By Mike Hickey
Awei Pila, an exclusive resort set on a remote tropical island in Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago, will open its doors to guests on December 15. The newly constructed property is owned by the Yangon-based Memories Group. Located approximately 50 miles from the shoreline of Kawthaung on the northernmost beach of Pila Island, the resort will offer 24 air-conditioned tented villas fronting a white-sand beach, an open-air restaurant, spa and swimming pool.
A two-hour speedboat ride from the mainland, Pila is nestled among a labyrinth of some 800 islands, atolls and coral reefs. The island has a single source of fresh water, 10 unexplored beaches, a host of birds (including hornbills), and coves alive with fish, dugongs and turtles. The local village has a wooden pier, a Buddhist temple and a single beach-shack bar with a pool table.
The tented villas are designed around a lightweight insulated timber and fabric structure. The prefabricated fabric structures allow for low environmental impact, as the minimal foundations keep the existing vegetation intact.
The villas’ interiors are designed to be light and fresh, using white washed timber lattice and duck cotton fabric walls to provide a soft internal environment. Natural light is allowed in through two floor-to-ceiling openings, also giving way to sea views for the beachfront suites. Locally produced furniture and decorative items complete the room’s design. Including a private terrace, each villa provides guests with almost 640 square feet of space.
The guest areas are centered on the reception, restaurant and swimming pool. An open-air heavy timber structure provides shelter to the social hub of the resort. The bar sits in the center with the other two functions flanking either side, all with open views of the sea and overlooking the swimming pool. The floor surface blends continuously through to the pool and beyond to the beach.
Awei Pila will be open seasonally (closed June to September every year).