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Reviewed February 16, 2009

I have just come back from 2 weeks at the Sanctuary on a detox/ weightloss programme and cannot praise the place highly enough. I stayed in one of the delux houses in Gardens & was blown away by just how nice it was. I can only think that perhaps they had some teething problems when these houses were first finished because my house was superb. As on older woman solo traveller I have noticed that in some resorts the younger crowd are not really interested in speaking to anyone over 30, but this was definitely not the case at the Sanctuary. There was a great mix of people of all ages & backgrounds who were without exception both friendly and approachable.
All of the staff at the resort were helpful and obliging and they made my stay an all round positive experience. The programme was comprehensive and well organised & I returned home feeling fantastic and 7 kilos lighter. True there is a fairly noisy party on a Friday night but you can always go & have a dance then return to your bungalow feeling tired and fall asleep, like I did. If you want a relaxing place to detox and explore yoga and other therapies The Sanctuary is about the best place I have ever stayed and I will certainly be going back. If you are looking for seamless 5 star luxury where everything is exactly as you would expect it then perhaps you need to go to the Marriot or a Holiday Inn.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled solo
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Thank LinziJB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2009

My friend and I were looking forward to ending our 18 day trip in Thailand at the Sanctuary. We were so excited about it & ended up being horribly dissapointed. Our intention was to stay 6 nights & only stayed one. First, we stayed in a brand new bungalow that we were told had three bedrooms, it only had one. We had stayed in several different 4 star resorts & this one (which is far from 4 stars) was the most expensive. We had so many malfunctions in this "brand new bungalow" & had to keep calling for assistance. Apparently, they must of been annoyed because we were given the impression of being such an inconvenience to them.

The food in the resturaunt was the only good thing but be prepared to wait a good 30-45 minutes because the staff is too busy having a good time to be bothered with taking your order. We had to get our menus everytime, practically approach them with our orders & were never checked on after we had our food.

We thought this was a spiritual, friendly place. Everytime we greeted someone we never received a response. Maybe they don't accept newcomers or Americans, it's one or the other. We decided to check out & my friend asked for a comment card which in their welcome book said they LOVED feedback. The lady at the reception acted like she didn't have access to it & said her manager wasn't available. So we just asked for a piece of paper, she then started angrily blabbering at us & told us just to leave. Both my friend and I are in the service industry so we understand how it can be difficult at some times, never once were we demanding or rude.

Too top it off, we arrive home & found out my friend's boyfriend had purchased massages & facials at the Sanctuary for us to receive when we arrived, we were never told about it! Hopefully he'll get his money back as for us it was a complete loss :-( A total of about 6,000 Baht for one night. It was by far the worst money I spent in Thailand.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank diro82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuaryThailand, Manager at The Sanctuary Thailand, responded to this reviewResponded February 19, 2009

Firstly I would like to say sorry that these guests had a disappointing time here at The Sanctuary and that I was not available at the time they wished to discuss their issues.

These customers arrived with no confirmed booking in the middle of our busiest season and got one of the last available houses which cost 4,000 B per night ( not 6,000 ) . . While unsure of the exact issues with their house I acknowledge that any new houses will have some fine tuning to do and feel sure that any issues were attended to ASAP.

All our food is freshly prepared and cooked and this often can take 30 + minutes depending on the order and I would hope that it is served by happy staff. In fact ,
I am shocked to hear that my staff are not attentive, it is rare for us to receive this kind of feedback, our staff are usually extremely courteous and enjoy to liaise and chat with our guests.

Their friend Sandip had organised for a gift voucher with me and asked that it be delivered by hand ( as opposed to being at reception) . However even he did not know which exact day they would arrive . I looked for them per his dates but unfortunately when I searched to hand deliver as per my arrangement with their friend they had already checked out. (Of course the monies were immediately returned to Sandip)

I do appreciate that Sanctuary is on a remote beach and that those coming with expectations of a 4 star resort may well be disappointed ( which is why we do not claim any stars at all ) as we do not offer main street resort trimmings, our offerings are different and based on practical island living. We more ask that guests coming here be open to our uniqueness and location and , as many say, it takes a day or 2 to settle in but after that it can take a month to leave.

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Reviewed January 7, 2009

I stayed in one of the more expensive bungalows over looking the sea, which was basic with very little charm sadly. Outdoor toitet and shower complete with local wildlife (including a scorpion). I've stayed in cheaper more basic accommodation in Thailand that has been much nicer. The beach is average, as is the snorkelling. The noise at night from the beach bar and nightclub further up the hill is a big problem if you're up for a peaceful holiday, no chance of sleeping through it. It seems to attact some unsavoury characters, I'm always up for a party and socialising, but draw the line at wierdos smoking crack pipes on the beach. The bar and restaurant is lovely though and the food is fantastic.

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled solo
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1  Thank Freedom36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2008

I have just left the Sanctuary after a glorious fortnight. It was my second visit and I loved it even more this time. I went for the fasting/cleanse and the number of people you meet who have returned numerous times speaks volumes about the place.

The location is just beautiful. Set in a gorgeous little bay and built into the rocks on one side. The centre of the Sanctuary is the open dining room which is on various levels and looks over the bay. It really is paradise.

The food is just phenomenal. I lost count of the number of times people commented how surprised they were that such healthy food could be so fantastic.

The atmosphere is amazing too. On both holidays I met some really amazing people. Its the kind of place that attracts interesting cool people. I was really taken aback how many staff remembered my name from a year ago and welcomed me back warmly.

On my first visit I stayed in the deluxe aircon rooms which were absolutely fine and very comfortable. However, this time I stayed in the newly constructed Sanctuary Gardens. I was the first person to live in my room (there were still plastic wrappers on the light switches). WOW WOW WOW... I say “room” but it was really an apartment in the jungle. Aircon bedroom and fantastic lounge with fan AND dining room table. And beautiful western bathroom. I was sooooo happy and here as these new houses have been built with real style. Wonderful porch and beautiful wood floors throughout. Just amazing.

When I travel I like luxury (a lot). These rooms would easily fit in at any 5 star resort. They are pretty much perfect and if you get bored of beautiful scenery and meeting interesting people or doing yoga or going for a short walk to one of the neighbouring beaches then you can always retire to your quarters and kick back on the couch and watch satellite on the massive flat screen telly above your fridge.

I am not a budget traveller but I genuinely did not hear one complaint from any of my friends staying in the other accommodation from the dorms to the bungalows. In fact all the people I hung out with loved the sanctuary just as much as I did.

For me the new rooms epitomise the Sanctuary. There is a clear ethos that are trying to create a perfect resort which is realistic. It is somewhere you can go to detox and get healthy with a wide range of activities... yoga, meditation etc etc and of course the Wellness Centre for fasting/cleansing (or do nothing but lie on the beach)... However, the place does not take itself too seriously and so you can go to yoga in the morning and have a beer in the restaurant in the afternoon. They think about what people want and need from a place like this and try their utmost to provide it. The place is constantly evolving and they don’t ask you to fill out silly “how did we do” forms when you leave... instead they (the guys that run the place) are always around and always happy to chat and they actually respond to what their customers want. It is just so unlike any other place I have ever stayed they actually seem to care about you and not just about taking your money.

I am struggling to think of something negative to say so that my review doesn’t sound unbelievable but I really cannot for the life of me think of anything that would deter me from going back again and again.

As for the Welness Centre... it is a fantastic place and Moon the guy that runs it is clearly a very special man... he is soooo enthusiastic and knowledgeable. All the staff at the detox centre are constantly smiling and encouraging you through your fast making it just so easy.

The Spa is also just amazing and like everything at the sanctuary beautifully built into the rock and well thought out from the design right down to the menu of massages, body scrubs, facials and other treatments available.

Paradise on earth...

I have left both times with a glow that will take some time to fade. If you are fed up of going on holiday and coming home needing another one to recover well then this is the place for you.

Thanks for everything Sanctuary and cannot wait until next year

Paul F

Stayed: December 2008
2  Thank PauilF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2008

really nice place, good facilities and design with lots of creativity.
mostly friendly staff and good people. good food and drinks (smoothies and coffee).

anyhow, everything tends to be 150-200% overpriced compared to Thailand standards (food, accomodation, massage, spa treatments, etc).

The wireless internet might impress but is just a pure ripoff and probably one of the most expansive internet services in whole Thailand ( go one beach further and you get wireless internet for a fraction of the Sanctuaries pricing).

fasting a fairly good thing, anyhow, extremely overpriced for Thailand and staff not really knowledgeable/ no specialist with proper medical education (again, questions are disliked which is for such a thing as a customer inevitable!).

staff in the bar/ restaurant in general partly unfriendly, and given the premium prices sometimes lack of service. staff feels offended when you ask question about services, food or their culture and accordingly subsequently treats you worse/ ignores the customer.

had some insect in my food (no problem, many cultures eat that however, not to be supposed like that). Spa treatment sometimes just 45-50 min even though you pay 1h already at a premium.

some of the staff have or fancy Westeners and vice versa - during the parties (friday or saturday) things tend to evolve partly like in a bangkok bar I presume - you are asked to pay drinks, get "offers", they tell you lies to get something out of you, etc - this is the worst and made me leave.

anyhow, no regrets, had a good time there, there is some good spirit and folks there and it is worth to have a look and decide how you like it. there beaches and places around the Sanctuary are really really worth while to be checked out!!!

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled solo
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2  Thank XulSolari88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuaryThailand, general manager at The Sanctuary Thailand, responded to this reviewResponded December 14, 2008

As manager I feel compelled to comment on some of the points raised. The suggestion that our prices are 150 % more than other resorts ( despite our uniqueness) is pure fiction and has me pondering the other comments made.



The prices of our detox programs are clearly advertised, with no hidden costs & the high number of return guests speaks for the quality of the program – Mr. Moon is excellent in his support and management of personal detox programs and is held in high regard. I might also add that we have 2 registered nurses resident here ……….



Finally my female staff who occasionally go out after work to a non work bar to socialise are shocked by the suggestions made here and assure me that they are incorect.

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