Es­cape Artist

Re­moved from Phuket’s throngs of rowdy tourists and its rag­ing party scene is Villa Roxo at Sava – a se­cluded hide­away sit­u­ated steps away from a picturesque beach in Phang Nga

Malaysia Tatler Homes - - DEC/JAN ISSUE -

Re­moved from Phuket’s throngs of rowdy tourists and its rag­ing party scene is Villa Roxo at Sava – a se­cluded hide­away sit­u­ated steps away from a picturesque beach in Phang Nga

The long stretch of sandy beach is also the back­drop of Sava – a clus­ter of seven vil­las that com­bine con­tem­po­rary de­sign with Thai ap­peal

Ev­ery vis­i­tor has their own unique take on Phuket. It’s a place that de­fies def­i­ni­tion be­cause of its abil­ity to sa­ti­ate ev­ery de­sire, from lux­u­ri­ous five-star re­sorts along the built-up western coast­line to de­bauch­er­ous nights out on the streets of Pa­tong. Since tourists started ar­riv­ing on the is­land in droves in the late 1960s, it’s be­come dif­fi­cult to find the vir­ginal beauty for which Phuket was once renowned. But drive north to Phang Nga, on main­land Thai­land, and a vastly dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence awaits. There, you’ll find an un­spoiled coast­line dot­ted with fish­ing vil­lages that re­tain an au­then­tic sense of Thai cul­ture that’s scarcely ap­par­ent nearby. At dawn, a strong tide brings back the fish­er­men from a night’s work. They dock their colour­ful wooden boats at one end of Natai Beach, offering a bounty of seafood to shop­pers look­ing for the fresh­est catch of the day. The long stretch of sandy beach is also

the back­drop of Sava – a clus­ter of seven vil­las that com­bine con­tem­po­rary de­sign with Thai ap­peal. “I looked north when I couldn’t get good beach­front property in Phuket in 2006,” re­calls Scott Cal­len­der of Avila Cap­i­tal, the Sin­ga­pore-based pri­vate eq­uity real es­tate firm that de­vel­oped the site. Af­ter comb­ing the is­land for a suit­able piece of land on which to build, Scott ar­rived on the other side of Sarasin Bridge, which links Phuket and the main­land, far away from the tourist hub­bub. He laid claim on two vil­las, in­clud­ing the four-bed­room Villa Roxo, while the other five were snapped up by ea­ger buy­ers from Hong Kong, Shang­hai and Sin­ga­pore – though they’re still avail­able for short- and long-term va­ca­tion rentals. Each villa was de­signed with con­tem­po­rary aes­thet­ics in mind. The fa­cade mir­rors the look of a boxy glass house, aimed at bring­ing

The fa­cade mir­rors the look of a boxy glass house, aimed at bring­ing the out­doors in

the out­doors in, while the nat­u­ral flow in­side the home was para­mount to ar­chi­tect Adrian Mccar­roll’s de­sign. The in­te­rior lay­out of Villa Roxo is both prac­ti­cal and con­ducive to ev­ery­day liv­ing, making visi­tors feel right at home. The en­trance from the drive­way leads to a cosy liv­ing room where you can enjoy laid-back movie marathons, while the light­filled first floor is ideal for en­ter­tain­ing with an in­ter­con­nected show kitchen, din­ing and sit­ting room that opens on to an ex­pan­sive pool deck. There’s also a hid­den kitchen be­hind the break­fast bar, where a live-in cook pre­pares tempt­ing, made-to-or­der Thai and Western dishes.

The two mas­ter bed­rooms up­stairs max­imise the sweep­ing sea views with stepout bal­conies from which to ad­mire the pur­ple-pink skies at dusk. There are also two sup­ple­men­tary bed­rooms – each com­plete with en suite bath­rooms and a pair of sin­gle beds – making the home ideal for larger fam­i­lies, es­pe­cially those trav­el­ling with chil­dren. It’s easy to ac­cli­ma­tise to the slower pace of life at Villa Roxo. Here, the days are marked by the ris­ing and set­ting sun, by tempt­ing meals cooked us­ing mar­ket-fresh in­gre­di­ents, and by sun-drenched af­ter­noons spent loung­ing pool­side or sun­bathing on the beach. For those in the know, this lit­tle pocket in Phang Nga re­mains a well-kept se­cret – a charm­ing haven where na­ture and warm Thai hos­pi­tal­ity can still be trea­sured.

FROM LEFT The panorama look­ing out to the pool deck from the sec­ond mas­ter bed­room; the shaded out­door area is a nice spot to enjoy break­fast al fresco and take in the views

FROM LEFT The din­ing area sits up to eight com­fort­ably, while the ca­sual kitchen counter is an easy place to prop up for a quick snack

OP­PO­SITE The liv­ing room is set in a Thai nau­ti­cal theme, al­lud­ing to the fish­ing vil­lages nearby

FROM LEFT The larger mas­ter bed­room is kept min­i­mal with spo­radic touches of wicker, stone and teak wood fur­nish­ings; the en suite bath­room has a stone tub over­look­ing post­card­per­fect views Fur­nish your bath­room with nat­u­ral stone for a mod­ern and lux­u­ri­ous feel. Add in other nat­u­ral el­e­ments like wood and wo­ven bas­kets to com­plete the min­i­mal­ist scheme. GET THE LOOK

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