Sun-drenched beaches and pristine soft sands set the tone for relaxation in Phuket. Escape the backpackers and bustling streets of Patpong Beach. Dig a little deeper and you’ll discover your own beach paradise. At SALA Phuket, there’s nothing to do but slow down the pace and immerse yourself in a world of tranquillity and indulgence – Thai style.
SALA Hospitality Group is a renowned homegrown Thai brand that owns and operates luxury beach resorts and boutiques in Thailand, setting the standards for Thai hospitality and becoming an icon for modern designs, luxury, all while maintaining the Thai heritage of the brand.
Located just 20 minutes away from the airport, tucked along the quiet and calming Mai Khao Beach within Sirinath National Park, offering peace and tranquillity away from the hagglers and loud jet-ski sports. SALA Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort’s ideal location to and from the airport makes it convenient for those looking to rent a car and explore on their own terms like we did.
Is there a best time to go?
Phuket is warm all year round with January and February being by far the most popular months to visit as the weather is dry, the skies clear and the seas calm, perfect for swimming, snorkelling or diving. From May to October, expect to see regular short lasting rainfall and April is the hottest month – it also features the most exciting water Songkran Festival for Thai New Year!
SALA Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort facilities
Checking in was an efficient and pleasant experience, the reception is located outdoors next to the calming water display where we were greeted by warm smiles and a traditional Thai welcoming flower bracelet.
The super contemporary and minimalist architecture of the SALA Phuket offers a total of 79 rooms, radiating an intimate atmosphere compared to its larger hotel-chain neighbours, meaning guests are spoilt for choice with an extensive list of facilities and amenities within the resort. Whether you want to swim laps or just relax with a cocktail, you can choose from Sala’s three pools. A gorgeous, sea-facing main pool, which is sunk into the green lawn and positioned just a stones-throw from the beach. Or there’s also a 30 metre lap pool and a shallow little oasis for children. In addition, there’s a five room spa and a fully equipped fitness area.
Being situated within a national park you will get to immerse yourself within nature’s surroundings, stimulating all your senses. The property is rich in animal life and fauna, hearing the lullaby of noises from the abundances of animals, seeing cranes walk elegantly by across the perfectly groom lawn, and smell the beautiful flowers and orchids dotted throughout filling the air. However, what impressed me most was how well the property interconnects with nature, as the buildings are built around the ancient trees, maintaining the natural state of the land.
Being so close to nature you might be worried of the annoying mosquitos. While being in a tropical country you cannot avoid them forever, so the hotel has implemented a daily fumigation spray to keep these pests at bay.
Our room – SALA Pool Villa (66)
We stayed in the SALA Pool Villa (no. 66), designed using influences from Phuket’s historical ‘Sino-Portuguese’ style which offers a swirl of textiles, natural pastel tones, inviting cushions and sliding doors. The high ceiling creates a larger feel of the room, with such an abundance of space and natural lighting from the rooms open plan layout and floor to ceiling glass doors. The main attraction of our room is the shimmering private swimming pool, at 10 meters in length you can swim laps at anytime of the day or at night when it is fabulously lit. The pool area features twin sun loungers and lush tropical gardens.
The bathroom was located outdoors with a large mirror reflecting the inviting turquoise pool behind. The alfresco bathroom offers two separate sinks and an encompassing free-standing bathtub that is fit for a five star spa. The toilet and shower are also outdoors which was a unique surprise, but do not worry as there are large floor to ceiling curtains that provide the privacy needed. Shower toiletries are made from Thai ingredients such as refreshing lemon grass, and there is a scent menu at reception if you want to swap to another fragrance.
Small touches include a card that tells you about the next day’s weather forecast, forward-thinking and with our comfort as the main priority. Being a Thai brand, the local traditions, culture and spirituality run through the veins of this hotel, offering guests calming crystals of the land via necklace for good luck and prosperity. The room also provides adorable beach bags, slippers and a traditional Thai weaver mat, the much needed items to enjoy a relaxing picnic on the groomed lawn or on the sandy beach watching the sunset.
The SALA Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort dining experience
Breakfast was definitely a highlight, offering two complimentary options from the al a carte menu per person and at only 150 THB (around £3) more per dish after. If that has yet to satisfy your breakfast appetite, there is the breakfast buffet offering all the international classics and Thai options. Set in the pool side SALA Restaurant, we suggest sitting by the pools taking in the fresh sea breeze and view of the sprawling pool area and ocean.
What we recommend from the al carte menu is to have both savoury and sweet, my favourite was ‘Jouk Pla’ – a traditional Thai breakfast consisting of wholesome rice porridge with chunks of fish, served with a tray of condiments and spices or trying the mango pancakes using local mangos. Whatever room left, head straight to the air-conditioned buffet room for a fresh selection of exotic fruits, pastries, Thai noodles, an egg station and more.
Dinner at Sala Restaurant
The same restaurant opens for lunch and dinner daily, serving a wide range of Western and Thai cuisine, with a focus on seafood and fish using local produce. During the evening this relaxed space is turned into an intimate venue that offers live music as the sun sets, creating an ambiance that was superb and romantic.
Awarded by the prestigious Tatler Thailand as one of the best restaurants of 2020, we were in for a real treat. Starting with a classic Tom Yum Goong, a traditional seaside dish using white sea prawns and water mushrooms in a rich and spicy prawn broth, infused with lemongrass, galangal kaffir lime leaf and chilli paste. Next, we had the fresh local Phuket lobster. What makes this more unique and impressive compared to other lobster species is the thin shell, which gives the Phuket lobster more meat. Cooked over a grill, the meat was very rich and sweet, served whole and accompanied with a spicy ‘Nam Jim’ seafood sauce.
Why SALA Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort is special
SALA Phuket radiates a feeling of modern luxury without the snootiness, with an emphasis on healthy relaxation while being surrounded by Phuket’s beautiful scenery and fauna. We were simply lost in the beauty of the property and the sound of therapeutic sea waves.
To discover more, visit: salahospitality.com/phuket
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Things to do near SALA Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort
Luxury shopping at Central Floresta shopping mall
Dubbed as Phuket’s ‘shopping paradise,’ the Central Festival & Central Floresta shopping mall have almost everything you want and need. This shopping haven features over a hundred shopping outlets and brands that sell a variety of different items from clothing, books, electronics, supplies, toys, souvenirs, edibles, and even accessories. In addition to featuring a range of high end brand boutiques such as Hermes, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Versace, Saint Laurent, Calvin Klein and many more! Beautifully complimented by a range of upmarket restaurants featuring a delectable range of Thai & international cuisine.
Phuket old town
The Phuket old town is also known as the Phuket China town. Ancient Chinese merchants brought back the European architectural style they admired to Thailand and create the picturesque historical quarter of Phuket Town where you’ll find beautiful old buildings, museums, boutique shops and a thriving night market. The only thing that might deter you from walking is the weather in Phuket, which could get pretty hot, we recommend to go at around 4pm, the sun isn’t as strong and it’s fine to walk outside.
The Phuket Big Buddha
The Phuket Big Buddha is a 45-metre-tall white marble statue visible from anywhere in the southern part of Phuket. This impressive landmark is definitely a ‘Must-Do in Phuket’ this awe-inspiring statue is a symbol of Thailand’s deep religious culture of Buddhism, and is truly a breath-taking site. The striking panoramic views from up there is also another key reason you need to visit! You will get a stunning bird-eye views of the three large bays from up there, facing the statue is Chalong Bay, and beyond it, you will even see Phang Nga Bay!
All imagery courtesy of SALA Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort.