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Praise for Phuket and the New Anantara Resort

January 12, 2009 By:Mary Winston Nicklin

Anantara PhuketIn this weekend's Travel section of the New York Times, Gregory Dicum visits the "cocooned paradise" of Phuket to check out the recovery of the Andaman Coast after the 2004 tsunami wreaked havoc. The verdict? A splendid seaside destination and an inviting place to stay. We love the new Anantara Phuket which opened in October and Dicum praises it as "one of the most prominent new resorts." It's situated on Mai Khao Beach, "a world away from the Jet Skis and beach umbrellas of Kata Beach to the south. (Jet Skis are banned on Mai Khao to protect nesting turtles.)"

The resort is laid out along an artificial lake, mimicking a traditional southern Thai water village. Soaring wooden roofs peak above the enclosed compounds of the villas, each of which includes its own small swimming pool and outdoor and indoor sitting areas complete with big daybeds for savoring Thai massages. A dark teak roof and staircase arcing around a banyan tree set off the smoothly polished Treetop bar, with swooping terrazzo, fiber-optic chandelier curtains that sway in the benevolent sea breeze and soft settees for contemplating the setting sun with a ginger margarita in hand. The rooms themselves are exquisitely well-considered, with big sliding glass doors opening the bedrooms directly onto the shimmering pools, and with big bathtubs sunk directly into the water, separated by a glass partition.

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