Our trip to Thailand was a whole lot of fun, but it wasn’t especially relaxing – until we got to our final stop in the Phi Phi Islands, that is. As soon as our longtail boat pulled up to the pristine beach at Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort on Koh Phi Phi Don, I knew our trip would end on a positively rejuvenating note.
Our beachfront junior suite was beautifully appointed, and they really weren’t joking about the “beachfront” – the edge of our front yard was maaaybe 10 feet from the sand. Our room had not one but two terraces: a sunny deck with lounge chairs that overlooked the ocean and the outlying islands, and a shaded lower terrace with a table and chairs.
Phi Phi Island Village really lives up to the word “resort” in its name. There are a host of on-site restaurants, two large pool areas and activities like yoga and t-shirt painting are included. The food was tasty and surprisingly affordable for a hotel on an island in the middle of ocean (probably because Phi Phi Don is fairly developed and has real villages with restaurants, including some within walking distance of the resort). Thanks to the variety available, we never got bored of the food during our stay. We were happy eating in the casual Thai restaurant (the banana fritters are a must!) or ordering snacks to the pool, but if you’re looking to kick your dining experience up a notch, you can book a cabana for a private dinner right on the beach.
With two separate pool complexes – a tranquil infinity pool for adults and an all-ages pool with fountains, a waterslide and a swim-up bar – there’s something for everyone. I typically shun the pool in favor of the beach whenever I’m near the ocean, but the pools here were so nice, I ended up spending way more time in them than I expected.
As great as the pools are, Phi Phi Island Village’s private beachfront is even better. There’s powdery white sand, turquoise water and palm trees as far as the eye can see, and the resort has jazzed up the beach area by adding comfy bean bag chairs and hammocks, in addition to the usual lounge chairs and umbrellas. As an added bonus, if you share a photo on social media, you’ll receive a complimentary 30 minute massage by the beach. I’m not particularly into massages, but even I have to admit that when it comes to utter relaxation, it’s hard to beat a massage in an open-air cabana with the sea breeze blowing in.
Between the beautiful beachfront and all the included activities, you could easily spend several days here without ever leaving the resort, but it’s also very easy to get out and explore other islands. The two islands that are visible from the resort’s beach, Bamboo and Mosquito, are just a short longtail ride away, and the hotel organizes early bird excursions to Koh Phi Phi Leh and Maya Bay (which I highly recommend doing to beat the famous crowds there). Best of all, these boat trips leave right from the resort beach, which means that even a full day of sightseeing doesn’t leave you exhausted and still gives you plenty of time for a swim afterwards. I definitely did not miss the hourlong van ride to pick people up at various hotels that is often a part of an organized day tour!
Whenever possible when I’m trip-planning, I try to front-load the hectic, packed sightseeing days and end the trip with at least a couple days of just lounging, so we can rest up a bit before reentering daily life. I didn’t technically do that this time, since every day we were on Koh Phi Phi we did at least a half-day excursion, but thanks to our choice of hotel, we got plenty of R&R in too. I really couldn’t have asked for a better spot at which to end our time in Thailand. A few days here were exactly what we needed before beginning the long journey home, and although I was excited to get home – especially to our fur child – I was very sad to leave this beautiful place.