Part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection, Cape Kudu in Koh Yao Noi is world’s apart from the every day busy life of living in the UK. In order to get there you need to take a plane, taxi, boat, and another taxi. Sounds a lot right? But it takes a while to get away from it all. Oh and I would like to first point out that yes, the journey is most definitely worth it.
With a light and breezy, seaside feel, Cape Kudu is luxurious yet friendly. Overlooking the world famous Phang Nga Bay, guests can spend their days lounging by the resort’s beautiful infinity pool or out on a boat exploring the beaches and coves of the Ao Phang Nga National Park.
Whilst the hotel is beautiful in its own right, the location really is something special. Koh Yao Noi is one of the quietest Thai islands I have been to. Long gone are the bars and clubs of Phuket, in their place are quiet palm tree fringed beaches, boutique hotels, guest houses and beachside shacks that house small but incredible restaurants.
On its doorstep is Phang Nga Bay, a mystical landscape that has been drawing in travellers for decades, partly thanks to its feature in famous movies such as James Bond and Star Wars. 10,000 years ago, the water level here was so low that you could walk across it. Today is a beautiful seascape characterised by the limestone rocks and cliffs that jut out towards the sky.
All of this beautiful quite literally unfolds in front of you at Cape Kudu, the property looks out directly onto Phang Nga Bay, looking out east so guests can enjoy the perfect sunrise.
If you can bear to pull yourself away from the pool, I would recommend taking the hotel’s private boat tour into Phang Nga Bay. This tour will take you to swimming coves and the famous Hong Island for some beachside relaxation. If you like snorkelling then make sure you pack your swimmers, snorkelling gear and towels are provided by the hotel.
Another option is to explore the island on one of the hotel’s free bikes. The island is small and has little traffic, making it the perfect place for cycling enthusiasts. If you’re anything like me, you will have to pull your bike up some of the hills, but more advanced bikers will be able to pedal themselves up there.
The landscape is diverse and photogenic, mangroves border beaches and verdant hills stand tall in the centre of the island. The best time to visit Koh Yao Noi is from December through to late March when days are dry and sunny, making exploring that little bit better. Stop off at the beach and enjoy the shade of a palm tree as you catch your breath, or sit in one of the many beachside restaurant stalls for a refreshment. The days on the island have no time, this is your opportunity to travel as slow as you like and soak up each and every view.
There are just 56 guest rooms and suites at Cape Kudu. I stayed in a Deluxe Seaview Suite which was a spacious, bright and airy room with a large balcony where I spent the late afternoons enjoying some peace and quiet before getting ready for dinner.
Other rooms include Pool Villas which are more like tropical havens. Great for those wanting a touch more space and privacy, the Pool Villas also offer rain showers, bath tubs, sun loungers, and a spacious living area.
For the ultimate luxury getaway, Baan Yu Yen is a two bedroom private pool villa offering a home from home with its own fully equipped kitchen and generous living area. Two annexes within the villa complex lead to their own pools (yes, there are two swimming pools!), as well as extensive gardens and a sprawling terrace area with bean bag sun loungers and views out to sea.
If that wasn’t enough, guests staying in Baan Yu Yen also benefit from a complimentary selected mini bar (except wines and spirits) which is replenished daily.
Dining at Cape Kudu was as imagined. Breakfast was taken in the al fresco Hornbill Restaurant, with tables sprawling out onto the pool terrace, a stunning way to start the day. In the evenings the restaurant offers a completely different, much more romantic vibe, with tables set out under the stars.
For those wanting to enjoy a refreshment throughout the day, or for residents and other tourists looking for a great place to eat, the Cafe Kantaray served up a delicious lunch. Typical Asian food is served alongside more snacky options such as pizza and pasta. Day trippers stop by for ice cream and smoothies, and one thing all visitors have in common is the appreciation for the view overlooking the beachfront.
Overall, Cape Kudu is a wonderful place to start your journey through Thailand. The quiet island atmosphere and laid-back nature of the resort means all guests feel welcome. The variety in accommodation means the hotel suits a whole range of budgets, prices start at £11o per night for the Deluxe Rooms and just £156 for the Pool Villas.
Other hotel facilities include an exclusive spa offering a full range of massages, scrubs, facials and wraps. For those looking for something a little more adventurous, Cape Kudu gives guests the opportunity to charter a yacht. Yacht adventurers can enjoy their own deserted beach for the afternoon, or perhaps a day trip to Phi Phi before sailing back at sunset.
Travellers interested in staying at Cape Kudu can book their stay here.