|It has been a year since we vacationed in
Bali, a vacation that was intended as a reward for having
just found our apartment that would be our home for the
next year in Melbourne. It was a fantastic break that made
us yearn for another "resort-y" vacation where we can
simply lazy about and worry about nothing other than what
to eat and how early we should jump in the pool.
Fast forward a year and a bit later and we are now planning our move back to the Pacific Northwest for a great opportunity so we thought we would commemorate it by going on another relaxing vacation - this time, to Phuket, Thailand. Having never been to Thailand, this seemed a good time to try. Phuket has great beaches, amazing food, and accommodations, so why not?
We explored the islands surrounding Phuket by speedboat and it was incredible. The weather worked out for us despite it being the tail end of the rainy season. If you get a chance to visit Phuket, we highly recommend doing a speedboat tour. There are plenty of places to see close to Phuket and a company such as Phuket Sailing Tours will give you a great idea of what is nearby.
|We stayed at two places during our trip to
will review both below:
|Anantara Phuket Villas
Our trip to Phuket started with a stay at the Anantara Phuket Villas. The resort is just 20 minutes from the airport so it was a relief to be able to relax so soon after our long flights. From the moment we arrived at the gates, we were treated like honored guests. We were served a refreshing drink and given jasmine bracelets (the smell is just heavenly) as we were checked in. The resort has a traditional Thai feel to it, luxurious but not over the top.
We rented a private villa with our very own pool and were we ever glad we did. The villa was beautiful and spacious. Everything about this villa oozed luxury but not in the cold, sterile, modern way. The pool was big enough for a nice swim to cool down during the day and attached to the pool was an outdoor bath. Our only complaint was that the outdoor bath took ages to fill up (you would need about an hour to fill it up so start drawing the bath early).
There were a few options at the Anantara for food. La Sala is the venue for the buffet breakfast (quality Thai or western breakfast with lots of options, this was included in our room rate) but you could also come here for any other meal during the day. This is where you would want to go within the resort for a more traditional Thai meal. To be honest though, the food fell short of our expectations considering the price we paid for our meals ($30-40 per person).
The other restaurant was Sea Fire Salt. More of a fine dining experience, your meals are served on hot blocks of Himalayan salt. It is a unique experience but again, the food was not exceptional. We paid almost $80 per person (keeping in mind that we are in Thailand and street food usually costs less than $5) and we were left feeling underwhelmed. There were not too many local food options near the hotel, so we had to stick to what was available.
Overall our stay at the Anantara was fantastic other than a few hiccups. If you want to experience staying in a resort that is more traditional, luxurious, and private, Anantara is a great option. However, don't expect great value for the food available at this resort.
Well I will start off by saying that our stay at the Sri Panwa was the highlight of our trip. The private ocean view villa with pool was everything you could ever want. The suite was enormous (over 1,000 square feet) and included two separate buildings - one for the bedroom and ensuite bathroom and a second one for a living area with a separate kitchen and bath.
The views from our apartment were jaw dropping. Imagine a vacation where you have the choice to wake up to and/or swim in your very own infinity pool while overlooking the ocean from a view about 50 meters from sea level. You can expect the private ocean villas to all have fantastic views.
The food at Sri Panwa was also really good. We found the food to be more authentically Thai and although much more expensive than the street food you could find in the city, still far better value than the food we had at our previous stay at the Anantara. The must-do at this hotel though, had to be the Baba Nest open air roof top bar. No pictures do this setting justice. Basically 360 degrees of unobstructed panaramic view of the ocean and islands in the vicinity, this is a setting that makes you feel like you're a million miles away from home and you're so content with that.
Whether you're looking for a honey moon or just a vacation to really spoil yourself, the Sri Panwa was all that and more. We couldn't have asked for anything else here and we cannot wait to come back.