Along the west coast of Phuket, the most celebrated island on Andaman Sea, lies a lush green tropical resort that features luxurious all-pool villas nested around a beautiful saltwater lagoon and surrounded by the enormous grounds that are richly manicured with whispering coconut trees and lush floral garden. Banyan Tree Phuket is definitely an oasis of peace and tranquillity with world class spa. Upon arrival we were swiftly escorted to our beautifully spacious 1500 sqm Double Pool Villa, with our names both written on the wall! Special touch of attention to detail! As we walked into our villa our jars dropped; our infinity pool was fully and marvelously decorated with countless fresh floating white and pink lotuses. One of the prettiest flower pool decorations we had so far. A tower cake, a bottle of sparkling wine, and a welcome handwritten card from the GM were a warm gesture welcoming us to the property and we knew this is going to be a great 4 days 3 nights stay.
The car pulled in passing what looked like a ten feet tall Moroccan-influenced castle wall in deep purple hue. As the car stopped, we stepped out into a grand open-air Thai pavilion that literally sits on water and to make it more surreal, we were surrounded by 2000 candles that are all fully lit up. Each step we take walking from one stone to another is like walking on water; at the end the full hospitality team of Ritz Carlton awaits to give us a personal warm welcome to the property. “Welcome to Ritz Carlton Phulay Bay” where the mountain meets the sea, the voice echoed as the beautifully handmade flower garland made fresh purple orchid is being gently into our wrists. Then our butler quickly escorted us to our stunning Royal Andaman Sea Villa. Welcome to our home for the next 3 nights; come with us this way!
Located on Koh Yao Noi Island, just a few miles away from Phuket, 9 Hornbills Tented Camp is the latest addition to the Koh Yao Island Resort. Glamping has been in vogue for the past few years and it was time for us to experience it once again, but this time, with magical views of Phan Nga Bay. It was a wonderful and exceptional experience for travelers looking for an original beach retreat. Where authentic simplicity meets an Eco-conscious spirit with a sense of relaxed adventure in mind. The idyllic location in the remote jungle with the million dollar view of James Bond made famous stunning limestone isles rising from the ocean of Phang Nga is unmatched by non others in Thailand and that of South East Asia. This is most certainly the ultimate tropical island dream that one shall experience once in a lifetime. Get ready for luxurious pampering among the great nature where soul soothing is guaranteed.
“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.
It is so good to be back, the last time was 8 year ago when we were celebrating our 1st year anniversary together. Despite the long gap between these visits, Soneva Kiri has always been one of our top favorite three resorts in Thailand. In fact, Soneva is also one of our top favorite chains; we have been to every single property ever built. At Soneva, we always find the simple life at its very best; the kind of barefoot luxury meets secluded lush green tropical paradise. One of many things we like about Soneva Kiri is the swift and the ease of the travel, with 80 minutes direct flight from Bangkok’s Suvarnnabhumi Airport on the resort’s private jet. Time flew by so quickly, we hovered over many different beautiful islands of the Gulf of Thailand, the scenery that you normally would never see from Bird’s eye view (as there is no flight to Koh Kood or even our neighbor islands like Koh Chang or Koh Mak. After cruising down the turquoise clear water via our private speedboat, upon our arrival on this idyllic island, we were welcomed by our Miss Friday (as butlers are called here) on the jetty. She said, “Welcome back”. Let the holiday begin!
Sweet dreams are made of this; coconut trees stretch as far as your eyes allow them to, crystal-clear turquoise blue water reflecting the endless horizon above, where pure white satin sand beach is your private playground. This is definitely a homecoming, to our all-time favorite brand, Four Seasons. Koh Samui is where we call home for the week to celebrate our 8th year anniversary together on this romantic getaway.