We knew it was something special when the S-class mercedes arrived to collect us from the disappointing Sarojin for the 25mins drive here.. Thank goodness my wife chose this as our last stop. If we had finished with the Sarojin then we would have been very sad...
Instead we were treated to the wonderful Wanakarn. It is in another league to most of the other luxury resorts. (Note this place is part of Relais & Chateaux so does have various quality processes/inspections...and it shows)
Only opened for a few years... This explains the smaller number of reviews on TripAdvisor. It's also smaller than most resorts and I suspect most of the high-end guests coming here are not the type to contribute to TripAdvisor!
Only 15 villas... so it's very quiet. We had the soft white sand beach to ourselves for 3 days. Not a single guest joined us... It was amazing to have 20kms of beach all to yourself.
Food was outstanding. The chef (young Thai lady, trained in London five-staf hotels) is a real asset. Tell her what you like/don't like and she will design a special menu just for you.
Wine/drinks were good value. Many resorts are completely overpriced but here good drinkable everyday wines start at £20 a bottle..
Rooms were very well-equipped. Good layout. Private plunge pools. Smart bathroom, dressing area meant you could hide all your luggage from view.
Management: Fröde, the Norwegian manager was very friendly and chatty. Extremely helpful. He even fixed our missing passport papers so we had no hassles at airport. That really was beyond the call of duty.
Staff: Mainly locals who are really proud/enthusiastic to work here. Lots of genuine smiles and helpfulness.
NEGATIVES (very minor):
- Korean honeymooners... This place has a lot of Korean honeymoon guests... good business for the resort. These young couples are no trouble, keep themselves to themselves but sometimes the restaurant can resemble a college canteen with lots of Facebook photos being taken.... Eat later and you will have the restaurant to yourself.
- Loved the live music. The jazz saxophonist was amazing but the band (on other nights) can become repetitive. Need to vary the playlist or have a few nights off...
- Riptides... Can be strong tides in the sea but hotel has a large pontoon area for safe swimming...
- Decking... the poolside decking was terrible with varnish peeling everywhere. Needs a good rub down and teak oil!
- Spa... We didn't use it. Had heard it was a little too small and it's not run by the hotel staff. Needs to be better integrated into the visitor experience.
WHO'S IT FOR? This is an upmarket (but informal) luxury retreat destination. Don't come here if you want to party, explore, shop or dress up... but do come here if you want to relax, unwind, and be absolutely pampered! Lots of return customers, royalty, Hollywood etc...
It was the perfect destination to finish our honeymoon in Thailand.
Recommend: Yes... to everyone
Return visit: Already in the pipeline!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Wanakarn Beach Resort & Spa, affiliated with the prestigious Relais & Chateaux organization, is located on Thaimuang Beach, 40 minutes drive from Phuket International Airport, and is situated on 15 acres of pristine beachfront land facing endless white beaches and the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea. As an all services, all facilities luxury boutique resort it offers generously sized villas in a harmonious blend of contemporary Thai style architecture and design, exquisite dining options and an abundance of sports and leisure activities. Set in a tranquil and peaceful environment it offers the discerning traveler complete relaxation and an escape from the outside world while being pampered in true Thai style. The grounds are a natural botanical garden exploding with the colors of exotic flowers and lush greenery and utmost care is taken to preserve the natural beauty and the environment. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Wanakarn Beach Resort & Spa Thailand/Phang Nga Province - Thai Mueang