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TravelWhat it’s really like to stay at Rosewood Phuket

What it’s really like to stay at Rosewood Phuket

Editor’s note: TPG was provided a complimentary first-night stay along with select complimentary meals over the duration of the stay. A second night was provided at a reduced media rate. This story was not subject to review or approval by the resorts or any other entity. Opinions expressed are the author’s alone.

Say you want to explore the beaches and nightlife of Phuket, Thailand, but you also want a bit more solitude and “wow” factor than the hotels up the road in Patong offer. Look no further than Rosewood Phuket.

The Rosewood is an ultra-luxury resort close to the action of Patong Beach. However, it sits in a quieter stretch of Emerald Bay, and it may as well be in a different universe than the other area hotels, thanks to its refined accommodations and service.


What it’s like at the Rosewood Phuket

Patong might be a backpacker’s paradise, but Rosewood Phuket is more for the guests who like to be pampered by a team that’s always thinking two steps ahead.

The hotel is a one-hour drive from Phuket International Airport (HKT) and about a 10-minute drive from Bangla Road, Patong’s highly popular nightlife thoroughfare.

A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it gated entrance off the main road sets the mood: Rosewood Phuket is where you go to get away from it all. Abide by the OOO memo you left on your work email, and leave all your daily life stress at the gate.

Rosewood team members greet you upon arrival. A tranquil lobby includes a lily pad-filled lagoon crossed by a boardwalk to the main check-in area. This felt more like a relaxing spot to enjoy Andaman Sea views rather than a harried process of waiting in line to get a room.

After the usual formalities of processing passports and confirming personal details, an attendant whisked us via buggy down a hilly, forested pathway to our Pavilion. Along the way, we caught a few glimpses of the beautifully manicured property.


How much Rosewood Phuket costs and how to book

My stay was complimentary for the first night and came at a reduced media rate for the second; however, normal rates can vary by season and lodging type.

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Off-peak rates at the Rosewood Phuket start at $810 per night. Rates rise to $1,123 per night during peak travel months over the winter for Partial Ocean View Pavilions (my room type). The resort’s two-bedroom Pavilions, Private Villas or residential-style Houses are higher-end accommodation categories offered at higher rates.

For added elitelike benefits, you can book directly via Rosewood or via platforms like Skylark, American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts or Mr and Mrs Smith. (Note that Rosewood Phuket is not part of the initial batch of Mr and Mrs Smith hotels participating in the World of Hyatt program following Hyatt’s acquisition of the booking platform.)


Rooms at Rosewood Phuket

Accommodation categories are divided into Pavilions, Villas and Houses — all of which come with private pools. My Partial Ocean View Pavilion King is considered part of the entry-level lodging options at Rosewood Phuket. Given its 1,399 square feet of space, tasteful decor and stunning waterfront views, I didn’t exactly feel short-changed.

The luxe bungalow-style lodging included a tranquil design scheme of dark wood, earth tones and elegant touches like backlit, built-in bookshelves flanking the king-size bed and coffered ceilings.

The living area was comfortable, featuring a minibar with cocktail kits, a retro speaker from which to stream music and enough seating for one person to kick back with a book while the other person napped on the couch (or enjoyed the chocolate truffles that were thoughtfully left as a welcome treat).


A decorative partition divided the living area from the bedroom, and the entire space included blackout shades (controlled from a bedside switch) to block the sun in the morning for a more peaceful shut-eye.

Obviously, the private plunge pool and outdoor patio space get top marks: It was a refreshing respite just steps from the bed. Plus, the outdoor daybed was perfect for catching some sun — or flipping through this month’s issue of “Vanity Fair” from under the umbrella — with incredible sea views.


The showstopper for me was the spacious bathroom and dressing area: The darker, sleek space featured dual vanities, built-in storage with plenty of space and a walk-in shower. An outdoor shower and tub were ideal for those who prefer to rinse alfresco.

There were practical touches — like small bottles of bug spray and sunscreen — on the bath amenity front, as well as the usual mix of luxurious offerings like bathrobes.


Twice-daily housekeeping, which included turndown service, kept the place looking picture-perfect for the duration of the stay. It came with thoughtful touches like fresh fruit plates after the morning service or a microfiber cloth placed next to my sunglasses on the nightstand.

What we ate at Rosewood Phuket

You’ll want to stay long enough to eat and sip your way through Rosewood Phuket. It offers everything from grilled seafood by the pool to elegant Thai cuisine by the bay and some surprisingly delicious Italian along the way.

Red Sauce is an all-day restaurant that serves a mix of Asian and Western fare at breakfast before morphing into a delectable Italian restaurant for lunch and dinner. (Who knew you could find stellar gnocchi in Phuket?)


Breakfast was included in my stay and included a mix of a buffet (featuring Western-style fare like crepes and customizable Greek yogurt bowls) as well as more international a la carte menu items like Phuket dumplings, crab omelets and turmeric elixir shots.

In the evening, Red Sauce was a nice surprise for delicious Italian fare like veal Milanese (2,100 baht or $57) and 4 stagioni pizza (580 baht or $16).

I found more casual fare downstairs at The Shack, a laid-back lunch and dinner venue by the pool serving fresh seafood and Thai dishes. A soft-shell crab sandwich special (650 baht or $17) was a highlight, along with a yellowfin tuna tartare appetizer (410 baht or $11).


It was fun to end each day next door at Mai, a poolside lounge and cocktail bar, for a nightcap and view of the twinkling lights across the bay. I couldn’t help but feel a little like a cast member from “The White Lotus” amid the candlelit bar and watchful scowl of a bull sculpture lurking in the corner.

The star of Rosewood Phuket’s dining scene is Ta Khai. It’s a waterfront Thai restaurant that I had heard about from fellow travelers as well as employees at other hotels in the vicinity before my arrival.

Definitely call ahead to make a reservation at Ta Khai given its popularity, and request a seat as close to the beach as possible: You’ll get both a waterfront view as well as proximity to the open kitchen where your feast is created. The restaurant is built to resemble a Thai village, so you’ll want to have a good vantage point from your dinner table.


The restaurant offers two tasting menus as well as a la carte options, but you may as well get a full taste of paradise, right? Both tasting menus are four courses, but I tried the more robust offering (1,950 baht or $53 per person).

This option began with a first course of spring rolls and fried shrimp cakes before a spicy and sour seafood stew. The main course had various options to sample, including stir-fried melinjo leaves with dried shrimp, braised pork, crab curry, and a shrimp and minced pork salad with chili and lime dressing. While I was stuffed, mango sticky rice rounded out the feast.

Sure, there will be some rugged travelers who claim a luxe resort like Rosewood Phuket doesn’t offer the authenticity of dining in more hole-in-the-wall spots found elsewhere around the island. However, it’s hard to discount Ta Khai and the rest of the resort dining program when so many people around Phuket kept mentioning it as one of the best offerings in the region.

Rosewood’s first Asaya

My stay at Rosewood Phuket came toward the end of a nearly two-week journey through Singapore and Thailand. Let’s just say my fresh-from-Boston-winter skin was elated to experience warm weather. Even a rigorous SPF 50 regimen wasn’t keeping up with all the fun in the sun, though.

Asaya — the broader Rosewood brand’s wellness concept that encompasses physical, mental and emotional wellbeing — launched at Rosewood Phuket, and I was curious to get a peek at what all the fuss was about. As soon as I got to my Pavilion, I immediately booked a 60-minute Detox Ritual facial (6,000 baht or $162) for the next day. I hoped it would soothe the early stages of a sunburn and satisfy my spa curiosity.


The facility is gorgeous and features various treatment rooms off of a garden with seating areas to enjoy tea after your massage or facial. The facial itself was glorious (as evidenced by the fact that I woke myself up with my own snoring while serums were applied to my face).

My facialist took time to recommend an SPF 50 sunscreen for maximum protection afterward. It wasn’t even a pushy lecture to sell me on some expensive creams sold in the spa shop (though I’m sad it wasn’t even available to buy). Rather, she was just being very kind — a trait I noticed in all of the staff at Rosewood Phuket.

My only complaint is that I didn’t have time to enjoy more treatments — such as a massage or herbal compress — at Asaya. Make sure to pad a visit here with enough time to luxuriate in wellness bliss. But even a 60-minute treatment will leave you feeling in a delightful state of wellness wooziness.

Amenities and things to do

Rosewood Phuket offers a wide range of additional amenities and activities to fill up your itinerary and make your trip a little more relaxing:

  • Beachside pool area with waiter service
  • Emerald Bay beachfront with complimentary water sports rentals (kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, snorkeling equipment, reef shoes, etc.)
  • Private beach club area beneath the trees between the pool area and the beach (though the beach itself is public)
  • Fitness activities like Muay Thai boxing class, beach boot camp and sunrise yoga
  • High-end gym with strength training and cardio equipment
  • Rosewood Explorers Kids Club
  • Thai cooking classes
  • Concierge service to arrange private tours and experiences
  • Select accessible accommodations with wide clearance space adapted for wheelchair users. (The property itself is largely accessible but hilly, so buggy service is offered. For more details and to ensure you can reserve a room that meets your requirements, contact the hotel directly.)

Insider tips for staying at Rosewood Phuket

Here are a few additional tips and notes to know before planning your visit to Rosewood Phuket:

  • While we didn’t have trouble booking treatments at Asaya or dinner at Ta Khai, it’s wise to make reservations and appointments as early as possible to get your preferred times and experiences.
  • Thai cooking classes are typically offered around the early afternoon before dinner prep, so plan your days wisely if you want to participate during a stay.
  • The property’s hilly trails and ramps are walkable, but buggy service makes getting around much easier (especially if you’re running a few minutes behind to dinner or sunrise yoga).

Bottom line

On the first night of my stay, I overheard a couple at the Mai bar lamenting it was the last evening of a 14-night stay at Rosewood Phuket. I thought that seemed a bit excessive. Who would want to spend two weeks in the same place?

Fast forward 48 hours, and let’s just say it was my turn to lament over why I didn’t have 12 more nights to go after my two-night stay. The hospitality here was more than “just” service with a smile: The Rosewood Phuket team is a caring group that clearly wants guests to leave feeling revitalized.

It’s certainly the kind of property that becomes a destination unto itself. Based on the number of 14-night and 10-night stays I heard my fellow guests boasting of, it appears Rosewood Phuket has become that destination on its own — at least for the lucky bunch who can afford it.

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