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.