We arrived at Renaissance Phuket in Thailand is it’s the kind of property where I’m proud to visit with Athena. She’s only three years old but we try to instill in her an appreciation for the beach and our relaxed way of life. I’m comfortable in flip flops, a casual beach dress or shorts and a ponytail in my hair. It’s a lifestyle that I’ve become accustom to living in southern California and when I travel, I like to continue with that laid-back attitude. It’s suppose to be vacation, right? Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa is a Marriott luxury and lifestyle hotel. It is the ultimate retreat with the beauty of Thailand in every direction. We have breathtaking beach views, lush greenery everywhere, our own private plunge pool and several restaurants to choose from to satisfy our appetite. Even with all of that luxury at our fingertips, we can still relax on the beach with messy hair, go to the restaurant in our bathing suits or tie our hair up in a casual ponytail for dinner. It’s the kind of relaxed luxury that I look for around the world but rarely find.
Opening the patio door is all I need to do to hop into our own private plunge pool. Clothing is optional since we have complete privacy, which takes casual to a whole new level. Athena and I still wear our bathing suits while swimming together during the day but I’ve admittedly gone commando in the darkness of night. In the morning, we jump in before having breakfast. The birds are still chirping in the trees, fresh with morning due. It’s rained every night since we arrived but never during the day.
We’ve taken several walks along the beach since we arrived. It seems endless and it’s never packed. Usually, we’re the only people strolling along in the sand. Athena likes to practice her cartwheels and handstands and I’m right next to her like another big kid. Covered in sand and bare feet, there’s no one around to criticize or judge. I can be childish and free, making both Athena and I happy.
If we’re not in our pool or on the beach, we’re usually playing mermaid games in the kiddie pool. There are two main pools – the Mai Khao Beach main pool and the children’s pool. The Mai Khao Beach pool is beautiful and children are welcome, but it’s the children’s pool that has the most appeal for families. There is a small water slide and a waterfall. I’m sure you guessed by now that I go to the kiddie pool for the water slide. It’s big enough to have fun but not too big to stress Athena. The lush trees that surround the pool give it an intimate feel. I can be silly and play games with Athena without being on display.
Our favorite restaurant, although they all accept casual, is the Sand Box Restaurant and Bar. Serving a light lunch and transforming into a contemporary bar and barbeque each night, we love beach dining where shoes are optional. Today we ate pizza in our bathing suits and left our shoes at the villa. Actually, the only time we put shoes on our feet today was for dinner this evening. Even the kids club is a shoe-free zone.
There is a sign at the door of the kids club to remove your shoes. It works well for Athena and I since we don’t have them on to begin with. The staff of the kids club are easy-going and you’re allowed to come and go as you please. There are three rooms filled with books, movies, games, toys and puzzles. Athena learned to make origami stars and she made a bracelet. Scheduled kid’s crafts are complimentary and happen several times throughout the day.
From the villas to the restaurants, from the pools to the beach, Renaissance Phuket offers endless luxurious amenities but you don’t have to be stuffy to enjoy them. I’m a big kid. Regardless if I was a billionaire or 100 years old, that wouldn’t change. I’m always going to enjoy acting silly, dancing and singing. I’m always going to feel most comfortable in casual clothes and I don’t even own make-up or a curling iron. Who doesn’t like finer things like a private pool villa or a first-class spa, but you don’t have to hand in your flip flops to enjoy them at Renaissance Phuket.