It’s Eva again, Fleewinter‘s Thailand Specialist. I have recently been on another trip around Thailand (it really is a destination that never gets boring), and my husband and I did a bit of island hopping in the Gulf of Thailand. We firstly went to Koh Samui (in case you have missed my review of the best boutique hotels on Koh Samui, please click here), walked down Memory Lane on Koh Phangan (where we got married), and finally hopped over to Koh Tao. I have always been so intrigued by Koh Phangan that I was never ready to leave this island paradise and go further to Koh Tao – but have to admit, I did miss out!
Koh Tao is something else, it really is. The island is surrounded by 50 shades of blue – stunning crystal clear ocean wherever one looks. The villages have a bit more character than those on Koh Phangan, with narrow roads, beautiful cafes and lovely little shops and restaurants. A big part of the island is covered by tick tropical jungle which gives it a bit of a Robinson Crusoe feel. The island is quite far away, took us 1.5 hours by speed boat from Koh Phangan, so from Koh Samui it would be a 2 hour ride. And I think that this is what makes the island so special. We instantly felt “at home” and couldn’t wait to hop onto our scooter to explore the island.
But the best was yet to come! The hotel we stayed at seriously is one of the best I have stayed at in Thailand (and I have stayed at many many hotels). The Place consists of nine luxury boutique villas, all with private infinity pools, that offer total privacy. It is no coincidence that The Place is ranked no. 1 on Tripadvisor – what a place indeed.
We were picked up from the jetty and welcomed by the lovely staff, Be and Lemai. Lemai, half British and half Thai, then showed us to our villa and took her time to explain everything we needed to know. She also handed us a mobile phone which contained her number and those of the other staff as well as the numbers of the scooter rental place and the restaurants in the village which deliver to The Place. She gave us a book including all information we may need during our stay. Usually, I don’t even read those but this was written in a fun way and actually really entertaining. It contained info about the media box (over 5,000 movies, music etc. is available for free to the guests), the local area, the mini bar, the restaurants in the village, menus of the restaurants – just everything. Lemai also gave us a map and explained where the best beaches of the island were located and the best ways to get there. Great info (I love personal recommendations given by locals), but I could hardly focus because I had instantly fallen in love with our villa, so I let Simon listen while I took photos:
We had planned to go for a scooter ride after check-in, but this plan had to be changed because I was refusing to leave our villa until at least after sunset. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to study every detail of the bathroom (seriously, doesn’t it look like it was taken out of a “better living” magazine?) and think about how I could rebuild a nature bathroom with a glass-roofed shower like this at home, or if I just wanted to sit in our private pool and look at the ocean and to be surrounded by this lovely breeze. We finally opened a bottle of wine and waited for the sunset – which didn’t disappoint:
All of the 9 villas offer total privacy in a sheltered sun-drenched location. They have a large open-plan area featuring a spacious bedroom, en-suite dressing room, living area, the already mentioned gorgeous bathroom with double washbasins as well as a separate kitchenette. Outdoors, the villas have a large balcony with private pool, a relaxation area and a private sundeck with dining area. Floor length sliding doors allow the front of each villa to be opened completely, giving an unobstructed and breathtaking view of the ocean. In fact, one doesn’t have to leave the villa if one doesn’t want to. Everything one might need during a stay in this place, is just there. Every detail had been perfectly thought through. We didn’t see any other guest during our stay, they really keep to what they promise – to offer complete privacy to the guests.
The views from our terrace were magical, the pool had the perfect temperature, the mini bar was stocked with some carefully chosen wines, a bottle of prosecco, cidres and locally crafted beers (in fact, this was the first time I have ever consumed anything from a minibar – usually they just contain two cans of Coca-Cola and a bottle of Heineken, what is exciting about that?).
When it got dark, we followed Lemai’s advice and went to have dinner in her mother’s restaurant. In fact, she was hesitant to recommend this one as she thought she would be too biased, but we insisted as we like personal stories like this and she had made us curious. She said that if we go there, she’d recommend the sticky chicken wings – promptly ordered – and they were DIVINE, and so was the Masaman Curry. If you are ever in Koh Tao, please go to P.Oys Place – I promise you won’t regret.
The second night we decided to stay in our villa and try one of the restaurants that deliver to The Place. Obviously the number was saved in contacts and the guy at the restaurant who picked up the phone replied with “yes I can see that you are calling from The Place, Villa 8.” – so he had also saved our number in his contacts. Seriously, how could they think of EVERY SINGLE DETAIL??
By the way, The Place doesn’t have a restaurant and breakfast is not included, however they give a complimentary welcome hamper with wonderful breakfast items to every guest. If one doesn’t feel like making breakfast though, there is a beautiful restaurant in the village delivering breakfast to the doorstep.
Just like everything about this place is just awesome, the hotel also is passionately committed to responsible tourism practices and supports Save Koh Tao whose goals include strengthening the community, improving the usage of abundant natural resources and being a leader of sustainable and eco-friendly development.
This hotel has definitely become my no. 1 when it comes to planning a honeymoon in Thailand. They even have one villa where the pool is built in the shape of a pool – how awesome is that? It is the quirky details that give a place character, and The Place certainly has tons of it. The best is that staying here doesn’t break the bank either. Rates start at £180 per night.
If you are interested in booking The Place on Koh Tao – and you don’t have to be on a honeymoon to fully enjoy this hotel – then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to find out more about The Place, please click here.
Thanks for reading as always,