Golden Buddha Beach Resort
Koh Phra Thong, A. Kuraburi, Phang-nga 82150 Thailand
T: +44 (0) 208 123 2053
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This place has ‘responsible travel’ weaved into every possible aspect of your stay – a true definition of the term ‘eco resort’. Not only that, but it has a ‘down-to-earth’ luxuriousness about it, and is an incredibly beautiful and peaceful place to stay. The hosts describe it as “luxury created by nature, not man”.
Accommodation: The resort consists of 25 individually-decorated bungalows (Premiere, Luxury or Deluxe; either immediately facing the beach or behind the path) all of which are secluded in their own garden area, and no more than 80m from Golden Buddha beach and the Andaman Sea. We stayed in the lovely Baan Tao Tanu (Green Turtle) which was spacious for two people with its large raised deck and ‘look-out’ perch (we weren’t overlooked by anyone leaving us free to open the bedroom doors each night and keep cool by the sea breezes).
Restaurant: Just a two-minute walk to the ‘clubhouse’, guests can expect a fantastic multi-dish Thai meal every lunch and dinner time from a set menu that changes daily – no choice but you’re always guaranteed expected favourites and new discoveries (a free-to-choose buffet takes place on Wed and Sat nights alternating between meat and vegetarian). A fully-licensed bar, including daily cocktail specials, is open throughout the evening. There were two other small, low-key beach bars on the island (from what we could find) which would probably appreciate some passing custom when you fancy a change.
Activities: Yoga groups visit the island and there is a purpose-built yoga platform overlooking the bay which is perfect for sunset yoga sessions. You can hire kayaks and snorkeling gear (or book scuba-diving trips if experienced) from the Blue Guru dive shack on the beach or from the locals and explore the smaller islands and reefs around the bay (you may get a chance to spot a green turtle or sting ray while swimming). The Naucrates Turtle Conservation Project based on the island is happy to welcome guests who may wish to volunteer a few hours monitoring turtle activity. Surrounding mangroves make for a leisurely kayak trip or walk. Massage and spa treatments are available, and the kitchen staff run cookery lessons.
Recommended for… Peaceful and beautiful location; very friendly and helpful staff; delicious food; ‘affordable’ luxury; nature (bird life and marine life)
Be aware that… This really is the definition of ‘escape’ – if you need lively nightlife, shops, multiple restaurants, in-room TVs etc, this isn’t the place for you!
- Energy conservation: power is restricted to 6pm to 11pm; no air-con or fans used; no hot water except two houses heated by solar power; minimum use of fossil fuel-powered vehicles/machines
- Water conservation: water is taken from showllo wells; rainwater is collectef for drinking and treated with aeration; low water-user toilets installed; biodegradable detergents and soaps used
- Recycling and waste: food is bought fresh and locally to reduce packaging and food miles; paper, glass and aluminium is recycled; the kitchen is ‘zero waste’
- Nature conservation: low-impact construction for all buildings; minimal external lighting; plants that prevent erosion; supporters of the Naucrates Turtle Conservation Project, and run programmes with dive group Blue Guru on coral restoration, whale shark and turtle awareness
- Community: over 90% of staff are local and paid above the local prevailing wage; use local suppliers, income is re-invested locally; supporters of projects in local village and school of Baan Lions
Date of visit: February, 2012