The immediate surroundings (a gigantic golf complex and loads of serviced apartments) and the resort’s (non-private) beach aren’t the greatest, but none of that matters, as Banyan Tree Phuket offers plenty of activities to stay occupied throughout the day.
The villas, for starters, are the type of digs you’d want to spend the whole day at. We stayed at a family villa in the beautifully landscaped main resort area. Done in a typical Thai resort style, so loads of teakwood and gorgeous Thai art functions as a headboard. The master bedroom opens directly into a (seriously large) private pool, and inside our private walled garden, we also had access to a Jacuzzi, lounge sala and two open-air bathrooms with outdoor showers and a soaking tub (a nice touch, but when the creepy crawlies come out at night, you’re better off staying inside). The villa’s aren’t the newest anymore (though, renovations are on its way) – but they’re well-kept and impeccably clean.
The resort is strewn out over a huge area, but golf carts can whisk you to the pool, spa, or lobby with a quick call to the reception. And because all villas –even the entry-level ones– come with one (or even two) private pools, the resort’s main pool area is delightfully quiet. At any given time, we saw only a couple of other guests. And even if it would get busier, the pool is huge and there are ample day beds available.
Breakfast, served lakeside, is a hoot. While the buffet isn’t the biggest, the selection is excellent. It spans from continental classics to noodle soups, salads, and curries. We especially loved the many Thai touches, mango and sticky rice, Thai milk tea, and khanom wrapped in bamboo leaves. There’s even a separate station for Phuket specialties like fish curries and soups. Service is remarkably attentive, and a clean plate swoops under your nose as soon as you’ve finished the last bite off your previous one. More to love: mimosas and bottomless champagne served upon request.
Serious spa junkies should book themselves into one of the Spa Sanctuary villas, located in a separate area outside the main resort. The spacious adult-only villas all come with private pools, steam rooms and gorgeous glass-walled bedrooms that appear to be floating in the surrounding lily pond.
Here, it’s an all-you-can-spa affair with wellness activities throughout the day. Upon checking in, you’ll sit down with one of Banyan Tree’s wellness consultants to design a personal itinerary. Whether you want to calm down or get energized, the wellness programme offers activities off all sorts. The usual (really good!) massages, yoga- and meditation sessions are a given, but what sets the resort apart from other spa resorts are the specialized activities like posture alignment and couple yoga. On top of the free-for-all weekly wellness schedule, you’ll have an array of other treatments at your fingertips: sleep rituals, detoxifying diets and cleansing baths (with honey, ginger, tamarind and milk) are all available, and included in the room rate.
- Bring the strongest mosquito repellant you can find, because these little buggers will eat you alive.
- We only dined at the resort’s Thai restaurant, which was so-so. You’re probably better off at Tré, their contemporary fusion venue.
33, 33/27 Moo 4, Srisoonthorn Road
Cherngtalay, Amphur Talang,
Rates start at US$358/night (including breakfast) – Check availability
This stay was hosted by Banyan Tree Phuket, but expressed opinions are 100% our own