As world-famous Maya Bay reopens this October, S Hotels & Resorts’ free-spirited five-star retreat gives guests the chance to be immersed in the local culture, with authentic cuisine, wellness, cultural encounters and more…
KOH PHI PHI DON, THAILAND (October 2022): When Hollywood made a movie about a group of experience-seeking travellers who discovered the world’s most beautiful beach, it changed the face of tourism in Thailand. The release of “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio in 2000 added a new jewel to the kingdom’s tourism crown: Maya Bay, the exquisite turquoise lagoon at Koh Phi Phi Leh. This month, this breath-taking bay reopens to visitors, and SAii Phi Phi Island Village is inviting its conscientious clientele to rediscover the authentic wonders of the tropical south with eco-sensitive excursions, sustainable activities, local cuisine, spa therapies and more.
S Hotels and Resorts’ free-spirited, five-star lifestyle retreat has played an active role in the revival of Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, the home of Maya Bay. The onsite Marine Discovery Centre is a conservation hub that engages in critical projects such as shark conservation, coral propagation, clownfish breeding, mangrove planting, beach cleaning and community education. Guests can meet with the resident Marine Biologist and embark on small-scale boat trips to “The Beach”, led by local Thai guides in long-tail boats.
In fact, SAii Phi Phi Island Village’s connection with its destination flows through the entire guest experience. The resort’s name reflects the fact that it looks and feels like a traditional island village. The Thai-style five-star bungalows are built in the original style, with thatched roofs and plenty of space to unwind amid the palm groves. A selection of Hillside Pool Villas are perched on stilts, surrounded by lush jungle, and feature plunge pools that sparkle in the sun and overlook the shimmering sea.
Newly reopened for the 2022 high season, Ruan Thai Restaurant allows diners to savour a true taste of Thailand, with a selection of dishes crafted using local and seasonal ingredients and served in a rustic yet elegant hillside setting with stunning sea views. Alternatively, Api Restaurant & Bar specialises in sublime southern Thai, pan-Asian and international cuisine, and guests who want to learn all about Thailand’s ancient culinary arts can take part in a cooking class with the resort’s talented Thai chef.
Thailand is the spiritual home of wellness, and travellers can simultaneously soothe and stimulate their senses with a traditional Thai massage at Lèn Forest Spa. Nestled in the hillside, this is a haven of tranquility where professional therapists provide a full range of therapies that blend Thai wellness wisdom with organic ingredients. In line with SAii Resorts’ Lèn Be Well concept, each traveller can be treated according to their unique personal needs, including their mood and frame of mind.
Just a short stroll from the resort, a local village features family-owned shops and restaurants, creating a sense of community that benefits residents and visitors alike. Areas of collaboration include employment, beach cleaning, mangrove replanting and waste management. In fact, SAii Phi Phi Island Village worked with the villagers to collect over 8,000kg of coastal debris from the area in 2021, and it also supports more than 30 local families who provide long-tail boat services for guests. Like all SAii Resorts worldwide, it has abolished single-use plastic and integrated eco-friendly solutions into every area of its operations.
Based in the 1996 novel by Alex Garland, “The Beach” told the story of a group of adventurous travellers from all around the world who wanted to live in harmony with nature, away from the crowds. Ironically, its popularity led to a damaging era of over-tourism at Maya Bay. At SAii Phi Phi Island Village, environmentally- and socially-conscious explorers can now realise their dreams of discovering authentic southern Thai experiences in a way that blends luxury with sustainability.
“At SAii Phi Phi Island Village, we understand that we have a duty to work hand-in-hand with local people for the good of the island and its native ecosystems. Every aspect of our operations is integrated with the community and environment, which provides a compelling option for our international clientele who often lead busy lives and have a deep desire to get away from it all. With Maya Bay having reopened this October for a limited number of people each day and our Thai restaurant now open for business, we look forward to giving our guests an opportunity to relax and reconnect with southern Thai culture,” said Bart Callens, Cluster General Manager of SAii Phi Phi Island Village and SAii Laguna Phuket.
Rates at SAii Phi Phi Island Village start from THB 5,130++ per night. For more information and to book, please visit saiiphiphiislandvillage.com.
SAii Resorts is the free-spirited five-star lifestyle brand from S Hotels and Resorts PCL, the global hospitality company from Singha Estate PCL. For more information, please visit www.saiiresorts.com. Alternatively, to learn more about S Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.shotelsresorts.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or LinkedIn.