Is Phuket ready to become the new entertainment capital? The island certainly offers many entertainment choices, but most of these are activities that take place at night and are therefore far from ideal for the increasing numbers of families who flock to Phuket. However, it is precisely this gap in the market which has given rise to Blue Tree.
Blue Tree is a family entertainment complex expected to launch in the first quarter of next year. Michael Ayling, former Laguna Phuket Managing Director, is leading the internationally funded 1.3 billion baht project.
“We see that there is a gap in the market, we have lots of residents and tourists, but there are not many pleasant places they could visit during the day. With 12,000 hotel rooms and 4,000 residential keys within a 15-minute drive, our entertainment destination will be the perfect hangout location for anyone and everyone,” said Michael.
With this year’s first quarter showing a strong increase in the number of Chinese and Russian tourists, this large influx of visitors suggests there will be no shortage of demand for entertainment, as Bill Barnett, Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks, was quick to observe.
“Phuket is no longer about the beach,” said Bill. “The demographics have changed with Chinacation and the rise of friends and families traveling together. In the first four months of 2018, mainland Chinese arrivals grew 50% and Russians over 40%. Both these markets are high users of entertainment facilities and themed attractions. Blue Tree is set to move where the market is.”
Located in Cherngtalay, Blue Tree is just two kilometers away from the Laguna and also provides easy access to Phuket International Airport. The key component of the complex is the 17,000 m2 man-made lagoon, one of only two in Thailand. The lagoon ranges from 1.5 m to 4.5 m in depth and has a lighting system specially designed to create amazing experiences at night. This spectacular centerpiece uses the latest US technology from Crystal Lagoons, ensuring that Blue Tree will consume less energy and use fewer chemicals than conventional swimming pools. The technology will also keep the water clear and cool at all times. This inland lagoon will be the perfect paradise for the monsoon season as visitors will be able to enjoy the lush tropical setting in comfort. In terms of safety, there will be 70 lifeguards in the aquatic area alone. Blue Tree is committed to providing the best and safest experience for visitors.
Another highly anticipated component is the waterpark, which will be the only zone with entrance fees. The waterpark offers the ultimate playground for family-friendly activities, with adrenaline-driven choices such as Slip ‘n’ Fly also available. Next to the water entertainment zone is the Vertical Beach Club, which will be open until two in the morning. Meanwhile, parents can rest assured that their little ones will be well looked after at the Kids Club, which Blue Tree will be directly operating.
Expatriate residents and local families can spend their weekends at the complex’s community mall. Indoor entertainments such as trampolines, virtual reality, and laser tag will be ideal when Phuket’s heat becomes too much. Other activities available at Blue Tree include ziplines, flying trapezes, archery, cliff jumping, and pedal carts. Membership for the fitness zone gives residents access to the gym, CrossFit, and other facilities, while visitors are welcome to use the five-kilometer cycling and jogging track at no extra charge. Furthermore, Blue Tree accommodates wellness activities such as yoga, for those who are mindfully inclined.
In addition, Blue Tree will be an exclusive dining destination that offers 17 distinct styles and flavors from around the world, while casual dining experiences such as food trucks and Thai street food will be available for those on a budget. Visitors will also be able to enjoy street performances on the outdoor stage, while Blue Tree’s auditorium will play host to music festivals and other monthly events.
While the man-made attractions might steal the show, it will be the tropical setting and natural environment which brings the ensemble together in creating a memorable experience. With this in mind, Blue Tree has planted a nursery of at least 15,000 trees to ensure a green ambiance and fresh air for visitors and residents to appreciate.
Currently in its initial development phase, Blue Tree will by no means be fully developed when it launches early next year, but Michael Ayling already has plans in place for the near future, with key additions set to include hotels and other accommodation options. From its sparkling lagoon, through its multiple activities, to its rich array of dining possibilities, this highly anticipated entertainment complex truly has it all. Blue Tree will surely be a place for anyone and everyone in the family.