Trisara, Cherngtalay, Phuket $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
You don't get a room at hyperstylish Trisara; you get a freestanding villa with a teak sundeck and generous marble infinity pool (as if there's any other kind these days). Swim to the edge for an unobstructed view of the Andaman Sea—the same view you'll see from your outdoor rain shower or oversize king bed. Located on the upscale northwest coast of Phuket, Trisara feels more like a private community than a resort, with a vibe that attracts celebs like Kate Moss. With in-room Thai massage, sprawling bathrooms, and plasma TVs, there's hardly a reason to step outside your villa. In all, the property has 39 villas and 18 residential units, each with the same contemporary color scheme of rich European creams and deep espresso-and-gold Thai accents. However, the relative formality of the decor doesn't always jibe with the beachy setting—beware placing your wet bathing-suited bottom on a silk-upholstered chair. The beach fronts a reef, which keeps out noisy WaveRunners but also makes swimming a little rough. However, boats ferry guests to a deserted island a quick two minutes offshore for swimming and snorkeling, or around the bay to Naithon Beach, one of Phuket's prettiest strips of sand. Privately crewed yachts and a PADI dive staff are available for longer trips. Come back in time to take in the sunset from the Trisara Bar; the sea-facing deck has cloudlike loungers, and the wine list pulls from the 2,000-bottle glass cellar. Or opt for one of the signature cocktails, like lychee and lemongrass martinis or passion fruit margaritas. The resort has two on-site restaurants; the main space includes an outdoor dining area shaded by soaring coconut palms and offers a Thai menu, plus Western comfort foods. At the southern end of the resort's expansive oceanfront deck sits Trisara Grill, the place to go for Phuket lobster and other fresh catches. You'll never see or sign a bill till the end of your stay (staff remember your room number and keep a tab accordingly), and you're nearly always greeted by name.—Updated by Cynthia Rosenfeld
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:This 40-acre hillside hideawayset within a rain forest of bamboo and banana treeshas 24 (soon to be 33) waterfront villas, all with commanding Andaman Sea views from the bed, the sunken bath, and each villa's infinity pool. Several public spaces, including the spa, remained unfinished during our visit, but most guests will find their desires met within their nearly 2,600-square-foot personal oasis, thanks to wireless Internet access, a flat-screen TV, and a generously stocked (and free-of-charge) minibarcritical, since room service operates on Thai time. Worth the wait are the sweet yellow-bean dumplings with sesame seeds and the delicately spiced banana-blossom salad with chicken and shrimp. Daybeds are scattered like seashells along the beach and in the shade near the 150-foot-long main pool.2005 Hot List
When to go: November through March, for the least rain and the most comfortable temperatures.
Which room to book: Nos. 203 and 204, situated above the treeline, for the most panoramic views
Amenities: Bar/lounge, Beach, Gym, Pool, Spa, 24-hour Room ServiceSubscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›