Where to Stay in Koh Yao Noi, Thailand
Wherever We May Roam
By Leslie Patrick Moore, Photos by Steven Moore Photography
A mere speck of an island east of Phuket in the Andaman Sea, Koh Yao Noi is a one-horse town, where the biggest news in decades was the opening of a 7–11 in the village square. This isolating remoteness is precisely the reason people visit—sometimes the only company for miles may be a gecko or an old man in a hammock. Combined with the empty beaches and smiling faces of the locals, the time is right to visit Koh Yao Noi while it’s still a virtually undiscovered hideaway.
One of Thailand’s many beauties is that there are accommodations to fit every budget, and the island of Koh Yao Noi is no exception. From bare bones backpacker shacks with cold showers and no air conditioning to US$600 per night private bungalows with a personal butler on duty, sleeping on the island is most decidedly not a problem. Here are three of our favorites:
Tabeak View Point
On our very first visit to Koh Yao Noi, we called the Tabeak home for two nights. You may think you want to stay in a beachfront bungalow, but when you see the view from the porch of one of these rustic rooms, you won’t be sorry. Wake up early and watch the sun dance its way to life, then bask in the cool breeze that blows up from the water below. Eat a banana pancake at Tabeak’s restaurant before making the five-minute walk to one of the island’s best beaches. The cost is US$20 per night for a basic bungalow.
The Paradise Koh Yao Boutique Beach Resort & Spa
Overlooking a private emerald lagoon surrounded by towering limestone karsts, the Paradise Koh Yao offers one of the most spectacular beach views on the island.
Whitewashed bungalows are set amid gardens of pink and yellow flowers. Inside, mosquito nets are draped ethereally from the ceilings over king-sized beds. Luxurious outdoor showers and lounge areas are complete with pillow-clad swings to laze away an afternoon as mellifluous waves crash onto the golden sands below.
On the dining front, a collection of restaurants serving up savory Thai dishes lines the private beach, or the hotel can arrange a romantic table on the water’s edge. Sunrise yoga on the beach, sumptuous spa treatments, and a perfectly manicured pool ensure that the Paradise truly lives up to its lofty name. Rooms at the resort start at US$90.
The Six Senses Yao Noi
This eco-friendly resort is as chic as they come with a collection of 54 thatch-roofed bungalows unfurling over pristine beaches. Perhaps it’s because the resort is in direct competition with the dazzling view of the bay that its activities, restaurants, and services are a wonder of lavish hospitality. Take dining, for example: handmade ice cream cools during the day while menus at the private Hilltop Reserve restaurant spice up the night. One night at the Six Senses will set you back at least US$600.