The Mangosteen Boutique Resort & Ayurveda Spa is located at the southern tip of Phuket on a private hillside, offering spectacular ocean views over four bays and many surrounding islands. It features 41 villa rooms and a selection of facilities over an area of 25,000 square metres of lush tropical gardens.
The resort has been designed for individual travellers; it does not accept tour groups. It has worked hard to create an atmosphere of tranquillity, relaxation and comfort and it has frequently been chosen by experienced travellers who are used to good comfort but who get bored staying in larger hotels.
The resort's cuisine consists of a restaurant with Thai and Western menus, there's also a pool and lounge bar, with Happy Hours from 3pm-6:30pm, and the unique underground wine cellar, which can host small parties for dinner. In-room dining on your private terrace is available too and one of the resort's best-sellers. The restaurant also features weekly theme nights like the
"Thai Food Lovers Night" and the "BBQ Night".
The large free-form swimming pool is salt-water treated and at the heart of the property. It is open 24 hours with a tempera- ture around 30 degrees. There is generous space for everybody and even when the resort is fully booked, the pool area doesn't feel crowded.
The resort recently added a worldclass
Ayurveda Spa, unique to Phuket. You can combine your holiday with a wellness program, individually tailored for your needs, including organic healthy cuisine if you wish. The certified Ayurveda doctor is available for free and individual consulting, and there are traditional spa and massage services too. The Fitness Centre is located in the lower part of the spa building, it's well equipped and comes with great views towards the Racha and Coral Islands. The Mangosteen has created a home away from home, hardly comparable with what is known as standard hotel accommodation. With great attention to detail, the Mangosteeen' unique little villas are functional as well as beautiful. Using mostly natural materials and a local tropical style an authentic feel has been preserved.
The interior design has been created by Australian artist John Underwood. John has a wealth of experience in designing hotels and resorts, such as the J.W. Marriott in Phuket and various Four Season Resorts. His style could be described as "down to earth", using rich colours and heavy, natural materials. With great attention to detail, the owners together with John's design
team have created the unique, elegant "Mangosteen theme". It automatically and instantly makes you feel comfortable and in holiday mood. The villas have been designed to be "naturally cool", with very high insulation and air ventilation through the roof. Even without air-conditioning, you will feel comfortable and relaxed. The air-conditioning works quietly, the temperature control is precise and you can reach it from your bed. Mattresses are first grade for a very comfortable sleep and sweet dreams. Com-bined with the tranquillity of the resort, guests usually oversleep, coming late for their sumptuous fresh breakfast.
If you do wake up early though you will be greeted with a terrific view of the sunrise over Chalong Bay, looking at the sea towards Phi Phi Island and Cape Panwa, as the dive boats head out on day trips from Chalong Pier.
The resort's tropical gardens are kept natural and cultured but they are not overdesigned; they attract geckos, birds, frogs and butterflies and environmentallyfriendly pest control systems are used.
A free shuttle service from 9am-5pm daily is offered to nearby Nai Harn Beach, located in a pristine national park. The location is ideal for travellers looking for peace and tranquillity, but is still not too far from the more busy beaches (Kata Beach is 10- 15 minutes away). Nearby attractions include the Big Buddha of Phuket, Chalong Temple, the Promthep Cape Sunset Viewpoint,
Chalong Seafood Restaurants, Rawai Beach with its seafood market and the famous Chalong Pier, starting point for many of Phuket's boat excursions.
Free activities include animal towel folding, yoga, a local market tour and pool diving sessions by Sea Bees. There's also a Batik class for Bt600 and a Thai cooking class for Bt1,750. The resort's underground wine cellar dinner goes for Bt2,800 per person and that includes a special set menu with two half bottles of wine, coffee and tea. Wednesday evenings sees a "Thai
food lovers" buffet from 7-9:30pm, where Bt500 gets you a large variety of authentic local specialities. Friday for Bt650 is "5 Gems of Asia" with cuisine from Thailand, India, China, Vietnam and Japan. You can also order your own seafood BBQ for Bt4,500 per couple which comes with snapper, rock lobster, squid, blue crab, prawns, cockles, rice and salad.
Away from the hustle and bustle of Phuket's tourist centres, Mangosteen is an ideal place to unwind, but if you like to enjoy shopping, shows and nightlife it all can be found within easy reach.
Hajo von Keller, the Mangosteen's
owner/managing director first came to Bangkok in 1996 as a representative for his family's sporting goods company. But in 1997, with the onset of the Asian economic crisis, it became very difficult to import items into Thailand, so Hajo started to export goods instead, but he didn't enjoy living in Bangkok, especially since his family was living in Phuket and the weekend getaways that he had hoped for weren't materializing as often as he wished. So one day in 2001 while sitting at a bar on Naiyang Beach near Phuket's International airport, Hajo's father, sensing his son's frustration, suggested they sell the business and build a resort in Phuket and that's exactly what they did. But neither had any experience in the hotel industry, so they had to do a feasibility study and learn everything from scratch.
They quickly realized that back then Phuket did not have many boutique hotels with chalet, villa-style accommodation. Drawing inspiration from the many boutique hotels they found in Bali, they came up with an idea for the resort, went to a Swiss architect based in Phuket who along with his team of Thai architects (the same team that designed the Paradise Koh Yao resort) came up with a concept, and they then set to work on an exhaustive search for land plots and the best spot to build the resort.
They stumbled upon a beautiful piece of land with 360-degree views in southern Phuket. It had lots of privacy, lots of space, and it was surrounded by jungle. The nearby beach, Nai Harn was one of Hajo's favourites too as there were hardly any hotels there, and it was quiet and clean. Naiharn today is the beach where the Mangosteen shuttles its guests too on day trips.
This is Hajo's second go-round as the Mangosteen's GM, he had the Golden Tulip management team run the hotel for a while. But today, it's a family-managed resort run by Hajo, his wife Rose, and Hajo's stepdaughter Ying. And that's one of the strong points about this boutique hotel, the owners are very visible. Hajo tries to meet guests upon checking in, if he misses them then, he
goes from table to table during dinner time, or mingles with them during Happy Hour. He gets to know and remember them, it's that extra personal touch, he learned from
Kurt Wachtveitl, the highly esteemed former GM of Bangkok's Mandarin Oriental Hotel. And it is one of the reasons the Mangosteen has such a strong return clientele.
"The pool area is a great place to hang around and the spa massages are a real treat. The staff provides great service and the personal touch and attention by the owners was a pleasant surprise, lovely people. Perfect for people who want a relaxing time and place to launch daily trips from." Barry and Aliso, June 2012.
"We spent seven nights at the resort at the beginning of June and had no problems with bookings or communication with the staff. The resort is beautiful, relaxing and in a perfect location. We will recommend to all our friends a perfect second honeymoon." Ric and Richelle, June 2012.
"The salt pool is fabulous with interesting flowing sections and I would recommend a cocktail by the pool while the sun is setting. This is a nice resort with spa facilities and a great air-con gym. We found the location very peaceful and being up off the flat beach area, you experience gentle evening breezes and see the lights across the bay and ocean...fabulous.
"A casual but classy restaurant, which was well-managed and staffed, so you didn't have to wait for service. The food was delicious and reasonably priced. We met the owner, his wife Rose, and their daughter Ying (the Resort Manager) who arranged for us to have a three- course Thai cooking lesson at the resort, which we ate afterwards with a glass of chilled wine. Thanks to Rod
(the Food and Beverage Manager) and the top Thai chef for our fun-filled and memorable cooking lesson, All the staff are intelligent well-trained people who are there to make your stay relaxing and memorable." Ian & Diane, April 2012.