Review: Rosewood Phuket (Thailand)

Wednesday newsletters always feature a hotel or flight review.

I recently enjoyed a phenomenal holiday in Singapore & Thailand. You can read my trip reports here:


Today (February 26, 2020): Review of the Rosewood Phuket (Thailand). 

At an exquisite location along a 600 m (2000 ft) beachfront at Emerald Bay, Rosewood Phuket is a tropical beach hideaway akin to an ideal ocean village. The resort’s innovative and environmentally sensitive design is mixed with subtle Thai influences, and blends organically into a lush natural landscape, while sun-weathered shores and glistening, crystalline waters help celebrate luxury island living. Featuring 71 pavilions and villas, the resort offers a secluded island escape and celebration of the brand’s ‘A Sense of Place’ philosophy, taking inspiration from the natural landscape, diverse cultures and unique sensibilities of this distinctive southern isle.

Rosewood Phuket features in my top 10 lists of the most insanely beautiful luxury hotels in Thailand and the best resorts in Phuket.

Have you ever stayed at the Rosewood Phuket? If so, what was your experience? Leave a comment.

In this review of Rosewood Phuket (more info and photos below my YouTube clip):


PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • Located at Emerald Bay in southwestern Phuket, the Rosewood property is nestled in an idyllic beachfront palm cove. It’s only a five minute drive from the five-star resort to Patong, the buzziest city on Phuket island, famed for its vibrant shopping, crazy nightlife, and soft-sanded cove. The hotels offers the best of both worlds: it’s conveniently close to Patong’s (often over-commercialized) attractions, yet far enough to offer an exclusive and ultra-private ambiance that is a world away from Patong’s tourist madness. The resort is around a 60-minute drive from Phuket’s international airport (the hotel can arrange limousine transfers).
  • Rosewood Phuket captures the essence of the island’s spirit with a magnificent design, created by renowned Melbourne-based design firm BAR Studio. Influenced by its geographical and cultural location, the sophisticated yet minimalist design organically blends softly colored, contemporary aesthetics with the lush tropical greenery. All private and public areas feature giant retractable glass walls or open-sided spaces that allow guests to take in the surrounding natural beauty. Indigenous stone walls, wood floors, and chic furnishings are combined with homey touches such as books, photo frames, and vases. The overall effect is incredibly relaxing.
  • The property is built on a hillside, with the accommodations and resort facilities set on terraced grounds that cascade down towards the beach and Andaman Sea. The resort’s arrival & departure area is located at the top of the hill: a short driveway leads to a circular courtyard with an elephant sculpture at its center, the spa on one side (more on that below) and a stunning welcome pavilion on the other side. The latter features an Instagram-worthy lobby filled with lily pad ponds, a stylish reception area, and an open-sided lounge that allow guests to take in the surrounding natural beauty, including hilltop forests, lakes, and wetlands.
  • The resort has 71 beautifully appointed, all-pool suites and villas. There are several categories to choose from, ranging from hilltop pavilions to two-bedroom beach villas. During my holiday, I stayed in a residential-style Ocean View Pool Pavilion, which featured a king-size bed, partitioned living room area, elegant bathroom with double vanities, and an outside courtyard with deep soaking bathtub and rain shower. Soft neutral tones were utilized throughout, infused with natural light through retractable floor-to-ceiling windows. The room’s expansive terrace came with distant views of the Andaman Sea and was equipped with a daybed, sofa and private  pool.
  • Set in a relaxed beachside environment where sun decks and walkways blend harmoniously with the tropical landscaping, the organic free-form swimming pool is one of the resort’s eye-catchers. The enormous pool wraps around towering palm trees and floating platforms with stylish loungers, creating a sense of seclusion, privacy, and exclusivity. The pool area is divided into several section by wooden pathways: a designated lap pool (adult’s only), and activity pool, and children’s pool sections. Guests can pass the hours as they choose, while a dedicated catering team is on hand to take food and refreshment orders.
  • Rosewood Phuket features several excellent dining venues:
    • Ta Khai is the resort’s signature restaurant. Comprising several beachfront pavilions, it exudes a rustic Thai village ambience and serves authentic dishes planned around the local fishermen’s daily catch.
    • Red Sauce is an Italian restaurant with open kitchen and a shaded outdoor terrace overlooking Emerald Bay. Red Sauce is also the location of the resort’s excellent breakfast buffet, which is displayed around the open kitchen.
    • Located below Red Sauce is a rustic poolside restaurant called The Shack. Featuring an open kitchen with hot stone oven and charcoal grill, it offers an array of simply prepared yet delicious seafood dishes.
    • Next to the The Shack is Mai, the resort’s only bar and chill-out lounge. Mai is the place to relax poolside during the day before it transforms into a sophisticated bar with chill music and cool vibes in the evening.
  • Next to the hilltop lobby is the beautiful Asaya Spa, which offers the Rosewood’s innovative spa concept. The spa is designed to provide a unique opportunity for guests to discover their own true path to wellness. Upon arrival, experts create bespoke experiences for guests and help them choose organic, homegrown herbs and ingredients to be used in tailored treatments. A menu of alternative therapies includes Watsu therapy, Reiki healing, Chi Nei Tsang, and sound therapy. Lifestyle experiences include Pilates, personal training sessions, yoga and meditation.
  • Rosewood Phuket offers guests an art collection that weaves quintessential Siam sensibilities into interior and outdoor spaces for a visual voyage of discovery. Several sculptures are found in the gardens and public areas such as the majestic elephant sculpture at the porte cochere by Thai sculptor Phuth Manthra, and bamboo bonsai sculptures at the entrance made by Korakot Aromdee. Art in the guest pavilions and villas is curated with a residential mindset, combining mixed media, similar to that typical of a fine home collection. Large fine art prints by New Yorker Alexandra Chermayeff are calligraphic in style with a buoyancy and lightness of color.
  • Rosewood Phuket is a great choice for a family holiday as the property features an excellent kids club, called ‘Rosewood Explorers Club’. Designed to stimulate the minds and bodies of the hotel’s youngest guests, the club offers a variety of facilities and a fun-filled program of activities. The club’s vibrant and colorful indoor space translates the allure of Phuket for kids, igniting their imaginations with unique climbing walls, arts and crafts, performance stage and relaxing reading nooks. Designed in an innovative residential style, floor to ceiling windows allow natural light to flow through and offer soothing views over the tropical landscape.
  • Conservation and sustainability lie at the very heart of Rosewood Phuket. The design incorporates sustainable practices, including rain water retention ponds to provide the entire resort water supply, the largest solar renewable energy system for any Phuket hotel, and “landscaped” rooftops for energy conservation. Landscaping – which is handled by Bangkok-based P-Landscape – has a clear focus on the preservation of the natural environment through the retention or careful transplantation of existing trees and indigenous foliage right through to the protection of sacred 150-year-old banyan trees situated in the resort grounds.
  • Rosewood Phuket is managed by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, one of the world’s most exclusive hotel brands. The Rosewood story began in 1979 when a historic mansion in Dallas, Texas was transformed into an acclaimed world-class hotel – The Mansion on Turtle Creek – whose success was the blueprint for all subsequent Rosewood properties. Today, the group manages a distinctive collection of residential-style hotels across the globe, including world-famous properties such as The Carlyle in New York and Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. Each property delivers a one-of-a-kind ambience and style, in which location, culture, history and geography are part of the fabric of the hotel, reflecting the company’s “Sense of Place” philosophy.

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW

Rosewood Phuket ranks among the best hotels on Phuket Island, offering stunning suites & villas, a stylish design, fabulous pool area, three exquisite restaurants, a sublime spa, world-class service, and more. If you consider a stay here, you need to know the following though:

  • Rosewood Phuket fronts a 600 m (2000 ft) long, gently curving white sand beach. Like all beaches on Phuket Island, this beach is public, hence why the resort does not place sun loungers on the beach itself (it does operate a private beach club though, set under the palm trees, right behind the white sands). While beautiful at high tide with warm shallow waters stretching out into the ocean, the beach is unattractive at low tide: the sandbed of the bay becomes exposed and is littered with rocks, shells, etc., making swimming impossible. Also, the beach is north facing and in the shade for most of the day.
  • There is little of interest within walking distance, although the lively city of Patong is just a five-minute drive away. Unfortunately, the resort doesn’t operate a shuttle to/from Patong, so getting there is only possible by taxi.
  • Most villas and suites do not enjoy unobstructed sea views. The sea views are largely obstructed by towering trees, which are located between the beach and the resort’s low-rise accommodation pavilions. It’s good though that the resort decided not to destroy these trees as sustainability is at the core of its design and operations.
  • Rosewood Phuket is a fairly large property, with the 71 suites and villas scattered around the massive resort grounds. Getting around requires some time, although it’s a pure pleasure to explore the well-manicured grounds by foot. Complimentary 24/7 buggy service is also provided.

MY VERDICT
  • Location: 8/10
  • Design: 10/10
  • Pool: 10/10
  • Rooms: 10/10
  • Food: 9/10
  • Breakfast: 9/10
  • Spa: 9/10
  • Service: 9/10
  • Value for money: 9/10
  • Overall experience: exceptional – 9,2/10

TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
  • Save money: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, Sense of Place amenity and greeting card from management, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).
  • Save money: read here my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like the Rosewood Phuket (and/or receive many free perks).
  • Room tip: I recommend to choose a suite with direct beach access for maximum seaside relaxation; if your budget allows, splash out on one of the lavish villas.
  • Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The weather in Phuket is dominated by a tropical monsoon climate, which means there are three main seasons:

  • a cool, dry season between November and February
  • a hot, dry season from March to June
  • a rainy season from July to October

Expect daytime temperatures to be in excess of 30 ° C (85° F) throughout the year (with the possible exception of late December and early January). The two periods April to May and September to October are characterised by very high humidity. The southwest monsoons arrive between May and October bringing unsettled, cloudy conditions, as well as lower room rates. The best time to visit Phuket is between November and February when the weather is sunny and pleasant.


HOW TO GET THERE

The resort is located on the west coast of Phuket island, a 60 min drive from Phuket Airport. Check the Wikipedia page of Phuket Airport for an updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Phuket.


PHOTOS
TRANSFER TO THE RESORT
TRANSFER TO THE RESORT
TRANSFER TO THE RESORT
ARRIVAL COURTYARD
ARRIVAL COURTYARD
WELCOME PAVILION & LOBBY
WELCOME PAVILION & LOBBY
WELCOME PAVILION & LOBBY
WELCOME PAVILION & LOBBY
WELCOME PAVILION & LOBBY
WELCOME PAVILION & LOBBY
WELCOME PAVILION & LOBBY
WELCOME PAVILION & LOBBY
WELCOME PAVILION & LOBBY
WELCOME PAVILION & LOBBY
WELCOME PAVILION & LOBBY
WELCOME PAVILION & LOBBY
RESORT MAP
PATHWAY TO VILLAS
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION: ENTRANCE
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION: ENTRANCE
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION (VIEW)
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
OCEAN VIEW POOL PAVILION
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
POOL AREA
BEACH CLUB
BEACH CLUB
BEACH CLUB
BEACH CLUB
BEACH
BEACH
BEACH
BEACH
BEACH
BEACH
BEACH
BEACH
BEACH
BEACH
BEACH
BEACH
BEACH
BEACH
BEACH (AT LOW TIDE)
BEACH (AT LOW TIDE)
BEACH (AT LOW TIDE)
AFTERNOON TEA AT THE POOL
AFTERNOON TEA AT THE POOL
THE SHACK RESTAURANT
THE SHACK RESTAURANT
THE SHACK RESTAURANT
THE SHACK RESTAURANT
THE SHACK RESTAURANT
MAI LOUNGE
MAI LOUNGE
MAI LOUNGE
MAI LOUNGE
MAI LOUNGE
TA KHAI RESTAURANT
TA KHAI RESTAURANT
TA KHAI RESTAURANT
TA KHAI RESTAURANT
SPA
SPA
SPA
SPA
SPA
SPA
GYM
GYM
KIDS CLUB
KIDS CLUB
KIDS CLUB
KIDS CLUB
KIDS CLUB
BOUTIQUE SHOP
BOUTIQUE SHOP
RESORT AT NIGHT
RESORT AT NIGHT
RESORT AT NIGHT
RESORT AT NIGHT
RESORT AT NIGHT
RESORT AT NIGHT
RESORT AT NIGHT
RESORT AT NIGHT
RESORT AT NIGHT
RESORT AT NIGHT
RESORT AT NIGHT
RESORT AT NIGHT
DINNER AT RED SAUCE
DINNER AT RED SAUCE
DINNER AT RED SAUCE
DINNER AT RED SAUCE
DINNER AT RED SAUCE
DINNER AT RED SAUCE
DINNER AT RED SAUCE
DINNER AT RED SAUCE
DINNER AT RED SAUCE
DINNER AT RED SAUCE
DINNER AT RED SAUCE
DINNER AT RED SAUCE
DINNER AT RED SAUCE
DINNER AT RED SAUCE
DINNER AT RED SAUCE
DINNER AT RED SAUCE
DINNER AT TA KHAI
DINNER AT TA KHAI
DINNER AT TA KHAI
DINNER AT TA KHAI
DINNER AT TA KHAI
DINNER AT TA KHAI
DINNER AT TA KHAI
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
BREAKFAST AT RED SAUCE
LUNCH AT THE SHACK
LUNCH AT THE SHACK
LUNCH AT THE SHACK
LUNCH AT THE SHACK
LUNCH AT THE SHACK
LUNCH AT THE SHACK
LUNCH AT THE SHACK
LUNCH AT THE SHACK
LUNCH AT THE SHACK
LUNCH AT THE SHACK

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1 Comment

  1. Always tremendously awesome information ! I’m immensely grateful our dear the Luxury Travel Expert for Your unique Mission !
    Sincerely Yours ,
    Vlado Orlandich.

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