All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. I’m a big believer in the saying so you’ll always find me with a travel plan to look forward to. A private beach resort or a great pool; expansive greenery on-property or hidden gems around town; rich local culture or thrift shopping – either option from the three and I’m happy!
One such place I recently went to is a formerly abandoned tin mine in Phuket, Thailand that has been rehabilitated and renewed into a luxury laguna. Here, Banyan Tree Phuket (where I stayed) had everything from my list. One sip of the chilled black sugarcane welcome drink was enough to kick off my first sustainable holiday. Spoiler alert: I can sus-stay-n here forever! Here’s a glimpse of my time at this topical oasis.
Nestled between white sandy beaches and coconut groves, the serenely beautiful Banyan Tree Phuket is just the place for those who seek peace and relaxation. This luxury abode treated my “office syndrome” with naturopathy, mindful experiences, the coolest pool views, hikes, Thai massages, amazing farm-to-table food, and a lavish laguna life…in just 3 days!
For starters, I made my own herbal inhaler and massage oil using local herbs like kaffir lime, cinnamon, pandan leaves and more at their wellbeing centre. Called Veya, led by certified multidisciplinary wellbeing hosts, it is a brand extension within Banyan Tree Group’s multi-brand ecosystem. It offers many bespoke wellbeing programmes of which such DIY workshops are a small part. I also tried conscious grounding and treated myself to a “purposeful massage” therapy for 90 minutes.
A guided boat tour through the laguna and a quick beach visit later, a nice meal at Saffron awaited me. It’s one of Phuket’s best fine dining and award-winning restaurants. P.S. The mango sticky rice here is to die for! Other restaurants on the property include The Watercourt (laguna-facing), Banyan Cafe (with expansive golf course views), Veya Cafe, TRE, and Le Petit Chef. Interestingly, I had the best Indian-style Shahi Paneer in International waters at The Watercourt! Not to forget the freshest, juiciest, creamiest burrata salad.
Speaking of food, your girl also attended a cooking class and made her own cold prawn salad (with ingredients grown at the in-house Veya Pharm) which looked as amazing as it tasted. I also found myself plucking and eating exotic fruits from the trees of Bang Tao Bay while on an excursion. In fact, this village community encourages you to feed off the fresh produce, whether it’s coconut water or wild berries. A sanctuary for the senses, ah!
At the end of each of the three jam-packed days, there was always a comfy king bed, a deluxe bathroom with a smart toilet (read heated seat and buttons for a sweet release), my private temperature-controlled pool, and an outdoor hot tub (called Sala, a traditional Thai open pavilion) that made it so easy to call this place home away from home.
With a total of 217 private pool villas inspired by Thai architecture, each built around a natural landscaped garden with an outdoor jet pool and timber sundecks, Banyan Tree Phuket is a must-visit destination if you, too, want a break from your 9 to 5 life.
Price of Banyan Tree Phuket: Rs 55,000 upwards per night; book here
Images: Writer, Banyan Tree