Took my daughters here recently. They were ecstatic. This is a unique place with a unique history and sensibility. Just finished a meditation session with Nola. Best meditation in five years--that session was also at the Sanctuary. Great food. Great cove. But there is something else. Whether it's training and HR management, the people here, particularly the Thai and Myanmar staff, are genuinely lovely and service oriented. I've traveled all over the world and have many favorites. Nothing anywhere delivers what the Sanctuary delivers.
I came here with my friend and his 2 friends as a place he wanted to spend for his birthday. My friend has stayed here on numerous occasions and has told me many times I should visit. This time i couldn't resist visiting and "WOW" what an amazing place with fantastic people. On arrival my friend was given the biggest welcome back which was nice to see. We stayed in the Ocean View House which was amazing and has a great view over the bay. There was a master bedroom with Air con and 2 more beds upstairs with fan. It had a bathroom which was built around rocks and had a natural view out to the bay. There was also 3 sofa's, Hammock, a basic kitchen area, Fridge and a drinking water tap which was really nice to have. The whole of the house is open to the elements and doesn't have any doors or windows just some roller sheets that you can put down if its windy or raining which it wasn't. There is also a little walk way from the living quarters to a piece of decking built on a rock if you want some privacy to sunbathe or relax with a great view. There is lots to do here if you like Yoga, Meditation, Detox or just a spa pampering. The beach at the sanctuary is ok but isn't paradise. There are rocks in the water but the sea is mostly clear and has a pontoon that you can swim out too and relax in a hammock or lay on the decking which has some cover. The restaurant is really nice and right on the beach with lots of healthy food but no meat. The drinks and service are first class. You can go all week without carrying any money as you can put it on your room bill and pay at the end. However, if you go out of the resort you will need cash. There is no ATM facility that i was aware of apart from if you take a water taxi or hike over to Haad Rin. We did the hike over to Haad Rin which i really enjoyed. Its not too bad but has some tough areas if your not fit. There is a view which looks down to Haad Yuan & Haad Thian. The trail brought us out on the end of Haad Rin beach which is a beautiful beach and also home to the Full Moon Party. You can walk across to Haad Yuan where there are some more restaurants and a beautiful beach which has crystal clear water and great for swimming. A great place to eat is "Bamboo" which is set on the hill of the walk across from "The Sanctuary" and has fantastic views that complement the food and service. A must visit. At the Sanctuary there are places to get laundry done ,a couple of shops and free wifi, but NO 3G or phone signal until you go over to Haad Yuan. All of the staff are amazing and i have to say a big thank you to Chad who was very very helpful. If you are coming from Koh Samui there is a supply boat that leaves from Mae Nam at midday and stops at Haad Rin then the Sanctuary which saves having to take a water Taxi from Haad Rin and only costs 300 baht one way.
Landing in The Sanctuary is like landing on an isolated island, even so that its just a few bays away from the full moon party beach Haad Rin. You have to take a long tail boat over here (300 THB per person) and that seems to filter who stays here. It's quiet, lovingly maintained, corals to explore, yoga and massages to get, as well as a healthy kitchen. If you are fine with no AC, I recommend a room on the hill top. Garden House for example.
Edith the Netherland
Had a wonderful time at the sanctuary. Went by myself to regain energy and I did! Food is great, the yin yoga with hailey every morning at 10.30 were a treat, the massages are soothing and the 'rolfing' session with Sarah was excellent. My breathing has changed with one session already, great! Haad thien is a nice beach but a 5 min walk and you are at Why Nam, a lovely beach. Great for swimming and snorkeling. I stayed in weeman 5, fanned room, very nice with a lovely terrace. And apart from 1 spider on the bathroom wall the day I left, no bugs in the room whatsoever (and I am a true bug-hater!!). And I spent 5 nights. Liked my room much better then the garden rooms by the way. So if you don't really need ac: go for the fan. In short: loved it, especially travelling alone. It is easy to meet new people here and be on your own as well.
Just getting there is half the fun, isolated and set on a really idyllic bay, The Sanctuary is a welcoming resort-ish place with a real scene; die-hard travellers mixing with farang DJs and other long-time residents together with families with kids. There is a good vibe, the food is pretty good without being excellent, but the staff was quite welcoming, pleasant and smiling. We took the ocean view room, a round, open air duplex with AC overlooking the bay and even though we had a resident bat and his guano,, the kids loved it and had fun. I do have to say that climbing up the stairs to get up there justifies relaxing on the terrace or the hammock. Nok is giving a great massage and I also had a great one in the spa. No treatments or fasting or feasting for me, because there's no escaping the many parties dotting the island on a nightly basis, but fun nonetheless. Extras at the reaort are a bit expensive but I wouldn't have expected it to be different because of the remote location.
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