In January 2019 Do3 coaches and athletes visited Thanyapura Health and Sports Resort after deciding to look further afield for a good quality winter training camp after a series of wet and windy winter camps in Lanzarote. Lanzarote has always been Do3's go-to venue for winter/spring training camps due to its proximity to the UK (short 4hr flight), UK friendly time-zones (same time zone as the UK) and warm weather *usually*. After the last couple of camps were effectively ruined by poor weather we wanted to get guaranteed sunshine.
After having been to Lanzarotes 'Club la Santa' Sports Resort a multitude of times in the past, Thanyapura Health and Sports Resort came onto our radar as an equivalent, more 'exotic' option. This page is about our experiences while out in Thailand and why we think Thanyapura and Phuket make they ideal location for those looking for a training location which is truly special.
After having been on numerous training camps both as an athlete and as a coach, I have experienced a wide range of accommodation standards. Thanyapura is without doubt the best resort I have ever stayed at. The staff were courteous, friendly and nothing ever seemed to be too much trouble. As 'tourists' we were given plenty of options of places to visit and eat and I felt as though the staff truly cared about ensuring we had the best possible stay.
The rooms at Thanyapura are smart, comfortable and well equipped. TV's, fridges and power-showers come as standard and more importantly, the air-conditioning worked perfectly (and they were very much needed - more on the heat and weather later....). WiFi worked perfectly throughout the complex with speeds as I am used to at home (if not better).
Thanyapura has a number of its own restaurants on site, each catering for different things. One is a buffet-style, one is more casual with pizza's and snacks, one is vegan only and one is more of a cafe-bar selling smoothies and cakes. The quality of all the food we had on the resort was very good and I really couldn't fault it.
The facilities at Thanyapura are excellent. We were there on a Triathlon camp so used both the 50m and 25m pools, the running track and gym (Thanyapura has two). As well as these the resort also has tennis courts, boxing rings, a health centre, bike workshop, fitness studios and much more. If you are there alone and not as part of a group, there is a daily agenda of arranged activities ranging from open water swimming to guided bike tours.
While planning our first training camp in Phuket I traveled out there to have a look around. I was worried about things like, busy roads with kamikaze drivers, poor road surfaces, wandering dogs, the heat and much more. With these concerns I wouldn't have been happy to take (paying) athletes out there so wanted to check to see whether Phuket was a genuinely suitable training venue. I had no need to worry.
Phuket is an island that is joined to the mainland by the Sarasin Bridge. It is around 50km long and 20km wide. It as a number of main artery roads running across the island and these are the roads that carry the bulk of the traffic. The side roads are generally much quieter and the road surfaces in general are of good quality. There are lots of motorbikes and scooters and these do seem to have free-reign to go where they like (and that includes the wrong way down the road towards the main flow of traffic!). Despite the slightly chaotic nature of the main roads, they are wide and there is plenty of room for cyclists. I actually think that due to the volume of little motor bikes scooting around, the Thai drivers are even more alert to potential hazards than over here in the UK! Again, the side roads are perfect for cycling, most are quiet, have good surfaces and incredible views!
Certain areas of Phuket are very touristy and busy. These areas seemed to be mostly down on the southern end of the island and that seemed to be where the party animals hung out. Thanyapura is further towards the northern end of the island and this was quieter and nicer to visit (unless you are a party animal that is!).
Phuket has a multitude of attractions, such as amazing beaches (we found some just over the bridge on the mainland that were deserted), temples, nature reserves and markets.
Its hot! Phuket has a tropical climate. It's warm all year round, but it is hottest from April to May and from September to October. The September to October period is also the wettest as it's when monsoon season hits. Rain in Phuket can be very heavy but downpours are usually over quickly. Its still very warm and sunny so still worth visiting even during the rainy season.
I can honestly say that I never had a bad meal in my time in Phuket. Whether it was hotel (Thanyapura) food, street food or restaurants, they were all great. The available selection is wide with many restaurants having menus that look like catalogues with seemingly endless options. Prices vary widely. There are top-end expensive restaurants if that's what you are looking for but we mostly ate in smaller local places locally. These can be incredibly cheap where a meal can cost as little as a couple of pounds. Our favorite restaurant/shack was just a few minutes walk from the main gates of Thanyapura. Don't be fooled by the simple plastic tables and chairs on the roadside and rustic feel, this family run restaurant serves amazing food and its so cheap that you leave feeling somewhat guilty! I have no idea what the restaurant is called but take a look at the streetview map below!
Training options are endless in Phuket. Thanyapura's pools are world-class and of course there is the sea for open water swimming. The area is great for cycling with (mostly) good roads, great views and varying terrain. Running options are good too with the great quality Thanyapura 500m(!) track and endless trails through the parks and countryside.
To avoid the heat, most training is best done early morning and in the evening although longer rides during the day are fine provided breaks and regular drink top-up stops are factored in. Also, training early and late leaves lots of time for rest, recovery and sight seeing!
As an official partner of Thanyapura we are happy to facilitate your booking with the hotel and answer any questions you may have about your trip.
To find out more please complete your details on the form below and submit. We will reply to you as soon as possible (usually within a few hours).
We hope you enjoy your stay in Phuket as much as we did!