Where to Stay in Phuket
Q: What are your recommendations for Phuket, Thailand, in mid-January?
A: I have always liked Amanpuri (from $525; amanpuri.com) and remain convinced it’s the best property Aman Resorts has ever done. The pool is breathtaking, and the service has been consistently pitch-perfect. If you are thinking about this one, I would check in with an agent like Glen Donovan at Earth London (earthlondon.com) to ensure that they are keeping it neat and tidy with up-to-date investments. They always used to.
Trisara (from $630; trisara.com) is the baby of Amanpuri’s former general manager, Anthony Lark; he knows what he is doing and, in terms of service, doesn’t miss a trick. When it first opened, I heard mixed reports, but this was largely because the property, like all new ones, needed to find its character. It has now had seven years. The fact that Trisara’s residential villas keep selling is probably all the recommendation you need.
If it’s the pursuit of the new that interests you, another place to consider is the year-old Andara Resort and Villas (from $740; andaraphuket.com), which overlooks Kamala Beach on the island’s west coast.
Otherwise, are you wedded to Phuket over Koh Samui? There’s the spectacular W Retreat Koh Samui (from $530; whotels.com), which just opened in November with 75 private villas and a spa by P49 Deesign. The Bill Bensley–designed Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui (from $625; fourseasons.com) is also of note, and Six Senses, a Bangkok-based company I rate highly, opened Soneva Kiri (from $1,200; sixsenses.com) on Koh Kood, off the southeast coast of the Gulf of Siam, in December 2009. Again, it’s quite new, so there’s always a risk with service. One point I’d make, though, is this. Are you set on a January departure? Thailand’s two monsoons arrive in different places at different times of year: The southwest rains are worst on the Andaman coast (which incorporates Phuket) from June through October, and the gulf has a northeast monsoon for four months starting in November, which affects Koh Samui. You will need to keep that in mind when you book.
Editor at Large
As mayor (and a citizen) of this city, I would like to express my sincerest appreciation and thanks for your October issue. Venice should indeed be presented not only as a tourist destination but as a lively city bursting with art, culture, events and superb shopping: a city in which daily life is made exceptional by its uniqueness while also highlighting its modernity and projection toward the future. Thank you for being a partner in this initiative and a true supporter of the city.
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Since debuting in 1964, the famed Pirelli Calendar has been coveted not only for its über-exclusivity (it’s not available for sale and is distributed to just a select group of people each year) but also for the artistic photographs found inside. The world’s most beautiful women—from Gisele Bündchen and Kate Moss to Penélope Cruz and Sophia Loren—have appeared on its pages, shot by the likes of Herb Ritts, Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz and Bruce Weber. For 2011, Karl Lagerfeld took his turn with images inspired by Greek and Roman gods. And for the first time since its inception, Pirelli has set aside one copy of the calendar to benefit a charity via the fundraising platform Crowdrise. Go to crowdrise.com/pirelli by January 15 and donate $25 or more to support the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets, a campaign that raises awareness and funding to combat malaria, for a chance to receive this collector’s item.