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Blue hues of every shade mark a stay at the Phuket Resort of 2012

Best of Phuket 2012: Resort of the Year

Friday, December 28, 2012
The Original Best of Phuket Awards

PHUKET: From the high ceilings of the grand lobby to the intricate carvings on the furniture, the newly-opened Santhiya Resort and Spa on Koh Yao Yai is best described a teak palace.

Chosen for its durability, the golden teak wood that adorns the hotel adds an extra touch of splendor to its already spectacular setting on Yao Yai beach.

The resort's owner, a specialist in wooden furniture and gazebo design, is the mastermind behind the architecture and landscaping of this luxury hotel.

Santhiya is deserving of its Thai meaning, ''natural beauty''. All the rooms have a view of the ocean and surrounding islands. From the resort's wide deck, guests can step out onto the fine white sand of Yao Yai beach. Lush forest cradles the hotel from the eastern side.

Traditional Thai design is part of Santhiya's philosophy.

''When people come to Thailand they want to experience the Thai style,'' says the resort's Deputy Managing Director, Danny K Sukomol.

Decorations and ornaments around the resort are handmade, supplied by different communities across the country.

''All the products here we are using are from local communities. In Thailand we call that Otop - one district, one product.''

Santhiya commissioned a small village in Koh Samui to make the shell chandeliers. The large doors to the walk-in dressing room of the Ocean View Pool Villa Suite were sourced from central Thailand, as were the pure silk runners on the beds. The futon cushions come from Chiang Mai.

Recycled materials have been used cleverly. The roof of the pool suite is made from reclaimed wood from railways and old houses. Inside, the ceiling is made from teak scraps.

It's a pleasant 20-minute journey to Koh Yao Yai from Phuket using one of Santhiya's two speedboats.

With an increasing number of international airlines offering direct flights to Phuket, Santhiya is ideal for those looking for a tranquil getaway but with the convenience of an airport nearby.

It's a 50-minute drive from the moment guests are greeted at Phuket airport to when they arrive at the Royal Phuket Marina from where Santhiya's boats to Koh Yai Yao depart.

The resort opened this month, on the auspicious day of 12.12.12. It's a staggered opening with more rooms and features of the hotel opening between now and this time next year.

As of December 2012 there are six pool villas, one restaurant (Chantara, meaning 'beautiful moon'), a fitness center and spa that offers Thai massage and Aromatherapy.

In addition to the villas' private pools, the resort has a main pool that features a 50-metre high cascading waterfall.

Guests have access to kayaks, complementary WIFI, as well as tours and excursions of nearby areas.

The 150 square metre Ocean View Pool Villa Suite has a bedroom which opens onto a private pool, a living room with a futon that turns into a sleeping space for children, and a walk-in dressing room.

The private infinity pool varies in size from 35-55 square metres, depending on the landscape and terrain of the individual suite.

A highlight of the room is the enormous bathroom, which features both an indoor and outdoor section with an open roof (the walls are very high so privacy is never an issue).

Danny Sukomol says Santhiya's owner searched for nearly a year before finding this spot on Yao Yai. It stood out because of the 1.2 kilometres of white sandy beach that allows for swimming all year round.

Santhiya Yao Yai follows in the footsteps of Santhiya's first, award-winning resort at Koh

An Ocean View Pool Suite starts at 18,000 baht during the high season, and 20,000 baht during the Christmas-New Years peak season.

Sophie Brown, a journalism masters student at the University of Hong Kong, is currently an intern at Phuketwan. She is a former communications officer at the anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Well done and congratulations to you, Santhiya Resort and Spa on Koh Yao Yai.
Pity that there are no longer any good enough hotels or resorts ON Phuket, to win this good award anymore. Just shows you how the island has decayed.

Posted by Robin on December 28, 2012 15:54

Editor Comment:

Our judging panel would disagree strongly. The quality of the resorts on and around Phuket continues to improve, Robin.


Really unlucky: The "Best of Phuket, Resort of the year" is not even in the Phuket province! Koh Yao Yai belongs to the Pang Nga province!

Posted by Anonymous on December 28, 2012 16:39

Editor Comment:

Like tourists, we take in what's on offer in Phang Nga and Krabi too, anonymous.


Therein lies the sting in the scorpions tail ED. "The quality of the resorts on and around Phuket continues to improve, Robin." Improve but still not good enough to win. I would have like to see if the new Novotel in Patong was nominated? Was there a list of nominees? Nope. I have no affiliation to any resort or hotel here or overseas.

Posted by Robin on December 28, 2012 16:48

Editor Comment:

We reviewed the Novotel earlier this year, Robin. It's a fine resort. We should have added the line: ''The judges' decision is final and no further correspondence will be entered into.''

However, feel free to start your own awards.


Ed I was only enquiring. You seem awfully uptight for a person in a season to be jolly. Holy ----, I did not know that Phuket annexed the Krabi and Phang Nga provinces too? The tourists sound pretty dumb to me.
Tourist "Hi, I would like to visit Phuket but I want to stay in a hotel in Krabi. Is it still on Phuket?"
Answer" HUH !"

Posted by Robin on December 28, 2012 18:15

Editor Comment:

We review resorts all over ''Greater Phuket,'' Robin. Do we really need to explain why?

The fact is, every question from a reader takes me away from more important stuff. We are not a help service.

The last day off we took was in 2010. For us, New Year will be like every other day. Let us get on with it, please, without needless interruption.


To the Ed and all his staff, a very happy new year, ( Sawadee pee mai), to all of you at PhuketWan and keep the up- to-date news flowing in 2013. Stay safe out there.

Posted by Robin on December 29, 2012 09:53

Editor Comment:

Thanks, Robin.


See ? She loves you really ! (Sorry, Robin I'm assuming you're female).

And a little acceptance of getting it wrong (not horrendously) every now and again would go along way to appeasing devoted readers who are now begging to try to 'jap pit'. Or ... you could go with the Greater Phuket argument.

Whatever people say we still rely on you as the best source of news on Phuket.

P.S. Liked the "billboards are in English" retort. Very drole.

No retort is necessary (for me, but by all means ...).

Have a Happy New Year !

Posted by James on December 29, 2012 17:10

Saturday April 13, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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