A TRAN­QUIL RE­TREAT

The Surin Phuket is a peace­ful haven

Jetgala - - CONTENTS - Im­ages cour­tesy of The Surin Phuket

For dis­cern­ing trav­ellers, Phuket is not ex­actly top of mind when they think of a peace­ful sea­side des­ti­na­tion. The town is not what it once was decades ago when you can take your pick of se­cluded and de­serted white-sand beaches to while the day away. Now, those pic­ture-post­card beaches are hard to find, as Phuket gets even more crowded ev­ery­day – you would re­ally need to look harder to find a peace­ful beach for a re­lax­ing hide­away.

For­tu­nately, there’s The Surin Phuket. Per­fectly si­t­u­ated on Pansea Beach, it is one of the few ho­tels with its own pri­vate beach, pro­vid­ing guests much-needed pri­vacy, and yes, ex­clu­siv­ity.

A fresh de­sign

What sets the ho­tel apart is its de­sign. Formerly the Chedi, the prop­erty un­der­went a ma­jor do-over, which re­sulted in a light and airy lay­out that in­cor­po­rates Thai de­sign with a mod­ern sen­si­bil­ity.

BE­LOW: Ae­rial view of the ho­tel and its gor­geous beach

Guests are greeted with a huge ope­nair pav­il­ion that func­tions as lobby and re­cep­tion area. The pav­il­ion spills over the hill­side and opens up to truly breath­tak­ing views of the An­daman Sea. From here, the prop­erty winds down the hill­side, past restau­rants, a li­brary, be­fore reach­ing the large hexag­o­nal pool at the bot­tom, with its con­nect­ing beach bar and de­serted beach, truly a lux­ury in Phuket these days. The 103 white cot­tages are dot­ted across the hill­side at var­i­ous lev­els, con­nected by steep stair­ways and el­e­vated walk­ways. It’s a good work­out go­ing up and down and might not be ideal for par­ents with young kids or older guests who have mo­bil­ity is­sues. But oth­er­wise, it’s a pretty im­pres­sive prop­erty.

Pretty cot­tages

The makeover was done with an ex­pert and light touch so that the cot­tages are a re­fresh­ing change from the tired cliché of what I call, Thai rus­tic de­sign.

At The Surin Phuket, the cot­tages have an airy and con­tem­po­rary look – fresh white walls, slid­ing doors and gran­ite floors pro­vide a pleas­ing and calm­ing com­bi­na­tion. All the cot­tages are iden­ti­cal, and cat­e­gories are de­ter­mined by lo­ca­tion and size; the beach suites, of course, are all beach­front. All the cot­tages have gar­dens, small decks (per­fect for sun­bathing) and lots of space for just loung­ing around.

The cot­tages, which come in three cat­e­gories – one-bed, two-bed and beach suites – are gen­er­ous in size with

com­fort­able beds and in­te­ri­ors that in­vite you to re­lax and just for­get about the out­side world. En suite bath­rooms fea­ture rain­show­ers, a dou­ble van­ity area and hisand-hers dress­ing ar­eas.

Par­adise and be­yond

Should you forgo the lux­ury of hav­ing noth­ing to do, the ho­tel of­fers a range of com­pli­men­tary ex­pe­ri­ences each day, from yoga to some­thing more ac­tive. Those who love the adren­a­line rush should head over to the wa­ter­sports cen­tre for com­pli­men­tary kayaks, cata­ma­rans, standup pad­dle­boards and snor­kel­ing gear. Af­ter you’ve tired your­self out, book a mas­sage at the ho­tel spa.

All that ac­tiv­ity will surely make you hun­gry. The break­fast buf­fet is served at the lovely Lom­ta­lay, which over­looks the pool and ocean, per­fect if you want an in­vig­o­rat­ing swim in the morn­ings.

You can also or­der a la carte at the Sun­set Café, which serves de­li­cious Mediter­ranean and in­ter­na­tional cui­sine. Both restau­rants have big pic­ture win­dows that give guests spec­tac­u­lar views of the An­daman Sea. For pre-din­ner drinks, head over to the Beach Bar, the per­fect spot for happy hour cock­tails and some nib­bles. Those who want to dine al fresco on authen­tic Thai cui­sine and fresh grilled seafood should head to Beach Restau­rant, si­t­u­ated on the well-man­i­cured lawn over­look­ing the beach, per­fect for a ro­man­tic din­ner or a ca­sual group catchup with friends.

Within walk­ing dis­tance from the ho­tel are sev­eral shops and restau­rants. If you want more ac­tion, then the touristheavy Pa­tong Beach is a 40-minute taxi ride away from the ho­tel. But then, why would you when you have par­adise at your doorstep?

TOP: The pool­side is the per­fect place to re­lax – grab a drink and some light bites and en­joy a bit of sun or take a plunge in the dra­matic black­tiled poolABOVE: Pansea beach

A mag­nif­i­cent view of the open-air pav­il­ion with the pool

TOP PHO­TOS, FROM LEFT: Beach Restau­rant is per­fect for a ro­man­tic din­ner; view from the ter­race of the Beach Deluxe SuiteBOT­TOM TWO PHO­TOS, FROM LEFT: Rooms at the re­sort are de­signed to be light and airy, per­fect for a re­lax­ing stay

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