Thailand's Anantara Layan Phuket Resort, just 10 minutes from the bustling area of Laguna, affords incredible luxury with the utmost privacy. It's the kind of place you'd expect to see (or hear whispers about) a visiting Beyoncé and Jay Z or the Brangelina squad -- likely holed up in the ultra-posh Residences (more on that later). The resort is comprised of 30 suites with 47 pool villas (shown above). This beach villa boasts the works: a private garden with beach access, oversized swimming pool, a sun terrace with outdoor shower, and loads of luxurious living space.
Even the lobby is jaw-droppingly beautiful -- surrounded by sparkling water, breezy palms, and comfy loungers.
Villas tout a freestanding bathtub with views of your own private swimming pool. It's here that you can experience in-room spa treatments like the "slumber guru." A massage table is prepared in the privacy of your room upon arrival from dinner, and you’ll receive a half-hour back and neck massage before slipping into a milk-laced bath, complete with hot chocolate and lavender cookies -- ideal for the perfect night's sleep.
Something else we love? Many of the villas that have private pools that jut right up to the sliding glass doors, allowing for instant room-to-pool dipping access.
As part of the resort, three- to seven-bedroom palatial properties -- collectively known as Residences by Anantara -- feature private pools (like the one above) with outdoor living spaces, floor-to-ceiling windows for non-stop ocean views, and live-in butlers (who will have access to a fully equipped kitchen), ready to offer a fresh plate of fruit or cooling cocktail.
The Residences are nestled into the hillside of Phuket, where guests can host poolside dinners around the tiki-lit lanai (above) or rooftop parties (even yoga) with views of Layan Beach and the Andaman Sea.
Dining at Anantara ranges from a serious breakfast buffet (as in, there's an actual charcuterie room); to regional specialties (the Khao Soi Ga is a must-try) to casual beachside dining. The food is fresh, authentic, and incredibly delicious. Ho-hum hotel dining, this is not.
Couples planning an island wedding can say their vows in a Thai or western ceremony in this iconic cliff-side chapel. The resort offers a choice of four specially tailored wedding packages, along with a dedicated on-site wedding planner.