Accessible only by speedboat, Naka Island is a tropical, welcoming respite from the crowds of Thailand's most popular beach destination, Phuket.
It all started from a picture on Pinterest. Bright turquoise waters, palm trees swaying on a private island and a long pier serving as the islands entry point. This little picture of Naka Island, quietly sitting in my feed, spoke volumes. After a few clicks, I found that this magical picture was taken upon entering The Naka Island Resort, a private property off the coast of Phuket, Thailand. A month later our tickets were booked and arrangements were made. I couldn’t wait to walk the pier, dip my feet in the water and spend some time in a private hideaway.
Naka Island, is located on the very small, very private island of Naka Yai in Thailand, just off the coast of Phuket. It overlooks Phang Nga Bay and is nestled between the large limestone island formations dotting the surrounding blue Andaman Sea. It’s a private place, only the hotel and a peaceful small village call this tropical landscape home.
The only way to get to Naka Island, is by speedboat. We arranged to have the boat pick us up at Ao Por Grand Marina in Phuket and no more than 10 minutes later, we were walking down the very pier, I had seen on Pinterest just a few months prior.
We were immediately greeted by the Naka team and after a few introductions and welcome drinks we were whisked away on a golf cart to be taken to our villa. Only 67 villas are sprawled throughout the entire side of the island and the favorite mode of transportation is by golf cart. Needless to say, getting around the island was easy and fun!
After a short ride in the buggy, we pulled up to our villa…which was was more like pulling up to our own private home. We had a small walkway that led to the front door and as we walked through the entrance we were standing in our own outdoor living room with sea views as far as we could see. The style was very organic and spa-like, with neutral coloured furniture, plenty of stone detailingand a few pops of color.
We were staying in the Seaview Pool Villa, which at 450 square meters was the perfect amount of space. Our large outdoor area had alounging area, which quickly became our office and a separate area to lay out by the pool. Although the bedroom was indoors (with air conditioning), our bathroom and closet area was open air and of course we had an outdoor shower and bath tub as well.
All day, the only sounds we heard were that of the birds and other wildlife flying around, mixed with the soft crashes of the waves. It hardly felt like we had neighbors and even better - we were surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers with the Sea taking center stage.
What To Do On Naka Island
Staying on a private island surrounded by hundreds of large limestone formations has it’s perks. It makes the perfect base to explore the nearby landscapes and you really just can’t get bored. Naka Island offers plenty of activities to choose from, including water sports like snorkeling, windsurfing, and sailing. Or you can always come up with a customized adventure like we did!
Naka Island organized a day on the water for us, which included boating around the islands on a long tail boat, exploring some caves and a stop at a local pearl farm. Being on the water and weaving through the smaller islands around was breathtakingly beautiful and a lot of fun! There is nothing that compares to the wind in your face and splashes of salty water hitting your skin.
We decided to stop a few times to take pictures of monkeys and explore the caves. After a few hours of exploring we made our way back towards Naka Island but not before stopping at a local pearl village. Sadly you can’t take home any pearls from the adventure, but you do get an up close look at daily life and you get to see the intricate process of pearl farming.
Dining at Naka Island
Being on a private island did mean that we were limited to what we could eat and drink. On the downside there are no street food vendors or fresh fruit stalls around, but there are plenty of options to choose from at Naka - and all of which are delicious.
Naka has two different restaurants and a fantastic bar called Z Bar, where the best sunset watching happens. Tonsai restaurant offers all day dining, where as My Grill is an aromatic restaurant located just steps from the sea. The food at all the restaurants is fresh, good and with a bit of Thai influence. And it should be. After all the dining scene is run by Chef Ian Thomason, who was recently crowned “Iron Chef Thailand Champion.”
Champagne brunch, everyday? Yes please! Every morning after waking up to sounds of the jungle and the beautiful views, we made our way down to Tonsai. We were greeted with fresh fruits, granola and all the usual breakfast suspects, with free flowing champagne of course! There is also an a-la carte menu to choose from, where you must order french toast!
Fresh salads for me and Thai food for Chris is pretty much what we ate for lunch everyday. Since the restaurants are right next to the main pool, you can easily walk up after lounging on the beds, or be served lunch as you sunbathe in the water. Whatever you do, make sure you’re at the pool area after 2:00 PM so that you can have their delicious homemade ice-cream that is served poolside!
Before heading to My Grill for dinner, we would stop at Z Bar for happy hour and a few appetizers as the sun set. The bar is build in sucha way so that anywhere you sit, you have a view of the bay and sunset. It’s also a great place to catch up on that book, you’ve been meaning to read as you sip on pre-dinner drinks.
For more information about Naka Island make sure to visit their website: