Despite pesky political upheavals, Thailand continues to pull in more foreign travelers than any other Asian nation. Which, naturally, has left visitors to Phuket somewhat bereft of peace and serenity. So the Anantara, opening in September, comes as a welcome relief for those seeking a more exotic and secluded holiday in this celebrated resort town. Arranged to sort of resemble a Thai village along the remote Mai Khao beach, the eight-three villas have individual infinity pool and terrazzo tubs, set amongst sculpted gardens and (would we kid you?) bespoke lily ponds.
Yes, it is a place of unapologetic luxe, with a signature spa, Thai cooking classes, and the chic yet uncomplicatedly monikered Beach Restaurant. But sensitivity has also prevailed — rather than bulldozing the site’s lone banyan tree, a stairway was built around it, leading up to the glorious Treehouse Bar, where one can cultivate their inner Bart Simpson while imbibing distinctly sexy cocktails. Cowabunga.