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.
- 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