Friday, November 1, 2013

The Phoenician Resort - Part 3

But as nice as our room and hotel interior were, what made the Phoenician a great family resort was the expansive outdoor property. As seen here, there were several different swimming pools, a golf course, multiple tennis courts, a cactus garden, a driving range, a large koi pond and even a children's playground.

Our room was on the top (6th) floor of the main building facing the mountain. In addition to the traditional hotel rooms (SPG Category 5, 12k points/night), the Phoenician also has another part of the resort (SPG Category 6, 16k points/night) with Casitas, which are villas/townhouses with full kitchens. You can see on the map below the pool area. Sometimes when you book a room in the Category 5 hotel, you can get upgraded to those Category 6 Casitas, but we were there on a busy weekend so no complimentary suite upgrades this time around.

But everyone could enjoy all the amenities available across the entire property. My father and I continued our walk towards the lower pool area where we found some serene grassy areas and a very well landscaped path toward the Casitas area.



But of course, the main attraction (and my personal favorite) was the swimming pool area. Among the various pool areas, our favorite was the Cabana pool which was at the bottom of the hill. Along one end of the pool, you could rent one of these yellow cabanas for the day (for about $200) where you'd have your own private room, reserved sun loungers and chilled bottled waters. While we did save thousands by using SPG points for our 5 night stay, we weren't about to blow $200 for a few walls and a nice mirror when we could just sit on the other side of the pool for free.


Since we were there on an early Saturday morning, the pool area was pretty empty. But we found out that every morning at 9:30AM, I could feed the koi in the pond on the other side of the pool. While most koi ponds have a small handful of elegant Asian fish swimming gracefully, this pond was more of a koi Apocalypse where every fish was fighting for its survival as it caught the small bits of fish food from my toddler hands.


After I ran out of fish food and my God-complex wore off, we went back towards our room but instead of going through the hotel, we decided to walk along the Cactus Garden in the back of the building. Not even being 2 years old  yet, I have never actually seen a real cactus, so everything was pretty exciting for me. That was until I actually touched one of the prickly needles. Most parents would have protected their young children, but not my Asian dad. He likes me learning lessons the hard way.


The next few days were spent by the pool and various resort restaurants for the most part, though on some mornings, there were some nice ducks who would come by the koi pond to say hello.


We didn't get a chance to do any golfing during our stay (I didn't have my baby clubs with me), but we did go by the stunning tennis court area at the far end of the resort...


...but not to play tennis. Right by the courts, they had a great children's playground, half basketball court and sandbox area that was completely empty the few times we went. While I like playing with other kids, it's really nice to have the entire place to myself.


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