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Tuesday 3 May 2022

New resort offers a blissful Thai experience

Phuket is always a delight - and the Meliá Hotels group is known for running top-notch establishments around the globe.  

No surprise, then, that the brand-new Meliá Phuket Mai Khao is proving extremely popular after opening in a delightful beachfront setting in January.  


The 30-suite and 70-villa resort sits on eight acres of Phuket’s north-western coastline overlooking the Andaman Sea and has very chilled vibe with a focus on wellness. 


There is also a delightful cross-cultural Thailand meets Europe feel, particularly when it comes to the cuisine.  


You can dine on paella, or pizza, one night and then chicken sate and spicy prawns and rice the next. 


From yoga and pilates classes to cold-pressed juice making lessons and dawn beach walks, it is hard not to feel good. Regular readers may not be surprised by the fact I opted out of a Muay Thai kickboxing class.   


Fronting Phuket’s longest stretch of sand, the resort on Mai Khao Beach is close to several attractions such as Sirinat National Park, Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, and Wat Phra Thong temple.  


Phuket International Airport is just a 15-minute drive away but there is no aircraft noise and the whole resort is delightfully chilled with an almost deserted beach to explore. I’m told you can, in fact, walk all the way to the airport.  


Launched by Melia Hotels International and owned by residential real estate developer Phuket Villa Group, the five-star resort is part of a roll-out of the Meliá brand in key destinations across Thailand including Koh Samui, Chiang Mai and Bangkok. 


The new resort has saltwater swimming pools, private villa pools (perfect for cooling off after a walk), a reflection pond with sunken seating areas and water gardens.

The Mediterranean-inspired accommodations (Melia is a Spanish company) comprise 30 one-bedroom suites and 70 one-bedroom villas that each cater for up to two adults and two children.  


All feature outdoor bathtubs, open-air showers and outdoor terraces. 


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


Fifteen “wellness villas” feature an open-air Vitamin C shower, daily massage, ultrasonic essential oil diffuser, GermGuardian air purifier, Tempur-Pedic pillows, fit ball and yoga mat.  


Meliá Phuket Mai Khao features four food and beverage outlets including the Gaia Beach Club eatery – the main dinner destination with that Spain-meets-Thailand menu.


There is also the all-day dining restaurant SASA, specialising in south-east Asian cuisine, while Elyxr Café will serve fresh squeezed juices and some locally brewed liquors. There is also be a swim-up pool bar. 


Meliá’s signature YHI Spa is home to five treatment rooms. In addition to its extensive menu of massages, facials, body scrubs and wraps, spa therapists also provide poolside and in-villa treatments. 


The fitness centre is equipped with treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes and weights machines – all of which I studiously ignored. 


“Through our partnership with Spain’s leading hotel group, we are thankful that we can significantly contribute to Phuket’s recovery in the wake of Covid-19 by creating much-needed jobs for the local tourism sector and setting a new benchmark for hospitality on Thailand’s largest island,” said Maetapong Upatising, Phuket Villa Group's managing director. 


The staff here are super efficient and friendly - as is the Thai way and nothing is to much trouble.  


A great destination for couples and families, but too far from the action in Patong for party animals. Which is a good thing.  


Getting there: 


# Jetstar flights between Sydney and Phuket operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays (twice per week return services). 

Melbourne flights operate on Tuesdays and Sundays.  

Sydney to Phuket fares start from $319 and Melbourne to Phuket from $289. There are economy and business class options on the comfortable Boeing 787-8 aircraft. See  





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