I was contacted by Ian via the Holidaysplease live chat facility when he was looking for somewhere warm to take his family over the Christmas break.
After finding out a little more about them and their preferences, I felt that a multi-centre Thailand experience with a city/ animal interaction and a beach stay would tick all their boxes. Ian loved the idea and was happy to report back...
We had never been to Thailand and were excited by the varied itinerary for a 14-day family holiday that Ruth had put together for us; a good mix of sightseeing, experiences and relaxation. It was great knowing that all our transfers had been arranged and that everything had been taken care of.
We departed from Heathrow just before Christmas and after a pleasant flight were greeted by our private transfer and delivered to Bangkok's Royal Orchid Sheraton where we stayed in luxurious River View rooms .
With prices being extremely reasonable at so many good local restaurants, Ruth had wisely suggested a good hotel breakfast would suffice.
We spent a very different and enjoyable Christmas Day in the city where Ruth had taken care of booking our restaurant so we didn't have to worry about where to eat in a place we weren't familiar with.
We had chosen to spend three nights in Bangkok to acclimatise to the different time zone and experience as much we were able to. Our sightseeing highlights included the floating market and Sky Bar in addition to sampling lots of excellent local food.
Next up was an enticing two-night stay at Elephant Hills in Khao Sok National Park, reached via a short flight to Phuket and a pleasant three-hour drive by private transfer to the resort.
Glamping in the jungle was a fantastic ethical experience where we were able to get up close to the elephants in their natural environment.
We embraced the wonderful surrounds by taking part in canoeing, jungle trekking and an absorbing boat trip and thoroughly enjoyed the resort’s entertainment that included a cooking demonstration on one of the evenings.
We were now ready for the beach part of the holiday and Ruth had recommended staying on Khao Lak as a quieter and more authentic option to Phuket and Krabi.
The Bangsak Village, on the beach itself, had everything we needed for a restful and relaxing eight-night stay: fantastic views, excellent facilities and a New Year's gala dinner to provide the perfect ending to our Thai experience.
The food we tried throughout the trip was terrific. We had real value for money and the local people were always welcoming and friendly, with most speaking English.
We all had a fabulous time and highly recommend Thailand as a family holiday destination. We can’t wait to return.
Ruth’s planning and service was excellent, and we are delighted to have found such a reliable travel adviser. We can’t wait for our next adventure.