Phuket’s luxurious hillside getaway enclave continues to evolve
The drive to Trisara—free airport pick-up is provided for all guests—meanders along winding village roads and past the lively tourist throngs at Nai Thon Beach before dropping guests off at the resort’s open-air lobby. For many clients that brief road trip is all they’ll see of life outside this beachfront pleasure retreat, since the property is so beautiful, and the accommodations are so lavish, there’s really no reason to leave.
The resort’s name, derived from Sanskrit, means “garden in the third heaven” and this property is indeed a heavenly garden. The lushness of the vegetation—carefully manicured by a team of expert gardeners—gives the resort the necessary tropical jungle feel, but it also helps maintain the privacy of the 39 villa accommodations. The resort’s original design team planned it so that each unit would be absolutely private, and once you check into your “little slice of heaven” it really does feel like it’s your world alone. No wonder A-list celebrities such as Kevin Bacon, Kate Moss, and Roger Federer have sought their vacation solace here.
The villas are all beautifully designed, ocean-facing, and come with their own private pool. The tasteful 135 sq.m Ocean View Pool Junior Suite is perfect for couples, but the accommodation sizes go all the way up to the two-bedroom 538 sq.m Trisara Signature Villa, which boasts an 18 meter private infinity pool.
Inside, each villa has its own unique character and style but all employ soothing earth tones in their colour palette and are adorned with beautiful art objects and elegant furnishings. Some of the little things that really make a difference include: oversize king beds (with matching custom-made oversize pillows and silky smooth linens); virtually silent air-conditioning systems (the noisy motors are enclosed in soundproofed cabinets underneath the villas); and the inclusion of screen doors so you can actually listen to those crashing ocean waves at night without worrying about mosquitoes (of which there are surprisingly few).
The in-room amenities are abundant, including sexy outdoor showers (alongside the indoor ones), beautiful deep bathtubs, plenty of closet space, flatscreen TVs, free WiFi, comfy day beds and sofas, and a minibar that is stocked with everything from champagne to Swiss chocolate. With all this at one’s fingertips it’s hard to want to leave the room at all. However, a trip to the private beach—blocked from outside foot traffic by a rocky outcropping at either end of the bay—or the salt-water beachfront pool makes for a nice excursion, as does a visit to the soothing on-site Jara Spa.
Right beside the main pool sits the hotel’s three dining areas, which include The Deck, serving tasty Thai food and international fare, and Seafood, which specializes in mainly locally caught oceanic edibles served up using time-honoured family recipes (their Lan Poo—crab dip with pork and coconut cream, served with crunchy vegetables—is stupendous). The resort also recently added a new dining experience with the launch in November 2016 of Pru, their farm-to-table restaurant (see below).
The addition of this restaurant is not the only thing new at Trisara. In an extensive renovation plan a great deal of the property has been given a new look, starting with the resort’s central outdoor deck, and extending to the concierge lobby, spa, and other areas. Finally, the rooms themselves are being given a new look, replacing the dark wood of the interiors with beautiful lime-washed teakwood. This lighter wood gives a very different feel to the resort—a bit more casual but still wonderfully elegant—and so far a third of the units have been re-modelled (and they look gorgeous!).
60/1, Moo 6, Srisoonthorn Rd. | Tel: 07 631 0100 | www.trisara.com
PRU: Trisara’s farm-to-table dining experience
When I sat down for an interview with Anthony Lark, the Managing Director & General Manager of Trisara, his resort’s new gourmand restaurant Pru had barely been open for a month. The farm-to-table concept behind this intimate eatery is, admittedly, more Bangkok than Phuket, but the initial success shows that there is a market on this island for foodie-centric fare.
The tasting menus—four, six, or eight courses, available with expert wine pairing—are a great way to try such intriguing items as the organic carrots that are slow-roasted (in the soil they came from) and served with fermented carrot juice and cured egg yolk, or the Pak Chong baby lamb, served with deep-fried sun choke, lamb jus, and local goat cheese. A la carte menu items are also available, including desserts such as the divine roasted Phuket pineapple in jasmine caramel (B350), with foraged pine needle cake and a sorbet of Thai basil.
Tell us about the idea and concept.
We wanted to create a new dining experience. We have a brilliant, talented young chef— Jimmy Orphost, from The Netherlands—and we thought the wave of popularity of this farm-to-table concept, where you’re buying locally but creating foods that can pass the international palette, was the way to go. It’s modern European content, but literally “from here”, which is something special because it’s not easy here unless you have your own farm. With some local suppliers an ingredient might be available on the Monday, but not on the Tuesday. So we bit the bullet and did it ourselves, developing our own small farm and market garden. The village it sits in is called Pru Jampa, and the restaurant is named after the village. But we also found that the word Pru could be broken down to “Plant-Raise-Understand”.
Are you able to produce everything on the farm?
No, but we decided to limit the amount of suppliers Jimmy would work with—when it comes to the meat and fish—and then we grow everything else ourselves. We also raise our own chickens, but that’s for the organic free range eggs only, which we use at breakfast as well as Trisara.
How did you decide on the menu?
First of all, we wanted the food to have a story, and to tell a story that came back to us raising our own things. The food concept was driven by those local suppliers and what we could physically grow here, as there are certain vegetables you just can’t grow in Phuket. The idea was to be creative and let Jimmy run away with his own imagination. He used to work with Gaggan in Bangkok, and he brought that experimental ethos here.
How long has he been with Trisara?
Jimmy has been here for two years. He was in charge of our Seafood restaurant previously.
I would say he’s definitely “pushing some envelopes”. He is, and that’s why I can only do about 30 seating. This concept couldn’t survive 50 or 60 diners. He just doesn’t have the ability to pass over every dish if the numbers go past that. If they did, we’d have to get an expensive sous chef to work with him and then the whole thing changes.
Are you hoping to attract clientele from outside the resort?
Absolutely. We are specifically marketing Pru towards people who are not staying at Trisara. I’d say 50 percent of the people that have eaten here since we opened are not resort guests. But after you’ve had your fill of Thai food under the palm trees it’s a nice place for people on a honeymoon, or anniversary, who want a bit more romance. We wanted Pru to be more prestigious, whereas our other restaurants, with seats out on the deck overlooking the ocean, are more “popular”.
Pru is open daily (dinner only).
Tel: 07 668 3320-6