Phuket's finest resort. The renowned, visually stunning Amanpuri is terraced into palm-shaded hillside above an exquisite white-sand cove (only an hour by air SW of Bangkok). The entire enclave conveys a beguiling Thai-Buddhist ambiance. A maze of walkways and steep stairs provides access to the 40 luxurious all-suite accommodations. In addition, there are 30 multi-bedroom Villa Homes.
Amanpuri private villa
Two informal open-air restaurants offering Continental, Thai and Italian cuisine flank a serene 100-foot freshwater pool. Other facilities include tennis, a sophisticated indoor/outdoor spa and a fitness gym. Championship golf is available nearby. Scuba diving excursions and cruises to the Phi Phi Islands and dramatic Phang Nga Bay can be arranged on the resort's fleet of charter yachts and speedboats.
A romantic and cosmopolitan sanctuary. Two- to Six-bedroom Villas with private pools on request. Consider the Six Senses Sanctuary (below) for a more remote property.
Our take: Aman or Six Senses, Phuket or Samui? Weather? Give us a call and we'll help oyu make the right choice.
Six Senses Sanctuary
Opened in 2010, the Six Senses "sanctuary" provides a compelling alternative to the Amanpuri. On the rural island Koh Yao Noi (an hour off shore from Phuket) is now the most exclusive resort on the islands.
The wellness theme permeates the resort and is the ultimate stress escape as one visitor notes: "days quickly fall into a rhythm of treatments, organic food, workout sessions and alternative therapies from iridology to blood analysis. The day is followed by perfect rest and deep, deep sleep. It can be hard to get to early morning yoga or kayaking because the bed is so comfortable." The rooms feature signs made with coconut husks, sugar palm leaf thatching, earthy tones, textured walls and natural light. There are 61 villas and two ubervillas - the Enclave and the Retreat on the Hill that are palatial compounds.
Our take: Privacy and wellness are paramount at this remote resort.
An Orient Express (Belmond) property, recently-remodeled (2011). The Napasai is located on a tranquil part of the island at Maenam, on the quieter Northern coast of Samui—one of the most unique and private locations with magnificent ocean views.
Napasai is a more intimate and value choice than the other top pick on Samui, the luxurious Four Seasons (on the other side of the island) and over the rustic Anantara. As is the Orient Express style featuring local traditional motifs, the 69 spacious rooms and suites are tastefully decorated in traditional Thai cottons and silks, wood and bamboo. The large baths are pleasant for relaxing after a long day of exploring the surroundings or water activities. Choose from a luxurious 2 bedroom Private Villa with pool, a Beachfront Family cottage (sleeps four), a Spa Cottage, a Beachfront Cottage (one bedroom) or a Seaview Cottage (one bedroom) for more dramatic views of the area.
Thai cuisine, or seafood prepared with French. With a cooling exotic drink, relax at the bar or by the large free-form pool. The pool area is a standout, spacious with stunning views over the water and private beach.
Our take: This sprawling resort feels quiet even when full, with generous outdoor spaces for privacy. On the least busy coast of Samui. The Napasai also features the best gym of any other resort.
Krabi's, if not one the country's finest resorts situated at the heart of the stunning Phranang Peninsula on the edge of Krabi Marine National Park. Rayavadee is nestled discreetly amidst tropical gardens and coconut groves against a backdrop of sheer cliffs, lush jungle foliage and the clear waters of the Andaman Sea.
The secluded 28-acre resort is an oasis of lush gardens, meandering paths, ponds and just over one hundred stylish lodgings in idyllic setting are a perfect couple's or honeymoon escape, although families can be accommodated. Circular two-story pavilions feature spacious living rooms with full bars, entertainment centers, large bedrooms and baths with soaking tubs and walk-in showers. Family pavilions have two bedrooms; spa pavilions include outdoor Jacuzzis; hydro-pool pavilions have private pools.
Four beach side villas each have a large pool, a master suite and one or two guest bedrooms. Krua Phranang, one of four restaurants, serves traditional Thai dishes. A luxurious spa provides a complete range of treatments.
Our take: One of the most striking settings for a resort in the world, more remote and remove from more developed Samui and Phuket.
Thailand offers an unparalleled selection of private villas on the islands. Contact for the perfect place to accommodate your family, friends, or a sublime end to your Thailand honeymoon (below, Samjuna private villa on Koh Samui).