Hotel Review: SAii Laguna Phuket, Bang Tao Beach, Phuket in Thailand – Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
Strewn across Thailand’s pristine, albeit often tumultuous Andaman Coast, the SAii Laguna Phuket is a truly stunning beach resort that recently left me mighty impressed. Though, I have got to admit, I had a gut feeling that I was in for something ultra-special over the following four days within minutes of stepping foot onto the hotel’s porch after a short ride from the airport.
Welcomed with an orchid garland, a perfumed cold towel, a refreshing iced hibiscus drink and that typically Thai folded hands wai greeting, I knew I had made the right choice by picking this place for my first Thailand trip in close to three years.
Even though there is no dearth of luxurious accommodation options to pick from at Laguna Phuket – one of Phuket’s most luxurious of enclaves – SAii Laguna Phuket is a truly exceptional resort destination. Set beside Bangtao Beach, one of Thailand’s most exquisite beaches, its lush, tropical gardens open to a tranquil lagoon, just steps from the azure Andaman Sea. Part of the aforementioned gated Laguna Phuket complex – that also houses several other five-star resorts, interesting restaurants and shopping areas – this sprawling resort seems to have it all.
Done up in a colonial-meets-traditional Thai sala architectural style, the grand lobby is an impressive space. And one that affords guests expansive views of the oceanfront that forms a dramatic backdrop. Kitted out with plenty of polished teak wood accents, plantation-style overhead fans and basket-like suspended pendant lights, the space is inviting and relaxed. Though I must make special mention of the Chinese apothecary cabinet set in a corner that dispenses free biscuits and mini pouches of mixed nuts that one can take as much of as one likes, 24/7.
Laid out perfectly, the various wings of the resort feature a whopping 255 rooms and suites that either look onto the lagoon, the pools or the mighty Andaman Sea. One such example is the one-bedroom ocean suite. All done up with terracotta floors, silk furnishings, a private terrace and a plush Thai style reading nook, this one is as luxe as it can get.
Since my ocean-facing room was a Club one, I had all-day access to the resort’s dedicated club – a separate structure, that seems to float over the lagoon. An exclusive club lounge with panoramic views, this is where one can get free drinks and snacks for club and suite level guests. It also comes with personalised check-in, elegant a la carte breakfast, as well as all-day tea, coffee and refreshments, afternoon snacks, and evening cocktails with tasting plates.
Food and drink
Speaking of food, blame it on the beach air, but I was in a constant battle with my hunger pangs all through my four days at SAii Laguna Phuket. Luckily for me, a satisfying snack or a hearty meal was never too far away.
The resort has a number of dining options that range from the cutely named duo of Miss Olive Oyl and Mr. Tomyam to others. While the former offers something you won’t find anywhere else in Phuket: a culinary tour of the Mediterranean with a menu spanning offerings from Sicily to the Levantine coast, the latter is an interesting al fresco eatery.
Beachfront on Bangtao Beach at the resort’s spectacular swimming pool, Mr. Tomyam offers dining morning to night. It is the teaming of the essence of Thai dishes with the pleasures of international classics that made this one my favourite spots to dine at. For those preferring something lighter, the Locavore Restaurant is an inviting indoor terraced area to relax at anytime of the day with a coffee or to watch the sunset with cocktails and soft music.
Being a beach resort, there is no dearth of play activities lined up for you here. Be you a child or an adult, you’ll find your fit. For it has not one, not two, but a whopping three swimming pools, including a 55-metre water slide and a variety of sports options for all.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the resort offers all its non-motorised water sports activities like paddle boarding, kayaking and surfing for free. For those wanting to keep active, there’s also a proper fitness centre and an international tennis academy with indoor and outdoor courts, squash and badminton courts.
Or perhaps, one could always spend an evening lounging in the poolside cabanas. These come with personalised butler service offering up some spectacular grilled prawns, washed down with perfectly made Mai Tai cocktails. Pure bliss.
For sybarites like myself, there’s the massage sala near the main pool. Offering a variety of traditional Thai and oil massages, this tented, makeshift spa zone that stands in for a more permanent spa structure is no less luxurious and relaxing. With trained therapists on hand to take care of all your pampering needs, you’re sure to be in bliss when you’re done.
In a nutshell
With its bounty of natural, cultural and culinary attractions on offer and almost every inch of its space imbued with that quintessentially Thai brand of hospitality, picking the SAii Laguna Phuket is a no-brainer. Add to this the guarantee of fun-filled, sun-soaked days packed with a number of water sports and other ‘luxurious pursuits’ and your Andaman Coast vacation in Thailand seems good to go.
The gated complex of Laguna Phuket is a quick, 25 minutes ride from the Phuket airport. This bustling international airport offers plentiful connection opportunities from all over Thailand, Asia, Europe and Australia on a number of airlines. If you’re coming in by speedboat from one of the many islands along Thailand’s Andaman Coast like Koh Phi Phi in Krabi, then the complex is a half hour car ride from Phuket’s Ao Po Grand Marina Pier located on the east side of the island.
Rooms start from GBP 114.
Photography courtesy of SAii Laguna Phuket