Aspiring super-spies can taste life in the fast lane at Layan Residences by Anantara in Phuket, as the tropical retreat launches a budget-blowing experience inspired by James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. From flying-in by private jet to handling the original golden gun from the 1974 film, this no-expense-spared escape is packed with thrilling VIP experiences.
The adventure kicks off in fabulous style as guests board a private jet from Bangkok to Phuket, before being whisked by chauffeur-driven limo to Villa Similan – the largest of the resort’s 15 ultra-luxurious residences. Perched high on a hill with ocean and jungle views, this lavish eight-bedroom property oozes suave sophistication and comes with a live-in butler and an on-call private chef and spa therapist.
Featuring a chic indoor-outdoor design with freestanding bedrooms and living spaces, the villa has an elevated roof terrace, 22-metre infinity pool and massage room. A glass-clad wine room leads to the pièce de résistance: a 007-esque ‘man cave’ complete with leather sofas, an antique carved billiards table and ‘the’ legendary golden gun.
Used by the film’s villain Francisco Scaramanga, the custom-built pistol famously consisted of several innocuous golden objects – a cufflink (trigger), gas lighter (bullet chamber), fountain pen (barrel) and cigarette case (handle) – so that it could be easily smuggled. Guests have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to handle this fabled weapon during a wine tasting with Anantara’s wine guru, before retiring to the terrace for a specially prepared dinner.
This extravagant experience also includes a glamorous yacht cruise around Phang Nga Bay, where The Man with the Golden Gunwas filmed, during which guests can sip free-flowing Krug champagne and tuck into a gourmet barbecue prepared by the onboard private chef. Scattered with mangrove-cloaked limestone karsts jutting dramatically out of the emerald water, the spectacular bay’s most famous rock, ‘James Bond Island’, played a starring role in the movie as Scaramanga’s hideout.
Back at the villa, guests can develop their Ninja skills with a private Muay Thai boxing lesson. They can then soak up the views over the Andaman Sea as their butler serves 007’s signature dry Martini cocktail (shaken, not stirred) before heading to the cinema room for a private viewing of vintage James Bond films, reliving the iconic secret service agent’s escapades as he outwits nemeses around the world.