Krabi, Thailand — Renowned worldwide as a pinnacle of luxury hospitality, The Ritz-Carlton has taken its commitment to opulence and service to a new echelon with Ritz-Carlton Reserve – a prestigious extension that unveils handpicked, exotic havens across the globe.
Standing as the inaugural Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Phulay Bay embodies the very essence, ethos, and distinctiveness that define the Reserve’s pioneering spirit. A sanctuary crafted for those who yearn to escape the rigors of everyday life and immerse themselves in a bespoke, tailor-made vacation experience like no other.
Nestled along the serene Andaman Sea in Krabi, Thailand, Phulay Bay is a remarkable boutique hotel boasting 54 villas and pavilions. It offers unobstructed vistas of the naturally rugged shoreline and the breathtaking limestone karsts that grace this exquisite region of southern Thailand.
This resort is the manifestation of the visionary Thai architect Lek Bunnag, skillfully harmonizing modern aesthetics with an awe-inspiring blend of Thai, Middle Eastern, and Moroccan cultural accents. Bunnag draws inspiration from global beauty to curate an environment that tantalizes the senses from the very first step onto the resort’s grounds, right through to the moment of departure.
A sense of awe and wonder greets guests from the very outset: towering 20-foot aubergine walls and hedges of indigenous trees create an aura of intrigue from the exterior, while bestowing a profound sense of tranquility once within. Guests traverse a stepping-stone path, leading to an enchanting Thai pavilion, set on an island enveloped by a sea of flickering candles.
From this point onward, guests are gently immersed in an experience that indulges all their senses – from the resort’s signature fragrance and welcome drink, to the breathtaking panoramas both inside and outside the accommodations, as well as the luxurious 100% Thai silk furnishings adorning the villas and dining spaces.
The General Manager of the resort stated, “While envisioning and shaping Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, we were acutely attuned to the boundless natural beauty that envelops us, captivating anyone who falls in love with Thailand. Our aim is for guests to relish and explore this extraordinary diversity, and thus, we have worked in harmony with nature to sustain an ambiance that encapsulates the very essence of the environment. Our construction and design incorporate local, sustainable materials.”
Collaborating closely with Thai interior designer IA49, Bunnag has meticulously crafted buildings and communal spaces that artfully blend modernity with tradition, seamlessly melding with the indigenous flora that acts as natural privacy screens, fostering an intimate ambiance throughout the grounds. Traditional Lanna artistry, employed in architectural forms and as exquisite paintings and artwork adorning villas, further stimulates curiosity and the senses for guests.
Each of the 16 signature Reserve Pool Villas is uniquely distinct, their designs and aesthetics subtly varying. Guests have the choice of a villa featuring a lap pool and sunbathing lawn, a private rooftop for al fresco dining and sunset appreciation, or a secluded pool area, affording unparalleled privacy. Yet, across all options, luxury prevails with king-sized beds, sunken baths, walk-in closets, expansive gardens, and magnificent ‘keyhole’ doorways, conjuring an enchanting ambiance that instantly embraces and welcomes guests to a realm of indulgence.
With a strong emphasis on personalized, tailor-made experiences, guests can effectively ‘craft’ their visit to align with their desires. Each villa includes a personal butler who can arrange a romantic beachside BBQ, meditation sessions with local monks, a helicopter tour to explore the dramatic surroundings, in-villa yoga, or island-hopping boat expeditions – the opportunities are limitless.
Culinary excellence takes center stage at the resort’s five thoughtfully curated restaurants and bars. Each venue has been meticulously designed to accommodate a select number of guests, ensuring an exceptionally personalized and unobtrusive dining experience. The chef personally interacts with diners to gain insights into their preferences, with ingredients sourced from local markets and prepared fresh.
Among these offerings is the iconic Thai eatery, Sri Trang, exuding contemporary elegance. Its private dining room for 10 rests upon a jetty overlooking the shoreline, aptly named ‘Sri Trang by the Sea’. Lae Lay, the seafront pavilion, stands parallel to a 23-meter infinity pool, extending toward the boundless sea. Featuring oversized chairs and hanging lanterns amidst rustling trees, guests can opt for a private sala for up to 8 guests, titled ‘Lae Lay Under the Stars’, allowing for a dinner under the celestial canopy.
Plai Fah, the infinity pool bar, provides plush loungers and silk pillows by day, accompanied by lighter, relaxed culinary offerings. Meanwhile, the sunset bar, Chomtawan, beckons with day beds, a chill-out lounge, live music, and flickering torches, fostering an intimate and serene ambiance. It’s the perfect setting for a glass of champagne or a sophisticated martini as the sun dips below the horizon.
The Spa at Phulay Bay offers a haven for relaxation and rejuvenation, featuring stepping stones that guide guests through lush surroundings to decked walkways and tranquil terraces, surrounded by verdant greenery and reflection ponds that capture Phulay Bay’s unique character. The spa encompasses three traditional Thai pavilions across two levels, housing 11 treatment rooms, including single and couples’ massage spaces, along with two VIP treatment suites complete with expansive decks for massage and showering.
Phulay Bay stands as a testament to the splendor of luxury and cultural fusion, offering an unparalleled Middle Eastern experience in the heart of Thailand’s natural beauty. Discover a haven that transcends expectations and embraces your senses, creating cherished memories that will linger for a lifetime.