Thailand Special – Third Stop: Phuket

February 28, 2017 - Travel

Like I said in the post before, we had another two flights coming before arriving at the biggest island of Thailand – Phuket.

Truth to be told, the location is rather controversial. Part of the island is used as a party location, but our resort is a haven of exclusivity and wellness. The Amatara Wellness Resort – former known as Regent Phuket Cape Panwa – changed its name in 2015 and offers a new level of wellness and vacationing in Phuket. The resort is located at Cape Panwa, on the south-eastern tip of Phuket Island – just 15 minutes from Phuket Town and 45 minutes from Phuket International Airport. And the ride from the airport is an experience itself, let me tell you. We were picked up by a van, thinking there are more passengers riding with us. But no. We had the whole van for ourselves with two large seats to relax, our own mini bar with water and welcome drinks as well as … wait for it … our own TV to shorten the ride. So we started watching a movie, sipping on our drinks and suddenly we pulled up to a different world. The reception area opens up to the wonderful Amatara infinity pool, which overlooks the endless seascape. Already a beautiful sight that calms you and lets you know that a great experience awaits you ahead.

One of the staff members, Lena, who I remember very well because she was so extremely nice and helpful and made our arrival very fun, even though our plane was late, took us to our Ocean Pool Villa. What a dream. We stepped inside and already felt at home. One of my favourite things in the villa was our huge bathtub in the middle of the bathroom – when you opened the doors in front of it, you had the most amazing view on the terrace and again the beautiful ocean. Stepping outside the villa was another highlight – our own pool (again!!) with its own Jacuzzi. I was in heaven. Seriously.

Anyway, after a nice long bath and a restful sleep, we started with a three-day wellness package called Amatara Connect, starting with a breakfast at The Retreat – our go-to restaurant for the next three days. During the wellness package, the resort offers healthy and delicious cuisine here. Other restaurants are on offer as well, but The Retreat is a true treat. (See what I did here). And I am not only talking about the great meals – at breakfast I can recommend the buttermilk pancakes!! – but the breath-taking view and its own pool area just for wellness and villa guests. I have to admit we had a pretty tight schedule with a lot of treatments and experiences. But we were excited about a whole new experience and to see what this unique resort had to offer.

We started with a wellness consultation filling out a form about our health and goals. Usually the form gets sent to you beforehand, which I think is better since you and the resort can prepare your stay to the fullest. Afterwards we had a tour through the spa area and the nice gym before we had three hours of free time, which we spent at the beach. Amatara has its own private beach area, closed off from the outside world and therefore ensuring for an exclusive time while enjoying the sunshine. Later we headed back to the spa to receive our first Signature Amatara massage for the day. You can always request a buggy to pick you up and take you wherever you want to go, since the resort is built upon a cliff area and therefore sometimes rather steep to walk. But we enjoyed the outside and the hike made us feel fit. Sometimes anyway.

 

So the Signature Amatara massage combines different kind of techniques and focuses on your whole body. You get to choose your oil of preference before heading to one of the beautiful rooms. Thai massages, I have to say, surprised me a little. Before the staff asked me if I was ok with a Thai massage and stretching, I was like « sure. I mean everybody needs a little stretching ». Haha. Lets just say I hope nobody heard me screaming. BUT I still loved it. It hurt to be honest, but you feel great afterwards. Although I was not sure about doing that every day. Amatara Connect offers many experiences with your partner or loved one, so we had a special treat awaiting us afterward – to learn to massage another. Well now I could finally try out the stretching on another person – now that is fun.

After our bodies relaxed and were happy to walk and not stretch, we headed for dinner at The Retreat. Wow. Again I sadly forgot what I ordered, but it was so good and I just love to eat healthy because it makes you feel great afterwards. Just as great as the amazing sunrise, which I got to experience the next morning by chance from our Villa terrace. It was so beautiful and peaceful and a sight I will hopefully never forget. The picture doesn’t even do it justice.

After another amazing breakfast before we headed to our Signature Amatara massage for the day. Afterwards we had a private meditation session. I am sceptical about meditation. I have to say I do love yoga a lot, but it is very hard for me to sit still and turn off your mind. But we had the pleasure of practicing it with Uttam, who first talked to me about meditation and explained to me what it really means to meditate. I don´t know if I will be able to do it by myself in the future, but it was still a great experience.

After we headed to our healthy cooking class at The Retreat. It was not only really good, and beautiful products by the way, but also very fun and informative. We talked about meals of the different regions in Thailand, palm sugar and coconuts. Again. Which I love as you know. So we decided on a green Papaya salad, which is made in a big mortar and is called Som Tum I think, and cold Avocado and Carrot soup, but that we made in the end because it is the fastest and easiest. Then we made a green curry. I do love curry a lot, but Thai curry is just to spicy for me most of the time. We try to stretch it with more coconut milk and it looked so delicious but I just couldn’t eat more than a couple of spoons before my mouth started hurting. But the dessert was definitely my favourite and has been for the whole Thailand trip. I think I ate that at least every other day and that day I got to make it myself – Mango with sticky rice. And when I researched it right it is called Khao Neeo Mamuang. What an amazing dish!!! And the best: you can make it anywhere you get mango, sticky rice or risotto rice, coconut milk and palm sugar ( I use coconut sugar at home). And then we enjoyed our meal by our twosome. 

After eating way to much food, we headed to the spa for our nice manicure and my meeting with the Spa Manager, Phoebe Boonkerd, which was a real pleasure. We talked about the new developments and changes the resort went to in the last year to become a truly unique wellness resort in Thailand. She also told me about the new retreat programs including Amatara Detox, Spa Revive, Amatara Connect (which I can recommend to any couple), Weight Managament, Amatara Active and Amatara Yoga. The resort´s philosophy includes a personal journey to reach certain goals you seek with the help of professionals. We then talked about the first and only Thai Hammam in Thailand, which we would get to experience the next day.

At night we were pretty beat and so decided to enjoy the In-Villa dining option with food from The Retreat brought to us.

The next day I enjoyed a tour through the resort and got to know the other restaurants as well as the Library before heading to breakfast. Then we headed back to the spa to take part in our own private yoga session, again with Uttam, which I enjoyed a lot.

After lunch we were excited to receive the very special treat I talked about before – the first and only Thai Hammam in Thailand. The Thai Hammam experience is a rejuvenating, hydrothermal therapeutic treatment, with detoxifying, energizing, circulatory stimulant and immune boosting benefits and 100 per cent natural products. Comprising of several stages and utilizing contrasting temperatures, deep body exfoliation, massage, thermal mud therapy, and salt cave relaxation, this experience is sure to leave you in an unforgettable state of complete bliss.

The next day was filled with our daily Signature Amatara and our departure consultation at the spa where you talk about your experience, goals and health. But that night we were in for another very special treat. Cocktails at The Grill Terrace and dinner at The Grill afterwards. Starting with the cocktails, filled with rum made in Phuket, while overlooking the beautiful ocean and sunset what mesmerizing. And of course the snacks you get with your cocktails were not bad either. But we tried to restrain ourselves since we knew we got to try The Grill afterwards. So we headed downstairs into a beautiful ambience, but as always, we wanted to sit outside. You should definitely call The Grill beforehand to make reservations since it can happen that it is booked out – especially the tables on the terrace. So of course we had a delicious meal and extremely tasty steak and dessert before we rolled back to our villa. 

The next day was our first day without any treatments planned so we decided on a day trip to Koh Phi Phi, some may know one of the beaches from the movie The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio. Anway, Koh Phi Phi really consists of six islands and we got to see some of the most beautiful parts. But also some of the most well-known which means that 10 000 visitors try to see Koh Phi Phi per day. Which is a lot. But we decided on the early bird tour, which we got to book at the hotel and got picked up there as well which is really convenient. The hotel even made us breakfast boxes of our choice, which I found extremely nice. So then we started our tour which included a speed boat ride (very bumpy!!), Maya Bay (from The Beach movie), snorkelling, the Viking Cave (which sadly is closed to the public now), Phi Phi Don Island and Monkey Beach. By then the masses were coming in and our efficient tour guide decided to take us to another island to relax, which was way more quiet. Ko Racha Yai was another great experience where we enjoyed coconuts (!!) at the beach and swimming in the beautiful warm water before we headed back to Phuket.

The last day we just decided to relax and do nothing all day. First day of just lying by the beautiful infinity pool and not going anywhere else. Well that didn’t happen. We woke up to a full on rainy day. I was very upset, but the hotel came to the rescue once more. We found out our TV had Apple TV and so they connected us and we stayed in bed all day and watched movies. Ok maybe it sounds lame in Thailand but we were busy every day so far and if the weather would have allowed it I would have stayed in the sun all day, but it was still a great plan B to spend a day relaxing before heading to the airport the next day and saying goodbye to the beautiful Amatara Resort and its most amazing view.

0 Comments

Comments are disabled for this post.

About

Diary Deluxe follows the Publishing Group Deluxe’s team on their travels, experiences, their visits to events and their exploits in Europe and the world. Here, we will be presenting the best from the world of luxury.