Luxe and lush
Trisara Phuket hits the spot as a resort with plenty to do and enjoy
Some resorts can be a destination in themselves. Especially one with plenty of activities and things to do on site. After 20 minutes in a posh Volvo SUV from Phuket International Airport and a few winding roads, you'll arrive at the lush surroundings of Trisara Phuket -- "the garden in the third heaven", in Sanskrit -- where villas and suites are nestled on a gentle hill slope.
After check-in, you'll be chauffeured to your private pool villa as you admire the tropical foliage that line both sides of the road from the back of a golf buggy. The accommodation choices start from the 135m² spacious Ocean View Pool Junior Suite on the highest level of the resort, while the most lavish is the seven-bedroom Trisara Residential Villa on a private headland.
I checked into somewhere in the middle -- an Ocean View Pool Villa with about 240m² in size. Its design is inspired by Thai culture from the pointy rooftop, wooden door and lock, weathered earthen jars, lotus in a bowl on the desk down to the lemongrass-scented soap. It felt like a little sanctuary with 96m² housing an air-conditioned bedroom and bathroom, while the large deck features a sea-facing private infinity pool and outdoor shower.
The partition above the bed can be opened to merge the bedroom and bathroom to appear even more spacious. And, as you would come to expect of a proper villa, its rectangular bathroom isn't perfunctory but a space where you can linger. You can luxuriate in a big bathtub while enjoying the garden view.
I didn't have to mind prying eyes during my skinny dipping sesh (TMI?) as each unit is strategically positioned to ensure privacy with lush surroundings on all sides and in a way that guests can enjoy the view of the surrounding tropical forest, the beach down below and the sunset on the horizon, from their private pool. If I have to nitpick, the 10-metre pool isn't deep enough for a canon ball.
The huge property may take some time to get used to but don't worry as you are transported to various facilities by just a phone call. Two restaurants, concierge centre, gift/souvenir shop and the common 45m saltwater pool are grouped together in the same spot next to the private beach.
You will want to get up early to enjoy breakfast buffet at the all-day dining Seafood restaurant, which begins at 6.30am. While you can walk around to assemble a meal from an international array of food on offer, you can also order from the breakfast menu with a list of choices that rivals that of a cafe. I'm talking the likes of pan-fried salmon served on a bed of spinach, French toast and egg burrito. The bonus is that you don't have to arrange your food to be Instagram-ready as they've already done the job for you. You can enjoy them with organic coffee, Ronnefeldt teas or homemade Thai herbal teas.
Do stop by for dinner if you fancy Thai favourites, as well as local flavours. Sautéed Phuket lobster with turmeric and herbs is definitely worth getting your tongue numb for. The restaurant also hosts Sunday brunch with various packages to choose from at a starting price of B2,600++ per person for food only. Though it is from 11.30am-3.30pm, you may want to show up at noon or a bit later as that's when things are in full swing. Bingeing options include made-to-order pasta or risotto, sushi, seafood on ice, pad Thai, burgers and barbecue. A local jazz band will serenade you, as well.
The other F&B highlight is PRU, where chef de cuisine Jim Ophorst elevates the Phuket dining scene with his farm-to-table concept. He sources ingredients from Trisara's farm and local suppliers to create multiple-course dinners. Judging from what I tried, I won't be too surprised if PRU got a star or some recognition in the Michelin GuideBangkok, Phuket, and Phangnga 2019, to be published later this year.
With all this talk about food, you may wonder about options to stay fit. Not many resorts can stake claim to a private beach but Trisara can rightfully do so. Its sandy stretch is flanked on both sides with land, like a mini bay and you can see Koh Waew on the horizon. Enjoy non-motorised watersports like kayaking and paddleboarding for free or have a photo op at the rock formation (well, posing can be tiring). If you want to leave it to the pros to capture your best moments, DDEN studio is on hand. Its service starts from 30-minute snapping sesh with 30+ photos for B5,000. If you want to sweat for real, there's a well-equipped fitness centre, as well as Muay Thai and yoga classes available. At the end of a long day, you can bliss out in one of private treatment suites at Jara Spa.
Ocean View Pool Villa.
Sautéed Phuket lobster with turmeric and herbs.
Trisara's is far away from all the action in Patong or Phuket Town but transport can be arranged, if that's your thing. Several snorkelling spots, stand-alone restaurants, quiet beaches and even two complexes with shops and restaurants namely Canal Village and Boat Avenue, are a short drive away. Should you want to explore nearby islands and bays, a yacht cruise can be arranged for half-day or full-day exploration.
With many facilities and activities, Trisara best serves those who prefer staying in and spending time with friends and fam. Though, a memorable stay and great service doesn't come cheap.
Trisara, Moo 6, Srisoonthorn Road, Cherngtalay, Thalang / email@example.com, 076-683-320-6, http://trisara.com / Various packages are available, ranging from romantic getaway for three nights until Oct 31 to a seven-night stay with 40% off until Apr 30, 2019.