28 Jun 2021 By AWAY IN STYLE

Phuket never fails to awaken the senses…

Phuket never fails to awaken the senses. A blissful blue sky, clear oceans, and lush green hills set the backdrop for glittering waves crashing on the pearlescent sandy shores on which only a few people gather under coconut trees swaying with the coastal breeze. The island paradise of Phuket has been closed to international visitors for over a year, allowing nature to recuperate and thrive. A new chapter now awaits with vaccinated travellers welcomed back from 1st July 2021 from countries with a low or medium risk of COVID-19 transmission. For those wistfully dreaming of a tropical beach getaway, Phuket offers the perfect collection of experiences that can be enjoyed around the island without quarantine. Accor, the largest hotel and resort operator in Phuket, invites travellers from around the world to reawaken their love for travel and be amongst the first to discover the joys of the ‘Phuket Sandbox’.

Phuket’s beaches have never been more serene

Days spent on breath-taking beaches are an essential part of the Phuket experience. Powdery sands, glistening waters, and spectacular views can be discovered all around the island, with a diverse array of offerings on the popular west coast as well as the more secluded east coast. There are over 30 beaches in Phuket, some of them hidden away and others adjacent to beachfront resorts. With limited flights operating, visitors have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lay on unblemished shores with very few other people, for a more chilled-out atmosphere, bringing a whole new meaning to ‘social distancing’.

Where to stay: Pullman Phuket Panwa Beach Resort is nestled in a southern cove overlooking the broad palm-lined arc of Makham Bay. Its private stretch of fine white sand is great for relaxing and ideal for water sports. For an escape amongst nature, Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach is perched on the headland overlooking the ocean in the northern region of Phuket. Guests will have direct access to Naithon Beach, which is secluded and visited by very few people. Novotel Phuket Kamala Beach is also loved by guests thanks to its location right next to the renowned white beaches of Kamala Bay, offering uninterrupted ocean views of the Andaman Sea.

Phuket’s Old Town district is becoming a trendy centre

As much as sun seekers enjoy the beaches, digital nomads, foodies, and culture junkies will love exploring the Old Town of Phuket, where a hip scene has been brewing for the last few years. The characteristic charm of the Old Town is influenced by Thai, Chinese, Malay, Indian and European cultures, which blend harmoniously with the architecture of various buildings. Many colourful Sino-Portuguese shop houses have been transformed into modern-day coffee houses, Michelin-recommended eateries, hip ice cream shops, chic cocktail bars, and stylish boutiques. Travellers can now immerse in the spirit, energy, and warmth of the local community found in Phuket’s Old Town district.

Where to stay: Located near to Phuket’s Old Town, Novotel Phuket City Phokeethra offers contemporary rooms and suites with city or bay views. ibis Styles Phuket City Hotel brings fun, style and creative energy with its playful design that shares the colourful Sino-Portuguese influence. Both hotels offer a comfortable base to explore Phuket.

Phuket resorts offer a diverse array of experiences

As Thailand’s largest tropical island, with more than 30 smaller islands surrounding the coastline, Phuket boasts an incredible array of accommodation choices. There is something to suit the preferences, interests, and budget of each traveller. Whether guests are looking for a larger suite suitable for an extended stay, locally inspired resorts, family-friendly facilities, or private pool villas, Accor’s 21 properties across the island are now ready to welcome guests back with warm, friendly Thai hospitality.

Where to stay: Design enthusiasts will love Avista Grande Phuket Karon – MGallery, the beautiful boutique resort that seamlessly blends rich local culture with Sino-Portuguese influences. For ultimate luxury, the newly opened V Villas Phuket – MGallery offers unparalleled privacy with its exclusive pool villas complete with 24-hour butler service. Families seeking more space can consider Grand Mercure Phuket Patong with various activities and villas that are designed for larger groups. For longer stays, Mövenpick Resort Bangtao Beach Phuket offers a collection of inviting residences with living and dining areas, fully equipped kitchens and oversized balconies. Budget-conscious travellers can opt for the economical options of ibis Phuket Patong or ibis Phuket Kata, which both feature pools and convenient locations.

Elevated hygiene protocols are in place to welcome guests back safely

Accor has now established some of the most stringent cleaning standards & operational procedures in hospitality, to ensure guest safety as hotels reopen around the world. These standards have been developed with and vetted by Bureau Veritas, a world leader in hygiene testing, inspections & certification. The ALLSAFE label represents Accor’s commitment to upholding these elevated standards across all hotels.