Escaping urbanization at Vijitt resort
PHUKET: Blanketing 44 rai of luscious hillside above Friendship Beach in Rawai, lies the Vijitt Resort Phuket.
Although the sprawling beachfront resort was subjected to a US$15 million (480mn baht) make-over in 2008, it has an enduring legacy reaching back 38 years. What began in the 70’s as a small family vacation getaway, has been transformed into a top-notch boutique tropical resort offering a variety of 92 private villas, 20 of which have their own pools.
The grounds of the Vijitt are meticulously manicured with dozens of intriguing native species such as heliconias, banana trees and lemongrass, the latter of which emanates its evocative scent when the sun goes down, bathing the hillside in a citrus aroma.
The resort has eschewed any hints at urbanization, instead opting for natural tones and artistic details immediately apparent in the cascading cross-cuts of trees hanging in the lobby; and characteristic organic patterns inlaid with small stones throughout the walkways, a style that was effected subtly and tastefully.
The theme persists throughout the resort and blends with a level of refinement within the villas. The high, thatched-roof structures are one-part rustic beach hut and two-parts luxury villa. For example, when navigating the cavernous bathrooms, one is met with an inviting jacuzzi-like tub set in dark, contemporary tile leading to large glass doors, which open into an outdoor, bamboo-enveloped shower area.
The villas are wrapped in glass and manage to evoke a feeling of space, while maintaining privacy.
They also check all of the boxes for amenities expected at a resort of this caliber, such as the flat screen televisions, minibars and internet. All the small touches were attended too, from the bowl of fresh fruit waiting by the door to the slippers laid out beside the bed.
Outside the sanctum of the villas are tree-lined pathways which wind through the property and lead guests to the resort’s two restaurants, two bars, a kid’s club with a pool, a spa, gym, a beauty salon and the beach.
Basking in the saltwater of the main swimming pool is certainly not a regrettable way to spend an afternoon. The huge infinity pool sits just a few meters from Friendship Beach with the vibrant blue waters of the Andaman Sea framed by coconut palms sitting just above the water’s edge. Movida, a Bangkok-based architecture firm – known for their creative use of regional materials – sourced distinctive local, gray marble tiles to finish the pool.
For dining options, the Vijitt has two restaurants on the grounds: The Savoury – which sits beside the pool and offers international and Asian cuisine, and the Baan Vijitt situated on the water in a Sino-Portuguese-style house which once served as the Vijitt family’s weekend home and now produces regional specialties for the Vijitt’s guests.
The resort offers a schedule of activities to round-off the guest’s experience. The concierge can guide you towards an endless list of activities on and off Phuket as well as a host of workshops and sports around the resort. Visitors can choose from a guided botanical tour, or a marine walk along the beach at low tide, a rubber tapping demonstration, sea kayaking, Muay Thai lessons and Thai cooking classes.
What sprouted decades ago as a family home, has matured into an inviting five-star resort. With uncontrollable urbanization unfolding around Phuket, the quiet serenity within the grounds of the Vijitt leaves guests with nothing but peaceful memories.
For more information, visit: vijittresort.com or call 076-363600 for bookings.
— Jeremie Schatz
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