Keemala Phuket, Thailand
Nestled in the woodlands of Kamala, Phuket, Thailand, Keemala is an all-pool villa wonderland. It’s environmentally friendly approach offers 38 villas and cottages and is proud to be part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Hamish Kilburn spoke with Pisit Aongskultong to find out more…
Pisud Design Company have utilised the natural surroundings on this project. They have used the inspiring location as a base to innovate a totally different hotel accommodation type for Phuket and Thailand. A large part of the brand is centred around a respect to the environment. As seen in the Phuket property, techniques to lesson the company’s carbon footprint have been harnessed where possible. “ The project has been designed to keep the original contour of the land as much as possible. We took inspiration from rocks, straw, clay and wood and didn’t feel it would be appropriate to build large buildings.” Explains designer Pisit Aongskultong, Design Director at Pisud Design Company.
Comfortably perched at home with nature, the majority of the building’s materials are natural products, and useful resources found on site have been recycled. Pisud Design Company aimed to leverage the design on two major components: nature and culture. Wherever possible, the design is environmentally sustainable and the construction complements the surrounding ecosystem. “It will not necessarily challenge conventions in other places around the world, but in Thailand and on Phuket Island, it is unique. Phuket offers a plethora of well-designed and high-end resorts but none have specifically sought out to maximise the potential and beauty of the rainforest.” Adds Aongskultong. The hotel has gone further than most. It doesn’t have to reflect heritage with colour, it does so with natural and locally sourced materials.
The resort’s 38 pool villas are designed in four different styles. Earth, wanderers, sky and nest each represent a clan of fictitious early Phuket settlers.
Every villa has its own waste management system. The designers of the hotel have reduced usage of natural materials, for example wood, by using environmentally friendly synthetic material instead to protect further deforestation and other environmental impact including transportation.
The pods, villas and tree houses have been carefully designed so that they appropriately fit into its natural environment. “This was a challenge. Irregular shapes are difficult to build. They require special material, and in this case, had to be environmentally friendly to build. Therefore heavy machines were avoided as much as possible, so construction was a challenge. Everything from beginning to end of this project had to reflect the hotel’s ambition to reflect Keemala’s culture and stay environmentally friendly.” Said Aongskultong.
Designed as a well-being centre, the new property’s structure is warm, calm and inviting with natural open spaces that offer spectacular views of untouched forest. Guests are in nature’s home as they unwind in the rural yet luxurious setting in a world far away from the one they left behind.
The hotel’s location has been carefully considered in the building of the resort. Although the resort is built in woodland, its seemingly sequestered setting of Keemala is just a five minute drive from Kamal beach and a ten minute drive from the dynamic town of Patong, which is Phuket’s major tourist resort.
Categorised into four different tribes, the rooms and interiors have been evenly designed to offer supreme comfort and reflect Phuket’s rural beginnings by creating tribes.
Clay Pool Cottage – it is believed that people of this tribe excel in agriculture and have a strong bond to earth. Interiorly these are made of clay and dirt. The furniture is made from carved wood and clever patterns are imprinted to tell the tale of the tribe’s art and culture.
Tree Pool House – Living life in a high place, the people of this tribe can be found in trees. Therefore, the interior includes hanging furniture with embedded patterns throughout.
Tent Pool Villa – Seeking adventure through the art of hunting has been inspired in the design of this style of property. This reflects the tribe that is a born wanderer. The fabrics reveal ease of mobility while dark leather represents stalking instincts.
Spa and wellness area
A total of eight treatment rooms have been designed to offer the ultimate comfort of both individuals and couples. Devised to create an experience as, Mala Spa’s calming atmosphere is the perfect place to spend time on working on mind, body and soul while enjoying one of the most beautiful backdrops on earth.