Take A Tour Of One Of Thailand’s Most Exquisite (And Expensive) Villas
Private pools, fully decked-out personal gyms and a butler on hand to cater your every passing whim – when it comes to luxury villas, Thailand’s truly are in a league of their own.
But among the many beautiful villas available to book in the Land of Smiles, there’s one that still somehow manages to surpass them all – both in design and functionality. And it’s X24 at Sri Panwa resort in Phuket.
Unveiled in December 2018 after a year and a half in the making, the five-bedroom villa features a personal chef, a Japanese onsen and not one but two infinity pools dropping straight into the Andaman Sea. And just to give you an idea of how fit for a king (or queen) it is, X24 has housed both Mariah Carey and Martin Garrix.
Perched on the Cape Panwa peninsula, alongside Sri Panwa’s rooftop bar Baba Nest, the villa takes full advantage of its glistening sea views with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors throughout. Bathrooms spill into the outdoors with big stand-alone tubs planted on ocean-facing balconies.
The villa also features two kitchens, a theatre room, dining room and an entertaining area with a karaoke machine, pool table, flat screen and full bar. Whites, greys and pops of mint and Tiffany blue furniture accent the villa’s black marble.
For resort owner Wan Issara, it’s the villa’s two master bedrooms that are a highlight. “One is facing West and the other is facing East,” he says. “But the entertainment floor is also amazing. I just love the layout and view of it.”
Though X24 is owned by Issara’s close friend, when he isn’t staying, it’s available to book. Should you be able to part with a cool $13,800AUD a night, that is.
If that isn’t within your budget, however, the resort has a variety of other room options, ranging from its main building The Habita’s standard (but still sumptuous) rooms to its two-bedroom pool villas and 2-5 residence villas. Hotel buildings and villas are spread across Sri Panwa’s sprawling jungle area, an hour’s drive from Phuket airport.
“My family and I had been looking at land to build a property for many years,” says Issara. “We’d seen probably 30, 40 pieces of land in Phuket, and then in 2000, we heard about this land.
“When we saw it, we said wow, this is something special.”
Once the land was purchased, Issara’s background working in hotels, restaurants and nightclubs then came in handy. He made the executive decision to invest more time and money into the design and materials of the villas. They were sold privately for four years – “like water”, Issara describes – before the property also opened a few villas as part of a hotel.
More hotel villas and then rooms came next, as did rooftop bar Baba Nest. Initially intended to be a private home for Issara and his family and also a showcase of planned villas for potential investors, Baba Nest took six months to build. Once complete, Issara decided against keeping it for the family, instead opening it as a rooftop bar.
Today, Baba Nest is consistently voted one of the best rooftop bars in the world and is so popular, it requires its reservations be booked months in advance. The space is also used for private yoga classes guests can book in for.
Six other eating and drinking spots, all entirely different concept- and view-wise to the next, are scattered across the resort and make it easy not to leave.
A spa, Thai boxing gym, numerous pools, tennis court and cruise and yacht rentals complete the Sri Panwa experience. Despite the activities and surroundings, though, Issara says he finds most guests who stay in villas rarely end up leaving. “I keep telling my team ‘Make the guests enjoy the outside as well’,” Issara says.
“Sometimes guests don’t realise how big Sri Panwa is because it’s hidden. It’s all covered by trees and camouflaged.”
(All images: Sri Panwa / supplied)
Published 11 November, 2019