“Stylish, secluded villa and spa resort on a quiet stretch of the Andaman coast, worlds away from Phuket’s party crowds”
The 79 rooms, suites and villas are simply decorated in creams, beiges and browns with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors leading to your high-walled and very private outside space. Clean lines are accented with geometric floor tiles and low-key wall sculptures, and beautiful chandelier lights dangle from high ceilings. Bathrooms are open-air and include a giant oval bath and generous shower with lemongrass toiletries; there is a scent menu at reception if you want to swap to another fragrance.
The real highlight of our Garden Pool Villa was the private lap pool in the small garden - it meant no organising of bags, towels, books or suncreams to take poolside, and even a swimming costume wasn’t strictly necessary. All rooms except Deluxe Balconies have a private pool, and it really is worth splashing out the extra for that ultimate luxury. One advantage of the balcony rooms, though, is that the alfresco bathrooms are a little more sheltered, so would suit those less keen on fresh-air ablutions.
The 1- and 2-bedroom villas have a living room in addition to their bedroom, and the Presidential Pool Villa Suite comes with 2 living rooms and an enormous 38sq.m private pool. However, our favourite room type was the Sala Pool Villa, which felt enormous and super-private, with slightly more colourful décor.
Nice touches included tropical fruit on arrival, a beach bag and mat, and 2 large umbrellas for rainy days. The only drawback was a noisy air-conditioning unit in the garden, which occasionally interrupted our starlit baths.
Kick off your day with breakfast at the poolside restaurant: fruit, homemade yoghurt and little jars of muesli from the buffet or go a la carte for eggs, bacon, waffles and pancakes. My surprise favourite was Jouk Pla - wholesome rice porridge with chunks of fish, served with a condiment tray of spices and an unsweetened doughnut.
The same restaurant, which has a great outside deck, opens for lunch and dinner daily. It serves a wide range of Western and Thai food, with seafood and fish being particularly good and freshly made pizzas at lunchtimes. I loved the rich, sweet crab yellow curry and the sensational desserts - try the mango sticky rice or a bourbon milkshake, made with coconut and vanilla bean ice cream and served in a dinky milk bottle. For a special evening, book a table on the softly lit roof terrace (only open in High Season).
There’s room service 24 hours a day at Sala Phuket, but if you fancy a change of scene, head 5km north to Jakkajan, a beach-front restaurant. It's no-frills dining on bamboo benches under a palm-leaf roof but the location is stunning and the menu delicious. The star dishes are the fish and seafood made with the day’s fresh catch - everything from red and white snapper to squid and crab. We'd recommend a whole fish, steamed, grilled or fried and one of the spicy fresh salads, washed down with fresh coconut juice. You can walk there along the beach, or take a 10-minute taxi.
Families are welcome and there were children of varying ages when we visited, but this isn’t somewhere that kids can really run riot. The atmosphere is quiet and relaxed, with a fairly grown-up vibe. Children aged 0-4 stay for free and there is a supplement cost for older children.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years)
All rooms can fit a baby cot, and the larger rooms have a single sofabed. 2-Bedroom villas can be set up as doubles or twins
Available on request
Baby cots and high chairs available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking