Thailand’s mountainous island of Phuket is known for its lively Patong Beach, where revellers party into the wee small hours. But Phuket is also a drawcard for architecture buffs, who come to see the Sino-Portuguese mansions of Old Phuket Town; or culture buffs, who admire the picturesque Buddhist temples; or nature buffs, who adore the stunning coastline and underwater wonders. And let’s not forget that sumptuous cuisine.
There are also havens of luxury where you can survey the Andaman Sea from your own private balcony, set foot on the sands of calming Karon Beach just steps from your door, and melt away your worries with a traditional Thai massage. Yes, we’re talking about Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach.
Surrounded by lush gardens and four gorgeous pools, the 5-star resort sits by the aquamarine waters of Karon Beach, in the island’s southwest, and caters to couples, families, business travellers and anyone else in need of a tropical getaway. It’s a 45-minute drive from Phuket International Airport. Patong is but a 10-minute tuk-tuk ride from the resort if you need a burst of busy-ness but you can retreat to one of its rooms, suites, residences or villas for a dose of Thai-inspired tranquillity. And then there are the restaurants, bars and spa treatments.
'Spoilt for choice' is an understatement here. Choose from 113 elegant villas – fancy an outdoor rainforest shower or a rooftop sundeck and private plunge pool? Or perhaps you’d prefer one of the 223 rooms and suites, with king beds, flat-screen TVs and chock-full mini bars. The Residences are two-bedroom apartments with kitchenettes, living rooms and huge balconies.
Dining & Bars
There are four restaurants and three bars to choose from. Pacifica offers international cuisine and themed dinners, and is known for its over-the-top buffet breakfast. The beachfront Mint restaurant and bar has share plates and cocktails; while Cafe Studio serves coffee, pastries and Movenpick ice cream.
Or check out the authentic churrasco at El Gaucho, and top Asian cuisine at OrientAsia. The Kinaree Bar comes alive at night with tapas and snacks; and live music and sundowners are the go at the Sand Bar. Chocolate lovers will rejoice at the complimentary daily Chocolate Happy Hour in the Lobby Lounge.
Eternally popular: Overindulge on Life in Phuket
In the know: Seasonal Airfare Guide to Phuket
Along with the restaurants and bars, guests will find four swimming pools, a well-equipped gym, and the Play Zone kids' club for little ones from four to 12 years old, featuring face painting, candle making, kids’ yoga and more. The spa boasts outdoor bathing pools and couple-friendly suites, with treatments ranging from massages to facials and wraps, and making revitalising use of aromatic oils.
Add to your culinary repertoire with Thai cooking classes at the hotel, then balance your gourmet indulgence with a Thai boxing class. Hotel staff can arrange water activities, including snorkelling and scuba diving, and if you want to head further afield, visit Patong Beach for its nightlife, Jungceylon Shopping Centre for some retail therapy; Old Phuket Town for historic buildings; Chalong Temple for some divine inspiration; and Promthep Cape for sunsets beyond compare.