Monday, 1 February 2010

Luxury spa villas: best villa in the world -- Pimalai Resort and Spa Krabi Thailand

The bubbly has all been drunk, the tuxedos and glittering ball gowns (not mine you understand, jing jing) sent to the dry-cleaners. The dust has settled and it's all coming back to me now ...

A host of hoteliers* from the top luxury hotels around the world gathered in Bangkok last Thursday night for the 2009 World Luxury Hotel Awards. You've never seen such a parade of shiny shoes, carefully coiffed heads, and laser-treated teeth in your life. There was backslapping and bon homie, but I could tell they were all thinking the same thing: 'If your hotel beats mine ... I'm gonna, I'm gonna ... grrrrrr. Anyway lovely to see you.'

These days luxury in Asia Pacific is defined by the 'P' word: pool villa. In fact it's become the Fifth P of marketing! And who should walk away -- that should be swim away -- with top honours in the luxury villa category worldwide? Thailand's very own Pimalai Resort and Spa on Koh Lanta, Krabi province (that's near Phuket for those not in the know). It was the first of the super-luxury resorts to go into that area, boasting 900 metres of pure unadulterated beach front, eight restaurants and bars, and a level of seclusion that only 25 hectares of tropical rainforest can give one.

As for the luxury spa villas themselves? What makes them so special, you ask? What makes them the best villa in the world? Are their pools full of Moet et Chandon champagne? No idea, sorry. I've never been there. Yet.

But according to their website they are Huuuuuuuuuge: up to 422 square metres under cover. (That's almost as large of some hotel manager's egos.) Bathtubs overlooking the Andaman Sea. And your own little infinity pool that's a mere 13 x 4 metres. There are Olympic swimmers from third world nations that train in pools smaller than that! But it says nothing about what it's filled with ...

Anyway, I'm waiting for my invitation to try these out first-hand sometime soon. Did I mention how much I've always liked the general manager Franck de Lastapis and the managing director Khun Paninart Thiyaporn? Fine, fine people ... always lovely to see them: especially when I'm flopping about in their pool villa for free.

* Can you think of a better collective noun for hoteliers? Would love to hear it.

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