Honeymoon in Phuket, Thailand!

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thanks everyone for the sweet anniversary messages via the blog, facebook, instagram, the real-life phone, etc.! it has been a grand celebration of our 4th year of marriage and the celebration really started in phuket, thailand at the JW marriott. i know what you may be thinking, “how can you have a honeymoon if you’ve been married 4 years?” well we did have our 4th honeymoon in phuket, thailand!


my grandparents gave us the sage advice of taking a honeymoon every year and this year’s was a big one since we were already in asia for business! since you typically take a honeymoon right after you are married (and not the year after) this is technically our 5th honeymoon and it was impeccable here.

Honeymoon in Phuket Thailand

we ventured here after our adventures in koh phi phi don island (including monkeys, my husband getting his hair braided and $3 pad thai).

my husband let them know it was our anniversary and they upgraded us to a larger room with a view of the andaman sea! my jaw literally dropped when we walked into our room…

jw marriott phuket room

it was gorgeous with hand carved wood pieces, small attention to details at every corner (even the remotes had their own leather case!) and made us feel like royalty.

this was my favorite part of the room, a little area for lounging and watching the palm trees sway.


hello bathroom with a tub where i can have a conversation with someone on the bed!


i know what you may be thinking…”how on earth can they afford to stay there?!” well…about 4.5 years ago my husband (then fiance) took a job that contracted with NIKE and their mobile marketing department. mobile=travel. he was gone solidly for 4 months while they drove all across america, sometimes staying at marriotts along the way. the only good thing from that experience was the money and the marriott reward points he accumulated.

we have been hoarding these points for 4.5 years and used them to book 2 nights at the JW marriott in phuket, thailand for free. i know, blows our mind too.

while the facilities are gorgeous, people incredibly friendly and the hotel situated on the beach, there is a downside.

the main downside of staying here…it is located very north at ‘mai khao beach’ which is quite far from the most famous and fun town of patong beach. pleeeease if you stay here, first go visit other parts of phuket that give you a taste of thai culture, adventure and food because this hotel is very secluded and you cannot walk to eat anywhere but the hotel.

we were not aware of this and were planning to eat many more banana-nutella pancakes at $2 but they were no where to be found without taking a long-ish taxi ride.

phuket thailand travel panckes

that being said, obviously the hotel has their stuff down and if you’ve already explored then this is the perfect place for luxury relaxation.

something magical happened when we woke up the next morning-our last full day in phuket…THE SUN CAME OUT!

thailand phuket blue skiesnow remember it’s currently rainy season there so we had no idea how long this would last so we drank a little coffee, took a handful of pretzels and ran down to the beach.

jw marriott phuket thailand sunshine

it did not disappoint.


jw marriott phuket thailand ryan avery

jw phuket thailand chelsea and ryan avery

red flags were out because the sea was too dangerous to get in but of course we had to stick our feet in and wear a ridiculously large hat.

good thing they had a plethora of pools to choose from with views of the sea just for this very reason. warning though, these pools are not heated so it takes a little bit to get used to the chill but eventually it feels great.

we started out here so my $6 pedicure could match the chairs. who spotted the snail in the left corner?!

jw marriott phuket one pool all bluein between pool transfers, we spotted a thai massage hut with a view of the beach (washed out in this photo) and because we were paranoid of the rain all day, we figured we should get that ASAP. it was $13 each for a 60 minute massage! isn’t that crazy?! if you go into patong, you can get the same massage for only $7. i know. crazy.

jw marriott phuket thailand thai massages

this was only my second ‘professional’ massage and i loved 50% of while the other 50% was a bit intense because this woman has hands and knees of steel, STEEL i tell you. i was absolutely sore the next day.thai massages on the beachwe parked ourselves here for the remainder of the day:

thailand phuket blue skies and pool

the JW is so fancy that they bring around ice cold towels, baskets of fruit and are constantly refilling water. it was basically perfect and only topped off when my husband brought me a donut bracelet. man knows the way to my heart.

thailand phuket donut bracelet

there were so few people here that i alternated between the shaded chair next to my husband and the sunny chair behind us. if that isn’t the lap of luxury i don’t know what is.

after a day in the sun, we cleaned up and went to a happy hour they invited us too. free wine and snacks…never ask my twice if this is something i’d be interested in.

chelsea avery ryan avery phuket thailandwe watched the sunset and enjoyed our last night in thailand, talking about how we certainly never thought 4.5 years ago that this is where we would spend those points he accumulated.

thailand sunseti’m not getting into much here but when he was traveling for those 4 months, it tore at both of our heart strings to be apart. i have no idea how military spouses do it, i really don’t. he ended up quitting the job because of the culture of the job being unhealthy and that everyone’s time is limited on this earth, so why would you want to spend it unhappy and without the person you care about?

it was a hard and scary decision because i was in grad school and not working at the time and it’s not like he had another job lined up but we knew we would figure it out. and we did.

4.5 years ago and countless times during the past years, we’ve had no idea how we were going to pay rent, what our next job would be, if we would find our passion and happiness in life or how to pay car insurance. so we walked on the beach again and reminisced about the many times when life feels scary and unknown and overwhelming, yet somehow things always work out. i am mainly writing this to remind myself of this fact.


chelsea avery sunset photo thailandthe beach is a special place for me not only because i can get my glow on and find relaxation there, but it’s also a reflective place for me to watch the waves roll in and out and know that nothing i could ever do would be able to stop them. it’s a place of power and calm for me.

we had a phenomenal time during our stay in thailand and it was great to end our honeymoon in phuket, thailand in the lap of luxury.

take my grandparent’s advice and plan a honeymoon (even in your own state) each year to celebrate your marriage and how far you’ve come.

1) fanciest hotel you’ve ever stayed at?
2) place where you feel both relaxed and reflective?
3) what has surprised you about your marriage/relationship?


  1. Brittany

    September 5, 2014 at 11:38 am

    My boyfriend stayed at this exact hotel this June while traveling with his Mom & sister. So weird. I wondered why he didn’t get any cheap non-touristy experiences. Thanks for enlightening me 🙂
    Brittany recently posted…Just Google It.

    • chelsea

      September 6, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      really?! what a small world brittany! and yes…no cheap, touristy, authentic thai culture there but it sure is beautiful and a great place to live in the lap of luxury!

  2. Luz

    September 5, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Love your blogs….at the end of the day…there’s always a take away…
    You guys are blessed…thanks for sharing and inspiring… 🙂

    • chelsea

      September 6, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      thanks so much for your comment and i’m glad you find something to take away, luz! we sure are grateful for the opportunities and live we have 🙂

  3. Paul White

    September 5, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Thailand is my second home. I have a house in Bangkok and share a house in the far north – Nan Province. I have enjoyed seeing my second home through your eyes. Thank you. As for fancy hotels, on the way out to KL, my wife treated me to a day and night at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok. We won’t talk about price but it was luxury all the way, including a personal butler for our room. Our suite overlooked the Chao Phraya River with long boats full of every imaginable thing plying their trade or heading down to the Floating Market. It was a once in a lifetime stay, not because of the expense but because I learned that I am a simple person who does not feel comfortable living the life style of the rich and famous. As the Japanese say about climbing Mt. Fuji – do it once you are blessed; do it twice you are a fool. One night of luxury made me feel blessed but….

    • chelsea

      September 6, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      wow paul, that is so fantastic that you have a second home in bangkok and share another! wish we could have met up with you! when we venture to bangkok hopefully in the future, i will definitely reach out for places to eat and things to do! sounds like your wife gave you a fabulous treat…a butler?! how amazing!

      that’s an interesting quote about climbing mt. fuji and i can definitely see that. there were other parts of our stay that made me feel somewhat uncomfortable with just how willing people are to serve you (two women kneeling on tile floor for 7 minutes while they told us about the hotel-ouch). glad you got to experience that though and hope you had a wonderful time in your second home paul!

  4. Lindsay @ The Newlywed Notebook

    September 5, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    What a BEAUTIFUL place!! Looks like you two had an amazing time!!

    • chelsea

      September 6, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      we couldn’t stop exclaiming how different it all looked when the sun broke through, lindsay! it was certainly amazing 🙂

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