A Taste Of Paradise
As our Thai Airways flight made its final turn to line up for landing at Phuket International Airport, we dipped below the fluffy white clouds and suddenly out of my window seat I could see the appealing azure waters of the Andaman Sea. The Airbus A330-300 flight from Bangkok was packed with eager-faced holiday-makers all wanting to deplane and head to the wonderful beaches we were now only a few thousand feet above.
Having lived in Thailand for almost two decades I have witnessed many changes to Phuket: the island’s infrastructure has greatly improved; the thousands of hotels and resorts now boast many more modern amenities and thankfully the people are still as charming as ever. In all my travels to Phuket, I have stayed in perhaps almost all the resort towns (and villages), taken a dip in nearly every bay and posed for photos from virtually every viewpoint. But on this trip, I would be doing something new and from that perspective, I was excited.
We were on our way to Cape Sienna Hotel & Villas in Kamala, a small Thai-Muslim town with a delightful bay just a few kilometres north of Patong, Phuket’s most-famed resort town. The vast multi-plex resort sits majestically on the headland that overlooks Kamala Beach and offers truly stunning views of the Andaman Sea and, if you are fortunate, some of the most romantic sunsets in the world.
The ultra-modern resort has six separate buildings that house 146 luxurious guest rooms, while nine private villas are perched just several metres above the sea. Guests can choose accommodation that cover sea view studio rooms, sea view Jacuzzi deluxe rooms, sea view Jacuzzi suites and the ultimate sea view pool penthouse villas. There are also a further two buildings, one which features the 30-metre pool, Poolside Club and Bar, Spa and Health Club and the other an massive, open-plan reception area, Plum Fine Dining Restaurant & Bar and the stunning Vanilla Sky Bar, for those perfect cocktail sundowners.
Another addition to the resort and also a great place to chill out is Sienna Rocks. Just a few metres from the main resort, this mini-resort has a small pool that overlooks Kamala Beach, a quaint man-made beach, plenty of sun loungers and small bar. This very private and totally relaxing section of the resort seemed to be one of the busiest parts of the resort and we noticed people heading off there very early in the morning to ensure they had the best seats in the house.
After a leisurely check-in that included a welcome drink and cold refreshing towel, we were greeted by Frank Dreist, General Manager of Cape Sienna and a German national who has lived in Phuket for many years. He would be our host for an exquisite meal at Plum Restaurant during our stay as well as a valuable source of information about the immediate vicinity. He told us how the locals had dubbed the road that winds it way up from the beach to Cape Sienna and on passed several other resorts that cling to the headland ‘Millionaire’s Mile. In fact, during a site inspection of the entire property I was shown a vacant three-storey villa that had three-double bedrooms, a private pool, a state-of-the-art home entertainment system and a luxury fitted kitchen. The price tag for this piece of paradise? Bt89 million, plus change. Now I knew why the area had received its moniker.
A short walk from reception, up a flight of stairs, a quick lift ride up four floors and another short walk took us to the door of our sea view Jacuzzi deluxe room. As soon as the door opened our eyes were immediately drawn not to the breakfast bar, nor the wall-mounted plasma flat-screen television or the comfortable ‘L’-shaped sofa, but to the floor-to-ceiling windows and the enormous expanse of deep blue water that stretched out to the horizon where it collided with the clearest blue sky imaginable.
Our deluxe room was a split-level affair with a queen-size bed, rain shower, twin-sinks, toilet and bath on the upper level and a relaxing sofa, flat-screen plasma television with an attached music centre and DVD player, breakfast bar, wine gallery and well-stocked fridge on the lower level. Outside on the terrace were two relaxing chairs and a table which led up to a massive private Jacuzzi bathtub, plus of course those gorgeous views and to-die-for sunsets.
There was no need for us to unpack immediately as Thai Airways had unfortunately forgotten our suitcase, so we made our way down to the Poolside Bar & Restaurant for a bite to eat. This particular eatery features a full-length open-plan kitchen that serves breakfast as well as a wide array of European and Asian dishes that are reasonably priced and seriously delicious. The restaurant looks out over the 30-metre pool and onto the sun loungers from where guests gaze out to the ocean beyond.
Around four in the afternoon we were informed that our suitcase had finally caught up with us, so we retired to our room where we refreshed in the rain shower, donned our bathrobes and adjourned to the terrace with a couple of cold beers for me and a bottle of cold mineral water for the wife, plus books, magazines and music. What a life, surely a taste of paradise and certainly a peak into how the rich and famous must live.
Although we had a dinner appointment with the affable general manager a seven o’clock, we really wanted to witness a sunset from the comfort of our chairs. Mother Nature did not disappoint and provided us with one of the most stunning sunsets either of us had seen in many a year. Of course the obligatory photos soon followed and before we knew it, we’d rattled off some 50-odd snaps. Thank goodness for digital camera technology.
That evening we dined on exceptional cuisine with a menu so varied it featured lamb, beef, pork, rabbit, fish, chicken
Cape Sienna Hotel & Villas
18/40 Moo 6, Nakalay Road,
Kamala, Phuket. 83150
Tel: +66 (0) 7633-7300