Following a flight from Hong Kong to an afternoon on board a yacht, Michael Taylor and the other travel writers and journalists are taken to a sumptuous resort, where singnature cocktails and a mouth watering dinner await.
The first stars were starting to appear as we exited our van and were escorted – one by one – into our sumptuous new digs, which we would call home for the next 48 hours.
I shared my four bedroom villa with three others. We each had a spacious bedroom with an ensuite bathroom.
We shared a spacious living room and dining room as well as a large terrace and infinity swimming pool and an outdoor sala, where we were served breakfast in the morning.
Recently opened, the Andara is located on Phuket's upscale western coast. Comprising 26 pool villas, it affords stunning views of nearby Kamala Beach. Each villa has from three to six bedrooms and they range in size from 1,00 to 2,500 square metres.
There are also 37 residential suites with from one to four bedrooms. These range in size from 240 to 890 square metres. First impressions of the property by some of my fellow journalists from Hong Kong and Singapore follow.
Renée Batchelor ELLE Singapore
"When I first arrived in the evening at the Andara, I was immediately struck by the breathtakingly gorgeous view of the Andaman sea and the thousands of glittering lights that dotted the coastline. The villa was tastefully and luxuriously furnished, the service discreet but very attentive, and the views from any part of the villa – from my bathtub to the pool bar – were simply stunning. Staying there, I've experienced a whole new level of luxury."
Megan Gell CEI Asia, Hong Kong
“Every now and then a resort comes along that is designed by someone who truly understands the way guests will engage with a space. And only once you stay is it possible to realize that it’s no accident the light switch is just where you would reach for it or that the welcoming clusters of seating have exactly the right balance between personal space and social facilitation; that the amount of thought behind the every detail is revealed. It is clear the developers made the most of Andara’s four-year gestation – the anticipatory nature of the layout and design, the well-trained staff, and high-quality hardware are a testament to what was obviously a labour of love.”
Andrew Kim Away in Style, Hong Kong
"Andara Phuket is an amazing property. Luxurious but not pretentious, with wonderful staff catering for your every need."
Praise Poh Freelance Writer, Singapore
“What I liked most from this trip was the really beautiful scenery from our villas. The designers put so much thought into which direction each room should face. As a result, every corner had its own wonderful sight to behold.”
Anonymous Journalist, Hong Kong
“Nothing had prepared me for stepping into the world of spacious luxury that was the master bedroom at Villa 26. The surreal knowledge that all this space was just for me was truly exhilarating. Add to that the unobtrusive attentiveness of the villa staff and the various relaxation spaces in the villa itself, and I cannot imagine a more relaxing holiday. Being able to walk straight out of the master bedroom, down the steps, and straight into the infinity pool every morning was beyond indulgent, and the opportunity to enjoy breakfast with the view from the mountain side are experiences I’ll never forget.”
Copyright: Michael Taylor Pictured: a pool villa at twilight Photo Credit: Andara Resort & Villas, Phuket, Thailand