Experienced by David Trauts
The Amari Phuket is a resort that sweeps along the southern headland of Patong Beach, Phuket and is the centre piece of the Thai-based hotel group, Onyx. It was totally renovated and re-opened last November, 2013 with a brand new look and stylish finishing. Best suited for families and couples looking for a relaxing getaway holiday, the resort is secluded and in a pristine spot far from the tourist crazed streets of Patong. However, if guests want that kind of action, it’s not too far away. Just a short tuk-tuk (bemo) ride, in fact.
There is a lot of space at Amari. Right from the entrance and throughout the 68-acre property, guests wind their way along walking paths from the lobby to restaurants and swimming pools, to the spa and the old jetty jutting out to sea. The renovations still appear to be going on at the front entrance but in fact it is the next phase, the Amari Residences, above the resort, being built. The lobby area is a very cool space; large, open and has an incredible view over Patong Bay.
There are a total of 197 rooms and suites spread across the sloping headland of the Amari site. Every room has a private balcony with a stunning view over the sea. We stayed in the Superior room which is slightly larger than the Deluxe. It is very well appointed with an excellent, comfy and very wide bed, an exceptional flat screen TV, the latest Samsung no less, and tastefully designed, colourful interior. It is a very comfortable and spacious room, with a modern bathroom to match, and a great view over the beach and Andaman Sea.
There are two restaurants at the resort. The Rim Talay is the main guest restaurant with an a la carte menu and daily changing evening buffets with themes including Thai cuisine, specialty meat nights, or seafood, for example. The nearby pool and bar area features a DJ in the evenings and is a great spot for a drink as the sun sets. The complete buffet breakfast with all the trimmings is also served at Rim Talay. La Gritta Italian restaurant is the real thing. We dined there one evening and as we were speaking to Italian-born Chef Patricia, who hails from Rome, we realized that we were in for an excellent dining experience. She walked us through the menu and helped us to choose our way. All the classic Italian dishes are available and cooked in the authentic Italian method. The menu features a fine range of meat and seafood dishes and is complemented by an extensive and impressive range of fine wines from all over the world. La Gritta is a top restaurant and is beginning to be recognized as one of the better destination restaurants in the Patong area. It’s a great spot for special occasions such birthdays or anniversaries. The beautiful sea views, the service and above all the excellent Italian cuisine make La Gritta a special restaurant in a very special location. La Gritta Terrace and the Lobby Bar are also fun spots to have sunset drinks in the resort.
With so much space around the resort there are plenty of things to do. With the beach in front of guests wherever they go, a plunge into the sea is the first option, closely followed by a dive into the two swimming pools. Laze around all day, or walk or jog along the pathways through the expansive property. Go for a dive off the long jetty and have lunch while you are there. Stop on the way back at the luxurious spa for a treatment overlooking the sea. Diving and snorkeling are also available in the pristine waters offshore, or work out in the state-of-the-art gym. Day trips can also be arranged with the concierge to check neighbouring tourist sites and beautiful beaches. They can suggest a few interesting night spots to try too. There is also a full service kids club where little ones can be dropped while parents enjoy a well earned break.
Amari resort is a fresh and colourful place to stay in Phuket. It’s right near the tourist scene of Patong Beach, but far enough away to keep the action at a distance. Getting a lift back from town at night, if staying in the back rooms, can be challenging, but dealing with those tuk-tuk drivers anywhere in Patong can be testing at the best of times. The resort is the perfect place to spend a week in the sun with the family or with your better half. The rooms are comfortable and the dining is fine. Be prepared to get a little fitter while staying at the resort as there is plenty of opportunity to walk around from the room to the restaurants and lobby. With large trees throughout, the headland background and the sea right in front, the Amari is a real nature wonderland as well as a modern and stylish resort.