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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The first time I visited the Luxsa Spa I noticed the staff ladies were barefoot as was common in many places I visited in Thailand so I began removing my shoes at the door. The young lady at reception intercepted me and explained it was not necessary. Soon she was showing me around the spa and inviting me to return for a massage to help me get my visit to Koh Samui to a relaxing start. I followed her advice and with the spa manager’s help planned several treatment sessions over the course of my stay.