Angsana Laguna Phuket

Angsana Laguna Phuket

13 February, 2013
Resort has it all
A sweet retreat for the whole family

There's something for everyone at The Angsana Laguna Phuket, a sprawling resort within the Laguna Phuket complex flanked at one end by its own private stretch of beautiful beachfront facing the Andaman Sea.
Our arrival at the resort during a recent visit was greeted with sweet fruity drinks and cool towels, while a smiling staff member organized the details of our stay with experienced efficiency. Observing the spacious open-air lobby while friendly porters whisked our bags away, we saw families large and small, honeymoon-looking couples, westerners, Asians, the gamut.
Later, touring the property, we discovered why the Angsana holds such wide appeal. The 14 room types (yes, 14!) range from a modest 40 sqm "family room" to a vast 490 sqm "Grand Pool Villa". In between are a wide range of options, including beautifully appointed quiet two-story lofts, perfect for couples, and clever adaptable suites that can comfortably fit families of all sizes - many of them with direct access to the vast swimming pool that winds throughout the property. We noted that many rooms are positioned such that guests can literally step off their balconies and swim to breakfast if they wished!
We opted to stay in an Angsana Pool Residence, one of 32 such luxurious properties located just a three-minute mini-shuttlebus ride from the main lobby of the resort. Our shuttle pulled into the "luxury villa community", past a guarded security gate, and deposited us in front of a full-sized two story house, complete with garden, driveway, staff area, and swimming pool overlooking a peaceful lagoon. The experience was as close to the sensation of "coming home" as one can get in a place one has never been.
Inside "our" house, we discovered a large fully equipped kitchen, spacious dining and entertaining areas, an office, and three generously sized bedrooms. The master ensuite bathroom was a highlight, with a deep soaking tub and view of the lagoon. Meanwhile, with an additional pull-out sofa and bathroom downstairs, each house can very comfortably accommodate a family of eight. If that doesn't suffice, there is also the Grand Pool Villa of palatial proportions available. Back outside, we took advantage of the outdoor dining area with not one but two barbeques, made ample use of the sun beds and plunge pool, and enjoyed morning yoga sessions under the shade of a gazebo. Each villa also includes bicycles and helmets for guest use, a nice touch for exploring the sprawling Laguna complex. For those who prefer not to cycle, a private shuttle can be summoned within minutes by phone.
While the Angsana Residences don't sit directly on the main resort grounds, its guests have full access to all the facilities there… and there are plenty. The jewel in the family-oriented property's crown may well be the impressive Tree House Kids Club, recently upgraded, where the policy is to provide children with holiday activities that are more special and unique than what they can typically do back home. Thus, on top of state-of-the-art gaming systems, a library, art workshop, and indoor and outdoor jungle gyms, the club offers a range of cool activities from traditional Thai cooking and handicrafts to Muay Thai instruction. There's also a Tree House Cafe that caters strictly to the young set, and to top it off, 'Lucky', the Laguna's resident baby elephant, even ambles over to say hello periodically down by the beach, to the children's wild delight.
Meanwhile, kids, honeymooners and singletons alike are all fans of the Xana Beach Club, a gleaming white addition to the resort that welcome all for chic and trendy afternoon lounging, sunset drinks and light meals by the glimmering sea. Boasting Phuket's biggest swim-up bar, the Xana shifts from day to night smoothly, and is quickly establishing itself as a key fixture on the Thailand club circuit, hosting international DJs on a regular basis. Other dining options within the property include a well-stocked breakfast buffet at The Marketplace; fresh Thai cuisine at Baan Talay; alfresco Italian and Mediterranean at Bodega & Grill; and light snacks at the aptly-named Poolside. We also enjoyed the smooth, efficient room service on several occasions, and a short stroll from the resort are plentiful restaurants and bars for every budget and taste.
To truly unwind and get in the vibe, we booked a signature massage at the Angsana Spa. Its soothing, purple-hued ambiance, soft music and abundance of natural light all helped to transport us away on clouds of Thai orchids, as the expert therapist kneaded and stroked our tired muscles with natural oils. Suffice to say, by the time we emerged from the spa we were truly, deeply in holiday relaxation mode. However, while there is ample opportunity to rest and rejuvenate, the activities available are myriad for those looking for a bit more action. Tennis courts, beach volleyball, sailing, kayaking, ping pong, ATV tours, diving and snorkeling trips, and classes in everything from traditional Thai cooking to Salsa and Zumba are on offer.
The Angsana is managed by the Banyan Tree Group, so not surprisingly, it has some sturdy CSR and environmental initiatives in place, in line with the brand's ethos. It almost goes without saying that the toiletries are all biodegradable and are in ceramic refillable containers. The swimming pools and jacuzzis are all chlorine-free, and wastewater is fully treated and recycled to irrigate the resort's considerable landscaping. Staff hold regular beach and area clean-ups, in which guests are sometimes invited to participate. The eco-effort extends to outside the hotel premises as well. Guests and staff are invited to participate annually in a Sea Turtle Release which raises awareness of the plight of sea turtles and raises money for conservation activities such as satellite tracking, in collaboration with the Phuket Marine Biological Centre. And, as part of the Banyan Tree's Greening Communities initiative, the Angsana has taken part in numerous tree plantings, contributing to a total of almost 150,000 trees planted to date.
It's not just the environment that matters. Social goodwill is important to Angsana and Banyan Tree, as well. Recent initiatives in the community include joining a quarterly local blood drive for the Indonesian Red Cross of Phuket, as well as supporting a local orphanage and elderly care home. The resort also contributes to Baan Klong Sai School in Phang Nga province; since 2008, together with the rest of the Laguna community, they have been helping to raise funds and improve conditions for staff and students at the school. Back at the resort, a nurturing program called Seedlings provides mentorship, scholarships and valuable job training and employment opportunities for disadvantaged youth in the local community.
The Angsana Laguna Phuket is the type of place that welcomes weary travelers and families of all sizes, and gives them everything they need to emerge feeling nurtured and refreshed. Though it took us just moments to settle into its relaxed holiday pace and forget about the stresses of city life, it will take us a lifetime to forget the hospitality and comfort of our "home" in Phuket.
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By: Ecozine Staff


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