83000 Travel Guide
Check out that balcony. Would a soak in that tub not immediately make you feel so much better about your day? Such is your option at the spa at the Regent Phuket Cape Panwa, specifically in one of the signature couple’s treatment rooms. Being the first new Regent hotel to open in a number of years, we swung by recently when we were in the area to check out how the renaissance of the group (now continued with a second opening in Bali) is coming along.
We arrived in the midst of a pretty impressive (and seasonal) thunderstorm, with sheets of rain cascading down like nobody’s business – when it rains in Thailand, it RAINS. Luckily those thunderstorms also tend to clear out in no time, chased away by the strength of the sun. Set in the far less developed south eastern part of Phuket, the hotel consists of 105 rooms – a combination of Pavilions, Suites, and Pool Villas – scattered on a hillside tumbling down to the Andaman Sea.
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.
How about that? We mentioned it over the summer when we looked at new Asia hotels, but Regent Hotels will finally open its first new property in a long time early December: the Regent Phuket Cape Panwa, Thailand.
Set in its own private bay, 15 minutes away from Phuket town, the hotel features 105 rooms, suites, and villas. Entry-level pavilions start at 60m2, suites are a little larger and have an open plan lay-out with a view of either the bay or the ocean. Pool villas will give you 150m2 to roam around in, an outdoor deck with a private pool, butler service, and complimentary access to the Regent Club for breakfast and drinks throughout the day. All rooms come with an iPad and happily, complimentary WiFi.
After being pretty much a non-contender the entire episode, Ray and Yoland--Team RaYo--are starting to make a comeback.
Last night they not only finished a strong third, but also won a "luxurious hotel stay" from Travelocity for anywhere in Thailand.
We think they should check out Amanpuri, a former coconut plantation overlooking the Andaman Sea on the west coast of Phuket.
There are 40 pavilions and 30 Thai villa homes to relax in, each with private outdoor terraces. In the rooms are a king-size bed, separate bath and shower, refrigerator, stocked minibar, wireless broadband connections, and best of all, air-conditioning. One guest describes the little slice of heaven like this:
It's on a beautiful, quiet cove with expansive property expanding onto a small peninsula. The rooms were to die for... the floral arrangements, the tub, the fruit basket, and the comfy bed were great... but best of all, we had a private sala (separate covered patio structure) that we enjoying have breakfast in.
The beach was very nice, esp. the breathtaking view from the pool and the steps leading down to the beach. The wait staff was so attentive to your every needs. Every so often, they would come by with ice cubes to cool down your glass of water that everyone is served upon arrival. And, they would periodically move your umbrella to make sure you got full shade!
With these pavillions starting around $650, Team RaYo lucked out indeed.
For more on the episode skip on over to Jaunted for the TAR map.
Granted you could pick any hotel in Thailand as comeback hotel of the year, and the Sarojin on the tiny Thai island of Khao Lak is one such place.
Scheduled to open a fortnight after the tsunami hit, this 56 residence property, and dream project of a British couple, is now open for business.
Wild fruit, streams, herbs, plunge pools, and waterfall showers are all blended together in hopes of giving you a serene break.
We are just glad to see Thai resorts up and prospering again.
Know a Thai resort with a great comeback story? Tell us about it.
· Sarojin Hotel Reviews [TripAdvisor]