Updated on December 5, 2016
Holiday Inn Phi Phi Island Transfer
After finally landing in Phuket, Thailand we were VERY glad to be off planes for a little while but there was still some traveling to be done.
We were only going to have 3 nights in Thailand and I had my heart set on seeing the Phi Phi islands while we were there so I decided the best way to do that was to stay on Koh Phi Phi Don at the Holiday Inn Phi Phi Island!
Here is the trip so far!
The Holiday Inn Phi Phi Island is one of the nicer places on the island and is not cheap with the rooms starting around $300 a night in the high season. But we used IHG points that we got from the IHG credit card plus $75 (points plus cash) for our two nights stay (more on this resort in the next post).
After having the rooms booked, the next thing I need to figure out was how I was going to get us to the island. As you can see below, the islands are in the middle of the Andaman Sea and at least an hour speed boat ride from the main land.
The trick was getting us there as fast as possible (since we only had two nights) for as cheap as possible. It would be crazy to pay $75 for two nights and $800 to take a boat there and back! But it would also be crazy to take half a day to get there and half a day back for super cheap when we had such limited time.
After search online I found list of transfer option from the Holiday Inn which has luckily now been updated, because it didn’t even include the option I ended up picking! I found out about this option from emailing the hotel and asking. With that being said, the price I was given was still different than the one now online.
It turns out there were 3 main options.
#1 Public Ferry- this was the most inexpensive option but also the longest and least convenient. For Airport pickup and drop off at Phuket Rassda Pier for the public ferry would be 2,000 THB ($57) for 2 people.
There were 2 problems with this route for us. First, from what I had read, it would take about 3 hours to get there. Second, we couldn’t catch the 8:30am ferry so we would have had to wait until 1:30pm….so, this option although cheap, was not going to work.
#2 Private Speed Boat- The second option was a private speed boat for up to 6 people. This also included transfer from the airport to the pier and could be scheduled for whenever we needed it BUT it was 15,500 THB ($440)! Now if there were 6 of us then it would be reasonable, but with 2 people it was crazy! With this option the boat ride was 1 hour.
#3 Shared Speed Boat- Finally, the option that I did not see online at first was a shared and scheduled speed boat. With this option you are again transferred from the airport to the pier and there are 2 departures a day. The first was 11:30am which still meant we had to wait a little while at the marina, but this would get us there in 1 hour and was MUCH cheaper than the private boat! This option costed 4,200 THB ($120) for 2 people.
Upon arriving at the Phuket airport and walking outside there were people with signs EVERYWHERE. I told Katie to stay with our bags and then I walked around looking for one with our names, which I eventually found. The Holiday Inn representative (in conjunction with another company) quickly loaded us in a car and we were off to the Marina.
Now I knew we had about 2-3 hours to wait until our speed boat so I was hoping there would at least be a bench or something that I could sit on to read my book as I didn’t know what “Marina” really constituted in Thailand. As it turns out (which I should have realized from the Yacht Show signs on the way) the marina was really really nice and had shops and a restaurant to occupy us during our wait. It might have been 10am, but it was a nice spot for our first drinks in Thailand!
The speed boat had 4 rows of cushioned bench seats with an aisle in the center. All our luggage was loaded by the crew as well as unloaded and brought to the check-in and then our rooms when we arrived. There was only a family of 4 with us on the way over so there was actually plenty of room.
It ended up taking a little over an hour to get to the island after the boat left and don’t be thrown off when you have to get on a little cart pulled by a tractor when you get there! The resort is just over the ridge and you will only be on it for a few minutes!
We took this same transfer back which left at 2pm right from the beach in front of the resort! It was even smoother and faster heading back. They then dropped us at our hotel in Phuket in another van.
Overall, this was by far the best option for us as it got us to the hotel much much quicker than the public ferry and didn’t cost an arm and a leg. As I was searching, I found other companies which made the same trip but found it to be about the same price or higher. It also probably wouldn’t have been as organized with our luggage and other transport as most of them drop you at a pier on Koh Phi Phi Don instead of the norther jetty right next to the resort. If we had been in Thailand for a couple weeks I would have probably taken a taxi to the pier and then the public ferry which would probably been even cheaper than the price quoted by Holiday Inn, but the shared speed boat was really perfect for our needs. Next up, Holiday Inn Phi Phi Island!