Naka Island is definitely a special hotel.
Somehow, everything is raw here, rustic, natural, a bit like on the lonely island.
And you are on an island: The resort is located on Naka Yai, a tiny island north-east of Phuket, 10 minutes by speedboat from the northern Phuket Marina. You don’t see luxury here, you see the beauty of nature, the old palm trees on the beach, the mangrove forest in the center of the little island, the beautiful garden facilities, the wooden huts – yes, that’s exaclty like the luxury villas look from the outside, like wooden huts. And somehow also from the inside.
Here you will find peace and relaxation, and the island feeling.
Together with the famous Amanpuri, the Naka Island Resort is Phuket’s first address for a relaxing retreat.
Bring a good book, or a few. Because there is nothing to do here. Gym, spa, pool, beach. That must be enough, and once you have really arrived on this beautiful little island, believe me, it will be enough.
Rooms and Suites
Everything is raw, everything is natural.
This is definitely not everyone’s taste, and you must know this before you book here:
No, this is not a „normal“ beach resort, and on the hotel’s website or in the descriptions of the tour operators this isn’t clear enough.
The garden of the small villas is beautiful, almost heavenly – this is one of the villas with pool (not all have a private pool).
Do you see the small cabana at the right end of the pool? In the shade of this straw roof you will spend the hot days, letting your eyes wander over the endless light-blue sea.
Inside, the villas look like the house of Fred Flintstone:
Thann is a renowned Thai producer of environmentally friendly, natural products, but the products often a little too oily for European habits: It takes a while to wash the oily shower gel off your skin after using it.
Restaurants and Bars
There is little to complain about: The hotel has two restaurants, the Tonsai and the MyGrill. The Tonsai offers Thai and international cuisine, the My Grill is a rather pricey fish and steak restaurant with a wonderful location.
Both are located directly on the wide beach with meadow and sand, both offer a beautiful view over the sea.
The breakfast is good and beautifully arranged, there isn’t too much missing. You have fresh mango juice and a decent selection of fresh fruits, but most importantly: The setting of the breakfast area is more beautiful than in most other beach hotels in Thailand.
God knows why the breakfast room is always a bit neglected, even in the Maldives there are luxury hotels forcing their guests to take the breakfast in unpretentious “breakfast rooms” without a view.
Have you ever noticed that in most hotels the breakfast room is far less impressive and majestic than the top restaurant of the house? Often, even in the most beautiful beach resorts, there’s no sea view. In my opinion, this is an unforgivable sin.
The Starwood Group’s Luxury Collection Hotel Naka Island is a pleasant exception, allowing their guests to have breakfast in the most beautiful spot, in the green grass next to the white, sandy beach, with the best views of the beach and sea, the palm trees and the nearby island Phuket.
However, if you want to sit in this beautiful meadow, you must come early enough. Not because all the seats are occupied later (the waiters will always organize a table at the lawn), but because it can get too hot in the sun depending on the season, and if you are a late bird, you’ll have to move into the shade to avoid the heat.
But then again, even under the roof, right next to the meadow, the view is wonderful:
And while you sit and enjoy fresh fruits, your fried egg with fresh tomatoes and crispy French croissants, …
Pool and Gardens
… your let your eyes wander over the idyllic gardens of Naka Island and you are already looking forward to becoming part of the idyllic scenery after breakfast. In one of the beach chairs, or in the wooden sunbeds standing in the water in the large pool.
These gardens are the asset of the resort.
The decor is not the most luxurious among the top resorts in Thailand, the cuisine is high-standard, but far from a Michelin star, but the distinctive feature about this resort is the pool and garden area.
Nature. Peace. Tranquility.
The service is allright. Rather young guest relations staff and butlers try to satisfy the guests.
No, it is not quite the service of a Ritz or Mandarin Oriental.
But the staff are honestly trying to solve any problem. And on a small island this is much more important than a multilingual concierge or a high-class butler.
The service in the bar and restaurant might show some minor weaknesses now and then, it wouldn’t quite compete with the big names of the luxury industry. But the atmosphere is right, the attitude to the guest, the constant effort to make all guests feel good. That’s worth a lot, believe me.
The prices are season and occupancy dependent, and in the low-season you can really make a bargain. Apart from that, it is just a luxury collection hotel of the Starwood Group, which definitely means high prices, but also very stable quality.