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Anantara Layan Phuket Resort

Photo by Michael Reiss

Just 20 minutes from the Phuket Airport--but a world apart--sits this boutique luxury resort. Located in the middle of a nature preserve, which is surrounded by hills and a lush tropical forest, lies this idyllic beach resort. The traditional Thai smiles and the gong welcome you along with flowers and their magic tea that changes from blue to purple with a squeeze of lime. The Anantara Layan Phuket Resort is built into a hillside that topples into the sea has everything you need for a brief stay or an extended holiday.

The rooms and villas are thoughtfully set up to anticipate what you need, when you need it, all right at your fingertips.

Photo by Michael Reiss

The rooms and villas are thoughtfully set up to anticipate what you need, when you need it, all right at your fingertips.

Photo by Michael Reiss

As you stroll the property, you’ll be enchanted by the main infinity pool that spills onto the sand and into the sea.

Photo by Michael Reiss

At low tide you can walk for miles while at high tide, besides swimming, lolling on the beach and visiting the Mojito hut, the sports shack offers all manner of water activities. If your feeling ambitious, check out the daily schedule for a full program on property, tons of optional tours and a complimentary shuttle service to Phuket town. The well- equipped 24-hour fitness center is conveniently located adjacent the full-service spa and pool. Bicycles are complimentary, and a Thai boxing ring awaits your prowess.   A highlight is the sunset watch and evening gong ceremony best observed from Breeze terrace while sipping a cocktail and perusing the international menu for the evening’s meal.

Photo by Michael Reiss

The spa punctuates the serenity you are already feeling. From proven Parisienne oxygen facials brought to you by the Spa manager direct from France to traditional Thai massage and everything in between, this spa aims to please. I experience a signature body treatment in the hands of a skilled therapist that melted away the last remnants of muscle fatigue just in time for dinner at the acclaimed restaurant Dee Plee.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Although we have enjoyed Thai food in many venues, the range of offerings at restaurant Dee Plee, the artistic preparation and the food quality was--by any standard--gourmet. They conveniently suggest several combination meals to help you navigate the endless choices.

Photo by Michael Reiss

We particularly enjoyed the shrimp patties that were reminiscent of crab cakes with a delicate blend of Thai spices. Another standout was the Duck Curry with a light, flavorful sauce complimenting the perfectly tender, succulent duck breasts, not to mention the memorable classic Pad thai.

Photo by Michael Reiss

The breakfast buffet was again remarkable. A vast array of items was artistically presented so as to make choices impossibly difficult. The made-to-order items including freshly made juice smoothies, donuts, crepes, and samosas, which were a standout along with the international selection of meats and cheeses--including an aged parmesan wheel paired perfectly with the complimentary Prosecco.

Photo by Michael Reiss

If you are a foodie, arrange for a cooking class. It's hard to imagine a better spot to learn and enjoy a Thai meal than with one of their Thai chefs. All the ingredients for a three-course lunch are prepped ahead of time. You have your own cooking station. The chef explains the ingredients, their rationale for use in the dish and then you follow along, and…voila, you then eat each dish--comparing and tasting the Chef’s to see how well you did. Your confidence level will surely rise as you are presented with your certificate of completion and apron along with the recipes to duplicate at home. What better souvenir of your Thai trip than that!

Photo by Michael Reiss

The Anantara Group of Hotels is noted for providing specially curated experiences for its guests. At Anantara Layan, it is their Dining-By-Design. Several venues-- including the beach and Wedding Chapel are proposed with a selection of menus to make a memorable special occasion out of any night at this resort. We selected the Wedding Chapel, as it has a commanding view of the ocean and property from the hillside. Nothing could have prepared us for the gracious treatment we received. The candlelight entrance, the staff at the ready to serve, and the exclusivity and the care taken to meet our special requests was beyond the call of duty.

Photo by Michael Reiss

A highlight of the offering was the a la minute Chef-Grilled Lobster paired with Champagne Billecart-Salmon. We were swept away by the genuine effort to make this a special evening.

Yes, there are numerous resorts in the area, but, by all measures, the Anantara Layan Phuket sets the standard for luxury accommodations that exceed expectations. 

Photo by Michael Reiss

Diane Sukiennik & Michael Reiss

Diane Sukiennik is an internationally recognized writer, coach, keynote speaker, consultant, educator and licensed therapist. She is the author of The Career Fitness Program: Exercising Your Options, 11th edition, Prentice Hall, the most widely used text in colleges and universities in the subject area. A self-proclaimed 'leisurologist,' she speaks French and Spanish, is an avid world traveler and...(Read More)

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