The Laguna Complex
The Laguna Complex at Bang Tao Beach is one of the great success stories in Phuket's remarkable development into the top beach destination in Asia. The complex includes 7 deluxe hotels spread between a myriad of lagoons and canals on 1,000 acres of landscaped parkland. There are luxurious spas, a shopping village and an 18-hole golf course. Around the complex are numerous quality dining and drinking establishments and there are also some residential villas.
The 7 hotels are the epitome of 5-star comfort with all the services and amenities any visitor could want. They have pools, gymnasiums, sports facilities, bars, restaurants, children's clubs, and just about anything else that you would expect. You can buy a daypass to use the facilities at any of the hotels in the complex.
And the entire complex is located right next to the glorious 8-kilometer Bang Tao Beach. As holiday destinations go, it doesn't get much better than this.
In the early 70s, Phuket's previously prospering economy was floundering. The prices of tin and rubber, that were the basis of Phuket's wealth, had collapsed. They needed a new source of income and so developers started toying with the idea of turning Phuket into a holiday destination. Phuket had the beaches and it had the scenery. It did not have the infrastructure but with enough financial backing, the developers thought they could make it happen.
Patong Beach already had a little backpacker scene with cheap huts on the beach and a few bars in the village. There were other beaches that had plenty of potential such as Karon, Kata and Kamala. The rest is history. Phuket is now a thriving holiday destination attracting millions of visitors a year.
However, the one beach that absolutely nobody considered developing was Bang Tao. The beach itself was a magnificent stretch of sand but the tin mining industry had ravaged the land around it. Mines pitted and scarred the entire area. The run off poisoned the streams and polluted the sea. The area looked like a bombsite or a scene from some apocalyptic movie. The developers believed this site was beyond repair.
That is until the Laguna developers came along. Led by an investor from Singapore, they somehow saw the potential in the area that no one else thought was possible. They set to work. They sculptured the devastated landscape, turning the mines into lagoons, linked by canals. Then around the lagoons they built 5 world class hotels and an 18-hole golf course. More recently, they have added 2 more top class hotels to the complex.
Bang Tao Beach is located at about the middle of Phuket's western coastline. The beach is an 8-km long sweeping arc of sand. It is approx half an hour to the airport or to Phuket Town.
The Laguna Complex is located at the centre of Bang Tao Beach. There are some smaller hotels at the southern end of the beach and there are also some restaurants and tourist shops in this area. The northern end of the beach is very quiet and eventually it merges with the very picturesque Layan Beach and Gata Island. There are a couple of holiday resorts at Layan Beach.
The surrounding area, known as Cherng Talay (next to the sea), is moderately urbanised. There is plenty of residential property, shops including a Tesco Metro and a good smattering of restaurants and bars.
The Laguna Complex has enough facilities to keep most people happy without ever needing to leave the complex. The beach is a spectacular 8km stretch of sand. It is not the absolute best swimming beach in Phuket but it is pretty good. The lagoons also provide plenty of scope for water play and there is a beach at one of the lagoons for a safe environment for the children. The hotels can arrange activities such as kayaking, sailing and wind surfing. There is a free ferry that will run you around the lagoons and canals.
There are 5 luxurious spas. They are rated as among the best in Phuket and the Spa at the Banyan Tree is rated among the best in Asia and will truly pamper its guests.
The 18-hole golf course is a championship standard course that will provide a satisfying challenge for players of any standard. Hotel guests receive discounted green fees.
The hotels all have their own swimming pools but feel free to try the pools at the other hotels. The Laguna Beach Resort even has a water slide and daily pool activities such as water polo and walk-on-water.
The hotels have a range of fitness and sports facilities. There are gymnasiums, tennis courts, table tennis and more.
Children are well catered for with play rooms, children's clubs and kid's pools.
There are so many restaurants and bars that you would struggle to visit them all in an average 2-week holiday and along the beach are many more.
There are now 7 hotels in the Laguna Complex all offering great facilities. Most of the facilities are provided inclusive in the hotel price. You can eat at any of the hotel restaurants and charge the bill to your room. You will have to pay extra for some of the more extravagant services such as the spas.
Banyan Tree Resort
This is probably the plushest of all the Laguna Complex hotels. It is particularly renowned for its luxurious spa. There are top-class dining facilities and relaxing pools. The elegant hotel has a romantic ambience that makes it an ideal getaway for couples. There is even a wedding chapel.
Best Western Allamanda Laguna
This hotel is away from the beach and next to the golf course. It is a quiet, family-friendly hotel with plenty of activities for the kids and of course easy access for a round of golf.
Dusit Thani Laguna Hotel
This hotel is close to the beach and has lots of leisure activities including gymnasium, sailing, scuba diving, canoeing and tennis. A very good place for the actively inclined.
Laguna Beach Resort
This hotel sits between a lagoon and the beach. The most notable feature of the hotel is the mini water park with waterfall, slide and Jacuzzi. This plus the kids club make it a great hotel to bring the children.
Movenpick Resort Laguna
This is yet another plush top class hotel with a romantic ambience. It is ideal for a relaxing getaway located right by a beautiful lagoon.
Outrigger Laguna Phuket
This is one of the two recent additions to the Laguna Complex. This hotel features private villas and homes with their own kitchens and many with their own pool. The hotel is located close to the beach and you have access to all the other Laguna amenities. It is a great choice for a group or family.
Laguna Holiday Club Phuket
This is the other of the two new additions to Laguna Complex. It is located away from the beach, close to the golf course. They offer spacious self-contained villas. It is only rated as a 4-star hotel so the prices are lower than the other Laguna hotels but you still get access to all the facilities. This hotel includes a fitness room, a kids room and a pool with slide that all add up to a very family friendly location.
We hope we have given you a taste of what the Laguna complex has to offer. If you are looking for a holiday in Phuket with a bit of comfort, plenty of activities and a great setting, then it could be just the place for you.