Phuket in Thailand can now seriously claim to host some of the most luxurious properties in Asia. However, I personally find many of the so-called ‘top’ properties fall way short of the mark and do not offer relative value for money or anything particularly spectacular beyond flash brochures & websites and prices to match! Having a private swimming pool or lavish facilities is not enough to give a room character or romance. Property needs a blend of factors and thought to truly be elevated into the list of those actually worth spending top-dollar prices for. Luckily though, a number of properties have found the perfect mix and carved out a real niche for themselves in the sea of seemingly luxurious hotels.
So, for those seeking a luxury holiday in Thailand, I have decided to compile my strictly subjective list of the 5 best luxury hotels in Phuket. In no particular order, they are:
The Sala Phuket was opened in 2009 and offers some of the most seriously stylish pool villas I have seen, anywhere. Occupying a prime spot on one of the islands most pristine National Park stretches of beach (which means there can be no construction at all on the beach itself) the resort is a picture of blissful relaxation. The Sala Phuket’s villas and suites combine beautiful living spaces, elaborate outdoor bathrooms and a range of subtly co-ordinated facilities and amenities. The stylish beach-side restaurant and bar offers a sublimely relaxed environment and is complemented by two alluring swimming pools which run alongside the beach. Tranquillity permeates through every angle of the resort – it’s one of the most blissfully relaxing places I’ve ever stayed.
Anadara was opened in early 2010 and is arguably the most up-market resort yet. With a classic Thai design style, there is the suggestion that this property will stand the test of time and emerge as a hotel with global desirability. Consisting of 63 villas and residences scattered over a vast headland on the southern tip of Kamala beach, the resort offers sublime privacy in a sophisticated setting. All villas command breathtaking sea views and once ensconsed in your idyllic surroundings there will be little inclination to leave. The villas have a range of sizes and are ideal for couples, families and groups of friends. A four-bedroom villa offers complete seclusion and privacy, with a large infinity pool, delightful bedrooms and spectacular living areas. Beautiful hard woods have been used throughout, with intricate carvings and furnishings that add an air of refined beauty wherever the eye wanders. Immediately relaxing and alluring, the Andara will be the choice of many in search of somewhere truly memorable to stay for years to come.
The original luxury resort in Thailand and still right up there with the very best, Amanpuri is a true classic. The property was the first to break the mould and move Phuket’s accommodation in a new direction. Amanpuri was also the fist development of the now famous Amans group and it remains their flagship property even after all these years. The resort is also living proof that if you get the basics of a property right first time, the magic will always remain. With a private beach that rivals most in the world, the resort already has something to give it real ‘wow factor’. However, the resort’s beautiful, stylish and simple villas offer real peace and seclusion and blend serenely amongst the palms and into their stunning hillside location. The trademark Amans service adds to the uniqueness of a stay here and helps explain why the property is still the regular choice of celebrities and royalty when they visit the island.
Sri Panwa is a contemporary classic commanding terrific views across the southern cape of Phuket and its surrounding islets. Opened in 2006, the resort offers a range of stylish pool villas for the chic modern traveller. Vast in size, the villas are furnished and finished in a unique contemporary style and will likely appeal to younger luxury travellers out there. The sleek and stylish bars and restaurants are great places to relax and take in the spectacular views with the other movers and shakers. Regular gourmet food functions are complemented by a sophisticated party atmosphere and it is not unusual to have world-renowned DJs spinning as the sun sets (or rises!) for the hip crowd. Sri Panwa combines true style and luxury with a real element of fun.
Trisara’s pool villas and suites are dotted across the stunning hillside on the west coast of the island. A concept many have tried (and failed) to imitate, the resort’s blend of privacy, luxury and comfort continue to wow its lucky guests. Very much a place to retreat from the world, the villa’s pools offer incredible views and the spacious and elegantly appointed rooms are complemented by the indulgent bathrooms. It’s easy to spend all day in the pool admiring the view until the sun sets spectacularly on the horizon. Deriving its name from the Sanskrit language for “third garden in heaven”, Trisara truly is a haven for the senses.