The calm island of Yao Noi off the Phang Nga coast gets it very own "Small Luxury Hotels" with the opening of Cape Kudu
THE NEWEST hotel to arrive on the tranquil island of Koh Yao Noi, the recently opened Cape Kudu Hotel offers spectacular views of the turquoise waters off Phang Nga Bay and a sunset that will take your breath away.
Located between Phuket and Phang Nga, it’s the latest addition to the Cape & Kantary Hotels chain and has already earned membership of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, which recognises hotels for premium five-star level services and a full range of modern facilities. Reaching it is surprisingly easy too, with just 20 minutes needed for the ride from Phuket International Airport to Bang Rong Pier, where guests can take advantage of the Cape Kudu Hospitality Lounge with complimentary refreshments, snacks, fruit, Wi-Fi, newspapers and magazines until a speedboat is ready to ferry them on the 30-minute cruise to Koh Yao Noi.
I’m greeted by a display of Porsche classic super car and motorbike that make me feel as though I have stepped back in time to another, more graceful age. Overlooking the white beach and sea just a few minute walk from the open-air lobby, I spot the comfy sun-loungers and wooden wingback armchairs and that sentiment is reinforced.
Perfect for an escape from chaotic city life, the hotel is elegant but relaxing with the beige, white and blue and beige palette representing a harmonious mixture of sea, sand and sky.
The public facilities include a comfortable Reading Room with a pool table, computers with Internet connectivity and several kinds of books from which to choose. A small boutique corner is well stocked with apparel, swimwear, skincare products, lifestyle accessories and souvenirs.
“The hotel opened in January and we offer a full range of facilities including a fitness centre and in-room spa treatments. We’ve worked with veteran chefs from Italy and France to create classic Thai and western cuisine. We’re opening our Cafe Kantary this month and the full-scale Cape Spa is expected to be completed in August,” says general manager Timo Kuenzli.
“It’s very easy to relax and appreciate the local lifestyle. We also offer many activities like kayaking, canoeing, excursions to other islands, snorkelling, bird watching and sightseeing.”
In the meantime, guests can enjoy the salt-water infinity pool surrounded by lounge beds and rattan chairs, as well as the well-equipped fitness centre and yoga terrace.
The hotel has 43 Deluxe rooms, 11 Pool Villas and one Suite, ranging in floor area from 40 to 90 square metres and designed for complete privacy. Honeymooners will love the 90sqm Robinson Crusoe suite with its king-size bed and a private living room equipped with LCD television, DVD player and comfy sofa adapted from an old long-tail boat.
The en-suite bathroom is big enough to house a bathtub, a separate rain shower, a toilet, a walk-in closet and a washbasin counter. In the morning, guests can sip coffee and relax in a whirlpool bath on the private balcony.
The Pool Villa is popular with families. There’s a vintage king-size bed with specially designed bed cover imported from India, a living area, a private plunge pool and an expansive private balcony with sun loungers.
I stay two nights in a 40sqm Deluxe room in the three-storey building. Spacious and comfortable, my room is simply decorated with twin beds, a LCD television with cable channels and a DVD player.
The living area is furnished with a white two-seat sofa, a vanity area, a wardrobe with a safety box and shoe cabinet as well as coffee and tea making facilities and mini bar. The bathroom is compact but functional with a separate shower and bathtub. I like the private balcony best of all and am happy to sit on my vintage-style swing overlooking the sea while using the free Wi-Fi.
Appetites can be sated with Thai and Western cuisine at the all-day dining Hornbill restaurant, which serves a breakfast buffet and Italian, French and Thai delicacies the rest of the time. The Long Island bar with its wide selection of tailored cocktails, wines and beers is another popular spot.
AT A GLANCE
High point: The room is spacious and the bed comfy.
Low point: The hotel is far from any convenient store. The housekeeping team sometimes neglects to empty the trash when they clean the room.
Pay for it: See the website for the best rates
Find it: 25/54-55, Koh Yao Noi district, Phang Nga province
Call it: (076) 592 600
Browse it: www.CapeKuduHotel.com