Phuket is Thailand’s biggest island and one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country. There are a huge number of different luxury hotels and resorts offering something for everyone including Paresa Resort Phuket which has fast become one of our favourite options.
We loved Paresa Resort Phuket for the enviable location, the next level vegan friendliness and the chance to enjoy a peaceful retreat from some of the busier island locations…
Phuket is definitely one of those places that is full of surprises.
Often written off as an overrun holiday destination for streams of beach loving holidaymakers, there are actually some really amazing spots to discover including one of the most mind-blowing cultural experiences you’ll find in all of Thailand (yes annual Vegetarian Festival, we are talking about you).
Phuket Old Town offers a chance to see wonderful local life and some well preserved heritage buildings, whilst the rest of the island features endless stretches of beautiful rugged coastal beauty to discover, and of course there is plentiful sun, sea and sand!
Paresa Resort Phuket is located on ‘Millionaire’s Mile’, one of the most exclusive addresses on the island. Enter the calming reception lobby to be welcomed by the sound of chanting monks in the air, before walking through to strike a giant gong to announce your arrival. Paresa means ‘heaven of all heavens’; as the doors open out onto a gold tiled ‘miracle lawn’ patio area, stretching out to one of the best ocean views around, it’s easy to agree that the name certainly fits.
Our ‘Ocean Pool Suite’ had all the comforts we could need; huge bed, TV, mini-bar, yoga mat delivered from the spa, en suite bathroom with a shower and a bath that lets you soak in the tub whilst admiring the amazing view. Outside there was a private infinity pool, loungers and seating; a perfectly equipped patio area to enjoy the peace.
The resort is built into the cliffside with a jungle backdrop and never ending ocean vistas; one of the best places to soak up the view is from the huge pool area. There’s a giant infinity pool for swimming in the daytime which is transformed at night when it’s lit by fibre optics that fill the water with starlight. There’s also a smaller ‘energy pool’ with a huge rose quartz dangling in the water to infuse it with ‘positive energy’.
A perfect place for some poolside relaxation.
Of course no ‘heaven of all heavens’ would be complete without some vegan food to write home about and luckily we had just that… read on to see what we ate, but be warned, it’ll make you very hungry.
The Vegan Food:
We started with breakfast where thanks to having our own special vegan menus, we were totally spoilt for choice. The usual juice, fruit and bread selection was joined by the option of vegan pancakes, muffins, waffles or porridge as well as more traditional Thai options like Pad Thai and Pad See Ew.
We opted to sample the Western and Thai breakfasts and both were excellent.
The Pad See Ew (stir fried wide flat rice noodles) were full of fresh vegetables, fried tofu cubes and big, fat slippery noodles; a totally indulgent start to the day.
But it was the pancakes and waffles that really stole the show (and our hearts); oh my word they were good.
Sweet, light, fluffy and drenched in fruity syrup; quite simply divine.
In the evening we were torn again between great vegan Thai and Western options with Mediterranean favourites tempting us as much as the Thai classics.
We did what any self-respecting vegan food lovers would do and ordered everything!
The babaganoush was smoky, creamy and smooth, laden with walnuts and sprinkled with jewels of pomegranate; the hummus was drenched in delicious olive oil and served with fresh flatbreads dusted with black sesame. The cous cous salad was full of flavour, textures and different ingredients; fresh with lemon and olive oil, sweet from raisens and pomegranate and rich with marinated tomatoes.
All was a true delight to eat.
Then came the Thai food. Dishes like a spicy sour and fragrant Tom Yum soup and a rich decadent coconut milk filled red curry sent us over the edge with happiness.
There was even a vegan dessert option with a Thai banana pudding making a fitting end to our vegan meal. It was a comforting, steamed sponge pudding topped with sweetened coconut cream, full of banana flavours and a nice treat to have a Thai dish that we hadn’t tried before.
But we don’t just love to eat vegan food (and tell you about it), we also love having the opportunity to cook it whenever possible.
Paresa Resort has it’s own cooking academy, called Recipe, where we were taught all of the essentials for making our favourite dishes. We also got to take home the fully vegan recipe sheets, our aprons and a certificate of our achievements (as well as eating everything we made). Under the watchful eye and friendly guidance of ‘Chef Rambo’, we chopped, peeled, shredded, pounded, spiced, crushed and stirred our way to creating an immense vegan Thai banquet.
The ingredients were fresh, the instructions easy to follow and the kitchen was a dream to cook in. We got to ask our teacher numerous questions about Thai cooking and left feeling thoroughly confident in what we’d been shown (as well as very full of food!).
We made all our favourite Thai dishes and all 100% vegan!
Thai food is well suited to being adapted for vegans and our friendly instructor gave us some great tips; we particularly loved the way he encouraged us to find our own balance of flavour so we could make food that we really loved to eat.
The Vegan Essentials:
There were non-feather pillows on the bed already which made us happy to see.
The in room amenities were by luxury Thai skincare company Thann and appeared to be made from vegan ingredients, not tested on animals and free from parabens.
There were plenty of vegan treatments to choose from at the spa due to the emphasis on Traditional Thai treatments including invigorating no oil massages as well as those using essential oils and herbs.
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict:
Check-in to Paresa Resort Phuket for a relaxing stay in vegan heaven and don’t forget to book a cooking class in Paresa’s excellent cooking academy. Enjoy delicious Western and Thai food at breakfast and make sure to leave time to dine at Diavlo in the evening for a truly indulgent night out.
We were guests of Paresa Resort Phuket but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
Paresa Resort Phuket
49 Moo 6,
Telephone: +66 76 302 000
Costs: An ‘Ocean Pool Suite’ costs from £240 (October 2016) based on two people sharing, including a sparkling wine breakfast. Flight prices from Heathrow begin at £467 per person with Qatar Airways and airport transfers cost £35 per person.