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“The Good, Bad & Ugly” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Racha

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The Racha
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   42/12-13 Moo 5 Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83130, Thailand   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Ko Racha Yai
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cairo, Egypt
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“The Good, Bad & Ugly”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014

Good: The rooms are amazing. The outdoors bathroom is really unique. The movie selection in the room in beyond compare to other hotels. The staff all is really friendly and out standing two particularly stood out: K. Bee at the Reception & K. Nim at the Bar. The beach water is okay but not the best (Rocky). The pool at the upper deck is fantastic is finish the day off and watch the sunset!

Bad: The Thai restaurant is okay, the breakfast selection is very poor. The pizza was very bad and the over all food is not that great. The local shack restaurant on the beach serves better dinner then the hotel and breakfast which I didn't try (but next time). The gym flooring is carpet which really smells and is unhygienic.

Ugly: The large amount of tourists coming for the day is terrible. It just kills the beach serenity and uniqueness.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devan B, General Manager at The Racha, responded to this review, May 6, 2014
Dear M.K
Thank you for letting us know about your experience at The Racha. I am really sorry to hear we have not met your expectations. Our commitment to our guests is about constant improvements and we will take your comments to continue improving our service delivery. I am at your entire disposal in case I can be of any assistance in the future.
Best regards
Devan
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839 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (109)
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Arzier, Switzerland
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2014

We stayed 8 nights at the Racha with our 5 months old baby in April. It was our second stay, we were there 5 years ago and obviously had loved it, that's why we decided to come back.
The hotel has become old, and not much has been done, so it is not really to today's standards anymore.

The good:

+++ Its location
The place is just heaven, beautiful beach, clear water etc. The issue is, it is not private, so between 10am and 4pm the beach is crowed, way worth than 5 years ago. When tourists have left in late afternoon, there are so many garbage etc (beer bottles, empty packages etc), it is cleaned everyday but really looks terrible before they do so.

+++ The Spa
I had 4 treatments at the spa and the quality is very good, really excellent therapists.
The only thing I found weird is that they don't give you any questionnaire at the start, to ask if you have any health issue or if there are parts of your body you don't want them to touch etc. It is one of the first spa I get into and where they don't ask that.

++ The Sunset Beach Restaurant
It is the most decent restaurant of the hotel, you get really nice fish that you can chose from at the entrance, it's mainly BBQ style. We ended up eating there the majority of the time. The service is freindly.

+ The Firegrill Restaurant
We ate there once, it was very good, although it is not really thai food but you can find some nice fish dishes, the service is good, and it's nice to eat outside by the illuminated pool.

The bad:

--- The reception staff
Honestly, I never felt welcome when I had to go to the reception. Half the staff is not smiling, the other half doesn't speak english well. Not helpful, and you don't feel like you are in Thailand where people are usually so truely nice.

--The rooms
We had booked the Junior Pool Suite. It is basically two deluxe rooms that have been put together, and the pool is built in the bathroom part. The parts that have been redone are nice, with large stones on the walls, modern TV equipments with movies etc. It was also nice that the room was separated into a bedroom and a living area, closed by a door, specially good when you have a baby that will take several naps a day.
What is wrong is everything that hasn't been redone: the worse was the bed, terrible. You almost got a hole in the middle where we would roll during the night. Also it is not a big bed (180cm large, not great when you are used to a 200cm at home -which is the standard in most luxury hotels). The furniture is really aging, the dark brown wood was definitly fashionable 5-8 years ago but not anymore... The bathroom looks also super old, there is only one small sink, impossible to get prepared two at the same time and don't even think of having room to store your bathroom stuff. The shower almost hurts (invest in real rain shower please) and we did not once get hot water (the resort relies on the rain water, so I understand you have to be careful not to use too much water, but the fact that they can't get it hot is just a question of equipment, the reort has become too large for their initial equipments...). Cleaniness was average. In the shower (room 303 if the hotel wants to check) there was an old bandage on the side of the very dirty windows.
I think the new rooms (like rooms 1001 and following I think, the suites with large pools that are above the spa) are much better and modern, but the others should really be redone. Not to mention room 206 (a grand deluxe) where we had to stay one night because we arrived one day too early -this one should not even be given to any guest, it is in a dark corner and looks like it hasn't been renovated since the resort was built...

-- Room service and local food
The thai food is very average, in fact our babysitter that was Thai said it was not good at all and she had sereval time unfresh food served. There were many errors in our orders, we ended up eating western food during the day and you would never get it right, like no cheese in the cheeseburger, not even to mention on the pizza etc. The pool restaurant, during the day is terribly slow.

To summarize, we really felt like in 5 years nothing had evolved but everything detoriated, and mass tourism has now invaded the beach. Really too bad, in such a nice spot, that the hotel relies on the place...

Room Tip: Deluxe and Grand Deluxe are very old rooms, Junior Pool Suites are two Deluxe put together and the b...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devan B, General Manager at The Racha, responded to this review, May 6, 2014
Dear Diego_Sarah
Thank you for choosing The Racha Phuket and I appreciate that you took the time and effort to share your experience with us and sincerely apologize that we did not meet your expectations in certain areas. I am very glad that you have enjoyed the Spa, Sunset & Fire Grill venues and the location. I have shared your constructive feedback with my team as we continue to strive to not only meet but exceed our guests’ expectations. When your travels bring you back to The Racha, I look forward to welcoming you back to stay with us again.
Best regards.
Devan
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Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2014

Massive compliments to the staff and Devan the General Manager for a truly wonderful 3 day experience. From the moment you land at Phuket airport, the shuttle service that greets you at the airport is friendly and accommodating. You are then taken to a small office, just 5 minutes walk to the Jetty where check-ins are organised and you are provided with options for room fragrances and music choices. You are then chauffeured by a pink van to a speedboat for a 40 minute scenic journey to the white sanded, pristine waters of The Racha.

Upon arrival, you are provided with a welcome drink, and escorted to your villa. I was fortunate enough to be staying in a 2BR pool villa where I spent many hours soaking up the sun in our private outdoor infinity pool and deck. The bedrooms were luxurious, and decor was modern. The room had all the facilities we required for a wonderful stay, including the bedroom slippers which once worn felt like you were walking on clouds.

The Racha is an all inclusive resort, which means you will not need to leave the island as they have 4 restaurants, catering to even the pickiest of eaters, a selection of pools, a variety of outdoor water and land adventures to adequately satisfy your time during your stay and a luxurious spa. I thoroughly enjoyed the food prepared at the Earth cafe for breakfast- generous selections of savoury and sweet dishes, as well as lunches and dinner at the Fire Grill. A special mention to Chef Claudio who prepared an amazing Chocolate Lava Cake dessert on our first night which sent me straight to food heaven. The staff at the water sports club were helpful with organizing activities for our trip and I tried my hand at snorkeling around the island as well as ATV riding. No need to mention that snorkeling was a treat as the clear waters provided a perfect backdrop to a wonderful snorkeling experience. I am not especially adventurous so the ATV experience got me out of my shell, Briann the lead driver was exceptional in assisting during the ride around the island. On our last day we spent some time getting pampered at the spa, the treatment rooms were private and allowed for total relaxation. The therapists were wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed my oriental 90 min massage.

All in all, service at The Racha proved minimal hiccups from the time of arrival to departure, and even the tiniest of details are taken care of to ensure a truly fantastic stay. The resort along with its environmentally sustainable initiatives, luxurious living options, delicious food choices, exciting day adventures and comforting spa therapies will ensure my return to this beautiful resort time and time again.

Room Tip: If you can afford it, the 2BR Pool Villa offers ultimate luxury
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devan B, General Manager at The Racha, responded to this review, May 6, 2014
Dear Todd M,

Dear Suling K

Thank you very much for choosing The Racha for your recent vacation. It is a delight to read your review and specially nice to hear that your experience was "Majestic Luxury- Top Class Service" and that you would eagerly recommend our resort to anybody. If ever your travels brings you back to Phuket, we will be extremely happy to welcome you back.

Best regards
Devan
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014

We stayed in a junior pool villa for three nights, the room was huge and the size of the pool was bigger than we thought. The beach was breathtaking! White baby powder spread hundreds meters. The only downside is it's not a private beach and it got pretty crowded from 9 am to 4 pm.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devan B, General Manager at The Racha, responded to this review, May 6, 2014
Dear CeciliaM626

First of all thank you for taking your time to post your review on TripAdvisor.
I am extremely happy to hear that you had a wonderful time at The Racha.
We are looking forward to welcome you back soon.

Best regards
Devan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
284 helpful votes 284 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2014

Just got back from our 7th visit to The Racha and thrilled to discover that all the lovely things that we loved about the resort is still there – and more!

We were greeted at Phuket airport by Racha driver Chai, who picked us up last year! Check-in at The Racha Lounge in Chalong Bay was seamless. The lovely staff even remembered my favorite room scent –Jasmine! Speedboat to and fro Racha Yai was amazing. The sea was totally flat both times and besides another couple and their child, we had the speedboat all to ourselves!

Upon approaching the island, again, the first sight of magnificent Batok Bay and the whitewashed buildings of The Racha took our breath away. Even the presence of day trippers couldn’t stop us from wanting to cool off and just jump into the amazing clear, azure water!

First thing we discovered when we landed in Phuket is that it was the hottest time of the year. No surprise, it was the same on the island.

Thankfully, we had our own indoor pool (villa 1103 – a Spa Pool Suite) with garden views. The temperature of the water was perfect – cooler than the outdoor pools and best of all, a welcome respite from the scorching sun! We enjoyed all the amazing features of the villa – the electric blinds, the media system, the Jura coffee machine, the massive bathroom with showers for two. We didn’t use the huge soaking tub to conserve water as the island was experiencing months of drought. Besides, the jacuzzi in our pool couldn’t be beat.

Lots of great things have been written about the resort but let me clarify what appears to be the biggest gripe for some reviewers.

Daytrippers. The more beautiful the island, the more you’ll get them. It’s a fact. As the resort clearly states in all their communication, there are NO private beaches in Thailand. Period. It’s the law and its no big surprise. Live with it. Or book somewhere else.

The Racha shares the island with the local residents of Racha Yai. Many of the island folks make their living from the presence of these daytrippers. The Racha management provides these residents with the infrastructure, free of charge, to help manage these visitors tastefully. One example, the white beach umbrellas on the beach. Season after season, the resort supplies them all foc to the beach vendors. Wonder how the beach looks so clean after the daytrippers leave? The Racha employs dedicated full-time staff just to clean the beach! And what about the eco-friendly floating pontoon? That’s the property of The Racha and it’s for all to use so that day boats don’t anchor indiscriminately in the bay and ruin the undersea life.

I’d say that’s pretty decent of The Racha folks.

Two years ago we became friends with an English couple who first visited the island as daytrippers. They were so charmed by the island that they came back the following year as Racha guests. Don't dish the daytrippers! Every year since, they have been returning to the resort and staying for several weeks in the Winter.

This year, my husband and I noticed a few changes in the resort.
Firstly, the absence of Gerard, the previous GM, who became a good friend after repeated visits to the resort. Sure we missed his huge presence but Devan, the new GM seems to have a terrific rapport with his staff and the guests! Big Mahalos for an amazing dinner under the stars on our last night!

The Racha Dive Center seems to have a new breath of life! The Dive Pool is looking as good as new and what about all the new equipment and instructors! My husband really enjoyed his Racha Noi dive outing with dive staff Khun Kee and Khun Jung!

Thanks to the delicious cooking of Chef Claudio from Verona, Italy, we ate way too much this trip! His thin-crust pizzas are as authentic as they get and his pastas are made with love! We ordered the pan-fried pork twice and it was so juicy! Another couple told us to try the ‘In-Villa BBQ’ but alas, we had run out of time.

My husband and I really enjoyed our 90 minute yoga session with Ashley in the oceanfront Om Studio. Ashley hails from Los Angeles and is a very skilled and caring yoga & meditation instructor. She teaches twice a day, six days a week. Make sure you sign up for her free classes!

Also free is the equipment at the Water Sports Center. We took the kayaks out in the early morning and after 3pm (when the daytrippers left – we didn’t want to paddle over the snorkelers) and had the bay all to ourselves! On both sides of the bay, you’ll find plenty of colorful fishes. Make sure you check with the staff at the Water Sports Center, the ocean conditions before you enter the sea.

As usual, Anumba Spa treatments did not disappoint. I highly recommend the anti-aging facial that comes with an upper torso and head massage! The Oriental Thai Massage was sublime too! The Big thanks Khun Kaew and Khun Noi!

Tips
• Book a villa with an indoor pool if you suspect the weather can be iffy. That way, you can swim anytime you want, rain or shine! Whilst the gorgeous Junior Pool Suites have sea views, the Spa Pool Suites are amongst the newest accommodations in the resort and are super luxe!

• Don’t get all bothered with the daytrippers. They’re only there from 11am–3pm (the hottest part of the day when you’ll probably want to be indoors anyhow.) The Racha security (huge kudos to them!) manages a marvelous job of keeping them out of the resort’s grounds. As mentioned by other reviewers, there are many other isolated and pretty beaches on the island, a short stroll from The Racha.

• Bring reef shoes! There’s coral and you don’t want to stub your feet in ocean.

• Bring a good book to laze away the day.

• Consider taking up a dive course at the resort. We met other guests who spoke very well of their Dive Center experience.

• Bring a positive frame of mind. You’ll be surprised how this magical little island can restore your mind, spirit and soul.

Lastly, big thanks to all the amazing Racha family! Especially to Daniel, Devan, Khun Bandid, Khun Joy & Chef Claudio! I look forward to returning for the 8th time soon! I am missing all the pampering already!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devan B, General Manager at The Racha, responded to this review, May 6, 2014
Dear happy2bealive

Thank you very much for taking the time to write such a comprehensive review of your experience on Trip Advisor for the benefit of other travelers. It is a delight to read your compliments about the friendly service received by our associates, the positive food and beverage experience as well as the villa type and its layout.

I am very happy to hear you enjoyed every part of the resort services and its facilities and not forgetting those special staffs who took care of your needs. Looking forward to welcome you back soon on your eight visit.

Best regards
Devan

Best regards,
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Padova
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2014

The best hotel in the island and one of the nicest in Thailand. Very homely, welcoming staff speaking different languages, great, large and modern rooms, good food and snorkeling, I really liked it!!!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2014

Great location, easily accessible by phuket (30mins by speed boat). Great layout of hotel. Unfortunately all this is spoilt by the worst service I have experienced. Only one bag brought to room and was left outside, my wife's bag sat at reception for 2 hours despite two calls to front desk where they said it was on it's way. At first we thought this was just the relaxed thailand attitude of the island. But after waiting an hour and a half and still no bag, that is just bad service. Eventually went and collected bag myself to find 6 staff standing around talking at check-in. Guys at sport center gave us different excuses why we couldn't use the equipment (canoe, snokel) each time we tried (to many boats, sea to rough, only can hire before 10:30). Expected more, will not be back.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devan B, General Manager at The Racha, responded to this review, April 28, 2014
Dear Bryn D

Thank you for sharing your views about our resort. I'm very sorry that we were unable to address your negative experiences properly whilst you were still with us. Admittedly there are rare moments when the expectation of our guests is not met or indeed exceeded. I have shared your experience with the management team to work on the service flaw. On behalf of us all at the Racha I am sorry that we could not turn your experience around before you left.
Kind regards.
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Additional Information about The Racha

Address: 42/12-13 Moo 5 Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83130, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Ko Racha Yai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Ko Racha Yai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Racha 5*
Number of rooms: 85
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just 12 miles south of Phuket on Racha Yai island, The Racha is Thailand's premier deluxe island hideaway. Set on a pristine white-powdery beach and surrounded by the dazzling turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea, this five star resort features 70 stylish villas offering the ultimate in luxurious comfort, from private pool villas with underwater music, to a very unique 5-storey Lighthouse Pool Villa with an observation deck offering panoramic views around the island. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Racha Hotel Ko Racha Yai
Racha Hotel Yai Island
Racha Yai Island
Racha Phuket
The Racha Ko Racha Yai, Phuket, Thailand

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