The Pavilions, Adults-Only Resort, Phuket, Thailand - The Yum List
Food and luxury travel – Malaysia and the world
The Pavilions, Adults-Only Resort, Phuket, Thailand
One of the highest points in Phuket holds the island’s most secluded and romantic resort, The Pavilions. This adults-only property promises a fun and intimate experience for all guests and it’s one of those rare spots that has it all: quality food and beverage; ravishing spa treatments; expansive accommodations; frolicsome design; and glorious natural beauty. Highly recommended for couples, The Pavilions Phuket is an ideal location for a naughty weekend or amorous week away with your loved one.
The Pavilions Entrance
Spa and Pool Pavilions
A cable driven funicular brings us to our home for the next few days. Set in the terraced hillside is our Spa and Pool Pavilion. Formerly a rubber plantation and set high on the hill much of the original grounds have been preserved which means our views are of lush verdant palms leading down to the valley below and on to an unobstructed panorama of the deep blue mountains beyond.
Funicular to Spa and Pool Pavilions
The first thing we notice is the private infinity edged pool. Encased by green and shaded from prying eyes by a slanted canopy, the freedom of skinny-dipping crosses our minds more than once. Built for privacy, each pavilion promises a veiled sanctuary from the rest of the world allowing a true escape from the preoccupations of routine life.
Pool and Spa Pavilion
Besides the private pool, the personal spa room is a celebrated feature in this villa. Complete with a steam room and private courtyard it prompts us to review the treatment menu without delay. This is part of an opulent 275m2 of living space composed also of a living room, kitchenette, master bedroom, enormous bathroom with freestanding tub and rain-shower and, a sun sala (with the considerate touches of a fan and lights in the roof).
In Pavilion Spa Room
Contemporary furniture and trimmings are set atop a palette of black and red. Vivid splashes of colour provide cheery appeal with flower themed paintings and photos in every room, some even covering an entire wall. The wicked theme continues into the bathroom with a black floor, red tiled shower wall, black and red robes and other bits and bobs such as bath products all in motif. There are mirrors everywhere making the space appear even larger than its already generous expanse.
Lounge and Kitchen
Details in quality of fittings, accessories and thoughtfulness are ever so evident throughout the property. A mini-bar with a good variety of snacks and beverages including house made gourmet goodies such as chocolate-coated coffee beans and sun-dried fruit are no more expensive than what you’d find outside. A French press for coffee makes me happy and the reasonably priced wine in the fridge encourages a shriek of delight too.
Reasonably Priced Mini Bar
Scent diffusers placed around the villa disperse The Pavilions signature scent. It’s soft and sexy with hints of citrus and flower petals, so heavenly that I purchase a bottle from the gift store to take home with me. Additional niceties such as heart shaped notes from the turndown service, quotes about devotion and passion left on tabletops and even a pillow marked with the word “Lust,” all set the scene for an amorous stay.
The Pavilions Signature Scent – Gorgeous
Night Message at turn down service
And then there’s the ‘no fuss’ details that really make a difference. There’s a regular lock and key rather than those electronic cards that are often the bane of my existence. Even the system for the sliding door to get in and out is user friendly. The Internet connection too is without rigmarole. Just connect. No password. No username. The Pavilions feels like home.Although equipped with satellite television, complimentary Wi-Fi, SONOS sound system, an iPod docking station and, DVD player (with a large collection of movies for borrowing), the use of technology is far from our minds. The natural surrounds are so pleasant we’re intent on breathing as much fresh air as possible from the seclusion of our villa grounds.
View over the Pool and Spa Pavilions
Ocean View Pool Villas
While we hear the Spa and Pool Pavilions are the most popular with Asian guests, the newly renovated (currently completing the last row during our visit) Ocean View Pool Villas are the most sought after by Westerners. Lucky for us, we get to try out both!
Ocean View Pool Villa
Interiors and facilities are similar in both options, with slight differences in overall layout and views. The pool is slightly longer in the Ocean View Pool Villas and of course they have ‘ocean views.’ These do not contain the separate spa room as do the Spa and Pool Pavilions, but a mobile station is quickly set up by therapists in the spacious bathroom and wide window-lined hallway for treatments.
Ocean View Pool Villa Bathroom
Ocean View Pool Villa Bedroom
View from Bedroom Ocean View Pool Villa
Although the Ocean View Pool Villas are the most recently refurbished, the Spa and Pool Pavilions were completed not too long ago and are in exceptionally good condition. We do find the sight of the sea to be incredibly calming though, making these villas our personally preferred option just by a smidgeon.
Food and Beverage
Described as a “culinary Garden of Eden” designed to feed your passions, dining at The Pavilions is never boring. Dine out or dine in, the choice is all ours.
The path to 360° Bar and Grill is a short ascent up a bamboo-lined path. Reaching the highest point of The Pavilions we’re rewarded with a magical peak from which to ponder the wonders of nature. Coruscating skies and shimmering waters cast an almost hypnotic spell over us as the sun bids its final farewell to the day. We sip on stellar cocktails, or Love Potions as named in the menu and feel a good kick of alcohol. These are real beverages.
360 Degree Bar
Aussie chef Belinda Tuckwell heads the kitchens at The Pavilions Phuket and to the 360° Bar and Grill brings a good selection of Eastern and Western tapas and a compact grill menu. We indulge in some mouth filling bites and immediately fall in love with the sinfulness of the Murtabak – lamb shank stuffed and fried roti – and find the Soft Shelled Crab wrapped in Betal Leaves packs a punch with its wallop of addictive flavours. We’re more than happy to spend every evening here.
A reflection lake, organic garden and lush forest provide the backdrop for Eastland, The Pavilions latest food and beverage addition. During the day the lap pool is the place to chill by, dipping, sipping and lunching. Salads, cocktail and fresh lighting set the evening scene. Intimate dinners on the lawn surrounded by the dense tropical foliage inspire long lush evenings of indulgence. We visit during low season and the construction down the hill intrudes a little on the original attraction of the place. So at this time, the lengthy pool is great for getting in a few laps, but we make better use of the other dining locations at The Pavilions.
Colonial times galvanize the setting of The Plantation Club. Hard wood floors and linen clothed tables set a simple yet elegant ambience. Floor to ceiling folding glass doors line the boundaries gifting diners with an eye-full of flourishing tropical wilderness and lungs full of fresh hilltop breezes.
Again, we’re thrilled with the gourmand menu. Home-made granola, freshly baked bread and pastries, house made yoghurt and beautifully ripe tropical fruits provide a compact and high quality supporting buffet to the a al carte menu. Bubbly beverages, in-the-moment squeezed juices, smoothies, tea and coffee quench our thirst and, a mouth watering line up of brekkie choices make it difficult to select just one. But, that’s a self-imposed restraint. Chef Belinda herself mingles with the guests encouraging them to try numerous items, even bringing out some special seasonal produce as it arrives. Locally sourced organic passion fruit just happens to be in season on our visit and we’re both delighted we get to have some.
Afternoon Tea – complimentary daily for in house guests
The villas are so comfortable though that the Private Dining service is well used. The Pavilions’ BBQ in the Buff is a cheeky service where grill and everything you need to rustle up your own dinner is prepared (and cleaned afterwards) for you to wow your partner with your culinary skills, au naturel if you so choose. Neither of us delight in the idea of cooking on vacation so take the option of a personal chef firing up the barbie for us instead. Medium? Rare? A little more fish? Some more wine? Thanks chef, private butler and assistant. Decadence. Salivate over some photos of the Thai Seafood BBQ that we tried here.
In Villa Barbecue
The Pavilions Phuket provides complimentary transport to a clean, quiet beach with an area of day beds exclusively for resort guests. We’re in monsoon season so the surf is rugged and the shore weathered from the constant battering of waves. It’s stunning though. Lined with beach pines and benefiting from a cool ocean draft, the scene is pleasant and worthy of a few hours of occupation.
Beach Umbrellas for The Pavilions’ Guests
Villas are so well equipped and services are designed to maintain privacy and be taken in house that very little outside facilities are necessary. Buggies transfer guests to and from their villas to the food and beverage outlets and a luxury vehicle, when available, drops guests to the local Laguna area.
Buggy to get around the resort
There’s no need for a dedicated spa building as half of the villas have their own spa room, and the therapists are mobile, quickly setting up treatment beds in the other rooms as requested. The spa menu is absolute bliss and we suggest you sign up for a session on the very first day of your stay, as once you’ve experienced the professional touch of the highly skilled therapists you’ll want to schedule an appointment every day. Read about the glorious offerings here.
In Room Spa Treatment
Sad to leave and lamenting the fact that we’ve had our last spa indulgence for a while, we wave goodbye with much gratitude to our wonderful hosts at The Pavilions. But wait… it’s not over!Off our luxury vehicle rolls and we start looking at each other with whimsical looks of, “Is this really happening?” Not only are our chairs gently pounding our backs with in-built massage arms, but Neil Diamond’s “Love is in the Air,” hums from the stereo. The romance themed music selection continues until we’re set down at the airport. It’s testimony to the thoughtfulness and meticulous attention to detail that The Pavilions invests in, and cheesy as it may be, it puts a smile on our face, and, at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.
Far removed from the bustling business of the commercialized tourist strips, with personalized service, generously spacious and private villas, sublime spa treatments and, a kick-ass gourmet scene, The Pavilions Phuket is an oasis of calm, seclusion and divine indulgence.
Reasons to visit: fun design inspiring a naughty weekend away; splendid culinary destination; blissful in-villa spa treatments; huge luxury accommodations; peaceful property surrounded by nature and gorgeous hilltop views; good value rates in the low season; only half hour drive from the airport.