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Reviewed October 14, 2012

I travelled with three other ladies, two of whom just turned 80 years old and my mother in law who will be 78 this Dec. We had booked a grand villa through Ms Samantha of Bangkok Office. She is very efficient and helpful and we didn't have any problems at all with our reservations. The grand villa was on offer, with 6 nights, there were 2 free nights and we were delighted with the package.

Upon arrival, the staff who are ever so helpful, assisted the ladies into the boat for transfer and onto the island. The steps up to the resort was a bit daunting for them (they called it 'Batu Caves) but with the encouragement of Panja and Yawana, all made it safely to the waiting truck. There is a private pier (other resorts did not have one) and transfer from the boat to the pier is under the eagle eyes of the boat crew. (The speed boat is very clean and the life jackets look new and available to all passengers.) We found out that my family members were the oldest guests they've ever had and what special treatment they received. We were upgraded to the grand pool villa #607, it had the best view of the bay and the villa was very, very clean and the housekeeping staff made sure nothing was lacking during our stay of 6 nights. We are very grateful for the upgrade because the experience of staying in such a villa made our trip memorable. The bathroom and bathtub of the villa are always clean. After a rainfall, tiny seeds fall from the tree above the tub but this is a non issue and the water supply for the tub is excellent. The staff will appear after the rain to clean the tub and the pool. After swimming in the pool, I will use the tub and then make my way through the side door to the bathroom which measures approximatley 38' x 4'. The layout is such that one need not traipse into the bedroom after a swim. The grand villa oozes Thai charm and creativity. I am partial to wood and greatly admired the details on the ceiling (wood chips), the internal roof structure, the wood carving stretching from wall to wall and the beautiful flooring. To digress, the reception area has the most beautiful wood flooring in the whole resort. I chose this resort for my family because of the plentiful wood and teak used in construction. It would have been easier to go to a concrete resort in Koh Samui but we chose Santhiya for its architecture and we are very happy we did. Initially, my concern was how to get the elderly around that they may enjoy themselves. However, after showing them pictures of the resort and the little truck, they were game and no one has any regrets. Just happy memories and the pleasure of knowing they managed the steps to the beach area and spa. From Chantara Restaurant to the beach, check out the railings. These 'wooden barriers' are old railway sleepers, recycled to blend into the environment. Little holes have been dug out for orchids to thrive. We even had the railway sleepers in the bathroom as 'stands' for shampoo etc. The old railway sleepers makes very good pictures.

For nature enthusiasts who enjoy walking, this resort is indeed pleasing to the eye there are 2 steep slopes to provide challenge. I counted as I walked from the restaurant to the villa Trees shade every guest house offering privacy, orchids and staghorn ferns are strategically planted with frangipanni dotting the gardens offering a fragrant walk in the evening. Usually, brochures and promotional videos are professionally executed to enhance a particular place. In the case of Santhiya, its location on a lush hillside offering a perfect view of the bay and the details that went into 'greening' the resort exceeds the brochures and videos. The walk around the resort is very pleasant as there are various fragrant plants apart from the frangipanni. Although there are many trees, the garden is not unkempt for there is an army of 'garden keepers'. Some trees are marked, but most are not and I couldn't identify most of them. But I enjoyed the walk. Look out for a shrub with flowing small white flowers. Inconspicuous but very fragrant. The smell caught my attention. I like the wooden seats strewn all over the resort for guests to sit on whilst waiting for the truck.

The layout of its dining area is well thought out. It is never a hassle to get from one station to another and its fruit counter is superb. We always had our breakfast under the frangipanni tree and the staff will without fail help my elderly aunts and mother in law. Panja the manager checks on them every morning. These ladies are very well travelled but this is their very first time to an island in Thailand and the staff at Santhiya has made it such a memorable trip for them. They enjoyed the spa treatment tremendously. Regarding transport around the resort - getting in and out of the 'truck' which transports the guests was made easier by the provision of a little box acting an additional step to enable them to more easily climb into the truck. Everytime we called for transport, the little box will be there regardless of who the driver of the truck is.

If you are looking for a 5 star quality accommodation and service, this is the place for Koh Phangan. It is a short distance to the village and the other 5 star resorts can be easily viewed from the beach. Pretty as they come, none has the Thai charm of Santhiya. Although the beach in front of Santhiya has coarse yellow sand just hop across the rocks and you will find a better beach. The plus point for Santhoya is the 30 ft waterfall landscaped into the pool and this is a major attraction. From the library, one can hear the gushing water.

Foodwise, the breakfast is of high standard (except for the pancakes). The pancakes are unlike the american ones and even the maple syrup could not rescue them. The buffet dinners are very reasonable, priced at THB700 for very, very fresh seafood. My family (not kashrut)enjoyed them. With so many Israeli guests, it would be good to have a 'kashrut' section. I am not a Jew but eat like one and found the menu limiting for me. The ala carte was on the pricey side even at a discount for the low season and the portion could be bigger. If food is not a limitation, I recommend the dinner buffet and BBQ. These are great value for money. From where we come (Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur), it is impossible to have such a selection at this price.

We didn't have any kids with us, so we cannot comment on the 'kids activities'.

There was a blackout on the island one of the nights because a tree had fallen on of the main lines. However, Santhiya has its own generator and this was just great. Because of its lush surroundings, a blackout will mean a feast for the mosquitoes. We were grateful for the generator and didn't mind the noise from it. The surrounding village was in darkness.

We highly recommend this place to holiday makers of all ages.

Room tip: Try the rooms at the top of the hill facing the bay. Perfect for viewing sunrise and boat traffic.
Date of stay: October 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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2  Thank Annie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed October 11, 2012

We have stayed here twice and both times were amazing. We stayed in the ocean view pool villa that was a perfect luxurious retreat. The staff are very helpful and friendly especially all the staff in guest relations. We really enjoy Thong Nia Pan village and beach. Its a great place that is very peaceful and relaxing.

Date of stay: October 2012
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
2  Thank Flashpacking2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

The hotel itself was amazing, like others we were upgraded on arrival (seems the done thing in quiet season), and the suite was really nice, large pool, good views and a really comfy bed. Only small gripe with the room was that the bath didnt work, but it didnt bother us enough to ask for it to be fixed, which Im sure the staff would of done no problem. The outdoor shower was really nice, if not a bit buggy running the 3am gauntlet, but nothing to complain about.
Everything was extremely clean, and housekeeping were thorough.

In which, it must be said that the staff here are really attentive and extremely friendly.

The resort itself is a little hop over from the main beach, so if your wanting seclusion then you get it in abundance, but we got a little sick of it to be honest. You have to climb some rocks, which can be a pain walking back at night and inebriated.

The restaurant was ok for breakfast, but for dinner it was extremely overpriced for what it was and very average. Room service was also average. The restaurants on the next beach are really nice and an equal if not better price. This is probably, along with the location, the reason makes me think there are definately better places on koh phangan, unless your wanting absolute seclusion.

Date of stay: September 2012
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
2  Thank Lawrence M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

Is 10 points an option? Because 5 points will not do justice to this resort.
It is not just “good” or “fantastic”. It is way above.
We knew from friends who stayed there it is unbelievably nice, but it exceeded any expectations we had.
Everything, including EVERYTHING was so perfect, so impeccable, spotless, so beautiful.
The staffs are amazing; the breakfast should deserve special songs…
We stayed in a sea-view pool villa, which was, by far, the best room we ever stayed in.
The service is the best we could wish for. The manager himself is involved in the day to day maintenance of the hotel, and the service the guests receive, and it shows!
This is, with no doubt, the best place we stayed in, globally.

Room tip: he transfer the hotel offers from Koh-Samui by jet boat is a must. Don't think about any other option to arrive/leave. It worth every cent. The walk to the village is short (10 minutes), nice one (on the beach…), so you can have great dinner, at a different restaurant every evening. There are also many massage places in the village. It is very safe, even when dark.
Date of stay: October 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ShirleyTLV
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

From the moment they pick you up in Samui they make you feel welcome the speedboat ride to the resort was amazing almost felt like James Bond. The resort set on a mountainside jungle at the side of the ocean is one of the most picturesque places Ive ever been. With service thats 2nd to none including little trucks to take you up and down the hill to your accomadation, you never have to get tired. We were upgraded on arrival and had the most amazing view from our balcony. The only thing I would say is its a little cut off however water taxis can take you wherever you want on the island within an hour which can be arranged by the hotel or via the next beach 10 min walk away. We will definetly be coming back to this resort I cannot imagine very many places better than this. Make sure you visit the next beach over the rocks and the little village of Thong Nai Pan Noi

Room tip: supreme deluxe rooms have a view to die for
Date of stay: September 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Vandoran
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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