I just stayed at the Anantara Phuket Villas for 5 days and 4 nights with my husbands. I researched extensively and had several criteria. I wanted a pool villa so we could relax in privacy as an alternative to the resort pools. I wanted a property that was small to medium in size to delivery exceptional customer service -- not the large, crowded, water-side-in-the-pool-style resorts. I wanted to be away from the crowded beaches. And all this for a budget in the $450 - $550 per night range. Not easy! But this hotel delivered on all those and more.
I came across Anantara Villas on several sites and read many reviews, included the ones here on TA. The most important detail to note when booking is there is a related property across the street, Anantara Vacation Rentals. This is a lower tiered time share property. Guest have some use of the Villas property like the restaurants (which I assume anyone would), and there is a path to the beach (which again I think anyone has access to), but Vacation Rental guests can not use the pool. I mistook the two properties and almost booked into the wrong one…only catching the mistake at the last minute. I would have had a very different experience had I not stayed at the Villas.
Our room was a Lagoon Pool Villa. Some reviewer here said splurge for this and I'm so glad I did. The Lagoon Pool Villas all face the large interior lagoon. Once you walk in to the fenced deck area, the layout is such that your views are remarkably private. Several windows and doors on the fence open up to this view and from our room and the private pool, you almost couldn't see another room. Just lush, tropical plantings and waterlilies -- a view that was just magical to watch at all hours of the day and night. Other pool villas with the same overall floor plan would have the same openings towards plantings but the space spilling out of our villa was amazing and really was worth the upgrade. The bedroom was spacious and comfortable. The bathroom was great and we enjoyed the layout -- a toilet room, a shower room, and the main part of the bathroom was a large double sink area with a slider that opened directly to the pool. My husband, an architect, found many details in our room he admired. And he is hard to please!
One of my favorite aspects about the hotel was the grounds. Once you are inside the resort, windy paths connect the villas to the main building and pool area. Sections of these paths are planted with bamboo that turns it into a green tunnel effect. Other parts are teak-style bridges with gas lanterns along the sides (I say teak style, because my architect husband noticed they were smart to use embossed concrete in this rainy climate). These were so fun to traverse especially by the resort bikes which were parked in several first come, first serve stations. Some of the bikes could have used a bit of a tune up -- fair warning..check your hand breaks before you need to stop! Lush and beautiful by day and romantic by night, it was a perfect setting.
Another review wrote a very helpful line which I will quote -- that the resort is starting to show it's age, and he only mentioned it because it will be much easier to maintain if they keep up with it now. My findings of this were also true. I am not the type of reviewer who will post every picture of cracked tile or such, but there were some signs if you looked of wear and tear. But that being said, in a villa resort with this many unique spaces both indoor and outdoor, and in a climate that wears hard on wood and other materials, I was surprised to not see more. I can't imagine how complicated it is to keep a property like this pristine and I will say the hotel is doing it as about a 9 out of 10.
If there is anything I would wish as an improved aspect is that being that the hotel is off the beaten path (20 minutes north of the airport), it's a little longer of a time investment to get to the popular water activities or jungle sites. The hotel has an activity counter that can help you book excursions, but they were the same ones I saw on line. Other hotels I've stayed at have a hotel run "menu" of activities which were great and generally a little more upscale to their guests than the standard ones. The villas did offer a sunset bike ride (which I didn't do) but I would have enjoyed other partial day opportunities, especially out on the water.
The service is very good. I would say just shy of 5 star. It was perfectly fine for me, but I think some customers of this price range will feel like the service could be a little more prompt. I have a large level of patience for "island time". Very friendly staff and they were able to help me at the excursion desk and the front desk with two specific booking needs.
The food was very good. The breakfast buffet was great and also the Thai meals we ate. Some of the Salt Sea Fire dishes fell short of excellent and also at the pool side bar, I'd like more options of food that's easy to eat when reclining on a lounger. Immediately next to the hotel is a market with ample supplies of drinks and snacks. Nice to have the option to stock up on a few items while you are enjoying your villa!
The beach at the hotel is amazing. And I'm sure compared to many of the famous beaches in Phuket it's a rarity….quiet, with no vendors, with very few people, no on beach restaurants, no house music, no jet skis. I realize this is not heaven for everyone, but when we were in the ocean watching the sunset with barely a person in site, I could not be more grateful that I had picked this location.
In general, the hotel met every expectation, and the villa and setting exceeding what I was hoping for. It's a long way to travel but I would come back here again someday if given the chance. My only regret was to not have more time since the amazing villa definitely discouraged me leaving and seeing more of Phuket.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tucked away in the charming tropical beauty of Thailand's premier island destination, Anantara Phuket Villas provides a luxurious refuge that opens out onto unspoiled panoramas. Awake to the sight of virgin sands backed by the lush vegetation of Sirinath National Park. Trek through the dense jungle by elephant to discover untouched island wonders. Relax in your private pool villa surrounded by the finest materials and design. Our Phuket resort puts the upmost emphasis on designer relaxation and guests' privacy, with 91 private Phuket pool villas scattered harmoniously across a prime stretch of Mai Khao Beach. Complimenting our luxury resort's tropically inviting accommodation is a host of services and facilities of the highest standard, including premium restaurants, bars and leisure facilities. Anantara Phuket's glorious contemporary design is inspired by a location that offers an array of activities, from diving in pristine waters to learning the ancient art of Thai cookery. The full delights of Anantara Phuket Villas are ready for you to enjoy. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Anantara Phuket Villas Hotel Mai Khao
- Anantara Hotel Mai Khao
- Anantara Hotel Phuket
- Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas