Phuket Is Still a Hidden Gem at Trisara
February 28, 2019 by Allison Reiber DiLiegro
Set on 35 acres of tropical gardens and jungle, Trisara’s slice of Phuket is still a hidden gem. The forest is a well-tamed tangle of bamboo, banana trees and frangipani. Walkways wind down the hillside, past ponds of water lilies. At the end of the path comes the beach, a white-sand wonder. Remarkably, all this beauty is a 15-minute drive from the airport.
All beaches in Thailand are public by law, so a little natural intervention is required for a beach to feel private. Trisara’s beach is one of those gifts: a secluded cove framed by jungle at one end and rocks on the other. The beach is a long stretch of sun-warmed sand, shady trees and plush private cabanas. A cool 150-foot pool runs along the waterfront and a floating pier leads to the perfect place to jump into the Andaman. The water is so clear, you’ll see the technicolor fish before you put on your mask and snorkel. When you turn and look back at the resort – maybe from the floating swim dock, stocked with a cooler of cold water bottles – the tops of villas just pierce through the jungle. It’s every bit the hidden paradise Phuket once was.
The 60 ocean-facing villas and private residences are freestanding, each with a sizeable private pool and ocean views from the living room, bedroom and terrace. Scattered among the foliage, they’re some of the most private accommodations on the island. The decor is sophisticated and elegant, with the beiges and golds of a chic private home. Bowls of local flowers, like orchids and lotus flowers, bring Thailand inside.
The Ocean View Pool Junior Suites and the Signature Ocean View Pool Suites are set higher on the resort for stunning sea views. When the sun sets, there’s no better place to sip a cocktail from your well-stocked private bar. Guests will need a buggy to get to the beach (the wait is never more than five minutes), but the spa is a short stroll away.
The one- and two-bedroom Ocean Front Pool Villas are the most popular villas at Trisara, just eight meters above the beach. While the location is more central, expert landscaping ensures total privacy.
For guests seeking more space, options abound. There are two- to seven-bedroom private residences scattered throughout the property. The residences offer sprawling space and fully-equipped kitchens, where in-residence cooks prepare Thai and Western meals.
Guests come from all over Phuket to dine at Pru, the only Michelin-starred restaurant on the island. The chef behind the star is Jimmy Ophorst, a Dutch transplant inspired by the island’s unique history and terroir. Chef Ophorst uses ingredients from Trisara’s own farm to craft seasonal tasting menus that marry Western styles with Thai ingredients.
For those seeking an idyllic island dinner, there’s Seafood. The menu is inspired by homemade southern Thai recipes, taking full advantage of the local catch. The set menus are a family-style extravaganza of dishes like tiger prawns, herbaceous salads, sauteed lobster and crab with yellow curry. Dine on the terrace – particularly romantic at sunset – or on the beach with your feet in the sand.
During the day, order tapas to your lounge chair or settle in for lunch at The Deck. The all-day menu serves local Thai and international dishes alongside fresh coconuts, Thai beer and Provençal rosé. For something extra special, the restaurant can arrange an omakase-style sushi lunch with fish flown in from Hokkaido.
As the largest island in Thailand, there is real culture to explore on Phuket. Phuket Town is home to colorful Sino-Portuguese architecture from the island’s days as a tin-mining hub. Set out with a guide to taste four dishes in locals-only restaurants and explore the architectural gems of old town.
For something more serene than city life, visit the local monastery to practice the custom of “making merit” and chanting with the monks. On the way back, visit the Trisara farm to ride bicycles and explore the nature reserve with a guide. Finish with a farm-fresh lunch made with organic vegetables, herbs and exotic fruits.
Young children will be happy at the kids’ club, with activities like Batik painting, soapmaking, Thai boxing and coconut bowling. For teenagers, the water sports team can arrange windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, stand-up paddle boarding and more. To explore further afield, book a boat trip to the nearby Phi Phi islands for some of the best snorkeling in the Andaman Sea.
Of course, never leaving is another option. The Jara Spa is a compelling reason to stay – it’s consistently voted among the best spas in Thailand (a country of many spas). Highly skilled therapists perform a curated list of treatments, many of which are rooted in traditional Thai healing. Highlights include the Jara oil massage, Sukhothai massage and Sodashi facials. For something extraordinary, the six-handed Royal Trisara massage is a true indulgence.
Trisara is an easy 15-minute drive from Phuket International Airport. With direct flights to Phuket from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ho Chi Minh City, Siem Reap, Hong Kong and more, it’s an idyllic end to a trip through Asia. For travelers seeking some serious beach time, Trisara is well worth a trip of its own.
60/1 Moo 6, Srisoonthorn Road
Cherngtalay, Thalang, Phuket 83110
Telephone: +66 76 683320-6 4