Philippe Starck and Patong make an odd match. Fans of the global design guru fit with the resort’s teaming beach and down-home bars like caviar and chips.
Which is why, of course, the design star has turned his attention to Phuket’s other side, its East Coast – a destination where the adjective ‘unspoilt‘ still unquestionably fits with ‘tropical paradise‘.
Starck’s exclusive boutique hotel on Yamu Cape is currently rising out of pristine jungle without any fear of the neighbourhood going downhill.
Its neighbour is Baan Yamu, an upscale residential development that ensures the Yamu peninsula will be reserved for expats and holidaymakers at the high-end in style.
But Phuket’s East Coast offers much more than social cachet. Its combination of startling natural beauty and tranquil seclusion is familiar to fans of James Bond.
On an island off Baan Yamu, Scaramanga – the hitman with three nipples and a penchant for gold bullets – enjoyed an idyllic tropical lifestyle with dwarf servant Nick-Nack.
The Phang Nga Bay is now one of the world’s premier playgrounds for yachties, who can tie up at a choice of marinas including the Royal Phuket Marina – one of only two marinas in Asia to be awarded five anchors by the Yacht Harbour Association.
For Onnoot Kiratisutthisopon, sales manager at Baan Yamu Residences, the East Coast can also now supply every element of an upscale lifestyle – despite its pristine panoramas.
‘We are only half an hour from the airport – and golf courses, shopping malls and wonderful restaurants within easy reach of Baan Yamu,’ she says.
Dining options include Raya Restaurant, the island’s top Thai restaurant just down the road in an atmospheric colonial residence in Phuket town.
Residents at Baan Yamu need only drive for 30 minutes to tee off a round at Phuket’s famous Blue Canyon Golf Club.