Cool white

Following its debut at Meliá Koh Samui in 2020, Spanish hospitality brand Meliá Hotels & Resorts opened Meliá Phuket Mai Khao last December, and, as you may already be aware, Meliá Chiang Mai opened its doors last month. I checked into Meliá Phuket Mai Khao for a quick getaway on an idyllic beach.

Cool white

Following its debut at Meliá Koh Samui in 2020, Spanish hospitality brand Meliá Hotels & Resorts opened Meliá Phuket Mai Khao last December, and, as you may already be aware, Meliá Chiang Mai opened its doors last month. I checked into Meliá Phuket Mai Khao for a quick getaway on an idyllic beach.

First Impressions

The Phuket property is stylish in a subtle way with a focus on wellness, which is evident through an array of activities, in-room amenities and colourful cuisines. If you look at Meliá Phuket Mai Khao from above, you'll see a rather unique-looking plot of land that resembles a bow tie with one narrow end as the entrance while the other narrow end leads to the beachfront.

One-bedroom wellness villa with private pool.

The open-air reception has a vibe of understated chicness with its decorative metal screens that form a turtle shell pattern. This is an homage to its locality as Mai Khao beach is known for leatherback sea turtles that come to shore to lay their eggs. A beautiful reflecting pool with two round sunken seats is just a few steps away from the lobby and definitely is for your Instagramming pleasure.

The beachfront property consists of 100 keys, 30 of which are suites and the rest are villas. They are positioned together like a modern village amid the greenery, which makes their white facade stand out. However, for directionally-challenged folks like myself, it may take some getting used to as you'll have to follow several signs along the path until you reach your room.

Staying In

A stay starts rather large with a 78m² One-bedroom suite and goes up to an 85m² One-bedroom villa with a private pool. There are only three accommodation categories; suite, pool villa and wellness pool villa. All of them are identical in terms of layout and interiors. What they have in common are sizeable enclosed terraces, spacious bedrooms amply lit with natural light, big bathrooms, open-air showers that can be accessed through the terrace and curtained off for privacy, outdoor bathtubs and slightly textured white walls, which brings to mind a Mediterranean coastal town.

Dinnertime at Sasa.

Several features make them slightly different. The suite's terrace has a cabana and the bathtub is positioned in a way that you can soak underneath the stars. The pool villa's terrace has a roofed daybed and, of course, a 14m² plunge pool. The 15 wellness pool villas are basically pool villas that boast wellness add-ons such as a vitamin C filter shower, daily massage, ultrasonic essential oil diffuser, GermGuardian air purifier, Tempur-Pedic pillows, fit ball and yoga mat. Regardless of the villa you choose, it'll likely feel like a little sanctuary where you can have a restful sleep, enjoy a refreshing dip or perform the sun salutation in privacy.

Besides in-room amenities that promote wellness, F&B outlets in Meliá Phuket also serve up healthy dishes (alongside indulgent ones). On your way to the beachfront pool with its cabanas and sun lounges, stop by Gaia for Mediterranean and fusion cuisine. Think of Burrata on top of crisp rocket leaves, grilled scallops, serrano ham and pieces of avocado and cantaloupe or a beautifully Grilled fillet of fish served with quinoa. As the sun sets, return to Gaia beach club for creative sundowners. Get your phone camera ready for the sunset sky and beautifully crafted concoctions. Dinnertime at Gaia continues to impress with dishes that embody both flavours and finesse such as Mud crab with avocado mousse, ikura and gazpacho and a small stack of Crispy polenta, slow-cooked wagyu cheek and foie gras with potato espuma on the side.

Baan Ar Jor.

Your sunny breakfast at Sasa offers healthy choices from a menu on top of the usual buffet spread. You can go for a pork congee that you assemble yourself or a plate of ha gao alongside smoked duck, chorizo, pastrami and Edam cheese ('cause you're globalised like that). Health-conscious folks shouldn't be disappointed with rice berry congee with giggly tofu or a fluffy omelette with asparagus, broccoli and chia seeds, both from the separate menu. By night, Sasa turns into a casual fine dining venue with full-on Southeast Asian flavours. Think Southern-style crab curry with rice vermicelli, stir-fried sator with juicy prawns and Tom kha with crabmeat.

Burn off calories at the beachfront pool or the Luna pool, which is set in the midst of villas, or the fitness centre that houses treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes and weights machines. Join a Pilates class conducted next to the idyllic beach. Or discover why Muay Thai is referred to as the Art of Eight Limbs by booking a private 60-minute session during which you execute killer moves with the beach in the background.

Or take it easy with a spa treatment. Set across the lobby, YHI Spa offers five treatment rooms and an extensive menu that can pamper you from head to toe.

Going Out

Given its location on Mai Khao Beach, it's obvious that you can go to the airport viewpoint where people gather to take a picture with airplanes coming in and going out of the Phuket International Airport in the background. It's a short ride south of the resort but your car can't exactly arrive at the said point. You'll have to take a short walk from your car to get there or pay B20 to get there on a rod puang ride.

One-bedroom suite with outdoor bathtub.

Baan Ar Jor is less than five minutes in the car away from Meliá and you should definitely put the restaurant/house museum on your itinerary if you fancy Phuket recipes and history. You'll get to learn about the legacy of a family of Chinese descent through a beautifully-preserved mansion filled with memorabilia.

The other POIs include Sirinat National Park, Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation and Wat Phra Thong, which is known for its principal Buddha image in the form of a bust instead of the usual full body. HKT is just a 15-minute drive away.

Final verdict

Meliá Phuket Mai Khao combines serenity with activities that you can enjoy on-site or at nearby attractions with ease. Until May 15, you can book directly with the hotel to enjoy a starting rate of B3,700 per night in a One-bedroom suite or B4,500 per night in One-bedroom villa with private pool. These rates include breakfast for two, B1,200 discount on treatment at YHI Spa and 20% off on food and beverage at Gaia. The stay period lasts until Oct 31. Call 076-563-550 or email reservations@meliaphuketmaikhao.com. Go to bit.ly/3vXTSOS.

The lobby and adjacent reflecting pool.