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“Disappointing lunch and beach”

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The Sanctuary Thailand
Ranked #22 of 91 Hotels in Ko Pha Ngan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 January 2014

My husband and I stayed for nine days at a resort on Haad Yuan (the beach next door to the Sanctuary) and one day we wandered over to the Sanctuary for lunch and to check out their beach.
The beach was not clean. There was so much rubbish that we did no want to sit down in the sand. The restaurant chairs spill from the main restaurant building onto the beach and a couple sitting in front of us at a table on the beach found a syringe in the sand. The waiter picked it up before serving our food. Whilst we were eating our lunch a Sanctuary guest started cutting a girls' hair at one of the restaurant tables. The wind picked up the cut hair and blew it towards us and other restaurant guests. At no point did restaurant staff ask the guests to move along and cut hair elsewhere.
To the food: Our order was mixed up so that drinks were delivered to the wrong table and food had to be followed up on. I ordered a stir fried vegetable dish and found bugs floating in the sauce. I returned the dish to staff and it was not added to our bill.
My husband and I are not fussy customers or eaters, but the Sanctuary asks higher prices than their neighbouring restaurants and we would have liked good service and food in return. Overall a disappointing visit.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ninaballerina2034
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 reviewResponded 27 January 2014

Dear NinaBallerina,
Oh my goodness we were so upset to read your review, and all we can do is sincerely apologise.
We remember the day in question, and it was not the best of days all round. We too were shocked by the 'syringe', not to mention the person using it who was encouraged back to Had Rin where he was staying. Needless to say this is not a usual occurence around here. As for the bugs in your food & hair in your face – it doesn’t really get much worse than that, we agree. Yes we occasionally get orders wrong and food can be a bit slow in the busy times, but syringes and bugs and haircutting…. happily this does not constitute a typical day at The Sanctuary (not that there is so much of a typical day, but that’s usually in a good way). Again....No excuses, only our sincere apologies that you got to share one of our rare bad days.
Best Wishes
Tasha

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242 - 248 of 549 reviews

Reviewed 21 January 2014

This place kind of defies description, but I'll try anyway. I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you're after 5 star aircon accommodation in a bubble, this is not your place. If you would like to live close to nature, with clean, beautifully designed creature comforts and the sound of the jungle to lull you to sleep, read on. The accommodation is all fantastic, from the clean and comfortable dorm rooms to the bungalows and houses built round the rocks. The food is delicious and the staff are all lovely. Sam and Chard in particular made our stay feel super friendly and we were so well looked after. The yoga and meditation sessions are in beautiful jungle spaces, and the beach feels wild. I found it hard to leave after a month. Do your body and soul a favour and book yourself a trip here.

Room Tip: If you are on a budget, the dorm is surprisingly lovely. If you are with friends and have a little m...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank rocketsparks
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 reviewResponded 23 January 2014

thank you thank you thank you for such a lovely attempt at capturing and sharing your sanctuary experience. we're so glad your body and soul enjoyed it - hope to see you again sometime soon!
best wishes,
tasha

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Reviewed 10 January 2014 via mobile

Love this place!
We stayed in the bungalow on the beach which I'm sure is the best they have.
A fantastic mix of people from backpackers to bankers. Not the place for you if you're after private infinity pools and butlers...
The food is fantastic and a die hard meat eater like me even had a couple of delicious veggie curries.
The staff too are something The Sanctuary should be proud of. Just the right mix of friendliness and great service. A special mention should go to Chard and Sam who managed to remember out names and who's genuine concern that we were happy made out stay all the more enjoyable.
The one gripe is the no credit cards issue but I'm sure they get that all the time.
A magical place where we got engaged and will remember for ever!

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank mikect70
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 reviewResponded 13 January 2014

Hi Mike and thanks for your review. We are truly grateful to have the staff we do (no butlers required) along with all the backpackers and bankers who pass through our doors. Apologies for the lack of easy payment options: we know its a pain, but every rose must have its thorn. In the meantime, I vote for an infinity pool.
See you again!
Tasha

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Reviewed 9 January 2014

Upon arrival to The Sanctuary I was greeted like part of the family, the staff were friendly and welcoming, I felt as if I had arrived home.
The Sanctuary had everything I could have asked for; participating in a body workshops, joining in on daily yoga and meditation classes, spa treatments, sessions with the amazing healers and quiet time on the beach.
The setting is beautiful, tucked in a cove on the south of the island with the jungle as it's backdrop the bay is a hidden gem.
As The Sanctuary offers detox, raw and healthy eating the menu was a delight every night with options for every taste, with some evening socialising and occasional entertainment.
I am already planning my return.
Thank you to all the Sanctuary crew for such an amazing experience!

Room Tip: There are two dorms, the one at the back is quieter away from the restaurant. Plenty of other rooms...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Hollie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2014

I stayed at The Sanctuary over Christmas 2013 with 5 friends and we had a really lovely and special time. Highlights for us all were: Christmas dinner on the beach was so amazing, the food in general is incredible, the classes, the yoga, the staff, the massages (at the resort and down the beach). There's options to eat in the main restaurant as well as two other little restaurants, one nestled within the resort (Spice) and one up on the cliff. Great to have a variety, but the food at The Sanctuary is the best and fear not, there is meat available at Spice. Things that weren't so great (but not really a big issue) - the beds were a little hard, the sheets too small and thin, the towels could be better quality. This is only because we had the most expensive room (due to availability) and would therefore expect higher quality compared with the other rooms. It would also be nice to have shampoo and conditioner in the bathrooms, maybe natural ones? the beach is not perfect and not large, but wonderful as you are not near any mass tourist hotels. There's no credit card machine which isn't ideal. Anyway this is a fantastic place if you are looking to unwind, clear your mind and eat healthy amazing food, but do not expect a chic sleek modern hotel, it attracts a slightly 'alternative crowd' and is a little rough around the edges. Really amazing, but make sure it's right for you...

Room Tip: We stayed in the garden cottages towards the back, quite expensive for what they were. Definitely tr...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Kate H
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 reviewResponded 6 January 2014

Thanks Kate!
Best wishes to you for 2014,
Tasha

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Reviewed 29 December 2013

I was lucky enough to stay in the sanctuary dorm for ten days in October & while I'm on an amazing 12 month career break holiday ... This will be a top highlight.

A light and airy dorm right on the ocean front was a fabulous way to start the day, followed by yoga, Pilates, meditation & whatever other lovely treats/sessions the talented sanctuary staff have lined up for the week.

I decided to give my body a break from all the street food consumed with abandon over the past few months and did the incredible raw food menu for five days - you really don't miss warm food and meat at all ... Each item is exploding with flavour and is very filling.

Throughout my stay the staff were so friendly - it was like visiting their home that they were so proud of. Sammy in the restaurant, chanting with Michael in the sound dome & a yoga bodywork session with peter were memorable.

For budget travellers I spent about $35 usd a day which was 2 meals, 2 sessions of either yoga or a massage at the neighbouring beach a day plus one yoga bodywork session with Peter.

The boats over can be very pricey - 500 baht per way is typical but I heard it move from 2000 to 200 depending on the weather and number of people.

I'm scheming on how to come back already!!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Ylime
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 reviewResponded 30 December 2013

Wow, what a lovely review! Thank you so much. 'Heaven that feels like home' indeed - I can't think of a better way of saying it!
Enjoy the rest of your travels -
Best wishes
Tasha

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Reviewed 25 December 2013 via mobile

I just love coming here to fast! It's a great experience and the wellness centre staff are amazingly friendly and helpful!
The santuary restaurant is a treat for the taste buds with its raw salads and soups and healthy fare overall
At Xmas they put on a lavish Christmas lunch where they pulled out all the stops- it was yummy! The party and dancing was also lots of fun!
Their effort was well worth it!
I look forward to more days of yoga, beach time and hanging out with new found friends. This reminds me to add that it's a place where one can easily travel by themselves and won't be short of interesting company as the place is very inclusive, open and friendly!

  • Stayed: December 2013
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Thank GeorgiaCK
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 reviewResponded 27 December 2013

HI Georgia, and thank you so much for your review. We're so glad you enjoyed Christmas with us - The Sanctuary wouldn't be what it is without all the great people who bless us with their presence, crew and customers alike, and its a joy to spend Christmas celebrating all together. Wishing you a very happy New Year!
Best wishes
Tasha

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Additional Information about 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:
#9 Spa Hotel in Ko Pha Ngan
#15 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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