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Thailand : 4 Resorts You Can’t Miss In Phuket : Phuket Resort Hopping 101

Almost a month has passed since we returned from our honeymoon in Thailand… who would have thought? I feel like only yesterday Daniel and I were sitting in front of the computer, looking for the most perfect resorts to celebrate one of the happiest things that happened to us in our lives {after all, even though weddings are a big deal, nothing can beat the expectation towards a romantic honeymoon}.

I won’t be exaggerating if I said that the hunt for the perfect resorts for our trip lasted over a full month, during which not only were we looking for hotels that can take our breath away through our computer screen, but we managed to get the best prices for each and every one of these hotels using methods we developed over the years {and they actually helped us save hundreds of dollars on this trip!}.

One of the things that make me and Daniel a perfect match is our shared love for a certain style of travel. Neither of us are willing to compromise on anything when we're planning a trip and we believe that if you’re already investing money in a trip, you should get the most out of it. We don’t believe in being cheap with the little things that can leave a bad taste in your mouth from the trip, so if it’s a worthwhile investment, like upgrading our seats on flights so we don’t have to squish our long legs in the tiny seat, we’ll usually consider it in a positive manner. On the other hand, we weren’t born as the descendants of the Rothschild family so we always try to maximize what we can get for our money from the amount we can invest {So, for example, now we upgrade our seats to the ones near the emergency exit, but we dream of sitting in first class in the future   }.

Anyway, a huge part of our love for trips is connected to our mutual love for hotels, so if it's a long trip mostly based on laying on the beach or by the pool – we don’t want to stay in the same hotel for more than a few days and we’ll always prefer hopping from hotel to hotel and check out the features and the special style each hotel provides its guests.

During this trip we stayed in 7 different hotels on the islands and we booked a great Airbnb apartment in Bangkok. In this post you can read about the four hotels we enjoyed most in Phuket – each different in its unique way, offering a hospitality experience you really shouldn’t miss if you're planning on flying to Phuket.


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Amatara Wellness Resort – Health Resort 

The luxurious and peaceful Amatara resort is located on a cliff over the secluded Panwa shoreline in south-west Phuket. The name of the resort was taken from the ancient Sanskrit word “Amata”, which refers to the quality of “eternal life”. This hotel was built around this philosophy and it’s the first of its kind in Phuket, offering guests a special holistic experience beyond the experience of a luxury resort.

The resort has 105 large suites and villa rooms {from rooms that are 70 square meters to villas with private pools that are 150 square meters} with a contemporary and clean design, a huge central infinity swimming pool, and another infinity pool that’s a bit smaller and more intimate {feels just like a private pool, probably since most of the guests don’t know about it} in an area called Retreat. Furthermore, the resort has a fully equipped gym, various sports classes {even Pilates apparatus!}, an award-winning spa which offers a wide range of treatments, restaurants and a private beach.

Amatara Wellness Resort Phuket



Service And Atmosphere – We arrived to Amatara, which was the first resort on our trip, late at night after traveling nearly 20 hours from Israel. With red eyes and aching bodies from spending so many hours on the plane, we entered the large, open and impressive hotel lobby, that from the first moment promised us that the place we got to was worth it all. True, we weren’t really able to see the lush greenery placed throughout the resort and the ocean in the dark, but the relaxing sound of the waves, the romantic lighting and the warm welcome from the smiling hotel staff left us with huge smiles on our faces.

The wonderful service, which started with the traditional Thai reception that I so waited for, included a sweetish chilled herbal tea and refreshing cold towels with a fragrance, and a detailed explanation in perfect English {rare in Thailand} about the hotel's amenities, accompanied us throughout our stay at the hotel. For example, two cups of cold water waited for us every time we sat by the poolside, the service during breakfast was excellent and the shuttle service that drove us around the hotel was very quick and they were always smiling.

A Large, Well-equipped Room – A pampering and especially comfortable king sized bed, a comfortable living room with a large balcony, a walk-in closet and large vanity area, a big minibar {not only full with things offered by the hotel, and can actually fit things you buy at 7-Eleven }, alongside a large variety tea brews and an espresso machine {when will they realize that this should be a basic thing for every hotel?}.

The cherry on top for me was the huge bathroom which not only had a double vanity, a large shower and bath that was hard to get out of, but it was entirely covered with marble {when will this obsession of mine stop already?} and a huge window overlooking the beautiful scenery of the balcony.

Breakfast – the resort serves breakfast in two areas – the first, which is open to all hotel guests, is served in the hotel’s main dining room, and the second is served in a small restaurant in the Retreat area and is open only for guests of the villas and the Retreat rooms. The main difference between them is that breakfast at the Retreat is more intimate and serves breakfast with more health options, like freshly squeezed juices. The breakfast in the main dining room, which offers a large buffet that combines Western and Eastern cuisine and a menu with egg dishes and desserts that are served, is just as good and there’s also an emphasis on the health aspect – so that, for example, all the eggs dishes are made from freedom eggs.

But with all due respect to health, the truly great part of breakfast was by far the desserts! Not only are the desserts offered on a menu with dishes that get served amazing, like pancakes and Belgian waffles, it felt like the pastries at the buffet were flown in from a French bakery that morning. As someone trying to reduce my consumption of sweets, I couldn’t skip the legendary almond croissant every morning.

The Spa – As expected from a resort with the word “wellness” engraved in its flag, the spa is one of the most impressive facilities of the resort. Not only is it a huge size of 2,000 square meters, the impressive building faces the breathtaking view of the Andaman Sea and offers a variety of treatments and package deal massages. The massage experience is obviously beyond the ones found at massage shops that are very common throughout Thailand, and at the beginning of our treatment we chose homeotherapy oil which we personally like, and then they led us to a large treatment room with a beautiful view for an extremely relaxing massage that lasted an hour.

Besides the regular massage treatments, you can find beauty treatments at the spa, physiotherapy, detox treatments {cleansing} and naturopathic counseling.

As great as the massage treatments are in Thailand even in small clinics scattered in the streets, I recommend you invest in at least one pampering body massage in a resort that also provides a perfect and relaxing atmosphere, and get a foot massage every day without thinking twice at cheaper facilities.

Amatara Wellness Resort Phuket

Amatara Wellness Resort Phuket

Amatara Wellness Resort Phuket

Amatara Wellness Resort Phuket

Amatara Wellness Resort Amatara Wellness Resort Amatara Wellness Resort Amatara Wellness Resort

Amatara Wellness Resort Phuket

Amatara Wellness Resort Phuket

Amatara Wellness Resort Amatara Wellness Resort

 Sri Panwa – Super Luxurious Resort


The second resort on our trip was none other than the magnificent Sri Panwa, which is also high up in the Gulf of Panwa. just a few minutes away from Amatara.

Listen, I’ve been to a few good hotels in my life {even very good ones}, but none of them reached the level of this resort.

Sri Panwa really has an extra something that makes it the crème de la crème of the ultimate fantasy, and attracts not only local and international celebrities, but also the local royal family members!

This huge resort spreads over 162 hectares of tropical rain forests, and there are only 52 rooms – all very spacious {the small ones are 70 square meters in size and the largest reaches 1000 square meters!!}, and each one has a private infinity pool. Besides the amazing rooms, with a tropical contemporary, luxurious and young design, the resort has two breathtaking swimming pools, a beach right next to it, 7 great restaurants serving various cuisines {including Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Thai and BBQ}, a gym and sports classes and of course a pampering spa.

The highlight of the Resort is the Baba Nest, an award-winning bar, located on an especially high rooftop with a 360-degree view of the Andaman Sea.

Even if the accommodation of this resort is out of your budget, it’s worth reserving a place {several months in advance} and visit there especially to see this stunning view of Phuket.

If you ask me, it's THE PERFECT hotel for marriage proposals/weddings/ honeymoons!

You can read about my full experience at Sri Panwa here 








Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa – The Authentic

Santhiya, oh Santhiya.

You have no idea how I fell in love at first sight with this amazing resort when we first met two years ago in Koh Phangan, and how much I hoped to return to visit this paradise at least once more in my life {hey, I even considered going back to Koh Phangan, just for this!}.

Then we discovered that it’s actually a small Thai chain of resorts – and they have one resort right near Phuket!  #Yay

The Santhiya is the perfect combination between an authentic Thai style and a five-star luxurious resort. Imagine a hotel that is made completely out of wood and is hand-carved, a beautiful tropical jungle, a private, secluded beach with white sand that will make you want to go barefoot all day, along with the luxurious accommodations offered by modern resorts, offering large, clean and beautiful rooms, excellent food, two large pools, a fully equipped gym and a spa, of course.

Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa


The Design – the resort isn’t trying to be trendy or fashionable, and that’s exactly its charm. It manages to keep the authentic Thai design line that’s inserted into every part of the resort – from the lobby, to the rooms and restaurants and even to the car shuttles which are all covered in wood with the same authentic style. I especially liked the attention to small details in the design – for example, the use of animal motifs, carved from wood, of course, in the bathroom.

The Beach – The hotel’s beach is exactly what you imagine when you think about sunbathing in Thailand: pristine white sand, turquoise water in the exact temperature to splash around, thick greenery and most importantly – quiet. Although we stayed at the hotel when it was fully booked {not my first choice, but that’s what happened}, the hotel's beach was the perfect retreat to rest in front of the sound of the waves. After all, you don’t need anything more than a mojito in your hand and this magical view, right?  

The Food – The resort is in a very remote area, so unlike other places in Thailand, here food is quite troublesome and expensive. Apart from a few small restaurants that are in the village nearby {not recommended at all if you ask me…}, you can eat in the 6 restaurants located inside the resort – almost all expensive compared to the Thai-scale.

The resort’s breakfast is very good and combines traditional Thai dishes and Western dishes, but it had two drawbacks: 1) it’s served as a buffet only, without an option to order eggs / dessert from a menu {as is customary in other 5 star hotels we stayed at in Thailand} 2) the coffee was terrible!! In addition, as I already said, the resort was fully booked and it was very noticeable – both in the slow service and the density inside the breakfast area.

I recommend eating the hotel’s dinner at the big buffet right next to the beach, which serves a variety of dishes – each night there’s a different genre {Northern Thai / Royal Thai / Local food / Western cuisine, etc.}, for 650-750 baht {+ taxes and service – 17%} per person. True, it’s considered a very expensive dinner in Thailand, but they offer a very impressive buffet with a huge variety of dishes, Thai salads and desserts, seafood and grilled meats and even a chef who cooks dishes on the spot according to your preference. It’s an especially enjoyable dining experience that allows you to taste so many things that you probably wouldn’t go out and order on your own in a restaurant   🙂



The Location – Undoubtedly the most beautiful resorts are not in the busiest areas of the islands in Thailand, but Santhiya’s location is a bit too far in my opinion.

The resort is located on the island of Koh Yao Yai which is located in the middle of the Phang-na bay, almost the same distance between Phuket and Krabi. The best way to get from the resort to Phuket is with the resort’s modern speedboat which leaves five times a day. You can also get there independently, but the schlep really isn’t worth what you might save in terms of cost. If you want to continue from the resort to Krabi, like we did {not the most recommended in retrospect}, you'll have to do it yourself by taxi that will take you to the closest pier and from there with a public motorboat.

Besides the traveling, the remote location brings even higher costs of food, as I said, and for massage treatments {there are almost no options outside of the hotel, and they’re very expensive compared to central places and they are less successful}.

There’s no doubt that this is a particularly enchanting resort, but you have to take all of these expenses into account.

My recommendation is as follows it really is a special place and very authentic {priced very reasonable relative to hotels at the same level!} that you shouldn’t miss, so if you don’t go to Koh-Phangan, don’t miss the hotel because of its distance; On the other hand – if Koh-Phangan is in your route – it’s better to stay there. Despite the fact that the resort in Koh-Phangan is also far from the central beach, the nearby village is more developed and less expensive, and in my opinion the resort itself is a bit nicer.

Full Occupancy – the resort was fully booked and it was very noticeable – not only during breakfast, but also the pools and the relatively low frequency of shuttle cars. We went there in November {towards the peak season}, and although it wasn’t as noticeable in other hotels, Santhiya felt a bit crowded. I have no doubt that if we stayed at the resort during a calmer period we would have enjoyed it more, so you should plan getting to the resort before the high-season.

Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa

Villa Zolitude Resort & Spa – The Secluded

We got to Villa Zolitude after an intense week {relatively to a sunbathing vacation in Thailand, that is…  }, which included day trips to the amazing islands surrounding Phuket and three super-busy days in Krabi. Actually, we couldn’t have planned it better – because this resort, as hinted by its name {Zolitude = solitude}, was the perfect place for a few intimate and romantic days, just him and me.

The resort, located on the southern tip of Phuket within a 7-minute drive from the famous Wat Chalong sanctuary, isn’t the first thing that will come to mind when you think of a resort in Thailand. Unlike most other luxury resorts, Villa Zolitude doesn’t have a private beach, and isn’t even within walking distance of the beaches, but rather deep in the rain forest of Phuket.

The atmosphere at the resort surrounds the sense of loneliness, in a good way.

The resort only has 45 private villas scattered on the land that ensures a quiet and intimate feeling to each of the guests. The only time we discovered that there were other guests was at breakfast time, because once we entered our private villa – we felt like we entered a completely isolated sphere.

Besides the private infinity swimming pool in each villa at the resort, there’s also an amazing spa, a large infinity swimming pool {sparkles at night   } near the half-open lobby, a charming library where you can borrow books and DVDs, a pool table and foosball, a nice gym and one restaurant which serves a buffet breakfast as well as lunch and dinner in Thai and Western style.

Apart from the resort's main restaurant, there’s an option to order a romantic dinner by candlelight to the villa.

The resort also offers free shuttles to the Nai Harn beach and the Central Festival Phuket shopping mall several times a day.

Villa Zolitude Resort & Spa Villa Zolitude Resort & Spa


The Villa – we stayed at a dreamy duplex villa with a panoramic view of the jungle that surrounded us. The upper level is divided into two areas – a huge bedroom with a huge, super comfortable king-size bed, a TV, a mini-bar equipped with drinks, beers and even tasty {and spicy!!} Thai noodles, and two small seating areas; The second area has a large bath, a double vanity, a rain shower, a toilet and a cute little walk-in closet. The lower level of the villa has a living room, also facing the same panoramic view, a bathroom and a Thai outdoor shower, and of course a stunning infinity pool, surrounded by a wooden deck and equipped with padded sun beds. In one word – perfection!

I especially liked the fact that the cleaning services and quick shuttle service were available 24/7 just a phone call to the reception away.

Breakfast – The resort’s breakfast was simply amazing! In my opinion, the best of all the breakfasts we had on the trip.

First of all, this is the first resort in Phuket that finally served good, high-quality coffee in the morning, and secondly – the buffet itself was amazing, and like all of the previous hotels, it combined traditional Thai dishes with Western dishes, and in addition served fresh and tasty sushi every morning. Although there was no a la carte service, the dining room was so relaxed and not crowded, so ordering eggs took just a matter of seconds, and they were served to the table by one of the smiling waiters of the restaurant.

The Spa – The resort’s spa is in a private and peaceful structure that enhances the experience of connecting to the body and to the nature. We pampered ourselves with a 2.5 hour {!!!} couples massage, combining different types of massages {classic Thai massage, aromatherapy and a special massage using herbal bags}, in a romantic double treatment room with an open wall that reveals the stunning scenery outside the building.

Happy Hour – You can enjoy the 1+1 deal on all cocktails twice a day by the resort’s main pool!

Villa Zolitude Resort & Spa Villa Zolitude Resort & SpaVilla Zolitude Resort & Spa Villa Zolitude Resort & Spa Villa Zolitude Resort & Spa Villa Zolitude Resort & Spa Villa Zolitude Resort & Spa Villa Zolitude Resort & Spa

And one last tip – if you’re going to Thailand for your honeymoon, or even for an anniversary, write it when you make your reservation! The Thais make amazing flower decorations that will warm your heart the second you walk into the room. Sometimes, besides the decorations, they give you a souvenir from the hotel, a fruit platter and even a cake  🙂

Still not sure where to stay in Phuket? check out this guide for more hotels recommendations in the area!

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Planning a trip to Phuket, Thailand? You have to check out these 4 amazing and luxurious hotels we stayed in for our honeymoon before booking your hotel! hedonistit.com

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