The bellboy who is opening our taxi door doesn’t blink an eye as we get out. Even though we look like proper… travelers. My face is makeup free, my hair is still tangled from weeks in the saltwater and our luggage consists of a disorderly array of backpacks, shoulder bags, and something that resembles a bodybag – my dive equipment.

To give him credit, he doesn’t blink an eye and takes us to the reception for check-in. My boyfriend Alex and I have arrived at The Surin Phuket  for a relaxing weekend. I have just finished my divemaster course and after six weeks of living together, we are about to say our goodbyes for the time being. Since we don’t know when we will see each other again, we want to do that properly and in style and comfort and that’s why we are here.

The receptionist hands us cool towels, a jasmine offering, and ice-cold lemongrass tea. I, always eager, get my camera and manage to spill my cup of tea all over myself and the desk in the process. Yes, yes, I know – you can’t take me anywhere.
Alex chuckles and the receptionist is nice enough to ignore my mishap and simply organizes tissues and a new cup for me.

We are too early to check in but instead, we are shown to the dining room. Would we like to have some coffee and breakfast while we wait? Yes, please!

Breakfast offers both à la carte dishes with a great selection of healthy choices and a buffet. To my delight that also comes with steamed dumplings and a noodle soup station.

As per usual, I pile everything on one plate which doesn’t make for pretty pictures so I quickly grab a plate with fresh fruit to have at least one decent breakfast picture. Then I discover that half peeled rambutans make me look like Faun from Pan’s Labyrinth. Have I mentioned that you can’t take me anywhere?

No rambutans were hurt in the creation of this picture!


After breakfast we spend a couple of hours on the beach, lounging by the ocean, inching away from the crashing waves every so often. The shoes of the lady next to me aren’t that lucky. The sky is also darkening and so we are happy that our room is ready just before the rain comes.

© Design Hotels™

For us, it is the perfect excuse to stay in and take a nap because what started as rain turns into a proper tropical storm. We don’t mind as we are all cozied up in our beautiful little cottage that overlooks the bay and something that resembles an orderly jungle. In fact, the only thing I miss is a bath tub to curl up in. In lieu of that, we snuggle on the couch, enjoying our last days together and waiting for the storm to pass.

It passes just in time for our afternoon massage. We head to the Surin Spa up the hill where our therapists are waiting for us. Alex who just had his first ever massage only a few days ago at a tiny family run place on Koh Tao, is a bit nervous. Answering questions about his preferred massage technique and picking out oils is not something he had to do last time. But once he settles on a classic Thai massage, no oil needed, we are on our way.

I love the fact that we get to have the massage in one room, even sharing a changing room, though there is no option for romance or handholding. Alex’s hands are being stretched and pulled and I as per usual fall asleep within minutes of my Surin Wave Massage.

Afterward, we are blissed out and tired. We have a golf cart take us to the main road where we get some snacks at 7 Eleven before heading back to our little cottage. All I want is room-service and a movie now. Alex is keen too and doesn’t even mind when I pick 47 Meters Down for us to watch. A warning for all divers – you will get really annoyed if you don’t take it with a big grain of comedic salt. And for all non-divers – don’t believe a thing you see!

Just in time for bed, the rain starts again, this time light and perfectly romantic. In fact so perfect that we both sleep like logs and miss sunrise in the morning.

As if to make our departure the next day extra hard, Phuket is showing its finest weather today and we spend the day in and around the pool. I have already taught Alex what his job as #Instagramboyfriend entails and he’s overall an enthusiastic photographer, so he doesn’t mind spending some time in the pool with me and my GoPro.

We have lunch poolside and cat lady that I am I am delighted when Alex finds me a kitten. What he doesn’t know is that the kitten is more than a little feisty and the one thing that keeps it from being a complete terror is feeding it under the table with bacon bits. As soon as I run out our friendship does too and after being clawed for giving it a friendly pet I give up.

Mind you, I feel bad for it when the rain returns in the afternoon. We spend yet some more hours on the couch as if the weather gods know about our imminent goodbye.
For a last supper, we head to the Surin’s oh so romantic beachside restaurant. When we arrive there is no sunset in sight, a screaming baby at the table next to us and I am secretly relieved. I hate soppiness and goodbyes and have vowed that nothing will bring tears to my eyes but the very spicy duck curry I order that evening. The lack of sunset helps a little.

So much romance when you get a sunset… © Design Hotels™

I am even more relieved that we have to get up really early the next morning so there is no time to be sad as I am way too grumpy (so not a morning person!). We have a last coffee in our room, our luggage is being taken and then it is time to check out. The hotel has given us the option to book a regular taxi at a lower price or a hotel car, I appreciate being given the option.

The staff has kindly prepared breakfast boxes for us to take with and our taxi already awaits. It seems that not everything runs on island time in Phuket and we arrive at the airport way too early and way too soon.

We say our goodbyes quickly and as soon as I board my flight, I close my eyes, trying my best not to think about Alex. Instead I remember the feisty kitten, the smell of jasmine and rambutan eyes. It doesn’t help. I wipe away a sneaky tear and turn on my entertainment program – I am in the mood to watch Pan’s Labyrinth.

Thank you so much to The Surin Phuket for hosting us for our goodbye weekend and to the weather gods for all the rain!

This post was written by Annika Ziehen who was a Travelette until 2019. Originally from Germany, Annika has lived in New York and Cape Town and now travels the world full time. She considers herself a very hungry mermaid and writes about her adventures, scuba diving and food on her blog The Midnight Blue Elephant. You can also find her on Instagram here!