RO: Mai este cineva pe aici care nu stie ca ne place Phuket-ul? Cu tot cu Patong-ul lui aglomerat si Bangla mult prea agitata? Cu tot cu serile prea putin dormite si mancarea poate prea multa? Cu tot cu locurile pe care le vizitam si ras-vizitam dar mai ales, MAI ALES, cu locurile noi pe care le descoperim si care, VAI, ni-l tintuieste si ni-l pune pe harta (cu stiloul, si nu in creion 🙂 ) de fiecare data cand se intrevede o iesire in Thailanda 🙂
Am lasat Banyan Tree spre sfarsitul vacantei in Thailanda iar alegerea n-a fost deloc intamplatoare. Am vrut ca dupa tot ce presupune Patong-ul sa ne relaxam si incarcam bateriile dupa, dar mai ales pentru, drumul lung ce-l aveam pana acasa (acasa in Filipine, nu in Romania, chiar daca tot o zi si … inca o zi faci pana in Palawan 🙂 )

EN: Is there anyone who doesn’t know we love Phuket? All together with it’s busy Patong and far too agitated Bangla? With its sleepless nights and too much food? Among all of the places we visit and visit again, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, among all of the new places we discover, there’s always a trip to Thailand 🙂 We left Banyan Tree towards the end of our vacation in Thailand and that was not left to chance. We wanted to relax after everything that’s Patong and recharge our batteries for the long trip back home (home in the Philipines, not Romania even if it’s still a day and… another day to Palawan :))

Our Villa
The backyard

RO: Si pana intram direct in vila noastra cu vedere la laguna a Banyan Tree-ului vreau sa va zicem doua vorbe despre vreme si ce a presupus luna Iunie (din 2019) pentru calatorii in Phuket, daca tot e o destinatie de mare interes si poarta de intrare (si pe alocuri de initiere) intr-ale exotismului thailandalicesc” 🙂 Recunoastem c-am plecat cu un mare nod in gat in Thailanda, constienti fiind ca-n Phuket e inceputul musonului si ca s-ar putea sa fim ciuciuliti din cap si pana-n picioare. Zis si facut, din 7 zile, 4 a plouat de-a rupt pamantu-n bucati, din care in doua s-a lasat cu ploi fara intrerupere. Marea este, evident, mult mai agitata insa pe uscat totul functioneaza conform planului pus la cale in full-season: preturile sunt mai mici si, hai sa zicem ca poate oamenii insista mai mult in a-ti vinde ceva. Nimic insa care sa ne dea radarul peste cap nu s-a intamplat, atata tot ca n-am reusit sa prindem si noi o ultravioleta cinstita pe plaja 🙂 Totusi, trebuie sa recunoastem ca asa zisa proximitate de Thailanda (v-am zis ca tot o zi facem pana in Palawan 🙂 ), recurenta cu care putem veni acum, mai mult ca niciodata si asumarea ca suntem la inceput de sezon ploios au fost factori puternici ce nu ne-au condus pana-ntr-acolo incat sa afirmam ca vacanta in aceasta zona a fost pe alocuri ingreunata de ploaie. S-ar putea sa consideri insa ca, daca in 20% din concediul pe care ti-l planifici cu un an inainte ploua torential, ai avut parte de o vacanta ruinata. Nu poti influenta insa vremea ci mai degraba gandirea. Lucru facut si de noi care tare, TARE nu ne doream sa nu putem sa ne bucuram de fiecare centimetru de pamant al Banyan Tree 🙂 Asa ca-n ziua 5 totul s-a luminat si nici ca n-am mai vazut vreun strop’sor de apa in calea-mi 🙂

EN: And before we step into our villa with  view to the Banyan Tree lagune, we want to tell you a thing or two about the weather and the month of June (2019) meant for traveling in Phuket since it’s a very popular destination and quite often the initiation location for the Thai exotism 🙂 We must admit that we left reluctantly to Thailand being well aware that it’s the beginning of the monsoon season in Phuket and that we might get drenched. All said and done, it rained cats and dogs four days out of seven and in two of those days it rained without stopping. The sea is the most agitated, obviously, but on land, everything works according to schedule for a full season: the prices are lower and let’s say that, maybe, people insist a bit more to sell you stuff. Nothing to mess up our vibe happened, it’s just that we didn’t get some decent ultraviolets on the beach 🙂 We have to admit though that being somewhat close to Thailand (we’ve mentioned that it takes a day to get to Palawan), the fact that we can now come this often and taking into account that we are at the beginning of the rainy season we’re strong factors that made us believe that a vacation in this area was not made harder for us by the rain. You might consider that, if 20% of the time of a vacation you plan ahead is rainy, your vacation will be ruined. However, you can’t change the weather, but more likely your way of thinking. Which is what we did because we wanted so, SO much to enjoy every inch of Banyan Tree ground 🙂 Therefore, the sun came out on day 5 and we haven’t seen a drop of rain since 🙂

The pool

RO: O calatorie de 40 de minute si o iasomie la mana, un check in facil, cateva dulciuri de rontait si un ceai din Butterfly Pea, o mini excursie cu buggy-ul si o primire calduroasa, ne-au transferat direct in vila noastra de la Banyan Tree.
Mai are sens sa va spun ca Banyan Tree-ul din Phuket este primul din acest lant si ca are o vechime (tradusa-n experienta intr-ale hospitality-ului) de mai bine de 20 de ani? (chiar 25, ca sa fim precisi, ani pe care ii celebreaza chiar anul acesta). Ce nu stiam insa este ca, pe langa faptul ca face parte integranta din comunitatea exclusivista s Phuket Laguna (care si ea, la randul ei integreaza nici mai mult nici mai putin de 7 hoteluri de lux, ca sa nu mentionez cate si mai cate restaurante si inclusiv un ditamai shopping center-ul, mare cat o zi de post 🙂 ), Banyan Tree este defapt parte dintr-o colectie mai mare de hoteluri boutique dupa cum urmeaza: sus numitul Banyan Tree Phuket (lux), Banyan Tree Phuket Spa Sanctuary (ultra-lux) si Double Pool Villas by Banyan Tree Phuket (personificarea luxului suprem). Oaspetii celor trei hoteluri reunindu-si insa interesele sub umbrela acelorasi restaurante si spa-uri. Asta daca, bine-nteles, mai ai nevoie si nu-ti satisfaci toate nevoile in interiorul propriei vilei.

EN: A 40-minute trip and a jasmine flower in hand, an easy check in, a few snacks and a Butterfly Pea tea, a mini ride with a buggy and a warm welcome were the things that transported us directly to our villa at Banyan Tree.Does it make sense to tell you that the Banyan Tree in Phuket is the first one from this chain and that is has over 20 years experience in hospitality? (25 actually, to be more precise, which they celebrate this year). What we didn’t know is that, besides being part of the exclusive community of Phuket Laguna (which is also part of 7 luxury hotels, countless restaurants, and a huuuuge shopping center :)), Banyan Tree Phuket is actually part of a bigger collection of boutique hotels, as follows: the above mentioned  Banyan Tree Phuket (luxe), Banyan Tree Phuket Spa Sanctuary (ultra-luxe) and Double Pool Villas by Banyan Tree Phuket (the utter supreme luxury).  The guests of these 3 hotels gather under the same hotels and SPAs. That is, of course, if you still need to and don’t have all of your needs met in the comfort of your own villa

Lagoon view

RO: Noi am fost cazati in ceea ce se numeste Grand Lagoon Pool Villa, adica o villa cu piscina proprie (ca toate vilele de pe proprietatea Banyan Tree), cu vedere la laguna si cu o ditamai curtea interioara plina ochi cu frangipani. Ah, si fix vis-a-vis de marea Andaman, cu ai ei plaja pe nume Bangtao.

EN: We were lodged in what is called the Grand Lagoon Pool Villa, which means a villa with its own pool (like all the villas from Banyan Tree), with a lagoon view and a huge interior yard filled to the brim with Frangipani flowers. Oh, and right across the Andaman sea with its beach named Bangtao.

The pool seen from our room
Lagoon View

RO: Plimbarile prin hotel se efectueaza regulamentar per pedes, sunand dupa buggy sau, mai simplu, cu bicicleta personala pe care o poti inchiria in mod gratuit de langa piscina principala. Lucru facut si de noi, de altfel mari iubitori de plimbat cu “bicla” 🙂 Si cum, bine-nteles, nu ne place cand ne ploua si nu ne place nici cand ne da cu transpiratii de la patruj’ de grade si niciun nor pe cer (cine sa ne mai inteleaga ?!) majoritatea timpului de peste zi a fost petrecut la piscina proprie iar cel de la apus la plaja de mai a cote si la restaurantele resortului. Despre care, daca tot am adus vorba, sunt in numar de 5 si acopera si ele o plaja mare de gusturi culinare. Saffron e specializat in bucatarie cu specific tailandez, Taihei iti serveste preparate japoneze, Watercourt (locul unde se serveste si micul dejun) impreuna cu Banyan Cafe sunt restaurante cu specific international, in timp ce in-villa restaurant (pe care l-am ratat caci cuiva, nu dau nume, i s-a facut pofta de supa de noodles Udon 🙂 ) promite o experienta memorabila mai cu seama pe timpul cinei cand toate luminile fac un spectacol superb in toata proprietatea Banyan Tree.

EN: Strolling around the hotel is usually done by foot, ringing for a buggy or, the simple way, with a bike you can rent for free from the main pool area. Which we did as we are big lovers of bike riding 🙂 And since we don’t like to get rained on or sweating in 90 degrees heat (who’s to understand us?!) we spent most of our days by our own pool and our sunsets on a beach nearby and at the restaurants in the resort. And since we brought it up, there are 5 restaurants and they cover a plethora of culinary taste. Saffron is specialized in Thai cuisine, Taihei serves Japanese dishes, Watercourt (where breakfast is served) and Banyan Cafe both have international cuisine, while the in-villa restaurant (which we missed, cause someone who shall remain unnamed, got a craving for Udon noodles :)) and promise a memorable experience, especially during dinner when the lights put on a marvelous show over the entire estate of Banyan Tree. 

Day biking
Sunset biking
Tai Hei Restaurant
Tai Hei Restaurant

RO: Asadar sa ne concentram pe vila si toata experienta pe care ea o aduce, zic, si sa-ncepem cu faptul ca toata arhitectura imbina intr-un mod foarte subtil modernul cu dulcele stil clasic tailandez si cu un nitica tenta japoneza, am adauga noi (usile mari glisante de lemn fiind martorele declaratiei de mai sus 🙂 ). Evident, o cada enorma este amplasata strategic afara, atata cat sa-ti faca experienta mai frumoasa mai ales pe timpul “golden hour”-ului. Cada pe care, cu toata sinceritatea declaram, ca am folosit-o doar cand ea a fost umpluta cu flori de catre stuff-ul hotelului si doar pentru viciul pozelor pentru Social Media 🙂 (avem voie la un viciu, nu-i asa? 🙂 ) Si ca tot suntem la capitolul surprize, data de 11 Iunie s-a lasat cu un mic dejun plutitor, tare satios dupa ce a fost pozat si ras-pozat 🙂

EN: Therefore,let’s focus on the vila and the entire experience of it and let’s begin with the fact that the architecture very subtly combines the modern with the classic Thai style and a small hint of Japanese style, might we add (the big, gliding doors being proof of that :)) There was obviously a huge tub strategically placed outside, just enough to make your experience more beautiful especially during golden hour. The tub which, we sincerely declare, we only used while it was filled with flowers by the hotel staff and only for our social media vice 🙂 (we’re allowed one vice, right? :)) And since we are on the topic of surprises, the 11 of June was complimented with a floating breakfast that turned out to be super yummy after we took lots and lots of pictures of it 🙂

Floating breakfast

RO: N-are sens sa amintim de serviciile impecabile demne de un hotel de 5 stele, de curatenie, de atentia la detalii, de intimitate si liniste (chiar daca in momentul de fata se efectueaza lucrari de mentenanta). De regularitatea si dedicarea cu care ti se aseaza fiecare coltisor de perna sau halat. De aromele, florile si fructele proaspete ce ti se aduc in fiecare zi sau de cat de ingrijita este toata proprietatea. De punctat este insa, ca si Banyan Tree este asemenea multor hoteluri (din fericire) axat pe sustenabilitate si pe grija pentru mediul inconjurator. Fapt ce a debutat inca de la inceput, de cand proprietatea a fost construita pe o fosta mina de cobalt (tin mine). Fapt ce a condus spre plantarea a peste 7000 de copaci meniti sa exraga tot acidul din sol. Asta a facut ca Banyan Tree din Phuket sa fie primul hotel din lantul Banyan (si liderul celorlalte care ulterior l-au urmat) axat pe mediu intru’ ajutorarea lui. Cunostinte acumulate si oferite, asa cum ziceam si in postarea anterioara ca ar trebui sa facem, oaspetilor dar mai ales celor mai tineri dintre ei.

EN: It’s redundant to mention the impeccable service worthy of a 5 star hotel, the cleanliness, the attention to detail, the intimacy and quiet (even though they’re currently doing some maintenance work). The precision and dedication of each corner of robe or pillow are placed. The flavors, the flowers and fresh fruit that are brought to you every day or how groomed the entire property is. To be pointed out, Banyan Tree is similar to many hotels (fortunately) that focus on sustainability and care towards the environment. A focus that debuted since the beginning when the property was built on a former cobalt mine (I remember). Which lead to the planting of over 7000 trees meant to extract all of the acids from the soil. This made Banyan Tree Phuket the first hotel in the Banyan chain (and the leader to those that followed) that focuses on the environment and its health. Knowledge we gained and must offer, as we mentioned in our previous post, to the guests and especially to the younger ones.