A few days ago we just spent 2 days living large at Santhiya Resort and Spa, an award-winning eco-luxury resort on Koh Yao Yai, a small island just off the east coast of Phuket. It’s a beautiful resort that blends naturally into the island, everything is made of wood and so intricately designed. The staff are welcoming, friendly and attentive. They run their own private or joint speed boat transfers to and from Au Po Grand Marina, rates start at 900THB per person and leave at 10am, 12pm, 3pm, and 5pm, so getting to and from the island is hassle free. You can opt to find your own way to the island, many long tail boats will take you from Bang Rong pier at a lower rate.
From the moment you get out of your taxi at Au Po Grand you are well taken care of. They’ll take care of your bags for you and have them delivered right to your room, and there’s no waiting in the scorching hot sun, you’re taken to wait at the near by cafe where someone will come back to retrieve you when the boat is ready. The transfer takes about 20 minutes, it’s not over packed, they have life jackets for everyone, you’re given complementary water and the ride is not rough at all and rather enjoyable.
We’ve been wanting to treat ourselves since New Zealand but knew we would get more for our money here in Asia. I found Santhiya Resort and Spa while browsing hotels on Travelocity, we find it has some of the best deals, next to Agoda, when it comes to hotels. We’re not really the resort going type, or at least we didn’t think so as we’ve both never been to a proper resort before. We like to save money where ever possible, whether its $1 or $20, which is why when we found out just how much money we were actually saving at Santhiya, it sold us even more. The room we got normally started at around $313 USD and we got it for $119 USD, over all we saved over $400 USD, who wouldn’t grab that bargain! Although on arrival to the room we realized why it could have been on special: construction on the building below ours, we barely heard it though so it was no bother. Note: Prices will probably vary depending on seasons (high or low tourist season).
It turns out we really enjoyed it. It was nice not to have to worry about anything and just sit back and relax. We didn’t have to leave the room if we got hungry and we didn’t have to worry about carrying money on us because we could just charge everything to the room. The only thing I could see not suiting us in the long run is there wasn’t a whole lot to do, yes there were tour available, but there wasn’t a big sense of adventure. We can only spend so long not doing anything because sooner or later one of us will go stir crazy.
We spent most of our time doing absolutely nothing. A lot of it was spent by the infinity pool, enjoying the view, the drinks and the sun. We had dinner at the restaurant on Santhiya’s private pier our first night, it was japanese inspired tapas and delicious. The pier is about 40m long and sits on stilts above the water which made for a nice relaxed atmosphere and we were able to eat dinner while dangling our feet over the ocean.
Our first full day we enjoyed a late breakfast while over looking the sea and surrounding islands. Mornings here seem to have the best views and bright skys, for some reason by the afternoon a light haze sets over the horizon, blending sea and sky, making everything look pale. We had all intention of renting some kayaks but in the end couldn’t tear ourselves away from relaxing by the pool. We’ve been in Thailand only 2 weeks by this time and I am already getting so tanned (I’m determined to get as dark as possible before moving to England because we all know how little sun we’ll be getting there). Will on the other hand is getting tanned slowly. That night we took advantage of room service and watched the sunset from the comfort of our private two person bathtub.
The next morning we had breakfast for two on our balcony, checked out at noon and had a mid-day Thai massage before catching our transfer boat back to Phuket.
Santhiya was amazing and we have absolutely no complaints. Below are all the services and perks we find worth mentioning and a link for you to book your own time in paradise:
Resort services and perks:
- Free use of water activities such as:
- Beach balls and toys
- snorkeling equipment, etc.
- The only thing you have to pay for are the stand-up paddle boards.
- Two pools:
- One infinity pool located up the hill, closer to hotel buildings and 5th restaurant.
- The main pool located closer to the beach, spa area and main resort buildings.
- Spa services (extra cost):
- body wraps, scrubs, aroma therapy, Thai massage, beach massage, manicures, pedicures, package deals and so much more.
- A full menu is given to you on arrival.
- Free use of fitness areas:
- Yoga classes
- Boxing classes
- Gym room
- Activity and tour organising (extra cost):
- Each day they offer group tours to the surrounding areas and islands, like James Bond Island, Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Leh, etc.
- Tours to these places are also available on request, as well as diving trips, snorkeling trip, etc.
- Private tours are also available.
- 5 restaurants ranging from, a Buffet Dinner, Seafood and western cuisine, Japanese, and to Thai and international.
- Private beach dining
- Resort organized transport to and from the main land (extra cost).
Room services and perks: Deluxe Sea View
- Good free WiFi
- Turn down service (optional).
- House keeping multiple times a day (optional).
- Four free bottles of water daily.
- Flat screen TV with multiple channels and movies in English.
- Buffet breakfast or Breakfast for two room service, included in room price.
- Eco-friendly air-conditioned rooms. It’s only activated when your room key is inserted into a slot by the door.
- Private balcony with outdoor sitting area and bathtub.
- Great ocean front views.
- Room service until 10:30pm.
- Mini bar
- Thai style bath robs, flip-flops, traditional Thai bamboo umbrellas, and a beach bag to carry things to and from the beach or pool.
- Massively comfortable beds, unlike all the other places we’ve stay where it felt like we were sleeping on the floor.
- Mosquito netting to cover the bed.
Everything in this post is our personal opinion and not that of anyone else, nor are they influenced by the resort mentioned or anyone else.
For anymore information don’t hesitate to ask: