My Wild Week With Four Teenage Boys
AUGUST 2023 ISSUE
JENNY EVANS spends seven days in Phuket with her son and his mates. What could possibly go wrong…?
LAST NOVEMBER I found myself in a daring agreement to take my 16-year-old son and three of his friends on holiday. Some might call me crazy, but my boundless optimism led the way!
The challenge was finding a warm, affordable destination not too far from Sydney where I wouldn’t have to slave away in the kitchen. Enter Club Med and after careful consideration we decided on the tropical allure of Phuket.
Luckily, we caught Club Med during their sale, scoring an incredible deal at just $2,691 per person for a splendid package: seven-nights’ accommodation, return airfares, transfers and all the food, drinks and activities one could wish for.
Our journey began with Singapore Airlines, connecting through Singapore to Phuket on a Scoot flight. Upon arrival, Club Med representatives warmly welcomed us at the airport and swiftly escorted us to our resort in Kata, a small town on the island’s west side, located one hour from the airport and 20 minutes from Patong.
The resort itself stretched over a kilometre of beachfront, separated from the beach by a small road and high walls and guarded diligently by vigilant security personnel.
The boys were initially taken aback to learn that they couldn’t leave Club Med without my authorisation, but this safeguard provided peace of mind for parents with younger children. For our teens, I signed a waiver allowing them to come and go as they pleased, within reason, of course.
The resort’s central hub, featuring the entrance, main pool, bar and restaurants, was situated midway along the beach stretch. Accommodation blocks extended outward from this centre point. Located in block A, our rooms were the farthest from the facilities, making for a leisurely stroll of 550 steps to reach the pool. A bit of exercise never hurts.
The rooms were pleasantly spacious, clean with comfortable beds and a balcony. Mine offered serene views of the resort’s lush nine-hole golf course adorned with plenty of palm trees.
During our stay half of the resort was under renovation, resulting in only the main restaurant being open. However, this restaurant more than sufficed, serving a delightful buffet from 7am to 11pm, with just a one-hour break between meals.
The buffet spread was wonderfully diverse, featuring a delicious mix of Thai, Japanese, Indian, Italian, French, Chinese, vegetarian and Western dishes. One could easily eat a different three-course meal every day for the full seven nights, though our willpower faltered and we indulged in everything on offer!
The restaurant catered to the drink enthusiasts, providing wine, beer and soft drinks. For those seeking a more extensive range of libations, the nearby bar was open from morning till night, manned by friendly bartenders ready to whip up a variety of cocktails, mocktails and smoothies.
The main pool was a hub of activity, with ample seating for lounging under both shade and sunshine. Attentive bar staff roamed the area, serving drinks to keep the holiday vibes flowing. Inside the bar area there was also comfortable seating for those seeking a refreshing, air-conditioned respite.
Club Med’s ever-friendly GOs (“Gentil Organisateur”) were a constant presence, mingling with guests and even dining together at times. Their lively spirit elevated the evening festivities, creating a vibrant and enjoyable atmosphere.
Throughout the day an array of activities awaited, along with evening shows for added entertainment. Yet there was no pressure to participate – everyone could engage or simply relax as they pleased.
For families the resort offered a kids’ club and scheduled activities, allowing children to dip in and out as they desired. We often spotted groups of kids dining happily at their own tables in the restaurant.
Overall, the resort exuded a laid-back atmosphere where children enjoyed themselves without overwhelming the entire scene. There was no shortage of things to do, but equally, plenty of options to do absolutely nothing but unwind and savour a refreshing cocktail.
So, was I crazy to embark on this adventure? Perhaps, but with Club Med’s Phuket resort, it turned out to be the perfect escape for both me and the teens.