sunday). You will depart from Phuket on Sunday at around Mid-day, arriving in UK late evening. The price includes room for instant arrival.
Alternatively there could be options travelling with Singapore Airlines with transit connections in Singapore. No stopover allowed. Ask us for details
So let us look at the attraction and feasibility:
- You will be required to stay in Phuket for a minimum of 7 nights*. You will need to stay at an approved hotel and we have listed below three that we particularly suggest for their outstanding value, quality and location. You can travel around Phuket during the first week and you can go to the neighbouring islands of Phi and Phang Nga Bay on the 6th& 7th day for day visits. Before you can travel to other provinces in Thailand you need to stay a minimum of 14 nights in Phuket.
- During the first week in Phuket, you will be allowed to travel around the island. Restaurants will reopen as demand increases, with emphasis on outside dining. Most of your hotel facilities will be available to you. Social distancing will apply and masks will be required in public areas, with seating by the pool & beach exempted. Enclosed dining areas and bars are likely to remain closed until later in the year.
- You will need to arrive with a valid passport (6 months minimum validity from the date of return to the UK ), proof of double vaccination with approved Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca or Sinovac vaccine taken at least two weeks prior to your departure, ideally longer. A PCR test must be conducted within 72 hours of UK departure with results showing as negative. A further test is likely on the 5th day of your stay in Phuket.
- It is probable you will need to obtain a certificate of entry ( CoE) from the Thai Embassy in London. This can be obtained online. This is still subject to discussion and this requirement may be relaxed.
- Comprehensive insurance with a minimum of £50,000 specifically for medical care. You may be expected to show proof of insurance upon arrival.
- You must fly to Phuket directly or there may be the option of via Singapore on Singapore Airlines – ask for an update. At this time we are not suggesting travel via Dubai / Abu Dhabi / Doha as they are currently on the UK Red zone even for transits so you may have to have expensive hotel quarantine on your return to the UK.
- As Thailand is currently on the UK Amber travel list you will need to anticipate 10 days home quarantine on return. Despite personal views expressed by some politicians, travel to Amber regions is legally permitted. It is a matter of personal choice.
- You will need to agree to download the Thailand Plus Mobile Phone app. (https://thailandplus.in.th/en) – this can be done in ideally advance or on arrival. If you do not agree you will be prohibited entry and you are responsible for any costs incurred.
- You may be randomly tested whilst at the resort with results forwarded to the local medical authority. Some hotels do checks each time you arrive or depart from the property, look at this as being cautiously sensible rather than inconvenient.
The Three Hotels We Particularly Suggest Are Banyan Tree, Dusit Laguna and Saii Laguna.
All are located within the upscale Laguna resort estate at Bang Tao, on the central West coast. The airport is 30 minutes drive, Phuket Town 40 minutes and the lively Patong area 25 minutes. There are numerous restaurants within the resort area and just outside the gates, you have two villages with many more attractive dining options.
The Banyan Tree Championship golf course is adjacent to their resort and special green fees are available to residents of all three hotels.
The beach at Bang Tao is one of the longest on the island. The months of May to October tend to be known locally as “Green Season“. This means it tends to rain more than in the dryer months, although it is usually in short heavy bursts rather than constantly. We think “Red Flag Season“ is a more apt description as the main seasonal difference will be higher swells and waves so the hotel pool(s) may be used more than the sea. However, this is reflected in the price and we have truly exceptional value at our chosen hotel partners. Both Dusit and Saii are beachfront and have attractive swimming pools. The Banyan Tree is set slightly back from the shore (3/4 minutes by buggy or a few minutes walk) and all of the accommodation has its own pool, as well as a main pool in the central area.
7 nights price examples are shown below. These include air travel with Thai International London / Phuket / London. Breakfast daily and private transfers in Phuket. As mentioned above they provide for early check-in. Example Per Person based on travel in August and travelling on the Thai flights directly to/from Phuket:
Saii Laguna from £1,698 Lagoon Facing or £1,888 for sea facing.
Dusit Laguna from £1,778 Lagoon facing or £1,918 Sea Facing or £2,178 Ocean Front.
Banyan Tree from £2,558 for Banyan Pool Villa or £2,688 for Banyan Lagoon Pool Villa.
After a stay of at least 14 nights in Phuket, you can travel to some other provinces within Thailand. Ask us for suggestions.
All of the above information is based on factual and assumed information as known in mid-June 2021.
Changes may occur depending on circumstances both in the UK and in Thailand. Please call us should you wish to discuss any idea in additional detail.
Chic Locations are known for their expertise and candid pragmatic advice. From October 2021 onwards we expect travel to Thailand to be even more relaxed and with greater flexibility. It is such a great country, full of wonderful scenic and cultural contrasts.
David – Chic Locations – 15 June 2021
"There's no such thing as the best hotel, just the right one..."
Click for Booking Terms, Price Guides & Flight Information
All price guides are Per Person Sharing Double Room (Entry level), based on travel between May and/or June when prices are generally at their lowest and include promotional offers.
Supplements will probably apply at other times, particularly mid-summer in the Med, and for rooms and/or transfers arranged for single travellers.
Please refer to Travel Advice on our home page or look at www.fco.gov.uk as the Foreign Office may have issued specific destination information on safety and terrorism.