Trying to find your own private beach in Thailand can leave even the most seasoned traveler dizzy and feeble. When you add hordes of patchouli-drenched backpackers with a penchant for pajama pants and full moon parties to the equation, it becomes a task worthy of Superman.
Stepping off the ferry at the port town of Thongsala, Koh Phangan makes every beach fanatic’s dreams come true. The only way on or off island is by ferry or private boat. It’s not as convenient a destination as Koh Samui or Phuket, but this island’s remoteness is part of its allure and travelers who make the journey are well rewarded for the effort it takes to get here.
But we haven’t traveled this far for just any beach.
Back in Canada, close friends recommended checking out Santhiya Resort & Spa, a five-star luxury destination hidden one private beach beyond Ao Thong Nai Pan Noi on the northeastern part of Koh Phangan. For an island made famous by its backpacker beach parties and as the launching point for Leonardo Dicaprio in The Beach, this almost sounded too good to be true.
The Santhiya is representative of the changes that have taken place across Thailand over the past five years. The sprawling 18-acre property is Thai-owned and Thai-managed. Each of the 99 rooms feature handcrafted teak woodwork, of the painstakingly beautiful variety. It’s this kind of attention to detail that makes the resort such a unique and surprising experience on Koh Phangan.
Santhiya is the perfect antidote to a hectic week in Bangkok. Their quiet and exclusive beach lives up to its reputation. You won’t find another like it on the entire island. And if you need an escape from your escape, follow Santhiya’s beach to the right. Here you’ll find a path to the next beach over, which offers scooter rentals and great restaurants like Luna Lounge.