Seeking a Thai getaway with your family or friends in a location of natural bliss? Andara Resort & Villas needs to be high on your travel list.
Nestled on the west coast of Phuket, on a hillside overlooking Kamala Beach, Andara Resort & Villas offers complimentary resort activities, private dining experiences and exceptional Thai service. Cocooned in a picture-perfect setting, spend your days poolside, enjoying bespoke tours, or indulging at the spa.
Featuring 64 spacious suites, from one to seven bedrooms, design your stay starting from your room style. Choose from a spacious suite, signature suite or one of the 26 hillside villas. Offering breathtaking views, traditional Thai luxury and impeccable service – perfect for secluded group getaways.
Traveller: Tina-Louise Jackson
Room: 3 Bedroom Terrace Suite
Address: 15 Moo 6, Kathu District, Phuket 83150, Thailand
Date: January 2023
Best for: A traditional & luxurious Thai getaway with family or friends
Located just 35 minutes from the airport, Andara Resort & Villas may be in the lesser-known beach resort of Kamala sitting on the west coast of Phuket, yet it’s close enough to the bright lights and nightlife should you crave it. While still far enough away to kick back, relax and enjoy the luxury and traditional Thai hospitality.
Within a short walk, you can find…
The white sandy beach of Kamala fronting the Andaman Sea is perfect for swimming in high season. There’s also an array of local shopping and dining options nearby should you want to explore options outside the property. The resort’s local shuttle transport, a converted Mitsubishi Triton, adds a unique touch. It will drop and collect you at your desired local location if you don’t fancy a stroll.
Claim to fame
Andara Resort & Villas is the innovation of Dr Allan Zeman, founder of the Lan Kwai Fong Group, Hong Kong. Inspired by Phuket after building his own dream holiday home on the island. Whilst the luxury of the resort will entice you to linger longer, you can explore the Andaman Sea or the limestone cliffs of Phang Nga Bay in Andara’s exclusive 35-metre Italian-made Baglietto motor yacht, aptly named ‘Celebrity’. Available to charter for day trips for up to 15 people or eight for an overnight stay, it’s sure to be on the experience list.
In addition to the expansive suites nestled around the infinity pool, Andara’s 26 stunning villas blend harmoniously into the hillside, offering uninterrupted views of the Andaman Sea. Whether from the infinity pool, cabana or even your bathtub. The villas range from one to seven bedrooms up to 2300 sqm. The private chef and villa attendant will cater to your every whim, offering total privacy and exclusivity. It’s perfect for a romantic break in a home away from home. Or, sharing with family and friends for a special occasion or intimate tropical wedding.
As we are travelling with a little one in our group, we opt for a three-bed Terrace Suite located close to SILK Restaurant. It’s housed in a cluster of residences overlooking the main infinity pool. The suite is vast, with teak flooring, rich earth hues and traditional Thai artifacts throughout. Air conditioning and ceiling fans ensure you’ll remain cool however warm the Phuket day. The open-plan living space offers a fully equipped kitchen and a large round dining table, ideal for socialising or lounging. Make use of the lazy susan for indoor dining or if you opt for one of the resort’s private dining experiences. The large lounge area houses inviting, plush sofas and a flat screen tv with Bose surround sound. The spacious main room feels expansive with the mirrored walls, while the floor-to-ceiling windows open onto a large terrace, creating an expansive indoor-outdoor living space.
Outside, the wide terrace overlooks the infinity pool and the Andaman Sea, with outdoor sofas perfect for lounging and watching the sunset with a drink in hand. The master bedroom, again with floor-to-ceiling windows, overlooks the pool and the Andaman Sea with cool teak flooring and blackout blinds to ensure a great night’s sleep. Plenty of wardrobe and storage space will ensure your clothes stay crisp and wrinkle-free, however long your stay. Each of the three well-sized bedrooms has an ensuite bathroom with a rain shower, and the main bedroom has dual vanities, a rainshower and a large sunken bath for an indulgent soak.
Whilst there is no mini-bar in the room, a large double fridge in the well-equipped kitchen will ensure that your drinks are chilled and snacks of your choice are on hand. The selection of wine, spirits and snacks available for purchase are ideal for late-night grazings. Complimentary water is available in eco-friendly glass bottles. Plus, a Gaggia coffee maker ensures your coffee is freshly brewed whenever you crave a caffeine fix.
There’s a bath menu to indulge your senses and enhance your soak, featuring Andara aromatherapy scents. Select from A Sense of Phuket, Tropical Moments, or for the ultimate indulgent treat, Once-in-a-lifetime Romance.
Beyond the rooms
Take the stone pathways and steps through lush greenery to the main infinity pool, stretching from SILK Restaurant almost to the Andaman Sea. Here, cocktails and snacks are served throughout the day. Either a short walk or a shuttle ride away awaits Kamala Beach, where the Andara staff can arrange a beach setup. Or even a picnic.
Andara Spa is located at the centre of the property. Offering traditional Thai treatments in its five single treatment rooms, two couples rooms and a Thai Massage room. My partner and I opt for a couples Andara Signature Massage. After selecting our massage oils, we’re settled into the treatment room for a 60-minute massage. Whilst I rarely fall asleep during a massage, the calming ambience of the treatment room and the skill of my therapist has me drifting off in no time.
Dish to dine for
SILK Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a traditional Thai setting overlooking the infinity pool. With a choice of indoor or alfresco seating, your tastebuds will be delighted with the extensive buffet breakfast. There’s a large selection of Western and Thai dishes that can be cooked to order and perfectly paired with freshly squeezed juices.
For later in the day, SILK features a range of Thai and international dishes, comprising fresh, locally sourced ingredients and traditional Thai flavours. Select from the à la carte menu, or one of two set menus that will guide you through a feast for the senses. From tangy pomelo salad, creamy tom kha gai and spicy red duck curry. With a day’s notice, the chef can prepare a Signature Barbecue featuring wagyu steak, local tiger Andaman tiger prawn and whole squid, served in your suite or villa.
For a taste of Italy, take a seat at alfresco-dining La Seta (Silk in Italian), where your palate will be pleasured with a menu of Italian favourites, from cheesy pizzas to delectable seafood.
While the comfort and space of the suites may entice you to stay in, you may have no desire to visit the 40m infinity pool, stretching from SILK and almost reaching the Andaman Sea. But despite the resort being busy, the pool never felt crowded. Plus, with the large sun canopies, shade from the hot Phuket sun is a given all day. Cocktails and snacks can be served poolside, so there’s no need to leave your sun lounge other than to take a dip in the pool or relax in the hot tub…
For the more energetic, there are plenty of options for exercise. Including a fully equipped gym, a range of group classes, from yoga to muay thai and a tennis court. Private classes and a personal trainer can also be arranged.
The resort sits at the far end of Kamala, a three-kilometre stretch of white sand. An easy walk, or by complimentary shuttle, the waters are crystal clear between December and April. Perfect for swimming or trying your hand at stand-up paddle boarding. There are also plenty of dining options nearby, ideal for large groups with varying tastebuds. Cafe del Mar is a classy ‘Ibiza meets Phuket’ beach club right on the water, perfect for a sundowner. Several golf courses are a short drive away, as are the upmarket bars and restaurants of Bang Tao, Laguna and Surin. You’ll find a list of many of these options in your in-room handbook.
The family factor
For this trip, I was travelling with my own children and it was our one-year-old granddaughter’s first overseas trip. The Terrace Suite, despite not having a pool, is a perfect choice for families. Although older kids will enjoy the Pool Suites. The suite was spacious, and adding a cot was no trouble for the staff at Andara Resort & Villas. They even placed a bunny in Evie’s cot and they instantly became inseparable (apologies Andara, she still has him in her cot at home, and he’s named Andy). The Andara staff are fabulous with kids. Evie was treated like a princess at SILK; her every breakfast whim was catered for and delivered to her high chair each morning. Andara Kidz Club will keep the kids entertained throughout the day, allowing you to relax poolside, visit the spa, or enjoy your suite…
The balcony from the main room stretched across to the master bedroom. I love walking out with a coffee in the morning to soak up the views alone before starting the day with my family.
I wish I could take home…
The SILK restaurant staff. They catered to my one-year-old granddaughter’s every whim at breakfast, whisking her up pancakes, eggs, and whatever else took her fancy that morning.
Signature expert rating
A definite 9/10. From the moment you step into the cool high ceilinged lobby, the warmth of the Phuket sun is matched by the warmth of Andara’s hospitality, creating an authentic Thai experience that will be hard to leave. My own family’s constant remarks of ‘well it’s not the Andara’ throughout the rest of our Phuket trip speaks volumes about how this stay will make you feel.
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