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“Luxury Camping”

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Koyao Island Resort
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Ko Yao Noi
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Luxury Camping”
Reviewed 25 February 2012

We recently stayed 3 nights in a Deluxe Villa. By day, the place was amazing. Lots to do (swimming, massage, free kayaks and bikes, free yoga, etc.). However, by night, the creatures come out (into our room) and the lack of A/C becomes a huge barrier to sleep. In fact, we didn't sleep for more than an hour at a time for our whole stay. Not exactly a recipe for romance as we were expecting for our stay. There were huge lizards above our bed and other critters making strange noises and leaving droppings atop our mosquito net. The saving grace would have been falling asleep listening to the ocean, but the noise of the fan made this impossible. On the upside, the food was great, the staff were very helpful, and location was good right on the beach and within a short bike ride to other restaurants and shops. The island itself was fantastic. A great getaway from all the other over-touristy sites in Thailand. However, at this price point, we expected A LOT more. Also, we echo previous reviewers regarding the overpriced transfer service. Book your own for a third the price and save yourself the money.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank 2_traveling_pants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Asianbuzz, General Manager at Koyao Island Resort, responded to this review, 26 February 2012
Dear 2_traveling_pants,

Thanks for your review. I apologies that we did not meet your expectations on this occasion. We have discussed this matter just now with our team; next time please do let us know, that you had difficulties to get some good sleep.
My recommendation is that if you wish to have a truly luxurious night at Koyao Island Resort, stay in a Panorama Villa, you will not regret it one bit: Two-bedroom air conditioned villa, beachfront with incredible, uninterrupted sea views. These villas offer the largest living space at Koyao Island Resort and are located approximately 80 meters away from the main resort area on the same beautiful beach.
I again offer my sincere apologies for these oversights and am sorry I was not aware of this during your stay. I hope that your experience will not discourage you from staying with us again

Best island regards
The Koyao Island Team
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Washington DC
Level Contributor
28 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2012

My wife and I (both in our early 30's) booked five nights at Koyao Island Resort and were looking forward to it as the highlight of our two week Thailand vacation. At the outset, we have to completely agree with the other reviews that the island itself and the views of Phang Nga bay (including from the resort and the lovely infinity pool) are out of this world and unbelievably beautiful. The hotel also offers a number of very nice excursions and a fantastic guide named Maan. We booked an excursion to several of the nearby islands, including Hong Island and several others. The guide (Maan) was FANTASTIC and we got to get out and kayak and hike through many caves and lagoons which we absolutely loved. The trip included James Bond island but we would skip that if we had to do over again as its completely overflowing with tourists and there are far more beautiful islands closer in (including Hong island). Finally, we took out the resorts bikes and biked around the island one day which was also an amazing experience.

Unfortunately, it appears that Koyao Island Resort relies on that view and the charm of the island to give its customers a pleasurable vacation and does little itself to add to that experience.

From the start, we experienced some issues with the resort. In particular, we relied on the resort's customer service that told us it would be very difficult for us to arrange our own transfer from Phuket airport and convinced us to spend the 4,000 baht for the hotel to arrange the transfer rather than taking local transportation. The hotels "private" transfer was, in reality, a local taxi that took us to a local port where we boarded a local long tail boat with several other people going to various destinations. While the local transportation was fine (even quite pleasant) the problem is that we could have taken the exact same transportation for literally 1/3rd the cost if we had booked it ourselves rather than relying on the hotel.


Far more problematic, however, was the fact that we had booked a "superior" room that was described as having sea views and, based on the website, gave the impression of being very open to nature and serene. In reality, the room was directly over the bar and right next door to the restaurant/all public areas where people congregate. Keep in mind these are "open air" concept rooms with no walls separating you from noise or giving privacy. Moreover, the room faced the rear of the resort and a garden and had NO sea view what-so-ever. In short, the description on the website (and Expedia which relies on the hotel to provide descriptions) was nothing short of misleading. In fairness, we spoke to the very helpful managers regarding the problem who were fantastic and actually upgraded us to a different category room to make our stay a bit more pleasurable. Its unfortunate the owner of the hotel doesn't appear to be as generous as his managers in making sure guests understand the amenities offered in the room they are booking. There are apparently two other superior class rooms that do offer some sort of sea view but are, nevertheless, located in the same area with the same issues regarding privacy and noise. In any event, STAY AWAY FROM ROOM 18 at all cost!!!!

Potential guests should also keep in mind when booking that the other classes of rooms (including beach villas and air con villas) also do not all have the same views and location. Some beach villas and air con villas are much better situated to the beach/sea and offer much better views than others. I'm not sure how you address that when booking other than to call the resort and hope they honestly tell you which are the best.

I would also second many of the other reviews that commented on the poor food and service offered at the hotel restaurant. The food was truly mediocre at best (breakfast being borderline bad) and the service was horrendous. As a result we ate at several of the local restaurants (including the Italian restaurant just down the road and also "Good View" which were actually quite good).

You should also know that there are quite a few other lodging options that offer similar views and access to the beach (although they may physically be across the road from the beach it's a similar if not shorter walk from them to the SAME beach with the SAME views). These hotels are FAR cheaper but offer the same amenities Unfortunately, we didn't discover these other options until after we actually arrived at the island. We actually tried to check out of the resort early but, unfortunately had prepaid for Koyao Island Resort and the management refused to refund any of our money relying on their official "policy" of no refunds after a certain date. We ultimately elected to check out a day early in any event and actually pay for a night we didn't stay in the resort in favor of staying elsewhere. That should say it all about our overall impression of the resort.

Although we had a wonderful time exploring the island, the scenery, and the view from the resort, our enjoyment was really that alone and was in no way a result of anything the resort offered or did. In sum, you'll enjoy your time on Koh Yao Noi regardless of where you stay, including at Koyao Island Resort, but why pay multiple times as much for the same enjoyment?

Room Tip: Make sure you contact the hotel prior to booking because not all rooms in the same class are similar...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
5 Thank travsav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Asianbuzz, General Manager at Koyao Island Resort, responded to this review, 22 February 2012
Dear travsav
I am extremely sorry that you were unsatisfied with your recent stay with us. As you mentioned, please never ever hesitate to contact us prior arrival. All our Villas are on the beach front with sea view; some are very close to the sea, some are a bit more set back for our guests who prefer to stay more separate from the others. Our Superiors, now rebranded to SeaBreeze Studios, are open up to the private garden (No 18) or the sea (No 16 & 17).


travsav, thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback on your stay. We hope to hear from you so that we resolve the unfortunate misunderstanding and that you will visit us again soon.

Regards,
The Koyao Island Team
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Vienna, Austria
Level Contributor
174 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2012

This was our second time already and it will not be the last. Some of the most outstanding bungalows in southeast asia, open concept without aircon and still cooling at night, your own little garden with open air shower provides privacy. The beach with stunning view to the carst islands, swimmable even at low tide (what is not assured at other locations). Great food, nice friendly staff, personalized service, therefore worth the prize a bit over average!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank vie4you
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Asianbuzz, General Manager at Koyao Island Resort, responded to this review, 2 February 2012
Thank you vie4you, tristan and nathaliejane99 for your stay with us and reviews.
We all are very glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. We are very glad to hear that you would want to come back. Next time you are here, try our Sea Gypsy BBQ; amazing dining experience!
Hopefully till not too long, we are looking forward welcoming you back soon.
All the best
The Koyao Island team
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Perth
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2012

We finished a 2-week trip to Thailand here and it was a sublime experience. Beautiful setting (thoroughly recommend a bungalow over a villa to get close to the ocean), lovely open rooms, excellent infinity pool looking over the ocean, superb service.

The resort is a bit more expensive than other operations but does a lot of work supporting the local Koyao communities, so we were happy to pay for this (the 1-page summary of their activities in the hotel guide made for interesting reading).

The rates include use of bicycles, kayaks and some other recreational equipment. They have motor bikes too, but we didn't use these so aren't sure if they are included.

Food was excellent (good mix of Thai and western options) and we had 2 spa treatments in 3 days. More expensive than other areas but in an excellent setting, with friendly professional staff. At less than 1/10th of the price for what we pay at home, it still felt like a bargain!

Can't wait to go back for our next trip. :-)

Room Tip: Get a bungalow if you can!
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tristan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2012

Discovered this hotel on internet and felt I found a little bit of paradise.
You feel like you are by yourself right on the beach. Great "traditional" like rooms with heavenly beds. right on the beach.
A good sized hotel on an Island with not many tourists. Good for a quiet break. I definitely recommend renting motorbikes (quite cheap) and visiting the island where you can find restaurants on the beach cheap and good food. You can also have a walk through the mangroves at the back of the hotel.
Food was good from european to thai specialities... the hotel also does fresh seafood babecues.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank nathaliejane99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
Region: 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
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Yao Noi
#3 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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