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“escape to koh racha” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Racha

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The Racha
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Ko Racha Yai
Macclesfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“escape to koh racha”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2008

Stayed at The Racha for 8 nights in a superior villa no 312. They really are wonderful, very minimalistic with ambient lighting and pristine clean. The bed is very firm but dead comfy, there are 2 showers, one in and one out in a mini private garden (brilliant to use when you return from the beach). Minibar is a little expensive so we took a litre of whisky and just used the mixers. We also brought our favourite cd's to play and sat out on the setee at the front which was well screened.
The beach is very busy with boat trips from 11 to 4 so everyday we walked to Siam Bay about 10 mins away. It is a stunning beach with only a handful of people on it, swimming is good and there are a couple of places that do good thai food and beer chang (green curry at the 2 storey beach hut is the best).
The staff at The Racha are so lovely, big smiles and very attentive. It winds me up when other reviews complain about their lack of English or slight naivity, this is Thailand that's what makes it special! Breakfasts are good, loads of fruit and yoghurt, almond croissants, omelettes and HOT tea. We ate at all three restaurants and found the food tasty and beautifully presented (try the mignon at the fire grill). There is also a good place to eat next to resort built on stilts over the sea they do thai, chinese and western dishes.
The Racha is the ideal place for a getaway from it all holiday (there are absolutely no shops here!) If you want you can explore the island and go to some of the cheaper bars and restaurants but then you always have the luxury of that wonderful air conditioned room to return to!

  • Liked — the villa and gardens
  • Disliked — busy beach,but see the alternatives
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank casperfreidrich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Bath
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2008

Of the 3 excellent hotels that we stayed in Thailand, this was our favourite.

We were picked up by the Racha Mercedes which we pre-booked and were greeted with chilled water and a cool flannel in the back seat. Oh, the luxury. The driver was very friendly and he gave us a brief tour of Phuket as we drove through the island.

We then took a 30 minute speedboat trip from Chalong Bay, which was a little bumpy so you do need your sea legs.

The hotel was stunning. Each small white building housed an individual room. The rooms were white and minimalistically stylish. Great space and very well laid out. We were upgraded on our first night and had our own private plunge pool.

The restaurants were all good, as were the pools and the beach.

They also provide free mountain bikes so you can explore the island, and free snorkels so you can look at the fish in the sea. They hire out quad bikes and they have a very good spa. So there are plenty of things to do other than sun bathe and eat.

Highly recommended.

  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank eberlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2008

We're just back from a wonderful 3 nights stay at the Racha. It was the best holiday we had since long. The Beach was great (even if some rocks made it difficult to swim at low tide) with turquoise waters and white powder sand. The pools were fantastic (the Main one offering a great view over the bay and the Garden one with its jungle atmosphere). Rooms are superb. The whole complex is very spatious and sometimes gives you the pleasant feeling of being alone on earth.
The only drawback: food is a bit pricey with regard to its quality.

  • Liked — The overall peaceful atmosphere of the resort and its outstanding design
  • Disliked — Diner
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Matthieu B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Majorca, Spain
Level Contributor
27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2008

We Stayed there over Christmas 2007 for 5 nights in a pool villa no. 102. The staff told us this was the best and they were not wrong. Huge space with a fantastic bathroom, well 2 and a wonderful view from our private pool and glass walled bathroom.
The pool has music under water and a outside shower.

Have the BBQ by the pool at night, open some wine and put on some music and just relax, best night off the hoilday.

The Staff are a litte disorganised in general.
The restaurant staff told us we where on half board which we were not, so they would give us the wrong menu. Finally after this was sorted out then they gave us the old menu so when we came to order they told us that this was the old menu and they replaced it with the new one. This happened 3 times. They also gave me the screw cap from the bottle of wine to smell. Very odd.

They try very hard but there is now where else to go.
The Christmas eve and new year menu are so over priced for the same food and service, but where can you go.
would be nice to see other guest dress for dinner, just a little would be nice.

Shame as dinning is part of or hoilday.

Wonderful rooms and gardens

The beach is very busy but then again just stay by your pool.

Would i go back.........................No

Maybe its just us but they need to sort out the service.

  • Liked — Room 102
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank wine1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2008

I've been keeping The Racha on my thailand resorts "hit list" since it's opening in 2004. The design and concept of the entire resort - modern and minimalist - suits my personal taste perfectly. Now that I've finally paid the Racha an overdue visit, I think I might have chosen a very opportune time. It seemed like they have ironed out many of the kinks in terms of service ever since their new GM, Gerard Tan, took over the reins recently.

Arriving at Chalong Pier office:
Instead of taking up the resort's offer of a Mercedes limo ride which would have set us back 1,600++ per trip, we opted to take a metered (yellow) taxi which cost only 450 baht. Good to note if you, like me, think the hotel's charges a tad exorbitant. When we arrived at the office, we were offered the usual: Cold towels with a beautiful scent, refreshing cocktail, fresh fruit platter at the bar you can help yourself to. And of course we were asked to choose the preferred scent of our shampoo and shower gels, which is a nice touch personalized touch I like.

Boat Ride:
We took the bigger of 2 boats that the Racha owns on our trip there. This one has 2 decks and due to its general larger size, gave us a less bumpy ride. I actually took a nap on my way there. We took the smaller vessel when we left the Racha and this one was by far bumpier but wasn't an issue with me or any of the other passengers as far as I could see. The calm weather conditions also meant the trip took under 40 mins. Upon reaching the Batok Bay where the resort is nestled in, you can immediately see the water is clear and turquoise.

Welcome and check-in:
Check-in took awhile, because we took the 12pm boat and reached the resort slightly before 1pm. Amongst the guests on the same boat with us, some had had their rooms available for check-in immediately, whereas some others like my husband and I, had to wait till 2pm. We were told the room is still being prepared. We were happy to adjourn for some light lunch while waiting, but I felt this could have been improved because if the resort offers an early boat, they need to expect guests to arrive earlier than 2pm, policy or no. It would have been nice if while waiting, the guests be given a little walkabout tour, or a complimentary cocktail at the bar. Just a thought, though it didn't bother me much because the resort looked just as beautiful as on its website and I was enthralled.

The Room:
When we finally did check-in, we weren't disappointed. Our humble superior sea-facing villa was beautifully adorned with flowers and petals to welcome the honeymooners. The scent of aroma oil wafted through the air, and a selection of jazz music was playing softly in the background. We stayed at villa 348, which is one of the few superior villas to have a sea view, albeit perched further up the hill. You literally wake up in bed and will be greeted by the turquoise sea framed by coconut palms which are all over the resort's compound (and Racha Island in general).
Furnishing and decor are truly luxuriously appointed. Everything was sparkling clean, no complaints here at all. Complimentary 2 bottles of drinking water a nice touch.

Activities:
I recommend the racha for honeymooners and couples who want nothing more than to laze on the beach or by the pool. We all know by now that the racha island is small and isolated, so do not expect too much action at night. Batok Bay can get quite crowded with Day trippers and for a while did spoil the idyllic, picturesque bay for me. There were many "public" deck chairs which are on the beach proper, whereas the racha chairs are within the Racha compound and far more comfortable. The security guards are also extremely strict in forbidding non-guests to step within the resort compound. Snorkeling at the bay itself was a tad unsavory due to the large amount of flotsam which marred the clear blue water. It felt less safe with the large number of boats coming in and out ferrying passengers.
For the more adventurous, we did trek around the tiny island on foot and on bike. we visited all the 4 other bays:
Siam Bay - right next to Batok Bay. Longest stretch of beach on the island. Clear and clean water for swimming but unexciting in terms of snorkelling as it's just sand for a long way out. There are some vendors here offering food and cheap massage in huts.
Ter Bay - is a rocky little cove and is a fantastic snorkelling site! We were here well over an hour, and we saw a large variety of fishes despite the lack of coral reefs. We can see little signs of it reviviing but this will take a long time to be back in full health.
Lah bay - this one is little known and situated north of Ter. Check with the resort staff for directions. Similar rocky cove to Ter, even better visibility which made excellent snorkelling. We spotted barracudas, moray eels and a few puffers here.
Bay by Ban Raya Resort - I forgot what this bay is called, but it is uninspiring. I'd say skip it unless you want to visit this mid-range resort for a meal.

Dining and entertainment:
Dining is expensive in the Racha for Thai standards. Expect to pay an average of 70USD for lunch for 2, and USD100 for dinner. We were teetollers so we had no spirits nor wine. If you drink, you could easily add another USD40 to that total. There are other good alternative dining option outside the resort. Right on Batok bay to the right (if standing on racha facing the sea), there's a locally-operated establishment that serves some awesome thai food. We ate there twice. If you want to have your own private BBQ at your villa, be sure to check with the front desk EARLY. We didn't know how limited this was and we were disappointed that it was all booked out when we enquired on our last night there.
Service quality at all the restaurants were genuinely friendly. Some of the staff still spoke minimal english but we got by fine and the fact that they were all so well-meaning was what mattered to us most. Breakfast selection is better than most resorts I've been to. We had most other meals at Earth Cafe (beautiful al fresco dining under-the-stars) and the Sunset Bar, which serves BBQ during dinner.

Pools and compound:
Beautiful infinity pool facing the Batok Bay. Limited deck chairs but I was happy just dipping in the pool while waiting for one to free up, nothing to get frustrated about. Garden pool is just as charming and cozier. The gardens are well-maintained. There are a couple of convinient stores by the extreme left side of the resort in front of the dive centre.

Personal touches:
I like that they come in and prep our bed for the night. They always leave a sweet little Good Night note with an orchid. They also leave notes informing you of special events, gentle reminders from the GM which are also an effective way of keeping us updated without intruding upon our privacy.

Overall, I felt the Racha has delievered most of what it has promised. It would be perfect if Batok Bay is owned by the resort and made fully private, but I gather that's not quite the way it is now. Beautiful, stunning white-washed buildings that make up the resort compound is a gleaming, stylish statement on this laid-back island. You walk around and every staff members greet you with a smile, from the gardener to the guy who harvests the coconuts. I was truly happy to do nothing but to wake up and be greeted by the view, laze around by the beach or pool and eat to my heart's content all day, everyday. I will be back, and this time I want their Pool Villa!

  • Liked — Overall resort design, great pool and isolation
  • Disliked — crowded beach with day trippers
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
17 Thank nahsie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
37 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2008

This was our fifth visit to Thailand and the Racha was well above average. The rooms are modern but very elegant and the terrace was a good size. The rooms are set on a hill overlooking a bay so try to get a room high on the hill if you want a good view.

There is a well equiped gym and Spa. There are two beautiful pools, one by the garden, the other with sea view. Racha Island has good scuba diving though the quality of the dive sites has declined since the tsunami.

There are 2 possible drawbacks. Racha has the resort and little else and the mainland is too far away for easy visiting. Therefore there is little to do but relax and enjoy the hotel's amenities. The restaurant food was a little disappointing and some of the restaurant staff, although polite and well meaning, were inexperienced.

  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank AdamCLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
53 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2007

We were a little worried when we read earlier reviews of the service standards in The Racha, but things seem to have greatly improved since the new GM took over earlier this year. Our visit was on the whole a very positive, relaxing experience, and we would recommend it to travellers seeking a quiet haven.

Pickup & transfer - We were picked up from the airport in a Mercedes Limo and the hour plus ride was very comfortable. We rested at the resort's office near Chalong Bay where the service staff gave us drinks, cold towels and our room number, as well as got our luggage transfered to the boat.

Villa description - We stayed in Room 209, a deluxe villa tucked in a corner but close enough to the main buildings. The room was immaculate - huge bathroom with double sinks, separate toilet and shower areas and a large tub plus outdoor shower. Towels are nicely oversized and soft. There's a DVD/ CD player and a library at the lobby where you can borrow titles. However, we wished the bed was more comfortable - the mattress was hard and springy and the pillows were synthetically filled. It would have been perfect if the bedding was made of down/ feathers.

Spa experience - We loved the spa. Very well-run with experienced staff who made you feel pampered. Good selection of treatments from massages to scrubs. You get a cold drink before your treatment and ginger tea after that.

Diving - Diving in this area is not spectacular, especially after the tsumani, as we noticed many dead corals and missing marine life (we were here 7 years ago). However the day trip out to Phi Phi was nice - saw leopard sharks. The staff at Racha Seamaster were friendly and pleasant, and our DM, Josh, was especially helpful in taking us out for dives twice a day (10am and 2pm). Nearby is the Raya Divers but they tended to be overcrowded.

Service standards - The service staff at the 3 restaurants were generally polite and attentive although professionally they still need more training. They tended to be shout at each other in Thai and the main kitchen was especially a conundrum with pots banging and cooks shouting. We were quite horrified one night when we chose to sit indoors as the alfresco dining was too dark, and had to sit through our dinner with clanging and yelling in the background.

Other information - there are a few convenience stores that are now housed by the resort. Things are not really cheap but you can get crisps and ice-cream. A can of Coke costs the same as the mini-bar items. No need to buy bottled water as you get a large complimentary bottle each day. The beach is a little prickly with dead coral debris washed ashore so getting into the sea to swim can be tricky at times. But waters are warm and clear.

Overall, we had a really good experience. The villa is beautiful, the grounds are immaculate and perfect for strolling, and the infinity pool (which tended to get crowded in the afternoons) allowed a wonderful view of the bay. We spent six nights there and were refreshed and relaxed throughout!

  • Liked — The lovely bathrooms
  • Disliked — The uncomfortabel bedding
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Spookybaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Racha

Property: 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 4 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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