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Curling submerged rondel seating offers views over Phuket's Nai Thon

Phuket's New Pullman, Where the War is Over and Water Has Won

Sunday, June 16, 2013
Phuketwan Quest for Phuket Resort of the Year 2013

PHUKET: Why it took so long for Nai Thon beach to be discovered is difficult to understand. For some reason, Phuket tourism's pioneers charged south, rushing past this glorious timelocked beach.

Patong, Karon, Kamala all grew and grew. Phuket's west coast prospered. Nai Thon? It kept being bypassed.

But not any more.

Atop a headland that has to be one of the finest locations on Phuket, architects P49 have created a resort that probably sets a new standard for a still-fresh Phuket century.

Surrounded by rocks and sand and a national park, the Pullman Phuket Arcadia mixes classical design with new wave curves.

All of it, from the drama of the entrance on, wais the Andaman Sea, complementing the ocean rather than competing with it.

The curling road upwards is lined with bamboo greenery to provide a sense that new arrivals are leaving the urbane world for a better one.

We arrive in daylight and long for darkness. To have the foyer lit with candles would make any arrival impressively romantic.

Greeting us is a ''welcomer,'' wearing a wafting blue evening dress that makes the break with urbanity complete. We are in a new world now.

And a very pleasant world it is. Arriving in the dark might be more romantic but in daylight, we have the advantage of taking in the splendor of the view over Nai Thon beach.

Artfully placed in skypools at the foyer edge are rondels where guests can immerse themselves in Phuket's water culture without getting their feet wet.

Stretching out below, on the seaward slope, is the curling buffer of the large resort pool. Rainbow tones shine through the water, marking the pool as the epicentre of this resort's new world.

The curves continue throughout, taking the edge off classic corners, giving in to the sea, waiing at every encounter.

Targetting business groups and honeymooners, the Pullman aims to make the most of its closeness to the airport and its splendid isolation from the hectic pace of tourism further south.

More rooms have yet to open, along with the business centre, but we see enough to impress. This is going to be a great resort.

I confess to loving the sound of the sea. The Pullman pool villas are not only designed to look out over waves crashing on the rocks below, they allow water to take control.

With the growing realisation that guests love sublime bathroom treats, these villas wrap the bedroom and living area in water.

It's possible to move from the private pool via a secluded pathway to the outdoor shower, then on to a breathtaking bathroom, without setting one single wet foot in the living and bedroom space.

The war is over and the water has won. Below, the waves are pounding the rocks in celebration. Long live this Pullman peace.

Pullman Arcadia Phuket is a candidate for Phuketwan's Phuket Resort of the Year 2013.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Why are you supporting a resort that is built in a national park?

Posted by Michael on June 16, 2013 10:37

Editor Comment:

The resort has just opened and, as always, we review Phuket's new resorts as part of our tourist news coverage. No charges have been laid over the claims that the property is in a national park. If you have evidence that the resort is in the park, please pass your information on to the authorities. We await the outcome of the investigation with interest. But we are journalists, not judges.

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"Nai Thon? It kept being bypassed."

It might be a glamorous attraction, but the resort was in major trouble until politicians halted the investigation.

Tell it to the trees.

Posted by J on June 16, 2013 15:39

Editor Comment:

I'm not sure what stage the investigation is at but the key point was that a lot of digging was needed to determine at what point any alleged criminality took place. Some of the land titles changed hands several times, so it's possible for the present owners to not know anything about the property's questionable history.

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Sure... and with complex paper work (such as the mortgage backed securities that caused the GFC) this is how the war over the national park may have been lost.

Posted by J on June 17, 2013 09:56

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There were several news stories regarding this resort. Some even showed aerial views indicating the boundaries of the resort encroaching into not only the National Park, but the protected forest reserve as well. I don't think that it is appropriate to promote this resort in any way until the investigation is complete. This is just as bad as advertising and promoting all the "Beach Clubs" and Beach Restaurants! We all know that they are encroaching on the public beaches, yet all news sources are happy to take their advertising money...

Posted by Tim on June 18, 2013 08:24

Editor Comment:

The rule is innocent until proven guilty, Tim. That's what works in the real world, where judgements are not made on what appears likely, but what the justice system delivers. As has been said in many of the Phuketwan reports, the process of determining who could be the guilty parties is complicated because property titles have changed hands more than once. The resort meanwhile is innocent. Life goes on there, and in the real world. The same applies to beach clubs. As someone who gets his news for free, paid for by others, if you feel so strongly about this issue, lodge your protest: stop reading.

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That's all nice and well being feted, but it may cloud your neutrality... what about the encroachment on public park land?

Posted by Ian on June 18, 2013 14:17

Editor Comment:

There is no encroachment until a case is brought and proven in court. Accusations are not proof. We are not and never have been neutral. ie ''not aligned with or supporting any side or position in a controversy.'' What we have to be is fair and balanced. The resort will never be charged.

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I like it. Only not for kids. Schade. Have to wait until I am old.

Posted by Lena on June 18, 2013 15:36

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(moderated)

Posted by mediawatcher on June 18, 2013 19:20

Editor Comment:

We don't repeat spurious accusations. No charges have been laid and the sources you quote with such assurance have it wrong. Wake up to yourself.

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PW Online ed retorts, especially errors - really are driving site into the ground. A lot pent up anger is vented on readers, ( typical sex pat behavior I've noted on the discussion forums ) and I see you are unable to correct your staff's mistakes, ever. NOw huff nad puff and threaten to never post comments again. What an asshole

Posted by mediawatcher on June 19, 2013 12:53

Editor Comment:

What mistakes, mediawatcher? And what anger? These are, as usual, outpourings from your troubled imagination. I think you'll find we correct our (extremely rare) substantial errors immediately. Others simply flub, post an ''update'' and leave glaring mistakes uncorrected. We have a code of ethics. We adhere to it. Others have no code. As for you . . . your pretence at occupying the high ground is farcical. Readers are not fooled by pretentious neverbeens. Anger, envy and an inability to write straight appear to be your problems, not mine.

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Hardly a new opening

Posted by eezergood on June 19, 2013 13:54

Editor Comment:

It's a new resort with many rooms and additions still to come. Do you expect us to be there on the first day? Is that your trivial complaint? Really?

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You just contradicted yourself:not neutral, fair and balanced, so which is it Mr Editor?

Editor Comment:

There is no encroachment until a case is brought and proven in court. Accusations are not proof. We are not and never have been neutral. ie ''not aligned with or supporting any side or position in a controversy.'' What we have to be is fair and balanced. The resort will never be charged.

Posted by Ian on June 20, 2013 13:51

Editor Comment:

I've got not idea what you're on about, Ian, and I suspect that makes two of us.


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