Koh Yao Yai, Thailand

Santhiya Luxury Resort & Spa, Thailand Review

When in the UK, I’m a premier inn kinda gal through and through but when travelling south East Asia, I feel like the bougiest princess and it’s all because they have some amazing hotels and resorts for affordable prices. My recent trip to Thailand was no different and our first resort, Santhiya, was quite simply breath taking. As we were taken on a tour around the facilities, I kept looking back to my friend and mouthing ‘WOW!’. We had three nights in the beautiful resort but you would not be short of things to do if you stayed much longer. Here’s my experience and review of Santhiya Resort.

We initially planned for three nights around the Phuket area of Thailand. I set out on Agoda and Santhiya came up. It was the images of the balcony view which really sold it to me! After a little research, it transpired that it wasn’t actually in Phuket but a small island near by called Koh Yao Yai. This is a big tip I must share, check the location of your hotels on Google maps first, a lot of the smaller island take the larger areas or mainland areas as their address. We didn’t intend to explore Koh Yao Yai but it was a very pleasant mistake and one we did not regret what so ever!

In order to get to Santhiya, we caught a flight from Bangkok to Phuket airport and from Phuket hopped in a taxi to take us to Bang Rong pier. This journey took around 25 minutes. When we got to Bang Rong Pier we were greeted by some workers who assisted us with our ticket, there were two options, boat from Bang Rong to Klong Hiar pier or boat from Bang Rong directly to the hotel. We opted for the Klong Hiar Pier and found a taxi at the other end who drove us to the hotel. We saved money but lost time this way however the drive from the pier to the hotel allowed us to see what the island had to offer and it was beautiful.

We eventually arrived at Santhiya and was assisted with our luggage down to the reception. We were greeted with welcome drinks and a hot cloth which was appreciated. The check in process took some time and I did begin to get a little antsy as I wanted to get to the room and freshen up. We were eventually taken from the reception and shown around by a friendly member of staff. The hotel complex is large, really large. There’s a sequence of shuttle trucks to help you around and we hopped on and was taken to the top of the hill for a short walk to our hotel.

The resort is made up of individual villas and seven hotels which house the double bedrooms. Our hotel was right at the end of the complex and gave us a beautiful view over the bay. Once we had gotten in, we jumped around with joy for a bit and proceeded to freshen up ready to head down for some food.

We had a double bedroom with bay view balcony, it was gorgeous. The attention to detail is fantastic and everything is beautifully carved in wood. We had a spacious shower, sink and toilet in the bathroom with a refreshing fan. The bedroom had a double four poster bed, a sofa area, desk, smart TV, kitchenette with sink and mini bar. The balcony has a sofa and bath tub outside. You are provided with robes, slippers, a beach bag and umbrella for your stay as well as four bottles of water per day, free dried snacks and fruit as well as a stocked mini bar which you can pay for. The bedroom was fault less, the air con was great, the bed had mosquito nets and the TV came with Netflix and YouTube – you really could stay here for weeks!

Santhiya comes with  a whopping seven restaurants to choose from. We ate in two and had breakfast included so we did our best shot at trying them whilst we were there.

Saairtara Restaurant

This is the restaurant that has the amazing breakfast buffet. Now, I’m a massive fan of a breakfast buffet so I am a little biased on this but it really was fab. I’ve never had breakfast with such a view before, choose to seat inside, outside or on loungers, you can indulge in the food with a view across the bluest sea and fantastic island. The buffet offered a selection of teas and fresh fruit juices, including exotic fruits such as lychee, mango and melon juice. Western foods including breads, cheeses, meats, fried goods, pancakes, waffles, eggs, toasts and jams, pastries and cereal. There are also Thai cuisine dishes offering noodles, buns, dumplings, rice and soups.  Breakfast starts at 7:30, go early and go hungry – make the most of this! Breakfast was included with our room and I would recommend ensuring it is as there’s not many options on the island at this time.

The Titan Grill

Down in the main area right by the sea, based on the sand is this laid back eatery. We popped in for late lunch and had one of their signature charcoal fish burgers. It’s a casual dining experience in a lovely setting and I highly recommend it for a more affordable food option during the day. The fish burger was very good and at 200 baht (£5.13) it was one of the cheapest options on the menu.

By The Sea Restaurant and Bar

On the first night, we headed down here for some dinner as the sun was setting. They offer buffet dinner in the main restaurant but we weren’t too hungry so sat down here. It’s a lovely setting, especially as the sun sets and the string lights all start to come on. I had the spring rolls, told you I wasn’t too hungry! They were very tasty and paired with a pina colada cocktail served in a pineapple – I was all set for the first night before a sleep in  the super comfy bed!

This resort covers all bases and you really could be here for days upon days and not need to leave. The resort is complete with two pools, a gym, gift shop, library, lounge areas, beaches as well as offerings of recreational activities.

The two pools are fantastic. The main pool is within the main complex on the beachside. The pool is pretty large, which is good considering the resort caters for children. The pool has a big waterfall to the back which is a beautiful feature and with a variety of sun loungers including mini long boat style ones which are really comfy and you can slip straight into the pool. The top pool is a fancy pool, complete the infinity edge over looking the most beautiful bay.

The resort offers free activities which very unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to make the most of! You can join in with Thai boxing, Thai dancing, mountain biking and paddle boarding and it’s all free! Make sure you book long enough here to make the most of this, what a deal!

As the island doesn’t offer too much, its relatively undeveloped, you can catch a boat from the resort pier. You can hop off across to Phuket or go off for the day on an island tour. A top tip, the cost of a one way boat from the pier to Phuket is 900 baht per person (£23) however if you walk along the beach to the left of the resort, you’ll stumble upon a tourist centre where you can book a boat for 300 baht one way per person (£7.96). This is very well organised, you will also need to pay for a taxi from the resort to Loh Jak Pier as the tourist pier is about 20 minutes drive away from the resort, they’ll organise this for you and it’s about 300 baht (£7.96) which you can split between your party. There’s also a small convenience store down here so pick up some snacks to keep you going!

Overall, Santhiya was beyond a pleasure to visit and I would highly recommend it for people of all ages. It caters for children with plenty of entertainment, for young adults with the sports activities and for people just looking to relax and enjoy the beach. I for sure, if I ever find myself returning to Thailand, will be back here in a heartbeat.

Jenifer x

Find Santhiya on their website here and their Instagram here. 

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