Thailand

My own private bendy palm tree

A special Lunch correspondent

“YOU have the best room in the resort,’’ a beaming porter tells me as she puts my bags in my room.
I’m not disposed to argue. I’m on the ground floor, nearest the beach, glass sliding doors are the only thing separating me from my personal deck. The doors don’t stay closed for long. Beyond my lounge chairs a spicy warm breeze ripples the tropical waters. The sand is a gruelling 22 paces away across soft grasses which meld into the Andaman sea splashing on a strip of pure white sand – beckoning me to leap in and work up an appetite before luncheon.
Paradise… Dusit Thani, Laguna Phuket
All it needs is a bendy palm tree beneath which to sip parasolled cocktails or an icy cold beer. But hist! It is just so. Just a metre or so from my deck is my own personal bendy palm tree. All that is missing is a cocktail for my companion and an icy cold beer for me. Wait. Better make that two cocktails and two icy cold beers, and two for me, too, for thirst is a dangerous thing this close to the Equator.
All our liquid needs are taken care of at a nearby concession, there is no need to walk to the hotel bar an extra 40 yards away – and it’s rare to pay more than $2 for a beer or $4 for a cocktail. Later I learn that the bar’s prices are on par with the concessions’ – ie. ridiculously inexpensive considering we’re in a five-star luxury resort.
Come stand with me on the deck of the Dusit Thani, Laguna Phuket.  At night there is the glow of the squid boats on the horizon. Dotted here and there are large earthenware jars filled with cool fresh water. I later learn that there is a dipper with which you rinse sand from your feet as you walk back from the beach.
There is no need to leave the resort – everything you need is on site, although for some the sights, sounds and, ah yes, even the smells of Phuket’s conurbations beckon.
Nestled amidst acres of tropical gardens and caressed by the azure water of the Andaman Sea, the Dusit Thani hotel is an idyllic retreat tucked away on the stunning island of Phuket. This luxury resort is a jewel in the crown of the Laguna resort development at Bang Tao Bay, Phuket.
The resort’s neo-colonial style incorporates variations on traditional Thai motifs. My room is bright and airy with plenty of cool, dark native timber and tiles and decorated with ceramics, antique carvings and textiles.
Beachside… Dusit Club Room
Guests at any of the hotels in the Laguna Phuket complex enjoy access to many facilities, including health and fitness centres, spas, child care centres and the championship 18-hole Laguna Phuket golf course. There are boats and buses to take you to other hotels, restaurants and bars across the 1000 acre resort and you can charge everything back to your room at Dusit Thani.
Nature at its best, combined with the Dusit Thani’s Thai service and hospitality, adds up to a unique holiday experience.
And of course world-class wifi across the resort.
When it comes time to put the nosebag on – restaurants include Ruen Thai serving genuine Royal Thai cuisine; Casuarina Beach Restaurant and Pub featuring seafood grilled on the beach; award-winning authentic Italian cuisine at La Trattoria;  Laguna Café offering all-day dining with its variety of international cuisine and Poolside Café with snacks and drinks by the pool.
Horizon Lounge, the lobby lounge, offers cocktails and live music and a view of the aforementioned Andaman Sea.
I try out the Trattoria and lo! it is true. Some of the best Italian food I’ve had outside of the Boot, with proscuitto just the way I like it with some crunchy salty fatty crystals, deep fried squid served with lots of chilli and bocconcini with fresh tomato, basil and sun dried tomato.
Do yourself a favour and get there before sundown and enjoy the sunset through the giant windows.
Then fortify yourself for the walk back to your room with a bottle of Italian wine, you can always finish it on the way, sitting in one of the plentiful lounges, watching the waves of the Andaman Sea kissing the starlit sand.
Who knows? That might not be the only kissing going on if you happen to be with someone you’re quite partial to in this most romantic and serene of locales.
390 Moo1 Srisoontorn Road,
Cherngtalay, Talang
Phuket 83110
Room Reservations
+66 (0) 7636 2999

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