Point Yamu by COMO
Phuket, Thailand; 79 rooms and 27 villas from $504 (U.S.). comohotels.com/pointyamu
A stay at the newly opened Point Yamu by COMO is one of luxury, style, elegance and seclusion. It begins with a typical Thai welcome at this plush yet personal resort – I am met with a refreshing beverage, a cool moist towel and a friendly smile.
Point Yamu, which opened in late 2013, is part of the Singapore-based COMO resort chain, and the creative mind behind it is Paola Navone, the world-renowned Italian architect and furniture designer (she even has her own line at Crate & Barrel). The bold and striking architectural concepts are all hers, but her hand can be felt in all aspects of the property's visual aesthetics – from the furniture to the flatware to the bold splashes of orange saffron (inspired by the robes of Thailand's Buddhist monks) and even the restaurant menus. It's so "designed," in fact, that it almost feels like a high-end furniture showroom – with a view of the Gulf of Thailand, mind you.
Just a 25-minute drive from the airport, the resort still feels blissfully isolated as it's nestled on the Cape Yamu peninsula, midway down Phuket island's eastern side. The quiet can be either a pro or a con, depending on your disposition. However, it's perfect for luxury cocooning. Just try to stop lounging on the daybeds by the 100-metre long infinity pool.
It's also worth noting that there is no real beach at the resort as it sits on an elevated rock formation at the end of the cape, which in turn means incredible views of Phang Nga Bay.
There's plenty of opportunity to take a dip in the ocean, however, as a complimentary speedboat travels three times daily to nearby Naka Noi and Rang Yai islands.
Out here, the crystal clear waters and white sands are postcard perfect, and the resort's attentive activity staff provides the snorkel gear.
IF I COULD CHANGE ONE THING
During my stay in the resort's "soft opening" phase there was some construction, which spoiled the view a bit on the eastern side, but that setback is only temporary and should be completed by the fall. However, one afternoon my meditative nap was interrupted by a buzzing chainsaw sound lasting almost a full hour – which, I was later told, was the mosquito fogging machine (a necessary evil).
EAT IN OR OUT?
The resort's two main dining rooms are all you've got with virtually no other dining options within easy travelling distance. Thankfully, they're both good. Sit poolside at La Sirena Italian for lavish breakfast buffets and perfectly executed wood-oven pizzas at lunch and dinner. Or be dazzled by the playful goldfish-themed orange decor at Nahmyaa, which specializes in Thai cuisine. Definitely try the Wagyu oxtail soup.
There are some things one should not go without – a private swimming pool on the balcony overlooking the sparkling waters of Phang Nga Bay is one of them. Book a villa (or certain suites) to snag one, and you'll find the experience is like flying first-class – once you've tried it, you'll never want to go back.
The writer was a guest of the hotel.