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“Tries to be a 5 star but it just isn't ....” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa

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Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   88 Moo.7 Phunai, Ko Yao Yai 83000, Thailand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Ko Yao Yai
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Tries to be a 5 star but it just isn't ....”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2014

My partner and I stayed at Santhiya over New Year's Eve for 4 nights and were looking forward to enjoying the paradise which it looks to be. Unfortunately for us, it wasn't quite the paradise we were hoping for. The hotel portrays itself to be a 5 star establishment competing with the likes of the Six Senses Hideaway and while the pool villas are spectacular, the service just makes the whole experience feel like a 2 star establishment. The staff have no concept of 5 star service, in the restaurant we were kept waiting for 1 hour just for an appetizer to arrive on a daily basis, the drinks service was beyond appalling and the overall attitude of the staff needs to change [if the manager of Santhiya is reading this - I suggest you train your staff wherever the Shangri La Hotel chain trains its staff as they really understand 5 star service]. On several occasions our toilet didn't work and we were kept waiting for hours before someone came to fix it. Whilst I appreciate that the hotel is on a small island, if it sells itself as a 5 star hotel and charges the prices of a 5 star hotel, then toilets should not be malfunctional! Moreover, the food in the restaurant was not great, it was the only hotel in Thailand that we stayed in where we had to pay for drinking water with our meal and overall, the hotel is just out to rip off its guests in any way it can because of the remote location [it's the only hotel I've ever stayed in which wanted to charge guests for a laundry bag!].
Please don't waste your money by staying at Santhiya, do yourself a favour and stay somewhere like the Six Senses where you will be made to feel welcome and you will not be exploited.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sukomol, Deputy Managing Director at Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Dear Sweet_Taboo21,

Greetings from Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa – Traditional Thai-style luxury beach resorts on tropical island.

First of all we would like to apologize for not making your holidays memorable while was staying with us, secondly thank you very much for your feedback which it will drive us to improve tremendously.

We have now made an effort in training our Team members intensively and we’ve found an improvement gradually day by day. We again would like to thank you your constructive comment which will be a good lesson for our team to keep practicing.

Should there be an opportunity take you to re-visit us in the future please let us know as we’re confident we can make your next holidays happy and enjoyable with good memory.

Once again thank you very much to spend your holidays with us and please give us a chance to serve you in your future trip to prove ourselves.

Truly Yours,

Danny K Sukomol
Deputy Managing Director.
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426 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (118)
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Barcelona, Spain
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

Without any doubt, we loved our villa. The room was magnificent, as well as the huge swimming pool overlooking the Andaman sea. Apart from this, the Resort is all under construction, which means that you will be awaken at the noise of construction going on. We are not at all light sleepers, but on our first day, at 8 am, the machines (yellow crane included) were working at full volume. Too bad...We were moved to another villa.

The staff is friendly and helpful, but lacks training. Worse of it, is that you can hardly make yourself understand as they don't speak English. The service at the restaurant is not professional. One night we got our food before our drinks and bread, another we never got our bread or napkins... As for the food, we found it very good (except little choice for breakfast) but didn't like to have a set dinner every night (4 starters, 4 main courses and 2 desserts to choose from). We would rather have a buffet or a la carte dining.

We used the Spa several times, and greatly appreciated the professional treatments. In spite of this, the facilities were not up to a 5 star Resort, as the Spa was located in a villa, exactly the same as the ones for guests, using the bedroom as the treatment room. Maybe, it was provisional...

Lastly, and for the rates they are charging, it is not acceptable that they only schedule two transfers a day from Phuket. It is only a 20 minute ride by boat, but you may end up waiting for hours unless you are ready to pay their very expensive private transfer.

It may become an excellent Resort, their villas are amazing, but this is not enough and there is a long way to go through.

Room Tip: Ask for a room far away from numbers 1209 to 1212 (next to the construction works)
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sukomol, Deputy Managing Director at Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 26, 2014
Dear XenaBCN,

Greetings from Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa – Traditional Thai-style luxury beach resorts on tropical island.

First of all I would like to say thank you very much to spend your holidays with us and for your feedback that we received from you.

We truly appreciate that you liked our accommodation and thank you so much indeed for your constructive comment.

We’re very sorry for the noise disturbance from the interior work which we’re confident to be completed in April 2014. And soon our Spa Village which consists of 9 villas will be opening at the same time.

About transfer with Santhiya's Speed Boat we are pleased to inform you that effective form 01st Feb. 2014, we are adding 6 times a day, instead of 4 times a day, 3 times from Property to Phuket and 3 times from Phuket to Property, additionally still we offer a private transfer for very late flight or emergency for more information please check our website WWW.SANTHIYA.COM.

Looking forward to see you again and serve you in near future to feel our gracious hospitality like our very especial villas and Once again thank you very much to spend your holidays with us.

Truly Yours,

Danny K Sukomol
Deputy Managing Director.
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Wien
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

We stayed at the Santhiya Resort & Spa Koh Yao Yai for four days and felt being in paradise. The private villa was very spacious (150 sqm), had a stunning infinity pool overlooking the sea, beautiful wood carvings on all villa elements, a huge open air bath, a separate bath tub and the most cosy bed we slept in during our hole journey.

The resort is quite new and they really do their best to provide their guests with any possible service, The breakfast buffet is small but provides very delicious dishes,. Further, the dinner menue is a choice between western and thai cuisine setting with three choices for each of the three courses. We always enjoyed the food provided. A small remark is that the wine list could provide more varieties and additional information on the wines provided (as there is no sommelier present at the resort).

All resport facilities are extremely beautiful (huge pool, water fall at the pool, beautiful beach, perfect transfer service to the Phuket marina, perfect guide for private tours to phang Nga, Koh Phi Phi etc).

We felt like being in paradise and enjoyed any single moment at the resort and, in particular, in our room. The rooms provide the highest privacy possible. Neither the pools nor the terraces can be viewed from any other room/terrace or pool areas.

If you search for the perfect holiday on a more private island than Krabi or Phuklet, you should definitely consider staying the the Santhiya!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sukomol, Deputy Managing Director at Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 20, 2014
Dear Huibuh666,

Greetings from Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa – Traditional Thai-style luxury beach resorts on tropical island.

Thank you very much for spending your holidays at our Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa, we will definitely consider the suggestion that we received from you and will expand our wine list to select from and more information on that as we are adding more rooms in April 2014.

We are glad to hear that you did enjoy your every moment at our gracious hospitality with Signature dish menu especially prepared by our executive Chef.

Once again thank you very much to spend your holidays with us and looking forward to welcome you in your near future trip.


Truly yours,

Danny K Sukomol
Deputy Managing Director
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Silkeborg, Denmark
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

The teakwood poolvillas are outstanding - a true private paradise and topbrilliant service! But why does the food&beverage quality not match? It is really sad when you think of all the other good things here - but we won't be coming back unless the attitude is changed dramatically, especially because you are bound to eat here every night as the other beach restaurants are even worse!! A few examples out of several disappointing moments: Tasteless Tom Yam Koong Soup with the intestinal string still in the prawns (=NOT gourmet). No Creme Brulée available even though it is on the menu card; Same thing with coconut shake, but the waiter waited almost ½ an hour before he told us (=NOT proffessional service). First time we tried roomservice the icecream was completely melted; second time we were forced to go to the room to order our dinner after the restaurant manager refused to serve 3 x spaghetti (although we offered to sit outside the restaurant area), due to the fact that it is a 'set menu' - which has the same dishes every night. He even claimed that we couldn't get spaghetti as roomservice menu, which it turned out that we could....like often before, our order was wrongly percepted (e.g. one should be more spicy but all 3 were the same etc.). We wanted to reclaim the extra money we had to pay (roomservice food is almost double price), but never got the chance. IT IS SIMPLY NOT GOOD ENOUGH if you want to compete with the many many other thai resorts in the Phuket area - please...do something...instead of investing millions in expansion of this intimate resort, get a decent chef + restaurant manager. Especially with that Price level!

Room Tip: Make sure to order a pool villa - you will regret it if not
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 3 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.
Sukomol, Deputy Managing Director at Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 20, 2014
Dear Flemming Jensen,

Greetings from Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa – Traditional Thai-style luxury beach resorts on tropical island.

Mr. Jensen, first of all I would like to say thank you very much to spend our valued holidays with us and for your constructive feedback that will motivate our team member to improve ourselves, secondly thank you for your feedback about our F&B team, we will take your feedback as a study case and will focus on what guest would like to have.., according to their needs.

As you mention about set menu that we offer to our guests during dinner time, actually that a special signature dishes especially prepared by our executive Chef to select from on selected days, additionally Now onwards on some day we do offer a BBQ and a la carte Menu as well hope it will help our valued guests more option to select from..,

Sorry for this time that we didn’t meet your requirement but I will promise with you for your future trip all will be perfect as our accommodation and top brilliant service and we are already focusing on our F&B to make sure all in order. Next time please be our guest once again and we’re more than happy to offer you Thai Cooking class to learn how to make Tom Yum Krung and we’re sure that you would have very good experience in Thai cooking class.

Once again thank you very much to Stay with us and for your feedback that will help us to improve

Truly Yours,

Danny K Sukomol
Deputy Managing Director.
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Dublin, Ireland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014

I really didn't like this hotel. The hotel is advertised on their website as 'eco-luxury resort comprises 30 teakwood stand-alone pool villas'. That description is not correct - there are many more than 30 rooms and we were allocated a room in a three story building. Further we had booked a room with a garden view, but when we were allocated a room there was no view at all, only a wooden wall a meter from the window that was placed to hide the building site beyond. I called down to reception to have the room changed and this wasn't dealt with by the hotel very well or in a timely manner.
I was then presented with a room directly above on the next floor, which overlooked the building site. The manager argued that it was a garden view, but there was no garden, a couple wild trees, but not a garden and we and we had not anticipated that the resort was still under construction. Finally, we were moved to a room with a sea view, which was lovely, but all the good was taken out of our stay by our initial welcome. The rooms are magnificent and the views stupendous (if you get one) but I thought the public areas in this hotel were really lacking. The photos on the website do not reflect the premises very accurately. The view of the pool overlooking the sea as advertised on their website is not a public space but a private superior pool villa. The public pool is actually on top of a cement car park and is not well situated. The waterfall is not a feature of hotel and can only really be seen when in the pool area. The pool itself was dirty with foliage and debris floating on top of the water and it has no atmosphere, swim-up bar, or poolside service.
The hotel buildings are carved out of teak wood which is beautifully, but everything else is ugly cement which interferes with the ambience. Guests have to walk past the entrance of the cement car park to get between the all of the rooms and the public facilities.
I was also astonished for a 5 star hotel for 3 bags of rubbish to be left by the entrance in full view, for 2 days!
To access any of the rooms guests have to take a shuttle bus up the very, very steep hill. It is like a pickup truck with a timber carriage added on the back. (I hope they keep those breaks well maintained) The driveway to and from all the villas and rooms is under construction, with teams of builders constructing walls. The entire driveway up the hill is also ugly cement.
I found the service in the hotel very poor. We requested a table on the first night in the main restaurant with the beautiful views, but it was not available. So we booked immediately for the following night and were advised that our table was secure, but when we arrived for our reservation the following evening we were told that there was no availability in the front restaurant and all the tables were reserved. After insisting we were seated in the main restaurant but many of the tables around us never were never occupied during the evening - there seemed to be no logic to their service, were they keeping the good tables in case any of their valued guests arrived for dinner? Having settled into our leisurely meal the waiter arrived to take away our starter plates. When we explained that we were not finished, we were told that the main courses were ready and the unfinished starters were whisked away anyway. Further only a limited set menu is available in the evening with no choice but the set 3 courses of either Thai or Western cuisine, not the al a carte which we would have expected in a five star hotel.
The hotel is unsuitable for anyone that stays up after 11pm, the bar closes and the board game that we were enjoying was taken away at 11.15pm, seemingly it was time for bed!
Throughout the public area's guests are expected to leave the shoes outside (as is commonplace in Thailand) but there is no shelving to place your shoes on, so to access these areas, one has to trod over a pile of flip-flops! In other hotels and restaurants in Thailand where guests are requested to remove their shoes, a staff member usually places them on tidy unobtrusive shelves and provides you with a numbers card to collect them on departure. My boyfriend accidently left his sandals on the shuttle bus when returning to our room, but when we went to find them they were nowhere to be found. On reporting it to the reception, no effort was made to locate them, we were not only very disappointed with the service but as he only brought the one pair on holiday with him he had no choice but to use a pair of the hotels complementary flip-flops which were too small - thankfully we were returning home the following day.
The hotel is advertised as being 'conveniently situated to the airport (...) just 30 minutes away from Phuket by our speed boat. Start your getaway with picturesque scenery coupled with the fresh sea air in ***your very own speed boat transfer***. Transfers are available upon your requests.' - This description is misleading. We booked this hotel for the last two nights of our stay because it was advertised as 'convenient'. We were flying from Phuket international at 8.50pm and had intended leaving the hotel after lunch. Instead we were to discover after arrival that the shuttle speedboat only departed the hotel twice daily in the morning, so unless we wanted to pay for a 'private' speedboat at a cost of circa €270 (one-way), that we had to use the very limited shuttle service and arrive at the airport 6 hours before our flight (not so convenient after all!) Yes, as the hotel point out the shuttle times are on their website if one reads thoroughly and does not take the homepage description at face value.
I booked a massage in the spa, the spa is not really much of a spa but a room in a poolside villa. The massage was ok, but was €50 which again I didn’t mind paying for a great experience but it was only mediocre. Top tip... the beach hotel next door charges €11.50 for an excellent massage- one of the best in Thailand!
Further, when we arrived at the hotel on the public boat and were charged a whopping €27 to travel 20 minutes down the road by hotel transfer which would ordinarily have been a few euros. We didn’t mind an inflated price for a convenient service, but that price (which we were unaware of in advance) was nothing short of a rip-off.
The total cost of stay at this hotel for 2 nights, 2 dinners and 1 lunch with the above transport was €935 for 2 people sharing a "garden view" room. This did not include anything extravagant by way of drinks etc...
We were looking forward to leaving Thailand on a high after a fantastic holiday and didn't mind paying for it, but instead felt cheated by misleading advertising and poor service and a building site for views.
I could not recommend this hotel at all, there is much, much better hotels at half the cost within easy access to the airport – try the Pullman Arcadia, Naithon Beach, that was excellent. For those wanting to get away from the crowds, this hotel is remote but your trapped in the hotel, there is nothing else.

Room Tip: There is no garden, do not book a garden view!
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sukomol, Deputy Managing Director at Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 18, 2014
Dear Ms. Sabina Murphy,

Greetings from Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa - Traditional Thai Style luxury beach resort on tropical Island!

First of all we must express our sincerest thanks for your feedback which we will definitely share with our team to improve in such area you've raised up to meet up guest's satisfaction. Please allow us clarifying you point by point of your feedback as follows;

- Advertisement : we actually have stated clearly on our website there are 30 pool villa and supreme deluxe 24 rooms on the front page
- Construction : we’re sorry that our new building will be completed in this coming April 2014
- Room view : Most of our room-type are Sea view with only a few rooms are Garden view. As you know we’re located set amidst among tropical environment so our garden is not man-made garden but naturally. We however will ask our landscaping team to make it more tropical garden
- Gigantic swimming Pool: its size is 1,500 Sqm with a Waterfall, so it looks huge but we have well-decorated with some plants which some of them would take time but its back ground is the jungle so guests can feel swimming in the big lagoon and a side is mountain.
- Table at Dining: we’re very sorry that we strict on time reservation if guests came behind the table reservation we are necessary to release to other guests because we were full house at that time.
- Speed boat : we will increase number of time departure from 2 to 3 times a day effective 01 Feb 2014
- Set Menu : we have selected most of our menu signature and compose as a set menu consists of Thai Set Menu and Western Set Menu and each set menu we do provide 3-4 choices. Moreover every day we provide different Set Menu for the A la carte still available in some days
- Spa: Hotel rates and outside rates are differ in location, ambiance , cost of investment.

Once again thank you very much to stay with us and for your feedback

At last but not a least please give us a chance in your next future trip if you will come to surrounding area to prove our self.


Truly Yours,

Danny K Sukomol
Deputy Managing Director.
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Munich, Germany
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

My wife and I have seen several places and been to various luxury hotels, but this is definitely the most beautiful spot on earth. Everything was absolutely perfect! The food, the service (thanks for all Viren), the people, the beach and especially the accommodation. We can highly recommend the pool villas - absolutely stunning! The island is quiet and peaceful, so if you are looking for a relaxing time, then this is the perfect choice. Beware of the post-holiday depression when you return home.....

Best wishes
Timon

Room Tip: They are building further villas at the top of the mountain. Best to get into contact with the reser...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sukomol, Deputy Managing Director at Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear Mr.Timon Carroll,

Very warm Greetings from Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa - Traditional Thai Style luxury beach resort on tropical Island!

First of all I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thank you for spending you valued holidays with us.

It’s the ambiance of the Villa that gave you a unique feeling and lovely panoramic View itself that made your stay very satisfied with us.

We would like to express my gratitude for your very fine feedback and credited our Team member – Viren, so we believe that he would be very happy for your compliments.

Once again thank you very much for your very positive feedback and share your experience with us.

Truly Yours,

Danny K Sukomol
Deputy Managing Director.
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

Ok, what's not to like about an extravagant hotel completely made of teak wood; hand crafted I might add. With the largest, grandest swimming pool we've ever seen, with great staff waiting on your every desire. On an island not yet plagued by tourists.

Well... Maybe I'm just a moaner, or this hotel could just be reserved for people with real money and status, as we felt that simple things were quite expensive, such as a coke or a coffee. This is a top resort, so perhaps I'm the wrong person to review this hotel? The thing is, if you just go 20 meters down the beach to a local restaurant, a full, amazing meal is the same price as a shake from the hotel. It just doesn't feel right... It's also quite stiff, with dinners being a set menu of fancy stuff. What happened to a simple burger with fries or a toasted sandwich.

The beach wasn't the turquoise blue depicted in the pictures, with soft white sand. Instead it's a bit murky with a few sharp rocks. Loh Jark Bay would be our choice of beach and you can get there pretty quickly with a great scooter that you can hire from the hotel.

Room Tip: Villa with private pool, nuff said!
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sukomol, Deputy Managing Director at Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear David L,

Greetings from Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa - Traditional Thai Style luxury beach resort on tropical Island!

Thank you very much for your feedback, our each and every guests are valued for us, Sorry for this time that we didn’t meet requirements.

Mr. David, it really depend which atmosphere you are going to join, according you will enjoy the service, in our case we try to maintain the top level of service and same time we make sure we can maintain the services like: hygienic, quality, quantity and Service

Once again thank you very much to stay with us.

Truly Yours,

Danny K Sukomol
Deputy Managing Director
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Additional Information about Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa

Address: 88 Moo.7 Phunai, Ko Yao Yai 83000, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Phang Nga Province > Ko Yao Yai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Ko Yao Yai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 79
Reservation Options:
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