Sexy, cool, sophisticated, chilled, place-to-be-seen: these are words synonymous with Phuket's Beach Club scene. "Family" and "babies" are not.
But having a child doesn't automatically exclude you from the beautiful people. In fact, at XANA, Phuket's most stylish beach club, kids are as welcome as adults at the Sunday Fun Brunch, with special activities for small folk.
And as we recently discovered, it's also the perfect place to recover from jetlag.
There's only four hour's difference between Sydney and Thailand, but that's enough to mess with your body clock and leave you dozing at inconvenient times during the first few days of your holiday. And if you're only 11-months-old like my granddaughter Ellie ... well, forget trying to stick to regular sleep patterns!
So when we were offered passes to XANA Beach Club for our first full day in Phuket, we snapped them up, with the notion of chilling by a beachfront pool very tempting indeed.
|Coco Jamboo at XANA Beach Club|
The Sunday Fun Brunch is a recent addition to XANA's impressive lineup of entertainment (which includes sets by leading international DJs, including Ministry of Sound alumni, Paul Oakenfold, Paul Harris and the Black-Eyed Peas' apl.de.ap.) Featuring the dulcet tones of Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Coco Jamboo, the brunch kicks off at 11.30am, with a fabulous array of food cooked up fresh at live stations. There's fresh seafood, sushi, several huge woks sizzling with noodles, a salad bar, tandoori station, pasta - you name it. The dessert station is equally delectable, with a cotton candy machine for the kids (big and little). Diners can choose a "free flow" drink deal or order by the glass, while children under the age of 6 dine for free.
|The noodle station at the Sunday Fun Brunch|
|Ellie enjoying her lunch|
After lunch, we retreat poolside to a double day bed under a red umbrella, big enough for all four of us. After a dip in the infinity pool, Ellie snoozes in her pram while the adults drink at the swim-up bar, walk along the beach or join the baby in slumber. It's truly blissful, so ridiculously relaxing with the gentle sea breeze, perfect sunshine and the sound of the waves lapping the shore.
|Jo, Nic and Ellie in XANA's pool|
Meanwhile, children are entertained in a tent at the far end of the property (well away from the adults) with face painting, hair braiding and sand sculpture. At 3pm, Nam Chok, Angsara Resort's resident baby elephant, pays a visit, much to the wide-eyed astonishment of our own little Ellie, who doesn't quite know what to make of this huge beast!
I hope this beautiful little person retains the memory of meeting her namesake, feeling its rough skin and experiencing that incredible sensation of a long trunk gently stroking her arm.
|Ellie meets Nam Chok|
XANA'S Sunday Fun Brunch is held every Sunday from 11:30am – 3:30pm.
Price: THB 1,450++ for brunch
THB 2,250++ including free flow of house wine, sparkling wine, beer, & signature cocktails
Kids below 6 dine free with 50% savings from 6-12 years.
Make reservations at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 076 324 101.