It lies just a few minutes over the bridge away from the buzz and fuzz of Phuket island, and is best approached in a snazzy weekend cabriolet. It’s the dream of anyone looking for a courtside seat to Thailand’s most serene sunset, and simultaneously provides a thrilling balance of debauchery and daytime dozing. It’s where the beaches are unspoiled but the beachside havens spoil for choice. And it’s where laid-back luxury rings from every perfectly picturesque coconut palm towering above untouched sands. Roll a carpet, pop the bottles, feast your faces, and welcome to The Hamptons of Thailand: Phang Nga.
Overlooking the allure and azure of the Andaman Sea, Phang Nga is thriving, but doing so without the mainstream publicity like its downtown Phuket, Krabi, or even Samui counterparts. It’s what every stylishly visiting millennial is dubbing as “utterly chill, man”, yet manages to level up in exclusivity beyond many other locations around Thailand or even Southeast Asia.
After all, for Phang Nga, luxury private villas are the norm, not the exception. It’s an alternate universe where ‘alfresco’ translates to a sunset sala, ‘dinner’ is a freshly caught lobster and a wine from an in-house cellar, and ‘activities’ range from private beach volleyball to a swim in your birthday suit. The Kardashians holidayed here. Bangkok’s who’s who soaks up the sun here. And if you really want to unlock the dock and laze the day away like only the lavish know how, you need to head to these luxury private villas in Phang Nga right now.
Give ten world-class designers a carte blanche and the opportunity to let their imaginations run free, and you’ll understand why the incredible Iniala Beachhouse feels like a fluff of Cloud Nine in Phang Nga. It’s where Kim K and co. stayed when they visited Thailand. It’s where the acclaimed chef Tim Butler reigns the stakes and the steaks leading a team of Thai and Western chefs. And it’s where luxury hospitality meets unique design for a truly VIP all-needs-met experience. One of four residences on the premises, visit the beautiful Villa Bianca. It combines the abstract designs of Spain’s A-cero with a conceptual theme by the Russian Philosophy of Design, and was inspired by seashells and Eastern European figurines for a playful cool charm. Take the nap of your life on the oversized bed, or dive nose deep into a novel on the yacht-like outdoor courtyard for a stay that is Instagrammable at every exquisite angle. Villa Bianca provides little reason to ever actually leave the premises of its curvaceous ceilings and colourfully humorous artwork. It’s the stuff of stylish star dust, for those who like to holiday like the stars.
Villa Bianca, Iniala Beach House, 40/14 Moo 6, Baan Natai, T. Khok Kloy, Takua Thung, Phang Nga, +66 76 429 430
Sava Beach Villas is a popular one in Phang Nga, and with seven superb residences sitting spectacularly along Natai Beach, it’s not difficult to see why. One of the larger villas on the property, Villa Amarelo provides a tropical escape in sleek and contemporary form. The six-bedroom beachfront villa boasts a bright, open design, contrasting a fashionably dark 25-metre pool with white sun beds under sun clouds. It is the location to tan like you’ve never tanned before. Furthermore, the expansive lawns and terraces provide a lot of space for outdoor entertaining and activities, with full-time staff available to arrange private dinners and events. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows ensure you never escape the turquoise blues of the sea just outside, and between a midday volley ball sesh in the sand and a pavilion massage in the eve, there’s plenty to enjoy here. As you reflect by the Reflection Pond (yup) at the entrance, you’re likely to feel your worries drift away with each waft of the Andaman Sea breeze – or perhaps that of the barbecue by your private chef on the terrace, too.
Villa Amarelo, Sava Beach Villas, 36 Moo 14, Natai Beach, Khok Kloy, Takua Thung, Phang Nga, +66 76 684 820
Three exclusive havens hone the pristine white beachfront of the Jivana Beach Villas property, and situated behind a grand double door entrance, Villa Ananda may just be our favourite of the lot. It’s a breath-taker from the moment you set foot, bearing much of a truly Southeast Asian vacation fantasy, between sala-like teakwood interiors and a palm-strewn lawn. The villa is arranged over four elegant pavilions, with a central ‘Great Room’ overlooking the sea behind a sprinkling of tall coconut palm groves. It’s a great place for families to get together to unwind, between board games, a fully-stocked music and film library, and undoubtedly the greatest movie of all: the private beach beyond the 25-metre infinity pool just outside. Sip a sundowner inside the sunset sala (no cocktail elsewhere will ever live up), and enjoy a fresh seafood dinner on the premises. Let the swaying sound of the waves lullaby you to sleep, for a holiday that is relaxing and quintessentially sabai sabai.
Villa Ananda, Jivana Beach Villas, 15/9 Moo 16, Khok Kloy, Takua Thung, Phang Nga, +66 76 684 820
Villa Saanti is the kind of place where when you enter, you’re going to drop your bags along with your jaw, and mouth a serious “oh wow.” The ‘home of peace’ consists of a six-bedroom beachfront villa fit for up to a whopping 18 people, which is an apt number given that the space deeply tempts to party. Enter via a spacious two-storey main pavilion and let your eyes wander along the impressively elongated infinity pool onto a lawn and into the shore. Scattered around these, four other luxurious bedroom pavilions surround the main area, allowing guests ample balance between private sleeping spaces and public chilling spaces. It’s ideal for a group of friends (all 18 of them), and with a kitchen team preparing not only the day’s three cardinal meals but also a hearty array of snacks in between, it’s the perfect R&R from sunrise to sunset – or from sunset to sunrise, depending on your plans. Turn up your favourite tunes, catch up over last night’s antics in the jacuzzi, and enjoy a fresh slice of pizza from the villa’s very own pizza oven. You (and again, really, all 18 of your friends) won’t know what hit.
Villa Saanti, 39 Moo 14, Natai Beach, Khok Kloy, Thakua Thung, Phang Nga, +66 76 684 820
You know that feeling when you want to go on holiday with another family or couple or group of friends, but you don’t want to spend each waking second together? It’s as if the Twin Villas Natai were designed during exactly this all-too-uncomfortably-familiar thought process. Three words: peace of mind. The Twin Villas Natai are made up of two connected but wholly self-contained villas (aptly named ‘North Villa’ and ‘South Villa’), which together form a 10-bedroom retreat, with mirroring indoor and outdoor living spaces and pools. A shared lawn connects the two villas as a great setting for activities, between taking the in-house bicycles for a spin to kayaking the afternoon away from the private beach. After a sunset yoga session in the villa, recharge with an authentic Thai meal prepared by your personal chef, and retreat back to your own intimate haven within the North or South villa. It’s a big family vacation without the stress, combining the comfort of love seats on the poolside gazebos with the feel-good of your own bedroom and balcony.
Twin Villas Natai, 87 Moo 5, Natai Beach, Khok Kloy, Takua Thung, Phang Nga, +66 76 684 820
Nandana translates to ‘paradise’ from Sanskrit, and thereby it’s no sheer coincidence that the idyllic Villa Nandana bears the same name. The elegant four-bedroom retreat brings together a stylish blend of marble, wood, and stone, in a contemporary yet intimately Thai setting. Take a dip in the 20-metre pool or work out with a personal trainer in the private gym in the mornings, and during the day, engage in a customised tour of the surrounding waterfalls and jungle parks. Come back to cosy up under the pitched timber ceilings of the villa TV lounge or to a comprehensive wellness program in the spa room, before enjoying an incredible dinner in the dining sala. Villa Nandana boasts the look and feel of a luxury resort – yet as if said luxury resort was, for a few nights only, yours and only yours. Sublime.
Villa Nandana, 23/7 Moo 5, Natai Beach, Khok Kloy, Thakua Thung, Phang Nga, +66 76 684 820
Sometimes you want to go on vacation and just do nothing at all, except perhaps work on your lounge pose, exercise your sipping, and practice a perfected pool plunge. A wonderful location for all this? Baan Taley Rom. Boasting an incredible 60 metres of private beachfront, the six-bedroom villa is the kind of place where you can unpack and just be for a good few days. The interiors are a beautifully warm contemporary amalgamation of Western and Thai design, boasting traditional Thai art work and photography along the walls, and a snazzy 25-metre black-tile infinity pool outside. Wellness aficionados will love the in-house masseuse, steam room, sauna, and jacuzzi, whilst wine lovers will adore the villa’s very own private bar and wine room, to the melodies of jazz from the speakers. You know how the expression goes that ‘it takes a village’ to bring together a perfect tropical holiday? Yeah, it turns out it may take merely a villa.
Baan Taley Rom, 25/8 Moo 5, Khok Kloy, Takua Thung, Phang Nga, +66 76 684 820