Anantara Phuket Villas
What's so special?
Get away from the crowds in Phuket at the Anantara Villas. Right next to a protected conservation beach, the resort offers guests peace and seclusion.
How they rate it
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"There may be lady boys, fake watches and ping-pong revues aplenty in parts of Phuket, but you'd never know it from Mai Khao beach," says Amanda Hyde in The Sunday Times Travel Magazine. "This steeply shelved, coconut-milk-white stretch is heavily protected, thanks to some of its regular holidaymakers turtles."
This means Anantara itself is set back from the beach to avoid disturbing the animals, "carefully hidden among palm trees and completely secluded". The bedrooms are "sheds gone luxe, with sliding doors that open onto private pools and each has a double-sized daybed for lounging in, with a beer fridge thoughtfully positioned nextto it".
"It's not the deserted beach, the innovative drinks or the knockout rooms that make this place it's the breakfasts." There is everything from omelettes to fry ups to sushi or dim sum. "The turtles won't be the only repeat visitors."
A double room costs from £280. For more information, visit thewebsite at www.phuket.anantara.com, or call00 66 76 336 100.
What's so special?
If you've always fancied a holiday on a private island, but don't want to break the bank, then Naka Island is for you. This resort offers secluded villas, beautiful views, spa treatments and private dinners on an island that's just a 15-minute speedboat ride from the mainland.
How they rate it
This is a "high-style tropical haven with airy villas, a pampering spa and sweeping views over Phang Nga Bay", says Lee Cobaj in The Daily Telegraph. "There's not a lot else to be found on the island other than a small fishing village and a couple of near-empty beaches. Perfect."
The villas are "wrapped in clay walls and draped with jungle greenery so no one can see you skinny dipping in your private pool". There is also an outdoor bathroom suite "complete with steam room and maybe the occasional bright yellow tree frog".
The food "is excellent (although pricey), which is a plus, as nipping off to the nearest restaurant involves a boat trip and a drive". Private dinners and barbeques can be arranged either at your villa or on the beach.
From £305, including breakfast and boat transfers (www.nakaislandphuket.com; call 00 66 76 371 400).
Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance.
Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.
Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.
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