In 1990, while The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited and its Thai partner were beginning the development of The Peninsula Bangkok, Property in on the resort island of Phuket became available. The Thai partners were keen to explore what could be done; Amanpuri was only a couple of years old, and few other true luxury resorts existed in Phuket. HSH had not intended to develop a Peninsula Resort, but AGREED to investigate.
Miller made a visit to the site and existing Phuket properties, and developed a proposal for a Peninsula Resort. It would utilize a business model similar to Amanpuri - the development of a 100-room Peninsula partly subsidized by the sale of 20 high-end branded Peninsula resort villas. The unique aspect would be to synthesize Peninsula traditional style, with a part of Phuket’s history - Sino-Portuguese architecture of the early 20th century. A team was formulated with Projects International (Berkeley) on master planning and architecture, and Orlando Diaz-Azcuy on the Interiors.
The relatively low land cost and large area allowed to master plan a generously spaced low-rise project. The main allocation of guestrooms was in a block called the Manor House. A unique, duplex guestroom module was developed to allow for an upper story of each room to have front-to-back tropical air circulation.
Interiors were developed to exploit the traditional generous scale and languorous sequence of spaces, with decorative treatment inspired by the historical traditions, but with an elegant modern twist. Landscaping was developed to create tropical water gardens out of former tin mine topography.
Detailed building plans were drawn up, business plans developed, a preliminary Model Room built. But in mid-1991, the JV determined that The Peninsula in Bangkok was a much greater priority. Phuket plans were put on hold; eventually the site was sold.