Villa Nautilus is a modern five-bedroom escape on a hillside estate in Ao Po; a spectacular setting on Phuket’s quiet east coast with panoramic views across Phang Nga Bay. Within easy reach of a superyacht marina and local piers, the villa is ideally located for those hoping to set sail and explore the beautiful islands and bays surrounding Phuket. Ample space both inside and out offers plenty of choice for dining and relaxing. A 20m pool, putting green, pool table and spa room are among the generous facilities, and a friendly team of staff, including a chef, offers five-star service.
Villa Nautilus may be remote from the main tourist areas of Phuket, but there’s plenty to see and do in the area, especially for seafarers. And within a 40-minute drive you can reach Phuket’s better-known beaches, dining spots and leisure activities. Your villa manager will be able to help with bookings and transport, and will have more ideas on what to see and do. In the meantime, here are just a few suggestions:
- Phang Nga Bay looks enticing enough when viewed from the villa, but its towering limestone islands and calm waters are even more dazzling when seen up close. Charter a yacht to discover the bay in style, or join a sea kayaking tour and paddle through hidden tropical lagoons and caves dripping with sparkling stalactites.
- Much of Phuket’s east coast is a green maze of mangroves and what better way to explore these than with a standup paddle tour? Paddle Phuket offers day trips for small groups of SUP enthusiasts that take you around scenic inlets and coastlines near Ao Po, with board rental included.
- Enjoy some wildlife encounters the ethical way with a tour of the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary or by visiting the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project. Find out more about these organisations’ rescue efforts while watching beautiful creatures go about their day.
- Venture further into the jungle with a mini-trek to Bang Pae Waterfall. The waterfall is in Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, a protected area of pristine tropical forest. Longer hikes to Tonsai Waterfall are possible, though it’s recommended to hire a guide for this one.
- Try a round of tropical golf at Mission Hills – an east-coast golf course with amazing views – or travel a bit further to Laguna Phuket Golf Club or Blue Canyon Country Club.
- Discover Koh Yao Noi, an island of scenic rural landscapes and breathtaking coastlines, just a short boat ride from Ao Po. Cycle along quiet roads past buffalo fields and pineapple plantations, have a picnic lunch on a remote beach accessed only by long-tail boat, and learn more about the island’s traditional way of life on a guided day tour.
- Shop and stroll in Phuket’s Old Town, its streets lined with colourful Sino-Portuguese shophouses, tasty local eateries and cute cafes. Stop in at the Thai Hua museum to learn more about the history of the island’s Chinese community, or spend a Sunday evening exploring the weekly Lard Yai street market, bustling with great local food shops, artists and handicraft sellers.
- Enjoy a day on the sand at one of Phuket’s peaceful northern beaches. Nai Yang is the nearest to the villa, with soft sands to relax on under the shade of casuarina trees and a few beachside restaurants. Standup paddle board rental and kite surfing are among the popular activities, while part of the beach is a protected national park. Go to the northern end of Nai Yang or up to Mai Khao Beach to enjoy some plane spotting, with jets flying in and out of nearby Phuket airport all day, sometimes right over the beach for a dramatic sight!
- Try some wakeboarding at Anthem Wake Park, with cable-ski facilities to suit all ages and abilities as well as an inflatable aqua park for kids to bounce and splash around. Attached to the park is Rebel Rock Climbing, with a well-designed climbing wall offering some fun challenges for those wanting to test their strength and agility. A good rainy-day activity.
- If you love Thai cuisine, you might want to learn how to recreate your favourite dishes so you can enjoy them at home. Thai cookery classes are available at many restaurants and resorts around Phuket, including the Como Point Yamu resort in Cape Yamu, and at the popular Suay Restaurant in Cherng Talay, where Chef Tammasak “Noi” Chootong, known for his finesse with Thai and fusion food, shares some of his secrets.