Today is my last day of quarantine at the Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa which offers an Alternative Local Quarantine (ALQ) with medical support from Thonburi Hospital.
Thailand has been able to maintain low coronavirus numbers, while at the same time allowing overseas travelers to enter the country, by implementing a strict two weeks (actually 15 days) quarantine policy which must be completed in a government-approved facility (also known as ‘Alternative Local Quarantine’). Prior to booking my trip to Thailand, I spent countless hours researching all the different options that were available for ALQ/ASQ in Thailand. After extensive research, I discovered the ALQ program at the Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa and was blown away by the amazing facilities that it offered at a reasonable cost, thereby making my decision to quarantine there the obvious choice.
ARRIVING AT THE AIRPORT
I flew from New York City to Singapore and then transferred at Singapore for a flight to Phuket. The Aleenta ALQ package includes transfer from the Phuket airport to the resort, which went smoothly without any delay or disruption. The car ride from the airport was quick and upon arrival at the resort, I was greeted with a warm welcome by the staff and escorted to my room. The staff appeared very professional and at all times took all the necessary precautions (i.e., wearing full body PPE protective gear and maintaining proper distancing).
The Aleenta assigns a personal Covid Manager, who is responsible for your physical and mental well-being throughout the ALQ stay. Upon arrival, I was set up with a WhatsApp chat with my manager, Khun Kachanuch, who did an amazing job responding to any questions, reminding me of all my appointments and helping me with any and all matters (including ordering flowers and even a birthday cake).
A certified nurse is on site full time in case any health-related needs arise and in order to maintain daily contact for temperature readings (the readings are sent twice a day to the medical staff using a Telemed app). There is a total of two COVID-19 screening tests that are conducted (on the 5th and 11th day) at a separate location at the resort. Finally, upon completion of the ALQ program, you receive an official COVID-19 free certificate.
The Aleenta Resort uses its Grand Deluxe Pool Villas for the ALQ program. These villas were designed to embrace an 'Outdoor Living-In' concept, which is an absolutely ideal layout for anyone having to stay in one location for a 15-day period.
You enter the villa through two large wooden doors that lock from the inside, providing you with complete privacy throughout the stay. The bedroom is wonderfully spacious, modern and well appointed. In the center of the room is a HUGE king size bed, which is incredibly comfortable with the softest Egyptian cotton bedding and a choice of pillows. I slept so well in the bed that I never felt any effect from jet lag and had no sleepless nights. The bed overlooks large wall to wall sliding glass doors that open up to the highlight of the villa, an enormous private pool. The pool is so large that calling it a ‘plunge pool’ does it an injustice. The pool is in fact so big that I was able to swim laps each day as a form of exercise. It also has a button which turns on water jets, making the pool a relaxing Jacuzzi.
The villa’s large outdoor space is beautifully landscaped with fragrant fruit trees and green lawn. There is a terrace area with a canopied day bed (big enough for two people) where you can comfortably relax and pass time enjoying the warm sun. There is also a small dining table with two chairs on the outdoor terrace, which is where I ate each one of my meals enjoying the fresh air and listening to the singing birds. I ended up spending the majority of each day of the quarantine outdoors enjoying the pool, Jacuzzi and the warm sun.
The bathroom is spacious with plenty of direct sunlight from large windows on each side. There is a modern waterfall shower with plenty of high quality shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. For those who prefer to take a bath, there is door that exits from the bathroom leading to a marble outdoor bath which overlooks the pool. Since the villa grounds are completely surrounded by a tall wall covered with green shrubbery, there is total privacy to enjoy the outdoor bath.
In addition, the room has a walk in closet and fully stocked minibar which is complimentary with the ALQ program (I never ate anything from the mini bar since I was so full from the meals). There is a high-speed internet access in the room and a large-screen LCD TV with plenty of international and local stations plus, most importantly, Netflix (in case you want to binge on a series or two during your stay). There is also a desk facing a window which you can use to setup your laptop for work.
The ALQ package includes three meals a day and they were all spectacular. The resort provides a tablet in the villa through which you order each meal from an extensive menu (or you can download the resort’s mobile app and order directly from your phone). I found it very convenient that the app enabled me to order the meal at my desired time (you can choose breakfast between 7 am to 10:30 am, lunch between noon and 2 pm and dinner between 5 pm and 8 pm) instead of the food arriving at set times when you might not be hungry yet.
The breakfast menu has endless options, with Asian, International and health conscious choices. The drink menu includes many different signature juice blends, large variety of teas and coffees and of course fresh young coconuts (I had one every day). The lunch and dinner menu has a wide variety of fusion Thai and International choices (with many healthy selections that I did not have a chance to try). Each day I had a difficult time deciding what to order because, frankly, I loved them all. Some of my favorite dishes included the snapper ceviche, yum som-o goong, pad thai goong, local market calamari, saffron risotto, steamed snapper fillet and (although I would never admit it to anyone) the ‘magic mushrooms’ pizza. Also make sure to try the delicious deserts including the coconut kaffir crème brulee and mango sticky rice.
THE STAFF AND SERVICE
What really makes your ALQ stay at the Aleenta resort so special is the incredible staff, who would literally do anything to make your stay enjoyable. I am extremely impressed with the attentiveness, professionalism and dedication of the entire staff. The excellence and quality of service was top notch throughout my stay. I want to express my appreciation to the entire staff that was able to make even a quarantine stay a pleasant one. It is because of their dedicated work and care that I can fully recommend to anyone that the ALQ program at the Aleenta resort is hands down the best quarantine facility in Thailand.