The Luxe List 2009, Thailand: Anantara Phuket, Phuket

Set on Phuket’s longest beach, the Anantara scores points for its free flowing Thai-style architecture as much as it does for the lush, landscaped gardens that envelop its 83 villas and central lagoon. Bedrooms unfold onto large timber decks from where you can slide into your private pool or outdoor bath. Come mealtime, intimate dinners can be arranged at just about any nook of the resort; but for food with a view, it’s hard to beat the Tree House, where Thai-style tapas are served from a breezy platform in the branches of an old banyan tree. There’s plenty to keep you entertained on the ground as well, with diversions ranging from cave canoeing and diving to cooking classes (888 Moo 3, Tumbon Mai Khao, Thalang; 66-76/336-100;; doubles from US$529).

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