Villa 9 at Andara Resort and Villas

Villa 9 at Andara Resort and Villas

An hour long flight from Bangkok delivered me to Phuket where an Andara Resort and Villas representative met me at the airport. After a quick greeting he handed me a scented flower lei, a scented moist towel and a bottle of water and we set out on a short drive to the west side of the island. We arrived directly from the Phuket airport to Villa 9 where Botan, a resort representative, was waiting to coordinate my check-in. She quickly explained the basics of the Villa 9 and the resort property, went over the paperwork, and introduced me to Tan, the housekeeper. As a guest at the family friendly Andara resort, meaning star of Andaman in Thai, I was welcome to use the resort facilities. Due to the inclement weather and thanks to the comfort of my villa I spent most of my time in Villa 9.

Twinpalms Phuket

Twinpalms Phuket

Built on a former coconut palm plantation Twinpalms Phuket, an adult oriented luxury hotel near the beach, had much to offer international travelers seeking an island getaway. What I first noticed was the lush foliage and attractive pool. As I walked around the verdant grounds, passing by the main pool area on the way to my suite I admired the flowering trees and inhaled the pleasant scent of fragrant flowers.

Sam Veasna Center for Wildlife Conservation

Sam Veasna Center for Wildlife Conservation

After exploring the central area of Siem Reap and enjoying visits to several of the world famous Angkor Temples that draw millions of visitors to Cambodia every year, I was eager to see a little of the country off the beaten path. When I heard that there was a conservation area within easy reach of Siem Reap (90 minutes) I jumped at the opportunity even though it was birding low season. I went on a Sam Veasna Center for Wildlife Conservation Bird Reserve and Floating Village Day Trip.

The Boathouse Wine & Grill

The Boathouse Wine & Grill

From the outside The Boathouse, named after an old painted fishing boat that stood near its entrance when it was established, looked like any other beachside restaurant. Even the interior of the open air restaurant with beautiful sea views was more informal than I anticipated. When we sat down to eat however the meal was more formal than the beach side setting implied. Each menu was distinctive and both were worthy of the special 45-minute drive each way I had made.

DusitD2 Chiang Mai

DusitD2 Chiang Mai

The dusitD2 was a stunning study in contrasts, a harmonious balance between the latest international standards for a luxury hotel and the timeless grace of Thai hospitality; a beacon of tranquility and contemporary refinement in the heart of bustling downtown Chiang Mai. Located on an unassuming side street in the midst of the city’s vibrant Night Bazaar, the clean white stucco and glass facade barely hinted to the chic urban sanctuary within. But the lobby quickly set the tone. Its serene minimalist expanse of gleaming bleached floors was punctuated with ultra-modern designer furniture and bursts of warm, persimmon-colored accents to achieve an understated yet dramatic effect.

Hansar Samui

Hansar Samui

Named Hansar to emulate the meaning of the word, happiness and joy, in the ancient Sanskrit language this newly opened family friendly beachfront property on Bophut Bay on the northern coast of Koh Samui, Thailand had many pluses. Among them were the 74-room hotel’s beach facing restaurant and upstairs lounge, a spa, an air conditioned fitness center, an attractive saltwater swimming pool and a computer room/library with two computers for guest use.