The Phang Nga West Coast, twenty minutes from Phuket International airport, is a nesting area for the world’s largest living (and endangered) reptile – the Leatherback Marine Turtle.
Aleenta, the luxury beach resort and spa, has set up the Marine Turtle Foundation to help re-populate the turtles in the area. When guests check in the hotel explains about preserving the species and pledges to donate THB 100,000 (approx $3,100) annually to the Foundation. Aleenta also has a campaign that seeks to educate local children about the turtles and explain why it is so important to protect them.
The hotel is making use of technology in the battle to save the turtle. They have fitted two sea turtles with a GPS system in order to track their journey through the Andaman Sea. The data is then used for scientific research. You can follow their movements on the hotel’s website: http://www.aleenta.com/phuket/sea-turtle-fund/
If you want to find out more about the turtles check out the turtle sanctiontary in Khao Lumpee-Haad Thaymuang National Park, about a twenty minute drive from the hotel. The sanctuary is home to all four of the marine turtle species found in Thailand: the Leatherback, the Hawksbill, the Green Turtle and the Olive Ridley.
I was a guest of the hotel and thoroughly enjoyed my stay here. The resort is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and is made up of suites, pool villas, and private beachfront villas. The rooms are all clean and the emphasis is on luxury. There was even a programmed ipod and speakers set up in my room. A private pool attached to my room was the perfect location to watch the sun set over the secluded and pristine Natai (Pilai) Beach.
The hotel staff were very friendly and helpful, and the spa treatments were fantastic – I can highly recommend the back massage! For those looking for a “back to nature” sort of experience the hotel offers yoga and thai chi classes so you can go back to work thoroughly relaxed and stretched out.
A word of warning for party animals – Aleenta is more suited to rest and relaxation than big nights out. That being said, Phuket town is about a fourty minute drive away so you can always get a taxi over for the night. And where better to spend the day recovering than on a textbook “white sand, blue water” beach?
The hotel also organizes small and intimate beach weddings and can take the hassle out of finding flowers, arranging the ceremony and the wedding planner can even help find your perfect wedding dress (perhaps not so relevant for the groom)…
For those of us that love to make our money go further it is worth keeping an eye on their “special offers” page.
I can really recommend Aleenta – a truly luxury resort with an ethical vibe.
How to get there:
Natai, Phang Nga West Coast’s most southern beach is only twenty minutes from Phuket International Airport.
For more information visit the hotel’s website: http://www.aleenta.com/phuket/.