Thailand – Koh Yao Yai Village Resort Review

A slice of paradise away from travelling

Thailand – it’s a place synonymous with paradise, gap yah travellers, and boozy stag do’s, somewhat miraculously all at once. But the country itself is obviously so much more than the stereotypical reputations that so often precede it. Having spent a 10 day vacay there over New Years 2015, I returned for two weeks for a slightly longer stay, island hopping across four (very) different locations, ranging from super chilled resort, to a sporty holiday (20km kayak around several islands near Railay beach = a lot of sunburn) and a seriously party vibe in Phi Phi. I couldn’t recommend this approach to a long holiday in South East Asia enough – spend three nights in four different places, and you basically get four holidays packed into one. But, for those desperate to add a little bit of respite and relaxation to their travels, Koh Yao Yai Village resort is the most perfect getaway to make you feel totally off the radar and enjoy some luxury.

During my first time in Thailand in 2015, I realised I was absolutely not cut out to be a backpacker. I thought I could be, but seeing groups of girls and guys with a backpack on their front and backs, covered in sweat, looking altogether quite murderous and trying to find the cheapest and most liveable hostels, well, it was a little more than off-putting. And I didn’t even go backpacking then! I simply stayed in some average hotels. But even average hotels made me realise I wouldn’t want to stay at anywhere less than that. Plus, second time round, I was on my first romantic holiday with my boyfriend and whilst I’m sure staying in a dank hostel truly does make you bond like nothing else, I didn’t want to risk it the chance it might bring out the worst in me… But luckily, you can get a lot of luxury for a little money over in SE Asia, so whilst the flights can sometimes be expensive (ours were £500 return London – Phuket so not bad at all) it’s worth it for when you get out there.

Holiday Style


Just a 30 minute speedboat from Phuket, it’s the perfect destination if you’ve just touched down and looking to rid yourself of long-haul flight vibes, or if your holiday is coming to a close and you want to finish it on a serious relaxation high before hopping back on that plane. Another 30 minute speed boat will take you on to Ao Nang Pier, from which we then moved on to take up our next adventure in Railay.

Perched on the side of a private beach, you can wake up every day to the view of the sea with the resort’s ocean view villas. But Koh Yao Yai Village really offers the best of both worlds, sandy shores, with beautiful villas nestled in the rainforest. There’s all the amenities you need, and more – a little gym (thank god, as Simon and I couldn’t deal with two weeks away from the gym – losers right?), a spa, activity centre and library in case your holiday company is boring, of course.

There’s two restaurants on site, The Khayee serving an extensive buffet breakfast, traditional Thai lunches, and mixed international and Thai cuisine for dinner, or Krachang Bar & Grill where they serve up barbecued fresh catches from the sea. All I’m saying is this: take your bikini pictures on day one, then throw away your camera. Ok?

Shoes & Shades

The Rooms

Inside, the rooms are decked out with a bed big enough for four – not that you’d want to share – and contemporary decor mixed with traditional Thai elements crafted by locals. And each villa is set far enough apart so you never have to worry about peeping neighbours. In fact, it’s so serene, it feels a lot like you could be on your own private island. If I’m ever trying to get zen when I’m in a stress, I try and think of the sound of the tropical rain storms falling on the leaves outside these bungalows at night, with the nocturnal nightlife coming alive – there’s nothing like it. Oh, and I hope you like walk-in showers. 
Still not convinced? Each villa has it’s own private terrace with a huge bed for relaxing in, or, if you’re anything like me, taking photos for Instagram in (do not judge… you’re with me on this one right?!) 

Private Beach

When the tide is out, the private beach comes to life and stretches far out for exploring – or posing for moody-looking beach shots (I had eaten far too many noodles this day and was not feeling myself). It offers a panoramic view of Phang Nga Bay, and the Phi Phi islands float in the distance – although, honestly, this peaceful paradise couldn’t feel further away from Phi Phi in terms of atmosphere (anyone who has had a few too many buckets at the Thai boxing bar there will know exactly what I mean…) 


 The Pools

Now can I tell you about the pool?! If beaches aren’t your thing – no fear. The pool was made for you, and views. Whilst the tide is in, spend your morning and afternoon taking a dip in the infinity pool and drinking coconuts at the swim-up bar. Yes, you heard me. All hotels should come equipped with them. Yet the double-sided bar means you can swim up and enjoy your afternoon latte/ pina colada, or sit on the stools on the other side so you can do your whole wanky important freelancer on holiday + working on my Macbook whilst drinking from a coconut thing.

For more on my trips to Thailand, take a little browse here. Looking for more holiday inspiration but don’t fancy long haul flights? Take a look at my review of the Almyra Hotel in Cyprus instead. Or, if it’s city breaks, see why Budapest is everyone’s favourite!

And for the rest of my travel posts, head on over here!

Bikinis & Swimsuits 

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