Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort
Thailand’s Hidden Gem
If you want a holiday where you can totally recharge your batteries then Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort is the one for you.
Let me just start by saying that when I told my work colleagues that I was going to Phi Phi Island, they laughed and said ‘You do know its a party island don’t you!?”
Er no, I did not know that. The last thing I wanted to do was cavort around in a g-string on the beach in the middle of the night listening to loud trance tracks along with hundreds of 20-somethings!!!
I did find out shortly before going that there are two distinct sides to the Island… (a) the party side, and (b) the gorgeous, relaxed, best place in the world. Luckily for me (and the 20 somethings), we were over with group B. Phew!
The journey to Phi Phi Island is not a short one from England. There’s a ten hour plane flight to Bangkok, followed by a second short flight over to Phuket. Last but not least, there’s a speed boat over to Phi Phi. We did the whole lot in one go. Im not going to lie…it was completely exhausting, but as soon as the boat arrived at the Island we suddenly didn’t care anymore when we were met with this beautiful sight:
After a welcome cocktail and an ice cold flannel to cool down, we were taken to our individual villa, only a 1 minute walk from the beach front. While you have a choice of which type of villa you go for, all are raised on stilts above the ground, and boast air con and gorgeous fittings.
The resort itself is split into different areas with walkways that meander through well tended gardens full of frangipani trees. You soon learn your way around, but there are plenty of maps on site, and if you get lost or really can’t be bothered to walk they have plenty of golf buggies to ferry the guests around.
The resort boasts three main restaurants on site, plus a pool restaurant, pool bar, coffee shop and the main Api bar. Api Restaurant hosts a buffet every night along with an a la carte menu. The Beach House Grill is where you can find amazing steak and seafood, and the Ruan Thai Restaurant serves traditional Thai food. We tried all of them, and they all served fantastic food, but I have to say the Ruan Thai was definitely the favourite, especially their Massaman curry.
Every evening the Api Bar has a house band ‘ABC’ who perform covers that everyone knows. We dubbed them the ‘Thai Corrs’ due to the fact that there was one man and three woman. It was one of life’s small joy’s when they did a Corrs’ cover! The low…. ‘Baby Shark’.
There are two swimming pools at the resort. The Lazy Pool, which is at one end, and The Fun Pool at the other. We spent most of our time at The Fun Pool as it’s bigger and also has a swim up pool bar where you can order those all important sundowners!
Wherever you are in the resort, it is never too far away from the beautiful, crystal clear waters that run the length of the resort. The temperature of the water is that of a warm bath, and when the tide is in you can wade out for a long way without it getting too deep. The shore is rather stony under foot, so do watch where you are walking. Easy to do as it’s SO clear.
Do be aware that when the tide goes out at Phi Phi it REALLY goes out. At one point we did start to wonder if a tsunami was going to be imminent as the ocean practically vanished from sight, uncovering all its little coral and shell treasures that had been lurking underneath.
Phi Phi was indeed affected terribly back in 2004 by a tsunami, hence that first thought with the vanishing tide. We really had nothing to worry about though, and if it ever did look likely to happen again, they have a warning system and evacuation routes in place.
One thing that the resort does that I thought was really great, is to promote the Thai village at the back of the resort. It is full of little shops, restaurants and bars, many of them in lean to shacks. You wouldn’t always think about utilising their services, especially if you’re living in the lap of luxury in the resort, but they are well worth it. The people could not be friendlier and the food was amazing.
I would definitely recommend ‘Buffalo Head’ where you can sit on a swing, play Connect Four and drink Bob Marley shots with the owner. The food in ‘Oasis’ and ‘Red Tuna’ is fantastic, and if you want a real treat then have dinner in ‘Pad Thai’. Their sea bass green curry will knock you sideways (in a good way). One tip I did learn is if you order a Thai curry and you don’t want it too hot, you can ask for it ‘foreigner style’ and they wont make it quite so hot. I learned this AFTER my curry.
I havn’t even mentioned the Spa have I? Oh…my….God! Well, if you follow some little steps tucked away behind the pool, it takes you up a winding pathway to the Wana Spa which is found amongst the cool foliage of the hillside. The massage rooms are made from wood and bamboo and as you relax you can look out across the beautiful ocean. Beneath each massage bed rests a large bowl of water full of frangipani flowers, so as you put your head through the hole in the bed, your senses are massaged with their delicious scent, at the same time as your body is massaged. It’s perfect.
If you fancy something a bit more energetic, there is also a Marine Discovery Centre on site where you hire canoes or make the most of other water sports, such as snorkelling or scuba diving. And if you really want to go for it, then you can trek up into the mountain jungle to make the most of the high view point across the Island. If you take binoculars with you, you might even be able to see those 20 somethings partying on the other side!
So, just in case you hadn’t guessed already, I had an amazing time at the Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort. The food is delicious, the wine is good, the resort is clean and luxurious, and the staff are incredibly helpful and friendly. It really is The Land of Smiles
The temperature at Phi Phi Island is pretty hot all year round. I was there in January and most days were 30 degrees. Make sure you bring a high factor suncream and a sun hat!
The evening temperature is still lovely and warm. You certainly wont need jackets or jumpers.
There are plenty of mosquitos who like to come out and dine on you in the evening or after rain. The resort has complimentary mosquito spray in all the villas and the restaurants and bars. Make sure you use it unless you want to be a mosquito buffet.
The Thai people are very friendly. You will say hello a lot! If you want to say it in Thai it is ‘Sawadee Krap’ if you are male, or ‘Sawadee Ka’ if you are female.
To say thank you it is ‘Korp khun krap’ if you are male or ‘Korp khun ka’ if you are female.
Tipping is not expected, but very much appreciated.
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