Throughout this resort, set on a small island, you are moments from the water: the sea views surround you, creating a very special atmosphere.
We spent six nights in a Beachfront Pool Villa (No. 68 - there are three such villas). Our villa was a few meters from the water, not far from the main resort facilities, but still very (but not completely) private.
Lay-out - a little as if hobbit folk read Robinson Crusoe and then designed a luxury tropical island residence – the rooms are a series of curves, linked by passageways, forming a circle around an internal tropical garden. Loads of natural light, mature trees and flowering bushes. The air-conditioned, bedroom area is almost entirely glass, with direct water views across the small swimming pool. The doors to the bedroom are quite heavy and unwieldy, so we propped them ajar. A hospitable spirit pervades, eg small bunches of fresh orchids decorate the rooms and fresh cookies are delivered each evening.
The unique, charming bath area is a series of connecting rooms, some situated outdoors, and includes:
• a large dressing/wardrobe area with dual sinks
• a large shower room, which can also be used as a steam room,
• a separate sauna (which my husband loved),
• an outdoor shower and
• a separate pavilion containing a bath large enough for two, lit with candles each evening.
The villa lay-out is completed with a spacious, air-conditioned dining pavilion and an open-air sala, surrounded by a shallow moat and accessible by stepping stones.
A second set of sun loungers are placed on your villa beachfront, near a tiny stairway to the shore. While the beachfront is white sand and regularly cleaned, there are small and large rocks in the water, and you will need water sandals. The beach is only swimmable at high tide and there are no snorkeling sites, our only disappointments. There are double kayaks etc.
Wifi service is excellent throughout the resort, for up to 5 devices. We’d brought some DVDs from home to catch up on, but the DVD player is not ‘region free’, and so it seems only local DVDs will work (we switched to watching ours via lap-top).
Z-bar is beautiful, with stylish seating, gorgeous sunset views and great drinks. Each of the Asian ‘tapas’ is large enough for four, and (unlike most Phuket bars) the sophisticated cocktails contain the advertised spirits.
Room service was tasty, prompt and accurate, with quality cocktails shaken upon delivery. We enjoyed perfectly cooked steaks and seafood at My-Grill, while feasting on the beautiful views. As soon as we finished our first dinner, we reserved one of the sunken tables for another night. Naka compares well to other resorts in terms of wine choices and prices, offering 17 different wines by the glass, priced between THB300-500 (AUD $10-18).
Breakfast, al fresco, at the Tonsai restaurant is a mix of buffet and a la carte. A separate cool-room contains a smorgasbord of fresh tropical fruits, pastries, cheese, meats and juices. In the out-door area there is a buffet of covered hot dishes, a noodle station for fresh noodles cooked to order and a pancake machine. Friendly waiters will also take your order for a small selection of a la carte hot dishes, such as French toast and scrambled eggs. You can ask for fresh juices. The Illy coffee is excellent, and to add a little holiday sparkle, make yourself a Bellini or Bloody Mary to taste.
In addition to the well-equipped fitness centre (with, yes again, great water views) there is a reasonable track for jogging outside of the resort. We also ‘hiked’ to a backpacker resort, Tenta Nakara, on the other side of the island, and to some other beaches (usually less than 30 minutes each way).
I booked an ‘Energizing Massage’ at the spa – 60 minutes focused on head, neck, shoulders and back, with a lovely scented oil. It was so good I booked it twice more.
Although we stayed during the busy Christmas-New Year period when there are quite a few families, Naka remained relaxed and did not feel too crowded. Staff throughout the resort are helpful, friendly, smiling and personable, in short a pleasure to deal with. We would definitely consider this resort for another Christmas/New Year vacation.
Over the years we have stayed at a number of luxury resorts in the Phuket area, and as a couple seeking quiet, romantic breaks, the Naka Resort is the best we’ve visited. While a beachfront villa with a private pool, sauna and steam room set on a private island in a 5 star tropical resort over the peak holiday period is unlikely to be cheap, we found the Naka Resort to be good value compared to other 5 star Phuket accommodation. Our suite was a constant source of delight and the entire experience was gorgeous and relaxing. If only the beach was a bit better for swimming …
The gardens need more care, particularly in the large spa area some parts looked a little derelict.
We were keen to go snorkelling, but the Resort’s Tour office offered mediocre, mass market choices and Recreation Area’s long-tail boat service seemed a little dicey for choppy water. The resort could do well by offering more bespoke speedboat options, perhaps a romantic beach drop-off service near-by, given the beach and snorkelling limitations?