“Join us for The Pool Linner!” exclaimed the invitation.
“Is this a spelling mistake?” I asked my colleague, puzzled.
“Well, think about it… if a brunch is between breakfast and lunch, then linner must be between lunch and dinner.”
Huh… that seemed to make perfect sense, and although I’d never come across this idea before, as I read the rest of the invitation it began to make more and more sense.
Like many Sunday brunches around the island The Hyatt Regency’s “Pool Linner” starts at 12pm, but instead of winding up at the usual 3pm, it goes all the way through to 6pm.
That means you can graze on the sumptuous buffet and dessert table for hours and still have plenty of time to take advantage of the included access to the resort’s massive beachfront swimming pool and comfy sun loungers – and the free flow drinks never stop coming.
With this in mind, I made sure to throw a book in my bag, along with my swimming gear, before my companion and I made our way over to Kamala for our first ever “linner” experience last Sunday.
Before long we found ourselves seated in the breezy outdoor pavilion of the Hyatt Regency’s Pool Bar, the friendly staff plying us with welcome drinks as the two-piece live band sang laid-back versions of the latest Latin-inspired hits.
We had skipped breakfast in anticipation, so the wafting aroma of barbecued meat from the live cooking stations soon drew us over to the buffet to get started.
It was an impressive layout featuring platters of fresh crabs, giant prawns and scallops, tender roast beef and pork, smoked salmon, Thai and Western salads, fresh breads, baked pasta and vegetable dishes, cold cuts and much more besides.
Some of the tastiest morsels weren’t even on the buffet, from time to time the staff would come around with small individual dishes fresh from the kitchen – the baked salmon in citrus sauce and crispy and thin Italian-style pizza slices were two particular highlights here.
After our long grazing session on the buffet wound down, the epic dessert table was unveiled and we headed over to have a look. But we were pleasantly waylaid by the offer of a neck and shoulder massage by the experienced therapists from the Hyatt Regency’s Nahm Spa… this linner just kept getting better!
After our massage and desserts (two mini coconut crème brûlées for me) we took out our tickets in anticipation of the lucky prize draw. As part of the day’s entertainment tickets are sold for the chance to win prizes, such as a free dinner worth B5,000 at the resort’s flagship restaurant Sunset Grill.
But perhaps the most fun prize is the chance to throw Executive Chef Mario Caramella into the pool. Mario is all too happy to get soaked as all the money raised is donated to the very worthy Phuket Child Watch charity.
This is part of Hyatt Regency’s effort to support Phuket’s unprivileged kids and to also increase tourists’ awareness of some of the difficult problems the island faces.
I was lucky enough to win the chance to throw Chef Mario in the pool, along with three other helpful guests. After that there was nothing left to do but to take a languid dip in the pool then find a suitable sun lounger to stretch out on, read my book and sip cool drinks until the sun began to sink into the horizon.
Suffice to say that I was won over by my first ever “Pool Linner” experience and it certainly won’t be my last.
‘The Pool Linner’ at Hyatt Regency Phuket with six hours of free flow drinks, buffet and live cooking station, fun live charity auction, DJ and live music, complimentary shoulder and neck massage and access to pool and sun loungers is priced at B1,950/person including free flow fruit juices and soft drinks and B2,850/person including full beverage package. For reservations contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 076 231 234 ext. 5106