Rosewood Phuket is one of the most indulgent, eco friendly luxury resorts in South East Asia.
Within the luxury hotel world, the most common challenge talked about behind the scenes in the consulting world is achieving the wow moment for guests. This is when a staff member manages to anticipate a guest’s needs or surprise a guest – and create an extraordinary, often memorable, wow moment.
During a recent villa stay at Rosewood Phuket, the wow moments, just kept coming making the entire stay at this beachside beauty one of absolute luxury, indulgence and fun.
The very fact this five star Rosewood hotel is indulgent AND eco-friendly is a wow in itself. Much of the construction costs went into very detailed and revolutionary environmentally friendly aspects of the hotel which ensure it is as sustainable as possible on every level.
Many seasoned luxury hotel gurus say it is the most sustainably built resort in South East Asia.
The architecture and interiors at Rosewood Phuket are modern, elegant, global and yet classic. I love Thailand and I love South East Asia, but it was a pleasant surprise to stay somewhere distinctly Western in feel in many ways.
The design, architecture and interiors take South East Asian five star luxury pool villa accommodation to a new level. – and one would hope so given this is one of the most expensive resorts ever built in Phuket. It shows.
Staff are impeccably trained. This is the sort of luxury resort where you can literally decide not to see anyone at all during your stay or to chat with other guests if they are open to it.
Food and beverage outlets as well as the wellness elements are well spaced out, so you never feel crowded by buildings or by people.
Staff are mindful to treat all guests like royalty, and there is no sharing of buggies, tables or even lounge seats unless you ask. They assume all guests want privacy and priority.
But this five star luxury resort is not just for grown ups- there is a kids club, kids menus and a fabulous family friendly policy to boot.
Access to the ocean is simply through a gate in the site’s white picket fence, and elephants can be heard roaring in the distance from the nearby Elephant Sanctuary during the afternoons, a pleasant reminder this is Thailand. I can only imagine how excited young children would feel hearing the same elephant calls.
The acute attention to detail is what blew me away at Rosewood Phuket – a real challenge in this part of the world.
Whether it was the elegant white fresh flowers on the arrivals table, the oversized cashews at the bar, Shack, which were quietly topped up without me even noticing, or the quality of food and drinks in the mini bar (always on a hotel reviewer’s radar as a sign of a hotel’s credibility), or the bath products which were clearly high quality despite no longer being branded and single use due to sustainability concerns.
Or the quality of the sheets and pillows, the leather jewellery bowl placed on my bedside table for my most precious items, the buggy arriving at my door before I had even rung for it to take me to morning yoga, and the brown paper bag of delicious power balls and bars given to me the second day when the staff heard I was going for a long beach walk.
I felt spoilt and cared for multiple times every day of my stay.
Overall Rating: 10/10
The Location 10/10
The property is huge, and runs about 600m along sparkling Tri Trang beach, overlooking Emerald Bay, officially called the Andaman sea on the South West of Phuket. The waters are calm and clean and the sand glows a dusty white. Many of the 71 villas overlook the ocean with full or partial views. The drive from the aorta is about 75 minutes, and the location is very isolated – and quiet.
The majority of the architecture feels a lot more Western than Eastern, particularly the interiors of the villas. The environmentally friendly sustainable practises include the largest solar energy system in Phuket, gardens on the rooves of the villas to cool them down naturally, there is rain water harvesting, a coral reef restoration program, minimal single use plastic and retractable glass panels.
Service & Facilities: 10/10
Staff are helpful, kind, professional and on the ball. Due to the size of the resort and the heat, staff are continually called on by guests throughout the day and night to shuttle them from location to location in the buggies -and despite the size of the resort, somehow they are always quick, efficient, and happy.
Each villa has its own pool, but there is also a freeform pool flowing throughout the resort which makes for striking photos, and is a joy for young children to explore.
This is the type of luxury property where you can make your stay as focused on wellness as much as you like – or not.
The state of the art Fitness Centre has the latest Techno equipment, and enough weights to get by. It is staffed from 6am, and surrounded by green foliage. Yoga is complimentary for all guests and takes place each morning at 8am in a purpose built pavilion surrounded by the sounds and fresh air from the ocean and lush green foliage. It is the ultimate in yoga locations.
The exceptional Asaya spa is a destination all of its own within the Rosewood Phuket resort foot print. Located off the entry driveway, it has towering private blonde wooded sanctuary like structures to sit in a pre and post treatment, and flowing ferns and other green vegetation blowing in the wind to instantly transport you into your wellness journey connected with and at one with nature, and your therapist.
The interior entry area has a modern, fresh apocathary feel, with a marble countertop and an array of coloured bottles overhead, just a genius way to begin any treatment,
The Phuket Mantra treatment I had is a signature of the Asaya spa and included a sound healing introduction, a long, slow, gentle body scrub that left my skin smoother than ever as well as a firm massage interspersed with hot rocks on the skin, and then a stretch. Its as pure bliss and it rained throughout the entire treatment, and the heavens closed when it was over. A wow moment from the universe at Rosewood Phuket for me.
A ginger tea to finish sitting in the gorgeous blonde, wooded pergolas was a beautiful end to an extraordinary act of self indulgence thanks to my therapist.
The Asaya spa is absolutely exceptional, bringing world class wellness to Phuket with extraordinary treatments in flawless surrounds which elevate the wellness experience.
The Rooms: 10/10
My one bedroom partial ocean view villa at Rosewood Phuket was so intoxicating and inviting, I barely left it during my 3 day stay – not withstanding I was a solo traveller. It was just so easy to laze around in the lap of luxury moving from the floodlit, elegantly pastel hued lounge and sparkling white marble filled kitchen to the sprawling day bed outside, then sliding into the pool to cool down for a swim, then out again to simply start over.
Mini bars can say a lot about a property and the level of attention to detail – and Rosewood Phuket steps up here too.
There are bottled cocktails including the famous Negroni from the Sydney based Everleigh bottling company sitting in the rooms waiting for the right moment, complete with cocktail equipment and the local XXX spirit.. Each villa has is own coffee machine, and an elegant demi bottle of Laurent Perrier is on hand.
One of the many great things about the villas at Rosewood Phuket is they are free standing which awards a sense of privacy and peacefulness often missed in luxury hotel designs where shared walls and close quarters mean you can sometimes share your neighbour’s holiday highlights with them unintentionally.
Food & Drink: 10/10
Italian Chef Luca De Negri is super passionate about food, and goes to extraordinary lengths to forage for food in Phuket that is not only fresh and local but nutritious. He has found a local French woman making vegan cheeses, a local fish farm pioneering new methods of fish farming, and his breakfast menu is the most experimental, creative – and delicious I have seen in any hotel in South East Asia.
The breakfast menu includes home made raw nut milk, elixir shots, home made protein bars and power balls, scrambled eggs, oscietra caviar, parmesan and truffle sitting stylishly in egg shells.
There is an entire section devoted to plant based options, including turmeric laced cauliflower with sesame seeds and oat ( my favourite), miso soup and a huge list of Thai local dishes too. You could eat breakfast here for a long time without getting bored – or unhealthy.
Red Sauce is the Italian restaurant which is bursting with fresh, clean tasty and high quality Italian food choices that make dining out on Italian in Phuket exciting.
There are mouth watering wood fired pizzas, such as 4 Stagioni; tomato, mushrooms, cooked ham, artichokes and taggiasca olives. “Khunta Farm” Beef tartare with creamy mozzarella, red onion and basil. Confit duck leg with green peas, mint, baby gem lettuce, and pancetta. A highlight is the delicate eco aqua culture grouper carpaccio with citrino olive oil, pickled beetroot and mint.
Cocktails are also made well, and the ginger Negroni.
Who Is Behind It:
Insider Knowledge: You are easily able to embark on your own wellness journey here at Rosewood Phuket with the best nutritional food at every meal and extraordinary body offerings at the spa.
Who should Stay here: This is the ultimate indulgence for a couple, family or friends.
Who shouldn’t Stay here: I can’t think of anyone who would not love it.
Location: Around 75 minutes from Phuket airport.
Best culinary delight: The dark chocolate ice cream – wow.
The Highlight: The room – simple sitting on the plush couch looking out at the pool. Bliss.
The lowlight: If only South East Asia had no mosquitos!