you are entering a private garden. Privacy and space are paramount with the focus mainly on secluded pool villas.
Down at the beach, the natural seafront space is the star attraction with integrated lap pools that appear almost too good to swim in.
Among the highlights are swings located among the tall trees near the beach. The swings create an image of idyllic wanderlust currently missing from so many cookie-cutter hotels.
While many developers look abroad for design advice, Sala was mostly the work of Thailand's Amata Luphaiboon of the company Department of Architecture.
With previous work at Zeavola on Koh Phi Phi and Samui's Sila Evison Hideaway, the Sala is clearly a labor of love. Told that the design was inspired by Phuket's Sino-Portuguese past, this influence is hard to ftnd at ftrst. Looking at the nuances in the outdoor tiling, window glazing use of doors in the pool villas, the influences are subtle hints in the most unexpected places.
While the indoor space is limited, the entire bathroom, from sinks and showers to bathtubs and toilets, is outdoors, providing an exotic experience for visitors.
In the restaurant and bar area, furniture is oversized, aimed at comfort and relaxation, which is what a holiday should be all about - furnishings are meant to be used, not looked at. All too often, designers move away from the ftrst rule of work: form follows function.
We salute K. Amata, Bill Bensley,Adrian McCarroll, Martin Pallerors and the people here who dare to be different. The foundation of what we expect from hotels, houses and developments continues to evolve. Next time you have some time to spare, go and visit the Sala and catch a glimpse of this brave new world of "wow" design.