The best Phuket pool villas include Andara, which is featured here.
“Luxury is now defined by villas with private pools,” says Bill Barnett, managing director of the Phuket-based consultancy.C9 Hospitality.
And with no shortage of sophisticated designs and private pleasures to choose from, international guests with big bank accounts will have no trouble finding the perfect spot to sit back and sip margaritas while enjoying a private sunset overlooking the ocean.
Here are the top picks for villas and suites on the island, in no particular order.
1. Banyan Tree Phuket
When is a private pool not enough? When you can have two, of course.Banyan Tree Double Pool Villas– exclusive private residences that are also part of the hotel’s catalog – facing a large lagoon and overlooking the surrounding greeneryLaguna golf course.
The generous gardens of the 1 and 2 bedroom villas feature a 14.5 meter swimming pool crowned by a 5 square meter hot tub. At night, underwater fiber optics glow brightly, mimicking the stars above.
The large gazebo is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows and the space is surrounded by an additional 110 square meters pool.
Each of Banyan Tree's 24 Double Pool Villas has its own reception kiosk, and upon check-in, guests are provided with a cell phone with the villa host's unique speed-dial number.
2. Sri Panwa
Even if you're not a Sri Panwa guest, a few drinks at the Baba Nest rooftop bar will make you feel like a rock star.
When celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay stayed at Sri Panwa with his family over Christmas 2007, he called it his “second home”.
World-renowned hoteliers seem to agree with him.
“It's the best family time we've ever had together,” says Robert H. Burns, its co-founder.Hotels in Regent International.
Meanwhile, your presidentOberoi Group, P.R.S. Oberoi called it the "best personal service hotel". Not bad, coming from a guy whose hotels consistently appear on “best” lists in the world.
Members of Bloc Party and Massive Attack also enjoyed Phuket's resort after-party in September, and it's easy to see why.
The pools in the luxury one- and two-bedroom villas are 12 meters in size, while the four-bedroom X29 Residence Villa has two pools – a 15-meter deep pool upstairs and an equivalent 19.5 meters below.
The Slate's industrial-chic design was inspired by Phuket's tin mining, so expect cast-iron and bronze furniture, exposed concrete slabs, ceiling fans and vaulted ceilings with exposed beams from old railroad ties.
The hotel's centerpiece is "The Nest," a handcrafted spa nest suspended 10 meters off the ground in the branches of an enormous tree.
For demanding guests in terms of well-being,Slate's Spa SuiteIt has a 9.5m private swimming pool, Turkish bath and sauna, a spa room with a pair of massage beds and a separate spa with a hot tub big enough for two people and a Vichy shower bed.
Andara's 2 Bedroom Rooftop Pool Suites feature a 7m rooftop pool with private access.
This is the same viewHong KongTycoon Alan Zeman wakes up when he's in Phuket. He definitely surpasses Lan Kwai Fong.
Hong Kong business tycoon Allan Zeman provided Hong Kong nightlife with Lan Kwai Fong, but for treasured moments with friends and family, he builtIn between.
“I found a beautiful spot across the bay from my vacation home in Phuket,” says Zeman.
"I built Andara in the same style and with the same incredible view of the sea so I could share the experience with others."
The liberal use of locally sourced materials – makha, teak, mai daeng – sets the tone for the “Thailand's secret history” decor theme that runs throughout the hotel.
The two-bedroom rooftop pool suites boast a 7m roof terrace with private access, while the 4-bedroom pool villa boasts a 13m pool in front of a huge terrace and garden.
Don't miss the Paresa Phuket infinity pool.
While not technically a villa, it isParesas Sky-boligerthey extend to the roof of a two-story cliffside building, giving the suites a private, self-contained feel.
The 1 bedroom units consist of a large bedroom and separate living and dining areas. The closed doors can be opened to welcome the sea breeze or closed for a quick break with air conditioning on the terrace.
The pool is eight meters long and has a 270 degree view of the sea. Cielo Residences has a personal butler so guests never have to leave their 660 square meter apartment.
The entire hotel has just 49 rooms, making Paresa a sophisticated and comfortable boutique retreat.
Trisara offers breathtaking views of the Andaman Sea.
Perched above a private bay,TrisaraIts 39 villas represent a down-to-earth tropical freshness that is no stranger.
Marble-clad bathrooms and lots of white paint make the one- and two-bedroom pool villas refreshingly light and airy.
The 240-square-meter oceanfront one-bedroom pool villa's 10-meter infinity pools seem to spill out into the treetops with the wide Andaman Sea beckoning in the distance.
For larger parties, some of the 18 Residential Villas, ranging from two to five bedrooms, sit by the rental pool, with the massive four-bedroom beachfront residence featuring a 100-foot private plunge pool.
7. Anantara Phuket
Anantara Phuket Villas, Thailand has a private patio.
Anantara PhuketThe 83 self-contained pool villas are reminiscent of a traditional southern Thai village, with gardens designed by Bill Bensley, whoFour Seasons,unique resortseoriental mandarinproperties.
The garden has a freeform pond with a flock of ducks. Above View Sala Villas feature outdoor gazebo expanses connected to the villa via a private wooden boardwalk on the waters of the lagoon, perfect for in-villa massages or as an intimate dining area.
A large terraced tub adjoins the geometrically shaped 33 square meter private outdoor pool and is accessible through sliding doors from the bathroom.
8. Phuket Lounge
The manicured lawns dotted with white buildings givePhuket Salona classic Wimbledon style. Subtle Sino-Portuguese motifs nod to the island's past and add pops of color to the light palette throughout the property.
In the two-bedroom villa suites, individual mirrored pavilions frame the 10-metre pool, while the villa gate opens to reveal the coastal landscape.
The 'bathroom' runs along the side of the building, with built-in wardrobes and toilets in alcoves on the outside wall and an outside shower that makes you feel like you are in a garden.
The two-bedroom Presidential Pool Villas have sunken spa tubs with jetted tubs in each bedroom, while the one-bedroom pool villas have a freestanding egg-shaped tub at the edge of the eight-meter pool.
Live a life of luxury in Amanpuri.
Amanresorts is famous for its global cult of Aman junkies and this flagship is where it all started.
Private pools in pavilion suites average nine meters in length, while pools in villas range from 15 to over 24 meters in length.
In high season, TVs are provided on request only, encouraging guests to live up to the name "Amanpuri" - Sanskrit meaning "place of peace".
Anyone tired of luxury villas can always hire a yacht from the resort's impressive fleet of ships.
Editor's Note: This article was previously published in 2011. Revised, updated and republished in 2017.