Ever wanted to be in a Bond movie? Michelle Walsh finds a futuristic resort in Phuket that could be the perfect location
If you imagine in your minds eye a hotel of the future, you’ve probably pictured ‘The Naka.’ Every inch of this architectural masterpiece will have the most sophisticated traveller wide eyed with wonder.
Located at the end of a remote road in the luxury enclave of Kamala Bay, The Naka is an exclusive hideaway on the stunning west coast of Phuket. Arriving at reception, perched above the villa’s looking across to the sea is like stepping in to a Bond movie. Wood, glass concrete and fortress like proportions make a flawless first impression. The uncontrollable urge to snap away like a rookie tourist will see your phone memory spent before you’ve even been introduced to you’re impossibly chic lodgings.
I had seen photos of the Naka, but no image can interpret the scale of the tree house like villas, which hug the curvature of hillside. Resembling space pods, which have docked for the night, it’s a like snap shot of a hotel from the future. Duangrit Bunnag Architects have used the natural topography of the land to maximise the stunning views of the Andaman Sea, whilst clever use of green-topped roofs and lush landscaping give the resort perfect environmental synergy.
After check in my husband and I were whisked away by buggy to our sleek hillside haven. Staggered at different heights for privacy the infinity edge pool seems to flow out above the ocean and dark tiles with occasional iridescent ones catch the rays like a sea of stars. The thought that has gone in to details like the shadows cast by the over head pergola, which moves with the light creating new patterns across the wall as the sun moves, are one of many stunning visual effects.
The rectangular shape villas are all glass with wrap around wooden decks. Outdoor bath and rainwater shower at the back create a unique feature which flows on to the inside facilities for those seeking the modesty of showering with walls.
I pushed the roof at finally discovering a hotel, which had actually put thought into the sound system. My tip is to plug in your phone, Google ‘Fun radio’ on your browser and before you know it you’re live streaming the best music from Ibiza. The bedroom has the rock star view across the ocean and black out curtains to stop you waking up at senior citizens hour. The villa’s modern spacious feel combined with private pool make leaving hotel home base a quandary.
The restaurant, a short walk down some steps and across the lush ocean front lawn, which borders a large infinity pool, is optically striking. Like a forest of tall wood your eye is taken skyward to the impossibly high ceilings and huge wooden pillars. Seated overlooking the resort my only dilemma was making a choice from the extensive menu of culinary delights.
Engaging service, delectable menu and ample wine list meant a quick bite was out of the question. The soft shell crab, whole flash fried on spicy green mango salad and Nava blue swimmer crab cakes worked beautifully with the 2012 R Mondavi Woodbridge Chardonnay. My main of herb crusted, rare tuna steak with caper berry, eggplant and cous cous had a smoky Middle Eastern fusion of flavours. My husband’s choice of the Australian lamb rack was perfection and a shared tiramisu with espresso punctuated the meal perfectly.
In the evening there’s an option to enjoy a seafood barbecue at romantic candle lit tables on the lawn by the ocean for a special way to dine. Phuket lobster, like my karaoke performance should not be missed. It’s the jewel in the culinary crown of Phuket. Along with local prawns and bugs, dining on this delectable selection, with out a breath of wind on a perfect night with the sounds of the sea is a special occasion or for The Naka, just a regular day.
For those looking to really reboot, recharge and revive their stressed or indulged lifestyles The NAPA spa is a fresh concept in wellness.
Positioned 30 meters above sea level, the 5 story Spa of dramatic design, offers an unparalleled experience where your senses will be united with sea air and mountain mist.
Conceived from the concept that wellbeing is a gradual healing process, found by the knowledge of nature’s universal secrets and its four Elements earth, wind and fire. The spa menu can be individually tailored from massage, Biodroga facials and enhance wraps to unique specialist therapies. Herbs, fruit and flowers used as ingredients for healthy refreshments and unique spa treatments create a modern twist using ancient wisdom.
Breathtaking views and vibrant sunsets at The Meka Sky Lounge are a sensational way to watch the sun fade from view. Elegant fine dining in a striking atmosphere overlooking the Andaman Sea ensures the most romantic of evening in a breathtaking setting.
Morning is best for time on the resorts private beach as it’s high tide and perfect for exploring the rocky out crops by kayak or diving in for a snorkel. We jumped in and like the resort I found it hard not to morph in to a Nat-Geo cameraman, obsessively documenting every postcard moment. As we snorkelled we were blown away by the underwater sea of coral and so many fish so close to the beach. You would normally need to take a boat out to a reef to see what is just meters from the shore at The Naka.
The term ‘wow factor’ is thrown around these days at everything from a stunning hotel to someone’s dodgy apartment for rent. With so many voices happy to give their five cents worth it’s hard to separate the ‘Wow factor’ from the ‘How can I get an early plane out of here factor?’ I really can’t see how The Naka could disappoint. The only down side for some is it is off the beaten path so you will need to taxi in to areas for nightlife or take the hotel shuttle to Patong but with sensational food and a billionaires playground feel I can’t see why you would need to leave.