Worldwide luxury beach club phenomenon, Nikki Beach, recently announced plans to expand its brand on Phuket, part of fast growing trend toward a more upmarket beachside experience.
Thanks to an increasingly sophisticated suite of high-end offerings, including ultra-luxe accommodation options, award-winning restaurants and four marinas, two of them catering to superyachts, Phuket is fast becoming known as a jet-setter's playground.
The latest trend in upscale diversion on Phuket is the advent of beach clubs. In the last few months, a slew of oceanfront venues have launched in various locations around the island to offer linen-clad revellers the ultimate beach party atmosphere, complete with top shelf liquor brands, carefully crafted menus and stadium filling DJs who drop in to catch some R&R and spin a few thumping tunes for sun-drenched throng.
Beach club hotlist
Beach club concepts are already enjoying popularity with visitors and residents on Thailand's Andaman isle. One of the first to launch was Catch Beach Club on Surin Beach, which is operated by Twinpalms Phuket and combines a cool, white oceanside eatery with signature cocktails, chilled tunes and shaded, cushioned loungers for lazy days by the sea. Daily brunch and dinner buffets draw foodies staying in nearby villas, while regular parties and events attract the island's style set many of whom live closeby in area often referred to locally as Millionaire's Row.
A more recent addition to the beach scene is Bliss Beach Club on Bang Tao Beach where Bangkok designer Nat Sundarabhaga, of STEM Design, used aged wood, deep leather seats and vintage lamps against a black and white, ultra modern, expansive bar to create a "vintage meets exotic" theme. Bliss offers all day indulgences, mixing things up with regular promotions and clever concepts like the daily "Beat the Clock" discounts, with promotional prices on food and beverage between and 5 and 7pm, as well as an elegant "Sunday Butler Brunch". By night, resident and guest DJs perform every weekend, with live jazz, blues, R&B adding to the palette of sensual pleasures.
For island hipsters that prefer to keep the sand from their shoes, UP Beach Club at Malaiwana is perched on a hillside overlooking spectacular Naithon Beach. The sigh-inducing views provide a dreamy the backdrop to the club's vast open terrace, multiple sun decks, private salas and a VIP room, all of which have been carefully designed for special events, whether its a private dinners, cocktails with friends or a full scale fiesta. In addition to its fab food (eat UP), fine beverages (drink UP) and regular events (what's UP), the club also boasts a fashion boutique (UP market) and a photo gallery (pin UP), not to mention it's own cruiser for private cruises out to Phuket's offshore islands.
Not to be left out at sea, branded beach clubs are also poised to play a part in the transformation of Phuket's beaches into chic, all day hotspots. Angsana Laguna Phuket on Bang Tao Beach is partnering with celebrated Singapore night club operator Attica to launch the upscale XANA beach club later this year, which will welcome guests day and night with a choice of sun loungers and cabanas, a massive infinity-edge swimming pool, spontaneous surprise performances, a Sunday brunch, refreshing cocktails and an extensive poolside menu.
Over on the sweeping sands of Layan, Nikki Beach also recently announced plans to open a venue in 2013. The global brand launched its first “ultimate beach club concept” in Miami Beach back in 1998, bringing together fashion, art, music, dining and entertainment, and the club has since been described by the international press as the “Sexiest Place on Earth”. In Thailand, Nikki Beach already draws vacation revellers to its Koh Samui beach club, and the Phuket version is sure to be a hit, as the brand always attracts celebrities and fashionistas, representing everything cool, sexy and glamorous about spending the day or night at the beach.
As new venues open across the island, the choice of beachside pleasures on offer for visitors to enjoy on Phuket is continually expanding and diversifying, while at the same time underlining the island's growing reputation as one of the world's top destinations for sun, sand and sophistication.