When The Sun Goes Down
Phuket may not neccesarily be everyone's choice destination when it comes to traveling in South East Asia. After all, with a tough fight against places like Bali, The Phillippines, Koh Samui and the like, Phuket has been around long enough to establish itself as a slightly more developed island paradise.
As with any sort of evolution, something always gets lost in the mix. In this case, smaller routes have given way to large highways and underpasses, original stalls and street vendors have made way for malls and tall buildings. Structures that wouldn't be out of place in any cosmopolitan city have sprouted (i.e.: the spanking new DFS facility; targeted mainly at the busloads of tourists from China).
However, it seems like the time is right to give the island another chance with the opening of Dream Phuket Hotel & Spa.
A few weeks ago, I was kindly invited to attend its grand opening for a weekend of pure fun in the sun, food and a couple of incredible parties.
Located in the less-touristic district of Laguna, the hotel itself is easy to miss. Having been designed specifically to be a part of the environment, the 174-room hotel is a welcoming oasis with five buildings circumferencing a massive pool that invites you to cool off from the midday heat with it's palm trees and swim up bar.
Playing around with the GoPro at the swim-up bar.
Shelter your precious skin from the sun by lounging under a private cabana, indulge in local or international cuisine at Trilogy or head up to its rooftop pool, aptly named VU, that boasts views of the entire property and offers Instagrammable images for sunset-chasers.
Lush greenery, natural stone walls and water features add to this little hidden paradise that seems to have a magic way of connecting old friends and making new ones. Add to that, Indulge, a gentleman's bar (where everyone is welcome), a world-class gym and spa, it's easy to excuse one for not having to leave the property at all.
Sociable to say the least, Dream Phuket Hotel & Spa is also proud to offer Dream Beach Club. A mere four and a half minutes away (yes, it was timed) via the complimentary shuttle (which conveniently leaves every 15 minutes), the beach club is reminiscent of party destinations like Ibiza and Miami, but with a true New York vibe. One of a handful of beach clubs in Phuket with direct access to the beach, it spans over two floors with indoor and outdoor dining, four bars, two pools and pristine white sand that stretches for miles each way.
If you're thinking of doing brunch at Dream Beach Club on Sundays,
book your table(s) and cabanas EARLY because it fills up FAST.
And put your best swimsuit on and strut your stuff.
Weekends showcase DJs alongside saxophonists and percussionists that really get the groove going.
With partnerships with some of the hottest names in the music industry, hot days quickly turn into cool nights with music brought to you by Hed Kandi, Ministry of Sound, Soul Haven and top-billing DJs from across the globe.
And this is where the folks behind Dream showed off just a little with their grand opening, which saw close to 1000 people in attendance and an atmosphere that reminded me just how an amazing party should be thrown. Pyrotechnics, fire-eaters, contortionists and gymnasts just added to the insane vibe of the celebrations. A full spread of the freshest seafood this side of the planet, a non-stop flow of bubbles and a burger stand which was extremely welcoming round about midnight.
Featuring LIVE entertainment by Soul II Soul with Caron Wheeler and DJ Jan Kincaid from The Brand New Heavies, Friday night quickly became Saturday morning where new connections were made, old friends re-established and hurting feet were a sign of good times had.
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