Phuket is best known as a gateway to a myriad of Thai islands, being home to an *ahem* lively night-life and, let’s be honest, the James Bond Island.
But our recent visit to the blue sea and white sand island was more about star spotting than street food. Here’s how to make like an A-lister in Phuket…
An A-list Approved Retreat
Imagine with us, if you will, a Thai palace mixed with a chic Los Angeles beach house. A puzzling blend, perhaps, but that is exactly what we found as we arrived at the Twinpalms Phuket Resort.
Welcomed by spacious Thai sweeping, multi-tiered roofs and calming water features, Twinpalms makes an impact from the moment you arrive.
But the aesthetic is far from dated. Inside you’ll find clean lines and spacious public areas, with 97 luxurious rooms scattered around an inviting palm-lined swimming pool.
Resisting the urge to take a dip the moment we arrive, we’re shown to our duplex suite, which is, honestly, larger than our Dubai apartment.
Set over two stories, as the name suggests, the duplex comes complete with a superking bed, a built-in duplex-wide audio system, a giant bathtub and a rain shower, as well as the pièce de résistance, a private garden and pool. It is an ultra-luxurious spot to call home for a few days.
We arrive on a Sunday, so after taking a quick dip in our personal pool, we do as all good UAE residents do, and make our way to brunch at Oriental Spoon.
Told that Twinpalm’s Sunday brunch is infamous on the island, we know we’re in for a treat. Running from midday until 3pm, we’re handed a drink upon arrival and then make our way around the live cooking stations and the buffet offerings.
The raclette and fresh seafood stand out for us, along with the sizable selection of cheeses from around the world. Brunch at Oriental Spoon starts at Dhs190 per person.
We start the following day with a very relaxed walk down the popular, which Twinpalms is set 80m back from, before tucking into a breakfast of made-to-order-eggs and iced coffee at Oriental Spoon.
No trip to Twinpalms is complete without checking out the spa. Sun Spa Esthederm offers up a range of treatments, but – according to the helpful staff – the Esthederm Cellular Facial and Body Treatments are most popular. Aware that we had been exposed to a fair amount of sun during our time in Phuket, we went for a healing facial, which saw us leave with ultra-hydrated skin following a thorough five-step programme.
INFO: Twinpalms Phuket Resort, Surin Beach, Phuket, twinpalms-phuket.com
Stars you’re likely to see: With cool Malibu-style architecture in the duplexes and penthouse suites, you can imagine the full Kardashian klan arriving at Twinpalms for a few days of private luxury in their suites.
Life’s a beach
As UAE residents, we’re no strangers to lazing in the sun at a beach club. But Catch Beach Club on Bangtao Beach takes sunshine days to the next level.
If you’re staying at Twinpalms, take advantage of the free shuttle and enjoy a day with a long, refreshing drink in your hand and your feet in the pure-white sand, with chilled house music providing a soundtrack, as you look out over the picturesque turquoise sea.
The food at Catch is by no means an afterthought, behind drinks and music. We indulge in a spectacular sushi platter, piled high with nigiri, maki rolls and lashings of sashimi. It’s all fresh-from-the-sea and utterly delicious.
Expect dancers to pop up as the day progresses, ensuring that the mood gets a little livelier as the sun sets. It’s never long before everyone is up from their day bed and dancing at Catch.
If you’re looking for a vibrant place to have dinner, Catch is a perfect option. Set slightly away from the DJ and the dancefloor is the restaurant. Meet friends for a sundowner at the bar, before tucking in.
The menu features a selection of wow dishes, designed to share. Pick between a seafood mixed grill or a grilled Wagyu prime rib of beef for a truly indulgent dinner. For those hoping for something a little lighter, there is a vegan menu, which includes a wonderfully fresh Thai pomelo salad, as well as Thai classics like phad Thai goong and tom yum soup.
INFO: Catch Beach Club, open daily from 9am, Bangtao Beach, Phuket, catchbeachclub.com
Stars you’re likely to see: This is where the party people can be found. You can easily imagine Rihanna and her entourage partying the day away at Catch, or the Ibiza party-pack. Think Cara Delevingne et al, pitching up at the beach club.