Karon Beach Square – contemporary dining on Karon Beach Phuket

I have to say, that Phuket itself has never felt like an island at all to me.

I mean, the place is huge and it bustles with so much activity, it feels more like a city – actually the biggest island in Thailand and dubbed the ‘pearl of the Andaman’, Phuket is surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea.

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back to Phuket.. after so many years! 

Many years ago, we had our first honeymoon here and so, we felt it apt to return for our 10th year anniversary to the white sandy bay of Karon Beach, which is one of Phuket’s most popular holiday spots, though there are actually many other beaches to choose from in Phuket. There are also plenty of things to do in Phuket, so we hardly ever get bored here, and that’s why we like this place. A mere 1 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur makes it really ideal too, when you’re talking about a “quick” getaway but somewhere different from home.

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Limo pick up by the ever so efficient staff of Movenpick Karon Phuket… 


So, Karon beach itself is about an hour from the airport, 15 minutes from Patong and 10 minutes or so, from Chalong Jetty.

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Penthouse plunge pool.. luxurious comforts on holiday

We find ourselves back at Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket, after a comfortable 1 hour ride by limo, and though the day is hot, we are totally looking forward to plush rooms and villas, landscaped swimming pools, a gorgeous spa and pristine beach front, all set among tropical landscaped gardens, that we know will greet us. Take our advice and go for the Penhouse Plunge Pool Villa.. it’s super grand!

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Penhouse Plunge Pool Villa

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Welcome bottle of champagne and the customary bubble bath to kick off the vacation!

I always rather stear clear of Patong’s ping pong shows, sans paddles, and much prefer the cooler, hipster vibe of Kata and Karon Beach. Swanky spa sessions, cocktails with a view, and great food and wine, is so much more my thing, which brings us to Karon Beach Square.

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Karon Beach Square.. latest hub for dining 

Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket, our choice for this short beach getaway, has now created a hub for great dining and chill-out contemporary bars not only for its in-house guests, but for the whole of Karon and even Phuket, called, Karon Beach Square.

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Thats right – we just had the most amazing weekend, relaxing and spending our special day, wining and dining at Karon Beach Square’s collection of modern bars, restaurants and cafes that is also directly accessible from Karon’s main beach road, as well as the hotel.

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Super chill vibe

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Tourists exploring Karon Beach, the nearby market or simply strolling along the promenade can pop in for happy hour, or to just cool off at Mint – a brand new bar area where a professional mixologist creates a range of tailor-made tropical cocktails. Love the open concept and the airy bar/alfresco restaurant area which is not smoky at all, and very comfortable even for families with kids.

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During the day, a great choice for quick, fuss free food, before you head the the beach or spa, is Studio Cafe.

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Pizza’s from traditional stone ovens, Fresh Salads and Thai sandwiches or quick fix dishes are the thing to order here. If you like light lunches like I do, then the Pine Nuts Avocado salad as well as the Marinated Prawn and baby Squid salad are safe bets. And a really fabulous, but not so light dish to order is the half green curry, half tom yum pizza. Stringy with cheese, it’s truly bursting with flavour – a little on the salty side, but you can always wash it down with a beer!

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Sandwiches are a good choice if you want to head out to the beach, and don’t want to be too full

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Marinated Prawn and baby Squid salad in a delicious pesto sauce based dressing

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We just had to grab the Moevenpick coffee here, and we’d heard so much about the ice-cream, we just had to indulge is some before we left – you will like it if very sweet and thick sorbets and ice-creams are your thing.

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This is definitely a nice cool location to escape the heat of the day and use the free Wi-Fi, or to catch up with friends over a beer or two.

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And after dark, Karon Beach Square transforms into a stylish night spot.

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International cuisine, in an exciting fun environment with chillax Music and competent Mixologists keep the spirits up.

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Margaritas, Mojitos, Martinis & Daiquiris.. you name it, they mix it

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Even the flaming Lamborghini! 

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More flames and entertainment! 

All in all, Karon Beach Square comprises of 4 distinct dining areas. Café Studio & Gallery that offers Pizza’s, Wraps, Salads, Sandwiches, Baguettes and Pies, Mint offering contemporary Café style food, El Gaucho, a Brazilian Grill and Orient Asia, an Asian home style cooking restaurant inclusive Vietnamese and Thai specialties.

We, of course, tried all the restaurants out!

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crispy fried cheese ravioli with spicy dip – interestingly crunchy 

Mint is a stand-alone restaurant and bar that offers a fun and casual vibe, while providing value for money beverages and food. It is a place for folks to socialize, have fun, and possibly pre-dinner drinks and snacks. However, if you want a full-on dinner, there’s also enough meaty mains to keep the average appetite happy.

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BBQ chicken wings with gorgonzola sauce – fans of blue cheese and sweet savory caramalized chicken wings will love this!

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Cod fish medallions with broad beans in curry sauce – toothsome and succulent 

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Black pepper pork belly – my absolute favourite as it had a nice peppery sting to it

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Or dinner at El Gaucho is also another fine option. This is a wine-focused, Brazilian Churasco-centric restaurant offering hefty flame grilled red meats, chunky sausages, along with a fresh array of green salads, antipasti, pasta salad and condiments. Those who can’t resist a sumptuous grill should check this out. There’s also an ala carte menu, so plenty to choose from.

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El Gaucho has an industrial urban theme, with a nice air-conditioned inside and an al fresco seating area with a breezy ocean view.

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The Brazilian tradition of grilling, or Churrasco, is characteristically South American and is all about the meat. The better the cut and quality of the meat, the better the experience. For me, the most important thing is that the meat does not turn out dry or overgrilled. I love my steaks a bloody medium rare, and it’s important I have it just right.

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The skewers are then brought to your table where sizzling portions are sliced onto your plate. You may choose as many different flavors and cuts as you like. It also comes with an extensive selection of sauces, and also with rice and vegetables.

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My favourite of the lot at this BBQ experience, was the chicken. Nicely seasoned with a great garlicky bite to it, it was the bomb. The rest of the red meats were slightly overcooked – the chef explained that this being off peak season, they need to keep the meats hot and with less heavy traffic of diners moving the meats, it is easy to get it overcooked.

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Sirloin, Tenderloin, Ribeye, you name it.. they bring it. They also serve lamb, pork sausages and bacon wrapped mussels! Super delicious.

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Crazy succulent sausages and mussels – this is a must order!

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massive fresh prawns

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And from the ala carte menu, the mushroom soup is a must order. Fabulously creamy and unctuous..

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Finish off dinner with interesting desserts such as this Strawberry sorbet with a vodka shot. Simple yet effective.

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Flame Grilled Pineapple from the Brazilian grill with ice cream and a shot of Bailey’s Irish cream.

But if you are not in the mood for Brazilian, you might also have a more oriental experience to choose from.

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Alternatively guests can take a dining journey to the East at Orient Asia. Here, steamboat is the name of the game.

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For the soup stock, there’s a choice of spicy Tom Yam Gung or Tom Kha Gai (Chicken cooked in coconut milk soup).

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Fresh seafood is a must order, especially the scallops.

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A modern, all-Asian cuisine featuring the best dishes from all the corners of Asia in a modern Chinese setting. Though there is al fresco dining overlooking the garden, I strongly advice you dine in the indoor restaurant, unless you don’t mind sweating buckets!

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I loved the Tom Yam soup the best – spicy and sour, this soup got murkier and sweeter as the night progressed. All the goodness of the meats just went into the soup and we found ourselves, slurping it up.

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And one of the amazing dishes to order from ala carte is this crimson looking, caramalized, pork ribs. Served in a super piquant sauce the ribs just melt in your mouth! The soft tendons are superb and you get to crunch on them as you devour the ribs. I just eat them whole, bone and all.

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Wine and cocktails are available and served at Orient Asia with dinner.

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Chocolate Sesame balls – sweet and chewy, ended dinner on a high note

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The convenience of Karon Beach Square never ends with its location that is within walking distance of local shopping, convenient stores, traditional massage places and tourist attractions.

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We liked the fact that if you ran out of things to do in the hotel, you could just stroll out and check out the local action.

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Plenty of seafood restaurants, massage pallors, pharmacies, fruit vendors to choose from, should you need them.

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Karon Beach Square is easy to find, positioned in a prominent spot along Patak Road on Karon Beach’s shorefront. Located within the gardens of Mövenpick Resort and Spa, it’s around halfway down Karon Beach, approximately 500 metres from Patak Road roundabout.

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Karon Beach is just south of Phuket’s main beach, Patong. You can get there from Patong by taxi or tuk tuk in around 15 minutes, depending on traffic. You can also easily reach Karon Beach from Phuket Town by public transport – the trip takes approximately 25-30 minutes. Most taxis and tuk tuk drivers will be familiar with Mövenpick Resort and Spa Karon Beach.

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