Mövenpick is named for the German word for seagull, Möwe, the w pronounced like a v, and the skillful way it 'picks' its food out of mid air. Originally a restaurant specializing in upscale food quickly and at reasonable prices when Mövenpick expanded into the hotel world they brought those same philosophies with them. The Mövenpick property at Bangtao Beach is special. A collection of luxurious villas and rooms surrounding a beautiful Infiniti pool with views stretching out over the gorgeous Andaman Sea.
As we entered our 2 bedroom villa, with its private pool and gourmet kitchen, we are struck by the blue glimmer of the sea as we look out over the pool. The living room is spacious and modern and flows well with the adjoining kitchen and dining area. The master bedroom has a very serene feeling looking out over lush vegetation and our private patio dining table. The ensuite is very spa-like and our hosts had a bath drawn for us with fragrant, local flowers swimming in it!
The grounds are lovely, quiet and very private. The pool forms the central mustering point and smiling guests flock to cool down and relax in the poolside cabanas. Families mix with couples on a romantic retreat and singles posted up at the swim up bar. Bangtao is the part of Phuket where relaxation isn't only encouraged it's unavoidable.
Travelling as much as I do I have become adept at spotting the differences between good resorts and great ones. Some properties have luxurious accommodations, but their staff lack training or grace. Some places you stay are dirty or outdated, but the food is good and the staff friendly. Mövenpick Bangtao has beautiful rooms, excellent, long tenured staff, and their food is fresh and the ingredients are high quality; the trifecta! From the breakfast buffet where there will no doubt be options to please everyone to the incredible Palm Restaurant Mövenpic's gastronomy roots are evident.
The Palm Cuisine Restaurant at Mövenpick takes great pride in their Thai food! We were in for a treat when we made reservations and left the menu up to the Chef. It started with Meang kham, an ages old Thai tradition. Wild betel leaves wrap a mixture of peanut, lime, dried shrimp, ginger, shallots and Thai chillis all covered in a shrimp-based, sweet and salty sauce. The heat from the chilies melds with the sweet and salty sauce and offer a stark contrast to the lime and ginger. Very delicious!
Prawn cakes arrived next smelling like a slice of heaven deep fried! Crispy brown on the outside and packed with prawn goodness inside. It comes with a lovely plum sauce with just the right sweetness to compliment the delicious cakes. This appetizer is a very solid 8.5/10!
Poe Tack is a seafood hot and sour soup loaded with seafood. Loaded. Alongside it came the Pla Sam Rod, a Snapper fillet in sweet and sour sauce. I have had some bad experiences with hot and sour soup. Some too hot and some too sour. Some tasted like sweat. Yes, sweat. The Palm's offering hits a good balance and it is full of plump and delicious seafood; fish, mussels and gigantic prawns that look like they could sink a ship. The Snapper tastes like it was pulled from the waters that lie some 200 feet away and recently. Fresh, tender and delicious.
Khao Neaw Ma Muang is a mango, sticky rice, coconut milk and sesame seed concoction. Jenn devoured hers and found the mango to be "soft and yummy". She then devoured mine as I slept, jet lagged, on the crook of my arm at the table. Not my finest moment. In all we both loved at our experience at the Palm and recommend it without hesitation!
If you're travelling to Phuket treat yourself to a few nights away from the craziness that is Patong Beach, the tourist trap of the island, and unwind in Bangtao. One of the longest beaches on the island and strikes a good balance between resort living and local flair. Mövenpick is an excellent choice to take it all in and you will see why they win countless awards for their hospitality and are rated in the top 10% of luxury, 5-star resorts worldwide!