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“Paradise until served” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Sanctuary Thailand

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The Sanctuary Thailand
Ranked #20 of 89 Hotels in Ko Pha Ngan
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Paradise until served”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2014

I didn't think service could affect my review of any accommodation - and I am seldom to complain. Here's an overview of our stay: The sanctuary is beautiful, our bungalow (although about 600bht overpriced) was lovely to stay in. We were just above the shop/Internet cafe so it was a little noisey and not so private but I don't mind either of those things and it meant the walk to my room was always short. The room was clean and tidy and cosy. The bathroom hut was clean and when the hot water gas ran out it was promptly replaced. I'd like to thank the (few) staff at the sanctuary who provided assistance and service. The others who ignored me at the counter, told me they couldn't help me with organising transport to Bangkok, told me they would come see me to help, but never came back to my table and then ignored me at the counter hours later. This service was so disappointing it changed my view of my stay. Also as others have mentioned about the taxi boat my suggestion is to arrive during the day because as soon as night comes (7pm) beware of paying double to triple for the boat - we waited half an hour hoping other sanctuary guests would arrive so we could have a fairer price but no one else arrived within the hour. But the seclusion is what makes this special. The yoga class was also fabulous and the food and smoothies are great too!

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rachel7224
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, February 6, 2014
Hi Rachel, and thanks for your feedback.
We are really glad that you enjoyed much of what The Sanctuary has to offer, and of course its disappointing for us to hear poor feedback about our service. That said, it does inspire us to really try to fix the problem.
As I am sure you will agree, most of our staff are fantastic and generally the service works really well. We are aware however that sometimes the service is below standard, for a range of reasons – it’s probably our biggest head scratching, frustrating challenge and greatest priority. Needless to say, we will continue to work at improving our service as best we can!
Best wishes
Tasha
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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511 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Thai Mueang, Thailand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2014

"Om My Goodness me!"
What a magical place.
I arrived at The Sanctuary on Wednesday the 18th of January 2014. I planned to stay for one night only; as I am currently living on Koh Tao and just fancied a change of scenery. I did no research about The Sanctuary beforehand, my intuition just pulled me there.
The first thing I noticed was how much the island was still raw in its appearance. The second outstanding thing I noticed was just how many people were genuinely smiling. I actually saw and felt authentic love between couples. "How refreshing!"
Needless to say I found it hard to leave the place.
The whole ambience made it difficult for me to understand if I was awake or dreaming.
I didn't stay long enough to experience any of the detoxing programs, plus I didn't take enough
money.
I did take the opportunity to indulge in one of the amazing treatments in The Sanctuary Spa. It was called "Absolute Bliss" and indeed it was. Three hours of pampering from beautiful, gentle, true healing Thai people; starting with a hot steam and ending in an all over Papaya body wrap. My skin has never felt so soft. Cost: 2800bt. Priceless!
I also had the pleasure in accompanying Peter Clifford in his 8am morning Anahata yoga class. I believe Peter doesn't live on the island, however, he visits The Sanctuary frequently. I found his classes extremely grounding and his knowledge and wisdom was to bow to.            www.anahatayoga.com.au

There is also an Ashtanger yoga class held every morning by David on the next beach (Why Nam) Cost: 350bt. It starts at 9.am and has theeeee most beautiful venue.
Why Nam restaurant and beach is well worth a visit. I recommend the Gotu Kola juice cost: 90bt, La Pad Burmese Salad 100bt and I also recommend taking a trip around the island on the catamaran.
It really pays off to check The Sanctuaries website for overall information.
It's a must to take *** CASH***, as there is no way of paying by card.
The alternative treatments that are available from the residents living at The Sanctuary are endless.
Yoga, Reiki, guided meditation classes, lots of dancing, Hula hooping, Q gong classes, psychological Astrology, NLP, Chakra balancing, Theta brainwave healing with Noel (Thumbs up from me for this therapy), Kinesiolog, Irixology. The list really does go on....There are also a number of workshops constantly taking place.
The food menu has a big variety of choice and it is "Aloh" = Thai word meaning= Delicious
Fresh organic wheat grass is grown with love daily.

If you class yourself as a blessed one that is tapping into the awareness of what is and are either looking for some time out to reenergize or some time in for support. I highly recommended this location.
I, myself have been travelling for over 20 years study different forms of ancient healing techniques.  I am filled with gratitude for having the opportunity to have experienced many different mystical healing ways of living and now I understand how gratitude evolves. To have all these inspirational, wise, creative beings in one place is nothing but a blessing. There is something for everyone.
Spark Circus was one of the entertainments held on Thursday evening.☆★☆ CHECK THEM OUT EVERYBODY.★☆★  www.sparkcircus.org.
They was also an open mic night, amazing jazz singers/ musicians and poetry that removed some knifes out of my heart and healed the wounds with laughter.
Spice restaurant has the best chocolate cake and the Tea temple has the best flap jack.
Thank you to all the team involved at The Sanctuary for making my experience with you totally uplifting. For me it is CLEAR where this magical place is evolving to.
"The only way one can truly understand; is to experience it oneself."
Contentment days everyone!
Until we meet again Haad Thian.
♡♥Dominica♡♥

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dominica g
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, January 29, 2014
Wow Dominica what a very beautiful review. Thank you x
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2014

My husband and I stayed for nine days at a resort on Haad Yuan (the beach next door to the Sanctuary) and one day we wandered over to the Sanctuary for lunch and to check out their beach.
The beach was not clean. There was so much rubbish that we did no want to sit down in the sand. The restaurant chairs spill from the main restaurant building onto the beach and a couple sitting in front of us at a table on the beach found a syringe in the sand. The waiter picked it up before serving our food. Whilst we were eating our lunch a Sanctuary guest started cutting a girls' hair at one of the restaurant tables. The wind picked up the cut hair and blew it towards us and other restaurant guests. At no point did restaurant staff ask the guests to move along and cut hair elsewhere.
To the food: Our order was mixed up so that drinks were delivered to the wrong table and food had to be followed up on. I ordered a stir fried vegetable dish and found bugs floating in the sauce. I returned the dish to staff and it was not added to our bill.
My husband and I are not fussy customers or eaters, but the Sanctuary asks higher prices than their neighbouring restaurants and we would have liked good service and food in return. Overall a disappointing visit.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ninaballerina2034
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, January 26, 2014
Dear NinaBallerina,
Oh my goodness we were so upset to read your review, and all we can do is sincerely apologise.
We remember the day in question, and it was not the best of days all round. We too were shocked by the 'syringe', not to mention the person using it who was encouraged back to Had Rin where he was staying. Needless to say this is not a usual occurence around here. As for the bugs in your food & hair in your face – it doesn’t really get much worse than that, we agree. Yes we occasionally get orders wrong and food can be a bit slow in the busy times, but syringes and bugs and haircutting…. happily this does not constitute a typical day at The Sanctuary (not that there is so much of a typical day, but that’s usually in a good way). Again....No excuses, only our sincere apologies that you got to share one of our rare bad days.
Best Wishes
Tasha
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2014

This place kind of defies description, but I'll try anyway. I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you're after 5 star aircon accommodation in a bubble, this is not your place. If you would like to live close to nature, with clean, beautifully designed creature comforts and the sound of the jungle to lull you to sleep, read on. The accommodation is all fantastic, from the clean and comfortable dorm rooms to the bungalows and houses built round the rocks. The food is delicious and the staff are all lovely. Sam and Chard in particular made our stay feel super friendly and we were so well looked after. The yoga and meditation sessions are in beautiful jungle spaces, and the beach feels wild. I found it hard to leave after a month. Do your body and soul a favour and book yourself a trip here.

Room Tip: If you are on a budget, the dorm is surprisingly lovely. If you are with friends and have a little m...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank rocketsparks
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, January 22, 2014
thank you thank you thank you for such a lovely attempt at capturing and sharing your sanctuary experience. we're so glad your body and soul enjoyed it - hope to see you again sometime soon!
best wishes,
tasha
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2014 via mobile

Love this place!
We stayed in the bungalow on the beach which I'm sure is the best they have.
A fantastic mix of people from backpackers to bankers. Not the place for you if you're after private infinity pools and butlers...
The food is fantastic and a die hard meat eater like me even had a couple of delicious veggie curries.
The staff too are something The Sanctuary should be proud of. Just the right mix of friendliness and great service. A special mention should go to Chard and Sam who managed to remember out names and who's genuine concern that we were happy made out stay all the more enjoyable.
The one gripe is the no credit cards issue but I'm sure they get that all the time.
A magical place where we got engaged and will remember for ever!

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank mikect70
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, January 12, 2014
Hi Mike and thanks for your review. We are truly grateful to have the staff we do (no butlers required) along with all the backpackers and bankers who pass through our doors. Apologies for the lack of easy payment options: we know its a pain, but every rose must have its thorn. In the meantime, I vote for an infinity pool.
See you again!
Tasha
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2014

Upon arrival to The Sanctuary I was greeted like part of the family, the staff were friendly and welcoming, I felt as if I had arrived home.
The Sanctuary had everything I could have asked for; participating in a body workshops, joining in on daily yoga and meditation classes, spa treatments, sessions with the amazing healers and quiet time on the beach.
The setting is beautiful, tucked in a cove on the south of the island with the jungle as it's backdrop the bay is a hidden gem.
As The Sanctuary offers detox, raw and healthy eating the menu was a delight every night with options for every taste, with some evening socialising and occasional entertainment.
I am already planning my return.
Thank you to all the Sanctuary crew for such an amazing experience!

Room Tip: There are two dorms, the one at the back is quieter away from the restaurant. Plenty of other rooms...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hollie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014

I stayed at The Sanctuary over Christmas 2013 with 5 friends and we had a really lovely and special time. Highlights for us all were: Christmas dinner on the beach was so amazing, the food in general is incredible, the classes, the yoga, the staff, the massages (at the resort and down the beach). There's options to eat in the main restaurant as well as two other little restaurants, one nestled within the resort (Spice) and one up on the cliff. Great to have a variety, but the food at The Sanctuary is the best and fear not, there is meat available at Spice. Things that weren't so great (but not really a big issue) - the beds were a little hard, the sheets too small and thin, the towels could be better quality. This is only because we had the most expensive room (due to availability) and would therefore expect higher quality compared with the other rooms. It would also be nice to have shampoo and conditioner in the bathrooms, maybe natural ones? the beach is not perfect and not large, but wonderful as you are not near any mass tourist hotels. There's no credit card machine which isn't ideal. Anyway this is a fantastic place if you are looking to unwind, clear your mind and eat healthy amazing food, but do not expect a chic sleek modern hotel, it attracts a slightly 'alternative crowd' and is a little rough around the edges. Really amazing, but make sure it's right for you...

Room Tip: We stayed in the garden cottages towards the back, quite expensive for what they were. Definitely tr...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kate H
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, January 5, 2014
Thanks Kate!
Best wishes to you for 2014,
Tasha
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sanctuary Thailand

Property: The Sanctuary Thailand
Address: Had Tien Bay, Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand (Formerly The Sanctuary Island Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Pha Ngan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Ko Pha Ngan
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Pha Ngan
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 
Also Known As:
The Sanctuary Island Hotel Koh Phangan
The Sanctuary Island Spa

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