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“Excellent yoga and pilates classes; resort could be better”

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The Sanctuary Thailand
Ranked #21 of 89 Hotels in Ko Pha Ngan
Certificate of Excellence
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent yoga and pilates classes; resort could be better”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2013

The Sanctuary has outstanding yoga and pilates classes. For yoga, be sure to attend Peter Clifford's class, and for pilates, go for Niamh's classes. Also, if you're staying for a few days, it's much better to take the package which includes classes, spa treatments and healing sessions.

Additionally, the salads, smoothies and raw food menu was memorable and I especially liked the spirulina, honey, yoghurt and banana smoothie. The feta cheese and spinach omelette, the Salad from Heaven and the Brown Rice Salad were also excellent. Unfortunately, the service at the restaurant was not up to mark. It was slow and we had to keep asking for things like napkins which I reckon should all be part of the standard operating procedure when serving a table.

The other downside of staying at The Sanctuary is that it doesn't have a great beach. It's short and when the boats are moored, that gets in the way of long beach walks. Additionally, it's not kept very clean. There were cans and bottles left uncollected on the beach which is a real shame. I didn't feel like taking a dip in the sea because I've experienced much better beaches elsewhere.

We stayed at the Garden House. And I would NOT recommend it if you're looking for a completely comfortable experience.The bathroom is separate from the house and is half open. At night, a baby bat flew formations in the bathroom. In the morning, I had to spray myself with insect repellant before using the loo because the mosquitoes were vicious. One afternoon, a long, fat snake was at the doorstep of the house and if it hadn't slithered away, I would not have seen it! Knowing there was a snake in the vicinity made it that much more stressful to go to the outside bathroom at night. We also had cockroaches in our house and in the bathroom. And every night, some creature would sit on our balcony and munch very loudly on fruit, keeping us awake. The last two nights we were there, the animal peed and defecated on our porch for good measure!

And even though it's called a resort, it skimps on things like toiletries. They only provided one tiny bar of hand soap. No shampoo or conditioner and no hand towels. I would have expected these as a minimum part of the service.

Room Tip: Avoid the Garden House. And the Friday night party which carries on from 10pm to 10am is loud and in...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank jasurin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SanctuaryThailand, Guest Relations Manager at The Sanctuary Thailand, responded to this review, 30 November 2013
Hi Jacqueline and thanks for your feedback.
We are glad to hear that you enjoyed the benefits of the Yoga Holiday Package and Peter and Niamh’s classes, as well as the food and drinks in our restaurant. Sorry to hear that our service was a bit slow during this (staff holiday) time of year. Thank you for your suggestion of hand towels in the bathrooms, which we are currently discussing. However with toiletries we have found that most of our clients prefer their own quality products .
Your thoughts on Garden house are well taken, this house has been on our renovation list and in fact, we have just renovated the cottage since your visit . We also plan to build an ensuite bathroom to this room in the next quiet season.
As for the jungle creatures – for some this is all part of the attraction of coming to a jungle resort – for the most part they are very well-behaved!
You also mention the beach and the garbage on it. Your visit here coincided with the arrival of monsoon seas. It’s a sad fact that all the seas of our planet are full of human rubbish and this gets dumped on all the east coast beaches at this time of year . During the initial sea surge it’s impossible to stop it and our crew clean the beach after each sea surge ( in fact if you have a look at our Face Book page you can see the severity of the seas during that 2 week period , you will also see the various beautiful presentations of our beach with the passing seasons ).
We appreciate that Sanctuary is a unique location with its own challenges - we’re happy that for the most part, you enjoyed your jungle experience!
Best wishes
Tasha
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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512 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Montreal
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 November 2013

Although I was hesitant to go because of what I read about it being overpriced, I ended up staying for 6 days in October. I loved it and had to be peeled away. I stayed in a garden bungalow that had a great bathroom, and the large back deck overlooking a little stream was awesome. 99% of the food rocked my taste buds. It was pouring rain for three days and yet that didn't matter because The Sanctuary has so many cozy and comfortable spots to lounge in (tea house, restaurant, sauna, wellness center, my back deck, etc.). Internet was good (the daily allotted amount of data was more than I needed) although sometimes connection was a little shoddy (understandable because of location). Would be awesome if the tea house was mainly silent so that those seeking refuge have a public space to do so.

Staff was AMAZING. Loved Ben's yoga classes.

Words of advice: Avoid the raw pad thai.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Dawn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2013

Just what the yogi doctor ordered... Thank you so very much for this much needed break. Everything that you could of needed for a yoga break was there. Great yogi's, lovely setting, scrumptious food, good variety of activities, a spa, the beach and finally but most importantly sensational staff!!! A huge thanks to Sam, Nong, Chard and our fav yogi Neve (sorry about the spelling). The only issue we had was with the long boat drivers. They were not the most honourable people we have encountered, they are more interested in their hip pockets and getting away with the less than bear minimum than their awaiting customers.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Zeedunn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheffield, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2013

The Sanctuary is defiantly a hidden gem! The beach is beautiful and the food the Sanctuary offers is delicious. I didn't miss eating meat once! So much choice to keep you happy. Staff and all therapists super friendly and helpful. Defiantly recommend a Thai massage at the spa! No problems with the Mosquitos however nets we're provided. I came back so rested and peaceful, I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HeleneMarie86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
31 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 October 2013

I visited The Sanctuary specifically to take part in a fast/detox on the advice of a doctor who had recently done it herself. I was having trouble healing an old running injury and hoped this would be the secret fix - it worked. As well as healing my leg, lost 5 kgs, slept like a baby for 6 nights and weaned myself off dairy/meat/alcohol (which I have maintained 3 months later)
I did the 5.5 day detox with a day at each end. In hindsight, I wish I had allowed more time at each end to relax and enjoy the food in particular. There is an amazing raw menu so even if you aren't specifically detoxing, it would be really easy to come here and have a great healthy week.
I won't go into too much detail about the detox - its pretty standard if you've done one before anywhere, and its hard to review it objectively. It does the job!
I shared a villa with a friend - it was perfect. large and plenty of storage space. Neither of us needed the AC but it was there. Major mosquito issues in the resort generally but nets and coils were provided.
The beach is beautiful, and there are even more stunning beaches on either side of the resort - a 5 min walk. I loved the feeling of relative isolation (need to take a boat to get anywhere) and being away from the usual Thai island madness.
Highlight overall were the treatments and therapists. The pilates classes were really excellent and some of the other therapists were phenomenal - especially Sara, the rolfer. I would go back just for these two.

My main complaints would be;
- the spa - could be better felt quite commercial and the therapists were not happy
- lack of digital payment options. absolutely absurd to insist on cash in this day and age. At least use PayPal.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank LizzieLucyChapman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2013

The rooms were quiet expensive for us but most of the time we spent at the restaurant and visited some of the program's attractions. It's all about food, very cool people, atmosphere and the nature. Recommended indeed!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Doe-Frau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
60 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2013 via mobile

This place is many things to different people: yoga hideout, detox retreat, beach resort or simply a friendly place to spend a few days. The vibe is really friendly and relaxed, just come with an open mind and get involved in the many activities! I did the 7.5 day detox and had a great experience. The staff at the Wellness Centre are attentive and have seen it all before. The beach is pretty and nearby Had Yuan is also beautiful!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sassy_Traveller_82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Sanctuary Thailand

Property: The Sanctuary Thailand
Address: Had Tien Bay, Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand (Formerly The Sanctuary Island Resort)
Phone Number:
Region: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Pha Ngan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Ko Pha Ngan
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Pha Ngan
Number of rooms: 21
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

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