Baray Villas at Sawasdee Village
38 Katekwan Rd., T.Karon, A.Muang, Phuket 83100 THAILAND
Tel +66 (0) 76 330 979, (0) 76 330 870-1
Fax +66 (0) 76 330 905
My Rating: 90%
Price Rating: $$$$$
Summary of Stay: The Baray Villas are a luxurious oasis tucked away in Kata Beach. At first I was a little unsure about booking a hotel on an island that wasn’t beachfront. After reading other reviews and doing my own research, my lack of certainty was quickly replaced with excitement.
The hotel has a total of 14 villas and is part of the Sawasdee Village Resort. Sawasdee Village has a total of 40 guest suites so the entire hotel has a boutique feel. Upon arrival you are greeted with a cool glass of guava juice and jasmine scented iced towels as you check in. The hotel is a calm oasis where you can lose yourself in the multiple pools, waterfalls, shrines, ponds and gardens.
As I was escorted to my villa, I could not get past how quiet and serene the resort is. Inside - I was amazed at the vastness of the villas. Perhaps because I was travelling alone but I really was floored by the sheer size of the villa. With over 1600 sq feet of living space, not including the outside areas, there is room to spare. The villa is marble from end to end and very well appointed with oversized furniture. The hotels aesthetic balances between authentic Thai and Arabian. Up the stairs is the bedroom and master bath. And by master, I mean epic. The bathroom was easily the largest I’ve ever had in a hotel with a large floating marble bathtub in the middle. The bedroom comes equipped with it’s own private living area and flat screen tv and Apple McMini which doubles the tv as a computer. Back downstairs, is another full bathroom with an outdoor shower. Next, the living room was magnificient with it’s lofted ceilings. The sectional couch was perfect to curl up and nap after a long afternoon in the sun. A few feet away the marble turns into steps to your personal jacuzzi tub. Open up the doors at the end of the jacuzzi and swim into your own personal grotto steps from your suite. And if that isn’t big enough for you, open up your personal gate and swim out into the immense lagoon down to the waterfalls or the other direction to the swim up bar. The lagoon is a private area only for guests of the villas. The villas offer the utmost in privacy and luxury and ease of relaxation.
On site you have limited dining options. The restaurant Al Majlis is used as the breakfast buffet which serves both full western and asian breakfasts in their buffet. In the afternoon, you can take Thai cooking classes - which I did - and you can select which dishes you’d like to learn. The day that I selected the cooking classes, I was the only participant and I had the undivided attention of 2 chefs teaching me the craft. In the evening, the restaurant serves traditional Thai dishes in its warm and elegant setting. Room service is quick and beautifully presented. However, a five minute walk will put you on the main street of Kata beach and provide you with dozens of dining options.
Highlight of the Hotel: I’m a fan of pools and what could possibly be better than a villa with direct pool access from the inside of your suite?
Highlight of the Stay: The Baray Spa is something that dreams are made of. Tucked into a corner of the hotel, the spa has a variety of spa packages that would appeal to even the most discerning traveller. I settled on the 3 hour Baray Bliss - which was expensive for Thailand but cheap compared to any western spa of this calibre. My treatment included a steam and floral bath, private outdoor shower, body scrub, massage and a facial. The facilities had a Buddhist theme and were beautifully appointed. My three hour package was approximately $120 USD. I suggest booking early as the spa is small and books up quickly.
Drawbacks: Many people want to be close to the downtown and the famous nightlife of Phuket. Baray Villas is meant to be a quiet and private retreat away from the craziness of Phuket town. However, if you want to hit the bars, expect a $10 US taxi or maybe $2 US bus.