Just this week, we returned from a month away in Asia and Auckland, New Zealand. Having stayed at 8 hotels during this time, only one property stands out firmly and fondly in our memories. Paresa Resort, tucked away on the Kamala cliffs over the Andaman Sea on the west coast of Phuket in Southern Thailand. Comprised of 49 luxurious and private suites and villas. Every one featuring an infinity pool and 270-degree sea views. Architecturally designed to limit the impact and presence on the landscape, giving you a sense of being hidden away amongst the forest and gardens on the steep hillside above the sea below. This is a place devoted to peace, tranquility, privacy and luxury.
As it happens, we were visiting the Island during the Phuket Vegetarian Festival. This was the second time in three years that we’ve attended the festival and this year we were hosted by Paresa as part of their Vegetarian Street Food Festival Package. The features of this extensive and enriching package will be shared in detail in an upcoming and exciting post!
I’m excited to get to share more about Paresa and hope that this aspirational destination shows up your radar the next time you’re looking for something beyond the ordinary.
Paresa Resort, Phuket, Thailand
Along the west coast of Phuket, overlooking the glorious Andaman Sea, speckled across the cliff tops of Kamala are the villas of the Paresa Resort. Tucked away amongst the lush tropical forests and gardens, removed from the city and perched above the rocky shores are 49 villas and suites, all of which include pools and sea views.
Step out onto any one of the numerous terraces overlooking the Andaman Sea, look to your left and look to your right and you’ll see a scattering of villas and houses settled amongst the vast vegetation above the rocky coastline below. It’s easy to feel alone up here though when the only noise you hear is that of crashing waves against the rough shore below. Each unit is well contained and insulated so you don’t often see other people unless you’re at the restaurant or pool, and even then you still have a sense of privacy. The fact that there are no cars on the resort adds to the tranquility of this property. For only being a short 25-minute drive from the bustling Patong, it would be easy to forgive anyone who assumed you were nestled away on a secluded island.
You won’t find a beach here. But if it’s beach time you seek, just take a free mini-shuttle from the resort down to Paresa Beach Club at Kamala Beach. Due to choppy waters (typical this time of year) and a satisfyingly relaxing stay amongst the ‘Heaven of all Heavens’ atop the Kamala cliff tops, we never visited the beach club. We did however pass by and it is very near to the property.
Paresa Resort is a reasonable 30 to 45 minute drive from Phuket International Airport (HKT). I recommend arranging airport transportation directly with Paresa Resort to assure the safest and most reliable transportation on an island with notoriously bad taxis.
Along with multiple daily connections to Bangkok, Phuket International Airport (HKT) also has regular service across the rest of Thailand and Southeast Asia, a smattering of long haul routes and additional seasonal routes from Europe during their winter months.
Paresa Resort, Phuket, Thailand
I rarely go to the gym but I think I would be inclined to go more often if I had this view! I love the large, bright, open space and the fact that they even offer a variety of complimentary and paid classes for Thai boxing and yoga among other things. It’s pretty rare for a property of this size to have a gym, especially one this nice. The gym is located beneath the Spa.
Located just inside the entrance of the property, this elevated patch of grass overlooking the Kamala cliffs and Andaman Sea is your first sight of Paresa and marks your entry to the Heaven of all Heavens. A popular place to watch the sunset and host events, especially weddings.
Get ferried around the property on one of the club cars. You can reach everything by foot at Paresa, but given the vertical layout of the property, it can be more comfortable to take the club car at times.
Spread across the property are the gardens of Paresa, some intentional, others just naturally occurring. Chefs will venture out to source herbs, fruits and vegetables from their very own gardens.
Walk along and you’ll pick up notes of Jasmine and Pandan in the air and you might even see bananas and green papayas growing around your villa.
Long Tail Boat
Beneath the lowest level of villas, Paresa has a dock for boats accessible during the winter months. Later this year the property will be launching its very own traditional Thai long tail boat.
Services have yet to be announced but it’s an exciting opportunity to hit the Andaman Sea in one of these ubiquitous and iconic Thai boats.
Paresa doesn’t have an on-site beach, but there is a free shuttle to Paresa Beach Club at Kamala Beach. We didn’t make it down to the beach this time but we did see the cute and clean little shuttle bus.
If you’re looking for something to fill your days and nights with, head over to the MUSE Library. It’s located two levels below the restaurants and one level below the teaching kitchen. MUSE library houses a collection of books, international magazines and newspapers, board games, DVDs and computers with printing facilities.
A sanctuary amongst the sanctuary of Paresa Resort. Located on one of the lower levels of the property, the Spa has 5 double treatment rooms and features Panpuri products. Panpuri is one of our favorite local brands since it utilizes lovely local scents like jasmine, ylang ylang, Thai mint and lemongrass. I found the prices at the spa to be extremely reasonable.
Paresa’s on-site teaching kitchen. Located below the restaurant, Recipe hosts Chef’s table nights by reservation and personalized cooking classes during the day. Like everything else at Paresa, cooking classes are done on a small scale by request of the guest and held privately in this state of the art kitchen. Enjoy the bright open atmosphere of Recipe for a memorable dining or cooking experience at Paresa Resort.
Paresa offers the Infinity Pool, discreetly tucked away on a lower level of the property with expansive views of the Andaman Sea. Sun loungers, complimentary iced bottles of water, a bar and the large open infinity pool await. Since every room at Paresa has an attached pool, the Infinity Pool never really gets too busy.
Paresa Resort, Phuket, Thailand
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get away from it all, yet still having to worry about finding food. We’ve been there before, and it’s hard to truly relax on holiday when you don’t know when or where you’ll get your next meal.
Fortunately at Paresa if you have any special dietary restrictions you can simply let them know prior to arrival and they will take care of you. In fact, even if you forget to contact them, one of the Angels from Paresa will contact you prior to arrival to inquire about any special requests or needs for your stay. Including those dietary needs.
After all, we’re all individuals and who doesn’t like to be treated as an individual? Personalized service for guests is what sets the truly remarkable properties apart from the good ones.
All rooms include breakfast – a lush buffet of cereals, breads, pastries, tropical fruits, freshly prepared bottled juices, sparkling wine and made to order juice and smoothies. Along with the buffet, each guest may order an a la carte dish from a selection of Western and Asian choices.
Take breakfast at the restaurant and take your time to enjoy the fine food, good company and the stunning view over the Andaman Sea. Breakfast never really gets busy, people come and go, the service is efficient, the mood is calm, quiet and reserved – everyone seems to take their breakfast at a leisurely pace, but that’s the effect of waking up to the naturally calming beauty of Paresa Resort.
Talung Thai is the signature Thai restaurant at Paresa and we got a chance to try this on two occasions and loved it both times. For vegan options, ask your waiter or contact in advance to have a full menu prepared. We had a variety of options and were satisfied from beginning to end.
Diavolo is Executive Chef Luca Mancini’s Italian restaurant at Paresa. Diavolo features an array of Italian dishes ranging from the traditional to modern along with an extensive pizza menu. Our vegan options were off the menu, so once again ask your waiter or contact in advance to have a menu prepared specifically for you. Chef Luca’s modern Italian creations really ignited our palates on our first night at Paresa, he was even kind enough to include a black truffle dish.
On Friday and Saturday nights, Paresa also offers Recipe and Recipe by Luca. Essentially the Chef’s table experience in the teaching kitchen one level below the restaurant, available by reservation with a six course degustation menu, or a la carte by request. Due to the limited space, a reservation is mandatory.
For an even more remarkable experience, Paresa offers their Infinity Dining. Served poolside, with the fiber optic lit pool below and starlight above. This romantic and secluded dining option is available by reservation and includes an exclusively-designed menu. We didn’t get a chance to try this, but if you happen to be dining at dusk you’ll be guaranteed an unforgettable view of the sunset over the sea.
The extensive all-day room service menu is available 24 hours a day and mirrors the menus of Talung Thai and Diavolo. We didn’t get a chance to try the room service, but I imagine it would be a lovely to enjoy a poolside meal on your own private terrace.
Paresa Resort, Phuket, Thailand
We were in one of Paresa’s 13 Talay Suites. At 120 ㎡ there was ample space throughout. This is the entry level room category at Paresa and the only type to have a shared infinity pool. Every other room category has a private infinity pool, while the Talay Suites pools are shared between two suites.
Given the indoor/outdoor style of living at Paresa, flip flops are provided instead of slippers.
Teak wood floors and furniture give the rooms a distinctively Asian ambiance, with natural tones throughout to further create a calming sense. High ceilings and large windows provide a light and airy atmosphere.
The first thing we did was open up the shades in our room, connecting our indoor and outdoor living spaces and bringing that stunning view of the Andaman Sea into our room. Despite the room being very open and exposed to the sea, it was still entirely private from the views of other guests. Sunrise will draw you out of the cocoon that is your bed and pull you to your outdoor terrace. Indoor-outdoor transitions are virtually seamless in the rooms. Sun loungers on the terrace provide a fine place to sip a coffee in the morning, have a nap in the afternoon and take in some sun whenever possible.
Rooms are finished with a sound dock, 360-degree rotating flat screen television, Lavazza espresso machines and wi-fi throughout.
Whether you’ve booked a suite or a villa at Paresa, you won’t find any shared walls in your room – providing an added sense of privacy to each and every room at the property.
In contrast to the earthy tones of the bedroom, the bathroom is bright and invigorating. Transitioning from the bedroom into the bathroom, across from the wooden wardrobes are a duo of artisanal sinks. These lovely rustic and one of a kind sinks are crafted in Chiang Mai. This local craftsmanship gives the bathroom character and warmth.
Move beyond the sinks and you’ll find a bathroom flooded in natural light. Floor to ceiling windows in the bathroom mean you will never go without a view. Enjoy a view of the sea from the oversized bathtub on the outer edge of the floor plan or from the glass encased rain shower or toilet set further back.
At check-in you are given the choice of scented hand soap – Coconut, Lemongrass or Jasmine. If you’re as indecisive as we are, you can always try all three. I would struggle to pick a favorite since they were all so fresh and evoked such vivid emotional connections – coconut strikes you as a truly island scent, while jasmine is a distinctively calming aroma and lemongrass is a uniquely Southeast Asian scent with an almost medicinal quality.
Remaining toiletries are produced by THANN and are accompanied by His and Her bags with all the additional amenities you’ll need for your stay.
Paresa Resort, Phuket, Thailand
Paresa Resort maintains a highly skilled team of ‘Angels’. Angels are the team members responsible for providing discreet and personalized service during your stay at Paresa Resort.
Upon arrival we were greeted and guided to our room by our affable yet professional Angel, Oui. Once in our suite, Oui checked us in remotely and proceeded to personally show us around the room to help us get settled in nicely. I’m confident that any of the Angels would have delivered the exact same level of service upon arrival, but I have to say that we especially enjoyed the warm and professional welcome we received from Oui.
This warm welcome was carried over throughout our stay across everything we did at Paresa. Our first day alone, we felt as though we were amongst friends – From our cooking class with Chef Noon, who had the brightest smile and warmest personality, to our dinner with the charming Manager Mirko and our interactions with the professional and considerate Chef Luca.
Service was delivered with more than just a smile, service was provided with genuine consideration from every team member at Paresa Resort.
Paresa is a sanctuary, a refreshing change of pace from the city and your everyday life. It’s easy to forget where you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going while you’re at Paresa. Time slows and everything here is best appreciated at a leisurely pace, in the moment and with no urgency to do anything. The best part about the resort is that you won’t have a worry in the world while you’re here.
Often as vegans, even at finer properties, we still have concerns about our dining options. But at Paresa Resort, as vegans, we didn’t feel different from any other guest. We could just switch off, sit back, relax and enjoy fine vegan cuisine, stunning views and the company of one another with a sense of complete privacy and exclusivity.
Most guests never leave the property, and I can understand why. There’s no need to go beyond the property when you have exceptional food, wonderful spa facilities, private terraces and pools and the most professional and considerate service one can get at a resort.
If you do have any interests beyond the resort, Paresa can help facilitate any arrangements you would like to make, with expert guides and services available across and beyond the island of Phuket. In our next post on Paresa Resort, we’ll cover all of the services and activities Paresa arranged for us during our 2 night stay.
We absolutely loved our time at Paresa Resort and left asking ourselves, when can we return? The warm atmosphere gives you the sense that you are leaving home when you check-out. We can’t wait to return and see Talung again!
Paresa Resort is truly an aspiration destination. The kind of place that has a meaningful impact on you and would be perfectly suited for any special occasion. We can understand why it’s such a popular wedding and honeymoon destination. It’s not just a romantic getaway though, some buildings are designed to accommodate entire families, with up to 5 suites in one building, capable of housing an entire extended family including a kitchen, living room and dining room. There truly is something for everyone here, and that’s what we love about this resort – it’s a small property with extensive and comprehensive options for everyone.
PARESA RESORT PHUKET
49 Moo 6, Layi-Nakalay Road, Kamala, Phuket 83150