After 22 years in business, the first Aman resort, Phuket’s Amanpuri, still has the style and the service it’s renowned for. Kenny Santana checked in to one of its pavilions and never wanted to leave.
As he grabbed our bags, the hotel’s chauffeur informed us that Amanpuri is located on the west coast of the island, a 25-minute drive from the airport and 40 minutes from the Old Town. When we arrived we realized that its a secluded location, far from the hubbub of Patong beach, has the advantage of having the pristine Pansea as the resort’s private beach.
Perched in a forested hill, Amanpuri’s pavilions and villas were built in different heights for privacy purposes. It’s easy to see that the resort was intelligently constructed so that even though you can see pavilions in between coconut palm groves, you won’t eye the activities inside. It’s perfect for honeymooners, or any lovebirds for that matter.
Upon arrival, we were quickly swooned by the open-air ‘sala’ in the pavilion’s private terrace. During our stay, we often spent time in the sala by ordering room-service dinner, which is served with a candle lit ambience on the table. In the mornings the sundeck is also our favorite spot just to simply relax facing lush greenery and a partial view of the sea.
Stepping in, the pavilion is equally impressive, a spacious space elegantly adorned with Thai sculptures, fresh flowers, with a wood-and-mirror-walled interior. The bedroom, with enormous mattress and excellent bedding, faces the open bathtub. We appreciated two sinks on each side, not to mention a vast space for dressing.
In case you haven’t tried an Aman before, there’s no TV set in the room, although you can request one. We opted to stay TV-free for a few days so we could really take pleasure in the nature and surroundings. On top of it, an authentic Thai atmosphere was created en suite by the presence of an audio system furnished with a CD of traditional Thai music. What a refreshing choice that was!
For additional CD choices, stop by the Amanpuri library where it offers many selections to bring back to the room. Grab also some reading materials for the pool where everyday from 4 pm onwards guests can unwind and enjoying the hotel’s complimentary afternoon tea.
For almost an hour we enjoyed the most luscious banana cake one could imagine, endless choices of Thai mini pancakes Kanoom Krock topped with virtually every tropical fruit from mango to jackfruit (or our favorite – spring onions). We cool the warm weather down with a couple of glasses of iced passion fruit and lemongrass tea before dipping our feet in the white sand beach.
Afternoons are the best time to go down to the beach where the chairs were reserved for the hotel guests to lounge at sunset time. Though Thai government regulation allows all beaches to be open for public, Aman guests are spoiled with the resort’s private facilities. Staff will provide iced water, while clean towels are also available for those who like to soak in seawater.
Beside swimming, Amanpuri also encourages its visitors to try out other water sports. Snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing are on the house with helpful employees always on duty to assist. As first time snorkelers, we were assisted on how to do it and where the best spots were to ogle marine life. Not only gladly sharing their vast knowledge, they also asked our room number to address us personally by names. It’s a typical Aman service they’re legendary for.
The next day, we woke up early to jog on the gym treadmill. The ceiling-to-floor glass window gives gym rats a breathtaking vista of the Andaman Sea while sweating it out. Guests can also choose to have a complimentary scheduled yoga classes each morning. Then to release muscle tension after a work out, we pampered ourself with one of the Thai herbal treatments the Aman spa offers.
Aman Spa combines the very best aspects of Buddhism, Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine and yoga into a unique healing experience. Try its Ancient Thai massages, holistic kinesiology or a spicy ginger detox among many options. The latter treatment uses ginger extracts to remove toxins from the skin that will make your body feel revitalized afterwards.
Follow a morning massage with a late a la carte breakfast which is served until noon. The body conscious will appreciate its healthy living section, from organic brown rice porridge to egg white and herbs frittatas, which tasted as magnificent as it sounded. We also favored their smoothies; combining fresh fruits shaken with the likes of green tea are filling and will give one enough energy to last the day.
With its vast beach activities, amazing pool, private sundeck, impeccable service and everything else on offer, our finish-too-soon experience in Amanpuri, Phucket was truly what a true island vacation should be. Out of this world.
Tel: +66 76 324 333