Phuket gets its first upmarket beach club with the opening of Xana. (ANN/The Nation)
Phuket's party people had plenty to toast last weekend as Xana Beach Club at the Angsana Laguna Phuket hotel officially introduced itself with a grand pink opening party on Bang Tao Beach.
The gorgeous and the glamorous flocked to the venue early in the evening to feed sunset pictures to their Instagram and chill by the beach. While quite a few guests adhered to the "shocking pink or a touch of pink" dress code, 200 or so turned up attired in different color schemes, confidently manifesting the "I'm too cool for dress code" attitude.
Paul Harris, one third of British house act Dirty Vegas, graced the decks with an easy going, beachside house set.
Xana offers a seamless day-into-night beach club experience with a 35-metre swim-up pool bar overlooking the beach and sea beyond. Four exclusive cabanas accommodate up to 14 people each and can be reserved in advance, while double and single loungers that offer a front row view of the Andaman Sea are also available. The second storey rooftop deck functions as a VIP area and offers a spectacular perch from which to observe the colorful sunsets. There is also a lounge area on the front lawn, which is ideal for guests who prefer to relax under the shade of pine trees.
Guests can lounge around and chill with Mediterranean-style food and an array of drinks from 11am onwards. At night, Xana transforms into a sultry bar and al fresco club where the music tempo rises and LED lights in the pool add to the party atmosphere. Resident DJ and music director Frank Richards spins an eclectic and uplifting mix of down tempo, lounge, chill out, house and deep house, all with a touch of funk, soul and disco.
Set to be the new wow-factor in Phuket's notorious nightscene, Xana is overseen by Singapore's Attica Group whose previous brainchildren include Attica and Attica Too in Singapore's Clarke Quay, and its affiliated Le Noir Bistro & Bar, also in Singapore.
"First of all, to have a beach club, you have to have a nice beach. And beaches in Phuket, especially in Bang Tao, are very beautiful," says Mark Brimblecombe of Attica Group. "Phuket has always had these small bars by the beach that later on were made into beach clubs - with tiny swimming pools on the beach and small, crowded bars. None of them are really very high end beach club. So here we are to assist the hotel and make the club special. I think this is probably the first proper beach club in Phuket.
"If you look at other beach clubs, they all seem intent on competing with Bali. But the beaches in Bali cannot compare to this; they have black sand. I would say the most attractive feature of Xana is the beach itself. And the 35-metre pool is an excellent investment. It's a great place to chill and watch the sunset.
"We're also looking for big, international acts to bring in. This place is big and there's potential to set up something special. We're hoping to bring big acts maybe on a monthly basis in high season.
"You know, it's like bringing a circus to town; you have to have entertainment for the people. I want it to be a place where people come away saying, 'wow, I had a great night'. We'll have parties and big events to make their nights special. People from Hong Kong, Sydney, Singapore and Bangkok will fly in for the weekend.