Amanpuri’s setting—atop a cliff that rises 130 feet over Pansea Beach—affords spectacular views of the Andaman Sea and, incidentally, helped protect the property during the 2004 tsunami that struck Phuket. Upon arriving at Amanpuri, guests enter a spacious open-air lobby modeled after a temple in the old Thai capital of Ayutthaya. Lotus ponds and Thai sculptures adorn pathways leading to the 40 Thai-style guest pavilions and a sleek, midnight blue swimming pool. Accommodations Several of the 40 guest pavilions have sea views, and all have terraces and salas for sunbathing or Dining. Recreation In 2006, Amanpuri opened a beach club with a 65-foot swimming pool, a bar, and a large terrace overlooking the Andaman Sea. The resort also has a fleet of 20 boats for diving and fishing. Dining Try the chilled coconut prawn soup with a passion fruit margarita at the casual Terrace restaurant. Worthy Diversion Take an overnight cruise to the spectacular Phi Phi Islands aboard the Maha Bhetra, the 90-foot traditional Thai wooden motor yacht, or Aveline, the 62-foot luxury motor yacht. Rates From $525 for a basic pavilion to $7,800 for an ocean-view, six-bedroom villa.

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