Our flight was pretty early on Monday morning, so after a quick skype call to each of our dads (it was Sunday evening of father’s day back home), and one last stop at the Lebua breakfast buffet, we caught our flight to Phuket.
We got into Phuket around 10am. We had originally booked a room at the Hilton resort in Phuket, which looked very nice, though it was in the main tourist area, which has a reputation for being crowded and a little rowdy. But then, while we were traveling on our honeymoon, a deal came up on jetsetter.com for the Anatara resort in Phuket. It’s located on a fairly secluded northern beach (actually part of a national park), and it’s a five-star resort. For not much more than we would pay at the Hilton, we were able to get a 2000 square foot villa with its own private pool.
It sounded like an amazing deal, and when we arrived and saw it all in person, it was even better. Our villa was completely surrounded by a high fence, so you really have your own private space. It has a beautiful blue tile pool that’s a really good size. The pool is surrounded by a deck on two sides, and by the villa (with big sliding glass doors) on the other two sides. The deck is big enough to have two lounge chairs and a big umbrella as well as a whole covered outdoor seating area with a couch and a table and chairs, and its own minibar.
Inside, the villa exudes relaxation. It has dark wood floors and tables. A big beautiful bed, on which they had arranged two swans making a heart shape, sitting in a heart made of rose petals, with “LOVE” written beneath. There was a desk (and free wifi!), and another sitting area with a couch and cushions. One whole wall of the room is big glass sliding doors that open directly onto the pool.
There was a back room with two closets and a make-up table. Then there was the bathroom. It had two sinks, and a small couch. There were two interior doors, one to the toilet, and one to a huge rain shower. Then there was an exterior door at the far side that led to the outdoor rain shower.
Like the bedroom, the big wall in the bathroom was actually sliding glass doors. These opened directly to steps into a big stone tub, which was built directly into the pool, and even had a side-section made of glass, so you could see into the pool from in the tub.
But it wasn’t just the amazing design and layout that made the room so great. It also had a bunch of great finishing touches. Cute decorations and candles and things made the room look like home. It had an iPod stand that allowed you to easily play music on the surround-sound system installed in the villa – which included a speaker in the bathroom that you could hear while sitting in the tub. They had a bowl with flower petals and a selection of bath salts. There were robes and flip flops and slippers. There were yoga mats (despite our best intentions, we never managed to use these), and a sketch pad. It was easy to imagine spending our whole time in Phuket just in our villa.
And we did spend a lot of our time there the first day. Because the villa hadn’t been ready when we first arrived mid-morning, they sent us to the pool area down by the beach for complimentary drinks. The pool and beach area is beautiful, and there were only a handful of other people around. We easily got beautiful seats out in a shallow-water pool area. They laid out towels for us, put up the big umbrella, and brought us our drinks, as well as waters and apples. It was not a bad way to wait for the villa. Still, when we did get in, after touring around and taking pictures in amazement, we decided to take a little nap. And then swam. And then we rested. And that’s pretty much how we spent our first afternoon.
We eventually left the villa to get dinner. The Anatara resort has two restaurants, and they’re a bit expensive, but we wanted to try them out. The first one we tried is located right on the water – it’s called “Sea.Fire.Salt,” and specializes in sea food. It also has a salt sommelier who comes to your table and recommends particular salts to try with your meal.
Jeff and I got a bucket of assorted cold seafood that was incredibly fresh and tasty (and the Thai, Hawaiian, and White salt were nice with it). It included oysters, mussels (or something like mussels or clams – we weren’t exactly sure), crab legs, scallops, and prawns.
We also shared tiger prawns, cooked on a salt rock, which is a specialty of the restaurant. This dish was very good as well. We had it with two sides – wok fried vegetables and thyme potatoes, which turned out to be huge portions. We had a strawberry sundae for dessert and went back to our room very full and ready to relax again.
Back at the villa, we filled the bath with hot water, rose petals, and bath salts, and turned out on the lights in the pool. It was one of the most romantic scenes I think I’ve ever experienced in real life.
Eventually, we decided to cuddle up in bed and watch a movie. We were able to hook up my computer to the TV (we’d brought cords for this purpose), which meant we could basically watch any movie we wanted via the internet. We decided to watch the James Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun,” because part of the movie was filmed in Phuket. The movie was entertaining and light, and had some funny 1970’s vibes, since that’s when it was filmed.