banyan tree phuket spa sanctuary villas hotel review thailand

Privacy & Unlimited Massages: The Ultimate Spacation at Banyan Tree’s Spa Sanctuary

by Zoe Bowker

Look, I’ll be perfectly honest. I’ve probably convinced you that you need to add this destination to your bucket list with just two words in that title up there – and those words are UNLIMTED MASSAGES. If you’re already sold (hey, I don’t blame you – all I needed was those two magical words too), then I’ll save you some time – just scroll to the bottom of this page for all the details. For those of you who want to find to more about this sublime spacation destination, do read on…

If 2017 was the year of the staycation, then I’m declaring 2018 the year of the spacation – and the long-running Banyan Tree Phuket has it nailed. Their dedicated adults-only resort, Banyan Tree Spa Pool Villa Sanctuary, is truly raising the bar when it comes to the ultimate in luxury pampering getaways. The 12 luxury villas, each set on palatial 540sqm of water filled, verdant and totally private grounds, offer the unique benefit of providing unlimited in-villa massages to their oh-so-lucky guests.

As unbelievable as it may seem, this almost too-good-to-be-true proposition offers guests a choice of five different massage types, as often as you can handle, delivered in your own outdoor massage pavilion. It’s set up for two, so your significant other needn’t miss out on all the pampering action – and the pavilion is surrounded by waterfalls more magnificent than most upscale properties’ grand foyers. Trust me when I say that that those relaxing background tracks at your favorite spa will forever more pale in comparison to the spectacular soundtrack provided by these epic water features.

In fact, it’s all about water in these exclusive private villas. Apart from the aforementioned waterfalls, you’ll find ponds filled with beautiful waterlilies framing your expansive private pool and surrounding the dramatic glass-walled bedroom, as well as a heated jacuzzi, outdoor bath (also with jacuzzi jets), and a shower that doubles as a sauna. Water-babies, this is your nirvana. There’s no shortage of outdoor relaxation options either, with a double sunbed for those wanting to work on their tan, an alfresco dining area and two lounges set undercover so you can gaze upon your indulgent landscape no matter the weather. All of this is framed by high walls and lush, fully grown greenery that makes one feel like you’re nestled inside a rainforest (there are even 51 individual species of birds inhabiting the property that add to the divine natural soundtrack). No worries about neighbors here – the enormous 540sqm of grounds gives you the sensation of total seclusion. As a more established property, we do have to mention that it does have a good few more years on the clock than some Phuket properties so there’s the odd maintenance issue here and there as things age – but it more than makes up for it with bucket-loads of traditional charm and a whopping amount of space that most simply cannot compete with.

You’ll have all the benefits of secluded serenity without any of the drawbacks, however, as of course in-room dining is always at your beck and call, with even breakfast able to be delivered any time of the day (and it doesn’t stop there). The nightly turn down service offers indulgent surprises, from freshly created kaffir lime bath ingredients ready to draw a special outdoor bath to candles lining your bedroom that’s been unexpectedly transformed into a romantic oasis complete with satin sheets.

Speaking of sheets, the ultra comfortable bedding at Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary offers a plethora of choices for even the fussiest sleeper. I’m sure most of us have come across pillow menus, but this is the first time we’ve seen the opportunity to fully customise your sleeping experience with a range of sheets. I don’t know about you, but when I’m faced with a pillow menu I’m usually paralyzed by the sheer choice, and not knowing which to pick I tend to just stay with the provided bedding set up. Banyan Tree makes this personalization stress-free by providing a beautiful box full of samples of the pillow types and sheet fabrics so you can get tactile and feel out exactly which is for you. Whether you prefer linen, satin or rayon, staff will happily remake your bed to accommodate your preference – you can even try out a different set of bedding each night. True luxury is all about personalization, and Banyan Tree have got it nailed here.

If all that pampering has worked up an appetite, you’re well looked after. Spa Villa guests have access to Tré, the exclusive fine dining restaurant only available to guests of the Sanctuary Spa Villas and Banyan Tree’s enormous and elite DoublePool villas. Don’t miss this elegant dining experience, serving up gourmet indulgences and fine wines with a captivating view over the lagoon. We tasted the truffled capiletti, wagyu and their delightful mango sticky rice, alongside a bottle of utterly delightful Pegasus Bay Chardonnay (if you know me, you just know it’s got to be wonderful New Zealand Chardonnay) – all of which we highly recommend. It’s rare to see fine dining executed to this level in a resort, but Tré nails it.

Given that Banyan Tree’s expansive estate comprises many different resorts in it’s Laguna complex (Banyan Tree Villas, DoublePool Villas, Sanctuary Spa Villas, Angsana and Cassia’s apartment stye lodgings) there’s no shortage of dining options. If you’re wanting some local flavor, don’t miss Saffron, their elegant Thai restaurant that delivers mouthwatering classics in a modern style, and Taihei, the poolside Japanese venue serving up rather excellent sushi, sashimi, wagyu and more. You can even enjoy bespoke destination dining on a pavilion in the middle of the expansive lagoon, or a candle lit dinner on a boat cruising around on it while traditional Thai music serenades you.

You’ll also have access to Banyan Tree’s gym, tennis courts and yoga classes either at the main resort or in the Spa Villa compound, and early risers can enjoy a morning bike tour or start the day off with refreshing drinks and mini-massages at the Spa Villa lobby each day. Golf enthusiasts are also in luck with an 18 hole course on site, so pack those clubs.

Enough about the amazing facilities offered – let’s get back to the good stuff – the massages. From 10am to 10pm you can book unlimited pampering in the comfort of your private villa. With the usual cost of 5000 baht per person per 60 minute massage, the value of what’s provided in this unique offering is a no-brainer. With rates starting at 26,860 baht per night including breakfast and all taxes (that’s around AED 3000 / $840 USD / 690 EUR / 610 GBP / $1160 NZD), the value is clear. Two couples massages a day would set you back 20,000 baht alone – making this option a steal for those looking for privacy, romance and relaxation.

Add to this the fact that the massages provided are first class (I have to say they are the best I’ve experienced, probably due to the fact that Banyan Tree rigorously trains all of it’s masseuses in their on-site academy), this makes it fantastic value in the luxury pool villa category. Their Balinese massage is pure bliss, and they’ve converted someone who was once terrified of Thai massage into an absolute advocate. Admittedly, it’s not for die-hard beach goers, as the beach accessible from Banyan Tree is public and separated by a road, but the thought of the beach won’t even cross your mind here – you’ll never want to leave the comfort of your villa.

If you’re stressed out, exhausted or just in dire need of a hefty dose of luxury and pampering (aren’t we all?) then do yourself a favor and make your next holiday a spacation at the beautiful Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary Villas. You won’t regret it.





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