Marina Phuket Resort, Karon Beach, Phuket $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
At the southern end of Karon Beach, there was once a coconut plantation situated next to the steep, rocky shoreline. In 1985 the Marina Phuket Resort took it over and replanted the grounds with every large-leaf tropical tree and bush it could find, then hid 92 rooms, villas, and traditionally crafted cottages amid the flora. The Marina is one of the smaller and simpler resorts on the island, and it's the kind of place where Thai hospitality is keenly felt. Thai music and dance threatens to break out at every meal. Families like to stay here, but all that natural screening makes it decidedly couple-friendly, too. Indeed, the odds are good you'll witness a wedding, as lavish Buddhist or Western betrothals are performed for those so inclined. Two of the best restaurants in Karon are on-site: Sala Thai overlooks a landscaped pool and serves dishes such as puja, a fried crabmeat dish, and roast duck curry. On the Rock has a panoramic view of Karon Bay and serves seafood. Aesthetes beware: Dino Park, an 18-hole mini-golf joint with animatronic dinosaurs, is less than 200 feet away. Rowr.
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