The biggest changes have taken place on an adjoining beachfront plot, where a new beach club offers a spa, salon, and cabanas. Dubbed Re Ká Ta (as in, rebirth of Kata) and designed by Freddo Taffin, the French architect responsible for Bali’s Ku De Ta, it is centered on a chic bar that opens to a pool terrace shaded by sugar palms and sea almond trees. Best of all is the raw-food restaurant, where South African chef Bryan Burger whips up zesty pastas from marinated zucchini shreds instead of noodles, and pseudo-breads of nut paste and fruit. “People have this stigma about spa cuisine,” he says. “More and more people are health conscious these days, but you don’t have to sacrifice taste to be healthy.”
Nor need you sacrifice tradition to become trendy. It’s a fine balance, to be sure, but one that the Boathouse has managed with aplomb.
182 Koktanode Rd., Kata Beach, Phuket; 66-76/330-015; boathousephuket.com; doubles from US$156.
Originally appeared in the April/May 2012 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Floats Your Boat”)