Mai Khao Moves Up Location Chain
Category: Newspaper / Magazine Columns
The Phuket Gazette.
As I find myself cruising the four lane highway toward the newly opened Renaissance Phuket Resort and Spa in Mai Khao, I slam on the brakes to take in an unworldly sight.
While the irony of the driver wearing a bright red t-shirt and a soi dog adorned in a yellow sleeveless tank top straddling the handlebars makes me nearly pass out in spastic irony, there is no time for monkey business, and I press on to the new resort everyone is talking about.
Today I'm meeting General Manager Jason Nuell for a quick look at Phuket's newest internationally branded hotel.
While for many images of corporate hotels brings up terms like 'bed factory', I am indeed pleasantly surprised at first glance.
The hotel 'soft opened' just a few weeks ago (meaning it's not yet running at full capacity), but is already humming with tourists and shiny happy staff who nearly create a football scrum when greeting new arrivals.
I'm informed that there are 180 guest rooms, 26 private pool villas, a number of bars and restaurants, a ballroom for weddings and something called 'the jack pack'.
The last one certainly catches my eye, and no I was not suspecting any sexual innuendos. What is included in this perhaps poorly named accessory pack are a series of international electrical adopters, so whether you have just flown in from Slovenia, Easter Island or Bakersfield, Renaissance can indeed turn you on...
Strolling the grounds of the resort, the design is both conventionally tasteful and fresh with some unique touches. Leading Thai architecture firm A49 and interior guru's P49 teamed up for Renaissance in what is arguably one of the islands most aesthetic upscale hotels.
Opening rates are a very good value at the moment, taking the edge off crazed consumers looking for an ideal getaway. Renaissance is a top-notch place, where happiness is in all things.
Mai Khao is indeed evolving into a increasingly sophisticated location from the days when JW Marrriott opened and blank stares were the norm when tourists asked where the hotel was located.
Now the northernmost beach on the island has plenty of company with Anantara and cutting edge Sala Phuket. Well known Holiday Inn is set to add a new site into the brew next year.
For those who can't possibly face another breakfast buffet, a first class retail center, 'Turtle Village' is now open and offers shopping, dining and even many important drinking opportunities.
Getting back into my SUV, I squeal out of the car park to check out progress on the new Sarasin Bridge extension.
An amazing site greets me. Cranes are lifting, workers are hammering and the connection between Phuket and Phang Nga is set to be even bigger and better in just a short while.
Mai Khao is upping its stake in the tourism derby, and like the north star, the end of the island is guiding incoming travelers its way.