When I moved to Phuket and made it my home some 12 years ago, I was immediately struck by the immense drama and power of the sunsets on the island. They were simply all-engrossing and impossible to ignore for their sheer glorious magnitude and power.
I had been living, like the majority of us these days, in a frenetic big city while pursuing a corporate career and I had become detached and divorced from sunsets, as I had from so much of the glory of nature. Then one evening a Phuket local invited me along for “sundowners” at The Boathouse situated right on the glorious golden sands of Kata Beach.
Of course I had heard about The Boathouse’s fabulously romantic history and heritage. How Thai Royal family member Mom Tri Devakul, Thailand’s foremost architect and designer, had originally opened it in 1987 as a beach-side restaurant for his circle of rich and famous friends.
The cuisine and views were stunning and Mom Tri brought in the best chefs and international expertise from the Chateaux of France to embellish the faire and build a spectacular wine cellar. Later on, Mom Tri added some lovely suites alongside the restaurant where replete dinner guests could collapse in grateful splendour… and so one of the world’s most famous boutique resorts was born.
Over the next three decades The Boathouse has become a magnet for a glittering cast of Thai and Western royalty as well as the simply rich, famous and discerning. Famous international names such as Peter Ustinov and Rudolph Nureyev, as well as Thai royalty such as Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn have graced the very same beautiful beachside terrace and the very same dining room in which you can sit today and witness one of the most fabulous sunsets in the Andaman region.
When I was first invited for a sundowner drink at The Boathouse I knew much of the history, but I was completely unprepared for the overwhelmingly romantic sensory impact of the experience. I met my host at 6pm as the sky above Kata Bay, with its dramatic headlands, was painted like a pyrotechnic canvas of purples, pinks, gold and fading blues. Jackson Pollock meets Claude Monet for an acid trip perhaps? Or Charlie Parker playing hot jazz in a swirling cauldron of rainbows.
So wonderful was that first Boathouse sunset that my host and I couldn’t resist segueing into a sensational supper in the resort’s restaurant, sampling a symphony of Western and Thai dishes and availing ourselves of an unforgettable liquid treasure form the Boathouse’s 600-plus label cellar.
Since that seductive day, I have become a Boathouse sunset addict and have repeated the experience over a hundred times, but it has never lost its ability to engender pure romantic wonderment in me that anything on this good earth can be quite so quintessentially beautiful.
The Boathouse today, following its recent complete refurbishment, offers an exceptional blend of its original elegance and traditions with a distinctly contemporary style. Renowned international Executive Chef Jonathan Bruell and his team work their culinary magic every night, while the drinks and service are second to none.
It’s not surprising that The Boathouse beachside restaurant is much-awarded for the excellence of its cuisine and drinks selection by such experts as Wine Spectator and the Tatler Best Restaurant Guide, who year after year rate it as one of the absolute dining treasures in all of Thailand.
But the pure majesty of sunset in this very special place, is something that even my purple prose cannot do justice! It is so overwhelming that the only way to truly appreciate it is to experience it in yourself and I urge you to do just that as soon as you are able.
For more information and bookings call 076 330 015 or visit the website: boathouse-phuket.com