I can still feel the gentle rocking of our boat as it inched across the turquoise shallows leading to Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort. Stepping on the wet sand, we were met by staff with smiles wide and welcoming. We sauntered up to sit in the reception area for check in with chilled pineapple and coconut drinks quickly handed out, appeasing our thirst brought on by the warm midday sun. From those first moments, sipping and scanning my surroundings, I felt relaxed. I was a world away from busy Phuket. Wondering where to stay in Koh Phi Phi? Phi Phi Island Village is a place where you want to kick off your sandals, sink your toes in the sand and let the stresses of home melt away.
How to Get to Phi Phi
- Getting to Phi Phi is simple thanks to the Phuket ferry. I took a private mini-bus to Rassada Pier on Phuket and then jumped on the ferry which takes about 2-hours. It stops just off shore and the hotel transports passengers through the shallows in smaller boats. Phuket to Phi Phi takes
- Krabi to Phi Phi takes about 90 minutes, leaving from Klong Jirad Pier, south of Krabi town.
- Koh Lanta to Phi Phi only takes an hour.
- There are also speed boats connecting all routes which are faster and more expensive. Tickets are also available through Phuket Ferry.
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Phi Phi Island Village Resort
Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort offers guests laid-back luxury in an idyllic island setting. With its own private 800-metre stretch of beach, the 4.5-star resort has been designed for everyone from families and couples to singles seeking relaxation and recreation time in the sun, well away from the crowds in popular Phuket.
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Bungalows at Phi Phi Island Village
My Deluxe Garden Bungalow was located among the lush gardens and Phi Phi palms, a minute’s walk from the infinity pool, the beach, and the main restaurant. A freestanding thatched-roof bungalow complete with terrace, it felt like a lovely little island home. Mine was one of the 44 newly renovated bungalows on the property. A beach feel, featuring pale wooden furnishings with colourful modern accents, it felt warm, relaxed and roomy. I really appreciated the peace and the privacy that having my own bungalow allowed. I found myself spending some time each afternoon relaxing on the day bed in the comfort of the air conditioning or watching the world go by from the loungers on the terrace.
Phi Phi Island Village Restaurants
Marlin Restaurant is one of three restaurants at Phi Phi Island Village. Footsteps from the beach, it is where you’ll start your day with a generous breakfast buffet. Each morning, I strolled along the sandy pathway leading to the restaurant and diverted briefly towards the water. The tide was low, leaving the surface of the sand, shiny and shimmering in the soft morning light. A flush of pink shot out across the horizon from the point at the other end of the bay. I stood in awe of that scene every day and almost ritualistically, followed other guests as they rushed to catch it on camera. I couldn’t imagine a more magical way to start the day.
Taking a seat at Marlin Restaurant, I would continue to watch the light show across Loh Ba Gao Bay with guests gradually filling up the seats around me, indulging in the breakfast buffet. I was surprised at the variety offered in the buffet. Particularly, as the resort brings in all its supplies, including each morsel of food, each day. There was a full western spread as well as some Asian choices, fruit, fresh juices and good coffee. After a poolside stint, I couldn’t resist the lure of a fresh young coconut and steamed snapper for lunch one afternoon too.
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Coconut Grill & Bar
Coconut Grill & Bar was my favourite restaurant at the resort. Tucked among the palms at the end of the beach, it’s the ideal spot for sundowners as the tide drops. I settled in for dinner out on the back deck just as the live band began to hum from inside. A mojito was a refreshing way to start while I waited on my Lobster Salad. The Beef Tenderloin came highly recommended. I ordered mine with a side of steamed vegetables and peppercorn sauce and it was perfectly pink. The food was fresh and the atmosphere was both romantic and fun; perfect for a casual candlelight dinner while you’re staying on the island.
After perusing the room service menu I couldn’t go past having dinner in my room on a couple of occasions during my stay. The menu was impressive and very inexpensive which can sometimes put me off trying in-room dining. I ordered up a feast of favourites including a Duck Curry and Tom Yum Goong – an ideal comfort food spread, Thai style.
Fitness at Phi Phi Island Village
The Fitness Centre at Phi Phi Island Village is basic but generously sized and a good spot to get in a workout in the comfort of the air conditioning. There are cross trainers, treadmills, a bike, a weights bench, free weights, a weighted machine and plenty of room for a good high-intensity workout which is what I stuck to during my stay. The gym is located right on the beach and next to the resort’s infinity pool so the view from the cardio equipment, in particular, was picture perfect. The beach is also a great place to train during your time at Phi Phi Island Village and there are a number of local walks and hikes. The Recreation Centre can help guests with routes and guides.
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Phi Phi Village Facilities
There are two pools at Phi Phi Island Village; one at either end of the resort. I spent most of my pool time at the newest pool; an infinity pool closest to the Deluxe Garden Bungalows, where I was staying. The second, larger pool is ideal for families staying in the Family Bungalows at the other end of the village. Of course, there are plenty of places in between to settle into the sand or a sun chair or swing in a hammock strung between a couple of coconut palms.
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For a truly relaxing break, wander up at Wana Spa on the hill for a Signature Massage. I sat on the deck with a cool towel and welcome drink and took in the panoramic view of the bay while I waited. The treatment rooms enjoy that same view of the beach. I opted for a 55-minute massage which was wonderful. I can only imagine what their Honeymoon Packages would be like.
Phi Phi Island Tours
I booked into a Phi Phi Island snorkeling tour The half-day tour cost THB 2200 (about $AUD80) and included the trip, guides and snacks. It was well worth it. The resort Recreation Centre can arrange a number of other water activities too, from scuba diving to Big Game fishing, sea kayaking and private long tail boat adventures for couples and groups.
For a little culture, hire a long tail boat in the evening and explore Tonsai Village, on the southern side of Koh Phi Phi. The long tail boats are owned and operated by the Phi Phi people, so you will be helping the locals out and they can give you their personal tips for sightseeing around the island. Long tail boat hire starts at about THB 800 ($AUD30) and the resort books boats for guests. In Tonsai, shop at the markets, enjoy live music and grab some dinner at one of the cute restaurants in the village.
The Fit Traveller was a guest of Phi Phi Island Village for this stay. As always, the words, images and opinions are authentically our own.
Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort
Skye is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Fit Traveller.
She is a journalist, writer, photographer, intrepid traveller and a former personal trainer with a passion for helping others reach optimal health.
As a TV journalist and producer, Skye has worked for household names such as 60 Minutes, Sunrise, TODAY and Nine News. She has also written for Women’s Health, Fodor’s Travel and Yahoo7 Travel, among many others.
Equally comfortable in a 5-star resort or hiking a far-off mountain, Skye loves the unexpected and enriching life experiences that each trip brings and can often be found in a backstreet chatting to locals with her camera in hand.
Skye is based in Sydney, working to master the balance between motherhood and her appetite for adventure.
Read more about Skye’s story here.