Just a short, five minute boat ride from the mainland, puts you at the edge of the dock of The Village Coconut Island. And once you hop off the boat, onto the pier, you treated to a view of the beautiful resort that lines the white sand beaches on the north side of Coconut Island. To the right are massive beachfront villas overlooking the sea, and to the left of the pier, are the beach lounge chairs, pool, and the resort restaurant right there on the beach. Some would say this is paradise! Unfortunately, over the next three days, we came to see this place in a slightly different light.
We booked this place for all of it’s advertised amenities and beauty. I mean come on, this is an island in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Phuket, Thailand, how could it not be amazing? Well, unfortunately, we found out that it really did not live up to the expectations that we had hoped for a few reasons. The main issue was the complications from extremely low tides. And though the staff was friendly, the service left a lot to be desired. And it unfortunately, the quality of the resort seemed to breakdown the more we looked, the longer we stayed at Coconut Island. Of course, this is just our experience, but it’s worth sharing, because I wish I had known.
The resort itself, on paper, is amazing. A 24hr water taxi will take you to the North side of Coconut Island to the property of 20 Grand Beach Front Villas, 15 Pool Villas, and countless Jacuzzi Suites. Three restaurants, the Asian fusion style dishes from Koko, the beachfront restaurant and bar called Kabang, and the Italian style restaurant called Kucina. To add to that are the two pools, a long water slide, tennis courts, fitness centre, water sports, kids club, and even bikes to ride around the island. The hotel staff were so accommodating when we arrived, and they could be nicer when we talked with them. And after checking into our Jacuzzi Suite, we were ready to explore the property and get our Island vibe on. But that’s when we slowly began to peel the layers back.
As I mentioned, the ocean’s tide drastically affected our trip. We unknowingly planned our trip during a week where the low tide was in the middle of the day, which meant they weren’t allowing you to use any of their water-sports during the day, which included SUPs, kayaks, or their fleet of sailboats. This was a huge bummer because that was what I was most excited about. Not only that, but due to the very shallow beach, the low tide dropped the ocean’s waterline almost all the way to the end of the dock, leaving behind a layer of impassible muck to get out to the ocean. To add to that, the tide directly affects how you get to the island via the water taxi. Normally, you can take the dedicated water taxi from the resort to the dedicated Village Coconut Island Dock on the mainland. But at low tide, that water at that dock too shallow, meaning you have to get dropped off at the Laem Hin Lagoon Pier. Not terribly inconvenient, except for the fact if you’re out on an excursion on the mainland all day, you have no way of checking to see which dock you need to go to to get the water taxi until you just show up. Not mention, you need to always get tickets from the front desk for specific times to take the water taxi (departing and return), or else you can get bumped off the taxi if it gets too full.
The other downside we came to know, was the service at the restaurants. Since Koko was closed, it left only two restaurants open, and only one was on the beach. So you can imagine which one every resort guest went to for lunch and dinner, so it got overly packed very quickly. Sounding like a complaining customer right now, I am, and we were not alone. Every day, we had excursions and bookings around and off the island that we needed to get on at our “scheduled” water taxi time, and unfortunately the food took forever to arrive, it was overpriced as compared to every other restaurant we went to in Thailand, and it was just difficult to get the staffs’ attention. We sat down one night, and it took so long to a waiter’s attention, that we just up and left the resort to go to a completely separate restaurant, called Coconut Seafood Restaurant, just a short walk down the beached, owned by a local family on the island. There we received better food, service, and authentic experience than was ever provided at Coconut Island Resort. And I can’t recommend that restaurant enough, it completely saved our trip to Coconut Island and made it all worth it. I can’t say it was all bad, the included breakfast was indeed delicious, with all the fixings from Thai dishes to European breakfast, and even an Omelet and Bloody Mary bar.
The only other complaint we had, and shared with a few other guests that we had met throughout our stay, was the craftsmanship and quality of the resort. The little things, like shower drains that clogged and flooded our bathroom, comically low water pressure, door frames that had observable termite damage through to the outside. Some days they would forget to give us towels back and the room TV was never hooked up. But my biggest gripe was the availability of potable drinking water. Since you cannot drink the tap water in Thailand, you are forced to buy bottled water at convenience stores for your drinking needs. And even though they would fill two glass bottles in our room each day, it was not enough to last the entire day without having to get some from the restaurant at the other end of the resort. I’m aware, these are little, petty issues, but when you are paying a lot of money, especially in Thailand, to stay at a 5-Star Resort, you sort of expect to not have to deal with the same issues we had when staying at a 2-Star Hotel in downtown Bangkok.
In summary, the resort probably could have been a dream of a trip if we visited during high tide. And the excursions off the island to Old Town Phuket to a weekend street market, a tour of a real Pearl Farm and Factory, and the boat trip to the Phi Phi Islands were incredible. And we wouldn’t have been able to experience them without their input and help organizing the boat transfers, but all in all, these were all experiences that were away from the Village Coconut Island. So is this worth it? Maybe if you were only staying on the island, getting the all-inclusive package, waited till all of the resort experiences were open, and booked a trip during the high tides, then it would’ve been a blast. But I’ll be honest, this was not worth it for us. It would have been more rewarding, enjoyable, and cost effective to just get a beach villa or suite along the countless other beach towns like Kamala, Kata, Surin, Bang Tao, or Rawai Beaches. But that was our experience, and like I said, if they said this was a 3-Star resort, the expectations would have been much lower and we would have been more accommodating of the inconveniences we experienced on our stop at Villages Coconut Island. But it was not.
Hi there, my name is Zachary Kenney and I’m an adventure filmmaker & photographer. My passion is to tell stories that will hopefully motivate you to go live a more adventurous life. Whether that is to experience the view from the summit of a mountain, or wandering through a new town on a road trip. Currently based out of Park City, UT.