A relaxed, luxurious resort, the Renaissance Resort and Spa perched on white sandy beaches of Thailand blends contemporary architecture with Asian spirit effortlessly and beckons you to leave the busy world behind.
On the white sandy beaches of Mai Khao, Thailand is located the Renaissance Resort and Spa; a place where you reconnect with nature and the finer things of life the moment you enter it. Designed by the Thailand based architecture firm A49 Group, the resort is a graceful statement of luxury and calm constantly reminding you to live in the moment and relish leisure.
As you step into the premises the columned entrance of the lobby ushers you inside, into spaces that have been inspired by the beaches and oceanic features of its location. The lobby and lounge space etched in wooden tones with a water body skirting its perimeter, acts akin to a curtain, screening the guest rooms, villas and spa behind the built mass.
Curved wooden strips mimicking ocean waves, panel the walls of the lobby and continue further as a feature to form a central chandelier. Walking towards the water edge of the lobby, the visual frame encompasses the entire property in one panorama – the spa, guest rooms, restaurant, pool and the Indian Ocean beyond.
The whole resort is beautifully landscaped and tries to blend into the surrounding with facile ease through its design and décor. The unassuming architectural style is contemporary but embedded in an Asian spirit that does not try to compete with the nature around and aims at merely melding into the background.
Wooden strips and paneling reflect the local architecture while curved shell roofs seem like a modern take on the traditional thatched ones. These common architectural aspects stop at the interiors of the villas and guest rooms, which are really dazzling explosions of oceanic and terracotta colours within a sedate white box. Manicured green turf, trees and wooden barrier walls give the villas an air of quaint Asian beach houses.
The same wooden tenor in contemporary expressions is seen in the other spaces like the outdoor pool, the deck, the restaurants and the bar. While wood and beige tones of the dining areas are given a colour pop twist by way of a live kitchen lined with multi hued bottles that brighten the elegant space, the coffee bar eschews classical elegance to adopt laidback chic.
Once the sun sets, the resort gleams in hues that change the very character of the space. Gone is the laidback sun-basking appeal, and what enters is a glam, chic mode.
The restaurant and its lobby seem ethereal under the blue glow of suspended lamps that resemble a flock of birds in flight. Their beauty is further contested by the golden light of the wavy chandelier that reigns supreme in the reception lobby and lounge, the reflection of which flits alongside other rippled images in the calm waters.
The outdoor bar or the ‘sand box’ too gets a makeover when the sun sets; from sun-kissed casual to glam as the bar lined in chipped glass, lights up in a hazy yellow glow that can only be called magical.
Shimmering lights around the outdoor pool transform the Zen space into a romantic spot in the fading sunlight of dusk. The landscape of manicured lawns and well trained trees along with hardscaping done in different shades and textures to complement the oceanic appeal, reinforce the luxurious and intimate feel.
To exceed this magical spatial appeal of design, décor and illumination, is the spa – a standalone circular building which takes us literally to paradise. The nucleus of this circular wooden mass is a tranquil pool circum-ambulated by a wooden meditation deck.
The skylight above the pool reflects in the still waters and the wooden interiors augment it wholly, creating the feeling of time coming to a stand-still. The spa treatment rooms and chambers, draped in wooden finishes, form the outer circumference interrupted only by a small water fall which tries to take you further away from reality.
The A49 team has designed the Renaissance resort and spa to be a perfect vacation destination, where one can easily forget the humdrum of busy civilised lives and slip into a vacuum in time where only tranquil moments remain. Contemporary yet rooted in the vernacular Asian spirit, it is an orchestrated scene that unravels with wooden finishes, lush landscapes, oceanic hues and a golden haze complementing and augmenting the architecture and natural environ.
Text By K Parvathy Menon
Photographs Courtesy A49