Need to know
30, including nine suites.
Noon. Earliest check-in, 2pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from $403.31, excluding tax at 21 per cent.
Rates usually include à la carte breakfast; express immigration; ferry terminal shuttle transfers.
The bath products in your room are made using michelia alba, also known as ‘the temple flower’, a type of magnolia that has long been used in Indonesia for its skin-calming properties.
At the hotel
Private beach, pool, spa, gym, yoga pavilion, croquet lawn, laundry service, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: Bang & Olufsen TV (with Apple TV), iPad loaded with free films and music, iPod dock, air-conditioning, minibar, tea- and coffee-making kit, free bottled water, walk-in wardrobe, yoga mat, personalised stationery, natural bath products, sarong, beach bag, wine fridge and welcome chocolates.
Our favourite rooms
We love the super-spacious Great House Veranda suites, decorated in chic shades of cream and caramel. Each room has an enormous private veranda with padded sunloungers and a guaranteed view of the sea. The bamboo-clad, one-bedroom villas in the Lawan Village are ideal for privacy-seeking couples: looking out over a man-made lagoon, each one has a king-size bed draped in romantic, white-linen hangings.
The 50-metre-long, salt-chlorinated infinity pool – known as the ‘Tasanee Pool’, which translates as ‘beautiful view’ in Thai – is aptly named: it’s situated in front of the main building and overlooks the South China Sea. Waiters will bring you traditional snacks served tempo doeloe – in a hanging basket suspended from a pole, as is typical in Asia – while you laze in the sunshine. The pool even has submerged chaises longues in its shallow wading section, so you can cool off without the exertion of actually swimming…
The Sanchaya Spa has a choice of indoor and outdoor treatment rooms (in case you can’t bear to miss a minute of the sunshine). Try the herbal massage – which uses locally-grown fresh ginger – while sipping on a steaming cup of the hotel’s own-blend, chakra-balancing tea, or opt for the invigorating Kawasaki Massage to boost the complexion and reduce crows feet. There’s also a high-tech gym open round the clock, with personal trainers on hand to help hone your technique
Silk pyjamas for in-room lounging are a must; pack your best sarongs and beachwear labels for posing by the infinity pool.
The hotel’s public areas and the villas are wheelchair-accessible, but the suites aren’t suitable for guests with mobility issues.
Little Smiths of all ages are welcome at the Sanchaya and there’s plenty for them to do. Extra beds can be added to the Great House Veranda Suite, the One-Bedroom Villa and the Two-Bedroom Villa; under-4s stay free, over-4s are charged US$200 a night.
Although at first glance it may seem like a couples’ retreat, the Sanchaya is very accommodating of children of any age and there’s plenty for them to do.
If you’ve a larger brood, book Leelawadee, which has three bedrooms (each one in a separate villa) and a semi-private pool. Alternatively, some of the Junior Suites in the main house can accommodate extra beds and have direct access to the beach.
Once you’ve exhausted pool-splashing and lawn-exploring, borrow bikes and helmets from the hotel (over-15s only) and pedal your way around the grounds (there’s some child-seat availability for little ones). The sky’s the limit in terms of organised activities, so just ask for what you’d like: the hotel can arrange treasure hunts; customised cultural lessons; dressing-up sessions in traditional, child-sized Indonesian costumes – you name it. There’s also a small sandpit for tiny tots and a croquet lawn for older children.
Both restaurants have a children’s menu and are happy to heat up baby food for guests. The bar serves child-friendly food, from burgers and chips to hot dogs and spaghetti.
Babysitters are available for US$20 an hour, for a minimum of one hour. One babysitter can look after up to two children or one infant. Booking requires at least 24 hours’ notice; charges increase by 50 per cent after midnight.
No need to pack
All children get a free toy in the room on arrival. The hotel can supply iPads, arts and crafts materials, board games, puzzles, baby cots and highchairs.