May 15 2013

Review: The Sanctuary, Haad Thian, Ko Pha Ngan

Published by at 12:42 am under Ko Pha Ngan

The Sanctuary is something of a Ko Pha Ngan institution, with guests coming from all over the world specifically for their yoga and detox programs. Located on a beach reached only by boat or four-wheel drive, it’s a testament to The Sanctuary’s reputation that consistently attracts the crowds.

Gorgeous at a distance.

Gorgeous at a distance.

The multi-level beachfront restaurant greets arriving guests, with a small pool to wash feet, followed by a welcoming reception that includes a welcome drink made of lemon, honey and fresh ginger.

The restaurant has regular tables, hammocks and booth seating; pick a spot and browse the lengthy menu consisting of items like sandwiches made with wholewheat bread freshly baked in-house; homemade burgers, including a raw burger made of “sunflower seeds, nuts and other goodies” (though non-vegetarian options are available); a massive selection of salads, including the “salad from heaven,” which consists of mixed vegetables, cashew nuts, almonds, apples, dates and mozzarella. There’s also pizza, pasta, Indian food and Thai vegetarian dishes. Most dishes are priced between 100 and 200 baht.

And a beauty up close.

And a beauty up close.

For guests who decide to stay for a retreat or detox program, or even those who aren’t fasting, but just like the area, accommodation is available to suit every taste and budget — dorm-style singles (220 baht), doubles and family and group houses (prices vary, but around 3,000 baht). Special rooms are available for those on one of the Sanctuary’s famed detox and fasting programmes, with fan and air-con options (from 1,490 baht). Women-only dorm rooms are 710 baht.

The resort has the feel of a very health-conscious village, providing an ideal environment for those wanting a genuine retreat from the world, and to rid their mind and body of built-up toxins.

Most of the rooms are in the form of wooden bungalows with fans, though air-con villas are available as well. The fan rooms tend to be a bit dark, but the decor is very zen, and the foam mattresses are uber comfy. Mosquito nets are provided, though the resort does fog to get rid of mosquitos and other bugs every Saturday evening. Spacious patios with hammocks come standard with every room.

Bungalow with a treehouse view.

Bungalow with a treehouse view.

The spa offers a herbal steam room, wellness centre, and a clothing and accessory shop.

In the past we have stayed here for detoxes several times, but on our most recent visit we just dropped by during the day. We’ve heard that, despite its tranquil reputation, The Sanctuary is a favoured stomping ground for visitors and locals on the island to stay up drinking into the night.

To get there, it’s best to take a boat from Haad Rin. While there’s a taxi boat service, we discovered that it’s unreliable. Boats are lined up along Haad Rin’s beachfront — ask one of the captains to take you over. It shouldn’t cost you more than 500 baht each way.

Check rates & availability at The Sanctuary on

The Sanctuary
Haad Thian
T: (086) 4 78 4213, (081) 271 3614

* These photos were taken on an earlier visit to The Sanctuary when we had better weather.

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