Ultimate tropical escape set to open

The opening of this year's high tourist season on the tropical haven of Phuket will also see the opening of its newest high-end resort, the unique Village Coconut Island.

The Village is unique because of its location right on a golden beach on Koh Maphrao (Thai for Coconut Island). This island is just off the coast of Phuket yet, in terms of atmosphere, it's worlds away – a quiet, idyllic retreat from the traffic, noise and crowds of the real world. This is the ultimate tropical escape.

Before the arrival of The Village, Coconut Island was a quiet backwater with a small, close-knit community living off fishing and rubber or coconut cultivation. It is still a quiet backwater with a small close-knit community, but now it has one of the world's best resorts with superb five-star accommodation and facilities.

Another great secret advantage of The Village is that, because it faces east and is protected from the weather by the bulk of Phuket Island, it can be enjoyed year-round, unlike the west coast of Phuket, which is lashed by heavy rain and wind for months during the May-October monsoon season, making the beaches unusable.

The resort is the brainwave of Chris Gordon who, 25 years ago, founded Sunsail, one of the world's top sailing holiday companies. Chris knows all about providing the best of fun on the water and top-notch accommodation on land – he's done both with great success for decades.

Accommodation at The Village is currently all-villa, ranging from two bedrooms up to five. Most are absolute beachfront. Walk across the lawn in front – with its huge swimming pool – and you are on the sand, looking out at the magic of famed Phang Nga Bay with its skyline of soaring limestone islands.

Each villa has its own private garden and pool, outside terraces and balconies with superb views across the bay. A fully-equipped European kitchen allows families to eat "at home" if they wish. There is free Wi-fi Internet access, air conditioning throughout and flat screen TVs in living room and master bedroom, with satellite reception and DVD players.

For those who would rather not cook while on holiday, The Village has an excellent restaurant right next to the resort pool with its swim-up bar. There is also a patisserie and souvenir store, a convenience store for daily necessities, a superb spa and sauna, and a fitness centre. In addition there is daily maid service, and laundry and dry-cleaning services.

Guests can swim in their villa pool, the resort pool or the warm waters of Phang Nga Bay. Or they can jump into one of the canoes, dinghies and catamarans provided by The Village for the complimentary use of those staying there. Or they can take tours of the bay and its stunning scenery, boarding from The Village's own pier.

There are no cars on Coconut Island; just a handful of quiet "tuk-tuks" for use by staff, so it's serene and unpolluted. Everything necessary for a superb holiday is to hand, and guests need never leave the island.

However, for those who crave a round of golf or a shopping mall, or who would like to wander through the streets of old Phuket City or sample the nightlife of Phuket's raucous entertainment capital, Patong, things couldn't be easier. The Village has a complimentary shuttle boat service running 24 hours a day between the resort's pier and the mainland. The trip takes just three to five minutes.

Visit www.thevillage-coconutisland.com for more information.