Autumn Mooney is a photographer/photo editor & travel writer based in Sydney, Australia. Having worked in glossy magazines in Sydney, London, Dubai and Singapore, the charm of wanderlust continues with reviewsinternational.com
Dewa Phuket Resort and Spa is a boutique style hotel located so close to the airport you won't think twice about stopping for a quick rehydration spa treatment and luxury slumber – pre or post a long flight...
For holidaymakers, Phuket is an idyllic island-paradise destination, a perfect place to spend a well-earned holiday chilling out. The last thing you want to feel on a holiday like this is jetlagged or dehydrated, particularly if your flight movements involve uncomfortable o’clock hours in the morning. What you need to combat this is a bit of osmosis therapy like soaking in your own private pool, or circulation stimulation from an expert masseuse, and a good night's slumber somewhere near the airport. Enter The Dewa Phuket.
On arrival to the villa style reception from the airport literally 5 convenient minutes away (which means transfers are flexible), friendly staff greet you with their famous Thai smiles and present a refreshing iced Rosella tea and cool scented washcloth.
The Resort is a combination of deluxe resident apartments, and luxury holiday villas - there are actually 34 villas, complete with own private plunge pool, flat screen TV with multiple channels, thermostatic air-con, outdoor lounge and table setting in a serenity garden landscape. Soaking in water at sunset is encouraged with a mammoth bathing tub and shower setting (outdoors and completely secluded.) The ultra-mod interior décor features a large cushioned couch to chill out on and the most comfortable four-poster bed with deluxe feather pillows and surround transparent drapings, in which you will find yourself waking to the sounds of the ocean nearby.
The Spa gives each guest a private setting for their treatment.
Continental breakfast includes sumptuous healthy treats to energise for the day ahead, and a gym and lap pool are handy in case you eat too much! If you forget your phone charger or adapter no worries, the hotel can help, and if you fancy a DVD there are free movies to select from. Services available are baby sitting, Extra activities on offer are everything from cooking classes, yoga, mountain biking, fruit carving, snorkelling or diving to cooking classes, scheduled in with the market day to ensure you are cooking with the freshest products.
My Verdict: Best luxury stay before the holiday really begins. Also a great pre-flight prep before that long flight home.
Andakira Hotel is located amidst the hustle and bustle of Patong Beach in Phuket, where a nightlife of beeping mopeds and chaotic streets tailored to tourism are very mainstream, so this shiny new urban hotel stands out from the crowd for the simple fact that it is well, brand new and shiny!
Entering the hip-décor foyer to the sound of surround water features, you can rest on the ultra modern couches for check in. Your Superior room will have you comfortable in air conditioning, in a clinically clean suite with modern western toilet and shower, looking out over Patong's red-tile-roofed town towards the tropical mountain greenery that borders the beach village. ‘Anda' actually means sea in Thai, and ‘Kira' means mountain, so when you're standing on the balcony looking at such a magnificent mountain, a name like that makes complete sense for the location of the hotel.
A large TV and wireless internet access and cute balcony are yours to be entertained with - if you don't head up to the infinity lap pool or jacuzzi and pool bar (where you can also play pool) or have a massage & Spa treatment.
Leave your important belongings in the safe while you take a free shuttle bus to Patong beach for the day, for a spot of swimming and suntanning. Meander through shops, massage parlours and restaurants that keep the Patong tourist town alive, then catch the bus back to the hotel (also free) just be aware of the return bus time, as the last one is early evening.
The restaurant offers daily buffet breakfast for you to start your day with a full belly. It also offers Thai food for sit downs, or you can order room service if you crave Western food. Otherwise, food options just around the corner are at a night bazaar, or extremely modern and fancy shopping mall with high quality restaurant alley - if you're looking to forget that you are in Thailand (it's very tourist orientated) If heading to this mall be sure to stop by the indoor fish tanks to have plank fish nibble at your food for a natural skin exfoliation, 15 minutes for 99 thb, cheap as chips in Thailand. Or for the boys is a massive Muay Thai Boxing Stadium with regular boxing matches, can't miss this hyper-coloured world!
Andakira Hotel is a very clean abode, I'd recommend it as exactly where you should stay if you want to holiday in Thailand during the day, and stay ‘at home' during the night.
The Spa Pool Villa at the Banyan Tree in Thailand's idyllic Phuket is where you can holiday in luxury and feel like absolute royalty.
I arrived at the Banyan Tree Resort and Spa as a large group of guests were leaving an Indian Wedding holiday stay. Ten packed vans headed for the airport and more guests staying behind, as I entered the grand foyer. My transfer driver had mentioned a very wealthy couple paid for their guests to stay for the whole week, charge anything to their room - completely enjoy themselves, with one bill totalling... well, a very successful week for this hotel. I wondered why such a famously wealthy couple would choose this particular hotel to celebrate a happy and typically expensive union - it must be worth it. I was told that Jean Claude Van Dam and the band Good Charlotte also chose to stay here for their Thai sojourn. Celebrity's stay here? ...Just ten minutes later, after checking in and viewing my spa pool villa, I completely understood.
For the check-in process I was escorted poolside with chilled rose tea and scented ice washcloth, while my passport details were recorded. Presented with a host called Oai, who was to act as my personal assistant for the entire stay, Oai told me she would make sure I was at the right place and time for activities I selected. Oai was super smiley and efficient, providing me immediately with a mobile phone - programmed with her number and the hotel reception, so that we could keep in contact easily. Offering to carry my handbag, and ordering the bell boy to transport my luggage to my room, Oia drove the buggy (while mumbling ‘oops' a couple of times - as driving a buggy is different to driving her regular moped she told me, and I had to laugh for I could see that were true,) through the very large resort grounds to the Banyan Tree's Private Pool Spa Villa Section (it has it's own entrance and lobby.)
If you are ever lucky enough to stay in a Spa Pool Villa at the Banyan Tree, you'll find that being treated like royalty is how you spend your stay. Relaxing in your own royal oasis within an oasis. Just walking across a bridge upon lily pad waters to your exclusively luscious garden with serene pool area is a breathtaking experience. An infinity pool looks out to a magnificent sky-mirroring lake, adjoining an outdoor bubble Jacuzzi and bath with an outdoor shower area too - all yours to enjoy completely and privately. Cushioned beds face towards the pool by another lake of floating lily pads, which also encircles the villa and gives a great glimpse inside your ultra modern abode, through transparent glass walls. An outdoor sun lounge and twin massage tables stand overlooking the horizon to watch the Thai sky turn pink at sunset and sunrise, and a Buddha statue watches over - encompassing a Zen-like state.
I was still mesmerized with the outdoor area, as Oai took me inside for the interior tour. Stepping into the villa I found myself in perfectly chilled air-con with three mysterious doors presenting themselves. I felt like Alice in wonderland opening each door. Behind door number one to the right, I found an ultra modern lounging area with luxurious Asian décor of black and gold trimmings. With patterned canvas prints adorning the walls, and an overflowing fresh fruit bowel, (refreshed everyday of my stay,) as the centrepiece. A huge flat screen TV, fancy mini bar and complimentary Twinings tea selection, modern espresso machine, and DVD player were mine to be entertained with. A large soft sofa lounge adorned with giant sized cushions, and sidelined with travel magazines and Thai Photography books - there to peruse in my down time. (What down time? I'm too busy indulging in luxury!) A study area set with a stationery and inward facing desk were perfectly placed for the laptop I had brought along (If only to describe my luxurious surroundings to friends on Facebook... ) Views through the window-walls were of surrounding lush tropical plantation, my infinity pool and horizon lake. Yes, I was in heaven.
Opening door number two I found a deluxe bathroom with glass walls revealing more exquisiteness of the exterior gardening, and a tall mirror area. Here was an abundance of complementary toiletries such as soaps, hairbrush, toothbrush and paste, nail file, sunscreen and usual accessories all of a very high quality. Banyan Tree proudly decorates the room with self-branded hand towels, lotions and potions, comfy slippers and dressing gowns. Under the mirror were two pots of salt, with instructions ‘Scrub of the Day: Prepare warm bath, soak your body for 10 mins, scrub gently with a circular movement.' And at the end of the room two grand outward opening doors took me directly to a generous bath - aka second outdoor Jacuzzi, also surrounded by floating lily pads. (This gets filled with flower petals and lit up with candles if you are lucky enough to experience the Banyan Tree's ‘night of bliss.')
The last door, number three - in the middle - opened to the master bedroom with a extra large king size bed and feather pillows encompassed in a glass wall - showing off outsides tropical plant life on water. Double layer curtains were electronically hooked to close at night (if you prefer not to be awoken by the sunlight in morning.) Looking up, a huge silk tent ceiling extended the luxe factor for slumber time. A miniature pillow selection was on display in case I wanted to change the material of my bedding. Aromatherapy filled the rooms with a beautiful scent everyday, and an incense and oil selection was also provided.
For complete luxury, friendly faces, and serene grounds - a stay here should be on the to-do in life list.