Phuket Travel Guide

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A Night at the Original Aman Resort, The Amanpuri in Phuket

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  Site Where: Pansea Beach, Phuket, Thailand
July 10, 2013 at 9:18 AM | by | Comments (0)

We’ve shown that you get whisked around Amanpuri in open-air comfort, but what is it like to spend the night here, the original Aman Resort on the western coast of Phuket? This is a case of letting the pictures doing most of the talking, but there are definitely a few things that stood for us.

You’ll find Amanpuri on Pansea Beach, a thirty-minute drive from Phuket airport, which in turn is just under two hours flight from Bangkok, the Thai capital. Architecturally, this has to be one of the most impressive resorts we’ve stayed at recently. Forty individual pavilions are scattered across a hillside, tumbling down to the Andaman Sea. The driveway swoops down to the open air lobby, just beyond is a long midnight-blue tiled swimming pool, and wide steps take you down to the white powdery beach. The timelessness of it all (Amanpuri was constructed in 1988), is really refreshing in an age where we see lots of hotel design that wears out within a matter of years.

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Breezing Around Amanpuri With The Wind In Your Hair

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  Site Where: Pansea Beach, Phuket, Thailand, 83000
May 22, 2013 at 9:15 AM | by | Comments (0)

The hotel bike might be the ubiquitous amenity these days for tooling around town or the resort grounds, but in certain climates – and hilly terrains – a less strenuous alternative might be preferable.

We came across the perfect solution recently at Amanpuri – the original Aman Resort – in blisteringly hot Phuket, where getting around is both a breeze and breezy, courtesy of a fleet of semi-open buggies fashioned out of ripped up Nissans. Available any time at the main entrance or just a call away, you can be whisked to your room, back to the lobby and the main pool, down to the beach club, up to the spa, or to the top-of-the-hill gym with endless views over the surrounding area.

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Rosewood Phuket Planned For 2014

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  Site Where: Muen-Ngoen Rd., Phuket, Patong, Thailand, 83150
September 27, 2012 at 12:37 PM | by | Comment (1)

Following the opening of its first Asian property in Beijing in 2013, Rosewood Hotels has announced it will add a Phuket resort in 2014.

The beachfront retreat, which is near a 40-acre banyan-tree filled forest bordering Western Phuket's Emerald Bay, will be a modest haven of 87 one-and-two bedroom villas, 20 two-to-nine-bedrooms residences set on a half-acre each, and six exclusive forest “hideaway” hillside homes comprised of two-to-three-bedrooms each with a private gymnasium and lap pool. There will also be six restaurants and lounges for dining and entertainment.

Naturally, a highlight will be the brand's Sense Spa, with its five treatment rooms and seven private spa villas complete with a swimming and Watsu pool for therapies. Yoga will continue to be a staple and a dedicated pavilion will be on site. To take advantage of the Andaman Sea, a sea sports pavilion will offer a variety of water sports options, and a rooftop tennis court will provide what can only be mean game-distracting views of the region.

Rosewood plans to add 10 more properties to its Asia profile within the next five years.

[Image: Rosewood Hotels]

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The Hotel Pools of Phuket: Private Villas Mean Private Pools at the Anantara

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  Site Where: Phuket, Thailand
October 14, 2011 at 4:13 PM | by | Comments (3)

Sometimes you just don't want to share a hotel pool with other guests. Perhaps you want to skinnydip, or meditate, or have family time, or just float in the middle of the pool and completely, utterly zone out. Whatever your reasons, we get it. So does the Anantara Phuket Villas, because each of their 83 villas comes complete with its own private pool, plus deck with loungers, a traditional Thai Sala, outdoor shower and giant sunken bathtub.

Guests can easily spend the majority of a weeklong vacation here lost in the luxuries of their private abode—heck, there are even rose petals and salts provided for the fancy bathtub—but for the rest of the time, there's always the three main pools.

Here's the cool thing. There's only one suite at the Anantara Phuket; it's the two-bedroom Similan Suite and it boasts a larger pool than all the rest, obviously, but the 82 other villas are mostly the same save for a choice of blue or green pool tiling. It makes it kinda difficult to get jealous of your villas neighbors.

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The Hotel Pools of Phuket: Lounging and Lingering at the Anantara Villas

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  Site Where: Phuket, Thailand
October 13, 2011 at 5:43 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you love swimming, if you want to spend your vacation alternating between lounging in a pool and lounging next to a pool, and especially if you're a huge hotel pool geek like us, you'll want to add the three pools of the Anantara Phuket Villas to your bucketlist.

First off, it's extremely important to know that every single villa—all 83 of them—have their own private pools. If you're sleeping here, you've got a pool just outside your bedroom. There's no way around it. Second off, that means that the main pools out near the beach (the ones featured here) are blessedly calm and never packed. Guests come out to these pools to socialize, to get a drink, to enjoy the breeze and the Andaman Sea view, and to do serious tanning.

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The Hotel Pools of Phuket: Triple Dips at the JW Marriott Resort

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  Site Where: 231 Moo 3 Mai Khao,Talang, Phuket, Thailand, 83110
October 12, 2011 at 5:15 PM | by | Comment (1)

Next up in our Hotel Pools of Phuket series are the three—count 'em three—pools that sit nice and pretty between the buildings and the beach at the JW Marriott Resort.

To be perfectly clear, we didn't sleep at the JW Marriott, but next door in a hotel to be revealed tomorrow. The thing is, the hotels share a beachfront: Mai Khao Beach on the northwestern tip of Phuket Island. Because the beaches are public, it's quite easy to walk between the properties, and there's even a boardwalk and direction signs to guide vacationers around the area.

If you found yourself with a long stay, you could hop hotel pools no problem, but that wouldn't work very well if you fancy ordering cocktails at the swim-up bar and charging it back to your room.

Back to the pools. The JW has three of them for the general guests, because—as it goes in Phuket—there's also a selection of suites (and one villa) with private pools. For most, however, the North, Main and South pools will be more than enough aqua entertainment.

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Oh, The Places You'll Go...Like the Hotel Pools of Phuket, Thailand

Where: Phuket, Thailand
October 10, 2011 at 5:05 PM | by | Comment (1)

Who doesn't love a well-designed hotel pool? Even if you don't care much for swimming, just looking at an expanse of calm water can do wonders for your state of mind, and nowhere do you find more breathtaking pools and beaches than on an exotic island, specifically Phuket, Thailand.

We recently zipped over to Phuket on our own for some dragonfruit-devouring and scuba diving and yet managed to squeeze in time for sneaking around some resort pools and beaches.

All this week we'll be bringing you photo galleries of drool-worthy hotel pools in Phuket to combat the cooler air and falling leaves in the US. First up? This teaser of the main infinity pool at The Vijitt Resort, a place we scored on a low-season deal of 4,000 THB ($128) per night which included all sorts of extras (like airport transfers, yay!).

Get psyched, get your swimsuit out and get ready for a serious case of wanderlust. Tomorrow we'll reveal the rest of The Vijitt's pool deck.

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Woot! iPads Now Available for Guest Use at Anantara Phuket

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  Site Where: Mai Khao Beach, Phuket, Thailand
April 30, 2010 at 2:23 PM | by | Comment (1)

We've heard about hotel concierges using the hot new tech item, the iPad, but finally--finally!--a hotel is giving iPads for guests to use.

This tech-savvy hotel is the Anantara Phuket in Mai Khao Beach, Thailand. Guests can now borrow the iPad directly from the resort and use it to read the paper, book a massage at the Anantara Spa and even schedule a dive excursion to Similan islands. the iPad can also be used poolside or sailing through Phang Nga Bay--we're just not sure how easy it will be to read in direct sunlight.

And whatever you do, just don't drop it in the water. Otherwise, you'll find yourself with a broken, good-for-nothing iPad. Room at the Anantara Phuket rates start at around $600 for a pool villa (which is incidentally about the same price for some iPad models.)

Can't get to Thailand? Anantara expects to roll out iPads in all their hotels worldwide in the coming months. Yipee!

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Where Can You Find Three-Bedroom Pool Villas for $270 a Night? The Answer: Phuket

Where: Phuket, Thailand
November 18, 2009 at 2:13 PM | by | Comment (1)

The executives of the Outrigger Hotels group, we suspect, are a bit partial to vacationing on Phuket in sunny Thailand. Earlier this year they opened the first Outrigger in Phuket with the Outrigger Serenity Phuket, and from December 1, they're adding yet another spot to stay when the Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort opens up.

It's part of the Laguna Phuket "destination resort", so it's the kind of place you can go and never venture far away from. Within the Laguna there are some thirty places to get food and drink, there's a spa, and also the Laguna Phuket Golf Course.

If this kind of resort suits you, then pay attention to their opening specials: they've got two-bedroom villas from 6,000 Baht ($180) a night, or three-bedroom pool villas (covering 500 square yards) for 9,000 Baht ($270). Share these villas between four or six people and the prices are already more than reasonable, but they also include breakfast delivered to your villa each morning, transfers, butler service and our pet fave, free WiFi.

Oh, and the deals go through to March 31, 2010. This resort is a place to relax, rather than get cultural, but sometimes relaxing is all you need.

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Outrigger Serenity Phuket Launches Yacht and Resort in April

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  Site Where: Chalong Bay, Phuket, Thailand
January 26, 2009 at 2:04 PM | by | Comment (1)

Get excited. There's another Outrigger Resort about to open up, and we have a soft spot for these guys ever since they made promo videos that were actually interesting to watch.

The new Outrigger is the Outrigger Serenity Terraces Resort Phuket in Chalong Bay, a quiet part of Phuket. It's all set to open on April 2 this year and they have an opening special for two nights with room upgrade and a few meals starting at 13,000 Baht ($360) for the "Serenity Room", and triple that if you want the best of the best--a two bedroom beachfront suite.

The nice bonus at the Outrigger Serenity is that they own their own yacht, "Lady Anita", which guests will be able to use for dinner cruises and island hopping; if it's already in use, there's always the speedboat or at a pinch, a catamaran or kayak. Or stay on dry land and use their WiFi (although we're not sure that having WiFi on a tropical island is such a good thing).

Just for the record, this picture's also a promotional one but like their videos, it's a bit more natural than what many other hotels provide--it makes us happy that they haven’t photoshopped the clouds away.

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Phuket Resorts Jumping on the Mixed-Use Bandwagon

Where: Phuket, Thailand
November 26, 2008 at 11:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

This latest news on Phuket resorts comes from Claire Duffet who is traveling through the area.

Phuket, a beautiful island in the Andaman Sea on the coast of western Thailand, has a serious congestion problem. Everyone wants to see it, and there are loads of hotels cashing in on the island's draw.

So it's refreshing that the en vogue trend there is "mixed-use" development. We have a friend studying urban planning at an East Coat Ivy League grad school. She says whenever someone mentions the term, she and her fellow students moan with pleasure.

That's because constructing buildings that aren't for one single purpose avoids the pour-in, pour-out routine that occurs with condos, hotels, or office buildings surrounded by parking lots.

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Anantara Phuket's Five-Star Version of "Buy One, Get One"

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  Site Where: Mai Khao Beach, Phuket, Thailand
November 18, 2008 at 9:50 AM | by | Comment (1)

There are some places that simply don’t need another hotel. The poor, overloaded, little island of Phuket is one of them. However, we have to give props to Anantara Phuket Resort & Spa, which managed to find an unspoiled place on the island to build its hotel.

The resort opened its doors on October 1, and has actually done so in an environmentally-responsible way--even building around a rare Banyan tree. Plus, despite Phuket's drawbacks, it's a great jumping off point to see the rest of the Andaman Sea and its beautiful resorts (which we'll be telling you about after we finish taking a gander at this week).

So if you fly into Phuket, it looks like there's now an escape from the sleaze. To boot, the hotel is offering a "buy three nights, get one night free" opening special now through December 23. Rates start around $450 a night which is definitely not a bargain, although it is less than the $900 expected room rate we found over the summer. And it's a fair price for the increasingly popular private-pool-villa resorts popping up throughout Asia.

One night at Anantara Phuket: $450. Skinny-dipping mid-day...priceless.