THE NAKA ISLAND | A REVIEW BY LUXURY TRAVEL PUBLISHER
THE NAKA ISLAND, PHUKET is a luxury retreat, located on Naka Yai Island, just a 5 minute journey on a luxury motorboat from Phuket’s Ao Po Grand Marina.
The Naka Island prides itself on barefoot luxury, a terminology which is gaining rapid attention for those seeking a holiday or vacation where they can unplug, chill out, relax. It’s a term that conjures up white sand beaches, turquoise seas, tropical weather, beautiful natural surroundings teeming with wildlife and getting away from it all.
But also it’s the luxury of informality, no schedules, no need to dress up and show up, the feeling of freedom and simplicity without sacrificing comfort.
The Naka Island ticks the boxes here, and from the moment of arrival, you hit the large gong twice with the beater to signify the beginning of your journey. The Naka Island is a rustic luxury retreat which takes take away our stresses, rejuvenates our soul and fulfils us with it’s natural surroundings of wildlife and oceanic beauty.
Getting to The Naka Island is simple. From Phuket Airport, you can aim to be at The Naka Island within 25 minutes. You’ll be picked up from the airport, or point of stay in Phuket and taken to Ao Po Grand Marina. There you will be met by a representative of The Naka Island who will escort you are your belongings to the motor yacht.
The boats run as per guest requirement so there is no need to stress about transfer schedules. The boats are luxuriously fitted with reclining seats and water is given upon being seated.
The journey itself is a little over 5 minutes, and some great views can be had across the marina and bay.
Arriving at the pier, a buggy will collect you and escort you to reception. During this process, a welcome drink and flower garland is presented, and we begin our journey to The Naka Island by sounding the gong with the beater.
The Naka Island features 66 1 bedroom tropical private pool villas, and a 2 bedroom Royal Horizon Pool Villa.
We opted for the 1 bedroom tropical private pool villa with ocean view. Upon entering the double gates to the villa, you’ll notice the smiling rock, the symbolic gesture to indicate a do-not-disturb. Simply turn the rock over, to notice the sleeping eye’s if you’re after some DND, or turn it back over to the smiling face for room/maid service.
Entering through the gates, you’ll quickly become acquainted with the grounds in which your private villa is situated. The gardens are luscious and tropical, and there is a large pavilion/pagoda with 2 day beds overlooking the ocean below.
The front of the villa features a private pool and come comes with a large day sofa, sun loungers and sun umbrella.
The room’s are appointed with rustic yet luxurious fittings and come complete with a king bed, day sofa, and sunken workspace and flat screen TV. The ceiling is beautiful thatched, and the room is light with a view of the ocean.
The door to the rear of the room leads to the bathroom and walk though closet. This area, separated from the bedroom is enclosed, yet open plan, and is covered with mosquito netting around the open windows and doors. Spanning the courtyard garden, the bathroom and closet area is large, with plenty of storage space and features a large shower space with complete steam room functionality – one of my favourite parts of The Naka Island’s rooms. There are his & her’s vanities complete with Harnn amenities – a well known luxury Thai brand that produces natural body & skin care.
A door form the bathroom leads to the garden which features it’s own bathtub room and outdoor shower, through another door back to the swimming pool at the front of the property. The design of the rooms at The Naka Island is brilliant – one can walk through the garden area to the bathroom after a swim without needing to go through the bedroom. The design and layout resembles a small home, and thus provides a very homely feeling throughout the villa. The gardens, trees and tropical plants are well maintained and the land space for each villas is large to give a sense of serenity and privacy.
Food & Drink:
The Naka Island promises 2 restaurants:
Tonsai Restautant– Home to The Naka Island breakfast. A very impressive breakfast buffet, as well as an a la carte menu, the breakfast has choices including champagne, freshly made pancakes, asian hot dishes, cheeses, pastries, cold cut meats, yoghurts, waffles, selections of bread and jams, local and international hot and cold plates, freshly squeezed juices just to name a few. Very impressive and delicious too!
The Tonsai Restaurant also has an all day menu for both lunch and dinner, and has an impressive choice of western and local dishes. The thai food is fantastic, and one can choose if they’d prefer it local Thai, full of flavour and spice, or slightly dressed down to appeal to the western tongue. The western dishes are also of good quality, with imported steaks and other cuts, as well as locally grown organic produce.
Located just a few steps from the sea, features both a charming outdoor area with panoramic sea views and an indoor air-conditioned dining room. Set out over three levels, it comprises an intimate experience and natural décor that evolves throughout the day, graduating from a simple, casual breakfast atmosphere to a romantic, candlelit dinner environment.
My Grill – a highly popular romantic dinner setting just a few steps away from Tonsai Restaurant, my grill is an open-air, beachside restaurant, that reflects native island style and iconic views of the ocean. . My Grill is a romantic and popular setting for couples, but also great for families too. There is a focus on fresh seafood and steaks—all prepared with a southern Thai twist. Choices of lamb, beed and seafood, The Grill will not disappoint. The food is succulent and very tasty, cooked perfectly to order.
Z Bar – the perfect place to enjoy sunset. Located on the cape, Z Bar has perfect unspoilt views of the ocean – great for sunset. Day loungers and formal dining tables make this the perfect place to enjoy the offering of the mixologist, or feast on the Japanese inspired tapas. The cocktails are fresh and feisty, and there is a large selection of Thai inspired and international cocktails. Highly recommended but book to avoid disappointment!
Aside from the restaurants, The Naka Island has theme nights such as the Thai Night Buffet, Naka BBQ Buffet night, and other. For the Thai Night Buffet, there was a large selection of traditional thai dishes on hand, whilst being serenaded by traditional thai music and dancing. It was a fantastic evening and great insight into Thai culture and customs.
The Naka Island is a large retreat graciously set amongst the luscious coconut groves, tropical foliage and views of the emerald ocean. The best way to get around is by ‘buggy on demand’ or simply using the free bicycles provided by The Naka Island. Not only a good mode of transport from getting to and from the swimming pool, restaurant or beach, but you can also visit the neighbouring village and immerse yourself in it’s local culture and customs. There is sign for directions at near the wharf and it’s only a couple of minutes away – highly recommended! Across the small island, you can also visit the other white sandy beaches just a few minutes cycle ride away.
Activities & Things To Do:
Being an island retreat, it’s the perfect time to kick back, forget the clocks, remove the stress and really allow yourself to immerse in peace, serenity and relaxation.
Aside from the bicycles, library, free-hire kayaks, oversized chess games and large luxurious infinity pool overlooking the ocean, The Naka Island also has a 24 hour fitness centre, large steam room, sauna and ice room. With it’s aim for a healthy body – healthy mind, this is a great start, or end to your day.
Furthermore, The Naka Island runs daily activities and during our stay there they had the following schedule, with a huge amount of activities for both children and adults:
Thi Chi classes, Gel Candle Making, Yoga, Batik Handkerchief Painting, Aerobic Dancing, Fan-Umbrella Painting, Mixology Class, Petangue Competition, Leaf Folding, Body Combat, Fish Feeding, Circuit Training, just to name a few!
There is a kid’s club on site too which is open 9am – 9pm, so parents can get some R&R times whilst the children are taken good care of and entertained during the day.
Next to the pool also, there is a free homemade ice-cream available all day, and it’s absolutely delicious! Flavours change regularly, and during our stay there was a choice of Mango, Coconut or Lemon.
In addition to the in-house classes, sports and activities, there are a number of excursions that can also be organised with The Naka Island. Those can include the nearby James Bond Island, Phang Nga Bay, Khai Island, Sunset Cruise, or Fishing.
The Spa at Naka Island is an unparalleled sanctuary free of all distractions and set in a soothing, serene setting. Offering premier therapies for the body, mind, and spirit, Spa Naka offers an array of signature indigenous botanical treatments, each performed by expert therapists using exclusive Comfort Zone products from Italy or local Thai products.
The signature Watsu treatment, a 60-minute-aquatic therapy with combination of shiatsu pressure points, gentle stretches and the absence of gravity to help alleviate those aches and pains and keep guest on track for the challenges day to day life. Watsu unique experience is suitable for all ages, gender and swimming abilities.
Another signature, and the treatment that I settled for was the Naka Indigenous Treatment.
Starting with facial drainage soothing, then a heated compress to relax and ease back muscles, followed by a deep aromatherapy oil massage. The treatment was performed superbly by a qualified and well trained therapist, and offered a very soothing and relaxing experience in a beautiful ambient setting. The Naka Island spa treatments are an additional rewarding experience to compliment your stay at The Naka Island.