As you enter The Pavilions corridor of bamboo you instantly feel you’re in for something unique here. The sun light above barely trickles through the gaps of these green giants and it gives you the feeling that this resort, which you’ve yet to even glimpse in the hills, might be something a little cosy, a little intimate, a little romantic.
Hidden in the hills, yet not too far away from the sea lies a hidden paradise known as The Pavilions Phuket. A private luxury resort designed for love. A collection of gorgeous villas that give a newly married couple, a first time holiday for two, or even old loves travelling the world together, a chance to be together in one of the most stunning locations in Thailand, if not the world.
A place for pure relaxation where a couple can have private massages in their own villa, a range of places to eat and drink right in the resort, private swimming pools and to top it off not a kid in sight. Adults only.
Phuket truly could be called paradise, with its bright clear waters, its stunning beaches, its friendly laid back people and great food – it’s no wonder Scaramanga built his secret base on its golden beaches, where he could escape the business of the world and hide out in pure seclusion.
Thailand can be a busy country and after spending a couple of days in Bangkok where the noise never stops, lights blind you at night, smoke fills the air, and the tourists fill the streets, Phuket then is a great escape. A place to unwind and finally breathe in sweet fresh air perhaps The Pavilions is the jewel in Phuket where you can rest your head.
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ABOUT THE PAVILIONS, PHUKET
As I mentioned before The Pavilions is an adults-only resort, this is to ensure the ultimate relaxation for its guests. It’s aimed towards couples and honeymooners who don’t want to be harassed by kids running around the resort or distracting them with noise during their romantic getaway.
The resort has 49 villas each with its own pool, for private enjoyment, and stunning views for miles over the surrounding area, covering both mountains and sea. The complete privacy of each villa makes a moon light dip in your own private pool not only plausible but entirely enjoyable.
Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or looking to relax and reconnect, The Pavilions is your perfect intimate escape.
LOCATION OF THE PAVILIONS PHUKET
Located in the northwest of Phuket on one of the highest points, The Pavilions sits right on the sweet spot between mountainous countryside and beautiful beaches. With a free private shuttle to Layan Beach and other options not too far from the resort, you’ll be able to feel both secluded and part of an area rich with things to do.
Set on the site of a former rubber plantation, much of the originals grounds has been preserved. The roads leading between villas and facilities is hilly and onsite caddys will ferry you around for those that want to take it easy. The palm trees and bamboo mix in with the villas to make you feel right in the heart of a tropical paradise and being at height allows for the resort to be cooler than down by sea level.
ATMOSPHERE OF THE PAVILIONS PHUKET
Arriving at The Pavilions you enter through a long driveway lined with bamboo, you’re immediately hit with how quiet and cool in the shade it feels.There are no hordes of tourists here marching around the resort and kids don’t swing off trees full of excitement because they are on holiday. In fact, you feel like you’re pulling into a very private community and whilst here you know it’s going to be private and pure relaxation.
Because each villa has its own pool, massage room and room service option the resort doesn’t feel like its full, in fact, while we were there we only came across the other guests when we chose to eat at one of the restaurants. The staff work tirelessly to look after the guests and when transport around the resort is required you wait no more than a couple of minutes before the caddy pulls up. Great care in the restaurant is taken in preparing the items and when it’s brought out you feel like the food is of the highest class. Everything is designed for your comfort and enjoyment.
The décor was designed to bring out the passion inside of you. Love can be felt throughout the resort and the predominant colour scheme is red and black, to insight love and maybe even lust in couples. In this, it certainly isn’t a resort catering for kids. The natural beauty of the site and the heat in the air certainly will also get your heart racing. Thus the Pavilions has captured perfectly the definition of a romantic getaway. It’s about taking a break from it all and purely enjoying each others presence.
FACILITIES AT THE PAVILIONS PHUKET
All of the Pavilion’s villas are designed for complete privacy and are well equipped for it. Service here is of the highest quality and you could easily stay the entire time in your own villa without ever meeting another guest. The room service provides food and drink as well as a buggy to any location within The Pavilions Resort.
Nonetheless, for those of us who feel a little more sociable, there is a whole host of entertaining communal spaces. Indeed the Pavilions features three award-winning restaurants with gourmet cuisine prepared by our exceptionally skilled culinary team and state-of-the-art amenities including a spa and wellness centre offering relaxing treatments and massages, a lap pool and a fully equipped gym.
360° DEGREE BAR
They say location is everything, well the location of The Pavilions on its hill top means it has a 360° degree view of the landscape. The Pavilions takes full advantage of this with the 360° Degree Bar And Grill.
Sitting at the highest point of the resort the bar offers great food, drink and view. Take in the sea and the mountains at the same time, if you can time it for sunset it’s supposed to be heaven.
The bar is weather dependent as it is completely open air with an option of a curtain for shade. This, unfortunately, meant we never had the opportunity to eat at the bar while visiting but we did get the chance to experience the views for ourselves.
The newest restaurant in The Pavilions resort is Firefly. Located beside the resorts main pool, the largest on the island, the restaurant offers grill with a Mediterranean twist. Surrounded by palm trees and green lush plants it’s easy to chill and relax while sipping a cocktail and having something to eat.
We had the opportunity try a tapas selection here with a range of cocktails. The chef prepares excellent meals and the cocktails hit hard. They are delicious and unique, never once had we tasted these kind of flavours. Coconut and red chilli is certainly a first.
As the other residence of the resort lounge around having a good time, it’s a rare time to meet your neighbours. A chance to escape the privacy of your villa. The music fills the air and merriment is abound. The Firefly is certainly a must while staying at the resort.
THE PLANTATION CLUB
Though never colonised by the west, Thailand did open itself to the western world meaning its architecture leaked in. The Plantation captures this with its Colonial Style. Hard wood floors and table clothes set a simple yet elegant style. With its floor to ceiling folding glass doors guests get a view of tropical wilderness giving the impression of staying in a colonial home in the Thai plantations.
Morning breakfast is offered in The Plantation Club which we took the opportunity to try. A range of food from house made yoghurt, fresh fruit, continental pastries, and a selection of breads with a menu of hot foods to select from. There is a choice of smoothies to choice, fresh fruit juice, teas and fresh coffee to compliment breakfast. The chef also mingles with the guests giving recommendations or answering any questions the might have on the offered food. Friendly staff make waking up very enjoyable and easy.
Being built on a steep hillside the best way to get around the resort is by electric caddy. Free ferrying around the resort is offered to all guests and is just a phone call away. The staff are quick to location for pick up and will even take you to the best places for taking the most stunning of photos.
Hidden away in the terraced hillside, the secluded villas are all accessible via a cable-driven funicular. This was immensely fun to ride and we used it on a daily basis. Lazy 😛
The Pavilions also provide complimentary transport to the local beach, though we didn’t have the opportunity, it was highly recommended as a clean, quiet and beautiful place to visit. Although we travelled to Thailand during monsoon season, the weather was delightful and if we had had more time we would definitely have made the most of this service.
If you are planning to go on a day tour or just head a little further away, reception will be more than happy to help you book a taxi.
CHECK-IN AT THE PAVILIONS
Check-in at The Pavilions couldn’t have been smoother. The taxi drove us all the way to the reception area where we were met by friendly smiling staff. A delicious welcoming drink is offered to all guests as they check-in. A few minutes of document exchanging and we were ready to go.
The reception staff were more than happy to explain the layout of the resort and the best way to get around. A caddy then quickly whisked us to our villa where we were shown around and able to ask any questions that might have escaped us at reception.
We were amazed by our villa from the first instant. The pure size of it was impressive and what awaited us inside made us more than happy.
VILLAS AND SUITES AT THE PAVILIONS PHUKET
As part of our review, Gary and I has the opportunity to have a look around at the other types of accommodation available at The Pavilions.
Here is a brief overview.
HILL VIEW SUITE
Set in three high-rise buildings, these are the newest suites available at The Pavilions. A little smaller than the trademark villas, this type of accommodation makes a luxurious holiday for two accessible to everyone.
Make yourself at home in an elegantly designed suite overlooking the hillside’s refreshing, tropical greenery. Complete with an en-suite bathroom, modern conveniences and a kitchenette, these small boutique flats have everything you could possibly want.
OCEAN VIEW POOL VILLA
One step up from the Spa & Pool Pavilion, this private villa not only offers breathtaking views across Phuket’s white sands and calm waters, but also features a spacious infinity pool that extends out over Layan Beach.
Whilst the interior decor reminded us of our own private villa, the overall layout was slightly more generous.
SPA & POOL PENTHOUSE
If you are looking for the height of luxury, then you would be best booking the spa and pool penthouse.
Extremely spacious for couples to spread out and unwind, this two-story duplex includes facilities such as a private spa with steam room, sala, a personal infinity pool and a private outdoor terrace . The second floor offers a master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom, a beautiful Jacuzzi, private balcony, and indoor and outdoor rainshower.
OUR STAY IN THE SPA & POOL PAVILION
Whilst at The Pavilions we had the privilege of staying in one of the Mountain View Spa and Pool Pavilion.
The villa was incredibly spacious and included a Spa room and private swimming pool. Walled in for privacy but with a view over the mountains. The villa was decorated with a beautiful mix of dark hardwoods, cool grey concrete, rich earth tones, splashes of colour and richly textured fabrics. The mainly black and red colour palette would ignite passion in anyone, but just for good measure, the paintings strewn around the villa also had somewhat of an erotic edge to them.
The furniture was mainly contemporary and attractive. With a large couch to laze upon during the day and a four poster bed to snuggle on at night. Even the shower was big enough for two.
Greeted with a note and chocolates, the staff made us feel welcome and at home right from the start.
The bedroom is furnished with a four poster bed. It was extremely comfortable, soft as a cloud and dressed in high quality cotton sheets.
Every evening the staff turn down the bedroom to set the mood and ensure a comfortable evening. The drapes are released to create additional privacy and a red light highlights all corners of the room. This could easily be the setting for a romantic music video.
The bathroom is held in black and red. Slightly macho, this is nonetheless a place to relax for him and her.
The large mirror and double sink are perfect for couples, and I wouldn’t mind having a similar set-up at home. Whilst the massive white bathtub indisputably takes center stage, there is also a large rain shower in the corner of the room.
The Pavilions provide their guest with a great selection of bath products. And the fluffy bath robes are nice to slip into after a long hot shower or a relaxing soak in the bathtub.
This hotel has even thought about keen beachgoers. A large beach bag and two red beach towels are all on loan to the customer.
THE LOUNGE AND KITCHEN
There are two sets of large sliding doors both on the outside and the inside of the villa. The former allows you to let in a nice breeze when it gets too hot inside and the other one separates the large livingroom from the bedroom.
As previously mentioned the center of the livingroom is taken up by a huge daybed that faces a wide screen television.
Behind the sofa the kitchenette fills an entire wall and is stacked with fresh fruit, as well as sweet and salty treats. The kitchenette also houses the mini bar, which has been filled with a good variety of snacks and beverages, including house made gourmet goodies such as chocolate-coated coffee beans and sun-dried fruit. Better yet these are no more expensive than what you’d find outside of the hotel.
THE PRIVATE POOL
The turquoise pool outside of the villa but within the garden walls, will entice you for a relaxing swim in the morning or a cooling dip at the end of a hot day. I dare you to resist.
Indeed its seclusion and privacy allowed us to have a swim in our birthday suit without any undue attention. No tan lines here I come!
Beside the pool is a sheltered seating area. The perfect place to have a cooling drink out of the sun.
There is also covered day-bed and a couple of sun-lounges. So plenty of choice when it comes to spending some quality time outside, on your private terrace.
THE PRIVATE SPA ROOM
One of the most indulgent aspects of our villa was the private spa toom.
An outside entrance into the Spa room allows for the masseurs to gain entry and prepare everything for your relaxing treatment. Once the masseuses is ready, a quiet chap on the connecting living room lets you know that everything is prepared and you can enter.
The Spa room is furnished with not one but two beds where the guests can enjoy a private couple massage. There is a choice of wither Thai massage or Aromatherapy. Depending on which type of massage you choose you are either going to spend the next two hours completely naked or in a comfortable outfit provided by the masseurs.
Whilst Gary opted for another aromatherapy massage, I dared to choose the Thai massage for the very first time. This invigorating Thai massage involves stretching and manipulating your body in order to release energy blockages and promote flexibility. It’s pretty involved and I did hear my bones crack a couple of times.
Afterwards both of us felt like we were floating on a cloud.
EXTRA LITTLE TOUCHES
Wifi was provided in each room of the villa and easily accessible with a password. It had a quick connection and allowed us to stay connected at all times.
Furthermore, each villa is at the height of technology and equipped with satellite television, an iPod docking station and, DVD player (with a large collection of movies for borrowing). Technology won’t be the first thing on your mind though as the natural surrounds are so pleasant you’ll most like be out enjoying the great outdoors.
FOOD AT THE PAVILIONS PHUKET
BREAKFAST AT THE RESORT
At breakfast, we had a delicious meal each morning. With a gorgeous view and great food, it was a great way to wake up in the morning. A selection of fruits, pastries and cooked food is complimented by a choice of freshly made smoothies. The chef also always comes out for a chat to see how you find the food and will spend the day. A very friendly touch!
A CIVILISED AFTERNOON TEA
Gary and I were pleasantly surprised when we were offered afternoon tea at the Tea Plantation, as part of our holiday package. This civilised British tradition was exactly what we needed after a long day spent travelling. And I am happy to report that the tea was brewed to perfection and that the cakes and biscuits were delicious and more than satisfying.
DINNER AT THE PAVILIONS PHUKET
The Pavilions offers a variety of great dining experiences ranging from afternoon tea to a multicourse meal with cocktails. It was hard to pull ourselves away from the seclusion and tranquillity of our villa, but we eventually did. Whilst we originally intended to take in the views at the 360° Bar, we ended up having dinner at Firefly instead. Here we enjoyed a deliciously prepared tapas menu and some of the spiciest cocktails that ever crossed my lips. Gary and I cannot resist a good cocktail and these featured a really nice blends of flavors with kicks of spice and salt to balance the sweet. The bites we chose were equally delightful, and the portions were very satisfying but not over-filling. They served as great pairings with our cocktails and were packed full of flavour and various textures
The Pavilions is truly a place of relaxation and privacy where the main focus is love. The surrounding area is of great beauty and being beside the sea rather than inland is a good change of pace. If you are in the south or planning to visit then I highly recommend The Pavilions. Like no other resort, it will give you a time for relaxing with your loved one. The other side of the spectrum from Bangkok, this place is calming and a great way to end a holiday if you started in the capital city.
Note: We received two free nights at The Pavilions, afternoon tea, a tapas meal and spa treatment for the purpose of this review, but as always all the opinions stated are our own.
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