To celebrate the Thai New Year and welcome international travellers back to Thailand, the Governor’s Mansion in Phuket – the largest icon of Sino-Portuguese baroque architecture – will be listed on Airbnb for the ultimate designer stay. Renowned for its magnificent beaches and rich cultural heritage, Phuket has long been an incredible draw for millions of travellers from around the world. The lush tropical island is now leading the way for Thailand’s long-anticipated travel rebound.
As the country gears up for its biggest cultural festival, Songkran, one group of four lucky guests will get to soak up the vibrant festivities with an island getaway of a lifetime, only on Airbnb. The majestic Governor’s Mansion will be bookable on airbnb.com/governorsmansion for $50 USD* for a two night stay from 15-17 April, 2022, welcoming overnight guests for the first time in more than 50 years. Bookings open at 21:00 PM ET on 4 April, 2022 (02:00 AM BST on 5 April, 2022). Travellers from Thailand or any of the countries that currently allow international travel to and from Thailand can apply**.
Guests will be hosted by popular Phuket-born model-actress Patricia Tanchanok Good who rose to fame in one of Netflix’s most popular Thai dramas last year, Girl From Nowhere 2, and national ambassador for royal Thai cuisine and Blue Elephant founder, master chef Nooror Somany Steppe. Programming for this special stay is supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Built at the end of King Rama V’s era by successful local businessman Pra Pitak Chinpracha, the 119-year-old Governor’s Mansion welcomed many out-of-town dignitaries and remains one of several neoclassical heritage mansions on Phuket today. The sprawling white and mustard heritage home is located in the historic heart of Old Phuket Town, and has been exquisitely restored to preserve its original fixtures, including richly patterned tiles and teakwood floors. Its first floor is now home to the Blue Elephant Restaurant – a Michelin Plate awardee and long-running stalwart of Thailand’s culinary industry.
On the second floor, renowned Thai designer Saran Yen Panya has created a memorable, visually stunning space that pays homage to Thailand’s rich heritage and buzzing contemporary design scene. The stay features statement pieces by Yothaka – widely revered as Thailand’s master of design – in addition to bespoke handcrafted items by up-and-coming designers Kitt Ta Khon, Masaya, Sumphat Gallery, Thaniya and Mo Jirachaisakul, paired with Phuketian antiques from some of the island’s most distinguished homes and museums.
Guests will be immersed in a quintessentially Phuketian experience, including:
- A personal welcome at check-in by Thai superstar Patricia ‘Good’ Tanchanok, who will share her favourite hidden gems in Phuket and tips for exploring the island
- Exclusive access to a two-bedroom suite on the Mansion’s expansive second floor, including a private reception lounge and living room
- A bespoke, multi-course ‘Songkran’ tasting menu prepared and hosted by master Chef Nooror Somany Steppe
- A scuba diving and snorkeling adventure around the sparkling reefs and islands that dot the Andaman Sea
- A gibbon rehabilitation social impact experience in Phuket’s last rainforest, Khao Pra Taew Wildlife Sanctuary
“Songkran is a special moment for all Thais, as we give thanks and celebrate the dawn of a new year. As Thailand reopens, we are incredibly thrilled to partner with Airbnb to warmly welcome the world back to our country. We invite travelers from around the world to experience the “Amazing New Chapters” of Thailand under ‘Visit Thailand Year 2022’, with this iconic stay that shines a light on some of our finest Thai designers; as well as Phuket’s natural wonders, unique heritage and architecture, and delicious local cuisine.”
Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
“Thailand is an extraordinary country with unparalleled warmth and hospitality, and some of the most beautiful destinations. As more of us begin to travel further from home and for longer durations, we are working with our Host community to welcome the world back to Thailand safely. We are delighted to add the majestic Governor’s Mansion to our collection of unique stays throughout the Kingdom.”
Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb General Manager for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan
*Plus taxes and fees. This two-night stay is not a contest. Airbnb is closely monitoring Thailand infection rates and government policies and will offer booking guests a USD1,000 Airbnb credit if it becomes necessary to cancel the stay.
**Travelers looking to book should note that this stay’s rules require strict adherence with local COVID-19 guidelines. Guests must follow applicable local and state guidelines as well as Airbnb’s COVID-19 Safety Practices, which include wearing a mask and practicing social distancing when required by local laws or guidelines. Guests are responsible for their own travel to and from Phuket and must have a registered account with Airbnb. Other Terms and Conditions will apply, please see airbnb.com/governorsmansion.
About the Designers
Saran Yen Panya is one of Thailand’s most pre-eminent young designers and visual artists. Awarded Young Designer of the Year by Wallpaper Magazine Thailand and ELLE Decor, Saran is the co-founder of 56thStudio where he promotes local brands, designers and makers through creative experiences and storytelling. Saran was a TED speaker at TedX Chiang Mai, and has exhibited at Paris Design Week, Berlin’s Illustrative Art Festival and miart in Milan.
The Stay features pieces from six of Thailand’s top designers, including:
- Bold statement chairs from Yothaka, Thailand’s master of design who has blazed a global trail for Thai furniture with his intricate, environmentally sustainable and Asian-inspired style
- Masaya’s hand casted bronze and brass pieces, including a trio of iconic stools and benches from the designer’s calligraphy-inspired ‘Ink’ collection
- Poufs, bronzeware and woven rattan jars from Sumphat Gallery, whose Thai and French founders re-compose traditional materials with contemporary techniques
- Funky eclectic mirrors, foot stools and consoles from contemporary designer Kitt.Ta.Khon who combines vernacular materials with craft techniques from around the world such as macrame and wickerwork
- Thaniya’s hand-painted ceramic vases, rice wax candles and standing lamps, which blend lyrical Thai prints with European-inspired motifs
- A bespoke lotus pond crafted exclusively for this stay by renowned avant garde ceramicist Mo Jirachaisakul, featuring a mosaic of delicate Thai floral motifs in pale yellow, celadon and pink