Words by Melissa Richter
Few things are as alluring as tropical island holiday, and the stunningly elegant InterContinental Phuket Resort is in a class all by itself.
Nestled on the pristine shores and shimmering aquamarine waters of Kamala beach, this family-friendly property offers the ultimate in South-East Asian escapism. Initially opened in 2019, it is one of the most stunning resorts in Phuket as it hugs both the limestone cliffs on the mountainside as well as the alluring Andaman Sea.
The property defies expectations by managing to aptly balance the tranquil serenity of nature with its almost ‘tourist-attraction’ architectural features; such as the omnipresent white marble swan pavilion that looks like a Buddhist temple, and the playful art tunnel that connects the beach and mountainsides of the resort while showcasing murals painted by local artists on the walls.
Whether strolling along the beach, exploring the lush gardens with its reflective glass tiles, or wandering along the tropical lagoon that meanders throughout the courtyard; it seems as if everywhere you turn there are a plethora of spots that are tailor-made for picture-perfect selfies or group photo ops.
General manager Bjorn Courage said: “This is one of the most photogenic locations on the island, I believe we offer something for everyone.”
The hotel inventory includes a selection of 221 rooms, suites, and villas that boast ocean, pool, mountain, or garden views. Each room is meticulously decorated with an eye for contemporary design inspired Thai elements and mother nature.
I checked into the Club InterContinental ocean view room, which did not disappoint. It is bright and airy with a colour palate awash in soothing earth tones of gold, ochre, seafoam and white. The spacious room showcases a luxurious washroom with separate soaking tub, rain shower, elegant white marble countertops and signature toiletries from Thailand’s award-winning HARNN brand that is renowned for their locally sourced botanicals and oils.
The balcony offers a wonderful vantage point for watching one of Phuket’s famous sunsets, and what you may lack in privacy is adequately tempered with the view of both the ocean and infinity pool below. The room includes daily breakfast and full access to the Club InterContinental lounge which has complimentary afternoon tea and evening cocktails and canapes.
World-class dining is par for the course, and the hotel boasts three stunning venues for your dining pleasure. Enjoy all-day dining at the rustic marketplace-inspired Pinto with its teppan grill and tasty menu of Asian and Western fare featuring fresh vegetables and herbs grown in their onsite garden.
Alternatively, Pine is the quintessential spot for enjoying casual dining while literally feeling the sand between your toes. Located directly on Kamala beach, there’s no better place to enjoy the surf or watch the sunset with a cocktail in your hand. I recommend their artisan gin and tonics made from locally produced spirits such as Chalong Bay or Kristall. The homemade gelato is another must-try along with their healthy salads, fresh seafood and made to order pizzas fired in a wood-burning oven. It has a thick, yet crispy and chewy crust that is the perfect vehicle for your choice of fresh toppings.
Fine dining is another option at their beachside restaurant, Jara. They serve classic Thai fare with a contemporary twist. My favourite dish was the evocative ‘yum som o goong yang’ which is a bright pomelo salad served in a perfectly grilled Andaman prawn. The bright and colourful ‘mieng kana an-chan’ made with kale, butterfly pea flowers are exceptional and their signature Massaman curry with slow-cooked goat is a rich, creamy and herbaceous delight that you won’t soon forget.
Spa and activities
You’ll never experience a dull moment while visiting as the hotel has three swimming pools, a tennis court, fitness centre and the world-class Sati Spa and Wellness which highlights unique signature spa treatments inspired by nature and venerated local traditions. If you don’t mind getting up early, they even offer complimentary classes such as yoga, kickboxing, and meditation on the beach. Off-site excursions include exploring the Sino-Portuguese architecture of Phuket town, hiking, trekking, visiting Buddhist temples or a plethora of water activities such as fishing and diving.
Getting there: The InterContinental Phuket Resort is just 16 km from the Phuket Airport.
Follow Melissa’s adventures at instagram.com/foodfiens2020