Indagare member J.M. recently returned from a romantic getaway in Phuket. Here are his impressions from the trip.
Because we live in Singapore, Phuket, only a two-hour flight away, is the perfect weekend getaway for us. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Amanpuri representatives who whisked us through customs and into a luxury car to take us to the resort (this was very helpful seeing as the local airport is terribly unorganized). While this was a small extra cost, we were very glad we splurged.
The property has changed a lot since my last visit ten years ago, but the hotel itself remains the flagship Aman property, and it is as impeccable as ever. The buildings and architecture blend beautifully into the environment, but we found it unfortunate that there are a number of private villas which have been leased back to the hotel for their short term management. Consequently, there is not the same level of service and name recognition that you might expect from the Aman. However, the general manager was a clear exception to that service compromise; she greeted us at every single meal we enjoyed throughout our five-day stay. Not only did we see her regularly, but when we asked to see some of the new villas available for rent, she immediately and without question took time from her schedule to show us personally and in great detail (two villas were stunning and definitely worth the extra cost). She sets a stunning example to the rest of her very able staff.
The rooms are built according to a standard layout, but what varies enormously is their position around the property, resulting in each view being different. Some are close to the beach or the main building, while others are not, and require a long, hilly walk, which could be a problem for older visitors. While there are golf carts to take guests around, you really do need to be semi-mobile to get around the property.
The onsite restaurants were fantastic. Naoki was easily the best Japanese restaurant I’ve been to, and all of the Asian-inspired dishes we had during our stay were exquisite.
In summary, we will be going back more often. It is a special place, and a true “wow” property.
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