The Six Senses Hildaway – Koh Yao Noi

 |  January 27, 2011

As you enter the Six Senses at Koh Yao Noi from the island’s main road you could hardly be aware of the grand ambition of the resort that awaits you; hidden from view, sprawled out over a hill top, it truly is a kind of secret paradise verily apt for a scene in a Hollywood tropical fantasy film. Over a web of brickstone laterite pathways that stretch over 24 acres of resort, villas are dotted amongst lush foliage and tropical landscaping, nestled in the privacy and quiet of the forest.

Some of the villas face the ocean with panoramic views of Phang Nga and Krabi bays, majestic views that seem to change ever so slightly every time you look at them. With a welcome ocean breeze blowing into your face as you walk into your villa, onto a large teak deck that adjoins your own pool, one of nature’s architectural highlights for your viewing pleasure awaits you. The islets of Krabi Bay are just over yonder, often shrouded by low cloud that gives them the appearance of ancient sea monsters’ carapaces marching through an ocean of protean greens and blues. It will come as no surprise when in the reams of literature belonging to the hotel, offered to each guest, that Six Senses, Koh Yao Noi has been the recipient of many awards from magazines such as Forbes, Travel and Leisure and Condé Nast.

The Villas

Villas range from around 150 square metres to almost 1,500 square metres (the magnificent Hilltop Reserve) in size with about half the space divided into internal and external space. You can choose from garden views or ocean views, both are intimate and private, not encroached on by noise or the sight of other guests. The rooms are made mostly from teak wood and bamboo in accordance with Six Senses strict environmental policies. Even the smallest of rooms has a walk in closet, a choice of long conformable sofas you can lounge the whole day away on, a large deck and personal pool as well as indoor and outdoor showers, a steam room, and a bath tub whose open air view looks over the ocean. Aesthetically rewarding in every sense the rooms also have every practical detail settled, such as an array of kits and tools for you to use, play with or ignore. You also have your own espresso machine, stocked fridge, wine fridge with selected wines and champagnes, a work desk, TV, home theatre system, Bose hi-fi system, Ipod station (Ipods with music are available). Aside from all the various man made comforts your room affords, it is the natural landscapes of the surrounding jungle and the views of the ocean that will likely provide indelible memories for guests.

All guests are extended the service of a personal butler who will ensure you have everything you need, while even the house maids demonstrate decent English fluency and a keen observation for details _-an ear marked novel that was moved from the bed by the maid had been left with a Six Senses book mark on the right page when I returned to it. If privacy is what you crave for then Six Senses is a place you definitely would never have to leave your villa if you so chose.

The Resort

If you do decide to leave your room you can call for a buggy – some of the pathways are fairly steep – to take you to either one of the two restaurants (Thai and Italian called the Living Room and Terrace and the Dining Room respectively), for drinks at the cocktail bar, a trip to the deli, the resort’s personal beach, the Six Senses spa, or the Main Room that has a library, duplex glassed-in wine cellar and the reception. You might also take part in a cooking class or a wine tasting event, visit the gym, play a game of tennis, or take out one of the bicycles on either a guided tour or a personal sojourn around the island. A boat tour of the surrounding islands and islets is a must, and if you are up for it, then some snorkelling. Krabi Bay also has an interesting history with which your boat captain can regale you. For those seeking to be pampered the spa services and therapeutic treatments at Six Senses are highly recommended.

Environmental Policy

It’s been said that your decadence at Six Senses comes without moral scruples in view of the world’s burgeoning heightened environmental conscience. The resort’s raison d’être, in Koh Yao Noi and other locations, is sustainable luxury, privilege that demands no sacrifice, while creating jobs, conserving the natural environment and bringing knowledge and ideas to local communities. The motto of Six Senses is, ‘To create innovative and enlightening experiences that rejuvenate our guests’ and a love of the ‘SLOW LIFE’: SUSTAINABLE – LOCAL – ORGANIC – WHOLESOME LEARNING – INSPIRING – FUN – EXPERIENCES.

They measure their carbon footprint to mitigate emissions, while submitting their data to Green Globe. This means reducing greenhouse gas emissions; reducing water consumption; preserving the ecosystem within the resort as well as nearby surrounding areas; raising social and cultural issues through involvement and contribution to local communities; utilising and managing land in order to preserve the environment; protecting the air quality both inside and outside buildings; treating all their waste water to avoid polluting discharges; minimising waste production through reduction; reusing and recycling of products.

• The entire resort uses natural products where it can. You will see hardly any plastic anywhere. The natural products that are used come from sustainable sources.

• Their ‘social responsibility’ requires them to give 0.5% of their total revenue back to the local community.

With all this in mind, you can lie back on your deck with your eyes focused on the surrounding islands and beaches, and not feel too guilty about your decadence and pampering, and also be assured your comfort is not costing the land or the people. Disappear into your thoughts, and submerge yourself into the resort’s incredible luxury. Mind you, none of this comes cheap…

At Six Senses rooms can be booked over the internet. Those who are interested in going to Koh Yao Noi can read last month’s article on the island.

Six Senses Yao Noi
56 Moo 5, Tambol Koh Yao Noi,
Amphur Koh Yao, Phang-Nga 82160, Thailand
Tel: (66) 076 418 500, Fax: (66) 076 418 518,