From its turquoise seas and towering limestone cliffs to sleek luxury hideaways, the island paradise of Phuket is a tough act to follow when it comes to scene-stealing getaways. Having been closed to international travelers for more than a year, Thailand’s largest isle is once again welcoming visitors back to its pure white sandy shores. With its relaxed pace, the ‘Pearl of the Andaman’ is the ultimate spot to unwind, and Rosewood Phuket is a firm favorite among the well-heeled travel set.
ROSEWOOD’S SENSE OF PLACE
When it comes to exceptional properties, for Rosewood, location is essential and core to the brand’s sense of place philosophy. With its discreet setting on Emerald Bay, where a well-groomed but still wild-feeling tangle of jungle touches the coastline, Rosewood Phuket certainly ticks that box. There’s some major wow factor upon arrival, too, thanks to the short but winding cobblestone driveway that leads to a leafy central courtyard where a majestic-looking elephant sculpture stands guard. From here, large temple-style doors open onto a welcome lobby edged with waterlily-filled reflecting pools.
Below, a series of pathways descend toward the beach linking pavilions, including poolside lounge bar, Mai, with the resort’s 71 ocean-facing private villas and residential beach homes that dotted across the spacious 43-acre site. Everything is within easy strolling distance or a quick buggy ride away.
A PEACEFUL ISLAND HIDEAWAY
While the beachside infinity pool and Tha Khai restaurant (which is helmed by local chef couple Uncle Nun and Aunt Yai and poised to receive a Michelin Green Star this fall) are just two of many highlights here, anyone looking to make health and wellness a top priority will no doubt fall in love with Asaya Spa.
With well-being integral to the way many of us choose to travel these days when it comes to Asaya, think less hotel spa more dedicated wellness retreat. In Sanskrit, ‘asaya’ means “to set an intention or hope to propel self-change and transformation,” and Rosewood Phuket’s dedicated holistic concept features bespoke programs to help do just that, offering everything from alternative therapies and specialized healing treatments to fitness activities, like an adrenaline-boosting Muay Thai Boxing session.
But first, the atelier. Located at the center of a series of pavilions surrounded by lovely landscaping that brims with flowers and, on occasion, butterflies, part retail space, part apothecary, the atelier is where journeys and bespoke experiences begin. Before a treatment starts, you’ll be invited to select an essential oil best suited to your mood, intention, or wellness goals. It’s also where you can sit down with the resident clinical aromatherapist for a one-on-one Tonic Atelier by Asaya consultation and customize a massage oil and or body scrub blend with herbs picked from the adjacent Asaya Garden.
As integrative or extensive as you wish, at Asaya Spa, guests are encouraged to create a personalized wellness program, mixing and matching holistic therapies with traditional spa treatments. There are sound healing sessions with singing bowls, Reiki energy healing, meditation, and four different styles of yoga to choose from. Landing on mats at the waterfront pavilion with teacher Khun Nancy and practicing a series of postures while looking out across Emerald Bay is a blissful way to begin each morning.
THE ULTIMATE MIND-BODY RESET
With treatments incorporating Maison Caulières and Japanese-French brand EviDenS de Beauté products for spa therapies, think everything from the Ultimate Japanese Lifting facial and Time For a Dream sugar body scrub to a traditional Thai foot massage. The six incredibly Zen-like therapy suites can be configured to accommodate solo travelers or couples, while a signature wellness suite with dedicated treatment areas, an outdoor relaxation space, and watsu pool is perfect for small friend groups. Fitness and lifestyle experiences are offered too from isolated stretching and Pilates classes to personal and high-intensity interval training sessions.
ABOVE & BEYOND SERVICE
Guests can connect with a resident practitioner who can ensure spa appointments are reserved, and programming is in place before arrival, similar to a personal concierge,” says Andrew Turner, Managing director of Rosewood Phuket. “We can also work with our chefs to make sure any dietary requirements are taken care of in advance as well.”
Rosewood Phuket has been operating at a reduced capacity, but with the success of Thailand’s phased ‘Sandbox Phuket’ reopening initiative seeing more international travelers enjoying Phuket without the pre-pandemic crowds, Turner adds he expects Rosewood Phuket will return to full capacity when Thailand fully opens its borders in October. “In the last ten or fifteen years, there’s probably never been a better time to see and enjoy the island like this without the crowds. So although we’re looking forward to travel making a comeback, it’s a pretty special time to be in Phuket right now.”
As if any additional enticement was needed to start planning that Phuket spa vacation, designed to align with Thailand’s two week stay protocol before onward travel to other provinces, the More Nights, More Savings offer rewards with 35 percent off the best available rate on a 14-night minimum stay until October 2022.
GETTING THERE & AWAY
Several major carriers fly directly into Phuket International Airport, including Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways. With business-class always preferable, Qatar Airways Qsuite makes the long-haul trip feel like a breeze. Thanks to the refined comforts of the Al Mourjan Business Lounge and Oryx Airport Hotel at Hamad International (recently voted the world’s best airport), any length layover in Doha elevates the experience entirely. For up-to-date information on the Sandbox Phuket initiative, including Certificate of Entry application steps and Covid testing requirements, visit www.tatnews.org.
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