Amatara Wellness Resort, Phuket, Thailand
Luxury wellness holidays with tailored retreat programmes & attentive staff
Best for: Those who love the finer things in life and are seeking pampering and luxury.
Not for: Those in need of a digital detox or deeper psychological work.
Set in a peaceful corner of Cape Panwa on the Andaman Sea in Phuket, the family-friendly Amatara Wellness Resort offers the height of luxury and relaxation. Experienced and welcoming staff will take care of your every need as you immerse yourself in a tailored retreat programme. Whether you are here to detox, improve fitness or simply unwind with a friend, loved one or your family, you’ll be nurtured and supported to find balance at this sumptuous 5-star resort.
The attention to detail, from cold towels at dinner to flower garlands and floral displays in the room. Every element feels well thought out, designed to ease you into the gently opulent surroundings. You’ll be greeted by smiling staff throughout lush grounds, and people seem genuinely pleased to work here.
The instagrammers. It is stunning here, so not surprising that the place feels like a photo shoot at times, which might be fun for people watching, but can irritate some guests.
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Holiday your way. With a retreat package tailored to your needs, you can go as full on or laid back as suits you. For parents looking for some wellbeing, there is a kids club 9-7pm and babysitting available, in addition to a family retreat programme.
A range of wellness programmes are on offer for detox, stress and burnout recovery, weight management, sleep, active fitness, yoga as well as spa and more general wellness packages. These tailored retreats combine nutrition, wellness and leisure activities alongside treatments personalised for your current state, goals and preferences. Following an initial consultation and body composition analysis you’ll be placed on your carefully designed fully inclusive retreat programme with detox support supplements if you so choose.
For those who take a wellness retreat programme, a 50-minute physical analysis is provided by the in-house physiotherapist. After assessment of your musculoskeletal system and postural analysis you’re given treatment and advice. Core and specialist pelvic physiotherapy as well as Kinesio tapping treatment is also available from the physio team. Our reviewer received thorough manipulation, ultrasound treatment, ongoing exercises and useful workout advice. There is opportunity to continue to work with the physiotherapist in combination with the fitness team on a treatment plan or intensive programme throughout your stay.
Amatara offers an extensive range of holistic and spa therapies from experienced and thoughtful staff. Unique ‘Thai Hammam’ and mud therapy is offered alongside a huge array of massage options, from traditional Thai massages with herbal compress to deep muscle, pregnancy, intuitive and Indian head massage, lavender therapy and candle wax massage. There is even opportunity to learn Thai massage with a partner or enjoy a parent and child massage complete with bubble bath. Shirodara, the Ayurvedic treatment of pouring oil onto the third eye, is offered alongside traditional Thai healing, reiki and reflexology. Specialist treatments include Kati Vasti for healing lower back pain by working with marma points, and Chakra Balancing using a combination of kinesiology, sound healing tuning forks and flower remedies.
A wide range of supportive detox treatments are available. These include Chi Nai Tsang abdominal massage for releasing stress and toxins in the digestive system, Jala Neti Shatkriya for clearing the nasal passages, colon hydrotherapy and coffee or chlorophyll enemas, and manual lymphatic drainage to support the elimination of excess fluid and stimulate the immune system. The detox treatments are complemented by nutrition and naturopathy consultations, detox support supplements and/or herbal medicines and development of ongoing treatment plans. Blood and diagnostic testing is available and medical consultations with a doctor can be arranged on request.
The pampering possibilities are vast at Amatara, where only natural organic products are used in their in-house body and facial treatments. Deep cleansing treatments include an array of scrubs and body wraps using ingredients like coconut, jasmine rice, green tea and clay. Facials of all kinds can be found; anti-ageing, purifying, lifting and firming, revitalising. They also provide Guinot facial treatments using Guinot products paired with their ‘hydradermie lift’ machine. Facial reflexology and facial Gua Sha (Oriental anti-aging massage therapy) are also on offer. Manicures and pedicures are available and there is also a hair salon on site.
Group fitness activities are scheduled throughout the day and include group HITT, aqua fitness, fit ball and various stretch and breathing classes. Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) classes are also on the schedule as well as TRX (total body resistance) which involves use of hanging bands to engage muscles using body weight for rounded toning, fitness and fat burn. 1-1 sessions are also available in all the above plus core and kettle bell training and personal training. The well-equipped gym is open 24hrs and incorporates sauna and steam rooms.
Swimming in the main infinity pool, quiet pool by the retreat, or in the Andaman ocean, is a must, and swimming lessons can be arranged. Kayaks and paddleboards are available to use free of charge from Amatara’s private beach. There’s also a tennis court, table tennis, volleyball and bike hire. Island touring can be organised, as can snorkelling and diving excursions.
There are group Pilates classes plus one to one mat and Pilates reformer classes on offer, using a Pilates machine for a precise intense workout for toning of the entire body.
Each day begins and ends with group 50-minute yoga class in the elevated ocean view yoga shala. A traditional Hatha class takes place in the mornings with a focus on breath and posture. Then the evening class is either a dynamic Vinyasa or slow deep stretch Yin class, all from one of the in-house certified yoga teachers. Individual Yoga Therapy is available to address unique issues in a holistic way. Both group and personal Yoga Nidra ‘the yoga of sleep’ sessions are offered. Amatara Wellness Resort also welcome group retreat organisers to host their own intimate retreats at the resort throughout the year. Check out visiting practitioners for when you plan to stay, ‘bamboo aerial yoga’ and ‘mindful silent retreat’ are examples of recent specialist retreats taking place on site.
Complementary wellness talks by relevant in-house staff take place daily in the hotel library. Subjects during our reviewers stay included, sleep and health, why you have back pain, eco-friendly living, digital detox, enhance your digestion and ‘tech neck’ and what you can do about it.
The hotel runs a minibus service to Phuket Old Town and the Market, plus tours can be arranged to cultural sites such as Khao Phra Thaeo National Park and the local Buddhist temple.
All bedrooms are luxurious, finished to a high standard, with well-designed lighting and matching muted tones whichever level of room you opt for. In all you can expect daily maid service, air con, safe, hairdryer, slippers, bathrobes, toiletries, mini bar, coffee machine, Wifi, cable and satellite tv, a safe and all have access to room service 5.30am to 11.30pm.
The most affordable room, although you will hardly feel like you are skimping here. Simple yet chic interiors, wooden floors, panelling and high wooden ceiling, crisp white bed linen. You’ll be able to view the ocean from your balcony with it’s table and chairs and they’ve still fitted in double sinks to the cream marble bathroom.
Bay View Suite
These luxurious and spacious suites with adjoining living room have a free-standing bath performing centre stage. Lush foliage surrounds the balconies with views out to Panwa Bay. The bay is tidal, so if you are fussy about a constant view over water, you’ll prefer one of the ocean view-rooms.
Sea View Suite
Similarly spacious and spectacular to the bay view suite, just swap the free-standing bath for a fitted one that looks out over the beautiful sea view. These suites get the direct morning light so if you want a little help adjusting to the time difference keep the blinds open and prepare for a memorable sunrise over the ocean.
Enjoy your own private outdoor pool and balcony with dining lounge surrounded by dense tropical planting. There’s no lounge in this room but all the additional outside space makes up for that and you still have a king size bed and big bathroom to relish.
Ocean & Bay View Villas
These 150-sqm pool villas are the ultimate in luxury and include butler service, complimentary laundry service, additional afternoon tea and cocktails. In addition to the spacious bedroom and lounge area each villa has a large private sundeck, featuring it’s own pool looking out over either the ocean or Panwa cape. Equally you can enjoy the view while soaking in the big round bath in your oversized bathroom.
No need to pack a hairdryer or insect repellent as you’ll find these plus the basic toiletries on site. Leave room in your case instead for goodies from the buzzing local market. Hire a local boatman direct for best prices – charter a traditional longtail boat to coral island for snorkelling then on to the great beach at ‘Lone Island’. If extending your stay past your wellness retreat and you are up for a fun night out, go sing-a-long with hilarious house band ‘The Old Friends’ at Sawasdee Restaurant just a 5 minute walk from the resort gates.
When to Go
The weather is generally dry and warm in Phuket between November and April, with March and April the hottest months before the start of monsoon season. Our reviewer had dry hot days in October with storms rolling in late afternoon.
There are three restaurants to choose from at Amatara. The first two, a large glass sided main restaurant and the smaller more exclusive feeling ‘The Grill’, both serve an extensive selection of Thai and Western foods. The Retreat, where you will eat if on a wellness package, comprises an elegant open sided pavilion looking out over an infinity pool and then out to sea, plus an additional enclosed private dining space, again with sea views.
Executive Head chef Andreas Wener provides an exceptional menu of free-range organic Thai inspired meals at The Retreat. Andreas works with local organic farmers and fishermen to select produce for this range of healthy dishes suitable and adaptable for a wide range of dietary needs and restrictions.
All meals are waiter service with breakfast options of homemade probiotics, Bircher muesli, oat pancakes, coconut buckwheat porridge, fresh fruits, marinated salads, egg options such as egg white omelettes or poached egg and avocados, healthy Asian breakfast options of noodles, brown or raspberry rice.
Lunch and dinner are drawn from the same menu and include self-build nourishment bowls layered with your choices of greens, carbs, proteins and healthy fats. Body cleansing soups and broths, Thai curry’s, grilled fish prawns and chicken options, everything stunningly presented. Healthy desserts included a mouth-watering favourite of dairy-free dark chocolate tart with coconut nectar, raw cacao and cashew nuts.
With all meals healthy freshly prepared juices and superfood smoothie blends with names such as ‘Awesome Antioxidants’ and ‘Love the Liver’ are available alongside Tumeric, Wheatgrass and Charcoal shots. You can expect faultless service and constantly poured water.
No alcohol is served in ‘The Retreat’ restaurant, which is where participants eat during their wellness package, although alcohol is served across the rest of the resort. Coffee is freely available, though it may not be on your ‘approved’ items.
The hotel works with local farmers and fishermen to provide produce for its restaurants and treated water from the rest of the hotel is used in the gardens. Under a ‘green project’ the resort does not use any plastic bags and only uses paper straws. Amatara is a key employer in the community and Wipa, the General Manager, places prime importance on the way staff are treated. A range of staff benefits including medical check-ups, training opportunities, internal promotions, sport activities, parties and team activities are scheduled throughout the year. Wipa and the hotel staff also support the local community with activities such as blood donation, local school lunch support and healthy eating advice and exercise for local school kids, as well as beach cleaning and donations.
Amatara Wellness Resort, 84 Moo 8, Sakdidej Road, Tambon Vichit, Cape Panwa, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Airport: Phuket International
Transfer time: 45 mins