One of the great things about living in Singapore is that there are so many topnotch destinations on the doorstep. Among the most popular is Phuket, where LINDSAY YAP checked into a laid-back beach club for a weekend away.
Located right on Natai Beach in Phang Nga, 20 minutes from the airport, the recently opened Akyra Beach Club Phuket boasts 58 rooms, suites and villas. I stayed in one of the Seaview Villas that directly overlook the beach and pool. Its floor-to-ceiling windows let in plenty of natural light (curtains can be drawn for privacy), and I loved taking in the beautiful view of the sea from my plush king-sized bed.
Each night when I got back to my room there was a sweet treat on the bed, along with a note with a short bedtime story to read. The room has all the amenities you’d expect, from a bar fridge to a TV and a roomy wardrobe with a safe for valuables. What stood out, though, was the set of pyjamas I found hanging in the closet. Made from incredibly soft, sheer cotton, they were so comfortable that I wore them on both nights of my stay! I was told that guests love them so much that the resort now sells them.
The resort has a chic beachfront restaurant, along with a bar, Club Akyra. Breakfast is a mix of local and international eats, including pastries, eggs Benedict and a fantastic Thai rice soup. As night falls, the bar transforms into a lively entertainment spot where you can party till late.
On the fourth Friday of every month, the resort hosts a White Party with music by the resident DJ, an impressive fire show and drinks by the beach as the sun sets. The fire artist’s stunts will quickly have you whipping out your phones to capture the moment! Come dressed in white and you’ll get to enjoy free drinks from 6 to 7pm, before moving on to the tasty Thai barbecue dinner. Laid out as a buffet, the spread includes a variety of local dishes, from garlic fried rice to grilled meat pork, beef, chicken and prawns. In particular, I loved the Chiang Mai sausage, which was packed with spices and herbs.
A benefit of staying at Akyra is that guests can use the facilities at sister resort Aleenta Phuket just down the road; this includes dining at the restaurants there. A van will take you to Aleenta as and when you need. I went along for a lovely steak dinner at The Edge, topped off with a plate of sticky rice, mango and jackfruit drizzled in coconut milk. If you’re in for something more local, Aleenta also houses The Natai, offering modern Thai cuisine.
If you’re not the planning sort, this is the resort for you! There are many activities planned each day, from beach yoga and Pilates to Thai boxing in the mornings, as well as island-hopping tours, rafting, Thai cooking classes and trips to the night market. You have the flexibility to choose which of them you want to take part in – or, if you prefer, you can just lounge by the pool and relax at the beach bar. I suggest you take advantage of the clear waters and sunny weather with a paddle-boarding session or a surf lesson. The waves are a decent size and great for surfing.
Another recommendation is to head out for a picnic lunch at nearby Wat Khao waterfall – it’s just a 15-minute drive away in a van, or you can cycle there if you prefer. The resort will customise lunch to your liking, from local cuisine to classic picnic snacks like sandwiches and wraps, or a mix of both. The staff will be all ready with the spread when you arrive. We enjoyed the likes of khao pad (Thai fried rice), mango salad, and barbecue skewers freshly grilled on the spot; we also indulged in fresh local fruit – rambutans, mangoes (with sticky rice) and dragonfruit. Depending on the weather, the picnic can be set up right next to the waterfall or in one of the pavilions.
Of course, you won’t want to miss a pampering session at the spa. Akyra houses Ayurah Spa, with a wide selection of massages, reflexology and scrubs on offer. Instead of the regular Thai or Balinese massage, I went for a coconut aloe vera massage that left my skin feeling soft and silky. If the weather’s good, you can choose to have your massage in one of the beachfront salas – recommended! For even more options, head to Ayurah Spa & Wellness centre at Aleenta; it’s the only Thai spa to offer Linda Meredith skincare products. If you have little ones, you can drop them off at the Kids’ Club and settle down for a soothing massage or facial. I tried the Haute Couture Facial, which consisted of a refreshing foot scrub, cleansing and some light extraction. Using organic plant extracts, it promotes anti – ageing , moisturising and brightening.
Best time to go: November-May (June-October is monsoon)
Rates start from S$120 for a Garden Room. Book online at theakyra.com/ phuket, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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