The Amatara was excellent! The food was fantastic, my wife absolutely loved the spa, and the Thai cooking class was a great experience. The meals, the pool, the ambiance, and the staff were first class all the way.
What comes into the mind of long staying expats and local Thai explorers when thinking about their next island destination around Thailand? Phuket may popup as an option into their travel plans, but the overrated island could also bare some negative labels: busy, touristic, overpriced … to name a few. As a long time resident in the 'Land of Smiles', I was also trapped into those stereotyped beliefs and often skipped Phuket as an option to spend a long weekend, preferring other islands such as Koh Samui, Koh Tao or Koh Chang, until recently ... A Thai celebrity friend told me about the world’s first luxury Thai Hammam, which opened in a luxury resort somewhere in Phuket. As an expert and aficionados of spa, health and wellness, I had to discover and learn more this novelty in Thailand. I quickly arranged to travel to Phuket during the first long weekend of May and was off to try all what Amatara resort and wellness had to offer for a very demanding traveller. The personalized service started at Phuket international airport, when my partner and I, were picked up in style at the arrival terminal by our friendly driver. The airport transfer was included in the room promotion package [promotional package and prices]. The VIP mini-van felt like a private jet cabin. We were offered soft drinks from the mini-bar in the comfort of our large leather seats, cold towels, iPad connected to WIFI, and an option to switch on the TV with our own selection of movies for the one hour ride to the five stars resort. After a pleasant ride and full of excitements, we were welcomed at the magnificent lobby offering an unobstructed view of Cape Panwa. Tucked away in a quiet corner of this idyllic island, Cape Panwa has long been recognized as the most precious jewel in Phuket's crown. Overlooking a secluded bay of pure white sands lapped by the turquoise Andaman Sea and boasting some of the region's most exhilarating diving, the flawless scenery around our luxury resort was simply breathtaking. We were soon introduced to our ‘24 hours’ butler, Khun Aoff who showed us to our Ocean view pool villa, 150sqm of pure luxury and comfort. We felt directly awed by the oversized lavish bathroom, grandiose bedroom with a lounge/reading area, and the splendid Jacuzzi private pool with sundeck, overlooking the Cape. We had suddenly no more need to go outside the resort and to fully enjoy the privacy of our own pool villa for three days. The Villa comes with complimentary well-stocked mini bar, daily laundry and pressing service of up to four pieces per person. Feeling hungry after few laps in our private pool, we headed to 'The Retreat', a hidden gem for healthy food lovers. 'The Retreat’ is opened for breakfast for Wellness Retreat guests and Pool Villa guests as well as lunch and dinner for all guests who are looking for healthy cuisine options. We were offered a variety of healthy options including raw juice blends, superfood smoothie blends, salads, appetizers, soups, broth, main course, desserts, herbal tea and healthy coffee. All ingredients are dedicatedly crafted based on the foundations of using real, unrefined, whole foods, free range, cold–pressed oil and avoiding extremes, additives, pesticides, toxins and refined sugars. The menu features seasonal, innovative cuisine with a diverse array of traditional and modern healthy eating influences. The food was created based on local Thai culture inspiration, which encourages us to nurture harmony with spirit, the environment and to re-connect with one another. Check the weekly activities newsletter for Thai cooking classes and learn in a relaxed atmosphere, the secret of longevity and health from this ancient Thai tradition. The highlight anticipated experience and main reasons for this trip, was to visit and try the unique multi-awarded and first worldwide Thai Hammam right here in Phuket. Blending together traditional Turkish and Moroccan bathing practices with the wisdom and gentleness of authentic Thai spa healing arts, the treatment combines the sensations of pampering, soaking, exfoliating, cleansing, contrasting temperatures, deep massage and calming rejuvenation. The ‘Thai Hammam Experience’ at Amatara started with a traditional sauna followed by a waterfall or jet blast rinse to cool down the body temperature. We were then escorted into the Hammam room to have an intensive hair treatment applied on along with the scalp massage before going into the Thai herbal steam room to soften skin and relax our aching muscles. Once the skin was softened, we indulged in a full body massage and exfoliation atop an internally warmed stone bed. The Thai hammam massage is a luxurious combination of 100% organic natural products (Moroccan Black soap) and therapeutic massage with a strong Thai influence. The next step in the journey was a deeply soothing, healing and detoxifying thermal mud bath. The body was completely covered with therapeutic mud (we both had chosen Moor Mud from Hungary), while we relaxed on an internally heated stone bench. The pores of the skin opened from the heat of the mud room and the previous stages of the Hammam process, and the dead skin removed, allowing the minerals of the mud to be absorbed into the body via the skin. This was not only wonderfully detoxifying and soothing for the skin, it helped to reduce inflammation in the body, thus reducing aches, pains and muscular stiffness. After several minutes, a gentle steam infuses the mudroom, softening the mud in order to be easily rinsed off. After rinsing, we took a rest in a soothing Himalayan Salt cave relaxation zone. Negative ions were released into the air of the salt room, akin to those of the fresh ocean air, and the salt elements were particularly beneficial for the respiratory system. As an ultimate pampering option, the Thai Hammam Experience can be ended with Amatara’s Signature Massage for deep relaxation. The surroundings are of exquisite architectural design with a mix of traditional Turkish and Moroccan influences with modern Asian style and luxurious elegance. The Thai elements of the Hammam are built around gentleness and a sense of wisdom referred to in the cascading mosaics, modern, clean geometry, and gold-colored Turkish fittings. Couples and family can enjoy to ‘Learn to massage Another’, a very special session designed to create a deeper, heartfelt connection between a pair of people (couple, friends, family). The Amatara Resort is an ideal spot for couples and families seeking a luxurious tropical vacation with all the trimmings.
My husband and I took my 88 year old dad with us on a short break to Phuket as we needed to get away from the dismal weather in Hong Kong to see a bit of sun. I chose the Amatara based mainly on other travellers experiences and we were not disappointed. The hotel is on Cape Panwa so about an hour from the airport depending on traffic. Took us over an hour to get there but much quicker on our return trip. When we arrived at the hotel we were immediately taken by the fabulous views of the infinity pool in front of the reception and the beautiful gardens around. The hotel is immaculately kept, and no matter where you stay you have the most amazing views of the sea or the surrounding bay. I had read that it is a very hilly resort so had asked that we be given rooms near the main areas to save my dad from too much walking. We were given fabulous rooms next to each other overlooking the bay. The rooms were large and superbly furnished with very comfortable beds and well-kitted bathrooms. Loved the freestanding baths which sadly we didn't get to use. From the spacious balconies we watched the glorious sunsets, absolutely stunning! The staff were fantastic and especially caring with my dad fondly referring to him as Papa, which he loved. They couldn't do enough to help, offering and regularly replacing iced water supplied by the pool. They would occasionally come around with little tasters, also by the pool a lovely touch. Breakfasts held in the restaurant were fantastic, a great choice of juices, cereals, breads and pastries, salads and Asian food all available in the buffet and cooked breakfasts, waffles, pancakes etc cooked freshly from the kitchen. We ate at The Grill one night and although we couldn't fault the food or the service, which were excellent as expected. My only adverse comment would be that as the only people eating there ( probably all evening) it was very lacking in atmosphere. We thought the prices were very high, and as its so reasonable to eat outside the hotel, it wouldn't encourage guests to eat there too often, if at all. We had a fabulous meal and wouldn't have looked twice at the bill in Hong Kong or London but we thought it very high for Thailand. We don't regret eating there as it was fabulous - and for a couple could be very romantic - but think the pricing needs to be looked at if they wish to attract more guests to eat at the hotel. My husband used the spa on our last day and said the experience was one of the best he'd had. We only really discovered the beach on our last morning, as the afternoon we'd arrived the tide was out and the beach looked very rocky and uninviting. Do yourselves a favour and go back when the tide is in, as although the beach is small it's very charming and with a full tide very easy to swim in, without having to walk over any rocks or stones. All in all I would recommend the Amatara very highly and we will no doubt return ourselves one day. There are many lovely hotels in Phuket - and some a lot nearer to the airport - but if you truly want a relaxing and peaceful few days in a stunning location, you really couldn't do any better!
a traveler United Kingdom
We booked at the Amatara resort for a week at the end of our one month honeymoon travelling around Asia. We arrived early evening and got a lovely warm welcome from the reception staff and were told that we had been upgraded from Premier sea view to Sea view cape which was very kind. The room was massive, very comfortable, beautiful views and very peaceful. Breakfast was incredible, a la carte hot food with a fantastic selection of European and Asian items to choose from a buffet. The pool was lovely, very peaceful and quiet, very attentive pool attendants bringing towels, ice cold water and fruit to you as needed. We decided to extend our stay by and extra 4 days within 24 hours of arriving, we were so impressed by the resort. We didn't eat in the resort as we prefer to eat locally. We hired a moped and went to some really good restaurants down the road that served great Thai dishes. There is a shop at the bottom of the driveway, it's quite a steep hill but if you ask at reception they will kindly drive you to the front gates. The location was perfect for us, right at the south of the island, away from all the tacky nightlife in Patong. Cape Panwa is very quiet,but not totally isolated. There are shops, restaurants, barbers etc within a 5 minute walk. The spa is lovely, we had the Thai Hammam treatment which was very relaxing and the spa is incredible. Towards the end of our stay we asked to have a look at the pool villas. We were taken there by Mai on reception and the moment we walked through the door we were sold. We were given a good price to upgrade and we spend the last 4 days in total luxury. Included in the pool villa package was a free laundry service, free mini bar, afternoon tea, a more secluded breakfast area and pool as well as complimentary cocktails between 6 & 7pm. It was worth every Baht! We absolutely loved it and kicked ourselves for not thinking about upgrading earlier! In summary the hotel is faultless, the staff were fabulous, Garry, Mai, Jik all took the time to speak to us whenever we saw them. We can't find fault with anything or anyone. It has been a perfect end to our honeymoon and this hotel has not set the bar for anywhere else we stay in the future. Thank you to every member of staff for making our stay so memorable. It has been 10 days in paradise!
Stayed with my wife for 3 days at the end of our Thailand trip to relax before the flight home. We had a private pool villa which was spacious, clean and very relaxing. The pool was larger than expected and had a jacuzzi function to make it more relaxing. At night the lights can then on so you can continue to relax in the patio area. The room was large and full of everything we needed. Great snacks and service! The bed was great soft and comfortable. The room had automatic blinds and the bathroom was HUGE. We had two bathrooms in the villa as well as a great soaker tub. My favorite part was the service! As soon as we arrived we were greeted and looked after like royalty. Martin took care and looked after us our whole stay. He even provided us with a romantic service putting flowers and roses all over the room. Make sure you ask for Martin he will definitely take care of you! Our villa price included a spa day, as well as high tea and a private area for breakfast. I highly recommend the spa, best massage I have had and they provide you with detox drinks and herbal teas that are unique to that region. This hotel is located at the south point of Phuket and is far from the airport so the hotel provides shuttles to see phuket town and the markets which is a great service. If you want to have some authentic Thai food outside the resort take one of the buggies to the main gate and turn left and walk 5 minutes to the end of the street and you will find great street food as well has a few restaurants that cater to tourists. We would go and grab some fresh grilled fish and squid as well as fresh pad Thai and mangos just a 5 mins walk from the resort. Amatara was a unique experience and is highly recommended if you want to relax and enjoy the views and have some privacy.
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