As a classic holiday destination, Phuket is no stranger to luxury villas. Started by the arrival of Amanpuri villas in 1988, the trend for luxury villas in Phuket has kept going strong until now. Seasoned hotel owner William E. Heinecke saw this as a challenge to create a new type of high-end interior resort-style residence on the island, so he contacted the late Indonesian design guru Jaya Ibrahim to take on the task. Thus, Layan Residences by Anantara was established in late 2015.
Perched high on a hill overlooking Layan Bay in Phuket, Thailand, Layan Residences by Anantara was created to capture the immaculate vistas of the surrounding jungle and the ocean views in a contemporary way. Set at the highest point permitted for residential construction on Phuket, the indoor-outdoor design concept is an artful response to the island’s building regulations that limit any single roofed structure on the upper level from exceeding approximately 90 sqm. The design instead turned this to its advantage so that, when seen from above, the residences appear as a collection of modern villas with their free-standing bedrooms and indoor areas flowing seamlessly with the outdoor living spaces.
All 15 residences, designed by Habita Architects, have a stunning infinity pool with a view of the Andaman Sea as a backdrop. Stretching 22 metres long, the pools are tiled in Indonesian Sukabumi stone and feature swim jets with a submerged glass panel casting light onto the fitness area below. Options range from a two-bedroom villa to a roomy seven-bedroom villa that has a total floor space of 2,600 sqm.
During our visit we were able to enjoy a five-bedroom sea-view residence, spread over 2,148 sqm, with the two master bedrooms joined by the elegant living and dining rooms overlooking the pool deck on the first floor.
A beautiful modern Thai open pavilion, known as a sala, was also located by the pool, taking in the delicious coastal views. Downstairs, three further bedrooms were joined by a fully equipped kitchen and staff quarters. To live upto its luxury status, the residence also comes with a live-in butler who is dedicated to your needs and provides an unobtrusive service.
Jaya’s signature touches add points of intrigue – from the intricately carved wooden claw-foot beds in a chinoiserie style (as an homage to the Sino-Portuguese architecture in Phuket) and lattice-decked ceilings, to the antique Burmese teak door that marks the residence’s entrance. As a renowned interior designer who created some of the most famous hotels and resorts around the world, Jaya was known for bringing the beauty of the destination into his designs. Here he revealed the site’s beauty through the open-plan design, clean lines and the use of light, natural colours.
Adding to the luxury, Heinecke also commissioned Karl Princic of Intaran Design for the landscape concept and design, alternating between subtlety and punctuations of arboreal drama. Between the different residences, the individual highlights might include a spa room, a private elevator or even a private cinema. Above the dining room in our residence we had a rooftop deck which offered a perfect spot for sunset relaxation.
Layan Residences by Anantara is the first branded residential development by Heinecke’s luxury hotel and resort brand, Anantara. From our experience we can say that this residence truly epitomizes the height of contemporary luxury in Phuket and it is without doubt one of the last masterpieces of Jaya Ibrahim.