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Why you should visit Noku Phuket this Summer

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By Rubina A. Khan on 24th April 2023

Contributor Rubina A. Khan recently visited Noku Phuket, a luxury resort on Thailand's most endearing of islands.

Happiness takes over your whole being the second you arrive in Phuket, such is the enchanting energy of Thailand’s biggest island. You’ll find whatever your heart seeks in Phuket – you decide your kind of happy on the island – be it food, people, fashion, the heady nightlife, quietening of the mind and body – the island has it all. And that’s why I think Phuket is the Island of Happiness in all of Thailand. Home to some of the world’s most luxurious and famous hotels and resorts, Phuket is a desired destination for tourists around the world, all year round, making it an exponential growth market for new hotels like Noku Phuket.

Owned by the Singapore based Roxy-Pacific Holdings Pte Ltd, Noku Phuket opened in the Chalong Bay district of Phuket in September 2022, a 45-minute drive from Phuket International Airport. Situated atop a hill with sweeping views of the crescent shaped Chalong Bay, Noku Phuket is the fourth Noku hotel to open after Noku Kyoto (Japan), Noku Osaka (Japan) and Noku Maldives.

The design language of the hotel and its 91 Hill and Tree Villas and Lofts celebrates the natural flora and mirthful spirit of the island with modern Thai minimalism, furnished with muted earth tones. The natural beauty of the verdant surrounds and the clear blue skies add to the serenity of the property. And their beds are made for sleeping! Made from natural fibres, the bed’s mattress in my Hill Villa was sturdy, with just a hint of a bounce, for a good night’s rest and the coveted beauty sleep. A lot of natural materials have also been used in the build, resulting in Noku Phuket being conferred with the Green Mark Gold award from the Building Authority of Singapore for its green and sustainable design. I loved the interplay of the beautiful clean lines of its modern interiors with the traditional architectural styles that are an ode to the heritage of the country. Interestingly, chalong means ‘to celebrate’ in the Thai language and what is a holiday here is but a celebration of life!

Photography by Rubina A. Khan.
Photography by Rubina A. Khan.

The spa and wellness centre at Noku Phuket built around a swimming pool, with tall trees rising up into the skies, is exceptional. All the therapies here are conducted in individual spa pavilions, the traditional Thai massage being a preferred choice that takes place on a firm mattress on the floor. The treatments here are outstanding, as are the masseuses. You can feel the healing energy through their hands as soon as the massage commences. Every masseuse comes from a different school of training in Thailand and so the experience of a Thai massage or a foot massage is never the same in any spa or wellness centre throughout the country. What all of them do have in common though is that a licensed, traditional massage therapist can only practice after having completed 800 hours in training. The traditional Thai massage today is an amalgamation of a 19th-century synthesis of various healing traditions from all over the kingdom of Thailand.

Photography by Rubina A. Khan.
Photography by Rubina A. Khan.

Phuket’s sunsets are spectacular – it is a show the sun puts on every evening with a theatrical flourish of colors stretching across the Phuketian skies in every imaginable shade of the big fireball, till dusk takes over with stars dotting the ebony night sky. And the best place to view the sunset with panoramic views of the Chalong Bay, is from the pool or from Embrace, the hotel’s all-day restaurant.

Photography by Rubina A. Khan.
Photography by Rubina A. Khan.

The hotel is ideally located from some of the biggest attractions on the island – it takes 5 minutes by car to get to the famous Wat Chalong temple, 15 minutes to the Big Buddha and 20 minutes to the Central Floresta Mall, as well as to Old Phuket Town. There are scores of restaurants, bars and beaches close by and the hotel provides a free drop-off and pick-up service every day to all of the above places which is rather convenient if you are not familiar with the local taxi apps like inDriver and Grab. I quite like inDriver’s promptness and efficacy. A visit to the Phang Nga Bay, a UNESCO world heritage site that stretches over 400 kms in the Andaman Sea is a must, which the hotel’s concierge team will gladly help you with. It is a beauty to behold and cherish for years to come once you have experienced its wonders for the 10 odd hours you are at sea. You can charter your own boat, or go on a long-tail boat, or a yacht like I did. It is said that around 10,000 years ago, when sea levels were lower, it was possible to walk from Phuket all the way to Krabi which is 165 kms away! Phang Nga Bay has many islands that you can explore, the most popular being the James Bond Island, named so after the Bond films shot here – The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Panak Island and Hong Island. Kayaking through the secret caves in the emerald waters, seeing the marine limestone karsts and bioluminescent planktons by nightfall up close is a spiritual experience. And the sunsets from the yacht are to fly for!

What I loved the most about Noku Phuket is the minimalist design of the hotel, in keeping with the natural forestry, the spa and the kindness and warmth of their hardworking staff. And, it’s been running at almost full occupancy since it opened eight months ago!

48/13 Moo 6, Soi Sai-Namyen, Chao Fa West Road, Chalong,
Phuket Town, Phuket 83130, Thailand
Phone: +66 76 384 076

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