Fantastic service from Elliott from start to finish. Would definitely book with you again in the future
The staff at DialAFlight are always helpful and supportive
Excellent customer support and great recommendations for restaurants at my resort
Good service all the way
Brilliant trip - superbly organised. Great value for money. Ticked all our boxes. Highly recommend.
Excellent service from start to finish and the aftersales is second to none. I have used them for a number of years and can't find a better service and value for money provider
Thanks for providing up to date information
Very good professional service.
Your service with Warren is simply fantastic. Just a shame that Heathrow is a disgrace. Thank you for your great service. We had an awesome holiday.
Excellent service - great app and all backed with the security and comfort of a direct number to call in case of any emergency while away
We would like to thank Stacey - a big thank you again for another great holiday
Jonathan never lets us down with our trips, excellent service, thanks again
Shelley Dimes is a superstar. My trip was organised to perfection and could not be more pleased with her help, advice and planning
Marshall as always was fantastic dealing with my family's booking. On this occasion the Emirates flight from Bangkok to Dubai was less than satisfactory but that is no reflection on DialAFlight's masterful booking admin
Spencer Ormerod was brilliant and kept us informed throughout the booking process.
Marshall is always on the ball. Looks after his customers very well.
Alan is brilliant. I have been booking through him for over 5 years and I love having someone to talk to at the other end of the phone.
Zoe delivers as always!
Fabulous company - efficient and highly professional
Will use DialAFlight again.
Tristan Chatburn was extremely helpful and professional. Highly recommended
This was the best holiday ever - thank you for everyone who helped us.
Calvin is always there for my travel plans, he is great!
Oliver and the other members of the team were really helpful and accommodating. They were very informative about the country we were travelling to. If I was unable to speak to Oliver someone else was ready to step in and deal with me
Callum was extremely helpful and efficient in every way. I will definitely be booking future holidays with him
Everyone very helpful, can’t wait for my next flight
Excellent trip both ways. We were worried about having to wait until a day later for our connecting flights but The Novotel Hotel at Bangkok Airport was a super experience. The free shuttle on both occasions took us directly to the booking hall for the airline we had to book with, so no problems at all.
Thanks for your all your support. Your service is the best.
Good service all round.
Will definitely use again and recommend. Excellent dialogue with Charlie Miles - it wasn't just a case of taking the money and that was it. He kept me informed throughout, well done..5 star service
On my first full day at the Anantara Layan hotel, I’m told that lunch will be cooked by...me!
Perhaps this is pay-back time from dinner the night before, when the chef presented me with something I can only describe as edible art.
I had been faced with amuse-bouches of olives hung on a miniature tree; a plump, pink disc of yellowfin tuna tartare; seabass smoked with Jack Daniel’s, revealed with a flourish from under an opaque glass dome.
It transpires that Anantara, on the northwest coast of Phuket, does things differently.
To immerse guests fully in the local culture, a cooking school called Spice Spoons is offered - and you get thrown in at the deep end.
It starts with an 8am visit to the food market in the small, dusty village of Talang, a ten-minute drive away, with the hotel’s chef. The market is a cavernous covered space full of stalls selling everything from fresh seafood on ice to buckets of coconut cream, and displays of garlic, ginger, green papaya, mint and more.
There are containers of home-made red, green and yellow curry pastes, fragrant Thai basil and weird fermented cabbages.
The cooking class takes place at the hotel’s Dee Plee Thai restaurant, which overlooks the rest of the sprawling resort (comprising 77 villas and suites).
On the menu today are shrimp tartlets, green chicken curry and mango with sticky rice. Before I know it, I’m mixing batter for tartlet cases, marinading mini-aubergines in coconut milk and curry paste, and simmering the sticky rice (the trick is to ensure there is just a finger’s width of water over the rice).
Phuket is roughly the same size as Singapore, with a population of 600,000. It is under two hours away from a truly exquisite archipelago that includes Phi Phi Leh (where The Beach was shot), Khai (home to nothing but a bar) and an island nicknamed ‘Bamboo’.
A boat trip that takes in all these is the perfect way to get a flavour of what draws so many visitors. We speed across the turquoise water, passing giant granite islands covered in greenery, stopping off at Phi Phi Don, the larger sister island to Leh.
Pausing to go snorkelling near a reef among swarms of colourful fish, we then pull in to Pileh Lagoon, a body of crystalline, emerald green water surrounded by more hulking stone outcrops of the kind you see on postcards.
That evening, the head chef does the cooking, thankfully. He serves up a delicious soft-shell crab curry, a local dish called Khao Soi - a tangle of spicy, crispy egg noodles served with chicken, onion and lime - and a light coconut sorbet. Somehow, Thai food just doesn’t taste like this back home.
For a different island experience we also visit Layan’s sister resort, Rasananda, on the much smaller island of Koh Phangan. Its population of around 8,000 doubles once a month as hordes of partygoers descend on Haad Rin beach, to the south, for the infamous full moon parties which started here in the Eighties.
Apart from those wild nights, though, it appeals mostly to families and couples, while Phuket draws a younger crowd. The Rasananda is bang on the beach, but has all the design touches of an elegant resort: an infinity pool featuring a swim-up bar, spa and 64 villas and suites, each with their own private plunge pool.
Mine has a carp pond outside, and all have a free mini-bar. Everything seems to move at a different pace: slowly. But there’s plenty to do such as snorkelling or kayaking around the Ang Thong National Marine Park, which contains more than 40 tiny islands. And you can also go elephant trekking, commune with local monks, or indulge in yoga every morning on the sun terrace.
Yes, there is a cooking school here, too. And yes, I could sign up to perfect my Pad Thai - but I demur. It’s time to let someone else do the hard work.
First published in the Mail Online - May 2017
First published in the Mail Online - May 2017
More articles below...
Not quite what you're looking for?
We can easily customise an offer to suit your exact requirements