by Jason Beaven
Wouldn’t it be great to have a whole luxury resort to ourselves? Right on the beach, on a tropical island with stunning views? We have all dreamed about it, recently it has become a reality and right at our doorstep!
By doorstep, I mean on nearby Koh Yao Noi Island, a pleasant 30-minute speedboat trip away from Bang Rong Pier in Phuket. Koh Yao Noi feels like Phuket of years ago, just a few bikes and even fewer cars, a true tropical island paradise, the perfect home to Ani Villas.
Opened in December 2015, Ani Villas offers their 10-suite resort on an exclusive basis. That’s right, it’s all yours.
A perfect venue for friends and family who want to spend quality time together or for a special celebration, wedding or corporate retreat. Everything is inclusive, from the full gourmet breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, premier top-shelf drinks and mixes, and juices, to all-day snacks, Asian cooking classes with the executive chef, children’s activities, laundry, international phone calls, the list just goes on and on… Does it get any better than this?
“Suites” just barely manages to describe the accommodation at Ani Villas. Inspired by the temples of Northern Thailand, they range from Ocean Front Master Suites, directly facing the beach, to the ocean view Master Pool Suites with a private pool in the middle of the suite, to the two-bedroom Family Suites, separated by a private living room.
You almost feel like you can stay indoors the whole time, especially when you have complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and unlimited movie streaming via Apple TV and Netflix, but one look at the 42-metre beachfront swimming pool overlooking Phang Nga Bay, that all changes in a heartbeat.
Need some pampering? Then head to the Spa, which hosts a luxurious couple’s treatment room, steam room and relaxing double Spa Tub with amazing sea views. Two dedicated therapists are on standby full-time to ease all your tension and stress away and again, all treatments are complimentary.
Ani Villas’ first “Villa Resort” opened on the idyllic Caribbean Island of Anguilla in 2010. Last year, the estates in Thailand and Sri Lanka were added to the collection, with a fourth in the Dominican Republic to be launched early next year. The first South American property is slated for Panama in 2018.
When we stayed, we were treated to a meal from their visiting Executive Chef from the Anguilla property, Chef Sweets, who prepared a Caribbean-style menu on the first night, using local ingredients. The sea bass was a hit with everyone – even the kids – as was the pork rib. The big winner was the Prawn and Crab ball – an explosion of flavours.
On the second day we had our Asian cooking class, hosted by visiting Chef Ken, who took us on a step-by-step journey into the making of sushi and the techniques of two types – traditional Japanese-style and the popular California roll. Can you pick which one was my attempt?
Not to be out done, resident Executive Chef Yao whipped up a seemingly endless dinner of freshly caught seafood, barbecued to perfection. Lobsters, crab, fish, prawns... the food seemed to never stop coming out of the kitchen. And that was only to start! Followed was a just as impressive selection of beef, pork and chicken. We were so full we didn’t think we had room for breakfast or even lunch the next day.
Of course we did find our appetites again, and Chef Yao showed the skill of his team by impressing even our Thai friends with the selection of traditional Thai dishes at lunch, even changing the menu for some special requests.
Ani Villas Thailand are setting the bar when it comes to the new class of travel, the private luxury travel experience. As they say on the website – Ani Villas Thailand: it’s all yours.
Ani Villas Thailand, Koh Yao Noi Island,
Phang Nga. www.anivillas.com + 66 (0) 96 973 7621 anivillas.com/destinations/thailand