Glamorous Isle

Posted on March 24, 2014

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From the glamorous French Riviera to Miami, Marbella and the Thai island of Koh Samui, the beach club trend has swept the globe with a seemingly never-ending raft of hip beachside enclaves where anyone from the rich and famous to the bikini-clad beautiful and pleasure seekers of all ages gather to indulge in a swankier version of beach life. The prerequisites are sleek lounge- style areas, sexy swimming pools, hot music soundtracks and a beautiful beach location.

Thailand’s holiday island of Phuket has joined the party with a swag of fabulous beach clubs. Catch Beach Club on the west coast’s idyllic Surin Beach sets the benchmark on a strip which boasts a thriving scene of bars and restaurants interspersed with boutiques and massage stations. Yes, I will stroll to the massage bed champagne-in-hand, thank you.

The original beach club opposite Twinpalms Phuket Resort, Catch is in the middle of the hub – all white and high-glam with up-market dining areas and a buzzing bar in the centre. It overlooks rows of sun lounges and umbrellas set on white sands leading to the sparkling, clear waters of the Andaman Sea where a few super-yachts add to the allure.

It’s an impressive stretch. A multicultural playground where you can spend the day and night. This place hits its straps after dark when a fashionable elite of expats, Russians, Italians, Thai society and caftan-clad Aussies wield cocktails and conversation. Its glittering stand-alone champagne bar could sit comfortably anywhere in the world.

“Bikinis and Martinis” is the catchcry at the adjacent Bimi Beach Club where thatched cocktail huts, coconut palms and pretty young things frolicking under an LED rain shower catch the eye. DJs entertain the barefoot brigade from about 10am until 2am.

At the northern end of Surin Beach, Diamond Beach Club is a grand, purple haven with smooth decor, a restaurant headed by Michelin-starred Italian chef Bruno Nicollini, fabulous Thai- inspired cocktails and the ubiquitous beach beds on its sands.

At nearby Bangtao Beach, Bliss Beach Club with its own swimming pool, family-friendly play area, wooden sundeck and plush lounges and XANA set within the luxurious Angsana Laguna resort complex is the place to go.

The world-famous Nikki Beach chain has opened its 10th location on the west coast of Phuket on the Layan Beach, Bangtao stretch. Boasting the signature all-white look with teepees, ultra VIP lounge Nikki Prive and its famous White Parties it brings added clout to an already hot scene.

Launched in December as part of the multimillion dollar makeover of the Boathouse Resort on pretty Kata Beach, Re Ka Ta Club has all the attributes and more with its own spa, Martini & Manicure nights and fine dining and wine events.

Away from the bustle of the beach clubs, at Cape Yamu the chic Breeze -which has been named best restaurant in Phuket – with its immaculate pool, bougainvillea- covered terrace and dazzling views is an up-market destination for those who enjoy the finer things. While there, don’t miss a visit to the nearby newly opened cliff-top Como Shambhala Retreat at Point Yamu. With a 100m infinity pool, spectacular vistas and too many features to mention it will blow your mind.

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