“Stunning, back-to-nature island hideaway with stilted wooden houses, rainforests, snorkelling and endless beaches”
Practise yoga in an open-air pavilion under the coconut palms; blissful Thai massages are on offer in a shady sala next to the sea. Staying on the island is as close as you can come to having your own tropical hideaway in paradise, without having to cater for yourself and your family.
- Morning swims on a deserted beach, followed by a gentle massage and a healthy breakfast of exotic fruit
- A range of spacious, private and well-designed wooden houses that suit couples, singles and families alike
- The happy, smiley staff - a symbol of the successful training programme that employs 98% of staff from the village
- Saturday BBQ night is great fun - there's a bonfire on the beach with rum punch and cashew nut roasting
- Exemplary environmental practices including solar energy, sustainable fishing and water purification
- This is a back-to-nature resort: expect geckoes, tree frogs, monkeys, occasional snakes and black flies (if the weather is unnaturally still)
- There's no pool, but you’ll have miles of beach to yourself
- Rooms don't have air-con, but beachside houses in particular benefit from a sea breeze
- Don’t expect much in the way of nightlife
- The location means travel arrangements need to be planned carefully - worth it once you arrive!
Best time to go
Our top tips
Yoga guests: no need to bring your own equipment, the platform is fully equipped. But if you would like to bring your own mat, please do.”
- Beach Resort
- 28 houses for 2-8
- Restaurant + bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Closed: late April - late October
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
- Concierge Service
- Kayaks available
- Yoga sala
Golden Buddha Beach is less of a resort, more a low-density community for nature lovers. Accommodation is in 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom houses, and built in traditional Thai style, using tropical hardwoods and natural materials with sliding doors and louvered teak shutters. They are very private, and each has a veranda or terrace - all facing the Andaman Sea, located either on the seafront or set back in the jungle garden.
Bathrooms are open-air, with a shower, a washbasin and a toilet. Most have solar-heated water, but if your house lacks this (see Rates for details), the air temperature is generally so warm that this is not really an issue. There are no mod-cons, except for a mini bar with beer and prosecco inside. Mosquito nets and coils are provided, and fans keep the houses cool.
The houses vary hugely, so we recommend letting the reservations staff guide you, although we thought elegant Sea Blue 1 was perfect for a couple, and Bougainvillea was ideal for a beach-loving family with its lateral layout and stylish verandah with day beds. For larger groups we’d recommend spacious Tamarind, which has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, or sprawling Baan Mangorn, which sleeps 6 and is the largest beachfront house affording wonderful sea views.
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Mosquito net
Meals are eaten in the convivial Clubhouse, a split-level building with idyllic views over the Andaman Sea. The ground-floor dining room opens onto 3 airy terraces, whilst upstairs is a spacious lounge with its own bar - try the fruit shakes, they are as delicious as they are healthy.
A buffet breakfast, served from 7-11am, has a selection of freshly-baked breads and cakes, homemade jams, honey from the savannah, tropical fruit, homemade yoghurt and fresh coconut water. There are also cooked options, including pancakes, organic eggs or French toast.
Throughout the rest of the day, there’s a single daily menu chalked up on the blackboard. The food, mostly Thai but with some Western offerings, is one of the highlights of the resort, and is freshly prepared using seasonal, local ingredients. Expect fresh fish, Thai curries and vegetarian options. On Saturdays a BBQ is held.
The thatched Beach Bar stays open throughout the day and serves stone-baked pizzas, as well as salads, smoothies and ice creams. Or, if you prefer, Tiffin boxes of crab fried rice, fruit and spring rolls can be delivered to your Baan at lunchtime.
- Children's meals
- Meal delivery service
- Vegetarian menu
If you enjoy the simple things in life, there's no shortage here…
- Swim and sunbathe along 15km of golden sand on 2 different beaches
- Try one of the twice-daily yoga classes led by certified yoga instructors
- Have a traditional Thai massage or herbal treatment at the massage sala next to the beach
- Spot over 400 different species of birds, including horn bills and bee-eaters
- Climb up Hornbill Hill to visit the lovely airy sala and check out the views
- Visit the nearby island of Koh Ra to trek through its virgin rainforest, enjoy a picnic lunch and swim on a secluded beach
- Kayak or SUP at high tide to discover the bay and the mangrove creek
- Rise early for a jeep safari into the white-sand savannah to spot deer and crane
- Learn the technique of Batik painting at the village school, whilst the school-children practice their English with you
- Spend the day snorkelling the azure waters of the Surin islands, 50 km from the resort and a designated National Park
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Plantlife / flora
- Scuba diving
i-escape's Best for Kids Awards 2014
Winner: Best Island Escape
If you don't mind the long journey, Golden Buddha is an ideal place to bring a family. i-escape's editor spent a very happy fortnight here in 2011, with his 3-year-old son, staying in Beack Back Jai Yen. The Thai staff are very kind and caring to little ones and the chef is always happy to whip up meals for her younger guests. The island is car free, so children can wander about freely without fear of traffic, and the sea and jungle are on your doorstep.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
Beach Back Jai Yen is best for young children (under 4s), as it is the only house with safety gates. There's a single bedroom linked to the master bedroom and 2 sofabeds in the sitting room. It's also close to the clubhouse facilities.
The other houses are stilted with stairs/drops so are not suitable for very young children. Baans Mangorn, Marina, Metha, and Dee are our recommendations for families of 4-6, as they all offer plenty of space. Note that no houses have baths, and whilst most have solar-heated water, some don't.
Babysitting is available, and is done by the local staff who have limited English.
- 3 cots available
- Baby bedding
- High chair
- Bottle warming
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Food is available all day, and a special kids menu features spaghetti, egg fried rice and homemade chicken nuggets. There's a discount of 50% for meals for under 12s, and under 3s eat free.
Kids Activities on site:
- Set right on a long beach (some waves/undertow) with a safe shallow bay a short walk away
- Great swimming, snorkelling and kayaking (some kayaks seat 2 adults + 1 child; small lifejackets are available)
- Beach toys, snorkels and masks, and inflatables are available
- The jungle is on your doorstep, with monkeys, iguanas and hornbills easily visible
Kids Activities nearby:
- Rainforest trekking
- Jeep tours
- Day trips to local villages and schools
Families Should Know:
It's a remote hideaway, we suggests that you bring everything you need with you (including nappies, extra baby food, arm bands etc) as you won't be able to buy it here. The houses are built on stilts above the shoreline so there are unprotected drops in most; you'll also have to be confident with your children in the water and in the jungle. Sandy tracks mean that pushing buggies is difficult, a baby carrier would be a better option. Kids need to be good travellers - the airport is 4 hours away.
- Airport: 4 hours
- Hospital: 2 hours
- Doctor: 45 minutes