Once we exited the lounge we were right at our departure point, Gate 6. After waiting for a 10 minutes the agents called for the business class section to board. Turing left we walked down glass encased corridor, turned right and proceeded down an extended jetway. We entered from the second door on the plane and turned left into the business class cabin.
Checkout from our villa, and the ride back on the resort speed boat to Ao Po Grand Marina Pier went without incident. Once on Phuket, our airport transfer included car service in a large luxury van (provided by the resort) that took us from the pier, through town and to the Phuket airport.
The Santhiya Koh Yao Yai is fantastic resort. Between the amazing Villa Pool Suite, the gorgeous hillside location, beautiful beach, friendly Thai people and the sweet quiet Island of Koh Yao Yai it’s difficult not to give the resorts hard product 5-stars from a personal viewpoint.
If you have every considered visiting Thailand one of the country’s prominate attractions are its’ amazing vertical islands, called karsts, that dot the seas all around the coast of county. There are literally hundreds of them, and one of the most famous is called “James Bond Island”. It was featured in the movies “The Man with the Golden Gun” and “Tomorrow Never Dies”. The islands are made from the limestone that has been left behind after the softer rock eroded away over the eons. They’re magnificent structures, and as far as Susan was concerned they were the reason for our visit to Thailand.
The Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort covers a large area on the island and the resort grounds are massive. The property sits on one side of a peninsula that extends into the sea. Coming in on the boat a long dock extends out to greet the arriving guests. To the left there is large hill formation were the villas and hotel towers reside. On the right is the master resort complex and a beautiful white sand beach.
We pulled up to our Villa 1216. The villa is a standalone structure that sits on a hill side. The entrance to the property is a small wooden structure that is a door with a small roof and support sides. It can be locked and it has a sweet little sign that can indicate privacy or the request for room cleaning.
After checking out of the Anantara Layan we had arranged for car service to the Ao Po Grand Marina Pier. The pier is on the north east side of Phuket Island and our car ride took about 30 minutes from the Anantara. At the pier we arranged to have our luggage transferred to the Santhiya group and waited in a small marina sandwich shop for 20 minutes, after which they called our group for boarding. Everyone walked down the dock and loaded onto the resort speed boat.
As mentioned in the Introduction, our main stay in Thailand was going to be at the Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort in the Koh Yao Island region of Thailand. In order to get to the Santhiya Koh Yao Yai you need to take a speed boat from Phuket to Koh Yao Island. Because of our later flight, we would arrive after the last boat transfer for that day. So, we needed to get a room for our one night in Phuket.
As we came up from the escalator from the lounge a good sized crowd was starting to collect around the gate. The gate agents were not sharing much information and after waiting about 15 minutes they called business class to board. We made way down a crisscrossed connecting hallway into the jetway and through the first door of the plane.
Susan and I we had just over 750,000 AA miles we could use. Since we would not be able to take our originally planned Maldives trip we decided to use as many AA miles on vacations during the next year and try to harvest as much value as we could.