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Spotlight review

Andara Resort & Villas

Phuket

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  • Detailed Review
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Edit 19 Feb 2020-20 Feb 2020 (0 guests)

On Phuket’s west coast overlooking Kamala Bay and the Andaman Sea, Andara is divided into two parts: a choice of spacious multi-bedroom suites or sprawling, private pool villas. All have stunning water views – the perfect choice for everyone including multi-generational families.

With just 37 Suites and 26 Luxury Pool Villas, this is a true boutique resort compared with others on the island, which are much larger.

The Suites all have stunning views of the ocean and most, apart from the Terrace Suites, have a private pool. They come with huge, open-plan living and dining areas and large terraces for sunbathing, plus fully fitted kitchens should you want the services of a chef (at an additional cost) or just to make snacks for the kids. They range in size from one to four bedrooms, from 153sq m (1,647sq ft) to 740sq m (7,965sq ft).

The Pool Villa experience is especially wonderful. Check-in takes place within the villa, and the room cost includes the services of a dedicated villa assistant who will help you during your stay, plus those of a private Thai chef to prepare and cook meals. The chef will work with you to design menus for you and your guests and will shop for the food and ingredients needed (at your expense). From three to six bedrooms, villas range in size from 1,200sq m (12,917sq ft) to 2,500sq m (26,910sq ft).

The resort has a large, communal pool that attracts many guests for a ‘social hour’ or two, plus a swim-up bar serving delicious, cooling cocktails.

The downside for me was that there was only one restaurant, but it’s a great dining spot that has won several awards.

Note that there is no beach at the resort, but there is one about three minutes away by hotel shuttle, and if you’ve been to Phuket, you’ll know that the government has recently had a clamp-down on the beachside offerings. All shacks and clubs have been closed down so that the area is returned to the way nature intended. So, at Kamala Beach, the hotel has a ‘beach club’ with mats, cushions, parasols and towels, and they will provide you with cold bottled water – but there are no wooden sun loungers or piña coladas any more. This is the new, luxe, au naturel beach set-up.

To compensate, there is an excellent spa and fitness centre at Andara.

Baring All
  • There’s only one restaurant so unless you go for the in-house chef option, you may get a bit bored with the food on offer
  • Opt for a ground-floor Pool Suite if you have difficulty with steep stairs or are with young children
  • Penthouses have a spiral staircase; the views are the same as the villas
  • The rates are not cheap but you’ll get so much more for your money than at other hotels
Why we like it
Why we like it

This is a pleasant, informal Asian resort with good service. It’s a quiet place on the whole, due to the type of accommodation on offer. People tend to stay in their own space a lot during the day. However, Kamala Beach is only a few minutes away by private shuttle service, or a 10-minute walk, easily accessible should you want a change of scene. The new beach facility makes the best of the new situation in Phuket, and although there are no plush loungers, you can spend the day lolling on nice comfy mats and cushions.

Should you want to venture further afield, try the hotel’s 107ft Baglietto Italian yacht, which you can book to explore the surrounding islands. Large enough for up to 15 guests for a day’s sail (or eight on an overnight charter), it allows you to enjoy the Andaman waters and the many islands in the vicinity.

Just so you know
Just so you know

There’s no beach at the hotel. It’s nearby, but if you want to fall out of bed onto the sand, this is not the hotel for you.

Take a ground-floor Pool Suite if you are not great with steps or if you have younger kids; there are no stairs and more space for all to enjoy. For more romantic escapes, go for a Penthouse Suite, but note that there is a spiral staircase leading to the roof terrace and pool, which may be hard for some to navigate.

The private villas are the best option for families, as there’s much more space and a huge pool, plus you get the advantage of having a chef to cook for you every day – you just pay for the groceries.

The resort is in a great location; you can walk to nearby bars and restaurants within five minutes.

Best suited for
Best suited for

For large, multi-generational families or friends travelling together, there are lots of different accommodation options to suit.  While I was here, there were families from Australia and the UK, plus quite a few expats from Hong Kong and Singapore.

General information

  • icon-briefcase
    How to get here

    45 minutes by road from Phuket International Airport

  • icon-bed
    Accommodation

    63 suites & villas

Amenities

  • Wi-Fi

    Wi-Fi

  • Swimming pool

    Swimming pool

  • Spa

    Spa

  • Gym

    Gym

  • Restaurant

    Restaurant

  • Kids Club

    Kids Club

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