A sense of peace
Immerse in wellness at Amanpuri
Since my last vacay was at Amandari in Bali, it seemed fitting that the first holiday I took post-lockdown should be at Amanpuri in Phuket. Though this wasn't my first time at the resort, it certainly felt like it!
Laying claim to a palm-studded peninsula and the beautiful arc of Pansea beach, Amanpuri is a rare tableau of days-gone-by Thailand. The flagship resort of the Aman group, it is the birthplace of the hospitality that the group is so well-known for.
As you enter the open-aired lobby, your eyes are immediately drawn to the midnight-blue infinity swimming pool, quintessential Amanpuri. Overlooking the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea, it opens out to the white-sand private beach sheltered with swaying coconut palms. The resort's architecture takes inspiration from the ancient capital of Ayutthaya and keeps true to its name, which means place of peace.
Amanpuri's 40 pavilions and 40 villas are surrounded by lush gardens and coconut palms, all with private terraces and many with sea views and private plunge pools. While the pavilions and villas aren't within eyesight, the sheer expanse of the property is apparent when doorless Mitsubishi buggies appear to take you to your villa or pavilion.
The bedroom of an Ocean Villa.
Ocean Villas overlook the Andaman Sea.
Arva Italian restaurant.
Set on a hillside overlooking sea, Amanpuri's pavilions are contemporary with oversized bathrooms and spacious dressing areas. Coconut palms cast tropical shadows onto private salas, complete with day beds, which are a good place for an afternoon snooze once the beach or pool gets too hot.
But pavilions and villas aside, the one thing that would draw you here is the first Aman Spa that has been complemented with the revolutionary Holistic Wellness Centre -- a first for the Aman brand -- offering personalised multi-day wellness immersions, sports and medical programmes. The centre provides a wide range of programmes which are tailored to meet your personal goals. Offering condensed one- and two-day sessions, as well as Original and Intensive Immersions lasting three nights or more, you can get medically-led therapies to holistic treatments designed to alleviate stress and lift the spirit.
Amanpuri has introduced a five-night Integrated Medical Immune Support Immersion that is designed and led by physicians who have selected therapies supported by medical literature to contribute to improved immune defence. The Detox and Cleansing Immersion is good for recalibrating and reassessing the body's needs. Much needed in these stressful times. Email the wellness concierge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Villas are surrounded by lush tropical flora.
Soak in nature.
However, if you're here for just a spot of RnR, then that is exactly what you're going to get as each pavilion and villa is secluded and cocooned in lush tropical flora.
From 4.30-5.30pm, a complimentary traditional Thai afternoon tea is served in the sala overlooking the main pool. The best thing about this tea is the a la minute kanom krok, which is probably the best I've had and come with a variety of toppings.
Amanpuri's Thai restaurant Buabok is managed by chef Kannika Jitsangworn, who is also known for her green thumb and grows a lot of the organic veggies used in her cooking, Chef Kannika's southern crab curry is to die for and so are her prawns in tamarind sauce.
The other dining highlight is Italian chef Luca Mascolo, who brings the warmth of traditional Italian family dining to Arva. Chef Mascolo's passion is clear in every dish that he puts in front of you, especially his pumpkin risotto, served in a pumpkin for effect. His 50-hour proved and hickory-smoked sourdough focaccia will not only turn you into bread person, it will also have you begging for more!
Even if you are not a guest at Amanpuri, you can still indulge your tastebuds at Arva and Buabok.
Buabok offers Thai delicacies.
A herbal compress massage.
Muay Thai class.
To work off all that indulgence, Amanpuri offers Muay Thai (with a proper boxing ring), a yoga and Pilates studio in its spectacular glass-walled gym, which sits atop of a hill offering breathtaking views of the ocean and the bay below. I am often spotted in the gym just for the views! There are also tennis courts, so a tennis fan like me is never short of a sport.
For families, the Eco Discovery Centre offers children the opportunity to learn more about Thai culture, craft and resident wildlife while teens can hone their skills on the skateboard halfpipe, an Enter-Prises custom bouldering wall and the Digital Room, where GoPros and software are available to shoot and edit footage.
Why would you want to leave the property when encased in such luxury? Also, not much is open in Phuket, a sorry state of affairs.
The resort group has launched Aman Gift Cards, which are available online for US$10-$25,000 (B314-B785,331). Delivered instantly and enjoyed at leisure, the Aman Gift Card offers the perfect way to enrich a stay at any Aman throughout the world.
Amanpuri is offering exclusive rates for the "Closer To Home With Amanpuri" programme, which includes daily breakfast and private return transfers for stays from a minimum of two nights, as well as special reductions on spa experiences and dining across the resort's restaurants. Good for those looking to escape the city, even if just for the weekend to reconnect with nature. Visit www.aman.com/resorts/amanpuri/exclusives/closer-to-home.
Granted a stay at Amanpuri is not for everyone, but it is worth the splurge. In times like these when we are confined to domestic travel, why not experience an Aman and I can guarantee you will become a true #amanjunkie, much like moi.