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Discover: Luxury Hotels in Phuket – Anantara Mai Khao

October 25, 2016
Anantara Mai Khao Phuket

Luxury hotels in Phuket mean white beaches, private pools and spa treatments galore. The Discoveries Of heads to the Anantara Mai Khao for a short break. 

 Luxury Hotel Phuket, Anantara Mai Khao, Luxury HolidayContents

The Villas

The Spa

Dining

Exploring Phuket

“Control your breath, move to downward facing dog and hold”. As my arms started to shake, I wondered, not for the first time, how I’d come to be doing yoga in a dark and sweaty room. Particularly when I could have been lying down on the beach that lay so tantalisingly close to the window.

Still, here I was, forcing my body into unfamiliar contortions and trying to control my inhalations and exhalations. It was all part of my self-imposed relaxation programme at the Anantara Mai Khao, one of the finest luxury hotels in Phuket.

Phuket has long been on the luxury traveller’s radar as a must-visit destination. With its combination of perfect beaches that stretch for miles, skirting the azure-blue Andaman Sea and high-end resorts, it’s become the Thai byword for escaping it all.

There are so many luxury hotels in Phuket that it can be difficult to stand out, but the Anantara Mai Khao excels. The Anantara is an all-villa hotel, each one with its private swimming pool, outdoor bath and sala (terrace area) it brings a fresh experience in  this popular destination.

My first glance at a map of the island should have given me a hint of what was to come. Most of the resorts were gathered around Patong and Karon beaches in the south, but it was only when I traced my finger to the other end of the island did I find Mai Khao beach. There’s only one other hotel in the area and the beach is almost untouched, infusing visitors with the same calm that pervades the hotel.

The Villas

Pool Villa, Anantara Phuket

The villas at the Anantara are remarkable.  The private terrace and pool areas simply but stylishly done – with outdoor sun loungers, a rain shower and bath completing the look. The raised sala containing the bar area is set in the shade, which provides a cool respite from the area’s notoriously hot sunshine. Sliding doors from the bedroom open out straight onto the pool, making for a refreshing wake-up call each morning.

The Spa

luxury hotel in Phuket - garden viewI forced myself to leave my villa to explore the rest of the resort and I wasn’t disappointed. One of the highlights of the resort is the famous Anantara Spa. I consulted with the in-house Ayurvedic specialists and  was given a tailor made programme for the duration of the stay. It starting with a Shiodara treatment (in which oil is poured onto the forehead in rhythmic patterns) and an avocado body scrub to replenish the skin.

The spa itself is impressive.  Dark wood and light cream complement the resort’s decor whilst ensuring spa-goers are met with the perfect atmosphere to unwind and de-stress. There are yoga classes twice daily to help guests achieve an all-round wellbeing. That’s how I’d found myself sweating away at 9am while my disturbingly flexible instructor manipulated my body into previously unthought of poses.

Dining

The resort offers a wide range of dining options treetop bars and gourmet cellars to name a few, but the signature eatery Sea.Fire.Salt lures guests with impressive views out onto the beach and Andaman sea. It serves delicious seafood and barbecue dishes, complemented with their very own salt sommelier.Dining at the Anantara

If you are looking for something unique to the region, their cooking classes are not to be missed. Thai food has garnered itself a bit of a niche in the hearts of food lovers around the world. There are few places better for learning to whip up a few of their impressive dishes than in La Sala. I sweated, steamed, chopped and (most appealingly) ate my way all afternoon.  The five course menu included coconut and chicken soup, deep fried fish with sauce, spicy papaya salad and banana stewed in coconut milk.

Exploring Phuket

Much of the focus at the Anantara is on relaxation and taking advantage of the resort as an escape away from it all. However, an excursion to find the hidden side of Phuket was fascinating. We visited a nearby rubber plantation. The plantation shows how the rubber tree is tapped, turned into sheets and dried for commercial use. These skills once formed the backbone of the area’s economic success but have dwindled over recent years.

We also visited Tong Sai National Park, with its waterfalls and gibbon rehabilitation project. Walking around the park is hard work, and we recovered in the cafe with Thai breakfast snacks made with coconut milk and rice.

Finally, it was time to leave. My verdict? Where many of the luxury hotels in Phuket feel like sullen teenagers, the Anantara reveals a different side to this fascinating area.
Looking for a luxury getaway in Thailand- Phuket is full of high-end hotels but few are as stunning as the Anantara on Mai Khao beach. Perfect for your beach escape or honeymoon. Click to read more

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13 Comments

  • Reply ferncoll October 25, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Oh my bleeping hell! This seriously looks like paradise! That pool is just heaven! 😀

    • Reply Julianna Barnaby October 25, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      It really is! There are very few hotels that I’d really want to live in but this one would be one of them 😀

  • Reply blueskydreamers October 26, 2016 at 2:48 am

    Now that’s called living it up! It looks like a perfect place for an indulgent holiday. What is the room tariff approximately?

    • Reply Julianna Barnaby October 26, 2016 at 8:10 am

      It really was – it’s now one of my favourite hotels and the villas are so comfortable. The villas are generally around £500+ per night but I think they sometimes have deals on Booking.com too. I should have put that in the piece!

  • Reply Eric Gamble October 26, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Wow, the Anantara looks amazing! When I went to Phuket I stayed in Karon had a very nice hostel nearby the Mandarin Oriental. I kept thinking that this must be the nicest Resort here! But it didn’t look like a place I really wanted to stay where they spend money on, because he was just in the middle of the mix of traffic and they got no benefit that I didn’t get or felt. However you were lucky enough to stay on the other side of the island in Mai Khao beach and although I did travel around I didn’t make it over there so I’m sure you got to explore and find some unbelievable Hidden Treasures I’m very jealous. Because I know what I have to do when I go back

    • Reply Julianna Barnaby October 26, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      I totally know what you mean Eric and I agree – if you do go back to Phuket, I’d really recommend taking a trip over to that part of Phuket, it was my favourite by far!

  • Reply Fiona Maclean October 26, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    I can really see why you didn’t want to leave your villa – it looks stunning. But then so does the food!

  • Reply stylishtravlr October 26, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Thats looks great ! I am going to Phuket very soon and I actually booked myself room in one of some nicer resorts with pool in my room 😀 Cant wait !

    • Reply Julianna Barnaby October 27, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      You are going to have such a fabulous time!

  • Reply Kavey F October 27, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    This looks glorious and I love the look of the villas (though definitely just relaxing, no yoga for me!) I particularly love that the outdoor space includes a shaded terrace and good sized private pool rather than tiny scrap of pool and patio.

  • Reply Ayngelina October 28, 2016 at 12:02 am

    This would be a very difficult place to leave, the pools look amazing.

    • Reply Julianna Barnaby October 28, 2016 at 12:03 am

      It was tough. Definitely the kind of place you could get used to!

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