Family vacation at the Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach

The drive from Phuket International Airport
to the Phuket Marriott Resort
& Spa, Merlin Beach
took us
through Phuket Town and
the famous Patong Beach, with its crowded strip
of bars and restaurants fronting a long
stretch of beach. 

Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach

We climbed up a hill and disappeared into the quiet, and then finally we were at the hotel and checking into the beautiful Merlin Suite directly in front of Tri-Tang Beachone of the best rooms

Our 83-square meter Merlin Suite,
decorated in muted colors with traditional
Thai furnishings
, had a living room
and dining room with terracotta floors
and wood-paneled doors that opened to
a beautiful bedroom. On one side of this
bedroom was a walk-in closet and a massive
bathroom with a bathtub overlooking the swimming pool; on the other side was
a terrace that faced
the sea

Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach

The Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin
Beach itself is a fun five-star
hotel in Phuket
 perfect for families, away from
the clatter of Phuket’s main entertainment
and shopping districts but so near it, should
you manage to pull yourself away from
the hotel.

It’s smartly designed so that you never
really feel the surge of crowds, and divided
by three pools — a family pool
with a children’s pool, a main pool at the
center of the complex, and the more quiet
Nam Tok pool to one side with a juice bar
— so there’s space for everyone; even when
the hotel is on full occupancy, as it was that
weekend we were there.

Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach

In our section of the hotel, we had the
luxury of two swimming pools and a
quiet restaurant called the Beach Grill that serves breakfast on the
terrace, just below our suite. The main
restaurant at the center of the Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa
most of the guests, but those who prefer
a more exclusive experience can get a
comprehensive healthy breakfast and eggs
and waffles made to order

Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach


This is what we did every morning, and with great
enjoyment. It was wonderful to begin each day with a
beautiful view of the Andaman Sea
and then to head
downstairs for a big brunch on the terrace by the beach.
My own favorite corner was the juice stand where the waitstaff patiently made all kinds of fresh juices
depending on the season.

Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach

Then our days were filled with a litany of activities. The
children headed straight to the children’s activity room
immediately after breakfast everyday, where smiling staff
awaited them in a brightly-colored playroom with games
to play
, shirts to tie-dye, and kites to paint. Pretty soon,
our hotel suite was filled with their artworks – creations
we’ve brought home that serve as wonderful memories
of our stay.

Juice Bar at Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach

Meanwhile, my husband caught up on his reading,
establishing himself on a lounge chair by the swimming
for the remainder of the mornings with a pile of
books from the New York Times reading list. As for me,
I made a bee-line for the spa of the Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, conveniently located
next to the kids’ activity room, where each day I chose
a wellness treatment designed to invigorate the body
and mind.

One day, the spa offered a comprehensive package that
incorporated local honey into facial and body scrub
. The Honey Rejuvenating Package at the Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach includes a 50-minute body scrub, a 60-minute facial, and a 10-minute foot bath, using honey-based spa products. I booked this and spent a blissful four
hours in the spa, having added a foot massage onto the
package as well.

Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach

For lunch, we usually met at our favorite
breakfast place and simply ordered burgers
and pizza from the grill, in addition to big
ice creams for dessert. For dinner, it was
always a toss-up between the D.O.C.G.,
the Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach Italian
, famous for its cured meat
, and the Thai Pantry, considered
one of the best restaurants in Phuket.


At the D.O.C.G., we loved starting
our evenings with a charcuterie platter
sliced to order
accompanied by chutney,
pecorino cheese, and crostini, followed by
roasted pumpkin ravioli and a slow-baked
. As we were by the sea, we always
requested for the market fish of the day,
seasoned with aromatic herbs and grilled
to perfection.


Seafood and Pad Thai for dinner at Thai Pantry
of the Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa 

Meanwhile, the Thai Pantry is not at all
your typical hotel Thai restaurant. It serves
authentic local favorites like deep-fried
fresh fish
and chicken with pandan leaves,
so we relished our dinners here.
It was an added bonus that the game
room for children
, where kids could watch
movies and teenagers could hang out
and play video games
, was just across the Thai Pantry restaurant, so my husband and I could
order and enjoy some quiet time together
while the children amused themselves in
the game room until our orders arrived.

Tri Tang Beach in Phuket, Thailand

After dinner, just before returning to our
suite, we would head out to Tri-Tang
just to sit on a ledge, listen to the
waves and enjoy the cool breeze. Every
day at the Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa,
Merlin Beach
was wonderful, and this was
the perfect way to end our days.