A bath within a pool, a dream within a dream

Sybaritic delight ... Anantara pool by night
A special Lunch correspondent
Sybaritic delight ... Anantara pool by night
Sybaritic delight … Anantara pool by night
The thing I like most about Anantara Phuket Villas is that they have mastered the art of the bath within a pool.
If you’re at all like me, and if you’re reading this there is every chance you are, the idea of running a ginormous hot, sudsy bath while you’re in the pool in your private villa is something that fills you with sybaritic delight.
And if your villa is on a gorgeous tropical island with awesome food, near the Andaman Sea and you can hear the waves gently kissing the sand nearby, it’s even better.
It’s late, after an awesome feast. The bath is filled, drinks are passed, it’s time to hop in with my girlfriend. Glasses are clinked. Eyes are gazed into.The night deepens.

I close the shutters of privacy over this magic moment….

When you go to Anantara Villas Thailand, make sure you try Sea.Fire.Salt restaurant. Their signature dish is fish grilled on a huge tablet of solid rock salt.

Amazingly fresh fish ... Dining at Anantara
Amazingly fresh fish … Dining at Anantara

Believe it or not, it’s not as salty as you might think, but boy, does it bring out the flavours of the amazingly fresh fish and crustaceans.

The waiters tell us to eat it fast, lest these morsels spend too long on the slab. It’s a good idea to have some cold beers handy – for thirst is a dangerous thing.

The night we are there a fine rain is falling. We are on the white deck, with white railings and the whole feel is very colonial – “Where’s the fan girl?” I ask pettily, and I’m duly kicked under the table.
Eventually it’s time to go back to our villa and rather than endure the three minute walk in the warm rain we whistle up one of the plentiful golf carts and repair for some time in the pool-bath.
Other highlights include the outside shower (I move all my wet gear out there for the duration of our stay), the huge inside bath and the private cabana-dining area.
On the second day we take a cooking course – don’t make the mistake we did and order lunch first. You will be eating the four-course feast you are preparing.

The course is taught by one of the resort’s own chefs. Aprons and chefs’ hats are issued. Pictures are taken. Soon knives are flashing and clacking on boards, the galangal and lemon grass is flying and beef is grilling as we prepare authentic Thai cuisine in only a few minutes per dish.

You also get to keep your commemorative chopping board as a reminder of the fact that once, for a brief shining moment, you could cook as well as any Thai chef.

Healing session ... Anantara Spa
Healing session … Anantara Spa

Then after a lie down, check into the Anantara Spa for a massage. I opt for the 90-minute Thai Herbal Compress Massage.

“This Thai massage uses a traditional compress to blot out bad energy  and sluggishness, soothing muscle tension and stiffness,” the brochure says.
The healing  session begins with a warm herbal poultice containing therapeutic Thai herbs and spices, followed by a full body massage with herbal oils. It’s pretty awesome.
Before you check out have at least one drink at the Treehouse Bar, which as the name suggests is a bar nestled in a tree, in the middle of the resort.
There are huge lounges where you can take in the view with your feet up – and incidentally order food to be delivered from any of the resort’s restaurants as you look out over the ocean.

Anantara Villas Phuket have mastered the art of the perfect getaway, with fantastic service in a relaxed tropical paradise and a huge variety of food you will want to stay a lot longer than I did.

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