Cape Kudu Koh Yao Noi

Cape Kudu, Koh Yao Noi, Thailand


We first visited Koh Yao Noi, an island just off the coast of Phuket when it was nothing more than a small fishing town, many years ago. Basic, but romantic, we remember the power going down for a few hours each evening, plunging the place into darkness with nothing more than a wind-up radio for company – escapism personified. We’ve grown up a lot since those days and got used to travel’s little luxuries; and with us, so has the island of Yao Noi. Now a destination for luxury travellers looking to escape commercialised Phuket, it’s no wonder that there is a Small Luxury Hotels of the World member here. Cape Kudu is brand spanking new, having been opened in early 2017 by Princess Sirindhorn herself. Like us, she made use of the Cape Kudu Hospitality Lounge at Bang Rong Pier, before boarding a speedboat for the half-hour ride to the island. It seems to be the way things are going in Thailand these days, but the property features a much more Caribbean aesthetic than a Thai one – whitewashed wood, pastel grey and blue furnishings and linen-draped four-poster beds in our villa. We loved our plunge pool but equally enjoyed lazing out by the resort’s wonderful infinity pool. The hotel has yet to gain some notoriety, but we’re very sure it won’t be long until it does. In any case, with just 55 rooms in total, it hangs on to that escapist vibe we remembered of the island, but a thousand times more chic. There’s not a lot to do on Yao Noi, but the hotel offers some in-house activities – Muay Thai, rides round the local villages and our favourite: a fishing trip where we brought back our own dinner; all easily booked of course, if just switching off and going off grid bores you.

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