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Serena and GM Lutz Mueller spark up the Courtyard in Kamala

Phuket's Third Courtyard: Kamala Extra Hot

Sunday, January 25, 2009
SERENA lit up the town for her sweet sixteenth birthday yesterday. Or at least, she opened a new resort with a flaming torch, which is not a bad effort at such a young age.

As the fiery torch ignited the cauldron of flame, the Courtyard Phuket at Kamala Beach could finally be declared open.

It's the third Courtyard to open on the island in recent times, joining the others at Surin and Patong. That's a sign Marriott believes better times are coming for Phuket.

There are similarities at the Courtyards: each has a MoMo restaurant with MoMo2Go service and appealing Kids World facilities for children.

But the characters of each of the resorts reflect its location. The Kamala version is tucked away at the northern end of the beach, down a lane that provides a villagey atmosphere.

Among the early arrivals yesterday was a couple who were frequent guests when it was the Kamala Bay Garden Resort. They wanted to check the revitalised place they clearly enjoy.

Why did they keep coming back to Kamala, General Manager Lutz Mueller asked them. ''At other beaches,'' the couple said, ''we are treated as objects. At Kamala we are treated as people.''

The four-star Courtyard is set around a pool area and its spacious two and three bedroom suites for families should prove a big attraction. There are 108 single-bedroom suites, 64 two-bedroom, and eight three-bedroom.

One family with three children arrived yesterday, with a trolley piled high in the foyer. They must be set to stay for quite a while.

Kamala is not that far away from the bright lights of Patong and the shopping of Jungceylon mall, yet much quieter. That probably explains its charm.

FantaSea, one of Thailand's top tourist shows, is just around the corner, the annual Kamala Festival had just ended, and surfers enjoy the gentle curls along the beach in low season.

There's a good-sized fitness centre, a Siam Adventure Club and a Sukko Spa. Space is available in get-away-from-it-all meeting rooms of various sizes.

If you do happen to stay, just tell them Serena sent you.

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