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Travel Blog

Have you seen our new brochure?

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That’s right – in conjunction with TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) we’ve produced a mini brochure!

We’re very excited as it’s the first brochure we’ve produced to show you our expertise in off the beaten track destinations in Thailand.

If you’ve previously booked with us, or enquired about travel to Thailand, you’ve probably received a copy already. If you havn’t then drop us a line at hello@ethostravel.co.uk and we’ll get a copy in the post to you, or you can download a copy here: Islands & Beyond Minibrochure

Black Friday? We prefer a Sunny Monday in Thailand…

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Are you being deluged by ‘Black Friday’ e-mails? Well, we promise not to send you any, in fact, we’re steering clear of sending any newsletter or posting any social media posts this Friday.

Also – in the travel industry ‘Black Friday Deals’ are largely rubbish anyway – rarely a genuine saving. So apart from leaving you alone this Friday, we’re trying a novel approach with great offers valid whenever you want to book.

Currently, for example, we have 7 nights at the beachfront Aava Resort & Spa, Khanom, Thailand including Thai Airways flights, airport transfers and 7 nights (B&B) with a free ½ day dolphin tour – and it’s only £779 per person.

Aava
It’s not ‘cheap’, but rather great value. Tatler voted Aava one in the 101 World’s Best Hotels in 2013. Have a read of this review in Time Magazine: http://ow.ly/V4r8j or see the Trip Advisor Reviews: Trip Advisor: Aava

All we ask is that you travel from 01 May – 30 June 2016 – and note the price is based on two travelling. If there are more or less of you, just let us know. And just so you know you can book it today, or this (black) Friday, or even next week, it’s up to you.

http://www.islandsandbeyond.co.uk/h…/aava-resort-spa-khanom/

Last Minute Christmas Availability – Koh Madsum from £1,879 per person

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Started planning Christmas? Or did it suddenly get a bit too much and you realised you’d rather be somewhere else? Somewhere sunny, with beautiful beaches, like, Thailand? And that you’d like somewhere really chilled like Koh Madsum?

Which is handy – we’ve got last minute offers – 7 nights flying from Heathrow, staying at the U Koh Madsum Samui (on a lovely little island, just off Koh Samui). This also includes transfers, breakfast, 7 nights in a Luxury Tented Villa with a complimentary daily refilled minibar!

Koh Madsum

Depart 20/21/22 December from £1,879 per person – whilst seats & rooms remain! Other dates available at a slight premium (but returns after new year greatly increase the price).*

Contact us now on 020 7284 1888 or hello@ethostravel.co.uk to book

Or for more hotel information see U Koh Madsum

* Prices based on two people travelling. If you’re feeling a particular need to banish the winter blues then upgrade to a Pool Villa for £588 per person.

Luxury Thai Hotel Meets Cheesy Thai Pop Video!

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We’ve been rather fixated with bubblegum pop Thai music video today.

Admittedly less for the music, but more so can admire Koh Samet’s beautiful waters. The video was part shot at the family friendly Sai Kaew Beach Resort (before 2:09) and the luxurious Paradee Resort. You may not be a fan of the music, but it’s hard not to admire the beaches!

See all our beautiful Koh Samet hotels here: Islands & Beyond: Koh Samet

Buri Rasa Voted Best Luxury Coastal Resort

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Congratulations to our newest Koh Phangan hotel – the Buri Rasa Village Koh Phangan on being awarded ‘The Best Luxury Coastal Resort in Thailand’ at the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2015.

This boutique 65 guest room hotel is located on the gorgeous golden sands of Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach on Koh Phangan, a mere 35 minutes from Koh Samui.

A week at this beautiful resort starts at £1,099 per person for a one stay (based on two travelling in May & June 2016) – and for any bookings until the end of November, we’ll throw in two passes to the new Aspire Lounge at Terminal 2 Heathrow so your holidays starts off with bang (or more accurately, a chance to relax away from the shopping mall that is Heathrow before your flight!).

Buri Rasa

Thailand’s lesser known islands – from The Guardian

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A lovely timely piece – also providing us with a couple of suggestions we should look into in future.

The Guardian – Thailand’s lesser known beaches

The High Season Resort Koh Kood is one of our newer luxury hotels on the island of Koh Kood / Kut – located close to the Cambodia border – a couple of hours by road and boat from Trat Airport – making it accessible from the UK without having to break your journey in Bangkok.

High Season Resort Ko Kut / Koh Kood

High Season Resort Ko Kut / Koh Kood

When we were researching Islands and Beyond we considered adding National Parks accommodation in Koh Similian National Park as we have booked clients in there before. However the limited accommodation is very difficult to confirm, with even our Bangkok office struggling for guarantees – so we would recommend looking at visiting whilst staying in one of our wonderful Khao Lak hotels!

We do however have accommodation in seven of The Guardian’s suggested islands, and many many more. We’re always on the look out for more suggestions as well – if you have any tips, let us know!

 

Thailand and the ‘rainy’ season

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The Far East and the Green Season

It’s very rare that when you click on any of those headline offers for Asia (such as “14 nights in Phuket for £27!!!”) that the company behind the offer starts off by explaining that the price is so low because it’s for travel during the rainy season, which invariably it is.

But destinations like Thailand and Malaysia have 6 months of supposed ‘rainy’ seasons (i.e. for Phuket and the west coast of Thailand it runs from May – October) when hotel prices are a fraction (up to one half) of high season prices, and low prices are needed to bring in guests.

Phuket During the Low SeasonPhang Nga last October during the ‘rainy’ season

So what do the hotels do during these ‘quiet’ months – and also does it really rain for 6 months solidly? Well, no, of course it doesn’t, but this is when the perceived risk of the monsoon season arriving statistically increases.

But hotels are often half the price in the first week of May than they are in last week of April, but surely it doesn’t start pouring down at midnight on the 30th April? Again, no, of course not. Which is why by being clever you can maximise your luxury and minimise your costs and risk.

Genuine Savings

But this is not just ‘sales patter’. We at Ethos Travel also take our holidays during ‘rainy seasons’ as a) it’s more likely we will get complimentary / reduced price stays, and b) it’s easier to inspect hotels when occupancy is less than 40%. But at the same time we don’t want it to rain for our entire stay – but it rarely, if ever, does. And for our customers, hotels can offer fantastic deals.

Six Senses During the Low SeasonSix Senses Yao Noi during the ‘green’ season

Positives & Negatives

PROS:

  • All hotels will reduce their prices, be it a ‘stay 10 pay 5’ or a ‘50% reduction’, but may also chuck in a room upgrade or a spa treatment so make sure you ask us when hotel offers can be optimised
  • Many hotels run complimentary trips or activities during the low season
  • Look to stay right at the beginning or end of the ‘rainy’ season to minimise risk – i.e. for the West Coast of Thailand the first two weeks of May, or last two weeks of October
  • That beach will probably be yours alone, and there will be no issues with getting a sun lounger by the pool
  • Everyone is really, really happy to see you!
  • You may have saved enough for a second holiday this year. Or one that’s twice as luxurious!
  • It very rarely rains for 24 hours solidly, and it does rain during ‘high seasons’ – it’s the tropics. But low season is also called ‘green season’ as Asia’s flora and fauna can be most spectacular

Jeeva Beloam Rainy SeasonJeeva Beloam, Lombok in Low Season

Cons:

  • Many local bars and restaurants can be closed limiting your options for eating out, so you may be restricted to eating in the hotel at some out of the way locations. This can also apply to dive schools or attractions, so plan ahead
  • All good hotels will run renovations during low season, but this is typically closing some rooms off to bring them up to scratch, but we try to make sure there is no heavy building work going on
  • Divers / snorkelers need to be more wary than the rest of us as currents can make areas unsuitable for diving during low seasons even when the weather appears fine

Some periods, statistically, it is just not worth traveling to (i.e. Hong Kong in typhoon season, Koh Samui in November, and the most rain statistically falls on the west cost of Thailand & Malaysia in September).  But travel to Bali or Lombok in November, and the weather can be much fresher – providing much needed breezes.

Of course we cannot guarantee the weather, at any point of the year. But we can manage expectations and give advice as we are experts, and we do travel, at our own cost during ‘low seasons’.

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