Traveling for a whole year means we are on a pretty tight budget most of the time. We are also trying to “live” in a lot of the places we are visiting, rather than experience each place in the same way we would if we were on a weeks’ holiday. Having said that, it is nice to have some treats every now and then!
Luckily, the Sunday Family Brunch at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia sort of ticks all those boxes! It is popular with local expats as well as with holiday makers. Although it is more expensive than eating at street cafes, it is extremely good value for a whole family (more on why later). and it is definitely a treat.
We all got a bit more dressed up than usual, because although the brunch is a fairly relaxed affair, it was an excuse to put on our nicer stuff. We had basically been living in swimwear for a few weeks so it felt good to get a bit glammed up. Plus I fully intended to make the most of the sparkly and oysters and it makes sense to look fancy if you are going to eat fancy, no?
On arrival we were shown into shuttle buses that drove us through the beautiful resort grounds, past the lagoon and into the main lobby area. We were welcomed with cold flannels and a glass of iced lychee juice and shown to our table. Immediately the staff made sure that we were comfortable and knew where all the food was. The children were given their own menu and told to order whatever they wanted. Our glasses were filled with Prosecco, and kept full unless we physically stopped the waiting staff. A huge bucket of mussels, prawns and crab was also brought to the table straight away. We settled ourselves in for the afternoon!
The buffet consists of all the usual salads, charcuterie, breads and some hot main course options. Then there are some extras that go a bit above usual hotel buffet spreads. As well as the seafood bucket on the table, there is a large tray of oysters with a range of toppings to choose from and there is also an amazing sushi bar being filled regularly by the dedicated sushi chef. At the main cooking station you can order fresh pasta but you can also watch the chef creating mini plates of food that are brought round to the table; mini burgers, tiny lasagne, little custard doughnuts and so on! If you head outside to the Garden Pool area there is an India station where a chef is running a tandoor oven with chicken, daal and curries, and you can also order a range of meat to be grilled on the BBQ or fresh roti pancakes to be fried and filled with delicious options. If you can find room, there is a massive dessert buffet with fruit, sweets, puddings, ice cream and a chocolate fountain. I squeezed in the best apple and walnut strudel and Arthur and Eirlys took advantage of Tom and I being extra ‘relaxed’ and must have had about four ice creams each.
As well as all the delicious food and cocktails, the Hilton also puts on live music and an entertainment area for the kids. With the brunch, you also get full use of the Garden Pool from 12-7 and the children also have access to the hotel Kids’ Club from 12-5.
The food and soft drinks package is 999+ Thai Baht for adults with 50% off for children aged 6-12, under 6s go free. You can add an alcoholic drinks package for 750+ or order drinks a la carte. While this seems a lot in comparison to street food prices, it is obviously great value for good quality hotel food and drink, plus pool and facility access. This is especially true if you have younger children who eat like they’ve never had a hot meal in their life!
In collaboration, Hilton gifted us an extra child package free.