Perched on a hilltop facing south, overlooking Phuket’s Patong Beach, Wyndham Grand Phuket, Kalim Bay’s location was certainly not compromised when designing the foundations of what was said to be ‘a new kind of luxury’ away from the wild nightlife and polluted streets of Patong.
Opened recently (December 20, 2016), the hotel offers 214 elegant guestrooms and private villas as well as large public areas throughout. The foundations of the hotel were thoughtfully designed using the natural landscape as a tool to stagger the individual blocks so that from all corners of the hotel, guests can marvel over the sweeping hilltop views that extend over the Andaman Sea.
As we arrived, our first impressions were made. Simple, minimalist and spacious. At first, there is little to see, as the finest areas are rightfully to be enjoyed by guests only, clearly detaching this hotel from the hustle and bustle of the streets below.
Designed as a terminal instead of a lobby, the first building on the ground floor is bare and offers just enough facilities for a member of staff to tick you off the list. It shelters a constant flow of traffic and once guests have been filtered through this system they are picked up in a car and driven to the main lobby, which is situated three floors above the first terminal.
The lobby is striking with a strong, contemporary desk sitting in the middle of a modern and airy room. Tall floor-to-ceiling glass doors open into a refined, elegant space. Intricate, geometric wallcoverings burst with personality and under-seat lighting outlines bold, masculine furniture.
All guestrooms and suites are Asian inspired with a modern touch. Wooden floors, warm colours and floor-to-ceiling windows create a blissful sanctuary allowing guests to unwind and take in the jaw-dropping views.
Offering by far, though, the most luxurious experience is the Luxury Private Pool Villa Panoramic Ocean View, which sit in the middle of the complex. Designed to blend Asian decor with modern, spacious living – complete with a private infinity pool and decking – the abode allows you to enjoy the panoramic vista of the bay from a premium perspective – whether that be on the balcony or on the edge of your own infinity pool, accessible from the decking, the living room and the large bathroom.
The lighting in the room is tasteful and well-designed. A control panel next to the bed allows guests to personalise the lighting to suit every mood. Two pendants hang from the ceiling either side of the large bed. This, I believe, adds another dimension to the minimalist setup.
The bathrooms are large and again offer unmatched views through floor-to-ceiling windows that open completely so that the panoramic view is never sacrificed. A large twin tub sits above the infinity pool. Next to it is the walk-in rainfall shower. Above the large twin sink is an oversized mirror that reflects a spacious home-away-from-home feel.
Elsewhere, the hotel has a lot of potential but is lacking the cement of teamwork to keep it all in place. The good news is that what I feel needs adjusting is easy to put in place. Firstly, there needs to be more umbrellas. We arrived during a downpour and it took a while for the staff to show us to our villa, which was irritating. Secondly, the facilities need to be clearer for the guests. Although we were staying in the finest villa, my inquisitive nature got the better of me and I wanted to explore the whole hotel. This, it turns out, proved to be somewhat of a maze and I eventually staggered across different areas of the public areas almost by chance.
What I loved most about this hotel is that it may be a stones throw away from Patong, but it is world’s away from the ‘in your face’ attitude of the town. Don’t get me wrong, Patong is fun, cheap and seems to be a tourist hotspot for some reason or another, but being able to experience Phuket’s luxury side – without having to trek too far into the jungle – is something that I believe Phuket was lacking before now.
A special mention must go to my amazing partner, Stephen Clark, who surprised me by booking this experience. I can only apologise that it formed into a piece of work. For the record, the trip was magical because it was shared with the most incredible man who happens to also be the love of my life.