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Reviewed February 11, 2013

We spent 3 nights here in March 2012.

The BMW pickup from our other hotel was excellent and luxurious and the check-in on Phuket was easy. In the 1hr we had to kill the team recommended lunch at a local Thai spot on the waters edge which was excellent. The boat ride out is fun and as you approach the island you get wonderful view of the white hotel ahead.

The hotel itself is a bit of a disappointment though due to the lack of nice beach - the beach at the front of the hotel is also the port, so not that secluded, I can cope with this as the main pool at the hotel is a great place to sunbathe and unwind.

However for me the biggest disappointment was the food. We expected top quality, but found it weak and not varied enough. The thai dishes weren't up to much and everything over priced. Being an island you have no other choices to eat at so you are stuck.

The spa was fantastic - amazing massage
The fitness room was adequate, all the equipment you need.

Overall we enjoyed our time there, but it fell short of our expectations.

Date of stay: March 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RupertPaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheRacha, General Manager at The Racha, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2013

Dear RupertPaul,

Thank you for your candid review of your stay with us in November last year.

It is nice to hear that you were pleased with our limousine service, speedboat transfer, spa treatment, and leisure facilities. However, it is indeed disappointing that your dining experience was not remarkable. Rest assured we have taken your comments on board and we will discuss your review in detail with our culinary team as we are always looking for ways to improve.

Again, thank you for your feedback. We look forward to serving you better on your next visit.


Kind regards,

Gerard Tan
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2013

We were blinded by the pictures when visited the internet site and even though the prices are very high, we decided to visit The Racha for 5 nights. Pick-up service from a Phuket hotel worked perfectly. Very friendly driver. Trip to the island (about 40min) was also ok. Arriving in the bay we were totally surprised to see so many charter boats that brang divers, snorklers and other tourist to this place. The beach has two lines of umbrellas handled by loacals and one row for the guest of the hotel (they are free of charge...). However, the beach is white sand (fantastic) but the mess is just unbeliefable. All sorts of waste (empty bottles, chips packs, cigaretts etc..) is spoiing this place. Unfortunately we couldn't check in as the room wasn't ready so we had to wait for roughly 2h. We booked a pool villa (Nr.303). It has an indoor pool and 2 terrases but not lying facilities. So I decided to ask for a upgrade accepting additional costs. We changed the day after to the beach front villa (101). Its a spacious place, with a fantastic outdoor pool and a nice terrasse. The staff is ok with some exceptions (Canada, Sam, Jame), they rather prefer to look to the other side then greeting their customers. Breakfast buffet is focused on chinese tourists (which probably make 70%), fruit selection is poor / boaring. The restaurant selection within the resort is very limited, thanks god their is a small beach restaurant on the right side of the bay, that offers delicious thai dishes, staff is very friendly and prices are totally fair. A positive experience is the underwater life. Within a few meters from the beach you can see lots of different fishes,
However, for the price you pay and what you get in return it is from our point of view way out.
We have seen many places and travel between 2 -5 times to asia but The Racha we can definetily not recommand. Furniture is not well maintained, the house keeping does only what you see at first hand but show no interest in details (glasses weren't cleaned during all our stay, empty wine bottles not disposed).

Date of stay: February 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Rotschi
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheRacha, General Manager at The Racha, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2013

Dear Rotschi,

Thank you for taking the time to share with us your comments and views. At The Racha, we take our guests’ feedback seriously as this is the only way we can truly measure and continuously improve the service we provide to our guests.

It is indeed disappointing that your stay with us has not been outstanding. We apologize for the dissatisfaction you have experienced caused by the presence of day trippers. Unfortunately, the bay and beach in front of our resort are public areas and are used by other boats and day tourists during the peak season from November to April. You might have overlooked it but this is in fact mentioned on our website so as not to cause any misunderstanding. We are fully aware that many of our guests expect a more serene environment so we are glad to assist with locating other secluded bays and beaches on the island. We provide maps and complimentary use of mountain bikes for our guests to get around the island more easily.

Additionally, please accept our sincere apologies for the unsatisfactory service you have received from some of our staff. I have discussed the issues you mentioned with my entire team and corrective action has been taken to prevent such occurrences from happening again and to ensure our usual top quality service is maintained at all times.

We are disappointed to hear you didn’t find our breakfast offerings excellent. We usually receive positive feedback on our comprehensive breakfast selection which features various Asian and Continental favorites but it is unfortunate that it was not up to your standards. On a similar note, it is disappointing that you did not find our dining options ideal. The Racha boasts three dining venues that offer a wide range of flavors and ambience to suit all of our guests’ needs. Unfortunately, we were unable to impress you in this aspect.

Thank you once again for staying with us and providing us with your valuable feedback. We aim to improve and we look forward to serving you better in the future.

Kind regards,

Gerard Tan
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

This is a lovely island resort. Its best feature is its gorgeous, white sand and turquoise water beach. The reef had lots of fish and we were able to see large schools of teeny tiny fish swimming along the edge of the floating dock. It's extremely private, needing a 45 minute speedboat ride from Phuket. The rooms are spacious and clean. I believe all rooms have an outdoor shower, which my family particularly enjoyed. The staff is very attentive and polite. And the food was very good, especially considering you're on an isolated island. The hotel offers free use of its ATVs, snorkeling and kayaking equipment. That said, there are some things to know. The island is very small. You can walk across it in 15 min. There isn't shopping or a nightlife scene. But the positive part is that the island really forces you to relax and you can explore the other pretty beaches in the area. Wifi is a bit spotty but it can be found. One downside of the gorgeous main beach is the influx of day-trippers. The hotel has no control over that because the beach is public, but the crowds don't arrive til late in the morning and leave in the afternoon. Consider hiring a private boat to take you around to quiet snorkeling areas. It wasn't expensive, about $50 or so and some areas had so many fish I couldn't see my kids in the photos for all the fish. If you tire of the hotel food, try the roti at the food stand next door. Yum! My only recommendation (and it's a very minor one) is that the hotel needs to put out more towels, particularly near the beach.

Date of stay: December 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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Thank notsofrosty
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheRacha, General Manager at The Racha, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2013

Dear notsofrosty,

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay at The Racha.

It is nice to know that you and your family had a relaxing stay with us and that you enjoyed our facilities and leisure activities. We apologize for the spotty WiFi connection you experienced during your stay. We are currently upgrading our wireless internet system and we hope to have a faster and more stable connection soon.

Your encouraging words about our staff are much appreciated. I have shared your kind compliments with my entire team and they were delighted to hear that their hospitality enhanced your stay.

Again, thank you for your feedback. We have taken note on your comment regarding the beach towels. It has been our privilege to serve you and we look forward to welcoming you back to The Racha again soon.

Kind regards,

Gerard Tan
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2013

My 4 star rating is mainly based on the spectacular location conveniently located on a small island only 45 minutes from Phuket. In detail:

Target group: mainly Asian (we are stating this as we think that we were not the target group and therefore not happy with quite a few things; we are European)
Hotel Management: Singaporean (see comment under target group)
Staff: below standard, generally no answer to any question or request, have to check back for everything; waiting time in restaurants rather long; we missed a bit the Thai mentality and believe this is due to Management style
Food: breakfast is included and we expected a bit more e.g. fresh juices (not just a sign) however mixed with concentrate; other guests told us that they brought their own bread as special allergic requirements could not be met (yes, its an island but the standard and rates should support special dietary needs in our opnion)
Anything else you had to pay extra was quite good.
Restaurants/bars: We were amazed that there was no dining or drinks closer to the beach as the resort borders the strand. Again, maybe a European thing but its Thailand after all.
There is a "Club del Mar" area to the left of the resort that is mainly for day tourists. It would be a great spot to serve sundowners however closed when day tourists leave.
Also, there is a restaurant outside of the resort at the other end of the small bay, they serve excellent Thai food at a fraction of the price right above the water overlooking The Racha.
Accommodation: Most rooms i.e. Deluxe and Grand Deluxe need renovation, mold in the bathroom, old robes etc., not standard for the rating; newer rooms like Grand Deluxe Pool and higher are nice.
Activities: most have to be paid for, also a reason why we dont think this meets the standard.
Environment: quite dissapoining considering what they praise on their website, even small things like beach cleaning were not done once although there is a sign that invites guests to help every morning
Money for value: not so sure considering the rates

Conclusion: location priceless, hotel has huge potential and could be a gem, however we think that Management is not looking to improve but still enjoys the reputation and press a few years ago.

You also need to know that there are hundreds of day tourists coming to the island every day, I believe from 10 to 5. The jetty is right in front of the resort and we counted around 12-15 boats every day, each carrying around 40 tourists.
As all beaches in Thailand belong to the public, they usually spend the first hours in front of the resort then some move on for lunch and then to another part of the island before they go back. We didnt mind too much and used the time before and after to hang out at the beach.

Room tip: Ask for renovated rooms or book Grand Deluxe Pool or higher category!
Date of stay: November 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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3  Thank meikeh
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheRacha, General Manager at The Racha, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2013

Dear meikeh,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us.

Allow me to address the issues mentioned in your review:

Target group: With all due respect, we wish to clarify that the experience you described is certainly not the environment in which we operate. At The Racha, it is our joy to provide the best of our hospitality to all of our guests regardless of whether they are Asian, European, African, North/South American, etc simply because this is, has never been, and should not be an issue at all. We wish you had discussed with us what exactly you were “not happy with” during your stay with us so we could have had a chance to look into it.

You might be interested to know that The Racha nurtures a workplace and business environment free of all forms of prejudice. The Management is a team of talented, well-educated individuals and we are proud of what we do regardless of whether we are Asian or otherwise. It may be for you but for us, people’s social and cultural background is simply not an issue.

Hotel Management: (see comment under target group).

Staff: We wish you had brought these issues to our attention during your stay with us so that we could have had a chance to address them. Meanwhile, allow me to quote you, “we missed a bit the Thai mentality and believe this is due to Management style.” The connotations of your statement are offensive but I politely choose not to address it.

Food: We apologize if our fruit juices at breakfast did not meet your standards but we beg to differ with your view that The Racha does not meet our guests’ special dietary requirements. It is our pleasure to be of any kind of assistance to our guests. My team and I thoroughly investigated the issue you mentioned and we wish to inform you that at the time of your stay with us which was in November last year, none of our guests requested for special assistance with dietary needs and none of them brought in their own bread. We have never had this occurrence before.

Restaurants/bars: We apologize if you were expecting restaurants and bars built right on the sandy beach but in line with our environmental policy, we choose not to and will never have permanent, concrete structures constructed on the beach or bay. Also, all beaches in Thailand are by law public (it’s for this same reason we cannot stop day-trippers from visiting the island) so even if we wanted to, it’s just not possible. So, contrary to your rather bigoted viewpoint, “Again, maybe a European thing but it’s Thailand after all”, once again, it has nothing to do with cultural backgrounds.

You might have not noticed but all of our dining outlets are within a few meters proximity to the beach and overlooking the Andaman Sea. Additionally, in case you missed its presence during your stay, the lobby bar is a good place to enjoy sundowners. It is perched on the edge of the beach and offers an unobstructed, front-row view of Batok Bay.

Accommodation: So as not to mislead our readers on tripadvisor, we beg to disagree with your opinion that “Most rooms i.e. Deluxe and Grand Deluxe need renovation, mold in the bathroom, old robes etc., not standard for the rating.” For your information, this is one of the aspects we constantly get complimented on. The Racha boasts highly luxurious and meticulously maintained accommodations.

Activities: We wish to clarify that contrary to your statement, most of our leisure activities and facilities are complimentary such as snorkeling equipment, kayaks, body boards, bicycles, tennis, full range gym, yoga and stretching classes, morning jogs, extensive in-house movie library, karaoke, pool table, etc. The non-complimentary activities are the ones that utilize fuel and specific materials such as ATV, private boat trips, scuba diving, cooking class and the likes. Once again, we wish you had asked us for assistance regarding this matter during your stay with us.

Environment: Once again, so as not to mislead our readers on tripadvisor, we beg to differ with your comments regarding our environmental initiative. The Racha takes pride in striving to be a leader in eco-friendly tourism and we are focused on delivering on our environmental commitment. We are fully aware that the stunning beach in front of the resort is the main tourist attraction on the Racha Island. It is for this reason our staff spend hours every morning cleaning the beach as it is our pride and joy.

Unfortunately, at times during inclement weather, floating refuse carried by ocean currents and waves washes up on the beach within hours of us cleaning it. We take this matter very seriously and we do our best to ensure that the beach is cleaned every day.

While views may indeed be subjective, it is rather disappointing that we have differing opinions on the several issues you raised. Nevertheless, thank you for caring to share them with us. We wish you the best of luck in all your future travels.

Kind regards,

Gerard Tan
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

This boutique resort is 1 hour by boat from Phuket. This island has decent snorkelling and clean water but there is very little else on the island. If you want shopping and nightlife then this is not the right place for you. That said, the resort has organised a number of activities which are great especially the cocktail parties where you meet other guests and staff.

PROS

1. The hotel's driver Mr Hveen was fantastic. We had to catch an earlier ferry for our return trip and were stuck in Phuket for 4 hours with nothing to do. Thanks to Mr Hveen, he was kind enough to bring us to great tourist spots.

2. The general manager, Gerard Tan, makes a great effort to meet his guests. He organises cocktail events to meet his guests and listen to their feedback. He also meets his guests during breakfast again to hear their views. Most important of all he takes immediate action to address any problems

3. The spa is fantastic and Ms Sri is one of the best massage therapists we have encountered. Its won numerous accolades and they are well-deserved.

4. The hotel really focuses on being eco friendly. The left over water from the air conditioner is used to fill up pots of water outside your villa to wash the sand off your feet. The waste hot air from the air conditioning system is used to heat the water. The resort has sunk some derelict ships to create an artificial reef as well as create some reef balls to attract the fish. The waste water from your shower is used to water plants.

5. Great service from some of the staff like Billy in the lobby staff who went out of his way to find some of our equipment that went missing. Mr Oh in the restaurant made an effort to make friends with his guests.

6. The food in the restaurant is quite reasonably priced. It is only a few hundred baht more than the neighbouring backpacker hotel but so much better. The transfers are also very reasonably priced.

CONS

7. The equipment for some of the activities is a bit run down like the ATVs. Most of which did not work. However, when we brought this to the general manager's attention, he took immediate steps to fix this.

8. There is a lack of staff in certain departments such as the Lobby Bar. This is where you get some of the examples of poor service. There is only one person working at the dive centre and he has to drive the boat, fill the tanks etc which are normally dealt with by other staff. Again, its hard for 1 person to manage all these different tasks and the boat is getting a little run down. Again, the general manager took immediate steps to rectify this when we brought this to his attention

Date of stay: January 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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2  Thank HongKongDivemaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheRacha, General Manager at The Racha, responded to this reviewResponded January 29, 2013

Dear HongKongDivemaster,

Thank you for your detailed review. We appreciate your kind words about our hospitality and hardworking staff. Your compliments will certainly bring delight to all of them. Also, we thank you for noticing our resort’s eco-friendly features. We take pride in striving to be a leader in ecologically and environmentally responsible architecture and development.

Indeed, the presence of fruit flies in the breakfast area is annoying. We are fully aware that this is a common seasonal occurrence for outdoor establishments with this proximity to the beach especially during the warmer months and this is a very serious matter for us as cleanliness and proper hygiene are a strong focus in our property. Working with professional bug exterminators, we maintain a strict non-toxic pest management program and on top of that, we also carry out temporary do-it-yourself organic remedies when we have to.

Again, thank you for your valuable feedback. It has been our privilege to serve you and we look forward to seeing you at The Racha again soon.

Kind regards,

Gerard Tan
General Manager

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