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“nice chilled vibe in bohemien setting”
Review of Relax Bay Resort

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Relax Bay Resort
Ranked #12 of 84 Hotels in Ko Lanta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 11, 2013

Stayed here for one night only in Jan but wished we could have stayed longer. We were actually booked into a nice hotel nearby and chanced upon relax bay when out exploring our local beach area. We have a friend back in london who had talked about this place and she loved it. So we decided to eat in the restaurant several times before we managed to get a room there to check out the standard etc. Food was good and we tried the buffet night which was really good fun and had lots of variety. We really like the staff here, so friendly compared to another place hotel 'Sri Lanta', an up market place where we stayed later in our trip. The best things about relax are its lovely chilled atmosphere, the various shabby chic lounging areas, with bean bags and draped four poster beds and hammocks where you can look at the stars above a swaying palm tree and a cocktail and also the really friendly bar staff. The setting is beautiful and the management have kept the accommodation rustic and in keeping with the natural surroundings. I had a full body massage too. The only criticisms I have is that the room we had was very dark and if I came back I would be looking for a one with more light and space. we had one with air con and although all the huts look great on the exterior and it was nice and clean inside, I didn't want to spend any time in the room because it was so gloomy and the hammock needed replacing as it had mold stains. The accommodation issue is such a shame as I really like relax bay and definitely want to come back if we can be guaranteed a better room. The other thing to know about is that many of the guests put their towels out early on all the best comfy bean bags and lounging areas and leave them there all day whether they are actually using them or not, making it impossible to get one

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank alison r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alainrelax, Owner at Relax Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 12, 2013

Hello Allison,
Thanks for the review. I really appreciate it. And your are right about the hammocks. Some can be renewed. But as you say, its relax, and we forget sometimes some things. The hammocks are one of those. I don’t seem to be able to have my housekeeping check it more regularly, and i am to blame too, as i forget it time after time. A simple wash would solve it. Anyway, reading this. its will be done. But don’t shoot us, if next year it will the same. Notify reception and we will change it. We sell them, so we have heaps of those things.

As for the dark rooms: This I am afraid i cannot change. Actually, as it is a bamboo - eco resort, we planted the trees so that they can cover the rooms with their canopy. We furthermore planted flowers and plants between the sun and the walls, and we kept the windows small. All this to avoid the hot sunrays falling directly into the rooms. And Bamboo unfortunately also soaks up the light instead of reflecting it.

So, in order to avoid the heat on the beach, we actually did everything to make the rooms as cool as possible by using natural sun defenses. Shade therefore is a necessity.

Also, the air on the beach here is very bright, so coming from the beach into our darkened rooms, well, it enhances the perception of darkness. Sorry for that, but i cannot change it. Look at all buildings in hot countries and dating from before the invention of electricity. They were all constructed with shady and darkened places to hide from the sun, with sunroofs, balconies, shutters, and so on. We tend to forget the old times. Its easier to construct in stone, paint it white and put in an AC. But then what about the we using to much CO2.

alain

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207 - 213 of 697 reviews

Reviewed February 7, 2013

Rooms: Do not expect luxury! We stayed in a premier fan (Nr. 6) and it was very simple. No safe - we had to use the one in the reception. The rooms/bungalos are definately the minus about relax bay. Also spoke to people staying in the VIP bungalows who were not thrilled about it compared to the price.
Food: Quality is good both Thai and European dishes but a bit expensive. You can eat the salad without any concerns as they clean their water. Nice atmosphere in Restaurant. Breakfast is also ok - ask if you want them to make you an omelette.
Service: Reception staff is very friendly! Others seem like they are a bit tired of their job/turists - But this was no big deal for us.
The beach is very pretty and not crowded at all - much better than on long beach where many other resorts are.
Spa/Massage: I had the best oil massage ever (ask for Joy)! The location where you get the massage is very quiet and nice and you have privacy because they have seperated each madress with big curtains - you can just relax and enjoy the sound of the sea (you can not expect that everywhere where you get massage).

Room Tip: We heard from an employee that the one we stayed in (nr 6 - premier fan)is one of the newest bungalo...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Katharina R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

We had booked 4 nights at Relax Bay. On arrival at Ko Lanta we were collected by a really friendly man from the resort who drove us to Relax Bay. Staff overall were very friendly.
Relax Bay has its own private beach, the resort is the only one on the stretch of beach/bay. So if you want to eat/drink in other places, it's about a 10 min walk to Long Beach. You have to walk up a lot of steps to get onto the main road, to then walk to Long Beach.
The beach on Relax Bay is beautiful, as are the surroundings, they have made an effort with some comfy seating by the beach. It has a large open air restaurant. The pool is average.
This was all great, however the rooms were really disappointing. Dark, dank, pretty basic considering the cost of the room per night. As we were there over my boyfriends birthday, we decided to stay somewhere else as we didnt want to wake up in that room.
We ended up staying in another place on Long Beach which was cheaper, and the rooms much nicer. I was surprised at how much Relax Bay were charging given the standard of accomodation. However if you are not bothered about the standard of the rooms, then this could be a good place to stay.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RBBbbbbbbbbb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alainrelax, Owner at Relax Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 3, 2013

Hello,
I am sorry to hear that you find our rooms dark and unsatisfactory. Unfortunately our resort, which is rented grew over the years and every year we adapt as much as possible our rooms. That means, that compared to the more deluxe -standard hotels, we do not have the same standardized rooms. This we try to compensate by being different. I suppose you were lodged in an AC room, which considering the dark furniture can be considered a little bit darker. An The bathroom too, can be on the darker side, as it is painted in a reddish color, which actually eats the light. Not all our bathrooms however are red. But, there is a story behind it. T.I.T, this is thailand, so there is always a story. So let ,me tell it: Up to 5 years ago, as our water comes from a 40m deep well was of a brown color. It was clean, but brown. So, in oder to avoid complaints, we decided to paint the bathrooms a bit darker. Meanwhile, we found a solution to filter the water on ecological way (sand and charcoal) and we had now clear water. And we used a cement technique to paint the walls; Unfortunately this technique, done locally was not satisfying and we needed to redo the walls in water resistant paint. We found the ideal paint. Used for bridges.!! and anti-rust; 2 components, perfect. And we had yellow. So perfect. So, the paint was bought and the worked went to work. But, they came back with red, instead of yellow 5shop ran out, and they did not want to disappoint us), and when we checked the work at night, we had Reddish - water resistant - ship paint - bathrooms. The only thing which we could do now, was to add spare lamps giving 75 watt in the bathrooms. So,..... if you live in thailand a long time, you just accept things as they go on. Unfortunately our island becomes more and more touristic, and the pace of adaptation is not always the same. But next time you come to our resort, i pay you a cocktail and show you rooms which have more light. Bye the way, in theory, this year all windows of AC rooms should be enlarged to let in more light.

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Reviewed January 23, 2013

We stayed here last January and even though we were not happy with certain factors, we decided to come back again this year. Relax Bay seems to have changed over the years since it first opened. We know people that came here several times over the years, loved it and recommended it to us. The owners who used to run it with a warm sociable hands on approach with the guestsand built up Relax Bays great reputation, have now decamped to Bangkok. The Thai staff, who are warm and friendly enough, deal with everything courteously but it seems the European management on site now have no connection with their predominantly European guests! The Location is its biggest attraction. Beautiful cabins and chalets set in a beautiful garden right on the beach with a massage area, beach bar and restaurant. Its the restaurant that leaves most to be desired. The service is very poor as is much of the food. Many times on our stay the waiters get simple orders wrong. It would help if the waiters wrote down the order! Most irritatingly there are an increasing number of wedding ceremonies/dinners being catered for there, which means that service gets even worse with some guests meals taking nearly an hour to arrive and often wrong because the kitchen and staff just cant cope with the additional work. One waitress just giggles when she brings you food you didnt order after waiting a lifetime for it. At breakfast the crockery and cutlery are usually dirty. We heard countless people privately discussing their disappointment at the service and its a regular topic of conversation between guests. We resorted to walking up to the main road every evening to eat in some excellent restaurants. Our cabin was lovely and is kept reasonably clean every day. There is too much dirty standing water on the site which they should not call a 'pond' without making it look more appealing. Its far more of a families with young children kind of place than its website would have one believe. It offers Yoga but doesnt have a Yoga vibe whatsoever. The original ethic behind Relax Bay has changed dramatically over the years and the whole place needs a make over both in policy and facility. The management need to get a grip. It would be such a shame if this beautiful place goes to the dogs!

Room Tip: Get a cabin or chalet nearer the office if good wifi connection is important to you! and one that is...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Nick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alainrelax, Owner at Relax Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2013

Hello,

Sorry to hear a negative comment. However, I do have my doubts about the origin. First, in my bookings there is no Nick - Nic - Nik as having booked a room with us in January. We did however have an issue with an European staff member, who currently is not working with us anymore. As for some of the information in this mail about the French owners decamping to Bangkok. I am one of the owners, and we still try to operate the hotel according to the old times. But the world does not stand still and things change.
The pond,
For your information, the pond does not look like a Disney lake as you seems to like it need to be, its a natural pond in which every morning during December and January we have beautiful Purple water lilies opening their colors. And we do have 2 South east Asian water lizards living in it. And Fish and sadly some frogs. So, it must be healthy water otherwise those beasts would not call it home. But I acknowledge that the water is brownish of color and could look more Hygienic. However, we try to keep it a jungle. So sorry, if everything does not look sterilized. Besides, i personally like it the way it is. That is why for example i do not cut the grass and flowers along the sides. They gives natural shade and protection to the animals living there. I do try to create an environment where we humans don't kill of everything which seem different from us. But we always can better it, for sure.

The make over:
We paint and refurbish the whole resort EVERY year and considering its a bamboo resort in a tropical climate at a salty sea beach with winds coming out of the ocean, i dare Mr. Nick to find a similar place, of similar age (bungalows between 19-6 years old ) in such a condition.

The food prices:
170 THB -190 THB for Thai food plate on a Beachfront seated with your feet almost in the water. I do not think its expensive. Off course if you compare the resort with a plastic table at a street restaurant, (where food can be maybe as good or better ), then we are expensive. Yes.

Dirty cutlery, there too i have doubts, but it can happen, this is after all Thailand. Suffice to say that we do utilize a German Brand of dish washing machine (Winterhalter) , with all necessary and expensive soaps to at least try to make sure our dishes and cutlery are thoroughly cleaned.

And last but not least:
If as a customer, you do have complaints , please come to the reception, if they are real we will do our utmost to set them straight, but please, do not try to destroy the reputation of a Hotel by telling that you also overheard numerous customers next to you talking about the bad service and Food. This is hearsay and based on air. However the fact that you do, tells me a lot about your character, and I actually pity you. For gods sake, live your own life.

To end
I do not think this review is from a real customer, but rather from someone who has a grudge.

Finishing at last and feeling much better.

Alain,

Ps: If your aim was to upset me, Congratulations , you mange to do it. 1 Minute. Then i saw the message for what it really was. Greetings to all who read my answer.

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Reviewed January 16, 2013

I spent many hours researching where to stay on Koh Lanta and I was very very happy with my choice. My criteria was:- suitable for 2 adults and 2 teenage children, a resort that was "beachy" and reflective of where I was staying - had character but not too basic - still needed facilities such as a restaurant, air conditioning, massage etc. I wanted something not too noisey, close enough to town for dining options, on the beach but preferably with a little cove, good for swimming, not too crowded, clean, comfortable and good value for money - RELAX BAY RESORT had it all and I will certainly return.

Room Tip: We had a new family room which had 2 bedrooms - 1 Queen and 2 x twin beds. If location is important...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Heather163
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2013

We stayed at Relax Bay this past week for three nights along with our good friends. They had one of the tent cabins and we were in a more traditional bungalow. All of us had our opinions about the resort but a common theme that we all shared was the number of people who came with kids. It was not a place that lived up to the name of the resort---that is relaxing. The location of Relax Bay was fine and the beach was above average. A couple of other observations we made were centered around how shabby and rundown the place was. In my opinion, the ownership should invest some time and resources to maintenance and repair. For example, our bungalow smelled like a sewer; water did not drain in the shower properly; and the floor rocked and rolled. We also noted that finding a clean plate, cup, or saucer in the mess hall was unlikely. Let me close and say that we did get a good feel from the staff. They were courteous and helpful. However, after three days we needed to move along and find another place to stay for our remaining days on Ko Lanta.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jeffrey49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2013

Very nice location on secluded 1 km stretch of beach. The bungalows requires an upgrade and the cleanliness in the restaurant needs improvement. Cultry dirty and the food is average.

The negatives are countered with excellent service and hospitality from the hotel staff. Looking for a simple and secluded beach stay on Ko Lanta - go to Relax Bay!

  • Stayed: January 2013
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1  Thank Leifarneb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Relax Bay Resort

Address: 111 Moo 2 | AO Phrae Ae - Koh Lanta, Ko Lanta 81150, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Krabi Province > Ko Lanta
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Ko Lanta
#8 Family Hotel in Ko Lanta
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Lanta
Price Range: $33 - $65 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Relax Bay Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Relax bay is not your average hotel. If you look for a traditional hotel with AC, concrete walls and all amenities you can find in any deluxe hotel anywhere in the world. Well, we are not the place to be. Our rooms are Huts, spaced between 5 and 10 m from each other and set in a as Jungle-ish possible setting. There is almost no concrete and we constructed our bungalows under the trees. This means they are in the shade. Furthermore the grass-type roofs are overhanging and give protection against the sun and around the bungalows we planted flowers and plants to block out the sun. Shade means coolness but also darkness. Bamboo, a living natural product also soaks up the moisture in the air. We air the rooms, but they always smell a bit Bamboo-ish. They do not smell damp and not well kept, they smell natural.Our roofs are made from grass, so they disintegrate after a time. They are not as waterproof as concrete, or tar roofs. However they are much cooler. and they look much better. Prices on the net should be the same everywhere , but you are best served by making a direct reservation at the hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Relax Bay Hotel Ko Lanta
Relax Bay Ko Lanta

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