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Reviewed July 27, 2008

This place is a must to visit if you are at all interested in your health and wellbeing. I spent almost the whole month of June here and I completed a 14 day cleanse. I travelled to The Sanctuary specifically to do their infamous cleanse and I was not disappointed. Everything is prepared for you and the staff make everything so easy. Help is on hand if you need it, advice is there if wanted, or if you want to just chill and read a book then you can, undisturbed. There is a steam room built into the rock, scented with lemongrass and cinammon - mmm, heaven! There's a spa offering everything from Traditional Thai Massage to their delicious Bali Body Scrub. With the prices being so cheap, it is a must place to visit every day. It was so lovely that it was hard to drag myself back to my family and friends at the end of the trip! I will be going back as soon as I possible can. I travelled out there on my own and I felt so safe the whole time. The Thai people are terrific and all the staff at the Sanctuary are so helpful, especially Moon. What a great guy he is and such a source of information and inspiration. I can't wait to go back next Jan/Feb.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled solo
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1  Thank PamelaYoung67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2008

I can't believe that the Sanctuary resort Ko Phangan has been around so long and I havent visited sooner. I recently spent a few weeks in the resort, even though i only planned to stay a few nights.

The resort was a breath of fresh rather than leaving a holiday feeling like I need to hit the gym and shake off those excess pounds, I left the Sanctuary feeling helathier than ever. The food is delicious and nutritious. The menu is really quite inspiring I never knew that healthly food can be so diverse and scrumptious. I enjoyed ever meal ate there, of course the sea view and friendly atmosphere helped.
I had hoped to learn to converse in Thai, but the local staff spoke such fantastic English that I slipped up on that one, and found myself chatting away to the cheery staff throughout my stay.

The accomodation is varried, which was great for me as I stayed longer than planned. I started off in top ended accomadation which had a beautiful ocean view and spacious bathroom with hot water, but found that i really didn't need such luxaries. I spent most of my time on the beach, enjoying the yoga classes, at the spa or socialising in the resturant. Thus, I was perfectly happy with my little bungalow and a hammock in the jungle.

Though the resort is not easy to get to it is so worth the trip to feel that you are living with the nature

1  Thank Elizabethbay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2008

You will love the Sanctuary - and that was my problem too. I had saved up all year for a 6 week trip around Asia. Two days after arriving in Thailand found me at the Sanctuary. I heard about it while camping in France and checked it out here on trip advisor. I booked in advance for a 7 day cleansing and rejuvenation. BUT the place KIDNAPPED me. I ended up staying 5 weeks out of my total 6 away.

The place was so welcoming and friendly. The food was world class delicious (only veggie and seafood) and covered South Thai, North Thai, Burmese, Indian, Italian (it was voted number one Pizza on Koh Phangan) and English and all of it done to perfection. My accommodation was very comfortable and every little detail was thought of and a great view of the ocean as well.

The cleanse really helped me feel better than I ever had before and it probably helped that I did yoga twice a day and lots of steam baths and plenty of massages - all part of a package. After the treatment my days were now spent on one of the three beaches or in the restaurant hanging out with my new friends - I met such a different bunch of people than I would normally meet at home - I met and became firm friends with two semi famous musicians, a carpenter, a cameraman, a captain of a boat and a belly dancer - pretty diverse eh!

The restaurant is to be seen to be beleived - imagine a steep cliff with a canyon running thru it with an avalanche of huge boulders thrown in - then somebody building a multi tiered structure running half way up with hidden nooks and crannies the boulders are like big modern works of art that are part of the bars, kitchen and eating areas - its a masterpiece.

The Thai couple that own it are to be found hanging out on the beach from time to time and are simple fisher folk who struck a deal with a zany English couple. I heard that Alex Garland stayed here and used it for the theme of his book - The Beach. You can see why - its very remote, very quirky and immensely popular.

So my advice to you if you are going on a long trip - go there last or you will get stuck there for the whole duration.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled solo
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1  Thank PK99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2008

I recently heard about trip advisor and love i its great.
I also found the the Sanctuary recently and love it too. I have just finished the most amazing 10 days of my life. I did a detox program , yes it included colonic therapy - strange but wonderful experience. What made it do good was the caring staff there. Every 1 of them wanted me to have the best timne possible, and i did. i will nto tell you about the stuff that came out though.

Before my detox i enjoyed 3 days of food which was so good i almosty didnt do the detox program. The staff here wera also very helpful and friendly. They were really great.

I went to 7 yoga classes when i was there, that was hard but it was good for me too. The teacher really helped me when it got too hard for me, thank you .

Ican understand that some people could be disappointed if they want to have 5 star sertvice but if they want to have 6 star friendly and helpful service then this is what you will get here. I think too that maybe some people do not see what a special place this is, i think they miss out.

We were 16 people detox together and all loved the sanctuary. 5 people will meet here again next year. maybe see you ?

If you like to relax in nice place and have nice peopel around this is good - Anders

  • Stayed: June 2008
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1  Thank kinganders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2008

After looking at their website, I decided to stay at the Sanctuary for two weeks. I knew it was expensive before I left home - especially for the land of 200- 600 baht bungalows located right on a beautiful sandy beach- but I was treating myself . I planned to do yoga and make use of their wonderful spa. It would be the most I had ever spent on not eating, but I was okay with that. I wrote an email to reserve the complete fasting package and a fasters Thai style room with a sea view. I got a reply confirming my reservations, and I was told that I could have an ocean view bungalow. I waited for but never received the email regarding the Paypal deposit instructions. I wrote again but never heard back. Since the email said that my reservation was good to go, I figured all was well.

Upon arrival, I was blandly greeted by the Western manager. I was sent to check in at the seperate Detox Center, but the woman could not find my information. After she talked to the aforementioned manager, I was told that I did not reply to his emails and given the impression that it was basically my fault that I did not have a reservation. I did not like this attitude, especially since I had been the one trying to make contact to give them hundreds of my dollars, but I didn't want to start off this way so I let it go. After quite a bit of back and forth with not much effort on their part, I ended up paying 900 baht a night for my bungalow. Even though it was rediculuosly overpriced and located on the side of a mosquito infested cliff (they have tons of standing water all around in plant pots - combined with the foamy swamp and dark verdure, a steady supply of the biters are being bred) I didn't mind - it had a sea view and was nicer than the faster accommodation with its generator noise, dirt garden - and no view.

Unfortunately, this bungalow was the only slightly nice experience at the Sanctuary. I had a terrible massage for 950 baht, the splash pool was full of sweaty people just out of the steam room - it looked brown and disgusting, and the steam room looked suspect. I decided that the fast was a rip-off, and the yoga was just a means for long-staying partiers to fund their beer and spliff tabs. The service is not friendly, and you are given a number and not referred to by name. I felt as if they were only interested in my wallet. Also, a healing retreat this is not - people party a lot and the place is exteremly noisy every Friday night. The music continues well after sunrise. It seems they are trying to cater to two completely disparate clientele.

Also, don't bother bringing your family -my friends found they are not kid-friendly.

I am not a picky traveler, but the prices they charge are simply not worth the products they provide. After eating a rediculously overpriced salad at the restaurant, I renamed this place the Bankruptuary and decided to move elsewhere.

After walking around and checking out the other accommodation, I decided to pack up and move. I ended up paying 250 baht a night for great bungalow and service, and a great Thai and Burmese style hospitality experience nearby.

For those who are picky about their accommodation, I recommed Bamboo Hut overlooking Had Yuan They also have a great restaurant. Love Lip, Beam, and Had Tien Chalet are good for those who want more basic and affordable digs on Had Tien. Also, for a great massage, see May at Bamboo Hut.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled solo
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5  Thank SantaCruzSeasmoke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuaryThailand, Owner at The Sanctuary Thailand, responded to this reviewResponded July 1, 2008


----- Original Message -----
From: The Sanctuary
To: deposits-thailand
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2008 11:14 AM
Subject: Trip advisor report


Dear All,



Not quite sure how to answer this as obviously this woman hated everything about us here which me as the owner finds very upsetting.

I have never seen a more negative review with nothing constructive in it I can even work on, as I would love to make it better for her.

I feel sad that she had sucha terrible time here and nothng met up to her expectations.

I wish to comment on afew things but I do not believe I can change her experience here but would love her to come back as a guest for free so we could amend the bad feeling she has took away.

The swamp as she called it is running and we have it full of frogs and catfish to stop any mosquitoes breeding and the gardens around the wellness are beautiful, our staff been nurturing the land for many years…….

The steam room built into the rocks looking suspect, was does that mean? Fresh steam being pumped into the most beautiful round rock room? I do understand her thinking the splash pool looked dirty as we use only river water to fill this, (a sign clearly saying this), as many fasters do not want chemical but it is changed daily.

The last point about my 4 yoga teachers drinking and smoking has upset all the sanctuary. These people have devoted their life to teaching, caring and healthy living and only drink on the odd occasion and NEVER smoke.

I do not know when she came or how long she fasted, as most fasters after the experience despite little ups and downs are on such natural high and positive that they could never write something as negative as this.

Lastly the fast a rip up, rip off for what? The prices are clear on the web site, we use the recommended drugs and 100’s of people go though us and experience life changing results?

Sometimes in my life I have stayed places, not right…then I leave it is that easy…we had no deposit , why did she stay and also took time to explore all the restaurants in the bay fasting, sounds as if she did not stick to our programme of not eating ?

Lastly the families, where did this one come from………did she have a child? My manager has a 3 year old and there are a quite a few happy families in the bay and as guests.

I am sorry that the sanctuary was not right for this lady; I hope she finds what she is looking for some where else.

Gill





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