Over the years, for Indians, Thailand has come to be known for a quick, action-packed holiday. From partying to food trails, weddings to honeymoons, weekend getaways to water activities, it’s all happening here. However, what’s gone unnoticed is that the Southeast Asian nation can also double up as a peaceful haven when needed. Beyond the veil of the crowds and bustling city lanes lies a quieter persona, which allows you to slip into the lap of luxury and enjoy a rather relaxed holiday.
Proving to be a prime centre for such is Phuket, especially with properties such as the Iniala Beach House, a stunning hotel we checked into recently. Opened in 2013, the Iniala Beach House is right on the Natai Beach, opening up to the soothing waves of Andaman Sea. Secluded and private, other than plush rooms, good food, and endless fresh coconut water, their host of in-house and city activities were more than enough to keep us engaged through four days. And here’s the lowdown on what to expect from Iniala Beach House, the resort where the Kardashians vacation. (The family booked the entire villa for six days, while filming ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ in 2014)
What it’s all about
High on design, the 10 different rooms at Iniala have been created by 10 different internationally renowned artists and designers. These rooms are divided across three villas with three rooms each, and one penthouse. Futuristic, boudoir, desert, Buddhism – each villa and room carries a distinct theme. A-cero from Spain, Graham Lamb from Britain, Eggarat Wongcharit from Thailand, and Brazil’s Campana Brothers are few of the artists who’ve helped create this visually-dynamic space. Other than the private dining of the villas which has Thai and international cuisines, there is the restaurant Esenzi by Chef Tim Butler, which serves tasting menus. Privacy and luxury is at the heart of Iniala Beach House, each villa coming with its own manager, chef, and spa therapist.
We stayed at the Boudoir-inspired room by Mark Brazier-Jones, in the Collector’s Villa. Bottle green and golden hues interspersed with extensive mirror work make up this room, which transports you to the Middle East with its opulence and elaborate furnishings. The spacious room has an open bath and basin, along with a closed-off shower area. The vanity table in the centre is eye-catching, and even those who follow a five-minute night-time beauty routine would enjoy spending a couple of extra minutes in front of it. An extensive pillow menu, ample wardrobe, everything tab-controlled, its own coded lock, a view of the infinity pool that overlooks the beach – the boudoir room brings the idea of living large to life.
Chef Butler’s Esenzi is focused on seafood, with a tasting menu made of the freshest horsehair crab, caviar, phytoplankton, and more – the final dishes influenced by global cuisines. The food options within the villas span authentic Thai and international fare. Expect egg preparations, innumerable kinds of breads, fresh fruit cuts, waffles, pancakes, and the like for breakfast. And for dinner and lunch service, you can go for house-made burrata, tart pomelo salad, pad Thai, pastas, grills, coconut ice cream et al. Thai food is possibly their best offering, and a must-try.
The service staff is prompt and enthusiastic about getting you just the individual experience you want. Them braving the rain to bring out each dish for a dinner service to the beachfront dining area (despite our protests) is a peek into their dedication. Happy to accommodate requests that may not be on the menu, and quick to cater to any service required in the room, everything here is seamless.
Their Kids’ Hotel, replete with child-sized bath robes, basins, indoor tree houses, and of course play area is a bonus for families, where adults may want some alone time while the young ones are well taken care of. Then there’s the art gallery with 40 artworks, which are changed regularly – ideal for some leisure time for those keen on international art. A fitness centre for those who don’t want to give up on the workout when on holiday, a pool table, expert spa therapists, Yoga by the beach, activities such as cycling tours, and Thai boxing make up for other perks of staying at this restful resort.
Address: Iniala Beach House, 40/14 Moo 6, Baan Natai, T. Khokkloi, A. Takuathung, Phang-nga, Thailand, 82140
Reaching there: Iniala Beach house is a 20-minute drive from Phuket International Airport
Contact: +66 076 429 430
All images: Courtesy Iniala Beach House