It is easy to slip into a relaxed state of mind as you ensconce yourself in one of Banyan Tree Phuket’s 136 luxuriously private villas. The oasis of romance and relaxation is named after the five banyan trees it was built around. And now that the excitement of the 14th general election has come to a close, we can’t think of a better way to soothe frazzled nerves and reset and recalibrate than with a beach break. Phuket is also, conveniently, just a short flight away.
Recalibration comes easily, in fact, from the very moment one steps onto the property. A pond with a Zen water feature takes centre stage in the reception area. Guests are immediately welcomed with freshly baked biscuits and a delicious tomyam berry juice while lounging on wide white sofas. And that’s only the start. In the evening, guests may enjoy a sunset dance in the reception area, followed by a Thai drummer and dancers performing in the pond.
Banyan Tree Phuket is built on the damaged wasteland of a former tin mine. Restored and replenished with lots of greenery, the flagship resort’s grounds include an 18-hole golf course and surround a saltwater lagoon. The high gable roofs and Thai-style architecture complements the natural surroundings. Guests are free to walk to their villa or order a buggy.
Not only is the villa completely private, it also comes with its own pool. The Banyan Pool villa has a comfortable king-size bed on a raised platform that faces the sliding doors that open to the 3.5m by 6m pool. With his-and-hers sinks and cupboards, you have all the room you will need to unpack and unwind. A definite highlight is the open-air oval bathtub; fill it to the brim, add bath salts and oils, and soak your stress away while listening to the calming sounds of nature.
The Signature Two Bedroom Pool Villa or the Grand Two Bedroom Pool Villa are perfect for families or multiple couples. With the added features of a kitchenette and a spacious poolside terrace with enough room for an in-villa barbecue, these larger villas grant you enough space and privacy for any occasion. Or if you would prefer to indulge even more, there are the one, two or three-bedroom DoublePool villas that have wade pools surrounding the bedrooms for optimum lounging. The villas’ 15m infinity pool surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens looks out onto the lagoon. Each villa is positioned to ensure complete privacy. Order an in-villa massage or host a dinner party for your friends — the DoublePool villa keeps you well entertained.
Banyan Tree Phuket has a spa school to thoroughly train all masseuses before they are ready to handle guests in any of the group’s resorts. Famed for its extravagant spas, the resort has an extensive menu of therapies that offers the ultimate pampering experience. There are even couples spa treatments that can be enjoyed in the privacy of your own villa. Better still, you could book one of the 12 Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary Villas and enjoy unlimited in-villa massages of 60 or 90 minutes. The resort is known for its holistic treatments.
The personal turndown service in the villas is made warm and welcoming by the staff who anticipate all your needs and little gifts from the Banyan Tree Gallery. The gallery is a special part of the hotel, keeping traditional crafts alive by providing a platform for local artisans to display and sell their creations. If you have had enough of your private pool, tub, or even the public pool and bar, you could grab a quick buggy ride to Bangtao beach, where you can lie on the sand and gaze at the never-ending sea. As a matter of fact, everything is a short buggy or ferry ride away. There is the Canal Village Laguna Shopping area that is filled with boutiques and antique stores.
The resort has many activities that guests can partake in, such as yoga, pilates, kayaking, Thai boxing, golf, aqua gym, scuba-diving, tennis, batik painting and Thai cooking classes. Or if you are looking for a quiet space, you can head to the library that is fully stocked with books, magazines, newspapers and a DVD collection. Couples can even enjoy intimate destination dining, out in the lagoon or by the beach. Many romantic proposals and magnificent weddings have taken place at Banyan Tree Phuket, with the staff tending to your every need and striving to make your special moment unforgettable. Guests end their amazing holiday by making a wish on a wooden leaf that will be hung on the original banyan trees at the entrance. I am sure that many wished they would return to Banyan Tree Phuket very soon. I know I did.