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Koyao Island Resort
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Reviewed March 1, 2008

We really wanted to enjoy this place. We read all the reviews on tripadvisor and scoured the internet for information on the resort. While there are some positive things to say, we cannot recommend the hotel based on our stay there.

Ko Yao is far less developed than Phuket or Krabi which is in part why we chose the resort. You feel far from the world during your stay. The staff were friendly, and the spa and excursions are well worth the money. The infinity pool is terrific with amazing views of the nearby islands. The villas themselves are cute, with outdoor showers and plenty of room. You basically sleep outside, and wake up each morning to a symphony of birds and a glorious sunset.

The villas are quite hot during the day, with inadequate ventilation and fans. We knew about the lack of AC before we booked, but would not recommend it in south Thailand (it made sleeping especially difficult). We had a major problem with mosquitoes. While nets and coils are supplied, we woke up each morning with at least a dozen bites. We recommend covering your whole body with insect repellant before sleeping, and be sure to take Malaria medication.

As you are so isolated, you depend heavily on the resort restaurant for your meals. Breakfast was always good, but lunch and dinner were hit and miss. Service was not great, and is definitely not 5 star. Our orders were routinely brought late, and we were brought the wrong dish on more than one occasion. The bar is not great, and the staff is not great at making mixed drinks.

There are much cheaper and more luxurious options in Thailand. Amari Trang stands out: half the price, amazing views of islands from your window, and 5 star service; see my review of that hotel.

Stayed: February 2008
2  Thank Roncy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2008

We spent four nights at this delightful resort during our recent holiday in Thailand. If I had to use one word to describe the experience it would be "joyful". 15 Villas, acres of space and hopefully like-minded guests. We booked direct with the hotel but did our own transfers to/from - easy peasy and a fraction of the cost that the hotel charges. But, if you want to take them up on their transfer service just put your flight arrival details onto the booking page and someone will be waiting for you at either Phuket or Krabi airport. Without repeating what many others have said - one restaurant (wide variety of foods and very well priced, wine, on the other hand was quite expensive, but that's pretty much the same throughout Thailand), one bar - with large TV ! (not that anyone switched it on for more than a few minutes). Internet usage is complimentary and the connection speed is deadly but, if you can't bear to go without your fix of emails ....?? We were allocated room OV1 (I assume it stands for Ocean View 1) and it was located above the spa. With no solid walls on three sides and just a guard rail all around plus raffia-type roller blinds, it was a sight to behold. The section behind the bedroom area housed a shower and separate WC as well as handbasin, wardrobe, and a full-size fridge containing the usual mini bar stuff and loads of complimentary bottled water. The beach is quite narrow (but long) and we saw very little in the way of rubbish on it. But it has to be said that the beach is not really going to make you go "ooh and ahh". I think that what sets this hotel above most is that the staff genuinely go out of their way to ensure you have an enjoyable stay. Azira (head receptionist?) and Guide (restaurant/bar manager?) said goodbye to every guest we saw leave - and they didn't just do it in a cursory manner, they stood on the beach continuously waving until the resorts longtail boat was almost out of view. If you want table set up outside of the restaurant for dinner- no problem. The lunch/dinner menu as mentioned previously was pretty comprehensive, but breakfast comprises a modest selection of fruit/pastries/cereal etc, and don't go expecting a "Full English" as the only hot dish they do is eggs. Boiled/poached/scrambled/fried. So to summarise, if you want all the corporate techie things and someone to run around after you on the beach with a water spritzer not to mention your own personal butler then go and pay £500/night at the new Six Senses resort next door. Just leave the lovely Ko Yao Island Resort for the rest of us!

p.s. And if you really can't live without a TV and DVD player they can provide them!

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank madabouttravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2008

Great Resort...but ??

Exclusive Resort, located in Phang Nga Bay between Phuket and Krabi.

Made booking directly with hotel. Island is 2 hours transfer from Phuket airport (at first taxi transfer to Pier, then boat transfer to
Island, then tuk tuk).

Resort is mosty convenient to travellers looking for absolutely quietness. Resort isolated from the small village. No really other possibilities to have dinner outside the restaurant of hotel.
No mass tourism.

Resort is including of 15 Villas. All of them are very nicely decorated.. but without TV and DVD. No Internet except at front desk (free of charge)

Beach is ok but no chair service on beach and low tide.

Only 1 restaurant at the resort, but very good, with many choices of very good Thai and Western food dishes and seafood.
Very good and friendly service overall.

Possibility to rent scooter at the hotel (250 Baht) to make island tour or visit the small village on the island. (be careful to do
gasoline fill-up immediately when renting out)

Do not take transfer proposal (Phuket-Koyao Island) from hotel. You can take private car taxi from Airport to the Pier (Baht 400), then boat (150) or speed boat (300) then tuk tuk (100 per person), all much cheaper if transfer arranged by hotel desk.

Hotel website www.koyao.com has many pictures and information about the Resort and its nice beach.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sushi33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2008

We (family of 3 adults and 2 young children) just returned from our holiday in Thailand, where we stayed for 7 days at this lovely resort. The place is awesome: nice and well maintained grounds, spectacular views, charming villa's and friendly staff. Just spend our time lazing around, swimming, reading a book, playing with the kids, canoeing, not much more than that, but that was what we were looking for. Don't expect tourist crowds, nightlife, shops etc., Ko Yao Noi is quite a remote island, 1,5 hrs from Phuket with longtail boat, and I hope the island will stay unspoilt for long time to go.

Management and staff did everything to please and assist the guests (although some of the restaurant staff might be helped with a short training 'How to serve the food and make sure that cutlery is available at breakfast'...). The menu is quite extensive and offers a balanced mix of Western and Thai food. The quality of the food was excellent, thanks to the well-trained chef and his assistants. One evening, he even set up a private table in front of our villa to enjoy our lobster and white wine!

Have to mention a few negative aspects, though: almost every night, our sleep was disturbed by the noise of the road-side bar located behind the resort. This was very annoying and needs to be solved because it might prevent guests from coming back. Another thing was the beach: we have seen better and cleaner beaches around. We found several glass bottles and plastic waste at the beach in front of the resort. Maybe an idea for management to have the beach being cleaned periodically.

Overall: a well-run small scale resort to enjoy a relaxing holiday in a serene environment.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank morevish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2007

The resort was very nice, but it is not the 4 star resort that it claims. It is more like a very nice 3 star resort. The difference being the lack of attention to details. Little things like having a reception party for the guests, but not preparing enough food for the reception so most of the guests did not get any. The resort also seemed to skimp on some things which led me to believe that they were cheap. We had to continually ask for replacement soap and the amount of wine that they would pour into your wine glass was just barely a fourth of the glass.

With the above being said, I would go back to the resort. The setting was beutiful and the staff wonderful. We had an extremely relaxing week. As reported out in previous reveiws there was construction going on during our stay. The resort did a decent job of trying to limit the impact to our stay. The staff spoke sufficent English.

The food provided at the resort was very good and the chef was wonderful. Prices were a little high for the area. We eventually found our way to several very good restaruants that were located a 10 minute walk down the beach. These restaruants were half the price of the Koyao Resort.

The Koyao Resort provided many excellent activities, but again the prices were high for the area. There is a resort within walking distance down the beach that offers the same activities much cheaper. In fact, sveral of the guest at the Koyao Resort went to the other resort to book their activities. If you do take one of the island tours at the Koyao Resort ask for Sword... he is an excellent guide.

Overall it is a great place to enjoy a wonderful island.

Stayed: September 2007
4  Thank ShanghaiFender
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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