Location: Koh Phangan | Rating: 5 star | Rooms: 99 | Pool: yes | Spa: yes
Santhiya is a stunning luxury hideaway hotel, situated on a hill overlooking Thong Nai Pan Bay, in the quiet northeast of Koh Phangan. A world away from the island’s (in)famous full moon parties, it is elegant and secluded and constructed of natural materials, including beautifully-carved wooden panels throughout the rooms and common areas. The traditional building style gives it bags of Thai character, complemented by top notch friendly service, spectacular scenery and a picture-perfect beach. Nearby is a small village with low-key, inexpensive restaurants and beach bars and if you fancy something more active there are plenty of on-site activities such as snorkel trips, massages or a muay Thai (Thai kickboxing) lesson. Our top tip – treat yourself to an incredible pool villa and private speedboat to the island for a truly magical experience.
Santhiya also has high standards of sustainability and holds an ASEAN Green Hotel awards as well as 4 Green Leaf certification. They treat and reuse grey water, minimise plastic and use chemical free cleaning agents as well as cutting energy use for example through limiting the air con and producing their own charcoal and biogas on site for cooking. They grow ingredients for cooking and spa treatments in their own organic garden and source as much food as possible locally, such as coconuts from a farmer co-operative. Trees are particularly important to Santhiya and all the wood for building and decoration is reclaimed or from sustainable sources – they even built the hotel around the existing trees rather than cut them down.
As well as treating their staff well, with training, good contracts and free accommodation, Santhiya is active in the local community and buys products like room decorations and coconut oil and services like boat trips from local businesses. They also meet monthly with islanders to discuss issues of water usage, waste, temple donations and more.