Fresh from a major makeover, Phuket’s iconic Boathouse is set to win over a new generation of guests
By Ron Gluckman
Great expectations abound with the alteration of any landmark, especially one as beloved as Mom Tri’s Boathouse in Phuket. Designed by the Harvard-educated Thai architect Mom Luang Tridhosyuth Devakul, the 36-room resort opened on Kata Beach in the late 1980s, quickly establishing itself as one of Southeast Asia’s top seaside hangouts. It was renowned as a culinary retreat—many called it a restaurant with rooms—with an unrivaled wine cellar and excellent Thai and French food served on white linen.
Such charms undeniably faded with time, as five-star resorts swamped the island. Still, legions of admirers fretted when, early last year, the same company that owns Phuket’s upscale Trisara resort took over the property and closed it for a US$6 million revamp. They needn’t have worried. Open once more, the new and improved Boathouse is likely to impress not only the faithful, but also a new generation unfamiliar with this gem. It’s sea-facing rooms and suites have been brightened, with white interiors replacing dark wood. They also sport bigger bathrooms, along with modern fittings and enhanced in-room technology. Yet the old allure has been retained, and the refurbished beachside restaurant still boasts snails and spicy Thai salads, along with an award-winning, 800-bottle wine cellar that offers three dozen labels by the glass.