From the moment you arrive at Aleenta Phuket, you get the feeling you’re somewhere special. The water garden that runs under the walkways, the beautiful villas with private pools, the divine beach on your doorstep… it’s a pocket of paradise. Here’s our review and latest video walk-through!
Before we arrived at Phuket, we didn’t really know what to expect. We’d heard stories of crazy parties, a lack of true Thai culture and very little room for romance and relaxation here.
Thankfully, Phuket is a big island and – like most places with this kind of reputation – the party town element of Phuket is really quite isolated.
Still, the high-energy bustle you get from most towns in Thailand is still present across this island of some 600,000 people. It wasn’t until we headed north of Phuket’s airport that we discovered the peace, tranquility and romance we were looking for.
In fact, Aleenta Phuket is on the mainland side of the Sa Phan Sarasin Bridge that connects Phuket with the rest of Thailand, but the region known as Phang Nga is quickly becoming the place where everyone who needs a break from Phuket comes.
And my goodness, does it deliver on its promise of boutique luxury, privacy and romance.
Check out our video walk-through of this beautiful resort here:
Reception here is set high up overlooking the beach amidst the trees. It’s a comforting and welcoming place to start your stay and the staff make you feel very welcome while you check in.
However, it’s not until you leave reception and head down towards the restaurant and beach that the real wows start happening.
You step down onto a wide decked walkway that takes you over a fish-filled water garden. This water garden runs the length and breadth of the resort and to each of the ground-floor villas.
As you walk towards the ocean, you come to the two restaurants and that’s when you see the hotel pool. Elevated above the level of the restaurants and diners, the infinity pool (with swim-up bar) is absolutely dive-in divine.
On the far side there are daybeds that seem to float on the surface of the pool and are framed by the right-angle arches running down the length towards the beach.
You can relax on the beds or swim up and rest on the edge to stare out over the Andaman Sea.
That’s if you don’t have your own pool of course…
There is a wide variety of room types at the Aleenta Phuket – most of them come with their own private pools. We’re staying in a pool suite, which as the name suggests does have a pool of its own.
It’s very hard not to break into profuse hyperbole describing our room. Understated glamour, beautiful luxury, exquisite comfort and elegance sum this place up.
A truly enormous bed faces the ocean through a floor-to-ceiling glass wall. This is also an oversized door that you can pull back to let the sea breeze in.
On the other side of this door is our own infinity pool, which is about the most unbelievable thing you’ll ever see. It takes us about a microsecond to get into our swimwear and then submerge.
Also in the suite, the enormous bathroom, which is about half the size again of the bedroom and lounge area, is absolutely stunning. The gigantic stand-alone bathtub is almost as welcoming as the pool outside, and the design of the lavatory and the shower in different rooms to the side is appreciated.
The shower also has one of the largest showerheads we’ve seen so far too, which is no mean feat in Thai hotel terms!
The sink and vanity look out over the Andaman through big windows facing west. In short, this suite is made for maximum romance, privacy and comfort, and minimal interruption.
Outside our room
As I mentioned there are lots of other room types here, from the brand new apartments in the development down the road from the main complex to the enormous Grand Villa Noi.
All the accommodation here is styled as beautifully as ours – some have four-poster bed frames, others with different configurations and plunge pools, and others are just incredible. Here are some shots of other rooms at Aleenta Phuket:
As for the Grand Villas, there are three of them. They range from an incredible a multi-bedroom mansion to this mind-blowing 5000 square metre estate that the Noi sits on. Mrs Romance got quite emotional when we saw this place, which is popular with big wedding parties and understandably so.
There are 5 separate villa bedrooms on the property, each with its own bathroom and sitting room.
There are 2 large double-level common area buildings – one with a master bedroom and living room, the other with billiard table, kitchen and wet bar.
The property leads down directly to the beach, though there’s also a 30-metre lap pool out front too.
This place is phenomenal.
Aleenta Phuket is surprisingly big. Apart from the rooms, which obviously take up a lot of space, the beautiful pool and the big, airy reception, the two restaurants and outdoor seating give you so much room. You can even eat on the beach if you want.
Of the two restaurants, The Edge, which is the one closest to the beach, is where breakfast is served. You get the run of a beautiful buffet spread and an a la carte menu if you want both (which we did with little or no shame!). Coffee here is well-made, as are the food options.
You can also grab lunch at The Edge too, which is just as good – if not better – than brekkie. There are lots of options including a daily special. The newly appointed South American chef here does an absolutely amazing rib eye steak – but make sure you’re not going for a massage that afternoon. Yes, that’s what I did. No, it wasn’t a good idea!
Dinner options open up to either The Edge for international cuisine or The Natai – named after the beach in front of the resort, which does a range of delicious local dishes.
We’d definitely recommend eating here at least once while you’re here. The food is superb and made as much from locally sourced produce as possible.
For the romantic big hitters, you can also have a private dinner on the beach prepared for you. This is real bliss and a remarkable thing to have. You feel like you’re totally alone on a dessert island but with gourmet food served to you by professional waiters. It’s the best. And so is the food!
There’s also the option to dine in your villa of course, to really make the most of your beautiful private surroundings.
Aleenta’s Ayurah Spa
In keeping with the beauty of the resort’s aesthetic, Ayurah Spa’s impressive entrance leads you down a wide corridor from reception that seems to float on the water.
This is one of the most comprehensive spas we’ve ever seen in a resort. The number of programmes – from mind wellness to weight optimisation – that you can do here is incredible.
We had a full body scrub (my first by the way) and massage, and then the very special Linda Meredith facial treatment favoured by many a celebrity.
This is the only place in Thailand where you can have this done and by the end of it, I felt like I’d been given a new face – not like John Travolta in Face Off – more like something out of Big with Tom Hanks. I felt about 12 again!
Outside the resort
Aleenta Phuket and Phang Nga is pretty isolated if you haven’t got a car. But that’s the idea really.
We walked to the pier north of the resort, which takes about 25 minutes. It’s actually awesome. You’ll find lots of locals there either just hanging out or fishing. There are some real characters on the pier too.
Make sure you bring a bit of cash along with you – there are often satay carts there just before nightfall.
Phang Nga Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Center
This is also the Thai Muang Turtle Sanctuary, which, among other things, raises and releases green turtles. Aleenta Phuket works with the sanctuary, so the resort will take you to the centre and will give you a tour around the compound, which is sadly underfunded but doing what it can.
You then ‘adopt’ a turtle and release it into the wild. They put a tracker device on the turtle, give you a barcode that relates to the turtle and take your email address.
As and when the turtle comes back to land and is scanned, the centre will email you with the details. What a lovely concept. The price of this pays for the trackers, which aren’t cheap, and some money goes towards helping the sanctuary.
It really was a magical moment when Mrs Romance released Sergio – our turtle – into the wild. It was amazing to see this little creature, finally grown big enough to fend for himself, wriggle down to the water’s edge and plunge into the ocean for the first time. Good luck, Sergio. We’ll see you again soon.
33 Moo 5, Takua Thung, Khok Kloi
Phang Nga, Phuket
Interestingly, this is the younger sister of the Aleenta Hua Hin we stayed in earlier on in the trip. There are definite lines of similarity you can draw between the two – the incredible service and food quality, the amazing pools, the privacy and romance both resorts afford.
Even the sustainability and eye on conservation is a clear mission for the two when you take into account Phuket’s close relationship with the turtle sanctuary.
On the other hand, both resorts fulfil quite different demands. Hua Hin is much more of a low-key resort whereas Phuket is much more geared towards a full service luxury resort lifestyle.
Happily, either resort would make for the most incredible romantic holiday.
Where’s the most romantic place you’ve ever stayed? Have you adopted an animal before? Tell us about it in the comments!