For our first visit to Thailand, we wanted to experience a resort that combined a unique setting with world class service and cuisine. Kata Rocks was the natural choice, with every guest benefiting from their own private pool.
First Impressions of Kata Rocks
Phuket has a rather ill-deserved reputation as a party place but Thailand’s largest island actually has some very upmarket and tranquil areas if you know where to look. Kata is a picturesque little town with a beautiful white sandy beach. The resort of Kata Rocks stands proud on a promontory with magnificent sea views. Check out our tour of the resort and surrounding area here.
The rocks on which the resort are built are known as the Buddha Footprint and are considered to be sacred.
Getting to Kata Rocks
We started our journey in Bangkok, and then took a short plane ride to Phuket airport although there are also many dirct international flights. From there, it’s a pleasant one hour drive from Phuket airportEven before we arrived at the resort, our anticipation was building. We were met at the airport by one of the ‘rockstars’ aka a Kata Rocks concierge. He took us to a luxurious SUV car where we were handed wet towels and invited to help ourselves to water and a range of snacks. During our journey, we watched a very slick video giving us an overview of the resort, etiquette in Thailand and useful Thai phrases.
Once we arrived, we were whisked off to our Sky Villa in a golf cart. The resort is built on sloping land so they’re a novel solution for getting around. We often chose to walk but a simple call to reception would summon a golf cart in the blink of an eye.
Inside our Sky Villa, we were treated to a traditional Thai hand washing before a speedy check-in and explanation of all the features in our high-tech home from home.
Accommodation in Kata Rocks
The villas are all privately owned and run by the management company. Villa owners can choose to live there permanently or to rent them out for part of the year. Due to this, the villas feel very homely and have many facilities that you would not expect to find in a hotel room. For example, there’s a washing machine and even a drier to hang out your washing. Each villa is equipped with the very latest technology. Our 2 bedroom Sky Villa was decorated in a contemporary style with an open plan layout that maximized space to the utmost. Inspiration came from super yacht design, where every detail is thought through. The spacious master bedroom was extremely peaceful and the feather pillows ensured an excellent night’s sleep. There were fluffy bathrobes and slippers in the en-suite bathroom. For the turn-down service, these cute towelling elephants were placed on our bed!
As for the main living space, it had a very comfy seating area with a dining table and fully equipped kitchen. An iPad is at your disposal to control the lighting and heating and a master switch activates all the lights in a seamless fashion. There is complimentary high speed WiFi throughout the villa and the resort.
However the real wow factor comes from the outdoor area with its private infinity pool benefiting from uninterrupted views of the Andaman Sea. The lounging sofas are shielded from the sun by an overhead awning. You can’t see the neighbouring properties at all and privacy is complete.
Amenities at Kata Rocks
We were thoughtfully left us all the ingredients to rustle up a cocktail including lime and Phuket’s award-winning rum, Chalong Bay.
There was also an eye-catching non alcoholic Butterfly Pea Flower beverage that matched the marine theme perfectly!
Facilities at Kata Rocks
There’s an award-winning Infinite Luxury Spa with 8 spacious treatment rooms. We experienced a full body couples’ massage. Our friendly masseuses asked whether we preferred light, medium or firm pressure. With many massages you only get the choice of light or firm and I found medium to be just right. It was so relaxing that we both fell asleep. Afterwards we felt completely rejuvenated, with all aches and pains completely banished.
The gym is among the best that we’ve come across on our travels. With a full set of Technogym machines and an unbeatable view of the sea, working out was a pleasure. Paul tried the rebounder machine, a novel abs and upper body workout, whilst I used the PowerPlate.
The main infinity pool is very uncrowded, as all the villas have their own private pool. It’s a great place to relax and the sun loungers are actually submerged in the water, helping you to keep your cool!
There’s also a games room, library and shop next to the restaurant and bar.
Experiences at Kata Rocks
We were fortunate that the day of our arrival coincided with the annual Loy Krathong ceremony. Guests gathered around the infinity pool to release floating baskets lit with candles. Couples are encouraged to launch the basket into the water together, to bring good luck for the year ahead.
Whilst we enjoy pairing our food with wine, the idea of matching your cheese to wine was a new one to me. Kata Rocks arranged an instructive cheese and wine pairing for us. It takes place in their stylish Wine Cellar, equipped with blankets for those that feel the cold as I do. There are some impressive bottles adorning the cellar walls and we got to taste a few of them including Beringer Stone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. You wouldn’t imagine that cheese would go well with white wine but Roquefort in particular works very well.
Where to Eat in Kata Rocks
At Kata Rocks you can dine inside or outside and both areas directly overlook the infinity pool. The resort can also arrange for a chef to cook for you in your villa. However my favourite dining spot has to be directly on the rocks! For a special occasion, they can organise a dinner for 2 with only the ocean for company – perfect for a proposal or anniversary. The food at Kata Rocks is renowned as being among the finest in Phuket. There’s a choice of Asian or Western cuisines and the waiters will advise you of the level of spiciness of each dish. If only all restaurants in Thailand did the same!
Breakfast here is a leisurely affair, overlooking the pool – a great way to start the day.
What to See Near Kata Rocks
The beach of Kata is a few minutes walk and a pleasant place to see the local fishermen’s boats up close. If you have time, venture to the Big Buddha in Phuket. It’s an easy 20 minute drive away and an impressive sight. In December, the resort hosts the Kata Rocks Superyacht Rendezvous. Its a great opportunity for superyacht and villa owners to meet and build new relationships.
What to Wear in Kata Rocks
The vibe at Kata Rocks is very much casual chic resort wear. You could go barefoot as it is so pristine and golf carts can transport you to and from your villa. I’d definitely pack a kaftan for lounging by the pool and a sun hat as it can get very hot in the midday sun. Thailand can be quite humid so plan waterproof makeup and a hair band or turban for frizzy hair days. A shawl would come in handy for indoor dining as there’s air conditioning. Finally, make the most of the gym by packing your workout gear!
Final Thoughts About Kata Rocks
If you’re looking for paradise on earth, then Kata Rocks comes pretty close. We particularly liked the private infinity pool, gourmet meals and relaxed but immaculate service. As for the sunsets, they’re simply spectacular!