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“This is the place to visit when you have seen it all...”

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Koyao Island Resort
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Ko Yao Noi
Certificate of Excellence
Stockholm
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“This is the place to visit when you have seen it all...”
Reviewed 19 July 2009

As a family with small children, who have seen and experienced most parts of the world, and gotten tired of the ordinary 5 star luxury resorts, we now wanted to experience "the real thing". After a thorough research on the web our eyes landed on Koyao Island Resort. Our family are the kind of travellers who like to find a base and from this base do various trips. We decided directly that this was the place to go and we were bold and got a very fine deal for a four week stay at the resort.

It was magical to arrive at the resort, not by the usual means of transportation, but by a longtail boat managed by fishermen and getting ashore on the beach of the resort welcomed by the staff and management.

We directly felt that this was a perfect decision on our part and we got a feeling of being at home rather than beinga guest at a traditional resort.

The staff and management always had an extra minute taking care of our needs and wishes and made also our children feel accepted and liked.

Being a resort which clings to the words "close to nature", it was fantastic to learn that this was not just words - but 100 % true. We had booked a Deluxe Villa 15 meters from the beach and in front of the bungalow magnificent coconut palmtrees provided us with a nice shade during the hot hours of the day. The bungalow is open to nature. No closed walls or doors, outdoor shower, open air living room gave us a feeling of being secure but still very much in connection with the nature around us. This made it natural to see gecko lizards in the living room or even crabs in the bathroom.

Being a resort of only 15 bungalows there was always a sense of privacy and seclusion, yet not deserted. We had the beach to ourselves and the facilities in the resorts were not crowded at any time, giving the staff the full opportunity to pamper the whole family, doing hair arrangements for our three year old daughter, receiving lovely spa treatments within an hour after booking, having our favourite table at the restaurant both for lunch and dinner which by the way always were perfectly made.

The excursions were also privately arranged with experienced guides employed by the resort. We always were ahead of the big Phuket tourist boats making our excursions feel that they were arranged for us and only us, and this of course also made the sense of being close to nature even stronger.

The management, Bas and Herman, had both a very professional and friendly way of "hanging" with the guests and it felt right away that they were there for us. We got the impression that the staff enjoyed working at the resort and that made of course the service even better.

We would like to thank everyone working at the resort, from housekeeping to the restaurant staff, spa staff, garden staff, front desk and the management, not forgetting the fantastic guides! Hats off to you all!

As Arnold Schwarzenegger said in Terminator - We'll be back... already in 2010 for another long stay.

The Johansson family, Staffan, Eva-Lotta, Edward and Cornelia

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FiaStockholm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 July 2009

We arrived for a 10 Day stop and were bown away by the views and the location. We went to the beach and kids went into the water, tide was low and they saw a rock sticking out. They went to it and ny 6 year old trod on a sea urchin, I rushed in to get i himout and cut my feet and lost a big toe nail in the process, after being treated they then told us there is only one place you can go at low tide. Which after that yhey started telling the other guests when they arrived. After the first night our sons got up and were covered in bites and I checked the bed and found blood filled fleas. They claimed their fumigator was broken, and changed all the matresses and soft furnishing. This was not an isolated case as when other guests saw our kids they found the same bites on them. Any way we tried to get on and had nice trips and enjoyed them immensly. The staff were excellent with the children. We were eating at the restaurant and initially the food was good, we then had a few poor meals and noticed the quality was variable, we talked to some Americans who had been there before and they had come back because of the excellent food they had last time and they had now started eating at the restaurant down the road as the food was so poor now, we found out that thye have lost the excellent chef who was there on there last visit. SO expect to have many items not available, get 5 Tiger prawns one day and ont 3 the next, they could not do a Banana split for the children for 4 days because they had no bananas! Also there is only one menu for lunch and evening meal so don't expect a great variety to put an end to the food on the last night the had a new nenu out and I choose the Newyork Sirloib steak as I had been eating mostly Thai food and it was so tough I could not chew through it. The pool is excellent and we had great fun in it. We had such high hopes for our first holiday in Thailand and on balance we would not return to the resort, which is a shame as the location and staff are excellent and the villas(we had a family villa with the wonderful wooden bath and outside shower) My wife loved the Spa and had some wobderful treatments there. You must also hire a motorbike and explore the Island , great fun! Maybe we were just unlucky but I expected insects around but not to be inside the beds eating the children. I hope they sort things out as I saw the manager interviewing a new chef and if they get their food back up the the high standards the price they charge dictates and they sort out the bugs in the beds it would really be a superb resort. Also to let you know the Americans we befriended will not be going back either, and the general concencious of all there was the food was so inconsistant they were going out aswell.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ChillimanUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mackay, Australia
Level Contributor
59 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2009

My husband & I stayed here for 3 nights in March & it was so beautiful. We had a late flight in from Sydney so stayed at a hotel near the Phuket airport & then in the morning made our way to Bang Rong Pier for the ferry service - which was all very straight forward and only took about an hour. Then easy taxi service from Koy Yao pier to the resort.

The staff were always so wonderfully friendly & helpful. The manager Bas was great & had a great rapport with all the Thai staff. They served tea & sweets every afternoon near the restaurant which was a really great idea - and the tea itself was beautiful (lemongrass, ginger etc).

Our room was AMAZING. In an ideal world it would be stunning to live the seaside life in this sort of thatched bungalow - and with all the mod cons! (No tv but we did not miss it one single bit). Morning sunrises from our room were beautiful and equally amazing was watching the evening tropical storms that rolled in.

The food in the restaurant was delicious! Koyao Set & Massaman curry, I am still craving! The spa was great too, and the all the ladies working there were so gentle & lovely.

All in all we would stay here again. 3 nights we found to be enough as it was just so relaxing and peaceful. Plenty of places to walk to, beautiful beach, moped rides around the island, great boat trips & snorkelling to the islands. 3 nights felt like a week!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Aussie_Pearl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moscow
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
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
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
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    • 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
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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 Top resorts Hotel in Ko Yao Noi
#2 Spa Hotel in Ko Yao Noi
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Yao Noi
#3 Luxury 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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