Anantara Phuket Resort and Spa in Thailand, which officially opened its doors in October, is giving guests the opportunity to leave a lasting mark on the hotel’s local community. This winter, guests who register for a stay at the resort are offered the opportunity to take part in a day-long excursion to Baan Talay Nok, one of the villages hardest hit by the 2004 tsunami, to work side by side with tsunami survivors in a handicraft cooperative involving soap making, batik painting, and palm weaving. The activities are set up to help create self-sufficiency and autonomy in Thailand’s fishing and farming communities, and proceeds from the day’s efforts will go to a fund for survivors.
After a day of work, guests may look forward to retiring to one of the resort’s 83 private pool suites along Mai Khao Beach, on the north end of the island. Each villa is unique, featuring walled gardens, hardwood decks, and private pools. A traditional Thai spa incorporates five treatment rooms, including a couples’ suite that can be reserved by the day, and a yoga guru roams the grounds of the resort, offering group and private yoga classes. Winter 2009 rates begin at ,300 per night. (www.anantara.com)