Tucked away on the west side of Phuket Island, away from the craziness of Patong and the bars, massage parlors and restaurants of Kamala, lies a hotel resort that could only be described as ‘Heaven of all Heavens’, which is exactly what the hotel name translates to in Sanskrit, and after visiting it for the weekend, I completely agree with this description.
The resort I am talking about is the Paresa Phuket; built into the Kamala cliffs of Phuket between houses costing many millions of pounds this 48 villa and suite resort will take your breath away over and over again.
What To Expect
You enter the hotel from the top rather than bottom, where you are invited to walk down the entrance staircase and ring the ‘welcome gong’. Heavy doors are then opened to reveal a view out to the sea that you will struggle not to be awe struck by. Stand on the gold tiled floor and just take a moment to absorb this magnificent view out to the Andaman Sea.
There was a wedding on the day we arrived – what a magical place for one!
The Paresa is built by Thai architect UKD who was trained by Frank Lloyd Wright. You will see little influences of FLW in the building detail from the slopes in the roof to the finishing textures of the walls. You will probably also wonder, like me, how the hotel was even constructed. Built on a near vertical cliff it is a feat of engineering, which also gives this hotel a completely unique layout; allowing every villa and suite to have a panoramic and uninterrupted view out to sea.
The brown and natural slate tile finish keeps the property in harmony with its surroundings, blending into the natural habitat and from sea it is barely visible and whilst being completely modern in style you can see the Southern Thai influence in the building design.
We stayed in one of the resorts Aqua Pool Suites. This 140m² spaced suite has a huge bedroom and living space, and a bathroom that is the same size as the bedroom. The bedroom features a king sized bed, central TV stand and day bed (which the TV can be swiveled round to face) and a work desk too for those workaholics……..
The bathroom is gigantic, with his and hers sinks one on either end of the room. An indoor rain and handheld shower, as well as outdoor rain shower offers you two options to rise off in. Amenities are by luxury Thai brand THANN and are organic and paraben free and completely luxurious. The bathroom’s focal point is the central two-person bath that is positioned flush against the window and offers the unbeatable view out to sea and the crisp and clean terrazzo flooring add to the beauty of the room.
To top the suite off, the outdoor area includes a patio seating area, 2 four poster sun loungers and a private 8m infinity pool that wraps around the bathroom. I sat in the pool having a glass of wine in the evening looking out to sea and thought ‘am I in heaven? yes I think I am!’.
Some little finishing touches we loved
Apart from all of the above, some other little things I liked was the selection of fresh Thai fruit to eat (including my favourite – dragon fruit). There is also a turn down service in the evening, which includes some little cookies.
When you arrive you are also offered a choice of two natural soaps to take away to your bathroom – I opted for lemongrass and coconut.
Some of the practical stuff I liked
Due to the fact you are on a cliff-side the resort is obviously hilly, this is overcome by the resort’s buggy car system. Just call a buggy from your room and one will be driven down for you to take you to wherever you need to go in the resort and vice versa back to your room.
Another little practical thing I liked was the suite lighting, the master on/off switch at the suite door can be carried around, so you can take it to your bedside table – so no having to try a hundred different switches in the middle of the night to get the lights on.
Free Wi-Fi – which you connect to with no password, make connecting easy, and a Nespresso style coffee machine make getting your coffee fix a breeze.
Other Room Types
The resort has 5 different room types (Talay, Aqua, Cliff, Dima and Cielo), if you want to go all out on ‘wow’ then the Paresas Dima Spa Suite blows things out the water… It comes with a private outdoor treatment area and a freestanding island bath-tub with wraparound pool. The bathroom is outside and it is like nothing I have seen before in my life.
Or go all out with a Cielo Residence which occupies a space of 660m², includes its own dining and lounge pavilion, kitchen and wine cellar and 10m infinity edge swimming pool.
Other Parts Of The Hotel
The hotel has two restaurants (both accessed from the same beautiful dining space) – Diavolo serves an Italian menu, while Talung Thai serves Southern Thai cuisine; both of which have indoor and outdoor seating with the alfresco outdoor area being shaded by one of the hotels giant Banyan Trees and finished off with that incredible sea-view.
The hotel is also very in touch with the environment – it has its own hydroponic garden where many herbs and plants are grown and used in the restaurant (and also for a number of spa treatments).
For dinner we opted for the set Thai meal which is quite a feast (my vegetarian palate was no problem and a alternative to the meat dishes was provided) and they were all amazing.
We had lunch in Diavolo – being pizza fans, the choice was easy and what a good choice that was. Perfectly made dough topped with the finest cheese and vegetables and topped off with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from their extensive wine collection – the perfect way to lunch.
If you want to try your hand at Thai cooking and take some skills back to your own kitchen then the hotel’s ‘Recipe’ cooking school provides an immersive cooking experience for anything from 2 plus guests.
The hotel spa is something very special too, I indulged in a 60-minute massage (if you do go ask for Polly, she was exceptional) and in combination with the view from each of the treatment rooms its a unique experience that is virtually impossible to replicate.
The hotel has a state of the art gym, with all the machines any gym addict would be pleased with and if the views from the treadmills don’t give you the motivation to keep running, then nothing will.
If you are a bookworm, or just want a moment to yourself, Muse the hotel’s library offers a place of silence to come and relax, read or even play a game of chess.
While all the rooms have their own infinity pool it is nice to do a few lengths and there is also a large infinity pool beside the main hotel complex too. By day kick back and relax on a sun lounger, order a drink from the pool bar, or even try their Energy Pool, which includes a rose quartz crystal obelisk in the water that emits positive energy through the water to whoever is sitting in the water.
In the evening the pool is transformed into an award winning dining experience the ‘Infinity Experience’ where couples can dine in the floating overwater day beds and watch the sunset whilst having a 5 course meal. I was told that many a marriage proposal has been made there and that the success rate has always been 100%.
It is quite easy to come to Phuket, relax and forget that the island has a fascinating history and living culture. We experienced one of the hotels food tours put together by the in house Adventure Team. The tour takes you to the historical old town of Phuket in the early morning when locals come to buy and trade products in the central market, you will also have a chance to walk about and see much of the town’s Sino-Portuguese architecture.
For those who have been to Penang in Malaysia you will see similarities in the architecture brought to the island via their neighbouring country. The tour is a great way to learn more about the island’s culture, ask questions and discover the Malaysian, Chinese and Thai influences that have turned Phuket (Malaysian for ‘mountains’) into what it is today.
The hotel offers a number of interesting tours and packages including jungle trecking and bamboo rafting and also trips up to Khao Sok National Park.
TLE Final Thoughts
I don’t say this often but staying in the Paresa was one of the most wonderful hotel experiences I have ever had. It’s not just the beautiful location and view, it’s not just the simply gorgeous suites; it’s the food, the staff, the attention to detail – nothing is left to chance and it is a winning formula that everyone should experience once in their life.
Details & Offers
The Paresa is fabulous and certainly one of the best luxury hotels in Phuket.
Address: 49 Moo6, Layi-nakalay Road, Kamala Kathu, Phuket 83150 Thailand
Tel: +66 76 302 000