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“Sadly, lost it's charm”
Review of Rayavadee Resort

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Rayavadee Resort
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Railay Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 19, 2014

This was my fourth stay at Rayavadee. Sadly this time will most likely be my last as the place was not the same. Small touches that made the experience very special were just not there any more. Some things were better, the room upgrades definitely helped - glad to see the back of the awful swing chairs, and unusably large baths!

It is hard to put my finger on exactly what was wrong, but here is my best attempt. For a start, there has been an influx of non-Thai staff since my last trip four years ago. This certainly gave a different feel to the place.

There was a big increase in families and children this time. I have visited at the same time of year on each occasion, and have not seen so many families with young children before. The major development of the surrounding beaches of Railay East and West has provided a greater choice of dining and entertainment venues. In previous years there really wasn't much to do at night, which may have kept families away.

Inevitably, I guess, along with the families, come the anti-smoking league. I do not smoke much, but on holiday, i will occasionally and I really object to being told where I can smoke when I'm outside! To those of you to which these oppressive rules appeal - please visit this hotel, you will be in good company!

My former impression of the eco-friendly, 'at one with its environment' hotel was finally destroyed on our last night when we found a small silver snake at the foot of the staircase. Within minutes of reporting said snake a security guard appeared. Without hesitation he took the pointed end of an umbrella to the snake, trod on it and then proceeded to kill it with the same pointed end of the umbrella. Right in front of us. Not exactly the environment's best friend, particularly given the snake was a harmless 'blind snake' we were later told.

Finally, just to remind me that things have really changed, the last little touch of a special gift for returning guests, was not to be. No goodbye from the staff as there used to be either.

Many of the original Thai staff are still there and I have nothing but the highest praise to give to them. They would always come and say hello and some even remembered me by name. My only disappointment is that most of them still wear staff costumes, with the new influx of non-Thai's in manager's uniforms.

Beautiful setting, some incredible staff, just not what it was.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
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4  Thank derbytripper_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 18, 2014 via mobile

we are having the best time ever ! this place is paradise on earth : superb location, great beaches, amazing staff. honestly the staff are so gentle and polite they should be giving the lessons of hospitality to the rest of the world... the quality of services is beyond great - very clean, extremely organised, delicious food, drinks, entertainment. in the Thai restaurant we had the best meal if our trip (and we did visit all the best restaurants in Bangkok...).
we will surely be back and recommend it to all our friends.
10/10

Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
1  Thank Charles L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2014

Our stay at the Rayavadee was truly wonderful. We loved the rooms, with excellent bed and bathroom. The facilities on the campus were great. We stayed for 4 nights, and basically did not even bother to leave. The 3 restaurants made it easy, and all had different and wonderful entourages. We took a day tour to some of the heavenly islands in the area.
Most impressive to us was the staff! They were all wonderful, welcoming, kind. All so very proud to work there, and may every guest feel welcome - from the gardeners to pool staff. Truely exceptional. On Wednesday there was a fun reception under the Umbrella tree by one of the beaches. Great to get to meet some of the staff, get some tips etc. I's advise any one to go there!

Room Tip: All the rooms are nice. If you want a very quiet room, you can ask for one away from the pool or bea...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Diederik21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2014

We decided to book Rayavadee for 3 nights to start our trip of in style! From the moment we were greeted at the airport to the time we left we could not find a fault with this resort.

The staff were the most kind and friendly people who went out there way on many occasions to make sure we had everything we needed. We were always greeted with a smile and felt that all the staff genuinely cared for all the guests.

We stayed in the Hydro Pool Pavilion which was just beautiful. All the small touches really made a difference from the fresh fruit, the complimentary mini bar and the latest edition of Vogue.

The beaches although busy for a few hours during the day were perfect for sunbathing and exploring! The Grotto bar was the best place to sit and enjoy a few cocktails whilst the sun was setting too!

We ate in 2 of the restaurants and again I could fault it. The food was delicious and of a very high standard. The Chinese restaurant was the same quality as Hakkasan in London (Michelin starred) which should give you an idea if you have been. Many reviews have said that the restaurants were expensive but in comparison to London prices I think both were great value as the food and cocktails were all delicious!

Breakfast was also superb! A lot of choice and lovely setting to start the day!

The pool was massive and never busy which meant we got to swim alone most of the time! Perfect!

Overall I think Rayavadee is exactly what it promises to be - a beautiful luxurious resort where you don't have to worry about a thing!

Would 100% recommend and would love to return in the future.

Thank you Rayavadee

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank Lisa-Marie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2014

Thailand is blessed with so many great beaches and fabulous hotels. When we read that Rayavadee was considered to be one of the '20 most amazing hotels you must stay at before you die' we were so excited to see what was in store for us. I can assure you that it does NOT deserve to make this list. It's fine but there are so many other hotels that are simply breathtaking and were the service is top notch.

We went for a weekend break. The pick up at the airport was smooth and lovely until we got to the transfer point for the boat. We were on a dirty beach/landing point in the dark, stepping over garbage and broken beer bottles. The stench of urine and garbage was really unappealing. Eventually we boarded the boat and were whisked to the resort. The check in was very nice and our bags were taken straight to our room without us having to even think about it. We decided to walk to the Thai restaurant for dinner. We had a decent meal but I would advise people staying at the resort to try the other restaurants & beach bars on railay beach as opposed to just eating at the resort. The resort is overpriced and the food is hit or miss. For example, my lunch on Sunday was the worst dish of rad na I have ever had (do not order it). There were clumps of lukewarm noodles in a thick gloopy sauce and there was no option but to eat it because we paid and the waiter was gone in a heartbeat. No one had come back to pick up the dish over three hours later. Having said this, dinner on Saturday was great.

The rooms are very nice. Some people might be of the view that they are in need of a refresh but I thought it was fine. I love the two stories, the bed was big and comfortable, I loved the double sided cupboard that allowed you to get your robe out of the closet in the bathroom or in the bedroom - you chose! The tub was nice and there was enough hot water. We had to ask them to top up our minibar but that was not a huge deal.

I was expecting a bit more from the grotto given the rave reviews and some of the pictures. It was a nice sunset and we enjoyed walking along the beach before and after dinner.

The resort is just too big for our liking. There were people everywhere. Walking, grabbing a buggy, occupying sun loungers, hiking up to the viewpoint, kayaking, playing tennis, rock climbing, etc. It's just too busy for it to feel relaxing/secluded/serene. On top of how busy the resort is, the beach (phra nang) was bursting with day trippers and people from other parts of railay beach. You never want to have to queue for 15-30mins when you are hiking... but we did. So many people. The motors on the boats are so noisy. On Fri night, the boats were so loud (yep, it went on until 9.30pm at night) that it was affecting our ability to enjoy dinner. Although they did warn us that the beach would be very busy and noisy until sunset every day, we were still surprised by it.

The spa has nice treatment rooms, the attendants are very friendly and the treatments are OK. Having said this, had it not been for the voucher and the 30% savings on single treatments, I would not have recommended it. The full price is a bit steep.

We concluded that this was not a hotel we would return to. For US$500 per day, you can do a lot better elsewhere where you get more attentive and personalized service, fabulous food & beverage, a great atmosphere (including some peace & quiet/more serene), etc. Rayavadee is fine but not for the price and should you decide not to stay here - you have not missed out on a WOW/once-in-a-lifetime experience. My trip to railay beach in 2001 was so much more enjoyable than this experience and it was a lot cheaper.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Constantlyontheroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2014

After a 7 year gap, I returned to Rayavadee in March with my girlfriend. It was a destination that I really wanted to visit with her above all others but with some trepidation....... along the lines of 'never meet your heroes'. I had so many fantastic memories of Rayavadee and remembered it as the most stunning and beautiful place I had ever had the good fortune to visit and a truly remarkable and special destination. I did a similar thing the year before when re-visiting St Lucia after 17 years. My very fond memories where somewhat diluted by my second experience. Even though a stunning location, I couldn't quite hide my disappointment when first seeing the grounds and views - and this being considered the finest beach in St. Lucia. My girlfriend couldn't quite understand my disappointment as she overlooked from our balcony, a stunning beach, pool, beautiful grounds and mountains.

Fast forwarding back to this year, and arriving in Rayavadee. How I needn't have worried. The place is as spellbinding beautiful as I remember it. The grounds, the views, the sympathetic way the resort has been blended into its surroundings is truly remarkable. I was back in love, and my partner now understood my feelings in St Lucia, and why I would constantly wax lyrically about this amazing resort.

My only other concern was our room. Would it be in a good location as before? and had they lost the character of the rooms when doing the refurbishments. Again worries soon disappeared as we entered. We stayed in a standard deluxe pavilion - great location, private and overlooking one of the many beautiful fish ponds on the resort - as I originally felt, and still do, that I actually wouldn't use the plunge pool or terrace - especially as the main infinity pool is simply fantastic and surrounded by breathtaking scenery. The rooms are just perfect for the surroundings and give such a 'good feel' factor each time you walk through the door. They are beautifully appointed, provide everything you expect from a 5 star hotel but also with a certain panache and style. We stayed in a suite in the Peninsula Bangkok on our return. Fantastic hotel and our room was exactly as expected but I would have been very disappointed if the Rayavadee huts were decorated in a similar manner as if in a capital city.

The food at Rayavadee is generally excellent especially the Krua Phranang restaurant. Breakfast was again very good with plenty options available and the opportunity to eat outside the Raya Dining restaurant overlooking the Andaman sea. A barbecue one night at the amazing Grotto is also a wonderful experience.

A lot has been said about the beaches at Rayavadee. Yes they are beautiful when empty - and there is opportunity to enjoy them as such - but obviously crowded during the day and a lot busier than since my last visit. But I think it is important to note that this in no way negatively detracts from the Rayavadee experience. A similar scenario in somewhere like the Maldives would I'm sure be a disaster and no doubt ruin the holiday. In Rayavadee, it is a minor irritant. It is part of Thailand, and we were more than happy to be around the stunning pool or sunbathing in the Rayavadee grounds overlooking the beach in comfort with a cocktail (my only real criticism of Rayavadee being that the cocktails could be inconsistent).

However stunning beautiful and verdant Rayavadee is (and up there with the very best on this planet) it was the staff that made this trip so special. Everyone working on the resort was always so friendly and courteous and made time for you. Do not be concerned with reviews that criticise staff (therapy issue !!!), they are wonderful. We meet some very special people during our two week visit. The guys at the pool were brilliant, and always kept us topped up with drinks and fresh towels. At breakfast, Susan, Pin and Jiraporn were so engaging and a perfect start to the day. Monkon, the resort executive manager was fantastic. He always took the trouble to see how things were and offered great tips and advice during our stay. Even to the point of recommending some special Thai dishes to try and when we arrived at the restaurant that evening Monkon had taken the trouble to phone thru to the Krua Phranang restaurant manager (Sayan) to let him know what had been recommended (and yes it was delicious). Sayan was another person that just made our holiday. He was not only a great and entertaining guy, but also very professional and highly proficient in his role. It was a pleasure to have many joyful conversations with him - plus many thanks for the free bottle of champagne on our last night. All the staff were very amenable, but the person that made our holiday so perfect was Keiko. A warm and special individual who from the moment she checked us in made our stay so very perfect. She made restaurant reservations for us each night - guaranteeing we had the best tables - and always took time from her busy schedule to ensure we had everything we needed each day. She became a good friend (without ever being over intrusive and always very professional). Even when we leaving, Keiko made time to ring the Peninsula hotel to ensure our transport was in place and to investigate tour guides etc. for when we were in Bangkok.

Thanks also to Victor (another great guy to add to the growing list of those mentioned) for showing us the Phranang villa which is highly recommended. Recently refurbished, it is perfect and the views at sunset must be spectacular. I don't normally like to keep revisiting the same place, but we have decided that hopefully in the next 2 or 3 years we will be in a position to book the Phranang villa and also bring some family members to visit this enchanting place.

To add the finishing touches to our stay, we privately hired one of the Rayavadee speed boats to visit the islands - plus a perfect picnic on Bamboo island. A memorable day, which was further enhanced by having such a brilliant crew and can be highly recommended.

This holiday will be etched into our minds forever and we will always have such fond memories of a very special place and people.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank DAVnTRI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2014

It was my honeymoon in Thailand, the resort gave us a truly unforgetable holiday! The scene in Rayavadee just like paradise, we live in delux pavilion for four nights. You can get everything in the room, and we were greeted with incedible friendly service. The sunsets at the Grotto are brilliant and the food also wonderful. Our pavilion was close to the borderless pool, very convenient. The resort is quiet expencive, but definitely deserve to go!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Van A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rayavadee Resort

Address: 214 Moo 2, Tambon Ao-Nang | Amphoe Muang, Railay Beach, Krabi Town 81000, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Krabi Province > Krabi Town > Railay Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Railay Beach
#1 Spa Hotel in Railay Beach
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Railay Beach
#1 Luxury Hotel in Railay Beach
Price Range: $413 - $1,304 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Rayavadee Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rayavadee's setting on the edge of Krabi's National Marine Park at the heart of the stunning Phranang Peninsula perfectly blends lush foliage, limestone cliffs, white sand beaches and the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea. The resort's award winning architecture and tropical landscapes were inspired by the atmosphere of a southern Thai village. Rayavadee's enchanting two-story pavilions and beachfront villas are spread over 26 acres of coconut groves, their spacious interiors and décor providing unsurpassed comfort for the property's highly discerning guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rayavadee Hotel Railay Beach
Rayavadee Resort Krabi
Rayavadee Hotel Krabi
Rayavadee Krabi
Rayavadee Resort Railay Beach, Krabi, Thailand

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