Thailand's beautiful Phi Phi archipelago has a gem – a barefoot-luxury option that comes with strikingly fresh accommodation with plenty to do and eat
Tropical island paradises don’t come more alluring than the Phi Phi islands. The archipelago – which encompasses Ko Phi Phi Don, Ko Phi Phi Le, and four other towering limestone outcrops – is world-famous for its lofty karsts, aquamarine waters, and beautiful beaches. SAii Phi Phi Island Village occupies a prime chunk of oceanfront real estate on the east coast of Phi Phi Don, the largest and most populous of the islands.
The resort had an extensive refurbishment before relaunching in February 2021 in its current guise. During the four-month-long, multi-million-baht renovation, all of the Thai-style bungalows, suites and villas were given a modern makeover with bright, rustic-chic interiors. The project was overseen by Last Word Studio, an acclaimed Bangkok-based design firm – and the results are strikingly fresh. Now, chic bungalows occupy the foreshore and revamped hillside pool villas are perched amid the jungle canopy upslope. I stayed in one of the beachfront options where an outdoor rainforest shower, comfortable king bed, and a daybed looking out towards the azure ocean supplied suitably indulgent touches.
There are solid F&B options on-site. Mr. Tomyam, a casual poolside venue, offers Thai and fusion dishes for hungry bathers. The resort’s signature restaurant, The Beach House, serves up grilled meats and fresh seafood; unfortunately, it was closed when I was there. But Api – a breezy all-day dining spot – is no slouch in the culinary stakes, with a range of live cooking stations complementing delicious buffet options that span Mediterranean and Asian cuisines.
Two pools, a spa with panoramic views, three bars, a gift shop, a recreation centre, a fitness room, and tennis courts are among the leisure highlights at the resort. Another standout facility is the resort’s Marine Discovery Centre, which serves as a conservation hub for the Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park. The centre supports critical projects such as bamboo shark conservation, coral propagation, clownfish breeding, mangrove planting, and beach cleaning.
SAii Phi Phi Island Village is a barefoot-luxury option that is the perfect base to explore the beautiful Phi Phi archipelago. Check-in was swift, and all staff members I encountered were unfailingly polite.
Number of rooms: 201
Rates: From S$151 (US$110)