Some villas offer a place to hang your hat and a pool to splash around in before heading out to explore your surroundings. Other villas are a destination in and of themselves.
Iniala Beach House definitely belongs to the latter category.
A luxury estate of three private villas plus an exclusive penthouse, Iniala Beach House is located right on Natai Beach, which is one of the most underrated locations in Thailand.
Natai Beach stretches for 10 kilometres along the coastline of Phang Nga, just north of Phuket island. The beach remains deliciously void of tourists and is home to just a handful of luxury villas and boutique hotels.
A private villa nestled on a deserted stretch of beach already sounds like a dream come true.
But Iniala Beach House is so much more.
Iniala Beach House enjoys something of a cult status among discerning world travellers. Many of the villas’ VIP clients favour the estate precisely because of its under-the-radar locale, but even with its hush-hush coordinates, Iniala Beach House has garnered two substantial claims to fame.
In 2014, the Kardashian clan filmed episodes of their hit TV show Keeping up With the Kardashians at Iniala Beach House. The Kardashians booked the entire resort to create a private 10-bedroom estate.
In 2017, the insanely popular Chinese TV drama Ode to Joy filmed an episode at Iniala and inspired travellers and wedding parties to flock to the luxury estate.
Before we dive into the amazing design of the villas, we need to talk about the service. Iniala takes personal service to a whole new level. Each Iniala Beach House villa is attended to by a dedicated butler who will not only be at your beck and call at the villa, but also assist and accompany guests on day trips, yacht cruises and basically see to whatever is needed. All villas also include a chef, driver, spa therapist and housekeepers.
Through the Looking Glass
After being initiated into the world of Iniala, it’s a thrill to visit the villas in person. Upon arrival, we’re welcomed into a circular foyer lined with velvet seats, the ceiling encrusted with dazzling mosaic. It’s hard not to feel like Alice entering Wonderland. The rounded doors slide open… And just like that we’re transported into an alternate reality.
Exploring Iniala feels like floating through a dream. Each of the villas has a completely unique design and feel to it. From start to finish, every detail is executed with exquisite precision and grace.
It’s the kind of property where you move between the spaces, asking each other “which one was your favourite room?” Each room is completely unique and visiting them feels as inspiring as visiting an art gallery or stumbling through an imaginative movie set.
First, we tour the Collector’s Villa. The peaked roof three-bedroom villa is aptly named as it brings together the creative vision of four global designers. The living room walls are encrusted with fine china and the private cinema has coconut shell walls and furry green sofas evoking a feel of the lush tropics.
Each room at the Collector’s Villa is a world onto itself. The Carpenter’s Chamber was created by designer Joseph Walsh and houses an amazing sculpted bed that’s a true work of art. Another bedroom is called The Boudoir, a seductive suite glimmering with crystals and sleek satins. It comes as little surprise that Mark Brazier Jones who designed the room also had his designs featured in the 50 Shades of Grey movies.
After the Collector’s Villa we move on to Villa Siam. Designed by Eggarat Wongcharit, this three-bedroom villa has a distinctly Thai feel to it – just with some added surreal flair. It’s hard not to pinch yourself while walking through the villa.
There’s a golden massage dome with sacred Buddhist script etched onto the walls and floating wicker beds that are woven into the ceiling. It’s like a dream you don’t want to wake up from.
Villa Bianca is the estate’s third villa and features luminous white design and a marriage of design from Spain’s A-Cero and Philosophy of Design from Russia.
The villa is full of light and modern design and features surreal touches like the Matryoshka shaped bed and a sunken lounge modelled after a luxury yacht.
Last but not least, we tour the Iniala Penthouse. Built on an elevated level overlooking Iniala’s rooftops and the ocean, this one-bedroom villa is unique from top to bottom – literally.
Designed by Graham Lamb, Iniala Penthouse features memory foam carpeting which mimics the feeling of pure sand below your feet. A white leather bed is suspended from the ceiling and flanked by a bathtub carved into the sandy carpeting. Doctor Who fans will love this one: this luxury villa has a shower modelled after a Tardis!
Iniala Beach House is so stylish and luxurious with rooms filled with unique design and art that you might assume that the property applies a strict “no kids” policy. In reality, the opposite is true: Iniala Beach House is fabulously family-friendly.
The Island of Iniala kid’s hotel is one of the best kids’ clubs we have ever seen, with facilities including a dress up wardrobe, miniature cinema, bunk beds and indoor treehouses. The bathrooms have miniature sinks and toilets which are beyond adorable. Daytime use of the kids club is complimentary for guests, with fun daily activities available for the kids. Island of Iniala is quite literally a hotel for the kids, as over-night stays are also available against an extra fee when the parents want a little alone time.
Nurishing Mind, Body & Soul
All in all, Iniala Beach House is a real renaissance estate with something to offer for the mind, body and soul. The property includes an impeccably well-equipped gym with complimentary daily activities. Across from the gym, you’ll find Iniala’s art gallery which highlights Thai artists. There’s also a design boutique on the premises.
Iniala’s artistic flair extends to the resort’s culinary offerings. The estate’s restaurant Esenzi, which is also open for outside guests, is headed by Chef Tim Butler, the maestro behind Bangkok’s Eat Me restaurant who enjoys status as one of the 50 best chefs in Asia. Iniala Gourmet is the brand’s bakery and casual dining outlet in Phuket Town.
In addition to offering unparalleled design, service and yes, cuisine, Iniala is also working for a greater good. A portion of Iniala’s revenue is directed towards the owner’s Inspirasia Foundation which works to support local communities across Southeast Asia.
Iniala Beach House is not just another “home away from home.” Iniala is on a whole other level and offers the ultimate escape. This is not just a break from your normal routine – this is visit to a new reality.