The Pearl of the Andaman, it was Phuket’s natural beauty that first attracted tourists to what has become one of the top travel destinations, not only in Thailand, but the world. Today, Phuket has also become a luxury traveler’s haven for vacationers looking for a higher-end experience.

Thailand has long had the picture-postcard appeal of the barefoot-in-the-sand luxury of a paradise scene. However, alongside this natural allure Phuket also promises a memorable stay in style for those looking for an impressive villa holiday rental and some decidedly upscale rest & relaxation.

This focus on the luxurious tourist market is set to continue with news reports revealing that there is a tourism drive in this direction. We’ve recently seen a rise in the number of elite clientele requesting to stay in Cape Yamu, on Phuket’s east coast, where some of the most luxurious hotels, resorts, and private villas are on offer.


A Luxury Retreat Destination

Phuket’s popularity has been its blessing as it is now home to some of the finest restaurants in Thailand and beyond, spectacular spa sanctuaries, and a whole menu of tempting leisure pursuits. Beachfront or in the hills with stunning vistas, Phuket boasts the crème de la crème of luxury villa rentals which afford privacy and their own special retreat ambiance, complete with state-of-the-art facilities, outstanding design, and in-villa services such as private chefs. After all, where you stay defines your vacation experience, no matter what you do whilst you are in Phuket.

Phuket may have once had the image of a backpacker haven, but it has grown-up and glammed-up, and villas with the wow factor as well as luxury hotels & resorts are a million miles away from this fast-fading image of Thailand. With a general push in Thailand to attract more discerning travelers the luxury market is opening up and Phuket is leading the way.


Star Appeal

With its world-class luxury vibe of gorgeous beaches and Andaman adventures during the day and evenings of fine dining, Phuket has become a celebrity favorite too. Phuket has rolled the red carpet out to some high-profile A-listers, from the Kardashian clan to Rihanna, Beyonce and Jay-Z, and supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell to name a few.

Phuket’s natural good looks have made it a perfect set for some renowned movies too. The Beach with Leonardo di Caprio included scenes filmed in Phuket with breathtaking shots at Maya Bay on the nearby island of Phi Phi too. The Man with the Golden Gun included scenes shot in Phuket’s Phang Nga Bay, with Koh Tapu now referred to as James Bond Island. Even Bridget Jones and Star Wars have felt the force of Phuket’s charms.


Beach Life Luxury Style

A day at the beach no longer involves a simple lounger or a towel thrown on the sand. Those that do manage to pull themselves away from their villa’s private infinity pool can experience a whole new world of beach lounging. Phuket has several beach clubs offering comfort and class right by the shore, from wonderful cabanas to gourmet menus, as well as attracting some of the best nightlife with renowned DJs and performers.

At recently opened Dream Beach, right by the white sands of Layan Beach, on Phuket’s west coast, the atmosphere is stylish and upmarket, as well as being a popular for Sunday brunch. The latest beach club on the luxury block is another west-coast beauty, HQ Beach Lounge on Kamala Beach, opened in July 2016 and it is chic, contemporary, and sophisticated.

For those looking for beach-style glamor, Bliss with its beanbags and beachfront lawn on Bangtao Beach in the West is another high-end beach club. On the same stretch of sand, XANA Beach Club with Attica promises VIP cabanas for up to 10, as well as big day beds on the sands and a wonderful 36-meter pool. Kata Beach, a busier western beach in Phuket, presents RE KÁ TA, where luxury vacationers can relax by the beach, has a surf school, cold towels for guests by the pool, and valet parking.


Upmarket Expeditions

The Andaman Sea beckons all visitors to explore close to the water, on the water, and also under the water. What tempts the luxury vacationer is Phuket’s fantastic choice of private and chartered yacht and cruise services. With a rich array of dive and snorkel spots ij the region, spending a day island hopping or cruising out to sea away from the shoreline and discovering the delights of Phang Nga Bay can be a rewarding experience.

From excursions on multi-million dollar yachts and unique sea plane adventures; from big game fishing cruisers to intimate sunset dinners aboard a luxury catamaran, Phuket caters for the luxury vacationer with unforgettable experiences to really cherish forever.


Gourmet Dining and Spa Luxury

Without doubt, no luxury vacation in Phuket is complete without a fine-dining feast and a spa treatment to inspire wellbeing. Phuket’s many high-end restaurants put this area of Thailand on the culinary map and not only are the menus magnificent, but the service is sublime and the locations are incredible.

Scrubs, body-wraps and aromatherapy massages are the perfect add-on to complete a journey of holiday wellbeing.


Phuket’s Fine Artistic Style

The artistic temperament of Phuket has upped the tempo in recent times with some wonderful upscale boutiques, particularly in Old Town Phuket. These attract the attention of shoppers looking for a unique gift or souvenir such as high-quality Asian arts.

Upmarket retailers in Phuket do not offer a huge choice of big-brand names, but they do showcase diverse and interesting collections of art, fashion, and homewares. Since Phuket has a rich Sino-Portuguese heritage, the influence of different communities, as reflected in the architecture in the old town, attracts artistically minded culture vultures too.

Fine Orient is the place for vintage and reproduction Chinese furniture, Intentio, by the marina, attracts top Asian designers retailing mainly home décor ranges, and Ban Boran Textiles sells clothes and wall hangings woven from silk and fine Thai cotton, as well as delicate silver jewelry which the hill tribes of North Thailand are famous for.


Featured image: Villa Amarapura, Cape Yamu, Phuket