This story appeared in the October-November issue of Real Life Phuket magazine, available in 300++ locations across the island. Follow RL Phuket on Facebook here.
“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” a wise man once said. But what if what you enjoy doing is partying? Simple – make partying your business! To find out how it’s done, we talk to Vorasit “Wan” Issara on the eve of his latest party den’s opening. It’s called Baba Beach Club Phuket.
“I don’t even go out to clubs in Thailand anymore,” Vorasit Issara, AKA “Wan” tells me in the living room of his stunning villa. The villa sits atop a hill which is home to Sri panwa Phuket, one of the island’s most renowned luxury resorts, that happens to belong to the Issara family.
Why would then a man sitting on the top of the world make the effort and throw himself into the chaos of starting a new business venture? “What drives me is the fun of it. I enjoy partying so I enjoy building a place like Baba Beach Club,” he says.
Because as much as he builds it for business, he also builds it for himself – a party and music lover, as proven by the latest CDJ 2000’s pro-grade digital DJ deck installed in the very living room we’re sitting in. According to Wan, partying in Asia has become boring, with all the clubs playing the same music: “The music taste has been diluted, it has been damaged by social media which is a double-edged sword – people are so easily influenced that they stop looking for new things, “he says.
Luckily in Wan’s world for every problem, there is a solution…and a business opportunity. In this case, both are embodied by Baba Beach Club, a Music Lover’s Hotel operating in the style of a luxury beach club. “If we’d build a traditional hotel, it would be boring, but a beach club-themed hotel is not. We are trying to create a fun product. We don’t want a spa getaway or a chill out place, we already have plenty of those. We want a bit more upbeat theme, revolving around music,” explains Wan.
And so, out of love for good music and parties, the 3-billion-baht investment was born. Situated on a 42 rai land plot along Natai beach, 20 minutes away from Phuket International Airport with nearly 200 meters of the untouched beach frontage, the first stage opens this month. When completed the Baba Beach Club Phuket hotel will consist of a variety of villas, penthouses and condominium units, all centred around the Baba Beach Club and its Entertainment Pool.
“I’m trying to create a perfect balance between design, architecture, service, good music and good people,” explains Wan and ads: “In the west there are cool places with great music, but the service is not good; in Asia we have the best service but boring vibe; at Baba Beach Club we’ll have it all.”
And if there is anyone that can deliver on this promise, it’s Wan. His reputation as a party-maker precedes him and the service culture of his Sri panwa is world renowned. “With Sri panwa the product itself is the key to success – the comfort of the room, the view, the level of service – it’s a product that gets to people. And many of those elements will be present at Baba,” he says and adds “This, of course, includes the whole management team, all of them Sri panwa-grown.”
Except for the service level, there’s one more thing that the beach club inherits from the resort – the Baba brand. At Sri panwa there’s already Baba Soul Food, Baba Pool Club, Baba Nest. It’s a name rooted in the Peranakan traditions of Phuket Town and it’s also reflected in Baba Beach Club hotel’s design, marked by vintage accents and elements of traditional décor but in a contemporary setting. “My brief for the architect was Shanghai Tang meet Ralph Lauren but based on a local, Sino-Portuguese style, making it all more exotic. It will be exciting and it will fit the environment, the culture and Phuket vibe,” explains Wan.
With the spectacular setting, world-class design, bespoke quality of service and Sri panwa-tested food and drink menus, all is left to do is send the invitations out for the launch party. And while you might think that Wan would be excited and maybe just a tiny bit stressed with the grand opening looming closer, it’s not the case at all. “A few months ago we were still figuring things out, but now the picture is clear and I can relax a bit. I’m not anxious. I’m calm and confident,” he says, and adds with a mysterious smile: “I’m looking forward to the first party at the Club…it should be a good one”
Learn more at bababeachclub.com
Before you go enjoy these exclusive shots from the Baba Beach Club Phuket.