Baan Ar Jor Heritage Hotel in Phuket
Baan Ar Jor is a hotel, a restaurant and a museum with a long history that started in 1936. This house has always been one of the most mysterious old mansions of Phuket, standing lonely near Mai Khao Beach in the north of Phuket. Unlike other mansions mostly found in town, Baan Ar Jor is isolated away from any village and very far from Phuket Town. To reach it, you will have to drive to the very north of Phuket Island, drive pass the Phuket International Airport on your way to the Sarasin Bridge.
Baan Ar Jor mansion (meaning ‘The Old Lady House’) was built by a Tin Mine industrial businessman as a house away from town. It was abandoned for many decades, and we often drove by wondering what its story was. As long as we remember, the three-storey house was in bad condition but was still standing proudly in the middle of a vast and neglected open field.
The unusual location and setting always puzzled us. Only if you paid attention while driving, you could get a glimpse of the house from the main road, only visible for a few seconds between the trees. Very few people knew about it. We stopped several times and took photos, but photos were lost, adding to the mystery of the house with no name.
A couple of years ago, we heard someone decided to give the mansion a new life and a name for people to come and admire it: Baan Ar Jor finally. We stopped a morning to see what the house looked like, and finally, get a glimpse of its story and discover the interior. As we arrived, the staff invited us to enter the restaurant first, and right away, the beauty and passion of the work done were obvious.
The story of Baan Ar Jor is both sweet and fascinating. Khun Todd, who welcomes you in the house, is the grandson of the owner. He decided to bring the mansion back to life as a gift to his grandfather. He took great care of respecting the original colours, walls and original tiles, and avoided the classic mistake of making it look new as it, unfortunately, happened often in Phuket. And renovating an old house to look real and keep its soul is extremely difficult and costly.
The result of the renovation is impressive, and clearly, they invested a lot of passion and money in recreating the spirit and atmosphere of the past with just a few modern, and artistic touches and wall paintings. The house is rich in details and historical artefacts, antiques and original furniture and households items, all related to family history with a strong Chinese influence. We truly enjoyed the beauty of the house, but also the artistic touches added to each room, as each had a function and story. As you explore, the owner tells you a lot of interesting historical detail as what life in the house was in its past glory.
The eight rooms are small, the way it was a century ago, and are decorated with vintage furniture to recreate the original style, creating an excellent photo backdrop. Air conditioning is available in each room but is not much needed because houses built in this era allowed air to circulate and keep the temperature comfortable. The price of the rooms is high if you wish to spend a couple of night (about 6,000 for a 16.8 sqm room with 14.6 sqm sunrise sided balcony)
Toh Deng Restaurant
Toh Deng (Toh Deng means Red Table) is a beautifully decorated restaurant intelligently combining two rooms in one. You can admire how they purposely kept part of the separation brick wall. The result is a bright and welcoming room that managed to keep an antique and charming atmosphere. You can enjoy Phuket cuisine prepared with family recipes, drinks and cakes.
Here are some of the recommended dishes you should try:
Geng Kiaw Wan Khai – green curry with chicken – 300 baht
Phad Thai Goong – Family secret recipe Phad Thai with Prawn 250 baht
Tom Kha Kai – Coconut soup with chicken 350 baht
Pla Tod – Deep fried fish with local herb 650 baht
Kaeng Phed Moo – Secret recipe red curry rambutan with grilled pork 350 baht
Visitors are required to pay 200 baht to enjoy the house, but the money goes to the local community. You can walk around as you please and take as many selfies as you like, which is often the main reason for people to visit. The house is also a great wedding photo backdrop, frequently featured in magazines.
Baan Ar Jor Info
Location: Mai Khao Beach
Address: 102 Thep Kasattri Road, Thalang District, Phuket 83110
Open: 10 am – 10 pm
Phone: 062 459 8889
Price: 200 baht