ISLAND OF PHUKET, THAILAND
Celebrating its 15th anniversary, Trisara sits grandly on a quiet bay on the northwest coast of the island. Wrapped in a tropical forest with exotic gardens and a secluded beachfront, the award-winning legacy resort offers residents an unprecedented sense of service and ocean-side privacy.
Indeed, we feel like so much more than just guests with the mix of 60 well-kept, privately owned and uber-secluded swanky hotel villas, which offer comfortably elegant accommodations, discreet service and fabulous sea views. Catered to by friendly staff, we feel very much at home during meals, private cooking lessons and guided excursions run from the resort jetty. On-site options such as snorkelling, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking are well-organized and complimentary—fun for guests who are both young and young at heart.
Our precious time at the Jara Spa is a beautiful journey toward balanced well-being. Treatments are based on a truly holistic five-pillar philosophy and inspired by the property’s century-old Ficus tree, and are performed in rooms overlooking the garden or the Andaman Sea for a “closer to nature” experience. My favourite: The signature Royal Trisara six-handed massage, which relies on the harmony and skilled intuition of three therapists working together.
Farm-to-table dining at Trisara engages us in a “pick your own vegetable” tour with the gardeners to see where much of the hotel’s restaurant food is grown. The resort’s organic farm is about a 15-minute drive away, and we’re accompanied by a guide who also takes children to the farm as part of the kids activity program. Watching ducks and chickens lay eggs, exploring viable old-fashioned, environmentally friendly ways to fish with a large net, and identifying exotic and indigenous plants are all part of a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour. Paired with an après-tour cooking class, where we are able to include ingredients collected earlier on, this experience is family-friendly and well worth a repeat visit.
Chef de Cuisine Jimmy Ophorst, who runs the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant PRU (which stands for Plant, Raise, Understand), can be seen hands-on at the farm at different times of the week, checking his ingredients and working with carefully chosen local suppliers. Orphorst’s one-of-a-kind, ecosystem-based, eight-course tasting menu pairs locally sourced cuisine with lesser-known ingredients found in the same ecological habitat. In 2020, PRU will launch a research and development team that will see Ophorst travelling the region and foraging for ingredients to evolve a new concept for each season. In addition, the culinary team will further develop the PRU farm, which currently grows 50 different types of plants, herbs, fruits and vegetables. The ultimate goal of the restaurant is, we’re told, to relocate it to the farm, where 100 per cent of its ingredients will be supplied by its own team.
Shooting more than stills and videos for happy brides and grooms, DDEN, the hotel’s in-house digital studio, is a nice touch. The resident storytelling team can be seen all around the resort, capturing cute snaps of kids at the pool and couples hand-in-hand on the sand, and creating whimsical multi-gen family portraits. Certainly a lovely way to keep all heavenly Trisara memories alive.