Review: Anantara Layan Phuket Resort is something you could get very used to
As I write this, I am sitting in a luxurious private study in near silence except for the slight hum of aircon. The chair is leather, the table is mahogany and the view overlooks the midday tide ebbing out of Phuket’s Layan Bay. My wife and daughter are upstairs splashing about in our private infinity pool. There’s a knock at the door where our private butler, Sugar, brings in a coffee and some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. “Writing fuel,” I say with a smile, trying to mask the barely suppressed awkward feeling of having someone waiting on you 24-seven.
I wish that I could tell you that I live the enviable, exotic lifestyle of literary heavyweights Hemingway and Fleming—far removed from near-constant urban chaos by relocating my mind and body to an idyllic island, and left alone to type away my deepest thoughts in seclusion—but in reality I am experiencing a mere glimpse of that life from the private Residences at the Anantara Layan Phuket Resort.
Located just 30 minutes from the airport, the resort is spread out across the North West side of the bay with a web of pool villas, residency villas, a class-leading spa, and even its own Muay Thai boxing ring weaved within the greenery.
Separated from the rest of the hotel, the 15 private residence suites stretch up the hillside, each offering daily painting-esque views of sunset. Between the three of us, it is hard to justify the space of the three-bedroom, 1,100sqm property that comes with its own massage room and study. The residences are all unique in design and as well as available to guests (with no minimum duration), they are also available for purchase. If you were to buy, I’m told that your neighbours would include the Leicester City owning Srivaddhanaprabha family, and the founder of Anantara Hotels, Bill Heinecke.
It hasn’t been a difficult few days by any stretch of the imagination. We’re not long finished a breakfast of fresh fruit and pastries from the outdoor dining sala (prepared by Sugar), and I’m trying to finish up this article before jumping on a private boat tour of the awesome islands of Phang Nga Bay—yes, that one from Roger Moore’s 007 outing in The Man With The Golden Gun. The hardest decision that we’ve personally had to make is whether we want to dine at Age (a grill restaurant that makes a compelling case to be the best on Phuket island) or at the seasonal pop-up of Zuma, which the hotel runs at every year from December to February.
So while this regrettably isn’t my life, a few days of recharging in the glorious sun, tranquil surrounds and impeccable service that comes with a stay at the Anantara Layan residence villas is enough to make anyone feel at home.