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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.

Pavilions come in various categories depending on view and the addition of a private (again, midnight-blue tiled) swimming pool. We loved the overall design, with solid hardwood floors, crisp white sheets on the bed, the art and the flowers, and simple bamboo-framed chairs. Bathrooms take up nearly half of the pavilion, with two vanities, a deep soaker tub, a – once again – midnight-blue tiled shower, and separate toilet cubicle.

There is storage for days, with every possible amenity you could think of. A beach bag to take the things you need down for the day that you can keep as a memento? Flip flops to wear to said beach? Full-size toiletry bottles, with a set next to the tub and a set in the shower? Robes? Universal adapters? WiFi, both in-room and at the beach? You name it, it’s there. Outside, you’ll find a relaxation and dining sala.

A myriad of options both on and off the resort are sure to keep you entertained. Aside from the pure bliss of doing nothing in as sun-soaked a spot as a Thai beach resort, there is an impressive range of watercraft (from small speedboat to full-on sailing yacht – one of the largest of any resort in southeast Asia) to get you out on the blue sea and explore things like Phang Nga Bay, with its famous forested limestone rock pillars rising out of the water.

Struggle to keep up with your gym routine while on holiday? The resort’s gym might just offer a little bit of an extra incentive by being located at its highest point, with stupendous views over the sea and the surrounding area (though frankly, we tried once and it was just too bloody hot to even attempt half a work out). To work away the strain from the gym – or from being firmly planted on a beach chair all day – is an extensive spa. Treatment rooms are also individual pavilions, each with private steam room and outdoor meditation area.

One of the highlights of the day is watching the sunset at the top of the steps to the beach, cocktail in hand. Complimentary tea, fresh fruit and snacks are served by the pool every afternoon. There are a number of different restaurants, so whether it’s Thai, Italian, or Japanese you are in the mood for, you will be able to find it.

Unless specifically requested, you will never ever be presented with a bill during your stay. Staff will know who you are, which pavilion you are staying in, and the only time you will have to deal with the un-pleasantries of payment is at check out. Scented cold towels, a welcome refresher in the blazing heat, appear at every possible moment.

All this does come with a price tag – and one hell of a price tag it is. A Pavilion starts at $950 a night from May 1 to October 31 this year, going up to $1,050 after that until end of April 2014, excluding tax and 10% service charge, but including a return airport transfer. Between May and November (Phuket’s low season), some elements like breakfast or a dinner are included depending on the length of your stay. Minimum stay requirements are in place during peak times such as Christmas. Better get those lottery tickets if we want a chance, however small, to win…

[Photos: JasonD for HotelChatter]

We paid a media rate while staying at Amanpuri, but all opinions and photos are our own.

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