The Vijit

The Vijit

27 June, 2012
5-star eco-resort
Spacious villa paradise in Phuket, Thailand
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The first thing I noticed upon arriving at The Vijit Resort and Spa was a green god – Indra, the king of the gods, to be exact. The shrine and statue of the Hindu deity is positioned next to the front desk, in an open-air pavilion of the 5-start resort, to protect all who stay there. When arriving, in addition to a cup of sweet lemongrass tea, guests are given a garland of fresh flowers to present to Indra if they so choose. Though I am not Hindu, I loved this little ritual. It set a sort of intention for the rest of the stay, that this would not be a typical Phuket resort holiday.
 
The Vijit is situated on the side of a steep hill that leads down to the beach, which stretches out in front of a beautiful and enormous pool. There are views of the ocean and surrounding islands from almost anywhere in the resort, including from most of the 90 bungalows of varying degrees of privacy and luxury. As a result of this wide spread of space, chauffeured electric golf carts are needed to get around the resort. This made getting to my villa an adventure in itself, particularly at night, as the roads are winding and steep.
 
In addition to Indra, the design and landscaping also made a big impression on me. The grounds of the Vijit are immaculately kept, with myriad different kinds of fragrant and tropical plants, flowers and mature trees complimenting the design of the buildings and displaying a respect for the natural landscape as well. The villas themselves are spacious and comfortable, with attention to lighting and natural flow of air. The design is described as “a stylish blend of Thai and contemporary elements, with the villas placed carefully around the undulating landscape so that they blend in to the environment rather than impose themselves on it.”
 
The Vijit is an “eco resort”. I must admit that I wasn’t sure what that really meant until now. I’m accustomed to seeing the little note in my hotel room asking me to re-use my towels in order to “save the environment.” But the Vijit takes eco a step further than that, and it is apparent in the design and function of the entire resort.
 
Refillable soap, shampoo, and moisturizer containers are used in the bathroom. That amazing swimming pool I mentioned is made of black tiles to retain heat so there is no need for a pool heater. There are “eco-design” details throughout its architecture: thatched roofs in common-area buildings (front-desk, spa, restaurant), bamboo used in the floors, and even coconut hair embedded in the stucco walls. The landscape includes deliciously fragrant organic herb gardens and vegetables and fruits grown onsite, which are used in the restaurant and for cooking classes. And the resort makes choices such as buying locally grown foods and supplies wherever possible, to support the local economy and minimize their carbon footprint.
 
The short answer is that I like the Vijit, and found it to live up to its promise of “serenity secluded.” The friendly staff, great food, relaxing spa and organic décor left me with a feeling of authenticity. I give the Vijit points for being well designed and soothing, without needing to be overly “chic” or “cool” like many in the competitive resort world – it feels like a place that is comfortable in its skin, and that tranquility translated into a peaceful relaxing stay that I look forward to repeating.
 
 

By: Zach Hankins
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