The Banyan Tree Phuket has long been one of the world’s top spa resorts, and years of competition with the neighboring Amanpuri have kept it at the top of its game. Phuket is anything but unspoiled—this is one of the most traveled destinations in Asia—but from the privacy of one of the Banyan Tree’s 123 private walled villas, the feeling is one of utter seclusion. Thus the appeal to celebrities, royalty, and other VIPs who pay frequent visits here; this place is paparazzi-proof.
The resort is located on the almost-too-beautiful-to-be-true Bang Tao Bay, where the technicolor blue of the Andaman Sea meets the whiter-that-white sand. If it looks like set design, it is, to some degree — this bay is largely man-made, a once blackened and desolate former tin mine, reclaimed and repurposed, rather impressively, for environmentally-friendly tourism.
The villas are traditional through and through, with red wat-style roofs and interiors rich with authentic touches like platform beds, teak floors, and murals depicting scenes from ancient Thai mythology. The villas are all private and freestanding but vary widely in appointments; some have outdoor baths, others have private jacuzzis or swimming pools, and the Spa Pool Villa features a floating bed pavilion set on a lily pond and a private in-villa spa.
Those less fortunate can make use of the main Banyan Tree spa, offering traditional treatments in open-air pavilions as well as slightly more active diversions like yoga and tai chi classes. Tennis, golf, and an array of water sports await the truly sporting — who are sure to be in the minority. Most guests will while the days away at the beach and in the spa, and allow themselves to be waited on hand and foot by the Banyan Tree’s unbearably friendly and efficient staff. Nights can be quiet or loud, to suit your tastes — Phuket’s nightlife is legendary, but the villas are as quiet as you want them to be.
Banyan Tree Phuket is a 20-minute drive away from Phuket International Airport and a 25-minute drive from Phuket town. Please contact email@example.com to arrange airport transfers.