In the Asian context, the pool villa, once a fantastical ideal of the ultimate beach vacation, has become a quotidian feature. The Aleenta Phuket Resort and Spa is gambling that its brand new Grand Villa Noi on a corner of the resort with its own beach frontage will be a game-changer.
For starters, the resort itself stakes a prime spot on Natai Beach, a stretch of sand that keeps winning rave reviews for its clean grains, pristine waters, and sunset views of the Andaman Sea.
In any other setting, the new villa would have been considered an extravagant folly. Its 5000sqm footprint comprises manicured landscaping, a 30m infinity lap pool, and no less than six distinctive buildings that comprise five bedrooms and living spaces.
Thai architect Duangrit Bunnag has mined the look-books of Mies, Corbusier and Lautner to create an airy complex of rectilinear silhouettes that is anchored by modern takes of salas, or outdoor pavilions, and room sets lined with floor to ceiling glass walls, and 420 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets. From every angle is a glimpse of sky, greenery or sea.
Dedicated to the villa is a team comprising private chef, butler and chauffeur, though the latter almost seems redundant given that the resort has just emerged from a £3m refurbishment that now includes a new wellness centre, restaurant, and kids club.