Looking at taking the family to Thailand for a few weeks in winter. That includes an 8 year old and 70 year old mom who is in pretty good shape.
I love the look of some of the resorts around Phuket but they seem isolated. At least one of us in the group will go crazy if he/she can't get off the grounds and wander around.
Also, is transportation easy to get to/from resorts? I don't want to wait forever for buses but I don't want to be taking overpriced taxis everywhere.
And since I have your attention, I'm thinking of the Ren in Bangkok for several days why we do some day trips. I'm assuming I'll be delighted.
Any advice is appreciated.
I don't know much about Phuket (except that almost everyone mispronounces the name; it's not a dirty word).
The Renaissance in BKK is very nicely located. It's a new property and I haven't stayed there but I have stayed in the neighborhood. Less than 5 minute walk to the Central World Mall, 15 minute walk (better off in a taxi, actually) from Pratunam (clothes, watches, bags, etc.) and Panthip Plaza (IT everything you can think of). Also there's an elevated walkway that will take you beyond Central up to Siam Paragon Mall.
The walkway also connects you to BTS (elevated commuter train) which can get you to a lot of interesting places in the city.
Phuket in winter (around Nov - Jan) is during the high season. So the hotel prices will go higher. The properties are quite isolated but is worth it. There are taxis you can have the resort grab for you or maybe can get a day tour to places.
Renaissance Bangkok does have really good location compared to other properties in Bangkok. It's the least walking distance from BTS sky train and very close to Siam/Central World shopping areas.
Welcome to Thailand
The Courtyard in Bangkok is a great property. It is close to the SkyTrain and shopping. It is off on a side street, so traffic noise is non-existant. The price/value is very good here.
The Renaissance in Phuket is great too. We stayed for a week and never left the premises. It was relaxing with a great pool, private beach, and multiple eating options on site.
My wife and I are planning a trip to Thailand and I would really like to stay at the JW on Phuket but my wife does not want to because she wants an authentic experience. Is the resort authentic or pretty American?
We would also be doing a 5 day or so tour before this of Northern Thailand.
We stayed at the Phuket Renaissance Resort which is right down the road. The location is remote, which I really liked. We could actually share resources with both via a shuttle. The Renaissance was pretty authentic, meaning that the breakfasts and other meals had a good combination of all types. We were one of the few American tourists there. There were many Central Europeans there.
The JW on Phuket is awesome and if you want to spring for the extra points (210k for 5 nights) you can stay in a MVC Villa at the same property. It is quite isolated, though there is a small shopping/eating area called Turtle Village that is right next door. Many of the popular area tours will include free transportation to/from the resort. A bit more authentic and equally great, would be the Renaissance on Koh Samui...there are fewer things to do on the island but you can easily walk to many small restaurants, pubs and cafe's. The main restaurant is really great and surprisingly inexpensive. They usually offer an amazing beachfront buffet (White linen and candlelight) at least once each week.