During my short visit to Koh Yao Yai, I stayed at Koh Yao Yai Village, which is an eco-friendly boutique resort on the northeastern side of the island. The resort is located on a private beach and the small clusters of bungalows occupy the lush green hillside above.
Everything manmade blends in nicely with the natural surroundings, and the area is pleasantly free from noisy jet skis and pool bar euro techno.
I couldn’t see the beach from my bungalow, but instead I had palm trees right outside my door. Except for the occasional strange jungle sound, it was very quiet at the resort. In fact, it was so quiet that at some point in the evening, I started wondering whether I had gone deaf, so I decided to turn on the TV.
The beautiful, natural beach right in front of the hotel boasts an undisturbed view of a tiny nearby island. During low tide, you have to walk a long distance to reach the water, and the beach turns into a rather muddy mess. The beach is not the best for swimming, but it’s a nice spot for sunbathing. The resort has several nice pools, which seems to be where most guests prefer to hang out.
If you want to see more of the island, there’s a moped rental shop at the entrance to the resort area. There’s also an excursion desk at the hotel, where you can book a wide range of excursions, but some of them require a minimum number of people to sign up.
The bungalows had all the amenities you could wish for including a semi-outdoor bathroom with a rain shower.
What I loved:
Koh Yai Yai Village is one of the most secluded and peaceful places I’ve stayed in Thailand.
The breakfast buffet:
The breakfast buffet was served at the pool bar/restaurant. It wasn’t a very big, but everything tasted delicious and details such as the omelet station and the fridge with the bottles of freshly squeezed juice made this buffet stand out from from the crowd.
What I didn’t love:
The price tag
Everything on the resort premises is rather pricey. I had dinner at the seafood restaurant near the beach and paid 1000THB for a grilled fish and a watermelon shake. The treatments at the onsite spa were all expensive too. While I understand that it is associated with higher costs to have all these services available for a very limited number of guests, I couldn’t help feeling that they’re taking a little too much advantage of the fact that the guests have nowhere else to go.
I didn’t get why they operate their own large speedboat to shuttle people back and forth between the island and the mainland. Considering that they’re an eco-friendly resort, wouldn’t it make more sense just to transfer guests to the public boat departing from the main pier?
Who should visit Koh Yao Yai Village?
Koh Yao Yai Village is perfect for honeymooners and couples looking for that (almost) deserted-island-feeling. For someone like me, on a solo trip, Koh Yao Yai Village was also a very nice place to stay for a couple of days, but I think I would have been bored, if I were to stay there for a longer time. Will I visit again? Definitely! But next time, I’ll bring Poul:)