Travel: Melanie de Lacy Staunton develops a sixth sense for spectacular service at Six Senses Yao Noi.
If you want to experience one of the most hypnotic views in the world, a master class in hospitality and feel like James Bond all at the same time, then keep reading… oh and book a stay immediately at the Six Senses Yao Noi! Off the north-east coast of Phuket lies the tranquil and relatively untouched island of Yao Noi. A place for those looking to take a breather from devices and focus on wellness, indulge in culinary excellence and be utterly re-energised by nature at its most astoundingly impressive.
The spectacular service starts from the minute you land, when you are whisked off in a fabulous car to the Ao Por Grand Marina. The marina itself feels ultra glam, and Matty, who met us at the car and escorted us to the Six Senses private boat, welcomes you with such warm energy, that I thought surely we must have met before. However, I soon realized this homely feeling is a magic that everyone who works at the Six Senses seems to possess, and I certainly fell under the Six Senses spell…
The boat journey to the hotel is an adventure in itself. You soar past the incredible limestone cliffs of Phang Nga Bay and suddenly feel as if you’ve crossed into a King Kong movie as you stare in awe at the myriad of stunning undiscovered islands punctuating the sea. As you pull up to the Six Senses, the view of the villas carefully integrated with the local environment is beautiful and very thoughtfully done, but then you turn around and see the astonishing limestone karsts the hotel is facing, and you are hit with one of the most captivating views I have ever seen in my life. Even on our last day, I was still completely entranced by these limestone giants piercing the water like nature’s very own skyscrapers.
As we stepped off the boat we were met by a diverse range of the hotel’s team, again being made to feel incredibly welcome. Guests had an individual buggy awaiting them with their names on the back, which I loved! Such a thoughtful touch. Then off we zoomed to our room for check-in. Every guest is assigned a GEM, a guest experience maker, who looks after everything you need and organizes all your activities for the day to make sure you get the most out of your stay without having to lift a finger. GEMs make sure you have customized hospitality, catering specifically to you and make you feel utterly pampered.
The villas at the Six Senses Yao Noi are designed with a rustic cabin feel, in keeping with the lush tropical surroundings. All rooms have a sizeable plunge pool and are very spacious. I strongly recommend booking a room with an ocean view, and if you want to splash out on an Ocean Panorama Pool Villa or a Beachfront Pool Villa you will not regret it.
The first thing we did, after completing check in, was an eco-tour of the property. I must admit I have been dying to experience a Six Senses resort, because I was intrigued to see if they really do live up to their environmentally conscious reputation. I. Was. Stunned. The effort, research and pure genius that is behind the sustainability employed at the Six Senses Yao Noi was far beyond anything I have ever seen. There was not one plastic bottle in sight; they have an Earth Lab where they have thought of the most creative ways to reuse everything from wood to wax to glass. They have their own water system, which they have also installed in some of the local hospitals and schools, and they have a fountain that aerates the water and is reused for irrigation.