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World’s First Ritz-Carlton Reserve Opens at Phulay Bay in Southern Thailand

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The world’s first Ritz-Carlton Reserve - Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve - will open tomorrow (22 December 2009), in Krabi, Southern Thailand. Set on the shores of the Andaman Sea, Phulay Bay is a hideaway 54-villa and pavilion boutique hotel with views of the towering limestone karsts which make up the beautiful landscape of this part of southern Thailand. Coupled with sandy beaches, a coastline flecked with more than 200 islands, surrounded by a national forest with rugged rock formations and hidden waterfalls, Phulay Bay is an ideal holiday destination.

“Ritz-Carlton Reserve will feature signature, one-of-a-kind boutique resorts positioned in unique settings, each with a distinctive personality and sense of place reflecting its history and culture,” said Simon F. Cooper, president. “A refuge from the expected, Reserve is for travellers seeking to discover a singular location and peerless resort that will offer guests’ exotic, hand-selected ‘hideaway’ destinations in a relaxed, casually elegant atmosphere. Phulay Bay in Thailand is a natural choice for the first Reserve.”

Nestled on the shore of the Andaman Sea, the resort is the vision of in-demand Thai architect Lek Bunnag and features modern styling and architecture with accents of Thai culture and design to create a harmonious synergy of luxury and tradition to compliment its secluded location. Bunnag draws strongly from Thai traditions and cultural heritage to create an environment where relaxation and enjoyment are the very bedrock of the guest experience.

The architecture, landscape, interiors and accessories fuse to create a marriage of style and design that is completely in keeping with and tied to the natural environment of the location. Oversized beds, pillows, chairs, baths and doorways create a sense of comfort and welcoming that sets the guest at ease and welcomes them into the resort.

Combining contemporary Thai styling in the buildings with preservation of the environment, the natural flora of existing trees and plants relies on the past and tradition to create something sustainable today and for the future. The use of traditional Lanna art forms both in architectural structure and design, as well as paintings and artworks on the walls and doors of the villas, further create a contemporary setting that draws on tradition to offer a unique and luxurious environment and further enlivens the senses.

“When styling and designing Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, we were very conscious of the abundant natural beauty surrounding us which is what makes people fall in love with Thailand,” explained Estelita Sebeto, the resort’s General Manager. “We want guests to enjoy and discover the extraordinary diversity and beauty in this part of the country in a setting of relaxation and rejuvenation. So we have worked with nature to maintain a setting that evokes the very best of the natural environment of the hotel and sourced local and sustainable materials in its construction and styling. We see the resort as an ambassador for the local environment and for the tradition of the land here in Phulay Bay.”

The sense of arrival will immediately let guests know they are somewhere special and unique. High aubergine walls and ‘hedges’ made from indigenous trees create a sense of wonder from the outside and a great sense of peace and stillness once on the inside. Guests enter the resort over a stepping-stone walkway that leads them to a wooden Thai pavilion situated on an island surrounded by thousands of gently flickering candles.

Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, will offer a sea front pavilion with private rooftop dining, a signature Thai restaurant creating traditional Thai cooking in a modern, minimalist setting using the very best of ingredients and cooking traditions from Thailand’s southern region. An infinity pool bar will offer soft loungers and silk pillows by day with lighter more relaxed culinary offerings, while the resort’s sunset lounge, will offer day beds, oversized pillows, chill-out lounge bar music and candle lanterns for a truly intimate and relaxing feel. The perfect place for a glass of champagne or a stylish martini as the sun sets over the seemingly endless horizon.

The ESPA at Phulay Bay promises to be a sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation with stepping stones meandering through the spa leading to decked walkways and relaxation terraces surrounded by vegetation and reflection ponds that perfectly capture the unique character of Phulay Bay. The Spa itself comprises three traditional Thai pavilions set over two levels offering 11 treatment rooms including single and couples massage rooms and two VIP treatment suites.

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