We went to see and experience the sanctuary for just a day and our experience lasted about 5 hours, of which 2 were because the food was taking so long.
For some people this might be the ideal getaway, but we were clearly not those people. The only good thing was the choice of menu in the restaurant. Lots and lots to choose from. That is, if they are not out of bean sprouts, wheatgrass, bananas, and asparagus. We made a good choice, but some of the prices seemed outrageous. For an apple, carrot, beetroot you pay 130 baht, which I can get around the corner for 50 baht (without 0% ice instead of 60%). It took ages before our food to arrive and for surfing on the internet in the meanwhile they charge you extra.
After that we went to the spa to get a special treatment (1300 baht total), consisting of some steam bath, a relaxing oil massage, and a facial something. The steam bath was ok I guess (150 baht). The oil massage was the most expensive and dissapointing we've had in Thailand so far (800 baht). It was either way to soft or way to hard, always at least 2 inches away from the "sweet spot", and after about 45 minutes I decided to say thank you and walk out. With the facial they were really just doing something. It had nothing to do with a facial that I'm used to getting, where they adjust the facial to your skin type and such. The facial was not on the separate menu but must have costed 450 baht.
Because I walked out early I decided to wait for my gf on the beach. The beach is filthy, rocky, not very clear, but ok. I asked someone for the time and the answer was:"I don't know, It's now". Thanks Eckhart! That brings me to my next problem: the other guests. A general lack of hygiene, cuddling each other constantly and playing guitar at every fricking corner, seemed to be a normal practice here. The ones who are vasting walk around like they can grab an uzzi any time of the day to walk into the restaurant. You can recognize them by walking around in little to no clothes and usually wearing massive headphones.
So, finally my girlfriend came back to me in tears asking me if we could take the first boat back to the normal world. Waiting for the other two passengers to be finished touching other guests and dramatically saying goodbye to their supercool new long life friends, we got chased by the restaurant manager asking if we would pay our bills (that we already paid). (small note: the staff in the restaurant was in fact very friendly and genuinely interested).
So if you're into the new age / hippie thing, this is the right place for you. Otherwise, go to Thong Nai Pan Noi, safe a ton, enjoy nicer beaches, better massages, etc.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Established in 1991 The Sanctuary is a unique beach front resort offering beautiful houses, comfortable bungalows and budget dorm beds & boasts a 300 + vegetarian and seafood menu & bakery. Offering a diverse Spa menu & Detox fasting center, day trips, Kayaking, snorkelling and our gym to encourage you out of your beach front hammock. An eclectic mix of guests ensures a special beach holiday. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- The Sanctuary Island Hotel Koh Phangan
- The Sanctuary Island Spa