“Welcome to Amanpuri”; the voice echoed as a beautifully handcrafted fragrant heart-shaped jasmine bracelet slipped onto your wrists as soon as the car door opened. With the sight of endless coconut palm trees shooting out from the horizon, just like the fireworks but in a full broad daylight. The sound track of whispering ocean as the calming wave kisses the shore. The dramatic staircase leading the way to the seemingly infinite stretch of powdery white sand beach with a mesmerizing backdrop of crystal clear turquoise Andaman sea, and the view of the stunning 40 villas. All designed to echo the Buddhist Zen and architecture of ancient Ayutthaya, gently cascading down the oceanfront hillside. We know we have arrived here in heaven on earth. A true place of peace, living up to its name, “Amanpuri” in Sanskrit.
Amanpuri first opened its marvelous door to guests over 30 years ago, making it both the first Aman Empire to grace our beautiful planet and its very own flagship offering a blueprint for all of the other idyllic Aman that followed. Yet the property looked as if it has not aged a day, impeccably well-manicured and preserved; remained as captivating as it must have been since 1988. Today it is still arguably one of the best resorts in Thailand, and rightfully so with its breathtaking locale, a well-kept promise for complete privacy, discreet luxury, exquisite attention to detail, otherworldly service, mouthwatering gourmet, and the authentic touch of locally inspired architecture that meticulously designed to frame their natural setting at its best. Personally, Aman is our most favorite resort chain in the world and unrivaled by any. Aman earns our highest trust and recommendations. Aman junkies we are. If you are ready for your stay at Amanpuri, follow us this way!
As we glazed up, we arrived in the beautiful open-sided reception with beautiful polished teak floors. Fringed by lush green jungle and lush tropical floral, perched under a towering Pavilion with multi-tiered roof that is a reminiscent of a traditional Thai temple housed the lobby, restaurants, and bar; offering gasp-inducing views over the magnificent 90-foot black marble pool and the Andaman Sea at the horizon. We were given such a heart-felt-warm welcome as if to the home of a close friend, imparting a sense of peace and belonging, courtesy of Aman. Truly a home away from home. No logo. No Sign.
The ocean villa is the most beautiful we have even seen in Thailand. While the distinctive exterior of tiled roofs nod to the ancient architecture of Ayutthaya, inside the aesthetic is completely clean and contemporary. Villa 45 is most definitely the crowd jewel, located on the highest tip of the peninsula boasting the 360-degrees sweeping views over the Andaman Sea while giving a full sense of peace and privacy of a private island. This 9-bedroom (4-story) villa is completely spacious (5,800 sqm) and luxurious with not one but two private swimming pools, various areas for lounging, sunbathing, and dining. The villa also comes with its very own gym, spa with steam room, and in-house chef and house keepers. Every single room is exceptionally designed and deeply rooted in the respect of the destination; fully furnished with exquisite Thai textiles, and handpicked art and antiques. Upon our return to the villa, we found this 20 meters gorgeous midnight-blue swimming pool was fully lit by the seemingly glittering stars that were in fact countless candles surrounding it. Like Santa’s elves, Aman’s team moves swiftly and always ahead of you. Every day is Christmas with Aman! New day comes with new pleasant surprises! Of course, we took a dip into the pool before freshen up and enjoyed our Authentic Thai dinner served in the pavilion by the pool. Can we live here forever?
Now that we talk about food, your experience is incomplete without a visit to Amanpuri residential restaurants; Bua Bok (Thai) and Arva (Italian). We had the best ever made sticky rice at Bua Bok (ask for Khao-Neaw-Leum-Pua which literally translate as the forgetting the husband sticky rice ; the legend has it that this sticky rice is so good the wife cooked it, then ate it all by herself while forgetting to save some for her husband who will return home from work. And yes it is that good! At Arva we both seriously had the best Bread ever, and Patrick is French so bread is a big thing for us and this is the best we’ve ever had, courtesy of chef Luca Mascolo. Arva meaning cultivated in Italian, the restaurant is Aman’s way of tributing heart-warming local dishes of Italy. The perfect marriage between the high quality locally-sourced products with superb imported ingredients. Patrick was charmed by Tartare di Manzo (Angus beef tartare topped with horseradish, quail egg, and black truffle) and Polpo Alla Griglia (Mediterranean grilled octopus, which by the way does not taste like octopus and it heavenly melt in your mouth!) while I was completely hypnotized by Granchio E Barbabietola (Phang bay blue crab with beetroot, Avila, almond, and Aceto di Barolo invecchiato; it was beautifully decorated and the look leveled with its taste) and Risotto di Zucca (the pumpkin risotto served in real hollowed pumpkin). Save some space for Tiramisu, which the chef will prepare it fresh, right in front of you! Make yourself a favor and order Truffle pizza at the lounge, the pizza is also prepared by Chef Luca and it is to die for!
Amanpuri wholeheartedly captured the warmth and generosity of spirit so unique to Thai culture and yet allowing nature to reign supreme. The service is second to none and unmatched by others, everyone from the chauffeurs, housekeeping team, gardeners, and all of the staffs always address you by name and without mistake; they will all go out of their ways to make your stay an absolute memorable one. Each of Aman’s properties is designed to reflect each destination graceful architecture style in harmony amid some of the most diverse natural and historical landscapes. We are very much looking forward to the reopening of the border and to be traveling to many Aman as well as our return to Amanpuri. Aman we love you, wholeheartedly.
Jybby & Patrick