MANILA, Philippines — Phuket’s famous Governor’s Mansion, the tropical island’s largest icon of Sino-Portuguese baroque architecture, is welcoming overnight guests for the first time in more than 50 years through the help of Airbnb, as Thailand celebrates its reopening since the global pandemic.  

After two years, some international borders are finally reopening, and Thailand is truly one country that can truly satisfy your wanderlust and thirst for culture, rich cuisine, art and fun. The luxurious stay at the Governor’s Mansion in Phuket pays homage to Thailand’s rich architectural heritage and design sensibility, including never-before-seen pieces by renowned Bangkok-based furniture designers and classic Phuketian antiques. The lavish stay is just in time as Thailand is gearing up for Songkran, the country’s biggest cultural festival. 

“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,” said Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb General Manager for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

“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 travellers 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,” shared Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Airbnb is choosing one group of four lucky guests that will get to soak up the vibrant festivities with an island getaway of a lifetime. The majestic Governor’s Mansion will be bookable on http://airbnb.com/governorsmansion for only P2,500, for a two-night stay from April 15 to 17, 2022. Bookings open at 9 a.m. on April 5.

Guests of the mansion 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.”

Another host of the stay is the 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.

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. It 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, just pefect for those with discriminating taste.

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 Tanchanokai, who will share her favourite hidden gems in Phuket and tips for exploring the island, an exclusive access to a two-bedroom suite on the Mansion’s expansive second floor, including a private reception lounge and living room, plus a bespoke, multi-course “Songkran” tasting menu prepared and hosted by Chef Nooror.

One can also enjoy a scuba diving and snorkeling adventure around the sparkling reefs and islands that dot the Andaman Sea, as well as a gibbon rehabilitation social impact experience in Phuket’s last rainforest.

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