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“Secluded Sanctuary”

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The Sanctuary Thailand
Ranked #22 of 91 Hotels in Ko Pha Ngan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 May 2010

This is one of those rare places that idealist dream of...the place is untouched, you need to take a chartered long tail boat to get there,,the food is amazing the company is wonderful and the detox program works..they seem to have everything down to a science...words of warning though --> be careful and organized this place is in middle of the thai jungle...USE THE BUG NETS PROPERLY,,,we didnt tuck ours in 100% and my girlfriend got bit by a scorpion in the middle of the night, there was no way to get to a hospital since the only route out is a 5 k hike through an unmarked jungle path,,,the staff told us that there are two types of scorpion one is fatal one isnt we would have to wait and see...luckily it was the non-fatal one...also make sure u organize ur way out we almost missed our flight because of a lack of long tail boat availability but that too worked out...this place Rocks..check it out

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank SeanTravelz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SanctuaryThailand, Manager at The Sanctuary Thailand, responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2010

Many thanks for your review and delighted you like our Sanctuary.
I am writing to apologise if our staff gave you a stressful night worrying & also that they misinformed you . On Koh Pha Ngan there are no ‘deadly’ scorpions. The bite is, for the most part, akin to a bee sting. It irritates, causes dome discomfort but that is all. I guess I should also point out that there are very few instances of bites here so you were very unlucky. I am happy it did not take from your visit to The Sanctuary and hope that we can welcome you back in the future. Regards Mike

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437 - 443 of 553 reviews

Reviewed 7 May 2010

Beautiful and chilled. I stayed in a bunglow on stilts with the cutest round bathroom outside - these bungalows are sympathetically built into the jungle in the hillside - lying in the hammock on my balcony I counted six different types of butterfly in a short time - bats fly along the pathways to the rooms at night and a toucan perched on the next balcony along - the room (with fan) was cleverly shaded and aired - an incredibly beautiful natural place - part of the package of being somewhere natural is the mozzies at dusk and tiny ants in the room, but if you want a sterile, sealed experience then choose an AC room in a cement resort, don't come here.
I wanted to be somewhere beautiful where I could chill out, snorkel with fish and go to good yoga classes - the Santuary hit the mark for this perfectly - I'm bemused by some of the negative comments here which seem to be sniping at other people's lifestyle choices - of course this is a business, there are cheaper places to stay, but I've never seen a place that offers this wide a range of accomodation options. The veggie food was superb. I stayed here alone very comfortably, there were people to talk to when I wanted company, but a comfortable atmosphere to be alone in too. The meals weren't the quickest, but what's the rush? Just order a divine fruit cocktail and chill out.....

Stayed: January 2010, travelled solo
Thank sublimeridiculous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2010

We arrived after hell of a trip through the jungle by truck and what shall I say - this place immediately cooled us down. Super chilly atmosphere with good kitchen and really nice bungalows and houses. Very large variety of Yoga, Detox and Meditation offers and a good service. Food is very good but be aware that it is just veggie!! People are always superfriendly and it seemed like a family over there. People from all over the globe and a very very very chilled atmosphere. The beach is ok, have seen better ones but ok - from time to time it is quite hard to get to the next "city" - u can only go by boat or by truck (would not recommend - hell of a track...). all in all i had a really cool time there and if u r up to party check out the bar on top of the rocks - it rocks :-)

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank Chris205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2010

I'd like to start by saying that I am slightly mystified by some of the negative reviews on here, particularly the ones relating to cost and customer service. The Sanctuary is more expensive than a lot of other places in Thailand, but it's also a different kind of place. The accommodation ranges from the cheap (dorms) up to large houses and the pricing looked reasonable enough to me for what you're getting. If you want very cheap accommodation, there are plenty of other places that provide this.

I found all the staff, without exception, to be approachable, helpful and friendly. I did the 7 day cleanse and the support provided was fantastic. My room was the deluxe aircon, which was more than adequate, though generator noise at night was slightly irritating. The rooms were cleaned and bedding/towels changed every 3 days.

The setting is beautiful, though they could benefit from some more sun loungers and umbrellas on the beach. The bar serves excellent food and they put on a film night every Tuesday on a big screen on the beach which is great. They also had open mic nights. The atmosphere is very laid back - there are loads of activities and workshops you can do, but there is no pressure to take part if you don't want to. The yoga classes with Jamie were a great introduction for me to yoga and other people staying there said the meditation and pilates classes were good too.

I paid in cash as I went along so I could keep track of my money, but you can also have a tab set up and put everything on that. Word of warning though - double check your bill very carefully as several people I met had found their accounts used by other people. The Sanctuary doesn't take credit cards as there's no phone line for it, so you have to pay cash - either estimate how much you will need and take the whole amount, or visit Haad Rin every few days to go to the cashpoint. There is a boat and a truck which goes several times daily.

There's also a Friday night rave every week at a bar nearby which is very loud and goes on until 10am the next day, but earplugs are provided.

All in all, I enjoyed my stay enormously and would definitely go back. I found it incredibly relaxing and I felt a million times better for doing the cleansing regime. I have written a fuller review here if anyone's interested: www.chew-the-fat.com.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled solo
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Thank BPH09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2010

I was really excited to go to The Sanctuary for a detox, after having read lots of good things about it, but I left there after 2 days disappointed and more than a little bit baffled. The place is a mass of contradictions. It appears to be very laidback and "chilled out" but I felt uncomfortable the entire time, mostly due to the cliques who have made themselves at home there. Overhearing their conversations left me feeling like a very unwelcome house guest rather than a paying customer. It's billed as basic accommodation yet it's extremely overpriced. Although I'd been forewarned of this I naively hoped that the 'vibe' and the amazing level of service would explain the pricing, but it didn't. Moon in the detox centre was great but I had lots of questions and no-one was around to answer them. Ever. No matter what time of day.

I'm sure this place will suit some people - maybe those with lower expectations than mine? But I would never go back to the Sanctuary and I wouldn't recommend it to any of my friends.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled solo
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1  Thank OneYearAway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2010

We loved The Sanctuary. Neither my partner, nor I had ever been to Thailand, so we weren't sure what to expect. We were told to get rucksacs (great advice), as getting there involved hopping into and out of ferries and taxi boats. We were dropped off on the beach and pointed in the direction of the only bar/restaurant in sight. This was just that and exactly what we were hoping for, ie, palm trees, a few strewn coconuts and very few people occupying a picturesque beach. We were greeted with a complimentary ‘healthy ginger tea’ each (an acquired taste but very good for us, apparently!) and shown to our room, up a narrow path into the trees/jungle. No air con (though there was a fan which did the trick), but we weren't worried, as it was very pretty, authentic and had an outstanding view of the bay from the balcony. Even the adjacent toilet/washroom (which was round!!) was different and made for an interesting experience (especially having a shower whilst the frogs were on the ledge mating!!). The staff were friendly and accommodating (though don’t expect fast service in the restaurant – at best it’s sporadic, but we just took that on board. Best advice here is to go with the flow!). The food was delicious and the atmosphere entirely chilled out. In fact, it felt a bit like we'd stepped back into the 70s, (other than seeing a couple of guests using lap tops in the bar/restaurant...) Not a bad thing, as we totally relaxed and forgot about work...

In the evenings we either stayed in the bar/restaurant, or ventured over the cliff-steps to some of the other bars/restaurants built onto the rocks - WOW. No other words, just WOW. You need to be fit and a TORCH is a MUST – thankfully my partner took one, as I was foolish and left mine at home thinking “it’ll be fine”. Seriously, you need a torch!

When we checked out, despite heading to the next part of our adventure which we were excited about, we were genuinely sad to leave. No where else that we travelled on Koh Phangan, Koh Tao or Koh Samui, had quite the same effect. This was our first destination in Thailand and as we suspected after our four days with The Sanctuary, nothing else would come up to scratch! Next time we come to Thailand, we'll be staying at the Sanctuary and we are already looking forward to it!

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jossy5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2010

this resort well worth seeking out ,tends to be booked out so book early,we got the ocean view villa and boy is it cool.the views superb
lots of room for four adults.warning a steep climb everyday but then thats your excercise.
food is really good and large portions, a little more expensive than other thai restaurants but it it is an island and im sure it costs more to get it landed there
Mike and the crew work hard and the place seems to run itself
facilities are modern and list of spa menu really good
i got a really nice massage on the breach WOW
Go there soon

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank auntymary
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

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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