Since its inception in 2001 Anantara has built quite a name for its luxurious resorts in Thailand and beyond. In 2014 the Anantara Layan Resort opened its doors on the island of Phuket, Thailand. Often praised for its beachfront and hillside location we chose to pay the resort a visit in our quest to find unique and luxurious hotels and resorts worldwide.
The Anantara Layan resort is located on a small secluded bay between Nai Thon Beach and Bang Tao Beach on the Western side of Phuket. The main part of the resort is directly connected to the beach. The spa, Thai restaurant and upper lobby are built hillside providing views of the resort, bay and surrounding forests and ocean. The ‘residences’ are built along a dead-end road towards to the top of the hill providing stunning views.
Phuket International airport is just 30 minutes away providing easy access to the hotel. Phuket Town with its bars and shops is about 35 minutes away. Closer to the resort (10 minutes away) you can the 18-hole Laguna Golf Phuket.
The secluded location gives the Anantara a little paradise like feeling. The beach provides amazing sunset views every evening and the bay is perfect for various watersports activities including stand-up paddle boarding, sailing and of course swimming. There is a tide so on low tide most water is withdrawn from the bay.
Rooms, villas & Residences
The Anantara Layan offers a large range of 79 different rooms and villas and 15 residences. The 10 premier rooms and 20 Deluxe Layan Suites are spacious and come with luxury bathrooms. They are located along the side of the hill so some of them offer panoramic views of the ocean and the resort.
The deluxe pool villas come with their own private pool and courtyard-style garden, good for privacy but they lack views. Our favorite is the Sala pool villa which has a very large bathroom / dressing room, spacious bedroom and terrace with sala surrounded by tropical gardens. In addition there are a few beachfront pool villas and four different two bedroom villas which are also located in tropical gardens close to the beach.
For those seeking the ultimate in comfort and luxury you can also book one of the Anantara residences set on the hills overlooking Layan and the Andaman sea. A choice of 15 residences in different sizes is available. They all include infinity pools, luxury bathrooms, breakfast service, a butler and private chef and maid service. Some of the residences even have a private gym and cinema.
Anantara Layan has two main restaurants, Sala Layan and Dee Plee, and the all-day dining pool bar called Breeze. Breeze offers guests drinks and bites ranging from mini burgers to pizza which can be enjoyed by the pool, on the beach or at the bar. Especially for lunch and during sunset this is a popular place for guests to hangout. The atmosphere is very laid back with music and a pool table on hand.
Sala Layan is located on the first floor above the reception and the bar and has a spacious indoor area as well as a large terrace with ocean views. A very extensive breakfast buffet is served here every morning from 7 until 10.30am. For lunch and dinner the Italian chef Massimo prepares Mediterranean dishes including pasta, fresh seafood and meat optionally from the charcoal grill. It is some of the best food we have had during our time spent in Thailand.
Dee Plee is located on the hillside above the resort and is only open for dinner. Friendly service is paired with delicious food ranging from my favorite curry to seafood specialities. It is also possible to book a cooking course to learn how to make some of the typical Thai dishes and appetisers yourself – worth it!
Facilities & Activities
The resort has two different pools, the main pool at the heart of the resort and a more quiet Spa pool. While a majority of the villas have their own pool it is never really busy at the pools and there are plenty of sun loungers near the pool and on the beach. The watersports center offers kayaks, surfboards and sailing boats to be enjoyed in the bay. There is a fitness center, library, kids club and muay thai kick boxing ring. Wifi is available throughout the resort and free of charge. The resorts hosts a range of activities on a daily basis from a weekly cocktail to towel folding course (try folding a towel in the shape of an elephant) and different sports activities.
The Spa at the Anantara Layan has 7 treatment rooms, all with seaview. In addition there is a nail salon, hair and beauty salon, relaxation area and a set of steam rooms. The treatments range from a traditional Thai massage to the signature Bamboo Massage. Couples can also enjoy a couples massage in one of the four double treatment rooms.
The Anantara Layan offers a luxurious and comfortable stay in a paradise like surrounding. The beautiful sandy beach with amazing sunsets and fun water sport activities is something we will not easily forget. The Sala Pool Villa is our favorite villa of choice. But if money is no object opt for one of the residences for the best views and top notch service.
The staff is very friendly and the different activities and facilities will prevent you from getting bored. In general it is a very accessible resort for a broad audience and very affordable too. The short distance from the airport makes the Anantara Layan also suitable for shorter breaks.