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“Great potential, but a few issues”

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Koyao Island Resort
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Ko Yao Noi
Certificate of Excellence
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great potential, but a few issues”
Reviewed June 26, 2013

I think with some work, this resort could really be great. Koyao has a PERFECT location for an up-scale resort, but it is a LONG way from five stars. The villas were nice, especially villa 22 (with air-conditioning) and villa 15 (RIGHT on the beach), but their upkeep could use some improvement (We had a few problems with bugs and one day the workers groomed the palm trees, which was nice because one man gave me some coconut! but they left the coconuts and other debris all over the yard for a day or so after). They were doing renovations while we were there which should help with the appearance. I have some complaints, but overall I think I would definitely come back.

If I was paying peak season prices, I would have been disappointed.

The biggest thing Koyao needs to work on is consistent professional service. The staff was so nice that I feel bad complaining, but I am just trying to help! Things were very amateaur at times, yet very professional at other times. For example, I was emailing the resort manager about changing my reservation and he or she was very courteous and assured me that I could push my reservation up without a problem. I sent him or her my travel information and arranged for an airport transfer. This would have been great...if they remembered to pick us up. They somehow mixed up my flight dates (even though I sent all the info to them) which forced us to find our way to the island on our own. This was very stressful, but the staff apologized profusely and seemed to genuinely be sorry about the mixup. Also, I dont think this resort has a bartender. Every time I ordered a drink, one of the waitresses from the dining room would read the ingredients on the menu and just throw random amounts in the mixer and serve it to me. I am a cocktail waitress from the states, so I know what tropical drinks are suposed to taste like. Their pathetic excuse for a Pina Colata was served to me on the rocks... I repeat, ON THE ROCKS!? When I asked if I could have it frozen the waitress looked at me in confusion. I gave up ordering drinks at Koyao and spent the rest of my cocktail hours at the six senses next door. But, like I said, the Koyao staff was friendly and tried their hardest!

It seems like they are trying to take Koyao to the next level. With renovations and other changes, I think Koyao will be heavily improved. The staff tried their hardest to please us, which made me forgive the inconstant service. I think in time this place will really be an amazing resort. Great location, beautiful private beach, fun excursions (make sure you go island hopping on a traditional long boat!!!), a good spa, and friendly faces.

(OH, make sure to look over your bill before you leave. I was billed for two Chang beers that I never drank. They took it off without question, which made me think that this has happened before? I'm not sure, but I am glad I looked over our bill!)

Room Tip: Panoramic villas are a bit of a walk from the main area, but they have air conditioning and another...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank tara O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KoyaoIsland R, Guest Relations Manager at Koyao Island Resort, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Dear taraO,

Greetings from Koyao Island Resort!

Thank you very much for taking the time to write this honest and constructive review. Your comments are invaluable to us and assists us in constantly improving every aspect of the services we offer.

All our Villas are open air, bar of course, as you have mentioned our Panorama Villas which are completely enclosed and fully air conditioned and approx. 80m away from the main Resort. These 4 Villas also share our 2nd swimming pool. Our Panorama Villas are most definitely more suitable for guests who prefer not to experience our open air Villas. As you have mentioned the Family Beach Villa you were staying in is right on the beach and also right next to the mangrove. Our staff are always on hand to remove any unwanted insects from these open air Villas.

There are over 200 coconut trees on our property. You might have seen the men clamber all the way to the top of the coconut trees using only their hands and feet. It is very interesting to watch them climb all the way to the top and manage to stay up there without ropes, etc. The men not only remove the coconuts but also trim the palm fronds and treat the trees to avoid pests from killing them. The entire process can take up to a week to complete.

We would also like to make use of this opportunity to once again apologise for your transfer mix-up.

Thank you for your kind comments regarding our friendly staff. We are very happy to advise you that we have implemented across the board cocktail mixing training for all our Food and Beverage staff so that they are all able to assist our guests regardless of whether they are waiters or bar staff.

We are very happy to read that you enjoyed our excursions and also our Spa.

All extra charges are done manually so after a six night stay at our Resort our Reception Team will not question 2 beers which might have been mistakenly charged to a room.

We hope to welcome you back so that you may experience, firsthand, all our improvements.

Best regards,
The Koyao Island Resort Team
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 23, 2013

By staying here a second time, after having experienced a moped accident on my previous trip to Ko Yao Noi, as well as several mosquito attacks, it just goes to show how unique and special this place is. It keeps on drawing me back - no matter what happens.

The resort is on a very quiet and idyllic island - with not many tourists and you really get the feeling sometimes that you've landed on the perfect tropical island. The villas themselves - the thatched beach huts - had the perfect balance of luxury and nature; the outdoors alongside the comfort. We would recommend this place to people who are not afraid to step outside their comfort zone, while also exploring the beautiful natural landscape and panoramas that the place has to offer. One thing I would say is that the main reception area of the resort did look as if it needed a little brush up or renovation (some of the wooden board walk was starting to come loose - probably due to years of weathering. First impressions were not as good as last time). But one can't have it all.

Overall, the Duchess and I had a wonderful time - and will be back again soon.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CSI-nowhere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KoyaoIsland R, Guest Relations Manager at Koyao Island Resort, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Dear CSI-nowhere,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write this lovely review.

We look forward to welcoming you back for your 3rd visit and are certain that you will notice the changes that we have made.

Best regards,
The Koyao Island Resort Team
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Oslo, Norway
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2013

Stayed in June 2013 for 4 nights in one of the "Panorama Villas" with A/C - and can subscribe to previous reviewer, the villas were new and modern but not really luxurious for the USD 200/night low-season price tag. Housekeeping was also a little sloppy and could do with improvement, but this wasn't a big deal for us.

There was a TV set in the villa but no channels, they did however have some DVDs you could borrow at reception.

The beach location and surroundings are very nice, but we felt the pool area could do with a brush-up; lounge chairs and pools were functional but look a little worn.

We were there in low-season, so a lot of refurbishment work was taking place. Many of the bungalows and one of the main houses near reception were being refurbished.

Our biggest let-down was the restaurant. Breakfast options were a little meagre, with only cereal, toast and fruit from the "buffet". They ran out of white bread and croissants our last two days. They also had a menu you could order from, but the eggs benedict turned up as scrambled eggs and the pancakes came back as a very dry and unpleasant affair.
We tried the Thai food for lunch and dinner, and it simply was not good. However there's a really good restaurant just across the street (ParaBar) so we had most of our meals there instead.

Ko Yao Noi is also a very quiet place. At 10pm it's pretty much lights out across the island, with nothing much going on at night. So don't come here and expect a party!
Koyao Resort is a nice option regardless, and perhaps they will improve their food service towards high-season.

All the staff were also very friendly although only a few of them speak much english.

Room Tip: Choose the AC Panorama villas if you want airconditioning and less wildlife in your room at night. H...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank piroco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KoyaoIsland R, Guest Relations Manager at Koyao Island Resort, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Dear piroco,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write this honest and constructive review. Your comments are invaluable to us and assist us in constantly improving.

All your comments have been noted and taken on board.

We hope to welcome you back in the future to experience firsthand all our improvements.

Best regards,
The Koyao Island Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2013

First of all this is a review of the panorama villa , which is quite different than the straw hut that the rest of the resort offers. Not really luxury for the price paid, about $200/night low season, but HUGE and for the view it comes with is worth every penny. The two bedroom villa has a kitchenette, but bot much stuff to cook with, even the coffee maker did not come with coffee, and there were no other glasses or mugs other than the 4 red-wine glasses. There was a TV but not television :), no ice cube trays in the fridge (expected it so I brought my own), no paper towels, the list goes on and on, but I was able to forget all that because of the staggering setting around this place, you have to be there to believe it: leaning forward palm trees on the edge of the beach, calm clear and warm water, soft sand and the most spectacular view of the rocks and mini islands in the bay in front of the hotel, I couldn't get my eyes of it, all this coupled with sun shining and birds singing,making it a blissful total relaxation.

It's also nice that between low and high tide, the sea does not turn into a mud field, like that in other parts of the island or other hotels. If you are just a beach goer, not caring for parties and such, this is the place for you, very quiet and laid back, without pretensions. The only place to eat serves delicious food but only if you stick with thai, the western food we tried one night was kinda strange , the breakfast they have included in the morning is also plentiful, with excellent fruit (when they did not run out of it ). Prices for dinner were also very decent, for thai food, about $10 per entry , but western food will cost you twice as much if you prefer that. If you want even cheaper, outside of the hotel couple of hundred yards to the right there is a local restaurant that has good food and offers excursions too, at prices less than half that the hotel has, although for the second one I scheduled there they didn't send a boat to pick us up, ruing everything for the day, so beware, it's due to the locals who like most of the hotel staff barely speak English, only the girls at the front desk speak it but not fluently.

Anyway, a fantastic and unforgetable stay overall, I was there for over a week starting in the middle of April and it rained a little only the first 2 days and sunshine all other time, absolutely beautiful weather , although a bit humid. If you want to be pampered with luxury and fancy meals and such, go to the next door Six sense, they will gladly take all your money for that, but if you're just looking for peaceful endless beach that looks like your own private, no crowds and blasting music ,and the most gorgeous scenery you can imagine, then Koyao is the place to be.

Room Tip: get the panorama villa if you want AC,large fridge and much less bugs and lizards in your room :)
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank baihui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KoyaoIsland R, Guest Relations Manager at Koyao Island Resort, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Dear baihui,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write this honest and constructive review. Your comments are invaluable to us and assist us in constantly improving.

We are very happy to read that you enjoyed your stay with us. We do however wish that you had informed us of the additional services you required in your Panorama Villa as we would have gladly assisted you where ever possible.

We have implemented English lessons focusing on the different departments and teaching our staff words and sayings that are relevant in their day to day working environment. You might have noticed that all our staff are employed from the island. Their exposure to English and all the different accents are therefore rather limited.

We hope to one day welcome you back.

Best regards,
The Koyao Island Resort Team
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Coventry, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 13, 2013

My husband and I were fortunate enough to stay here at the end of May with our two grown up sons. We had originally booked a private villa for our stay on the island but, after arriving to find the pool out of action, we moved to Koyao Island Resort and were certainly very happy we did

We stayed in an air conditioned Panoramic Villa for three nights which perfectly suited my family. It was spacious, simply furnished and there were two large en-suite rooms each with an outside covered terrace that were separated from each other by the lounge/kitchen. Whilst we were there the resort was incredibly quiet and we found that the shared pool with three other villas was only used by us, which was an added bonus.

There is some considerable work being done around the resort at the moment (we were not disturbed at all by this) and this will mean that some of the other villas will have been updated completely. We did look at those and said that if we visit again we may try one as they have a bit more character than the villa we were in. That said, Regina, the General Manager says she has plans to give the Panoramic Villas a little more personality too.

The position of the resort right on the beach sets it apart from other resorts on the island, most of which are separated from the beach by the main road (not that it gets busy). To wake up each morning to an unspoilt and unhindered view across the water to the small islands was a rare treat.

We made use of the free kayaks at the hotel a couple of times but did not use the free bicycles as we had already rented mopeds and felt it was too hot to cycle anyway. The hotel also offers moped rental for those over 18 years.

In terms of location, as I mentioned before, the position of the hotel in relation to the sea was second to none. The hotel offers a happy hour each evening with half price drinks and cocktails. The restaurant seemed popular, although we did not eat there in the evenings.

To venture further afield you do need a moped or to use a bike. There are other restaurants in walking distance but about 1.5 miles away there are quite a few more options to try. I would not usually entertain the idea of hiring mopeds but as this is really the only way to get around and as there are very few cars on the island it did feel safer than in other places. Mopeds are driven by all the locals and the speed is quite low. Why rush? The views along the road are amazing.

I would like to thank all the staff at the resort for a great stay.

Would I recommend? Definitely
Would I go again? I really hope so!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CovKid186403
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KoyaoIsland R, Guest Relations Manager at Koyao Island Resort, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Dear CovKid186403,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write this wonderful review.

We most certainly do look forward to welcoming you and your family back to enjoy our newly renovated Beach Villas.

Best regards,
The Koyao Island Resort Team
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London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2013

A really beautiful position. The food was delicious. We enjoyed manager's cocktails on the beach. Unfortunately the one night we stayed here during dinner a huge storm erupted and the structures of these rooms are not well designed against such heavy weather. When the storm abated a bit we made it back to our room from the restaurant where all the guests had been sheltering to discover that everything was soaked, our clothes were drenched, the floors were underwater and the beds very cold and wet. We weren't offered any alternative but to sleep on wet bedding. We understand that this was extreme weather however and there will have been many people on the island that night whose homes were damaged. We would have appreciated however a little concern from the management team the following morning. Yao Noi is a beautiful place, this resort is superbly positioned, the food was great and many of the staff were lovely so in calm weather I can well imagine this being a great place to unwind.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Philip M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KoyaoIsland R, Guest Relations Manager at Koyao Island Resort, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Dear Philip M,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write the review.

We are very happy to read that you enjoyed the food and the manager's cocktail and of course our staff. We are very disappointed to read that you were not appropriately assisted the night of the storm and wish that you had brought it to our attention. We would have gladly assisted you.

We do hope we might one day be able to welcome you back.

Kind regards,
The Koyao Island Resort Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2013

After some issues with our room on the first day, it was prompted solved in a really professional manner by the front desk staff. They were incredible and very accommodating. This resort is quite literally paradise with pristine grounds and a beautiful pool. Our villa that they upgraded us to was on a privat beach with its own pool. They were renovating several villas (which is where our problem arose on day 1) but they did an excellent job informing us as well as making sure it was not a bother to any guests.

They have tea time between 4-5 for free as well as a great happy hour afterwards. We only stayed 2 nights qbut we wish we had stayed for a week.

Also, there are very few food options on the island itself but the food at the resort is incredible so it was no problem.

Get a Thai massage at the spa. You will not regret it.

Room Tip: Just a tip, if you get one of the open air villas, make sure you are towards the front- it seemed a...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MLE91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KoyaoIsland R, General Manager at Koyao Island Resort, responded to this review, May 29, 2013
Dear Reviewer

Thank you very much for taking the time to share this very mice review.

We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed you stay and I will pass on your very kind comments to the team.

I am particularly please to hear that you enjoyed our Panorama Villas and that you were not disturbed by our current renovation work. We are doing our utmost to adjust the timings in a ways that will least disturb our guests.

Thank you also for your kind comments about the food in the restaurant, which I will pass on to the kitchen.

Once again thank you very much and we hope to be able to welcome you back in the not so distant future, perhaps for a week the next time.

Best regards
Regina Salzmann
General Manager
gm@koyao.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Koyao Island Resort

Property: Koyao Island Resort
Address: 24/2 Moo 5, Ko Yao Noi 82160, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Phang Nga Province > Ko Yao Noi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Ko Yao Noi
#2 Spa Hotel in Ko Yao Noi
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Yao Noi
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ko Yao Noi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Koyao Island Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our villas are built in the original Andaman Sea - gypsy style which is optimal for comfort and for the environment. We have used unique local resources with a traditional background while still maintaining, if not surpassing, all modern standards. The mangrove palm leaf roofs of our villas breathe and do not store heat, and air conditioners are definitely not needed.All villas have an undisturbed, spectacular sea view of the famous Phang Nga Bay and can be opened up to the stars at night - and in the morning the rising sun shines onto the beds. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Koyao Island Hotel Koh Yao Noi
Hotel Koyao Island

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