For the ultimate in luxurious pampering in a setting that puts you at one with nature, an escape to this stunning 'resort' located some 30 minutes from Phuket by speedboat will be just the tonic.
Koh Yao Noi is a quiet island that just a few years ago was unknown to the tourist industry, today the discreet 55 Hideaway villas with private pools have been built into a gentle hillside with acres of space between them. This stunning resort fits in perfectly with its surroundings; a mature rubber tree plantation.
A stay at Six Senses Hideaways achieves what is so difficult for many with our modern lives as each layer of stress is gently peeled back until inner calmness is all that remains.
This begins with the transfers, a sleek chauffer driven BMW 7-Series or Mercedes whisks you to the ferry pier where you meet the boat. Once aboard, you're greeted with refreshing cold flannels and refreshments, padded daybeds and large seating areas are shaded which means that the hop across to the island is comfortable to say the least.
There are no waves to speak of in Phang Nga Bay so the ride is extremely smooth and the spectacular scenery of uninhabited jungle-covered islands and small fishing boats puts you at ease.
From the sea the resort is barely visible, only the sugar palm leaf thatched roofs can be glimpsed. Guests are welcomed at the jetty and driven straight to their villa by golf buggy where check-in formalities are completed.
A delicious platter of breads accompanied by humus and pesto dips, freshly squeezed juices and a bottle of chilled wine arrived with our butler seconds after we entered the villa.
The Villas all feature private infinity pools, outdoor sunbathing and shaded seating areas, the outdoor areas account for about half of the total location. The entire resort has been built employing local building techniques and by using natural environmentally controlled building materials. Walls are wood panelled and all roofs are thatched from sugar palm leaves. In the villas the line between inside and outside is blurred as the bedroom features floor-to-ceiling doors on two sides.
The bathroom is semi outdoor with twin vanities and has an outdoor shower (open air) with both 'rain' and normal showers, surrounded by bamboo for privacy. The large two-person Jacuzzi opens out to spectacular scenery. Incidentally the TV is on a hidden hinged door and can be watched from the bathroom as well as the bedroom. If you are watching from the bed you will benefit even more from Dolby 5.1 surround sound.
Six Sense Koh Yao
Ceiling fans aid the natural hillside breeze and if you prefer air conditioning the bedroom can be totally closed to hold in the cool air. The air-con starts at Six Senses' eco-friendly default temperature of 27C, which can be changed to your liking. Pampering gadgets include a cappuccino / espresso machine, fully stocked wine fridge, a selection of fine teas, Bose CD/DVD player with Dolby 5.1 surround sound and an ipod docking station.
Style-wise the villas, like the rest of the resort, are something else. The 'natural' open look has been crafted to perfection, everything is made from wood, all the villas and other buildings and the furniture. Artful driftwood is used to hang the mosquito nets above the beds and natural rope hangs shelves and the mirrors in the bathroom. After being in a villa for just five minutes you don't want to leave, ever.
Service levels are excellent with butlers on hand to offer personal attention to each guest. There aren't really any shops on the island (apart from the resort shop) which is why they're so useful. Forgot to bring nail clippers, toothbrush or shaving foam? Phone your butler and they'll bring what you need to your villa in five minutes.
In-villa dining choices are extensive as there's a good room service menu. Additionally, Champagne breakfasts, evening barbeques under the stars, or picnic lunches can all be arranged but at Six Senses the personal touch goes one step further; a personal chef and waiter are on hand for your individual requests - the same goes for juices and cocktails as well, as long as you know the recipe.
Spacing between villas is generous therefore the resort covers a large area. Walking around is possible however the norm is to call your butler to bring a buggy (golf cart) to take you where you want to go.
The Main House & Den
Here you'll find a real library that has an extensive selection of books, not the usual one shelf but rows of the latest in literature to keep you occupied. There's also internet, DVD's and games available. Located behind the library you'll find the impressive floor to ceiling hotel wine cellar – definitely worth a peek.
Indian-style swings offer a comfortable setting for reading and next door is the glass-walled two-story wine cellar. The Den (bar area) has two sunken seating areas that are surrounded by ponds on all sides and upstairs more Indian-style swings provide relaxation opportunities. Candles dotted throughout accompanied by chilled sounds provide a very funky setting for sipping cocktails whilst snacking on Thai noodles and small bites long after the sun has set.
The Living Room and Terrace
Here is where you breakfast and have dinner from a different kind of buffet; what you choose is cooked freshly and brought to your table. Guests help themselves at the bakery and deli, both setup like shops, the only difference is that you don't pay. Limestone outcrops rise from the sea a mile or so offshore and the beach makes a wonderful backdrop, there's rarely a boat in sight.
At the dinner buffet you can choose from sushi/sashimi, something from the tandoori or wood-fired pizza oven. A full compliment of Thai/Asian dishes is available as is steak, lamb and fish from the charcoal grill. Breakfast is a similarly wide selection, the crêpes are divine.
The Dining Room
The decadently dressed dining room suits those looking for fine dining. A naturally beautiful two-story structure features a chef's table, similar to a teppanyaki table, that seats up to eight upstairs.
The a la carte menu offers mainly Mediterranean dishes and secluded romantic private dining pavilions are dotted around the surrounds.
The tables are all stunningly dressed and of course there is a suitably indulgent menu and wine list to match.
From the beach stunning vistas needle like islands rising vertically from the sea is what has made Phang Nga Bay famous.
The soft sand is home to sun-loungers and massage salas for lazing, alternatively hobie cats and windsurfers are on hand for the active, lessons are also available if needed.
Holistic treatments are offered at Six Senses Spa in addition to more regular treatments. The spa is a core part of the hideaway philosophy and it's these treatments that really help you to relax and bring balance back to your body and mind through skilled therapists creating customised sensory journeys for you to enjoy.
The Spa also houses a well-equipped gym.
Six Senses' eco-friendly credentials are a badge of honour worn proudly for all to see throughout the resort. This resort has integrated into the surroundings, not replaced them.
Electricity use is kept to the bare minimum without impacting services and one example of this is the default air conditioning temperature of 27C. The natural materials from renewable sources used in the building shows that Six Senses really does take its environmental responsibilities seriously.
At checkout, guests are offered the opportunity to offset the carbon emissions generated by their stay by contributing towards wind farms in India which reduce the carbon emissions of development there.
Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi Resort Location Map
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