Have Phuket’s crowded beaches with tourists galore dashed your hopes for a relaxing getaway on the beautiful island? Happily, I can report that the new, luxurious Rosewood Phuket Resort guarantees a blissful jaunt on the ‘pearl of the Andaman.’ It looks like a picture postcard with the silky white sand and turquoise sea. Nestled along a secluded beach at Emerald Bay, the resort is ideal for those seeking serenity amid the splendor of Thailand’s dreamy Andaman coast.
The 5-star oceanfront stunner from the prestigious Rosewood Brand constructed from timber and indigenous stone is environmentally friendly with sustainable practices. Guests enjoy tropical gardens, a stylish pool wrapped around palm trees and the Andaman Sea lies just steps away. Everything is spaced out so you have loads of privacy.
Posh pavilions and villas done in soothing neutral hues with contemporary décor and Thai art works are spacious and designed to blend with the surrounding lush jungle foliage and coastline landscape. It feels more like living in a house in an exotic locale with a totally tranquil vibe. Guests are immersed in Phuket’s spectacular natural beauty by large outdoor living spaces and floor to ceiling windows that bring the outside in. Sundecks with loungers, private pools and scenic water views create cushy cocoons.
And the folks at Rosewood provide superb amenities for an idyllic hideaway. In addition to supremely comfortable beds with the softest linen, generous bathrooms, outside courtyard with deep soaking bathtub and rain shower plus flat screen TV’s, I especially liked the luscious mango tarts for yummy afternoon snacks and the complimentary 2006 Chateau des Brunes La Fleur Shiraz I savored on my terrace while gazing at the glorious golden sunset.
For those seeking a transformative wellness experience, Asaya has arrived. Rosewood launched Asaya, an innovative, integrated wellness concept last November when the Phuket retreat debuted. The resident practitioner is eminent holistic healer Steve Harvey, who is also a life and relationship coach as well as an advanced body-worker. I call him a modern day medicine man.
I had heard about the famed practitioner whose roster of A-list clients include Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. You can imagine how thrilled I was to have a session with him. This extraordinary master has a gift for identifying and helping to release whatever is blocking you from attaining your goal: be it success, life style change, health, self acceptance, creative expression, relationship or something else. Be forewarned: After meeting him, you are likely to join the throngs of devotees like me who say – ‘ Steve Harvey changed my life!’
The wellness experience at Asaya starts with a consultation with Mr. Harvey to create a customized program for each guest. The extensive menu of bespoke treatments with their team of experts includes alternative therapies, lifestyle coaching, fitness activities, specialized healing treatments, Watsu, reiki, sound therapy with Tibetan bowls and more.
Guests even get to choose their own Thai healing herbs straight from the Wellness Atelier Garden for their treatments. Sweet jasmine, gardenia, refreshing lemongrass, pungent curry leaf and kaffir lime are used in customized scrubs, wraps, masks and for aromatic oils for relaxing, de-stressing and energizing massages. You’re encouraged to treat your body as a temple in this wellness sanctuary that also offers transporting spa rituals, yoga, meditation and pilates. Sunrise yoga with esteemed instructor Nancy was amazing.
As for the cuisine it’s a foodie paradise. From fresh squeezed juices, tropical fruits, crab omelets, frittatas and Thai noodle soups for breakfast to Mediterranean specialties such as creamy burrata with heirloom tomatoes, sublime Sardinian Seafood Soup with the most flavorful broth and delectable pasta in all day dining venue Red Sauce, overlooking the pool and beach – everything is delicious.
Seafood lovers may swoon after tasting the Shack’s mouth watering oysters from France. Here you’ll find tastiest ceviche, calamari, Andaman prawns, freshest local fish wrapped in a banana leaf and the catch of the day grilled to perfection.
Ta Khai Restaurant, the jewel in the crown, resembles a Thai fishing village and delivers outstanding southern Thai dishes in an oceanfront setting under the stars. A huge bodhi tree revered by Buddhists stands sentry at the entrance. Some of the many delights at this gastronomic feast include exquisite massaman curries, seafood pad Thai, mussels, steamed blue crabs plus a beef salad and shrimp, crab and peanut salad to die for.
Water activities abound such as stand up paddleboard, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, yachting, private long-tail boat trips to secret beaches and sailing the picturesque coastline. You can also explore Historic Phuket old town with its narrow streets, ornate shrines and temples, colonial style mansions and architecturally striking Chinese shophouses.
Many however, choose to loll in their cushy beachside hideaway sipping tropical cocktails, looking at the shimmering Andaman Sea and basking in nature’s glory.
Getting There: Bangkok Airways, which calls itself Asia’s Boutique Airline, offers several daily flights to Phuket. The planes are new, the crew very professional and all passengers on the 90 – minute flight receive a hot meal. Their Boutique Lounge offering snacks, drinks and wifi is complimentary to all travelers whereas the Premium Blue Ribbon Club Lounge serving full meals is available for business class guests. From Phuket Airport it’s just under an hour’s scenic drive to the resort.