The Nai Harn
Everything you could want from a five-star Thai holiday. The Nai Harn is a stylish and unstuffy resort, ideally located on one of Phuket's finest beaches. It's restaurants are worth a visit even for non-guests, as is its gorgeous rooftop bar.
- Lee Cobaj, Destination expert
This hotel boasts one of the most beautiful locations on the island, set on the rocky fringes of Nai Harn beach, a crescent of platinum white sand lapped by luminous green waters, oft voted as one of the finest beaches in Asia. And if you walk ten-minutes westwards you'll also find a second beach, Ao Sane; smaller, rockier but with some lovely snorkelling.
The area has the feel of a village rather than a big touristy resort, with just a handful of restaurants, cafes, food stall and shops. The airport is about a 90-minute drive away depending on Phuket’s infuriating traffic. If that sounds too arduous, you could always ask the hotel to arrange a helicopter transfer.
Style & character
This beachside beauty originally opened in the 1980s and had a guest list which read like a Who’s Who of the time – Roger Moore, Peter Ustinov, Rudolph Nureyev, Prince Albert of Monaco. Four decades on, it still feels fresh and fashionable.
The modernist architecture has a Mediterranean elegance to it – lots of crisp white walls striped with vibrant mosaics, rambling terraces with glassy reflective pools, balconies hung with curtains of pink bougainvillea.
Service & facilities
The hotel’s lagoon-shaped swimming pool is very pretty, and glows different colours after dark, but is annoyingly small for the size of the property. But really you're here for that beautiful white beach, which curls right up to The Nai Harn's door.
To make the most of it, the hotel provides guests with complimentary kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and snorkelling equipment. There are also free daily fitness classes – yoga, core workout, pilates – free bicycles and a 24-hour gym. The sunny six-room spa offers everything from traditional Thai massage to 'fitness' facials, spray tans and pedicures. The staff, dressed in lilac linen, are warm and efficient.
- Room service
- Fitness centre
The spacious rooms exude luxury and ease, blending tactile hemp wallpaper, checkerboard rugs and rattan furniture with fruity pops of lemon, lime and magenta. And there’s plenty of creature comforts too – open-plan bathrooms with big tubs, giant televisions, wireless sound systems and large balconies with four-poster day beds, from which you can gawp at shiny catamarans and little wooden long-tail boats. The hotel's pyramid-like architecture means there are no bad views from any of the rooms.
Food & drink
The Nai Harn's food has been consistently excellent for the years I've been visiting. The breakfast, served between 6.30am and 10.30am in all-day dining restaurant Cosmos, will have you springing out bed. There's an enormous buffet with cheeses, hams, salads, fresh breads and pastries, noodles, dim sum, a chill room with colourful wedges of tropical fruit and a make-your-own granola bar, as well as a live station where you can order eggs, pancakes and crêpes.
Later, settle into island life with sundowners at Reflection, a sexy terrace complete with reflective pools and sunken sofas. Then, choose from one of three more restaurants; Hamsha, sushi and sashimi bar (try the king fish with yuzu); beachside restaurant Rock Salt, which serves a summery menu of Thai and international dishes; or Prime, a tiny tucked away 20-seater grill with an open kitchen and romantic vibe.
Value for money
Double rooms from THB 4,925 (£119) in low season, rising to THB 9,450 (£229) in high season. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi. The hotel also offers half-board and full-board options.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Children are welcome but the hotel is better suited to couples and solo travellers.