Anantara Koh Yao Yai Opens on One of Thailand’s Last Untouched Islands

Anantara has opened a new resort on the untouched island of Koh Yao Yai in the middle of Thailand’s Phang Nga Bay.  Anantara Koh Yao Yai Resort & Villas has been built on a 27-acre coconut plantation wedged between a wooded hill and a turquoise bay dotted with jungle-clad limestone islets.  Unfolding over a kilometre of sandy beach, this new nature-ensconced sanctuary is just a 45-minute boat ride from Phuket and 20 minutes from Krabi to the resort’s private jetty.

Anantara Koh Yao Yai’s 148 suites, villas and penthouses are classically designed, with a layer of Thai heritage adding depth and local charm. Couples will enjoy the secluded luxury of one- and two-bedroom villas hugging the shoreline and offering private butler services, complimentary bicycles and direct beach access. The 300-sqm Two-Bedroom Beachfront Pool Villa, the resort’s largest, features a central living space, a kitchen, a dining room, two ensuite bedrooms and a pool terrace with an outdoor rain shower. All beachfront villas have been designed with eco-friendly grass roofing to blend into the natural surroundings without blocking the panoramic views of the beach for other guests.

The generously spaced Family Pool Access Suites have beechwood furniture and bunk beds plus a terrace opening directly onto the resort family pool surrounded by comfy sunbeds. The Family Sea Views Suites cater to the whole family, with one part for adults and another for kids, complete with bunk beds featuring an in-room slide and hidden play areas. Meanwhile, in the 90-square-metre Deluxe Sea View Suite, which has a spacious living area and private balcony, travellers get to enjoy uninterrupted sea views from every angle.

The resort’s eight butler-attended 366-sqm Sea View Pool Penthouses have panoramic views of the Andaman. In addition to a living and dining room, a kitchen and a master bedroom with ensuite bathroom featuring two skylight-lit rain showers, there are also two dressing rooms, an infinity-edge pool, sundeck with daybeds and a covered cabana for alfresco dining. As well as featuring an oversized soaking bathtub with sea views – a key feature of all Sea View Pool Penthouses – one of them also comes with a unique glass bottom infinity pool seen from the living space below.

Set apart from the rest of the resort, Wellness Lagoon Pool Villas offer the opportunity to experience spa treatments and wellness practices in the seclusion of your own villa with private in-villa spa and wellness areas.  Guests can also do yoga and meditation on their private pool deck as well as workouts with a personal trainer.

The resort offers a host of dining options serving a wide range of cuisines. The signature Beach Restaurant offers the freshest seafood with the ‘catch of the day’, an impressive selection of dry-aged steaks and speciality sushi offerings, all within an open-air dining space. The main dining room has a soaring ceiling hung with rattan lampshades and accordion doors opening onto a breezy terrace a few steps from the beach.

Over at Pakarang, the menu features contemporary Thai dishes, with international breakfast favourites prepared at live cooking stations and light bites served throughout the day. Alongside Pakarang’s organic, lactose and gluten-free options, all restaurants offer kids-friendly meals. Anantara Koh Yao Yai’s Japanese restaurant serves traditional and modern Japanese delicacies with panoramic ocean views. Meanwhile, the swim-up Pool Bar, Family Bar and Beach Bar cater to diverse preferences, from milkshakes and sundaes to sundowners.

Koh Yao Yai is still wonderfully undeveloped and devoid of mass tourism. Guests can choose from a range of excursions and immersive experience, such as vintage sidecar tours to a rubber plantation, batik-making, tie-dye classes, island-hopping, mountain climbing and scuba diving. Hikers can venture off the beaten track to tranquil Hong Island to discover a pocket beach with a crystal-clear lagoon, drift along mangrove canals in a kayak as native Hornbill birds soar above or take a cruise on a longtail boat to a natural sand bank for a candlelit dinner. Onsite activities include stand-up yoga and paddle boarding, (SUP) mountain biking, nature walks and more. 

At the Kids’ Club, one of Thailand’s largest, kids can have the time of their life in the bubble pool with a unique vacuum fountain ball shower or on the water slide, practise their moves in the dance studio, take an afternoon nap in a dedicated room or join supervised activities such as recycling projects, mangrove seedling planting, cooking classes and nature walks. A dedicated toddler zone provides professional childcare to keep one- to four-year-olds stimulated and entertained with baby yoga and other activities; teens have their own building and a restaurant serving all their favourite food and drinks. 

During the day, the family pool is all about going down waterslides, splashing around and refuelling at the smoothie bar, before turning into an outdoor cinema as the sun sets. Other family-friendly activities include s’mores-roasting on the beach, hiking and biking trips around the island, Thai dance classes and glitter mani-pedis at Anantara Spa and even the Treasure hunt activities for kids and family to enjoy together. 

The Anantara Spa, with its five treatment rooms split between single and double suites, offers an extensive treatment menu covering massages, ancient wellness practices and refreshing treatments and rituals designed to detox, balance and energise. The facilities include one of the biggest hydro pools and hammams in Thailand. For kids and teens, there are gentle massages, coconut hair treatments, fruity scrubs, facials and bubble bath pamper parties.

The resort’s freeform swimming pool is perfect for laps, while the state-of-the-art fitness centre comes equipped with the latest in strength building and cardio equipment. Guests can also practise yoga and meditate at the beach pavilion with scheduled sunrise hatha sessions.

Anantara Koh Yao Yai Resort & Villas places great emphasis on environmental preservation and the nurturing of the natural beauty found on the island. From the diverse flora in the Southern region’s ecosystem to the sandy beaches, the resort has a strong commitment to sustainability. This is exemplified by the numerous ghost crabs in the beach area and the sandbank, creating a delightful walking experience and serving as an educational resource for children.

For more information about Anantara Koh Yao Yai, please visit www.anantara.com/en/koh-yao-yai-phuket.