Como Point Yamu’s take on Thai luxury has an Italian spin, thanks to Paola Navone’s sleek Med-inspired styling and La Sirena’s flawless Italian food. Totally tropical views of Phang Nga Bay and the Andaman Sea (plus the perfect Peranakan-Thai cuisine served in Nahmyaa restaurant) mean you’ll never forget where you are.
Get this when you book through us:
A drink each at Aqua Bar; also, guests who book an hour-long massage will be upgraded to a 90-minute treatment
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from £171.44 (THB6,980), including tax at 18.7 per cent.
Rates usually include buffet breakfast and the shuttle service to Rang Yai Island.
Be sure to have a massage or facial in one of the spa’s treatment rooms, whose whiter-than-white decor plays understudy to the dazzling bay views. You can’t go wrong with the signature Como Shambhala massage; there’s also a designated Thai massage area. Enjoy a pre-treatment steam and Jacuzzi. Keen yogis can get their fix here – just ask staff to arrange.
At the hotel
Spa with steam room and Jacuzzi, swimming pool, small gym with a fleet of fitness instructors, two restaurants, bar, lounge, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV, minibar, bathrobes, slippers, signature Como Shambhala bath products.
Our favourite rooms
The Verandah Pool Suites each have a four-poster bed, a serene living room, a verandah with comfy loungers and a private aqua-tiled lap pool, where you can watch the sun rise by day and count the stars by night. These suites also have a kitchenette and a dining space for four. If the idea of all-white perfection makes your heart sing, book the pearly Como Suite.
The impressive 100m infinity pool has sun loungers surveying Phang Nga Bay; lie back and enjoy the fruity icy poles that are regularly brought round to refresh guests. The pool is perched by La Sirena restaurant, so you can order lunch, snacks and just-squeezed health elixirs (or a glass of bubbly) to your sun bed.
Leave space in your suitcase so that you can stock up on the fragrant Como Shambhala bath products and body lotions, which feature the brand’s signature blend of peppermint, eucalyptus, geranium and lavender.
Though the hotel doesn’t have its own beach, it provides a free shuttle service (by car and boat) to a nearby island with the requisite soft sand and glittering waters.
Very welcome. Babysitting is US$10 an hour and needs to be booked 24 hours in advance (cancellation fees apply if less than four hours' notice is given). Cots (free) and extra beds (THB 3,561 a night) can be added to rooms.
Cleverly, tables are positioned so that couples can admire Point Yamu Bay from a peaceful spot; larger group tables are clustered on the other side, surveying Phang Nga Bay – take your pick. For maximum romance, pick a table by the pool at night.
Camilla kaftan at the ready, ladies; linen and loafers for Mr Smith.
There are two to choose from: La Sirena, which serves casual Italian food (breakfast, lunch and dinner) in a sleek indoor-outdoor setting, with glittering views of the bay, or cosy red-and-orange Nahmyaa, the Thai dining room that serves Peranakan-Thai cuisine and has a gold-leaf feature wall designed by a local artisan who sang while he worked (under Paola Navone's instructions). The virtuous Como Shambhala menu, with its focus on raw and organic ingredients, can be ordered at La Sirena or as room service.
Aqua Bar, next to the restaurant and pool, is your drinking pit-stop while sun bathing and splashing idly around. To take things up a notch or two, style-wise, have a tipple or two in the lounge by La Sirena, overlooking Phang Nga Bay.
Drinks are mixed until midnight; the restaurants plate up the last dishes around 9pm.
The 24-hour room service menu spans salads, snacks, sandwiches, Thai curries, pasta and seafood. There’s even a small selection designed for Smith Junior.
Como Point Yamu is set in a peaceful patch of Phuket, with 360-degree views of Phang Nga Bay and Point Yamu Bay. Despite the feeling of serene seclusion, the hotel is under an hour’s drive from the airport and just 20 minutes from Phuket Old Town.
Phuket International Airport is just 26km away, a 45-minute drive (phuketairportthai.com). Hotel transfers are THB2,600 in a BMW; THB2,000 in a five-seater van.
From the airport, turn right and follow the signage to Phuket Town. Drive for 20 minutes until you reach the Heroines Monument. At the roundabout, turn left heading to Paklok. Drive another 4km until you see the first 7/11 shop on your right. Turn right and follow the hotel's signage. Once you reach Breeze restaurant and pass the security checkpoint, turn right. (If you have GPS, punch in the following coordinates: latitude, 7.98698; longitude, 98.421948.)
Worth getting out of bed for
Pack your beach bags and take the shuttle service to the local private island, where hotel attendants will set you up with sun loungers and cold water and shoo away any non-guests who start to encroach on the hotel’s patch of sand. There’s a little café on the island, should you get hungry. Alternatively, go on a day trip to Phi Phi Island for some prime snorkeling. It takes 40 minutes to reach the island by speedboat; the hotel arranges these trips with an early morning departure, so you miss the hordes. Ask staff to arrange scuba diving or a deep-sea fishing trip. Be sure to have a treatment at the spa while you’re here. Phuket Old Town is a 20-minute drive away. Borrow bikes and wheel around the island with a guide, stopping off at Yamu village and admiring the rubber plantation and the region’s Andaman Sea views.
Smith-approved Trisara, a half-hour drive away, is renowned for its Friday-night seafood barbecues and Sunday champagne brunches. Raya (+66 (0)76 218 155) serves simple food in a traditional Thai setting, with warm service. Don dapper threads for Rendez-Vous Coffee, which serves delicious cocktails and upscale cuisine in an elegant space on Takuapa Rd.
Dance the night away to a live Thai band at Timber Hut pub on Yaowarat Road, which attracts a mix of locals and expats. Things get busy around 11pm; it’s best for a quiet beer, beforehand.
I can’t help but wonder if the hotel has sneaked a peek of my Instagram and discovered my Formula 1 obsession. Why? The speed at which our limo gets us to Point Yamu. I look forward to telling my son about the day that I was in a head brace while holding onto his cot as though we were in Monaco. He’ll probably be sad he was too young to enjoy the thrill. The road to the resort is dotted with construction sites, and for a while there we ponder if it might have been a mistake trying out a new place. Arriving at the grand sweeping entrance and all fears vanish.
The hotel’s industrial mesh façade gives no clue to the dazzling design within, so you can expect to utter a soft ‘oooh’ as you step into the lobby and admire the soaring columns with their Tibetan-orange accents, the floor tiles inspired by Peranakan architecture, sea-turquoise coffee cups and ceiling lights inspired by the local fishermen’s nets.
Huge beautiful lamps and Thai-style furnishings have you understanding why the hotel has gone as far as having its own ‘personalised’ interiors shop. Snap up anything here and they’ll even have it shipped home for you. This fashion person and Instagram addict is also thrilled with free WiFi. Punch ‘Paola Navone’ into a Google image search and your screen will blossom with pictures of milk-white interior-design perfection, enlivened with pops of colour, whimsical furniture and covetable curios: plates painted with giant goldfish, a blueberry-coloured chandelier the shape of a Christmas tree, rose-print wall shelves, tree-stump stools and so on. It’s soft porn for budding designers. Canny of Como, then, to employ Navone’s considerable know-how and imagination for the design – her first hotel project. The only thing that didn't work for me was where a muted green carpet and lighting clashed with the bright openness of the rest of the hotel.
Our spacious suite has quite the sea view with a generous balcony. Now to be brutally honest (when am I anything but?) I like a bit more flamboyance from the décor as otherwise beige reminds me of rental apartments, but Mr Smith enjoys the fact that it is uncluttered and suggests it’s a good way to encourage relaxation. I remind him that we’re parents on holiday with their toddler. Now – a word from that perspective: those floor tilescan be pretty slippery – but since we’re travelling with those a little one, we’re especially aware of safety hazards for small kids. (Ours slipped and rolled over like a panda a few times while walking barefoot.) If I were eight years old I’d be tempted to strap on the homemade bar of soap and skate around the suite – which perhaps speaks of how the soap is a little greasier than is my preference, but I wouldn’t be a style blogger worth my bath salts if I didn’t obsess about the details, right? On that note, our air-conditioner was temperamental and I found some of the electric sockets were placed in illogical positions – but I'm just telling you this with my hotel-critic hat on.
Now, I may usually be known as an adventurer, but truthfully, we never leave the hotel. We don’t need to – the weather is warm and sunny so we spend most of our time by the sea-view infinity pool. The hotel may not have its own private beach (but you can take the shuttle and a boat to an amazing island in half an hour). Overlooking the Andaman Sea and the dramatic limestones of Phang Nga Bay, we are content here with a wading pool for the mini kids, and at night underwater lights transform the pool into a dazzling spectacle.
This isn’t a hotel that relies on its (considerable good) looks alone. The qualities that put Como on the map are all present and correct: exceptional staff, manned by the brilliant GM, a spoiling spa that dishes out muscle-blessing treatments using the signature Como Shambhala range of lotions and potions, and brilliant food that lets you be as healthy or indulgent as you’d like. You can even order flawless pizzas. Now this Mr and this Mrs Smith enjoy their spas – so we figured it was our duty to enjoy a 75-minute Como Shambhala treatment each. It was just the soothing time-out I needed – meanwhile, my sporty guy detests any soft technique massage. His was a deep-tissue affair and I can report back he was well impressed with the strength and pressure of his hands-on therapist.
From being finicky in the spa to liking a choice in the restaurants, they didn’t fail us. Breakfast at La Sirena Italian restaurant laid on a long buffet table piled with fresh exotic fruits, pastries, and hot and cold dishes – this Mrs Smith was a sucker for the Thai-style bacon and eggs. Mr Smith is quite the cook himself and so it was high praise that their signature linguini with clams for our next meal impressed too. More importantly their signature cocktails – such as an Inner Sight (fresh pineapple, fennel-seed syrup, orange bitters, cachaca, sherry) – are also a winner. If we were asked to hand out prizes though it was the fresh steamed sea bass at Nahmyaa Thai restaurant. The outsized, balloon-like lampshades made from woven rattan inspired by local crab pots is a nice fishy complement. The story goes that Paola personally encouraged the local artisan working on Nahmyaa restaurant’s gold-leaf feature wall to sing while he worked; it was only when he did so that the design came together.
Now, a disclaimer: we may have talked a lot about being there with our little one. But it is relevant. In high season, the resort is popular with families. But it is an option if you don’t have a nipper in tow – this mum looks forwards to the day when I can soak in that open-air spa pool sipping a Thai Chi (fresh mint, lychees, Chalong Bay rum, lime, sugar, a spray of Absinthe) not having to wonder how next to keep our little Master Smith entertained.