Koh Yao Noi is an island situated between Phuket and Krabi where the best kept secret of the Phang Nga region exists in a barefoot-chic resort. Six Senses Yao Noi is for the luxury adventurers of the world wanting to get away from it all, but not too far away. Only a 30 minute speedboat ride from Phuket, staff members of Six Senses escorted us to an exotic paradise full of unique activities, mouth-watering cuisine and ridiculous views – basically a triple threat to a perfect vacation.
1. 6:45pm | Arrival at Six Senses Yao Noi
Our GEM (Guest Experience Maker) whisked us away to Villa #3 via buggy. After pushing open an unassuming door, I had my jaw on the floor and my camera shooting at 90 mph to capture the beauty that was laid out before me.
We had the ultimate setup with two separate living areas, a private pool and beach access only steps from our villa. And neighbors? What neighbors? Natural vegetation and lush landscaping provide privacy between the elevated villas. Go wild.
2. 7:30pm | Dinner at The Dining Room
This may look like an ordinary carrot to you, but I assure you, it’s not. Chef Alex Oddy can turn any ordinary vegetable into masterful gastronomy. Make a visit yourself to taste the excellence.
3. 9am | Breakfast of Champions
The hours between 7 and 10am when it’s acceptable to indulge in pancakes, waffles, eggs, cereal, fruits, pastries, etc, is my favorite time of day. Breakfast is my jam, and yes I like toast. All breads and anything that goes inside the carbohydrate food group is always tempting. Lucky for me, I also like to exercise.
4. 10am | Property Tour
I always love taking a tour through each hotel because it allows me to get a better sense of place than just walking from point A (the room) to point B (the pool) to point C (the swim up bar). Who knew there was a chicken coop at Yao Noi? Guests can pick out their own eggs for breakfast! There’s also a mushroom hut, herb, and vegetable garden where I gathered our veggies for dinner. Simply sustainable – one of the many reasons I fell in love with Six Senses back in the Maldives.
5. 11:30am | Island hopping by Longtail boat
You know the exotic places you see on social media over and over on travel accounts? Think fairytale lands, places you see in coffee table books or read about in high profile travel magazines. This is Thailand for me, specifically the view below.
We took a longtail boat out on the water to snorkel around caves, swimming directly above sea urchins while dodging massive jellyfish. After a long, hard day’s work, we enjoyed a picnic on the beach with some new friends – monkeys!
A note on snorkeling here: My mother and I both received strange welps on our bodies immediately after jumping into the water. I believe they came from the floating and detached tentacles of jellyfish, but I’m not certain. The pain subsided later that night, but it made for an uncomfortable day. Please beware!
6. 7pm | Dinner at Leisure
There was hardly anything leisurely about this dinner as it was my mother’s birthday. You only turn 30 once, so we decided to throw a party with Chef Alex Oddy at The Chef’s Table. Mojitos, mai tais, five courses and a cake later, we were fat, happy, older, wiser and ready for bed…
7. 9:30 | Enjoy “An American in Paris” under the stars with popcorn at Mai Thai Beach
…So ready for bed that we missed the movie on the beach. Better luck next time. I’ll catch it on Netflix, which obviously won’t be nearly as cool.
8. 8am | Yoga overlooking the ocean
I can’t lie. It’s hot and buggy here, and mosquitoes love me. I don’t know what it is. There’s a recent report saying certain people’s DNA attracts them, so lucky me! Insect repellent is a must here (or at least for those who have the world’s best DNA).
9. 10am | Bike tour around the island
It’s nice to go out of bounds every now and then. Leaving the resort for a bit is refreshing in the sense that you’re able to see how the locals live.
10. 4pm | 60-Minute Signature treatment at Six Senses Spa
This wasn’t just your average swedish massage. This appointment was a spa journey that I wanted to be on for years to come! Nestled into the lush tropical hillside, a longhouse suite was modeled after a typical village Thai house that includes treatments rooms, yoga platforms and exercise equipment. Spa life, never let me go.
12. 6pm | Cooking Class with Chef Alex
It’s a toss up between kayaking and cooking for winner in the activity department – and I’m no Ina Garten, so this comes as a huge surprise. Six courses and five hours later, I learned how to make out-of-the-box creations like champagne gel, pickled beetroot, chocolate dirt, and best of all: bacon polenta. Bacon is one godsend, polenta is another. Put them together and you have the kingdom of heaven. Many thanks to Chef Alex for putting up with me and my questions. Gotta polish my skills somewhere and might as well be from a cut-throat kitchen chef in Thailand.
12. 10am | Kayak at Thalane Bay with guide and picnic lunch
Kayaking through a mangrove forest was straight out of a naturalist’s fairytale. The narrow, complex channels required some skill and expertise, but we managed to get it done and rewarded ourselves with a couple of Singha Lights.
13. 4pm | Late Departure
Parting is such sweet sorrow, especially in a paradise such as this.
Photo taken at the Hilltop Reserve with its stunning pool overlooking spectacular Phang Nga Bay.
See more images from my time at Six Senses Yao Noi below!
The Road Les Traveled was welcomed to this property as a guest, but my opinions are as always, my own.