Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and one of the country’s most popular travel destinations. You’ll find a lot of interesting things on the island, including an annual ‘Vegetarian Festival’, an abundance of beaches and some of the country’s best luxury resorts, not to be missed if you like the finer things in life. For vegans Kata Rocks, near the popular Kata beach, gives you the best of the best. If you like über luxury, seclusion and good vegan food then you’ll be well at home here.
Situated on pre-historic looking rocks, the resort is designed to invoke visions of a super-yacht with white, bow shaped canopies stretching out over the buildings. The contrast of raw natural beauty from the coastline with giant boulders and crashing waves combined with the super sleek, modern design of the resort is visually striking in a ‘best of both worlds’ kind of way.
It took us a while to realise our villa at Kata Rocks was real and not just a very enjoyable dream; its one of those places that is truly makes you want to pinch yourself to check you are awake. Our one bedroom ‘Ocean Loft Sky Villa’ had a modern, minimalist design with gleaming white surfaces and a fully equipped high tech kitchen. We were even able to book our own private cooking lesson with the resort chef in our villa (more on that later).
Every aspect of our apartment showed that no corners had been cut. Upstairs the bedroom, a cool ‘elavated penthouse loft’ had a spacious ensuite bathroom complete with walk-in shower, double sink and bath, that shared the same sea view that was visible from every part of the villa. Expect high-end audio visual equipment, futuristic high-tech lighting controls and blinds that close smoothly at the touch of a button.
Outside there was a private pool, sunbathing and lounge area and gardens which led down to the rocky shoreline. A private shuttle service offered the chance to head down to Kata Beach for those wanting to swim in the sea and make the most of the sandy beach; but to be honest, it was difficult to leave Kata Rocks and go outside. The pool area was stunning with cool sunshades to offer shade when needed, the views of course stole the show though with an endless ocean vista and perfect view of sunset.
There are features such as a kids club where the activity schedule seems well rounded including activities for younger guests like arts and crafts, beach trips and even a chance to learn Thai. There’s also a wine cellar complete with a ‘wine dispenser and preservation system’ that allows guests to use their ‘Rock Star’ card loaded with credit to select wines and sample away in a fun wine tasting experience.
The Vegan Food:
For breakfast there is a buffet with a small selection of vegan foods and an à la carte menu where we could select either western style dishes or more traditional Thai food like ‘Khao yum Thai’ which consisted of a coconut milk based curry, tofu, a long bean salad and steamed rice served on a platter. There was a good selection of fruit and even small jars of granola to sprinkle on top.
We were able to tweak some of the à la carte options of make our own vegan breakfast dishes too, like avocado, spinach and roasted cherry tomatoes. Sat overlooking the pool and the spectacular ocean views, sipping freshly brewed coffee, it’s easy to make breakfast a leisurely affair here.
At night we opted to eat Thai food with a pleasant (if not a little mild for our tastes) traditional green curry (veganised with vegetables and chunks of fried tofu). Accompanied by other dishes like ‘Som O’ pomelo salad, ‘Tom Kha’ soup, ‘Por Pia Tod’ Spring rolls and ‘Khao Pad Sapparod’ pineapple fried rice, meant that we were able to sit back and enjoy a hearty dinner of classic Thai food. The Chef erred on the safe side with the spiciness, so if you like a little kick to your food then encourage them to be liberal with the chilli (as is common in Thai cuisine).
After our taste of Thai food in the restaurant, we were lucky enough to learn how to make some of our favourite dishes in a private in-villa cooking class the next day. We learnt the tricks of the trade and received recipe printouts for making some classic Thai dishes, including some of those we had eaten the night before (a great added bonus).
After a morning of really putting our hi-tech kitchen to the test, we had a huge spread of food with a classic ‘Tom Yum’, ‘Som O’ Pomelo Salad, Green Curry and Mango Sticky rice. It was a wonderful menu for us to cook and eat, and we even got souvenir Kata Rocks aprons to take home.
We were surprised at how easy it was to make some of our favourites, although the expert tuition of Chef Aey helped us quite a bit. Having a class like this was perfect for us as vegan guests as we got to ask plenty of questions about making adaptations to recipes and replacing non-vegan ingredients that are often used in Thai cooking.
One of the things we really like about the cooking class at Kata Rocks is that they had added a modern twist to the most traditional of Thai desserts, mango sticky rice. The usual components were accompanied by a deep fried spring roll that was filled with the deliciously sweet and coconutty sticky rice.
So much fun and so delicious.
The Vegan Essentials:
The bed already had vegan pillows on it and was wonderfully comfortable, a perfect sleep is guaranteed here.
The amenities were in planet friendly containers but this meant that we weren’t able to tell whether they were vegan or not as there were no ingredients listed. There was however a wonderful natural charcoal soap provided that did have the ingredients on and was vegan.
The Infinite Luxury Spa is another highlight of Kata Rocks with hi-tech treatment rooms to make sure that anyone visiting has a spa experience to remember. We loved the Iso-Benessere heated water massage bed with its changing coloured lights and spine soothing effects. The chakra balancing room with mood lighting and the jet lag recovery MetroNap ‘restpod’ room were also a hit with us. But even more than these, we loved the totally vegan luxury spa products made by ilā that were available.
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict:
Check in to Kata Rocks to stay in a truly luxurious, modern resort where you can find relaxation and tranquility whilst being located in the heart of one of Phuket’s busiest travel destinations. Enjoy the Thai vegan food available and don’t forget to take the in-villa cooking class for an extra special luxury experience.
We were guests of Kata Rocks but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
186/22 Kok Tanode Road,
Telephone: +66 (0)76 370 777
Cost From: £600 / $725 per night (November 2016)