Saturday, December 30, 2017

Happy days at the Anantara Vacation Club in Phuket

“Mommy, we’re here!” Annika, my daughter, said as our car stopped in front of the modern building that served as the reception area for the Anantara Vacation Club near Mai Khao beach in Thailand, only 15 minutes from Phuket International Airport but definitely an entire world away in feeling.

Anantara Vacation Club Phuket in Thailand

Immediately, smiling attendants bearing orchids and cold drinks came to greet us, and thus began our one-week family holiday in Thailand. Anantara is a famous name in the international hospitality industry, with luxury properties all over the world. 


Anantara Vacation Club Phuket in Thailand

But the Anantara Vacation Club, a unique shared ownership concept, is a relatively recent offering, and the Anantara Vacation Club Phuket (AVC Phuket) is brand new. Having stayed at other Anantara resorts before, all with good memories, we decided to try this new resort in Phuket without hesitation.


Anantara Vacation Club Phuket in Thailand

We entered the  Anantara Vacation Club Phuket (AVC Phuket), a large property filled with a hotel building on one side and villas in neat rows. When we reached our two-bedroom villa with a private swimming pool, I was amazed by its spaciousness as well as by its excellent contemporary design

Anantara Vacation Club, Mai Khao, Phuket
With 260 square meters to enjoy, it suited our needs completely. In fact, it’s the kind of villa I’d want to own, if I had the chance. The Anantara Vacation Club Phuket (AVC Phuketvilla had one bedroom on each side and a combined living space with a long kitchen counter and an equally long solid wood dining table in the middle. 

Anantara Vacation Club Phuket in Thailand

From here, we had a view of our pool. Meanwhile, our two bedrooms each had a bathroom, and the master bedroom – which also had a sliding door on one side that opened directly onto the swimming pool – had a massive bathroom with a high ceiling that’s larger than most hotel rooms. Every feature of our villa was luxurious, tasteful, and extremely comfortable. 

Anantara Vacation Club Phuket in Thailand

Of course, Annika loved the 34-square meter swimming pool, with one end practically flowing into the master bedroom. This was where we began and ended each day, with me doing my daily exercise laps, my husband reading a book on a floater, and Annika splashing around everywhere.


Anantara Vacation Club Phuket in Thailand

In between, there were enough activities to fill our days. Annika attended the Jakka Children’s Club which offered lessons and games all day, including a rock-climbing tutorial and a batik painting class with fun and friendly instructors.

The spa at the Anantara Phuket

Meanwhile, I took these opportunities to fit in some much needed “me time” at the spa of the Anantara Resort next door, the sister property of AVC Phuket. The award-winning spa of the Anantara Resort, set amidst a jungle with lily ponds and giant ferns, is simply wonderful, and it was here that I had one of the best energizing massages I’ve had in my life. 

One afternoon, Annika and I even signed up for a mother-daughter spa afternoon. I had an Elemis brightening facial while Annika had a bubble bath in the spa’s outdoor tub and a kiddie manicure.

The spa at the Anantara Phuket


I also indulged in a private yoga class in our villa while everyone else was out. My instructor would arrive everyday with yoga mats and an MP3 player, and we would go through a series of specific yoga poses for an hour in the outdoor terrace

Meanwhile, my husband delighted in working out at the fitness center next to the Jakka Children’s Club with a private trainer, and in walking along beautiful Mai Khao beach, the longest stretch of golden sand in Phuket, feeling the breezes coming in from the Andaman Sea.

Anantara Vacation Club, Mai Khao, Phuket


Every evening also provided something delightful. 

One night, AVC Phuket organized a movie night by the main swimming pool. We all swam in the pool or sat on the lounge beds with fresh juice drinks and appetizers as a family-friendly science fiction film played on a giant inflated screen at one end of the pool. 

Anantara Vacation Club, Mai Khao, Phuket

On another evening, we joined in the fun at the Chaam restaurant, where a colorful street food buffet was set up in the patio, enabling us to dine al fresco and to sample various local specialties.


Seafood grill by the pool at the
Anantara Vacation Club Phuket in Thailand

On our last evening at the AVC Phuket, however, we arranged a special private barbecue in our villa. There are three options for this, and we decided on the “Ultimate Andaman Seafood Grill” since this seemed most appropriate for our wonderful setting.

The AVC Phuket team set up a buffet table and a grill right by the swimming pool, and at sundown, the Chaam restaurant’s head chef arrived to grill the food himself. The table was laden with various fresh seafood and meat, and all we had to do was pick what we wanted for grilling. 

Pad Thai at the Anantara Vacation Club in Phuket

Then, while waiting for our choices on the grill, we helped ourselves to salads and cold dishes from our own buffet table and dined on a lovely table by the pool.

“I love the Anantara Vacation Club,” Annika exclaimed that night, as we feasted on an entire sea bass stuffed with special herbs by the master chef. “Can we come here again next year?” We all smiled at each other. We were certainly all in agreement on this point.

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