Perched like Zeus’s Mount Olympus high above the sea and precariously close to the edge of a cliff, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the stunning views from the hotel’s terrace for those of the Aegean. Yet these waters are those of the Andaman Sea’s Phang Nga Bay, famed for its role in the 1974 James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun.
The simple exterior may put some people off initially; it looks like a modern art museum, but once inside it’s another story entirely. For within, Italian avant-garde designer Paola Navone’s minimalist designs, combined with the use of local materials and colour schemes, shed a whole new light on the typical five-star Phuket hotel style.
I like a hotel that goes completely against the grain to create a place that stands out from the crowd. There are some incredible architectural sculptures within the hotel, featured in many an Architectural Digest around the world, plus quirky little touches dotted here and there to give a softer, more Asian feel.
Originally built for another, unassociated project, COMO acquired the deserted building and created a hotel with incredible accommodation, stunning views from all rooms, a pool deck that would rival any in Miami’s South Beach and the true feeling of space within that can be hard to find in other hotels. The food and beverage experience is excellent, with a lot of choices. You’ll also find, as at any COMO, that the spa is top-notch.
In summary, the hotel is a true delight and works for many, including large numbers of repeat guests who return time and time again. For the Asian crowd, it enables them to have a Mediterranean experience without the long travel time, and for the European expats a taste of home. There were many Europeans here when I stayed, who had travelled to Phuket searching for the exquisite and unique. The facilities and the impeccably trained staff made sure they got that – in abundance.
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