Located at the heart of the 5-kilometer-long Bang Tao beach in Phuket, a serene and natural haven awaits. Angsana Laguna Phuket Resort is nestled amidst water and bordered by a pristine nature reserve to the north. Anders Dimblad, the Swedish Area General Manager, is ready to welcome guests from the Nordic region and beyond to this expansive resort, which also includes several sister properties under the Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts umbrella.
Anders, a seasoned hotelier with significant experience within the Banyan Tree Group, recently arrived from managing two properties in Kuala Lumpur. He describes Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur as a unique ‘urban resort’ with just 55 keys, bringing the essence of the Banyan Tree brand to a city environment.
“We market all Banyan Trees as ‘A sanctuary for the senses,’ and we want our guests to feel that as they enter the hotel, even if they might be on business,” explains Anders.
Since 2022, he has been overseeing an integrated resort area in Laguna Phuket, which comprises hotels, residences, shopping, recreation, and wellness facilities, including the original Banyan Tree resort.
“After successfully positioning and opening two beautiful properties in KL, I got the opportunity to take over and manage the hotels here in Laguna Phuket, including several flagship properties,” says Anders. His task included streamlining the operations of the Laguna brand properties, aiming for increased efficiency and enabling guests to fully experience everything Laguna and the island offer.
Laguna is home to the very first Banyan Tree resort with pool villas only. “So our history is deeply rooted in this environment that makes up all of Laguna, developed by our founding owners 30 years ago,” he adds.
Other properties within Laguna include Banyan Tree Phuket, Banyan Tree Veya,; Laguna Holiday Club (soon to be rebranded as Homm Suites Laguna, a new upcoming brand); Cassia, a lifestyle resort; and Angsana.
“What’s exciting about all these properties is that regardless of where you stay as a guest in Laguna Phuket, you can dine at any of the properties and charge it to your hotel – one of the benefits of having an integrated resort.”
With 380 keys, Angsana boasts beautiful surroundings, lush gardens, one of Phuket’s largest freeform swimming pools, and direct beach access. Anders emphasizes that guests enjoy a view corridor of water, whether it’s the swimming pool, the ocean, or the lagoons. The resort is spacious, providing a sense of exclusivity and ample greenery.
“We call it an ‘island within an island’ because Phuket is an island, and this resort is also situated on its own island, accessible by crossing the water,” he notes.
Angsana is keen to serve not only its guests but also the approximately 1500 residents within Laguna, enhancing its reputation to attract diners from the surrounding area.
Some of the bars and restaurants are currently undergoing upgrades or renovations in preparation for the upcoming winter high season.
“We want to elevate the property, not only in terms of our already renowned high service level but also in terms of our physical infrastructure.”
Additionally, a new beachfront bar is in the works. The name ‘Xana Beach‘ will be retained, but the concept will differ from typical island beach clubs.
“I would describe it as an experiential beach environment. We have a beach bar and our Italian-Mediterranean restaurant Azura. For Angsana, with our guest mix, we aim to create a more relaxed experience. We will host full moon parties and DJ events, making it a more event-centric destination.”
“We are also revamping our swim-up pool bar to give it a modern and refreshed feel.”
Floating on one of the lagoons is the Atoll restaurant, offering an ideal setting for pre- and post-dinner drinks and serving Vietnamese-inspired tapas with a twist.
“You have the backdrop of the ocean with a beautiful sunset on one side and, on the other, the illuminated floating Angsana resort as daylight fades,” Anders describes.
When it comes to appealing to Nordic visitors, Anders is confident that Laguna will attract them.
“I believe there is great potential for them to come and experience what we have to offer. One of the beautiful aspects of Laguna is that we cater to all types of travellers. Cassia is ideal for couples looking for a base to explore, Angsana offers families a wide range of activities with over ‘101 Things to Do’, and Banyan Tree, with its private pool villas, focuses on intimacy and romance.”
Among the activities available are birdwatching, nature walks, and various water sports, all of which can be enjoyed in the lagoon if the sea conditions are unfavourable, including stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking.
Anders also emphasizes the exclusivity and spaciousness of the Laguna area, with ample greenery, lagoons, and sea views, offering a wide array of experiences, including world-class spa treatments, all without the need to leave the resort.
“There are many Nordic people living in Asia, and with flights open and no visa constraints, this destination is just a short flight away from most major cities in the region. Sometimes, when staying for four or five nights, guests may wish to explore and dine elsewhere. As an integrated resort with cross-signing availability, you have that convenience right at your doorstep.”
In terms of competition, Laguna Phuket has a well-established reputation.
“We are fortunate for that, and it’s not something that happened overnight, but through the hard work and dedication of our teams and the philosophy behind each brand pillar. We must continue to turn guests’ dreams and expectations into reality,” says Anders.
“Every guest arrives with certain expectations that we should strive to exceed. Today’s guests seek value, a sense of place, wellness, and an overall experience. Regardless of your budget, we have a suitable offer,” he adds.
The many returning guests are a testament to Laguna’s popularity and dedication to providing a memorable experience.
“It’s a wonderful feeling when guests love the property so much that they return, and you become the steward entrusted with managing it well to preserve their cherished memories and help them create new ones. Welcoming guests back home to this paradise is key to our future.”