Friday, December 10, 2010

WE HAVE JUST BEEN TO: Phuket, part 4, Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi


As far as you can get from mass tourism, but only 40 minutes by speedboat from Phuket. After a spectacular boat ride, pampered with snacks and surrounded by astounding seascapes, we arrived at our very own jungle hideaway.

On a lush green island ringed by warm sea, Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi offers luxury, style and intimacy, as close to nature as you want to be. The 56 rustic thatched villas with private infinity pools demonstrate true Six Senses eco sensibility. Our bedroom has air-conditioning but changes a few degrees in tune with the night temperatures. Meanwhile we never lose sight of nature.

At night the shades are drawn to leave a wide open view in the middle of the huge windows. So as we open our eyes, we see the magical morning in shades of blue and gold over sea and sculpted islands – without even leaving the bed.

Views first made famous by 007

Our private pool deck is built on a slope, so here we also have sensational views of Phang Nga Bay, dotted with limestone pillars, as seen in the James Bond film “Man with the Golden Gun”. Perfect setting for check mate – a chessboard on the terrace in your private open pavilion. And plenty of outdoor space to lounge or dine.

Some villas are built right by the sea, while others are hidden in the rainforest. All are lavishly luxurious in eco style and deliciously private, from 154 sqm (80 sqm internal, 56 sqm external with an 18 sqm swimming pool).

And in no way is it drab eco. Along with all the fringy thatch, sun-kissed wood and earthen tones, Yao Noi has splashes of colour in the d├ęcor, sizzling oranges and reds that bring fire into the earth element. The bar is delightfully colourful and cozy, and the restaurant is also alive with brilliant fiery tones. Here we ate delicious meals, and lobster to remember. There is also a second restaurant in high season and a wine cellar.

The holistic spa is another Six Senses phenomenon. The manager showed us round and gave us a taste of various herbs growing in abundance – talking of their uses in food or for medicinal purposes. A massage left us totally reborn. Sheltered in the jungle is a yoga and meditation area with a view of the sea. Other activities on offer include gym, watersports, diving, sailing to nearby limestone islands and rock climbing.

On the first day this 9.6-hectare (24-acre) jungle resort may seem huge and it can be hard to orientate – but making use of a little eco-friendly golf cart or bicycle you will quickly get to know it – and “make it yours”. For those who like getting out, the island is mostly jungle and rubber plantation but does have a friendly village you can visit.

After one day we felt as if we had been there a week. In the words of our private butler:
“Look at this place. Isn’t it amazing? I am so lucky I work here…”

Staff and management at Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi are very friendly and interested in who you are. The whole place has a warm, relaxed, rustic and yet classy feel! Green chic at its best…

Wonderful staff

Perfect details

Transfer from Phuket International Airport to the harbour takes approx 20 minutes. A speedboat will be waiting to take you to the Island of Yao Noi, and 40 minutes later you will arrive in paradise! You can also take a helicopter from the airport (approx 15 min).

Treat with eco perfection

Tropical flowers - exotic and natural feel

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