There is working hard and then there is having a new baby; nothing could have prepared me for the exhaustion that was to ensue following the arrival of my son and so when deciding it was time to escape the big freeze in London, I was taking no chances with wherever I was to spend my first holiday in almost a year.
Recommendations from friends and industry contacts filled my inbox with endless images of beaches and spas – Paresa resort in Thailand made the cut, flights were booked and with Talitha Getty in mind, resort collections from Missoni, Berardi and Gucci were packed.
Met by Paresa ‘angels’ (you are assigned an angel on arrival and that they certainly are, nothing is too great an ask) and taken through the striking entrance to an awaiting car that winds its way down the paths to your private pool villa overlooking the ocean; the smooth journey from airport to suite was nothing short of perfect.
I noted the Stephane Pompougnac tracks (he of Hotel Costes fame) playing in both reception and our suite and knew I would feel quite at home here – yes, it’s great to discover new culture and music, but along with the knowing staff and luxurious surroundings, I could also indulge in both my favoured European and Thai influences when it suited.
We stayed in an Aqua Suite, which excelled in interior design and breathtaking views (all accommodation is ocean-facing), but apparently this was nothing compared to their Cielo Residence or Grand Villa; if this was mid-level luxury, then I would have had to be forcibly removed from anything grander.
With a deep bath overlooking our private infinity pool and the swiftest room service I had ever experienced, there was no real reason to leave the spacious suite, but with such a relaxed feel to the resort, it was a mellow transition from suite to infinity pool (with Veuve Cliquot bar and in-pool raised bed areas) to the restaurant, which served the most incredible authentic Thai or Italian offerings from the clever New Zealand chef brought on board by the NZ husband and wife team that run Paresa.
This trip was, after all, designed for pure relaxation and if lounge jazz, exquisite food, faultless spa treatments (coming from a pampered Londoner, this speaks volumes!) and striking views are on the agenda, then this ‘Millionaire’s Mile’ location in Phuket checks every box.