If you’re looking for the ideal beach destination, the Thai islands are hard to beat. Here, the sand is fine, the waters are clear and tropical cocktails are very reasonably priced.
Phuket is easily one of the most popular islands in Thailand, but if you’re after a pristine paradise beach and end up taking a wrong turn to the party central of Patong, you might write off the whole island as loud, crass and “just not for me.”
But as is true with most island destinations, tranquil beaches do exist in Phuket, too – you just have to know where to look. Located about 50 minutes north of Patong and conveniently, closer to the airport, Naithon is very much the Thai beach destination most of us dream of but never find.
Introducing Malaiwana Residences
Set what feels like lightyears away from the blaring music and pushy street hawkers of more touristic areas, Naithon has become a particularly attractive alternative for travellers since the upscale neighbourhood of Surin saw all beachfront restaurants demolished following a governmental decree in 2016.
Surrounded by lush tropical hills, Naithon Beach offers a dreamy stretch of white sand and beautiful conditions for swimming. There are plenty of quaint little restaurants and street food stalls lining the beachfront road. You can easily walk around the neighbourhood, as the ambiance is very safe and relaxed.
Built high up on hills over Naithon Beach, the luxurious Malaiwana estate offers the holy grail of beachside accommodation. From its elevated position, the property offers endless views of the Andaman Sea, but unlike many hilltop villas set kilometres away from the beach, Malaiwana is still within easy reach of Naithon’s pure white sands.
Malaiwana is a unique luxury complex in one of the most beautiful locations in Phuket. The estate is made up of standalone villas and the Residences. Malaiwana Residences are made up of two Duplex villas set side by side and a Penthouse stacked above them.
Modern Luxury in Phuket
Our team of 10 is staying in two Duplexes and the set-up is perfect for a large group. We can easily scoot between the two villas and each morning, we all have a lazy communal breakfast by the pool. But there’s still a sense of privacy when you need a little alone time.
Malaiwana Residences is all about modern architecture. From the front door, a staircase leads down to the living room which has a lofty double-height ceiling and huge floor-to-ceiling windows allowing for an incredible sense of natural light. Whether you’re in the living room or out by the pool, the ocean views seem to go on for days.
Cool & Contemporary
Though the design at Malaiwana Residences is clean and modern, the effect is never sterile. Instead, there’s a hint of effortless Scandinavian style – if your Scandinavian home would offer endless views of the turquoise Andaman Sea that is. There are warm playful touches throughout the villas: oversized beanbags in the living room and vibrant orchids planted by the pool.
Each villa at Malaiwana Residences has four bedrooms. The Duplexes are spread over two floors, while each Penthouse occupies a single floor. In the Duplex, the two upper-floor master bedrooms have full-wall windows and colossal ensuite bathrooms with a terrazzo bathtub each. There is one more bedroom on this level and one bedroom on the ground floor by the pool.
Fully Staffed Villas
Seeing the rapid changes currently reshaping the hospitality industry, travellers’ expectations don’t always keep up. Some people assume that booking a private holiday rental means you’ll be making your own bed and generally getting by with no service or staff to turn to. Like all Ministry of Villas’ properties, Malaiwana Residences is impeccably staffed, so you really don’t sacrifice any of the comforts a hotel stay – but you gain a whole lot of privacy and added luxury.
Lily and Sanny are the two villa managers at Malaiwana Residences. Upon arrival, they guide us through the villas and once we have settled in, they’re always there to make sure we have everything we need – they even help us organise a day trip to Phi Phi Islands. Following their lead are the villa’s private chef, housekeepers, butlers and the estate’s security guards.
Overall, the service at Malaiwana is impeccable. When you want to descend from your house on the hill to walk among mortals, there’s a dedicated buggy to whisk you down without breaking a sweat. From here, it’s just a hop and a skip to the beach.
There’s an incredible sense of ease about the property: the way the light flows through the wide-open spaces perfectly echoes the staff’s effortless hospitality. Most of our days at Malaiwana are a mix of relaxing at the villa, strolling down the beach and trying out the restaurants which line the beachfront boulevard. It’s one of those rare instances in life when you can honestly say you want for nothing.
On our last morning at Malaiwana, I wake to see a mist rising over the lagoon and rain tripling on the surface of the pool. Everything feels fresh and new. The only sounds are the crashing waves and the soft tap of rain drops. A lone fishing boat putt-putts in the distance and all is well with the world.
Down below beyond the pool, you see Naithon’s palm trees and turquoise waters. If you allow yourself to pause and simply be for a change, you get to see the beach burst into vibrant shades of turquoise and gold as the cloudy skies clear up.
And just like that, it’s a brand-new day in paradise.