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Reviewed 28 November 2011

This resort was unbelievable. I stayed in a Sala Pool Villa for the alst few nights of my honeymoon and can say the setting was gorgeous. The outdoor tub was part of the pool which came with a complimentary bath with rose petals and bath salts set up by your personal villa asst. The same with afternoon tea and the ceremonial Thai candle lighting ceremony. The over lagoon Sala was a great touch. The Salas are separated enough in the lagoon so that you feel like you are alone in your own private oasis.
The complimentary breakfast buffet options at La Sala were plentiful. Plenty of local fruits, pastries, cereals, thai breakfast dishes, meats, and cooks on hand for signature La Sala specialties like cinnamon crusted pancakes with apple compote and vanilla cream or smoked salmon eggs benedict. Sea.Fire.Salt is set by the pool by the beach and is a great setting for drinks or dinner. Since their specialty is artisan salts from across the globe, it is imperative that you try something cooked on heated salt slab. I also enjoyed the tableside charcoal skewers where you control the final cooking as they are presented rare but you can leave them on the skewers to your desired cooking. 4100 baht got us 4 cocktails, the sushi sashimi app, the charcoal skewer main and sea bass salt slab main. All meals and drinks include additional 10% service and 7% vat. It was well worth it as the food was very good with a beautiful setting. The Treetops Lounge was an excellent place to have a drink and have some tapas. They have daily happy hour specials as did the Infinity bar by the pool with each having different drink options. As a whole, i found wine and champagne in Thailand to be extremely pricey unless you you local thai wines which were pretty good. I stuck to cocktails with fresh local ingredients instead as I found many of them to be delicious.
Mai Khao beach where the Anantara sits is 5+ miles of unspoiled bliss. This is where you stay in Phuket if you want to get away from it all. It is definitely far from the hustle of Patong and some of the other Phuket beahces. There are no chairs and umbrellas on the beach and the resort provides sea kayaks, wind surfing, and hobie cats if you want to be a little more adventurous. Not sure but the absence of the beach chairs you see on Patong or Surin Beach may have to do with the protected sea turtles that lay their eggs on the beach and that the area is considered a national park. Not positive but don't feel like fact checking.
I must say that the I had high expectations for this resort and it far and away exceeded them. I enjoyed it so much I signed up for the Anantara Vacation Club so I have a reason to frequent their resorts each year.

Date of stay: November 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Thank RyPay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2011

Coming from QLD, we have a lot here that competes with most places for relaxing destinations for ones holiday. Yes we are passionate about Sunny Qld, But ... we have definitely fallen in love with Phuket too.

Out time in Mai Khao Beach is something that we look forward to each year because it offers so many different options, at such a different paces depending on your mood and such a lovely relaxed time, that our next holiday is usually co-ordinated even before we leave.

Anantara Phuket Villas in Mai Khao Beach just makes it that much more enjoyable. Some holidays we want to "be busy", others we want to do little. Our midyear get away, is one where we just want to relax and enjoy doing "nothing". That's if you can call doing Pilates first up in the morning, chilling by the pool with a great drink (happy hour goes on forever), having a daily Thai massage on the beach with the sound of the waves in the background, or eating spectacular food at restaurants like Sea Fire Salt doing nothing! (Love the hot rock seafood !)

There is something nice about being totally absorbed into an environment where people just want to see YOU smile cos they made you happy or did something small - like make miniature animals out of the hand towels. It has to be one of the happiest relaxed places to go.

Yeah we went along to the “Sales Preso” to have a look (and to get the “free gift” of course) – having no intention of buying into the deal! But the persuasive reasoning wasn’t in the good sales skills that convinced me to buy – it is the idea that having 3-4 weeks a year in places like this one for the rest of my life makes me SMILE. Life's too short to worry about what the accommodation is going to be like – and places like this its a given!
Thanks guys at Anantara.

2012 ... will be a memorable one... Anantara Maldives, Anantara Koh Samui AND Anantara Phuket!

Date of stay: July 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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Thank qlddaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2011

We received a promotion to stay at Anantara Phuket Villas at a fraction of the rack price, and booked a Pool Villa for 3 nights. The villa was absolutely beautiful, and as mentioned by many previous reviewers, there'd been paid great attention to even the smallest details. Service was at all times outstanding; we were given a baby cot, a baby bath as well as a steam steriliser for our baby bottles. Breakfast buffet was just right - enough to give a varied selection, but not too overwhelming, and very good quality. We used the bicycles available a few times, as our villa was a short walk from the beach and restaurants. The resort also provides a buggy service, which was perfect for when our baby was asleep. Restaurants weren't cheap, but the food was excellent and of high quality, so worth the price. I think our favourite spot was the Treehouse bar - fantastic little oasis within an oasis.

But, and it's a big but - there really is no such thing as a free lunch. As part of the promotion, we had to attend a 'presentation', basically a sales pitch to become a member of the Anantara Vacation Club. We fully expected to be given the hard sell, but never anticipated the antagonistic tone, belittling remarks and thinly veiled contempt we encountered from our sales rep, Tommy. He started out fine, but that quickly changed when he told us we were 'cheap' as we don't normally tend to spend much more than $150 pr night for accommodation. Things went from bad to worse when I dared say that we usually preferred to stay in hotels smaller than the Anantara with its 86 villas. Tommy nearly exploded, and made it very clear that I was obviously not the 'type of person' who should be staying at the Anantara. He continued to be rude and aggressive (perhaps desperate for sales) - I supposed it could've been a part of a very misguided sales strategy. I did complain to the sales manager before leaving the presentation, who just offered a few words along the lines of "he does tend to get a bit carried away". Understatement of the year!!

My husband and I were in shock over the treatment we had received and it made what was supposed to be a lovely weekend away into a very negative experience. I so wanted to give a 5 star review as the villa, the grounds, the restaurants, the service etc were all fantastic, but as the sales presentation was part and parcel of our offer to stay at the resort, I can only give 3 stars in this review. How the Anantara allows someone like that to represent them is beyond me. It ruined our holiday, and has made it hard for us to recommend it to friends.

Date of stay: November 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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35  Thank TinyHappyFeet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DoubleJ1977, Manager at Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2011

Dear Travellingwithinfant,

Thank you for your feedback about your recent stay with us at the Anantara Phuket Villas and please accept our apologies for any disruption caused by the Vacation Club team during your stay.

We were very concerned to learn of your experiences with the voluntary vacation club presentation that is offered at the hotel. Rest assured this matter has been addressed directly with the sales member in question and the wider vacation club team and I am confident of their renewed understanding of appropriate conduct.

I wish to assure you that these incidences certainly do not reflect the high quality of services, products and experiences we strive to provide at the Anantara Phuket Villas and please accept our sincerest apologies for the disruption of your holiday.

In closing thank you for your feedback and we hope that your travels return you to beautiful Phuket Island and the Anantara Phuket Villas very soon,

Yours Sincerely,

Justin
Anantara Management Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2011

I am a Travel Agent in Brisbane and have stayed in 242 Hotels, in 105 Cities, in 39 Countries. So I feel I am in a position to know the difference between a good and not so good Hotel or Resort.

We stayed here for 7 nights at the end of October, in a Lagoon Villa.

Staying at any property for more than 5 nights usually gives one a well rounded impression of the place as a whole, providing long enough time to see if a place is consistantly good, or if cracks appear.

I won't bother to go into the physical aspects of the resort, as this has been done many times in previous Trip Advisor reports. Only to say the whole place, the Villas, Common Areas, Restaurants, and Gardens were all, if not more, that one would expect of a 5 Star property.

Upon check-in we were warmly greeted, and once formalities were completed, were escorted to our Villa. What made check-in not so perfect was that we then had to wait half an hour for our luggage to be brought to our Villa. And this was only after a phone call to reception enquiring as to the whereabouts of our luggage. We couldn't understand why they just didn't put our luggage on the same Golf Buggy as we were in when they took us to our Villa? Anyway, a small point, I guess we were just itching to get out of the clothes we had been travelling in for the previous 12 hours!

The two restaurants, La Sala and Sea Fire Salt, generally speaking were of very high quality, in every area. The quality of the food, the quantity of the servings, the comfort, and the quality of the service provided by the staff were all exceptional.

The daily breakfast buffet in La Sala provided a huge choice of breakfast items. Added to that was an a-la-carte menu of "specials". We thought the best thing about the breakfasts was the coffee! Every cup individually made. Not someone walking around topping up people's cups with luke warm and "stale" coffee. The breakfast staff provided exemplary service. By day two they knew what we wanted, and we didn't even need to go to the buffet. We arrive, sit down, and everything was brought to us!

We only had the one disappointment in La Sala, and that was on our last night. We ordered a Stir Fried Seafood main course, that we had previously had on our first night, and it was terrible. Basically a bowl full of crab shells and cartilage. And just two prawns! We had ordered it a second time because it was just so good on our first night. So one disappointing meal, out of about nine eaten in this restaurant, is not bad.

Sea Fire Salt was fabulous. Again mainly because of the staff. The wine we had was always remembered, and the fact that we love "spicy hot" was also always remembered. Yes expensive, but you get what you pay for.

I'm always amazed by people who stay in resorts such as this, and complain about the price of food and beverages in the restaurants. In Thailand the government applies a huge tax on wine. This is not the hotel's fault. We went next door to the Turtle Village Supermarket to buy our wine, and the prices there were not that much cheaper than the hotel prices. Sure the food in these two restaurants was expensive, but in a Five Star asian resort, when isn't it? I don't think people realise what has to go on "behind the scenes" to consistantly produce high quality food, with high quality staff.

The best thing about staying in a resort where every villa has their own pool, is that the main pool doesn't get crowded. Our thanks go out to Mun and the rest of the staff pool-side. The service was outstanding. Every morning at Breakfast in La Sala, Mun would come by and ask us if we were going to be pool-side that morning, and he would have our lounges all set up and ready for our arrival. By day two he had worked out our drinking habits, first beers at 10.00am, and then to check with us every hour after that.

I would go as far to say that pool-side, this has been the best we have experienced. And this is after staying at resorts such as Mom Tri's in Phuket, the Phuket Yacht Club, Sala Samui, and Tongsai Bay Cottages in Koh Samui, The Datai in Langkawi, Pangkor Laut in Malaysia, and Banyon Tree Bintan in Indonesia.

In previous Trip Advisor reports, some people have complained about the distances that one needs to walk within the resort. We never once entertained the thought of calling for a Golf Buggy. I timed the walk from the furthest most villa to the beach pool, oh gee, it took a whole four minutes! Yes, the push-bikes provided are a bit delapidated, but we don't see the need for them in the first place!

The gardens and lagoon, not to mention the ducks, create an air of peace and serenity. As mentioned in previous reports, the location of this resort is not the best if one is looking for a hectic night life, and wishing to have lots to do. This really is a "couples" resort, who just wish to chill out, read books, lie by the pool, and receive great service. In high season, it may not be so peaceful, probably being dependent upon the number of people staying with young children. For couples with young children, and a nanny, you can put the nanny and the children next door at the Marriott, and you stay at Anantara. Perfect!

Finally, we have never stayed in a resort that we would have described as perfect in every way. My wife and I both being Travel Agents, are quite picky, and as you can see by my above criticisms, they being quite minor.

We would highly recommend this property, especially to couples, who are looking for a peaceful and high quality holiday.

Date of stay: October 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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9  Thank John5259
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2011

Pros - Absolutely gorgeous property. The pool overlooks the beach. Definitely a 5 star place. Loved the villas. They're huge and the pool/deck area is incredible. There's a pool in the tub so I was in love.

Toiletries were awesome and plentiful, there's also an inside and outside shower. A great escape for a couple. The morning breakfast was great. Lots of options and for our 5 night stay, we never tired of it.

Cons - It is far from any of the attractions in Phuket. Quite far. So if you're planning a lot of excursions outside the resort, it might get expensive. If you're looking for relaxation and privacy though, this is the place for you.

Restaurants at the resort are lovely but extraordinarily expensive. There are few dining options near the resort at the strip mall just up the road. There's a marriott next door with some restaurants, but you'll be paying hotel prices there as well (although not as bad as the anantara). There is a "real" thai restaurant within walking distance. I forget the name but concierge will help you. It was fantastic, affordable, and probably the best Thai I've had on my 3 trips to Thailand.

The only other con was the bicycle situation. I was under the impression that each villa would have 2, but instead it was more of a "take one when you see one" kind of thing. I think they've gone from being used by the guests and are now primarily used by the staff.

Tip - Along the beach are massage tents for 400 bhat if you don't want to spend a ton at the resort.

Date of stay: August 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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1  Thank OfficiallyForeign
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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