I have been a huge admirer of the Six Senses brand for many years. I love their ethos in Sustainability, which is the DNA of the brand and many of their properties around the world are set in such raw locations in order to reflect this core belief.
Six Senses Yao Noi has been on my radar to visit for many years and I finally got the opportunity to experience the incredible island first hand.
The property is set on Koh Yao Noi in 72 acres of raw beauty, a still, peaceful island located in the middle of Phang Nga Bay, halfway between Phuket and Krabi. Facing east, the resort sprawls over a jungle-covered hillside overlooking a cluster of dramatic limestone sea-stacks – it's worth setting your alarm for 6am on at least one morning and being awestruck by the magenta sun rising behind them. From Phuket airport it's a 30-minute drive to Ao Por Marina, from where the Six Senses speedboat departs on a 45-minute journey to the resort. When booking the boat, just make sure of your timings as the boat runs on a schedule so timings are fixed.
The hotel's showpiece is its insanely photogenic “Hilltop” infinity pool, simply let the day pass while enjoying the incredible views directly in front of you. On the same side of the island is a gorgeous white beach with some great snorkeling on its rocky corners. Other activities on the island is a 4 hour bike tour around the island. During my bike tour the rain came and went which added to the fun, 26km of riding up and down hills, through the paddie fields and rubber plantations and stopping at a waterfall.
Hiking trails are around the property, a Muay Thai booking ring on the waters edge and of course yoga classes add to the active, healthy vibe.
You can also enjoy an hour’s kayak through the mangroves, where we saw snakes lying on the tree branches.
You can’t stay on the island and not enjoy a day trip to one of the close by islands. You can book a long boat or private yacht for some island hopping - Phi Phi Island, James Bond Island and the islands of Krabi.
With an emphasis on space, privacy and nature, each of the thatched-roof villas ramble across different levels, with large decks, outdoor salas, dining areas and a private swimming pool. Every villas comes with it's own GEM (guest experience manager) for all your concierge needs.
The interior is designed with drift wood, a beautiful bed in the centre of the room, a sunken bathtub in the huge bathroom along with an out door shower.
The entry level rooms are beautifully located in the lush jungle but the sea view villas are the ones to book providing the most incredible views of Phang Nga Bay so you can enjoy the sunrise and sunset. I would say for two guests book “The View” an Ocean Panoramic villa and for large families “The Ocean Retreat” or “The Hideaway” as they are real Robinson Crusoe tree houses!
The Living Room is the International all day alfresco dining restaurant located close to the beach which serves a breakfast buffet with healthy options direct from a menu. For dinner every night the menu changes for wok, grill and buffet options.
The Hilltop - when the sun goes down, the sun loungers are replaced with tables and chairs for the dinner set up. It's the exclusive restaurant on the island. Enjoy drinks at the bar and the feast of a sustainably crafted menu all while enjoying the incredible view.
During the day you can order from the lunch menu.
The Den offers Asian tapas and is a great place for a cocktail or two.
If you’re looking for a more romantic or private dining experience then you can enjoy in villa dining next to your swimming pool on the terrace of your villa or a private ding experience set up around the island.
Don't forget to visit the all day ice-cream parlor next to the Living Room and work your way through the yummiest selection of flavors.
Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you will know that Six Senses Spas are known to be top-notch when it comes to their spa and holistic offerings, and this resort is no exception.
Designed as a small stilted village at the heart of the resort, treatments here range from energizing Thai massages to multi-day immersive programs including private chakra meditation and detox diets. There's a juice bar, and an alchemy room where guests can blend their own herbal steam balls and massage oils.
The island doesn’t have a kids club they have something better… The Junior Eco Warrior Club which offers a daily activity plan encouraging the kids to be out doors in nature and explore the island. They can go to the farm to learn how to milk goats, collect eggs and a cooking class. There’s also a weekly schedule for the beach cinema.
Sustainability is at the core of everything they do. Its not just a word that they float around, Sustainability is in their DNA.
They offer guests lemongrass drinking straws and reusable glass water bottles. Drinking water is sourced from the deep wells around the resort.
Guests are given a tour of the small farm which is home to goats, chickens, hens, ducks. There’s also a recycling plant where old furniture is made into nesting boxes for the local hornbill population.
Notes are left around the villas to remind you to turn off all the lights, how to reduce laundry and no plastic items will be found in the mini bar.
Having experienced this incredible offering before at another Six Senses property, I can definitely state that I’m a person who really loves the rawness of the island while still offering its guests a 5-star luxury escape. If you’re expecting to be in a resort with AC’s and marble floors than this is not the property for you. However, experiencing Six Senses Yao Noi will surely change your mind and encourage you to book more holidays in nature without giving up on any of your luxury needs.
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