One of the easiest places to get to in all of Southeast Asia, Phuket, Thailand, is a destination hotspot in its own right. The largest island in Thailand, Phuket is a mountainous province located in the southern tip of the Andaman Sea. More than 5.3 million tourists flock to Phuket each year to experience its scenic beaches and picturesque mountain ranges. The island has flourished to international status in part thanks to numerous films, including The Man With The Golden Gun and The Beach.
However, the island of Phuket has long been misunderstood. First, the “h” is silent. And secondly, Phuket doesn’t feel like an island at all as it is connected to the mainland and it’s massive (49km long). When you are scooting around, you rarely feel as though you are surrounded by water. Branded the “pearl of the Andaman,” this is Thailand’s original flavor.
Phuket’s epic city is Patong, and this alluring strip is the biggest town and the busiest beach. Shopping and restaurants galore, there is only so much you can cram into each day. But there’s so much more than the surface of this island hot spot. Peel back the layers of sun-burned Bettys and you will see world-class resorts, top-notch spas, and fantastic cuisine.
My taxi driver passes the large, cut-out letters resting on the corner of the beach that spell P-A-N-T-O-N-G. He looks in his rearview mirror to make eye contact and says, “You stay at the Amari Phulet?” “Yes,” I smile, and he says, “That is the nicest place to stay in all of Pantong.” As we turn the corner and head up the hill, I can distinctly feel us leaving behind the chaos and enter into an elite heaven on earth.
We pull into the welcome area, and I am greeted by the manager and a friendly bellboy. They hand me a refreshing towel that smells like citrus. I drink cold tea as I check in. The lobby is gorgeous, expansive, and looks out onto the bay. Everyone who works here seems to have a gentle glow about them. The woman behind the counter who is checking me in is soft, kind, and smiles with her entire body. She is sincere and makes me feel welcome. As I hop in the buggy to be escorted to my room, the driver has the same sweet glow. I feel as if I have entered into a utopia, a secret paradise only a few know about. A hidden secret gem in the Andaman, a pocket of paradise. I am now one of the elite.
There are 380 guestrooms and suites; I am staying in the one-bedroom deluxe suite. My room is gorgeous; it has a separate bedroom and living room, LED TV, panoramic ocean view, private balcony, work desk, and complimentary bottled water as well as mini bar.
What is uniquely special about Amari properties is their elaborate flavors and textures showcasing highlights of each unique setting. You’ll see, feel, and taste the excitement of each individual destination. All are under the Amari umbrella, but each hotel has a unique touch. Here in Phuket, the attention to detail and the guest experience is what stands out. You can tell that every employee is focused on you and making sure your stay is perfect. They genuinely care about your well-being and it is a renowned service from the heart.
With only a five-minute walk to Patong Beach and 15 kilometers to Phuket Town, this location is perfect for viewing the highlights of Phuket.
On an island that has long attracted those seeking to get away from it all, there is a place where the ancient secrets of rejuvenation await you. I found such a secret spot tucked into the lush tropical hillside overlooking the clear water of Patong Bay. Welcome to Breeze Spa!
The waves rolling on the shore and the untouched natural surroundings form an exquisite backdrop. As I approach the front door, I walk through the large palm groves and past mini waterfalls. I am already relaxed with my nature walk; I can’t imagine it getting any better then this. As soon as I open the spa door, I am welcomed into a new paradise, one where my body is cared for and my wellness is a top priority.
With open-air massage salas scattered amidst a tropical forest and with stunning island vistas, Breeze Spa invites guests to retreat into the natural beauty of the island—and emerge refreshed and renewed. Tucked away in between the trees, each of the four teakwood massage salas is separated by a garden walkway, giving guests both complete privacy and panoramic views of Patong Bay. Double treatment rooms allow guests to share the experience with a partner or friend. Each sala has an outdoor shower, wet area, and a sun terrace. The larger deluxe sala also features a steam room and outdoor Jacuzzi.
After my spa consultation, I am greeted by Ms. Suphak. Her body glows with warmth and happiness. She smiles brightly; I feel as if I have known her my entire life. She escorts me to our private treatment room and we begin. I am doing the Phuket Coco Mojito package. This signature treatment is perfect for sun-drenched skin that needs extra nourishment and care. This high-performance hydrating and cooling full-body ritual restores damaged skin using aloe vera and calendula. This treatment is rich in antioxidants from botanical oils of coconut and shea butter, and is bursting with peppermint and lime essences for that perfect twist of coconut and mojito freshness. The ritual starts with a mask treatment infused with coconut and mint aromas. The process is a unique harmonizing experience inspired by ancient wisdom and a deep understanding of Thai touch. We finish off with a facial treatment to counteract the drying effects of the tropical climate and to promote skin recovery. I hear the sounds of the waves lapping below; tropical birds and geckos chirps all mixed with the soft electronic mood music playing on the speakers.
After my spa treatment, I head to the executive lounge for happy hour. It is exclusive VIP service for guests staying in executive suites. Included is its own private pool, fitness center, and lavish lounge with gourmet snacks and breakfast served daily. Happy hour is superb as I watch the sunset and sip on my fresh tropical ice tea. There is sophistication, candor, and warmth here; the property is professional but welcoming. You can tell their number #1 priority is you. There are some people who were born to do this, and here at Amari Phuket is a collection of people from all around the world who were born for hospitality. It makes a difference: I feel cared for, I feel loved. The ahi tuna arrives, and it is delicious. I eat it as I watch the sun tuck behind the Phuket mountains.
All in all, today has been a perfect day. I will be back to Amari Phuket, as it is my new favorite destination in the world.
Want to go?
Amari Phuket http://www.amari.com/phuket/
She is best-selling author of three books about happiness, including Find Your Happy and Adventures for Your Soul. She appears regularly as a happiness expert on AM Northwest and Huff Post Live, and was named among the “Top 100 Women to Watch in Wellness” by the Mind Body Green. Shannon's the founder of Playwiththeworld.com, an award-winning self-help and personal development website. She's an author, international life coach, teacher, travel writer and inspirational speaker who left her job in advertising several years ago to follow her heart and become a writer.
Her work has been recognized in media outlets across the globe such as HuffPost Live, Health Magazine, Australian Vogue, Women’s Health, Spirituality & Health and Entrepreneur magazine. Everything Shannon does is to help you connect to your true self and unapologetically live your authentic purpose.
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