Diamond Cliff Resort & Spa Diamond Cliff Resort & Spa [/su_gmap]Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinson DiningDiamond Cliff boasts six distinct restaurants, giving guests plenty of dining options during their stay. I was able to try out the beach-side Diamond Hut Restaurant, which features a fresh, seafood menu complimented by a breathtaking view of the Patong coastline.Diamond Hut RestaurantHead down there for afternoon drinks and watch the sun set while devouring delicious Thai seafood. The Thai Orchid Restaurant was equally as satisfying, serving traditional Thai cuisine in a beautiful, Thai-style setting. If you’ve overdone it on the Thai food, you could try Korean food at Korean Hut, Italian at Franco Roma, Japanese at Kiko Japanese Restaurant or something more Western at Ocean View Coffee Shop.For a light and healthy snack, the resort also has its very own fruit shop, where guests can grab a basket and shop the shelves for fresh, Thai fruit.Facilities/ActivitiesThe resort offers a range of facilities and activities for guests of all ages to enjoy. During my stay, I tried my hand at Thai cooking in a class at Thai Orchid Restaurant. I was given my very own apron and chef’s hat before one of the resident chefs led me through a three-course menu. And the best part: I got to eat the finished product!While I was immersing myself in Thai culture, it was only fitting that I dressed up in Thai costume for a photoshoot. The photoshoot is another of the resort’s onsite activities, where guests can choose from a colourful assortment of traditional outfits and get dressed up to the nines for a personal photoshoot. It’s a fun experience by yourself, in a couple or as a family and the perfect memento of your stay at Diamond Cliff.As for facilities, the resort features two large swimming pools, a fully equipped gym and outdoor tennis court.ServiceAs you will find all over Thailand, the level of service and hospitality is first class and Diamond Cliff was no exception. Each time I entered the reception or passed a staff member on the grounds, I was warmly welcomed with a smile or offered assistance. The resort staff are also fluent in English, which is a bonus for those of us who can only manage a hello and thank you in Thai.As the resort is located on a cliff, walking to and from my room was a bit of a mission. But the staff were always ready with shuttle buses to help guests move quickly and safely around the resort. There was also a good security presence on site, especially at night, making me feel absolutely safe during my stay.Diamond Cliff Resort & Spa Newly refurbished roomsSpaThe Diamond Cliff Spa is truly a sanctuary. Lush greenery and tranquil ponds surround the private treatment rooms, some of which have their own Japanese-style onsen. I opted for a de-stressing aromatherapy massage, the perfect afternoon treat before my flight home that night.While the massage itself was absolute perfection, it was the hospitality and overall experience of the treatment that impressed me the most. The staff were gracious and welcoming, I was able to choose the oil that was used in the massage and I was served herbal tea before and after the treatment – tick, tick, tick.As well as traditional Thai massage, sports massage and reflexology, the Diamond Cliff Spa also offers cellulite treatments, after-sun treatments, facials, body wraps and body polishing. And all at reasonable prices – massages start at just 1,300 Thai Baht (around AU$50) and body treatments at 2,200 Thai Baht (around AU$80). Diamond Cliff Fruit Shop One Bedroom VillaReview: Diamond Cliff Resort and Spa, Phuket, ThailandPerched high among the hills of Patong, Diamond Cliff Resort and Spa is an authentic Thai resort that offers five star accommodation just minutes away from Patong City. While the resort exudes a romantic getaway vibe, I recently stopped in at Diamond Cliff for a solo stay to cap off a week-long trip to Thailand for TTM+ 2016.AccommodationOcean SuiteThe massive property, 18 acres to be exact, boasts 318 rooms, suites and villas, with accommodation types to suit almost every traveller. My Ocean Suite room, located in the Grand Wing, featured a stunning view of the Andaman Sea and the resort pool below. The 70 square-metre room felt incredibly spacious and I was super impressed by the size of the bathroom, which was complete with a separate toilet, shower, spa bath and plenty of storage.The style and décor of the room itself was a little worn and out-dated, however I had no cause for complaint considering a three-phase renovation of the entire resort is already underway. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the renovated rooms – take my word for it, they are deluxe. The new rooms are sleek, stylish and spacious, giving new life to the almost 30 year old hotel.Other room types include Super Deluxe, Junior Suite, Ocean Jacuzzi Suite, Romantic Suite, Grand Family Suite and Ladies Suite.But the real showstoppers within the resort are the luxurious Diamond Pool Villas. In one and two bedroom options, the villas are a massive 400 and 600 square-metres respectively and entirely self-contained, complete with an outdoor pool, sauna, Jacuzzi and full kitchen. You can even request to have your own personal cook, giving you absolutely no reason to leave your seaview haven at all. THAI – smooth as silkfly THAI to Phuket Tourism Authority of ThailandAmazing Thailand
The New York Times details differences in states’ ability to regulate rates as well as in premium costs. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports on the savings that New Yorkers could experience.The New York Times: Health Insurers Raise Some Rates By Double DigitsHealth insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers. … Under the health care law, regulators are now required to review any request for a rate increase of 10 percent or more … The review process not only reveals the sharp disparity in the rates themselves, it also demonstrates the striking difference between places like New York, one of the 37 states where legislatures have given regulators some authority to deny or roll back rates deemed excessive, and California, which is among the states that do not have that ability (Abelson, 1/5). The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: NYers To Save $500M On Health Insurance PremiumsGovernor Andrew Cuomo says new state power to limit rate hikes will save New Yorkers more than $500 million on health insurance premiums in 2013. Cuomo announced Sunday that health insurers requested average increases of about 12.4 percent, but the state Department of Financial Services cut the average increase to 7.5 percent (1/6). In Some States, Health Insurers Are Raising Rates Despite Health Law’s Efforts To Restrain Increases This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.