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While in Phuket looking for a site upon which to build a holiday home, Adrian Zecha was walking along Pansea Beach when he came across a coconut plantation which occupied a prime location. Plans to build a home on the site soon developed into an idea to build a small boutique resort, in partnership with Anil Thadani and two other friends. They spent mainly their own money as no banks would lend for the project due to the small number of planned rooms, instead of the 500-room hotel they thought would be more practical. The resort was opened in 1988 at a cost of US$4 million.
The resort pioneered the concept of a small, super-exclusive resort designed to complement the location’s natural setting. The resort was designed by American architect Edward Tuttle, who took his inspiration from traditional Thai temple architecture. The design eschewed ostentation in favour of intimate luxury, which manifested itself in the absence of a reception desk, bellboys or lobby, with accommodation provided in either individual pavilions or villas. At the time of the opening of Amanpuri these innovations were groundbreaking, and led to Amanpuri becoming one of the best known resorts in Asia.
The resort contains 40 pavilions and 32 villas spread over 24 hectares of a hilly headland on the northern side of Pansea beach. Each pavilion includes a bedroom, a bathroom with separate shower and bath, an outdoor sala.
Each villa features a swimming pool, separate dining and living rooms, kitchen and 2 to 6 bedrooms.
The public facilities include two restaurants, a spa, a library (with over 1000 books), 6 tennis courts, a gym, a Pilates studio, a boardroom equipped for meetings, a gallery with a selection of items for purchase. These are located around a large rectangular pool.
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