What You Need to Know Before Playing in the Phuket Sandbox

We’re sure that there are a lot of people who are very excited that Thailand’s most famous island has opened quarantine-free for vaccinated travellers from 1 July, making it the first Southeast Asian destination to do so. And if you’re planning to travel there, here are some things to take note of before playing in the Phuket Sandbox:

The rules in a nutshell

Click here for the complete rules, which apply to Thai and non-Thai nationals.

Do note that the COE takes 3 business days and you must have proof of full vaccination before application. For full documentation required and procedures, please visit https://coethailand.mfa.go.th/.

Besides the above rules, only vaccinated travellers from the list of 66 countries are able to visit Phuket without quarantine:

Getting the PCR tests in Phuket

Ravi Chandran (left), Managing Director of Laguna Phuket with staff of Bangkok Hospital Phuket at the newly opened PCR test centre located in Laguna Phuket


Laguna Phuket has partnered with Bangkok Hospital Phuket to launch the first hotel-based PCR test centre for Phuket Sandbox arrivals. This establishment means that guests can be tested quickly, comfortably and conveniently.

The PCR test centre is located in Canal Village, the retail precinct in the heart of Laguna Phuket and is operated by highly trained medical professionals from Bangkok Hospital Phuket.

Alternatively, you may also want to book PCR tests at a hospital in Phuket prior arrival through sites such as Klook (a PCR swab test on Klook starts at S$142.59).

Promos in Phuket

Now that you’ve got your documents in order and are cleared to fly, here are some promotions that some SHA-approved resorts have specially for travellers coming to play in the Phuket Sandbox!

For families


Anantara Mai Khao and Anantara Layan are offering an Ultimate Family Vacation package that includes luxury accommodation with breakfast, access to Anantara Vacation Club’s water park, a selection of fun kids activities, savings on spa treatments and dining, non-motorised water sports and early check-in/late check out.

For more information about the Ultimate Family Vacation, please click here for Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas and here for Anantara Layan Phuket Resort.

Do note that if you book a 5-night stay through Scott Dunn at Anantara Mai Khao, you will get a complimentary 60 mins massage as well as 20% off other spa treatments and more.

Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket has a Family Retreat Programme every weekend, which is designed by Devarana Wellness, and is packed with entertaining and enriching experiences for adults and children alike. Some of the activities include a mini-farm workshop, educational kids camp, stand up paddle boarding and family-focused wellness sessions.

It also helps that Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket is set on the Bang Tao beach overlooking the Andaman Sea and is surrounded by lush tropical gardens. It also offers a fully equipped gym, tennis and sports courts, a luxurious spa, an outdoor swimming pool, a watersports centre, a children’s play area and easy access to the neighbouring 18-hole Laguna Phuket Golf Course. As such, there is something for every family member to do and enjoy!

To mark its opening, the resort is offering 3 special Back to Paradise packages starting at THB 12,800 net inclusive of free nights, daily breakfasts and other privileges. The package is available for bookings from 25 June to 30 September 2021, and valid for stay dates between 1 July to 30 September 2021.

For more details, please visit: https://www.dusit.com/specialoffers/

Onsite turtle shelter at JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa

For a guaranteed unforgettable escape in Phuket, the family-friendly JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa with 17km of Mai Khao Beach on the doorstep and easy access to Phang Nga Bay, Old Town Phuket and more – guests couldn’t be better located. Although the chances are that they may not want to leave the resort once checked in. That’s thanks in part to perfect programs for families such as turtle conservation at the resort’s on-site turtle shelter or a visit to the children’s pavilion and kids’ movie theatre – not to mention an award-winning spa, three outdoor pools, and 11 separate dining options, with everything from Italian to local Thai favourites.

The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa, Phuket enjoys panoramic ocean views and pristine, white sand beaches, the ultimate backdrop for well-being programmes to leave guests restored and rejuvenated after more than a year of lockdown and no travel. Heavenly Spa by Westin™ offers an array of healing treatments including massages, Ayurvedic treatments, therapy baths and body wraps. More energetic and adrenaline-inducing options include the chance to water ski, kayak or surf, or for something on land, then mountain biking, volleyball and trail walking are all within easy reach. Within the resort, there are three outdoor pools, a Westin® Kids Club, and six restaurants and bars for guests to explore.

Marriott Bonvoy portfolio resorts (including JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa and The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa), have a “Summer Dreaming” promotion valid for bookings made between 1 June to 31 August 2021 for stays taken between 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022. Reservations must be made direct via https://hotel-deals.marriott.com/summer-dreaming-thailand-en/phuket/ with the promotional code A1764.

For those into wellness and spa getaways

Amanpuri, Thailand – Wellness, Spa, Massage, Herbal Compress Massage

For a much needed rejuvenation and relaxation immersion from all the staring at digital screens, check into the fabulous Amanpuri Holistic Wellness Centre, complete with an Aman Spa, Lap pool and Hilltop Gym with Pilates Studio as well as a Medical Clinic. Please note that Aman will only open on 1 Aug 2021, with their Wellness Immersions opening only in Oct 2021.

Nonetheless, a 5-night booking at the Amanpuri done through Scott Dunn will get a complimentary 6th night and includes a 60 mins holistic massage for 2.

Perhaps you would prefer to step into the secluded sanctuary that is Rosewood Phuket, which boasts its signature Asaya Spa, holding its own wellness atelier where hand-selected ingredients are combined to create guests’ very own personalised spa treatments.

Guests who book a 2-night stay through Scott Dunn will enjoy a complimentary 3rd night as well as an additional US$125 resort credit (per room, per stay) that can be used for food and beverage, or Asaya Spa treatments.

As mentioned above, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket has a holistic wellness concept named Devarana Wellness and it goes beyond the traditional spa offering. Weaving well-being elements throughout the entire stay experience, there are complimentary activities that enhance emotional and physical resilience such as yoga, meditation and breath work, to healthy restaurant menus and ‘micro wellness moments’ including the offer of essential oils on arrival. As such, there are property-wide services to help one destress, detoxify and enjoy deep restorative sleep.

Moreover, Dusit also provides tourism activities that are sustainable such as guided tours to support local fishing villages; sustainable crafts workshops such as upcycled tie-dye and bag painting; cooking classes featuring locally sourced ingredients; and Thai cultural workshops where guests can learn more about the history of Phuket and the island’s unique traditions and customs.

To mark its opening, the resort is offering 3 special Back to Paradise packages starting at THB 12,800 net inclusive of free nights, daily breakfasts and other privileges. The package is available for bookings from 25 June to 30 September 2021, and valid for stay dates between 1 July to 30 September 2021.

For more details, please visit: https://www.dusit.com/specialoffers/

For IHG rewards members

All IHG Rewards members will enjoy 5,000 bonus points per stay, daily breakfast, guaranteed room upgrade, 25% off food and beverage as well as early check-in and late check-out when they book a 5-night stay by 25 July for stays from 4 July to 23 December 2021 at these hotels:

  • InterContinental Phuket Resort
  • Hotel Indigo Phuket Patong
  • Holiday Inn Resort Phuket
  • Holiday Inn Express Phuket Patong Beach Central

Other things to take note of

Do check with your home country’s travel guidelines and quarantine policies (when you return) as these may incur additional costs. For example, all travellers arriving in Singapore from Thailand are required to complete a 14-day stay-home notice (SHN) at dedicated SHN facilities.

While people aren’t exactly flocking over to Phuket at the moment, it is possible that interest will ramp up once more are fully vaccinated and confident to travel overseas.

Images: Shutterstock (header), Amanpuri, Anantara, Laguna Phuket, The Nation Thailand and Rosewood Phuket

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