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Over the past couple of decades, Phuket’s place among luxury destinations has teetered on the proverbial cliff. Walk through Patong and you’ll need more than two hands to count the number of tuk tuks, touts, and bar girls who proposition you. (You’d probably want your hands to fend off the more aggressive girls, too.) With the throngs of tourists today, it’s hard to imagine that Phuket was ever remote. Which is why it’s all the more impressive that the super-luxe Amanpuri, originally opened in 1987 and arguably one of the most splurge-worthy properties in town, continues to define luxury in Southeast Asia.
I recently stayed in one of Amanpuri’s three newly converted Pool Pavilions. It is the most opulent of any accommodations I have ever enjoyed, and that includes the overwater villa I stayed in during my honeymoon in Bora Bora. Like other accommodations at Amanpuri, the pavilions come with an outdoor sun deck and dining terrace. It is not an exaggeration to say that the outdoor space is larger than many Manhattan apartments. Each Pool Pavilion also comes with a private pool (8-10 meters long).
From gorgeous limestone cliffs to dense tropical forests and undiscovered bays, the spectacular island of Phuket is a must-see destination off Thailand’s southern shores. This affordable package covers five nights’ accommodation at the oceanfront Evason Phuket resort, with facilities that include a full-service spa and spacious balcony guestrooms. Guests of this 64-acre tropical resort enjoy stunning views of the Andaman Sea, and free activities like bike tours, scuba diving clinics and a supervised kids’ program. From now through December 25, this 5-night package costs just $1,321, including round-trip airfare from Los Angeles.
Thai Airways is rolling out the red carpet for business-class passengers by offering a complimentary overnight hotel stay in Bangkok, Samui, Krabi, Hua Hin, Phuket, Pattaya, or Chiang Mai. Economy class passengers can also receive a free hotel stay if they book the Royal Orchids Holidays program, which includes 3-night hotel accommodations and airfare starting from $1,167. This offer is valid through October 31 at over 100 hotels in Thailand. In addition, passengers flying from Los Angeles can also receive a free domestic flight to be used within Thailand when traveling before May 20. (We love it when airlines play nice.)
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