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“Second visit, like the place a lot!”

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Koyao Island Resort
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Ko Yao Noi
Certificate of Excellence
Moscow
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Second visit, like the place a lot!”
Reviewed 9 May 2009

We have just returned from our second 6-night visit to Koyao Island Resort (we first visited last August). As last year, we liked this resort very much. Some of the great things to note:
- beautiful, beautiful views! And not only the sea and small islands view which is mentioned in most of the reviews, but if you look around too - green mountains, palm trees, tropical flowers, and the villas themselves which match the environment very well
- very relaxing, laid back atmosphere. Especially since we visited duriung low season, the place, as well as the island in general, was very quiet and you could very much feel that you are in a rural environment and close to nature. Perfect for us, but may not be for everyone
- spacious, natural-style villas, great value for money at low-season prices
- lots of things to do - you can rent a motobike and explore Koh Yao, go on boat trips to beautiful nearby islands, go fishing, have a massage in the spa, and so on
- staff is friendly and helpful

Couple of things to note (not hotel's fault, just features of the environment)
- mosqitoes. While hotel staff do their best, providing repellents, nets etc., I still ended up badly bitten. Do make sure to use repellent in the evenings, and in the daytime if you are near the forest
- due to island's location near mainland, the sea water is not clear like in Phuket, and has small "sea mosqitoes" which bite (not very painful, but you can feel the stings when you swim). Better to swim in the pool, or take a trip to other islands located farther from the land

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank aa2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviewed 27 March 2009

My wife and I stayed at the Koyao Island Resort for five nights and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. It is simply a very relaxing place to stay, with friendly staff and fun bungalow-esque rooms.

Arrival - You must take a boat (private or ferry) to get to the island the resort is on; we chose to take a longboat ferry from Bang Rong pier outside of Phuket. Cost 120 baht per person and took a little over one hour. If you are in a hurry there are a couple of speedboat ferries during the day as well. The longboat was a fun, interesting experience, as it was also used to transport all manner of goods and motorbikes to the island.

After a short tuk-tuk ride from the pier to the island, the hotel staff greeted us, checked us in, provided a summary of the resort and activities, and showed us to our room. Overall, very friendly and pleasant, and neither too brief nor too long of an experience.

Room - There are around 15 open air bungalows in the resort, and all of them have views of the sea. There are two or three that are tucked way in the back of the resort and have more of a limited view and bit more employee maintenance traffic; we stayed in one of these rooms.

We really enjoyed the room itself - the living room is open air, with plenty of comfortable chairs and couches, coffee maker, and a mini fridge stocked with water and other provisions. The bedroom can be closed in completely and locked for privacy, but is still open air at the top. The bed was comfortable and inviting, and had the requisite mosquito net around it, which is certainly needed due to the open air room. The bathroom was standard, but there are two showers, one indoors, and one out in the private walled garden. A very peaceful room - not a TV to be found, which was perfect.

Every evening, hotel staff would set down pleasant mosquito-repelling candleboxes around our room while we were away at dinner. Yes, there are plenty of mosquitoes at night, but it is an open air bungalow in the tropics and is to be expected. With the candleboxes, mosquito repellent, and mosquito net over the bed, mosquitoes were not a big issue.

Overall, we loved this room, though the particular one we stayed in was further back from the sea than the others. That was not such a big deal, but there was an employee maintenance tent next door that made things a bit too noisy and busy.

Hotel Grounds - The hotel is situated right on the sea and has a most amazing view of the famous karst island formations in the distance. We were blown away by this view; pictures cannot do it proper justice. There is an infinity pool right in the middle of the grounds that offers the ability to swim and take in the view. The hotel grounds are well maintained, containing a nice mix of open space and palm trees.

Food/Drink - The food at the resort was good, but never really exceptional. Breakfast was buffet-style with mostly American and European offers (lots of pastries, omelets to order). Lunch and dinner offered a mix of, once again, American and European entrees, plus an additional nice selection of Thai dishes. We tried a mix of both and were generally pleased; quality was good, but our best meals were to be had at local restaurants on the island, both in terms of quality and better price.

There is a small bar directly across from the restaurant and office; it was only open during the evenings. It was sometimes difficult to flag someone down to tend the bar; I think due to the small scale of the resort, the bartender has multiple duties during his or her evening.

Activities - Echoing other reviews, Koyao Resort is truly relaxing and laid back. There is plenty to do, but you really have to want a slow paced, relaxing vacation if you come here. We spent a lot of time just enjoying the sun, pool, and hotel grounds, and it seemed that many others did the same. However, we did also check out the island, visiting the one small town on it for shopping, etc. Bicycles and mopeds can be rented from the resort to explore as well. However, most of our excursions were by boat - the resort offered numerous half-day and full-day adventures.

We took two full-day excursions, one to the karst islands that can be seen in the distance (they are a national park), and another to Egg Island. On both occasions, we had a full day of boating and exploring - this included a guide from the resort and a local longtail boat captain, water/sodas, snacks, lunch, and even an elaborate fruit plate on the trips back to the resort. These were personal tours - just my wife and I, our guide, and the boat captain. I must say, it was amazing to take day trips in this manner compared to the usual group tours we had been on. While our guide (Seu) made sure we got to visit all of the interesting places in the national park, ultimately, we could decide where to go, what to do, and how long to stay. For example, we enjoy snorkeling, so we were free to spend more time doing that than just lounging on the secluded beaches. Not only was it an amazing way to explore the islands around the resort, it was a spectacular value. At other resorts we stayed at, personal day tours would cost 30,000-50,000 baht; the tours at Koyao were a small fraction of that. Seu was an incredible guide and one of the friendliest people we met during our visit to Thailand, which given the friendliness of the country, is really saying something.

Pros

-Amazing scenery
-Friendly staff
-Decent food
-Very relaxing vibe
-Spectacular resort-guided tours
-Fun, open air rooms

Cons

-Inconsistent bartending!
-Rooms to the back of the resort have a more limited sea view and more employee traffic

Things to Consider

-Great place to stay if you want to relax
-If you are looking for wild nightlife or non-stop activity, this is not the spot for you

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LunaMH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Zealand
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2009

We stayed here the first few days of our honeymoon. I'm from NZ and have travelled in Switzerland, Germany and parts of Italy, as well as australia and NZ. I'm not particularly experienced with writing resort reviews, however we did stay at three further resorts in Thailand and noe of them matched this place.

We organised our own transfer from Phuket (which was much cheaper than that offered by the resort, even though we caught a speedboat, not longtail ferry). The staff were very friendly and helpful on arrival. We were initially given a bungalow towards the back of the section, but on request were changed to a seafront one, which was stunning. The bungalows are nice and big, with several showers, a bedroom and a generous sitting area. They were probably built some 5-10 years ago so do not have all the most modern fittings etc, but they are still very tidy, and very well cleaned.

The meals at the resort were slightly more expensive than outside, but this is what you come to expect from resorts. Did served free thai tea and sweets every afternoon, which was a nice touch. They also put on a free cocktail night for us while we were there, which was lots of fun and a nice chance to mingle with the staff and other guests.

The beach at the resort was great. In thailand you get used to average beaches, or beautiful but crowded ones. This was a lovely private beach.

The island itself was great, really lends itself to some fun motorbike exploring missions, as well as renting a kayak and paddling out to a deserted island.

We had a really great time here, thanks again.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DaniboyNewZealand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chiang Mai, Thailand
1 review
Reviewed 1 March 2009

Koyao Island Resort: We found a charming beach resort with only a few rooms, all of them with direct sea view and beachfront. We particularly liked the service of the staff but also from the hotel manager Bas, to be noted are Mr. Sod, Herman and the young restaurant manager (I forgot his name). After a while they know your habits (like extra milk in the coffee) and it is a relaxing atmosphere.

Some of the earlier travelers writers must have been quite miserable ...but as usual "what goes around, comes around". We found a lot of happy guests staying with us.

Food, in particular the seafood (blue crab) and the Thai dishes (lab moe and fresh vegetables (from the island?) we loved, as well as occasional sin, the mousse au chocolate and their various ice creams!!! Romantic dinner private with candles on the lawn was best liked by us, but even better was the private BBQ on an island nearby.

The pool allows you seeing the most dramatic views on to islands - the pictures so famous for Thailand. Their website "Koyao” have enough pictures but it was better than that. Rooms are generous and allow capturing the nature around you. You are able to see the sunrise through the blinds and fall back asleep, - still with enough privacy - unique. Falling asleep by the sound of the waves and being awakened by the birds. Some of the rooms or villas one should say cater also for families with kids, and we could witness a healthy mix of guests. Super kids friendly!

We went snorkeling to a small island and saw Nemo family and its neighbour! Also the biking around the island is very cool to do.

Worth to be noted is also their spa, with a very qualified massages (they have a signature massage, which name i can not remember but ask for it - Khun Nok).

Garden looked a bit dry but that is the downside if does not rain that much.

The resort was fully booked with a lot of repeat guests...so not only us who liked it.

Well, we will miss it and sure come back again. Highly recommended!! Worth every penny or baht.



p.s.
They showed us on the way back their newest overnight experience - a tent called Nature lodge or so which is about 10 minutes by boat in secluded cove, all alone with your guide preparing one the seafood BBQ of Mr. Sod from the resort staf. The tent is very spacious and four poster bed and seperate bathroom with an inside and outside shower in midst of coconut palm garden. Hugh fireplace and total privacy with an outlook to a nearby island. Quite an experience. Worth a try, but only next time.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank aphro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2009

My husband and I stayed at the resort for our honeymoon and left early due to the rude management and awful attitude of the staff in the restaurant! The actual place is truly beautiful but the managers Bass and Herman totally spolit it for us. It started when we went for a snack at the restaurant and the staff were so rude asking for some sugar for my coffee got met with a glare-3 staff members stood there laughing at guests in the restaurant and making rude comments when people tried to get their attention. We let this go but the same thing happened in the bar in the evening (which totally lacked atmosphere and you felt bad and loud for having a conversation) We asked for a few drinks and were met again with a sigh and to be told they did not have the ingredients for them. The final straw came at 9.30pm (stated in the hotel info pack that last orders are 10:30pm) when we went to the restaurant for dinner and received awful service and were told they could not serve a desert as the kitchen was shut. When my husband asked to speak to the manager they told us they did not have the ingredients anyway as they had not been to the market. We then took this up with the general manager Bass who did not even apolgise and seemed to think he was generous giving us a scoop of ice cream.,He then proceeded to stick up for his staff. We decided to leave the next morning as we were so upset that on our honeymoon we were treated like this and that the management were so arrogant they done nothing about it. To prove how childish they were they did not even say goodbye and when we saw them the following evening in a local bar they ignored us when we said hello. TOTAL DISAPPOINTMENT AND WASTE OF MONEY.AVOID AVOID AVOID!!!!!!

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
8 Thank saffy23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2009

From the website the place looked everything we wanted. Unspoilt, remote and basic, but quality. Ideally I wanted the backpacker experience but without other backpackers, but instead the basic things done well e.g food, cleanliness, no loud youths etc.

However, when we arrived we immediately realised that 5+ years ago it might have met our requirements, but since then has been left to fall into a state of disrepair and apathy.

The room/hut was in a very poor state of repair and generally had some suspect stains to most soft furnishings, dirty and cracked sanitary fittings, and without being pedantic just felt dirty i every respect.

Anyway, we decided to 'go with it' and embrace the experience and re-live our travelling days. This sentiment lasted until we got to the restaurant for lunch, and were told we could sit at the table of our choice (despite the restaurant being empty) for a reason that still escapes me. The food we ordered was then of very low quality and served with a snarl.

The views and location were beautiful, and if someone took over the resort and gave it some (an awful lot of) TLC then maybe. Until then, unless you want the real backpacker experience but at 50 times the cost then steer well clear.

We stayed one night and left, with the hope that we might eventually ge a refund. Refund or not, we weren't going to stay.

  • Liked — Views out to sea were beautiful
  • Disliked — Dirty, run down, poor food and extremely rude service in restaurant
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank davidjoanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2008

This property clearly resonates most with a "niche" market, such as my husband and me. We absolutely loved everything about Koyao Island Resort and wish we had longer to stay there. Unlike the last reviewer, we specifically look for properties such as this -- unique properties built to blend into a fantastically beautiful area as naturally as possible. Were one to actually construct an all-out resort on Koh Yao Noi, it would be horrifically contrived. Koh Yao is a laid-back island that is yet untouched by true tourism -- which is a main reason my husband and I chose it. We weren't disappointed.

Getting to the island from Phuket was easy -- we took a taxi to Bangrong pier and were aboard a longtail "ferry" boat within minutes. Cost was 250 baht for both of us ($7.50), much cheaper than private transfers arranged through the resort. Aboard the ferry with us were mostly other islanders and only one other tourist couple who were arriving to the island without having a hotel booked. Taxi trucks were waiting at the pier for ferry arrivals, and we shared a truck with the other couple to our resort for them to see if there was a room available -- lucky for them there was, and they decided to stay at Koyao Resort as well.

We were greeted with a welcome drink and were immediately impressed by the view from the resort. The photos really don't do this area justice -- Phang Nga bay is simply breathtaking. Upon check-in we were shown to an upgraded family bungalow -- it was even better than we were hoping! Not just in size (quite large), but in furnishings and a glorious open-air bathroom. The mosquito netting around the bed was actually quite romantic, and neither my husband nor I had any trouble with bugs or mosquitoes while we were there. At nightfall the staff lights mosquito coils in each bungalow and around the property, which seem to work well (and also smell nice). We also appreciated the front "roll down" walls, because one morning they allowed us to awake to the most glorious flame-red sunrise that either of us have ever seen -- would have never noticed were we in a true hotel room with curtains drawn.

In terms of hotel amenities, we rented a scooter to explore the island and also enjoyed a lovely Thai massage that was by far the best we had in Thailand. In terms of excursions, they're quite expensive through the hotel so we booked through Thai Hideaway instead (http://www.thaihideaway.com/).

The restaurant was also fantastic -- breakfast, lunch and dinner. Koyao Resort even arranged for a birthday cake for me, and sang to me! I had told them it was my birthday upon check in, but hadn't told them whether or not we'd even be eating dinner at the restaurant on my actual birthday (there are also several good restaurants right outside the resort on the main road) -- but they prepared a cake for me anyway... I was so surprised and delighted.

Regarding the other restaurants/bars outside the resort -- we ate at Para Bar the first night and their cocktails are amazing, as is their seafood BBQ (which is basically a Korean-style BBQ where you cook the meat/seafood at your table) -- SO GOOD. And a great staff -- my husband plaid Snooker (billiards) with the owner and we had the best time. And all the tables have Connect Four games at them -- very fun.

Everything about our stay on Koh Yao Noi was idyllic -- and I'd highly recommend it to those of you who also look for unique and nature-oriented destinations and accommodations.

  • Liked — Views, villa, food, Thai massage, staff, lobby computer w/ Internet, location
  • Disliked — nothing!
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Eureka01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Koyao Island Resort

Property: Koyao Island Resort
Address: 24/2 Moo 5, Ko Yao Noi 82160, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Phang Nga Province > Ko Yao Noi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ko Yao Noi
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Yao Noi
#2 Spa Hotel in Ko Yao Noi
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Ko Yao Noi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Koyao Island Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our villas are built in the original Andaman Sea - gypsy style which is optimal for comfort and for the environment. We have used unique local resources with a traditional background while still maintaining, if not surpassing, all modern standards. The mangrove palm leaf roofs of our villas breathe and do not store heat, and air conditioners are definitely not needed.All villas have an undisturbed, spectacular sea view of the famous Phang Nga Bay and can be opened up to the stars at night - and in the morning the rising sun shines onto the beds. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Koyao Island Hotel Koh Yao Noi
Hotel Koyao Island

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