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Wednesday 19 January 2022

Thailand travel with a Spanish accent

Spanish hotel group Meliá Hotels International is a global giant aiming to make a major impact in Thailand.

Meliá Phuket Mai Khao, a wellness-inspired beach resort with a beach club and private pool villas, has just opened on Thailand’s largest island.

The resort is the second five-star property to be launched in Thailand under the Melia banner and is part of a brand roll-out across the country. 

Situated on Mai Khao beach on Phuket’s north-western coast on the Andaman Sea, the resort sprawls over eight acres and is now fully operational after some initial opening delays. 

The 30-suite and 70-villa resort is a 15-minute drive to Phuket International Airport and close to Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, Sirinat National Park and Wat Phra Thong temple.

The resort’s design melds traditional and contemporary Thai aesthetics with a smattering of Mediterranean elements (as you'd expect from a Spanish company).

The resort has three accommodation categories. Each features a single bedroom and is differentiated by an anchoring amenity - be it an outdoor bathtub, a private plunge pool or a wellness arrangement.

All of the suites and villas feature outdoor bathtubs, open-air showers and outdoor terraces to take advantage of Phuket’s climate. 

The 78sqm suites are complemented by cabanas and the 85sqm one-bedroom villas have private plunge pools.

At the top of the accommodation scale, the 15 wellness villas each feature an open-air Vitamin C shower, ultrasonic essential oil diffuser, GermGuardian air purifier, Tempur-Pedic pillows, aromatic salts for the outdoor bathtub, a fit ball and yoga mat. 

Which sounds just hunky dory. A highlight of staying in a wellness villa is a daily 60-minute massage included.

All rooms and suites have individually controlled air-conditioning, 43-inch LCD TV with satellite channels, Bluetooth speaker, Nespresso coffee maker and gourmet capsules. 

The resort has four food and beverage outlets under culinary director Luca Mancini. 

Gaia Beach Club celebrates Spain by serving Mediterranean and fusion cuisine from an open kitchen and a cocktail selection from a long bar.

SASA is an elegant all-day dining restaurant that specialises in international and Thai cuisine, while the Elyxr Café serves coffee and tea.

The Pool Bar is a swim-up affair at the centre of the resort that serves a range of refreshments including fresh juices, smoothies and cocktails.

On site amenities include a spa with a menu of massages, facials, body scrubs and wraps and the resort will offer wellness packages that include healthy menus and freshly squeezed juices as well as activities such as meditation, yoga, and walks and cycling. 

There is also a fitness centre and children's club.

“Meliá Phuket Mai Khao’s debut marks such an exciting time for Phuket, signalling our genuine optimism for the future of tourism on Thailand’s largest island,” said Maetapong Upatising, Phuket Villa Group's managing director.

Meliá Koh Samui debuted in January 2020, while Meliá Chiang Mai is slated to open in April 2022. INNSiDE by Meliá Bangkok Sukhumvit (a very silly name), the first property of its brand in Thailand, with 176 guest rooms, is due to open 2023.

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