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Restorative all-villa retreat with floating sleeping chambers and a world-class spa in Phuket's Bang Tao Bay
Located on the white sand beaches of Phuket's Bang Tao Bay, the Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary is every inch the tropical paradise hideaway. Inspired by Thai architecture, the buildings are low-rise and designed to fit in with their natural surroundings. The lush retreat has private walled gardens and villas with a “floating bed pavilion,” a glass-walled sleeping chamber that juts out over a lotus flower– and lily pad–filled lagoon. The 14 Spa Pool Villas are completely tricked out, with indoor and outdoor showers and bathtubs, a private steam room, a private jet pool, sun loungers and an outdoor area for with a table and chairs for alfresco dining. You won’t even have to leave your villa for a spa treatment: part of the nearly 6,000-square-foot space is dedicated to a private sala, and the therapist will come to you. Inveterate insomniacs should get a good night's rest too, with the personal pillow and sheet menu you can pick from at check-in. Like any Thai resort worth its salt, Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary offers a plethora of activities, from daily yoga classes to golf, as well as the opportunity to kick back on the beach all day and settle into a reserved beachside sun lounger overlooking the Andaman Sea’s sparkling waters. Specializing in spiritual and physical healing, the extensive spa has traditional Thai salas for treatments, outdoor showers, a yoga pavilion and a swimming pool, plus a private courtyard if you want to meditate after your rubdown. The therapists undergo more than 300 hours of training before they're let loose on guests, and treatments range from traditional Thai massages to seaweed wraps and pineapple scrubs.
In the Area
There are no restaurants at Spa Sanctuary (although you can take advantage of extensive room service), so for meals, stroll over to sister property Banyan Tree Phuket, where there are seven restaurants and bars, a huge swimming pool and a fitness center. The Banyan Tree also has its own par-71 golf course. Romantics should take a Sanya Rak dinner cruise. Meaning “Promise of Love,” the converted longtail boat slowly meanders through the lagoon canals, with the stunning Thailand sunset as a backdrop.