Heaven and hotel

InterContinental Phuket Resort aspires to create 'heaven-on-Earth'

published : 24 Jul 2020 at 04:00

newspaper section: Guru

The Heavenly Pavilion Lounge stands tall in white with mountains and surrounding forests as its backdrop. (Photos courtesy of InterContinental Phuket Resort)

"Heaven, I'm in heaven." You can technically sing this line from the song Cheek To Cheek, originally sung in the 1935 film Top Hat, during your stay at InterContinental Phuket Resort.

Why? You see, the 221-room-and-villa hotel, which had its official launch in January on Kamala Beach, derives heavenly motifs from Buddhist cosmology Traibhumikatha to provide a "heaven-on-Earth" experience. Elements from the story of the three planes of existence by King Lithai of Sukhothai are incorporated in its architecture and decor to give guests a luxurious stay with a contemporary Thai twist.

First Impression

The hotel delivers the sense of arrival as you check into the very spacious open-air Pasutha lobby where walls and ceiling are covered with a diamond pattern. From there, your eyes can't help but be drawn to the Heavenly Pavilion Lounge, which stands tall in white at the end of your eyesight with mountains and surrounding pine forests as its backdrop. A walk to the piece de resistance is a show in itself. The Thai-style pavilion with multiple levels of roofs is inspired by the mythical Himmapan forest and the brick walkway leading up to it is flanked with walls covered in countless pieces of mirrors. The walk is accompanied by the soothing sounds of fountains in shallow ponds and birds chirping. The pavilion houses the Sati spa and Wellness, which offers personal touches such as scents based on your day of birth and signature treatments in eight treatment rooms.

Club InterContinental Lagoon Villa.

The hotel is divided into two zones, which I unofficially call the pavilion side and the beachfront side. The former is on the hillside that leads to Kamala Beach below with a road separates the two sides. Guests can go between the two zones through a tunnel featuring colourful murals by local artists.

If you're happy with a view of swimming pools, mountain and the pavilion from a private balcony, stay on the pavilion side, obviously. If you prefer a room with an ocean view and a contemporary vibe, then you should opt for a room on the beachfront side. The most basic room type called Classic Room starts respectably with more than 40m² and various amenities that you need for a comfy stay. If you wish to splurge, 13 villas ranging from one-bedroom to three-bedrooms are available and they give you direct access to a swimming pool from your own terrace.

Staying In

The club lounge experience has become a factor for guests who seek exclusivity and the InterContinental Phuket Resort takes this seriously with Club InterContinental Lounge and Pool. Besides various perks you would expect from a club lounge such as sunset cocktails with canapes and all-day refreshments, club guests get to use meditation bowls to find out what element they are and receive a corresponding bracelet and enjoy special access to their own pool, which overlooks the beach.

Club InterContinental Lounge and Pool on right and Beach Pool on left.

Superior Mountain View Room.

There are three main choices when it comes to F&B. On the pavilion side, Pinto offers international cuisines and local recipes as you can have Japanese miso-marinated grilled cod to Phuket's mee sapum stir-fried noodle. On the beachfront side, Jaras restaurant does justice to Thai cuisine with modern interpretation and presentation, as well as locally sourced ingredients. I'm talking plump scallop spicy salad with sprinkles of roasted rice, aromatic lamb massaman and crab tod mun in the shape of a doughnut topped with dots of chilli jam and edible flowers. Jaras offers a five-course menu for its reopening for B1,495++ per person with an option for wine pairing for the extra cost of B990++ per person (bit.ly/2CEYzUU to book). If all you need is a chill beachside session, Pine Beach Bar serves cocktails with a sunset view and brunch on the beach on Sunday.

Going Out

There are more choices of place to chill or dine at along the Kamala beach but you better check if they have reopened yet case by case. There are two nearby viewpoints if you're a view finder (get the photography pun?). The Kamala viewpoint is just a little more than 500m from the hotel. The Laem Singh viewpoint, which is few-minute away on car from the hotel, is where you can chill in a Thai-style pavilion while enjoying the sunset.

The walls and ceiling of Pasutha lobby are covered with a diamond pattern.

Pinto restaurant.

Final Verdict

InterContinental Phuket Resort recently reopened on July 15. If you want to be among its first reopening guests, now is the high time especially if you want to avoid the crowd. The hotel participates in Rua Tiew Dua Kan campaign to offer a special package that starts from B5,400 per night with breakfast and on-top 10% discount when you book by Jul 31 for stays until Sept 30. You must register at bit.ly/Ttogether20, download the Paotang app and follow the instructions. Sounds too complicated? You have the other option of booking for Indulge And Stay Free offer at bit.ly/2O2rBQH. Buy an F&B and spa voucher worth B9,999++ to get a two-night stay for free or B6,999++ to get one night stay for free until Aug 15.

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