As I am typing this I am sat on a plane back home, leaving a wondrous journey of 3 weeks through Thailand with my 4-year old son. And for the first time in these 4 years as a mother my trip was not unlike the trips I would go on before I had him. We rode on speed boats, minivans, tuk-tuks and songtaews, washed elephants in the mud, woke up to monkeys swinging across the trees outside our bungalow and danced naked through the monsoon rain. We got bit by hundreds of mosquitos, ate endless portions of khao niaw (sticky rice) in the streets of Bangkok, and jumped the warm waves of the Indian Ocean, again and again.

It was an incredible trip which made me realise once and for all that there is no better way for us to travel than by mixing adventure and down-time. Having the best of it all and going home feeling happy and whole. Our downtime in this case was spent at the Robinson Club in Khao Lak, a small holiday town just North of Phuket which I had grown to enjoy 7 years ago, when my best friend and I spent her birthday weekend there.

It’s wonderfully unexciting yet not so touristy that you’d forget you’re in Thailand. There is only one real road here, the rest is easy walking, grabbing a drink at the Seven/Eleven, eating soup in street kitchens or getting your daily €7 foot massage.

The Robinson Club, a German brand attracting mostly German visitors, moved into the area just at the end of 2017, taking over what was previously a different resort. The premises are vast, comprising a large area complete with tennis courts, a football and a volleyball field, a spa, lots of pool villas and a main building with different category rooms and villas, 3 restaurants, 2 bars, a kids club and pools. Lots of pools.

This resort is absolutely perfect for families, they really have thought of it all. While my son loved the daily changing activities at the kids club so much that I pretty much only saw him for breakfast and bedtime, I, as a professional single mom which usually is always busy doing something, suddenly found myself having so much air to breathe I couldn’t decide what to do first. Hit the spa for a pedicure? Follow up on my yoga at the seaside facing practice area? Join a stand-up paddling course? Take a cooking class? Read a book under the swaying palm trees at the beach? Potentially even under the large wooden swing specifically designed for this (and impressive holiday snaps, duh)? They really made it hard to find enough reasons to ever leave the resort but for the 5 nights we spent here that was exactly what we all needed.

Mind you, if you are dying to live a special experience you will find no shortage of things to do. We opted for an afternoon spent rafting down the river, followed by a visit to a turtle sanctuary and finished by a visit to the popular weekend market in Khao Lak. More tours range from elephant encounters to boat rides visiting James Bond island, explore a few caves and simply take in the beauty of Thailand. And there really is so much of it…

But back to my club holiday experience. Had you told me 5 years ago that I might one day become a downright fan of club holidays I probably would have given him side eye, but with kids one’s perspective really changes. As far as I’m concerned – if my son is happy, I am happy! If he gets to be happy without me so I can actually enjoy some me-time for once – even better!

On this trip we had stayed in 3 other 5-star resorts which all had kids clubs but none of them came close to the fun and sense of good time provided to us at the Robinson Club. All the other resorts had the TV running all day, at Robinson there is no TV. Instead Atlas would go on treasure hunts, build a fort in a tree house or learn some fun new songs and dances. There was always some sort of crafting or outdoor fun in the works at that kids club and making friends came naturally. I have the fondest memories of of my childhood and youth spending vacation with my folks finding my clique and always having a great holiday. I’m excited I now get to let my own kid in on this sort of fun time.

I may have been invited here but I had asked another mom friend to join us along with her son and she said yes right away, because a holiday here really is incredible value. Most people who come here are on full board and I am sure none of them regretted that choice. The Robinson Club takes food very seriously and provides fresh and interesting dishes at every meal, every day serving something different. From local delicacies such as green curry, Pad Thai with grilled shrimp or Tom Ka Gai soup to international favorites such as beef fillet with sweet potato mash, delectable pastas and wonderful salads. For lunch I would always assemble my own poke bowl with fresh salmon or tuna and for dinner I could never resist trying at least half of the many cakes, tarts and puddings. Their homemade ice cream was a big hit with al the kids, especially since you could decorate it with all the sprinkles, chocolate chips and fruits your heart desires. Hungry yet? Oh and the best part for any wine lover like myself: there is free red and white wine for lunch and dinner and it’s very tasty! For a wine snob like myself this is kind of a big deal. A very nice touch is also that the highly recognisable and incredibly charismatic food and beverage manager who is always around during dinner to greet guests, answer questions about the food and exchange the odd joke.

Every evening sees nightly entertainment such as live music, there are cocktails with the manager, meet-ups for solo travelers and plenty of other thoughtful little events and things that make you fall in love with this resort.

It was obvious to me that everyone who worked here fully realized that their attitude and spirit affects the holiday experience of every guest in this resort and there was never any shortage of smiles, jokes and warm vibes. Almost as many Germans as Thais work here which for me and my son, who are both from Berlin, made it all the easier to adopt this resort as our home for the 5 days we spent here. I would not for one moment hesitate to come back and have already begun researching other Robinson Club destinations. Not all of them are family-focused by the way!

I get a lot of questions about traveling with kids and many ask for recommendations on where to take them. The Robinson Club Resort Khao Lak is a definite new addition in my Top 5 (I owe you a post about the full list!) and I’d love to come back here in a couple of years.

Thanks for having us, Robinson Club Khao Lak , you have been warm, welcoming and delicious!!!