During one of the many interesting that I had in Phuket, Thailand, a question was asked: what is luxury to you?
After going back and forth several times, I reached a conclusion. Convenience is luxury. Because no matter how great that chandelier looks above your head, you need a good bed to sleep in.
So luxury, for me, is taking things that people need on very fundamental levels, and elevating them to their most chic versions.
This is something that Avani+ Hotels understand very well.
Mind you, they have beautiful chandeliers as well, but it’s the simpler facilities that are more important in my opinion. For instance, when they say their rooms have pool access, they really mean it. You literally just have to step out to your balcony to access the gorgeous pool; and if you’re living in villas with private pools, you have to take one step from the bedroom. Again, literally.
Once you are done with your swim, there is a shower in the garden and a patio waiting for you to sit on and look at the greenery. I personally loved that touch. Plants, small and big, surround all places in Avani+ Hotels. Looking at the greenery, set against sharp blue skies never gets old, does it?
The Mai Khao branch of the hotel is the one I visited first. It’s merely 15 minutes away from the airport, and you are greeted with a soothing drink as soon as you enter. After some basic formalities, you are then led to your room which is so nice, it becomes a dilemma whether to step out or to stay in.
Who wants to leave a view like this?
The linen on the beds is absolutely comfortable and inviting and one could think of spending hours just tucked in, watching shows and movies on the TV that covers nearly half the wall.
At some point, you are going to get up though, to explore the beautiful city and you’ll want to get ready. This is where the unbelievable washrooms come into the picture.
You can choose to take a shower with a range of amazing products provided by Avani+ Hotels or you can run yourself a hot bath in the huge marble tub – and if neither of these cut it for you, there is a surprise behind the shower chamber: a secret outdoor shower! It has only one entry point, the best kind of treasure hunt.
The washrooms are spacious enough for you to do a little dancing and highly suggest you go for it.
Once you are all set, you can request the hotel staff to arrange a buggy for you to take you to the beach. Here, you can have drinks if you want or simply enjoy the uninterrupted view of the ocean. Watch out for the high tides, though. I learned that lesson the hard way.
At this point, you’d probably be hungry, and there are plenty of options to take care of your needs (or you can decide to cook in the huge, well-stocked, kitchen of every person’s dream inside the villa). There is a restaurant named Talad inside the property, which is buzzing with the chatter of guests all day long. This is where I had breakfast each day of my stay and I have absolutely no complaints regarding food at all.
If you want to explore further, you can go to Claws and Co. Restaurant right outside and choose dishes from their amazing menu. As a vegetarian person going to Thailand, I was a little worried, but it did not prove to be a problem as the restaurant staff was kind enough to modify many non-vegetarian dishes to suit my choices.
Thailand is big on using local products and you will find many dishes here that you won’t, anywhere else because they are made out of resources exclusive to the place. This is important because you’d want to savor the unique flavors as much as possible during your stay.
The next day, I had one of the most exquisite dinners of my life at Tiffin by La Sala and I cannot recommend it enough, especially if you are craving some Indian food in a foreign land. Their Indian chef came to greet us and followed it up with a series of flavorsome dishes, including chat that has my heart.
It was now time for me to go to Avani+ Hotels’ second property in Khao Lak. It’s a half-an-hour ride away from the first hotel and the first thing you notice about it is the beautiful trees towering over the entire property.
It only starts there, though.
Once you reach your room, you are once again, taken aback by the manner in which it is designed for comfort, without compromising on luxuries.
The mini kitchen here had all the stuff one could ask for and so did the washroom. Seriously, I did not have to call room service once during my stay.
I quickly changed into my swimming gear for a quick swim in the pool right outside my room and then headed to Mi Scusi, an Italian restaurant inside the property. At this point, my expectations were huge and the restaurant delivered.
After lunch, I had a spa appointment. The spa center is tucked in a beautiful corner of the hotel, and as soon as you enter, you can feel the relaxing vibe. You are then asked to fill out a simple form and that’s it. With a concoction of magical oils spread on your skin by a well-trained masseuse, it’s hard not to feel light. The spa was so relaxing, I fell asleep despite not being sleepy at all. When I woke up, I was sad that it ended.
That massage took months of tiredness out of my body and so, it was time for the most obvious activity – having some cocktails at the Beach House.
After rounds of cocktails, dinner was served and the seafood there smelled like heaven. If you are a non-vegetarian and love seafood, you cannot give this one a miss.
Interestingly, there was an Indian wedding happening right outside which made me think how this is the perfect spot for a destination wedding. The mandap, decorated with beautiful flowers, was set against the ocean and one can only imagine how beautiful the pictures must have turned out.
With multiple restaurants at service and residential suites spread across the property, Avani+ Hotels could totally be your go-to if you want to accommodate a bunch of people for a function of this scale.
Other than these facilities, there are dedicated kids’ sections at both properties so that the little ones don’t feel left out while the elders enjoy. Khao Lak has a waterpark kind of space, complete with interesting swings, where they can play for hours.
Basically, there is something for everyone to do at the Avani+ Hotels. There are activities like wall climbing if you are into adventurous stuff and if that isn’t thrilling enough, there is an option to take surfing boards into the ocean for those who are trained.
Apart from these, there are gyms that fitness lovers can use, besides tons of fancy things, making the hotels a great amalgamation of the best of both worlds.
Now, while the hotel itself is a whole world in itself, there is a lot to explore outside as well. Phuket is a beautiful island and offers activities such as walking through the old town, bamboo rafting, and brilliant cooking classes in case anyone is interested in them.
However, coming back to my initial point about opulence, which I hope I have been able to make: chic convenience is luxury – and we are here for it.
Picture credits: Avani Hotels