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“5 days of paradise!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Sanctuary Thailand

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The Sanctuary Thailand
Had Tien Bay, Ko Phangan, Thailand (Formerly The Sanctuary Island Resort)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #24 of 92 Hotels in Ko Phangan
London
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“5 days of paradise!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

A friend and I stayed here on recommendation from her friends on our recent trip to Thailand. We had our own private bungalow complete with a mosquito net, which was very effective! On arrival we received complimentary ginger lemon drinks, which were amazing. I would say that the food was one of the highlights of our stay there, given that we had every meal! The best things were the maki rolls, spring rolls, vegetable tempura with mayo sauce (we had that about 5 times), all of the fresh fruit and side salads (lots of garlic!), the red and white house wines, the ice cream (mint chip and chocolate), white chocolate cheesecake, fruit & yogurt granola, tom yum soup, papaya salad, green curry and french toast. I did the yoga alchemy and anasa yoga classes, which were in a nice setting and different than what I'm used to, but still good. We did have cold showers the first night, but this was fixed first thing the next morning. All of the employees were so nice and called us by name every time we were in the restaurant or other common areas. The beach is pretty much private and there are multiple hammocks around too, which we made use of when it was raining for two of the days. We were there over New Year's Eve, and they had a Gold themed party that was nice. It was like waking up in paradise every day! Would definitely recommend and go back.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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352 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (61)
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013 via mobile

I was shocked to read a very negative review by andy mac! I know we are entitled to our own opinions but really the sanctuary to me was getting back to basics and appreciating your surroundings,the serenity! I loved not having a tv and braving the insects and ants to go to the toilet and shower outside! I even had a resident cat climb up the side of my bungalow and claim the space at my feet! The food was healthy but amazing, the staff especially Chard and Sam were incredibly helpful and referred to you by name and always looked after you, as for the people they are there to relax, detox and take advantage of the services the sanctuary has to offer! I cannot wait to go back in Dec! Love and light to all at the sanctuary! XO

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

The Sanctuary is my number one!
The Yogini House my number one bungalow, the food..... number one.... the staff... number one.... the people.... number one!
But:
The greatness of a place and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated (Gandhi)
I know its hard with the Thai people how can have a total different way of treating animals and even kill them.
To me it felt so weird that a Ohm Shanti, Hippy, Healing, Yogi, Ohm, Vegatarian, Us being one place like the Sanctuary let me watch every day how skinny dogs where searching for food!
Knowing that lots of food is going in de garbage every night!!!!
And the saying: I don't won't to hear anything about the dog story.....It will not help.... Its like this always....
Come on, You know every bit helps!
So if you ike to have your good feeling holiday at the Sanctuary or close eyes (so you won't see the searching hungry food and the stone throwing staff) or open your hart and do something.

Tell them to feed them up on the rocks at the Horizon every night!
Thats all being one!
I did what I could, by fixing three lady dogs, included one abortion and getting them al vaccinated. Facebook page for DONATION: Haad then dogs!

And Santuary your STILL MY NUMBER 1!
<3

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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, November 19, 2012
Hi Steffi,
thank you so much for your review and your kind words about The Sanctuary - we really enjoyed having you here!
And I was very touched by your care for the dogs while you were here. It is great that you have been proactive about their situation, as have other friends in the bay.
We are trying to find the balance here with the animal situation. As you and I have discussed, there is the issue of how the locals respond when there are too many dogs on the beach (ie they are killed); plus we have had problems in the past of dogs sleeping on our cushions in the restaurant, then the restaurant becoming infested with ticks and fleas, which are then passed on to customers.
There are many dogs and cats that The Sanctuary and Had Thien Resort look after, like Sparkle and Leo, but we simply cannot care for all the dogs that have recently arrived in the bay.Taking care of animals here means more than just feeding them, and taking full responsibility for every animal on the beach is just not possible for us. We do our best not to hurt any animals and we would not ever allow anyone to throw stones directly at a dog, but we will spray water and shoo them out to discourage them as much as possible. I know we must seem very hard-hearted at times, but this is a long, ongoing story and I'm afraid we cannot do more than this!
Best wishes to you Steffi, we hope to see you back again someday,
Tasha
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pai
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012 via mobile

I stayed at the Sanctuary and did the Weightloss programme which involved a strict raw veg and fruit diet, colonic irrigation programme and lots of exercise.
I loved it and got a lot out of it. I am recovering from an alcohol problem and found the support I was looking for. Victoria and Tasha, both professionals in dealing with addiction and alternative healing process which very much put me at ease. Both were delightful. My personal trainer Bob is now a personal friend even though he tried to physically destroy me. I had a couple of days at the end of my programme to experience the best vege menu I have ever tasted and the staff are super friendly. They have accommodation to suit all pockets and the setting is WOW.
Overall the place is not cheap but the standard of the highest quality and you get what you pay for and some. Try Randall's Regae yoga on a Friday, great fun.
I am looking forward to my return. I was a bird with a broken wing on arrival and left with an excellent first aid repair and a toolbox full of the right knowledge to sustain my well being.
From my heart, I thank the Sanctuary Crew.
Matt. Xx

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knutsford, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

This is an amazing place! Restaurant is the hub, really great food and gatherings, the beach just lovely lots to see very beautiful people, many travellers with lots of stories to tell, boats arriving and leaving no matter what the weather! Yoga in the mornings, massages, steam rooms and plunge pools, lots of gatherings at the tea temple to discuss - well all kinds of stuff as well as 1:1 time with the various practitioners. You should go ... its a real sanctuary - special people to mention ... Jamie, Victoria, Sebastian, Mike, Sam, Chard .... thank you!

Room Tip: Depends on what you want as you can go very cheap or bit more expensive - the older houses are large...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, October 30, 2012
Hi Marie
thank you so much for your review, and am so glad you enjoyed your stay with us (despite the rain inside your room!) I will make sure to pass on your kind words to all the crew you mentioned too.
Hope to see you again sometime!
Best wishes
Tasha
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Seoul, South Korea
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

We loved Sanctuary so much. It was so peaceful and beautiful, with a completely laid-back relaxing vibe. A week just disappeared for us, lazed into oblivion in hammocks and beach chairs.

The food was phenomenal, and by far my favorite thing about the resort. They have selections for every palate and dietary need. The staff was so friendly and helpful with everything. The property is beautiful and spread out through the jungle so you really feel most pleasantly isolated. There were constantly classes and workshops in things like yoga, mediation, and the like, for a nominal fee. We could have stayed forever.

Just a few things to be aware of, though. This place is indeed a get-away. It is accessible only by boat, and the wifi is even more unreliable than other places on the island, so it's not the place for a working holiday. If your goal is to get away from civilization, it's perfect!

The other thing to be aware of is their weekly all-night party. They play loud music literally all night (I think it didn't stop until almost noon the next day.) They do warn you about it, and provide ear plugs, but you should pretty much just resign yourself to being up all night anyway.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haleiwa, Hawaii
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

We just completed the one week detox and found The Sanctuary to be the ideal place for it. We have also toured many of the detox centers on Samui and are even more impressed with The Sanctuary after getting a feel for the alternatives. The sense of community is strong at The Sanctuary. It is easy to meet people. Since most guests stay for a week or more it is fun to get to know other people who are cleansing or just traveling through.

Moon, Bow, Joy and everyone at the Wellness Center was amazing. They were helpful and kind from start to finish. Moon has tons of experience guiding people through the detox programs they offer. Moon does not claim to have medical training but there is a lot of support from fellow fasters and practitioners at the Tea Temple.

The spa was delightful. I got a treatment everyday and was impressed every single time by all of the practitioners I had. I am a massage therapist so have pretty high standards and was not disappointed. There are a wide variety of alternative therapies and treatments available from practitioners at the Tea Temple.

Service at the restaurant could have been a little quicker. We always gave ourselves plenty of time when we wanted a meal. My only complaint about the food was that I signed up to fast! Next time I'm planning to spend more time eating. The menu is unreal! Everything we had from the detox menu was delicious. I want all of the recipes! Some of the better food I've had in Thailand.

I stayed in a Thai Style Bungalow which was perfect for me. My travel companions are afraid of bugs and geckos so would have preferred the completely enclosed air conditioned rooms. I left all the doors and windows open day and night. The mosquito net was enough for me to feel comfortable.

Tasha and Mike were amazing hosts. Tasha is a fantastic poet. We were lucky enough to catch two of the Open Mic nights. As others have said there is lots of talent around The Sanctuary!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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 Phangan, Thailand (Formerly The Sanctuary Island Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Phangan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Ko Phangan
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Phangan
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 
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Also Known As:
The Sanctuary Island Hotel Koh Phangan
The Sanctuary Island Spa

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