The next stop on our wild adventure was nothing short of mind-blowing. Who knew it would actually be getting even better? We arrived at Amanpuri Resort, the crown jewel of Phuket, in the middle of the day and felt at peace the moment we set foot on the property. Actually, Amanpuri is a word derived from Sanskrit meaning just that: “place of peace” and it’s something the resort has managed to embody well. A sense of peacefulness and calm follows you around throughout every part of the property; from our arrival to the majestic lobby to our room overlooking the ocean and all the way through every experience we had during our stay. We had actually planned to explore Phuket during these days but we ended up staying at the resort pretty much the entire time. I’ve never had a vacation and not left the resort in my entire life, but Amanpuri was just impossible to leave! There were two beaches; one very small and quiet and one larger. Our suite was two rooms and a big patio that was almost hanging off a cliff, overlooking the ocean and the jungle. Every morning we would roll out our mats and practice yoga with the sky and the sea merging in front of us. Breakfast was á la carte which was a nice change from all of our running up and down the buffet earlier in the week. My favorite dish? Rice and coconut flour Thai Pancakes with ginger and caramelized bananas. Yes. I ate this for breakfast. Every day! It wasn’t my healthiest vacation but it was definitely one of the loveliest I’ve ever had. Sometimes you just need to let go and relax! Pancakes every morning and wine every evening. Perfect.
There were so many things to explore at Amanpuri we could have easily stayed two full weeks. The hotel has paddleboards, jet skis and a wide selection of private boat tours. The gym is huge and overlooks the ocean on three sides, there is a private Pilates room, a yoga room and of course a beautiful spa. I loved the yoga space; it was outside and we felt like we were in the middle of the jungle with palm trees and exotic birds surrounding us. Our own room actually came equipped with yoga mats! Every afternoon there was a sacred tea ceremony right before sunset by one of the pools where we were served delicious local teas (hot or iced) together with fresh fruits, cakes and other treats. My favorite was the ginger tea with lemongrass and fresh passionfruit. Delicious! We were so cared for by the staff the entire time; never once did we feel something was needed or lacking, but at the same time we very rarely saw workers around. We had the most intimate vacation feeling like we were all alone, while being catered to 24/7. I was so amazed I actually had to ask management and it turned out Amanpuri has a staff of over 650 people! I was blown away by the discreetness and humbleness of ever person we encountered at the hotel. Each person had their personal touch (for instance, every evening we were greeted by a little gem and fresh flowers from the turn-down service) with an attention to detail I’ve never experienced before.
One of the most unforgettable experiences we had at Amanpuri was the BBQ on the beach. We didn’t know what to expect but when we walked down the stairs leading us to the hotel’s private beach we were so stunned we had to stop halfway just to take it all in. The entire staircase was covered with tiny flickering candles. Torches were placed all over the beach – there were even golden lights at the bottom of the ocean! The BBQ had everything from fresh lobster and oysters to Thai specialties to hummus and veggies. Olivia had grilled lobster (of course) and scallops, Daniella had pasta and grilled squid and I enjoyed the vegetarian buffet and headed to the dessert table after that. I had to try everything they had! Dessert truly is the purpose of having dinner. Mango with sticky rice is, and will always be, my favorite Asian dessert. I have to learn how to make it at home!
We ended up tearing ourselves from the hotel once once, to walk along the beach (and actually climb some huge rocks!) to get to Surin Beach nearby. We enjoyed thai food and the company of more people we’d seen than during our entire stay combined which was nice for a little while, but we immediately started missing the quiet intimacy of our hotel. Some trips are made for adventures and meeting new people; this one truly was for relaxing and rewinding. Our week at Amanpuri definitely recharged me and got me ready for the busy year I have ahead! I hope to return to Amanpuri (or any of the other Aman Resorts!) sometime soon.