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“Romantic, beautiful seclusion with fantastic service.”

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Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Nong Thale
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Romantic, beautiful seclusion with fantastic service.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2011

My husband and I travelled to the hotel for our week long honeymoon and were delighted to be greeted personally on arrival by the General Manager and some of her staff. They upgraded us to a Reserve Villa which was simply breathtaking - with the fabulous and incredibly comfortable bed, an indoor and outdoor bath, private plunge pool, and a shower room.

The setting is beautiful with the hotel neatly nestled into the hillside next to the Andaman Sea. Powder white sand and island experiences are only 10 minutes away by a scenic (but bumpy) longtail boat ride. If you want more variety (or crowds!) - the beach village of Ao Nang is a 15 minute drive away (the only reason we did not rate the location as a 5). If you are looking for a private and exclusive romantic place - this is it!

Our butler, Jackie, was amazing. He handled all the details of our trip - including booking drivers for our golf excursions, making all of our restaurant reservations, making sure we had our chocolates at night - and generally ensuring that every whim of ours was taken care of. He carefully observed our preferences and ensured that we didn't have to ask twice for anything. We were personally escorted to our restaurant reservations on the resort as Jackie ensured that the way was clear by guiding us with his flashlight (although we could easily have navigated it ourselves). Our fellow guests described him as a 'genie' as he would often appear just as you were beginning to think of something you wanted.

One note around dining - although the resort has multiple restaurants they are not all open every day. They rotate dining choices - such as seafood buffets etc. depending on the day. There are usually two open / day, although perhaps this was due to the hotel not being completely full? All the food we ate for lunch and dinner was very good.

We have travelled extensively at 5+ star resorts throughout the world and we can honestly say this is the best service we have ever had. A level above what is typically offered at most 5 star resorts. Thank you Phulay Bay!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HiddenLakers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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757 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 24, 2010

I have stayed at several over-the-top hotels, but this one is hands down the best. My wife and I stayed at this facility during our honeymoon tour of Thailand. We were fortunately upgraded to an ocean front suite with a private pool and cabana that overlooks out into the beach - perfect for sunsets.

There is no hotel lobby, but a wooden structure that the hotel managers (yes, managers) and several staff receive you with flowered leis and refreshing drinks in hand. After that you are whisked away via golf cart to your room.

Our bed as actually 2 king sized beds placed end to end. The bed was huge. The triangular throw pillows on the bed were a bit dirty which is why I can't give this hotel an "excellent" rating on cleanliness.

Yes, this resort is pricey, but in hindsight the service made it worthwhile. Case in point....

Our butler, Meow, assigned to our room, made our dive reservations which included transfer to and from the boat. My wife and I were a little taken back by the open air pick up truck that the dive shop used to pick us up. Fortunately the back of the pick up truck had a canopy and that it was a nice beautiful day. We didn't complain about the truck, but our butler caught wind of our reaction and picked us up after our dive with a driver, cold towels, and water. Now that is service!

To top it all off, after our dive we asked the driver to stop by a local restaurant that the butler had recommended. Since we had our butler with us, she recommended certain items at the restaurant that we would never have gotten without her being with us. We took our seafood feast back to the hotel where our butler plated our take-out meal in fine china and silverware in our attached patio. She even had one of her colleagues bring a LED candle light and mosquito repellant for our alfresco take-out meal. She even brought us drinks from out in-room refrigerator for out meal. We barely lifted a finger. Now that is service.

My wife enjoyed the seafood cockles so much from our alfresco take-out meal that she asked the butler to see if anyone was going into town to pick up a dish of cockles from the restaurant for her for lunch the next day. Unfortunately no one was going into town, but our butler managed to get 2 KG of the cockles and had one of the restaurant kitchens on the premises perfectly prepare it for her with Thai chili fish sauce for dipping. Now that is service.

As a step above and beyond, the resort brings in a baby elephant twice a week for guests to take photos with and to feed. The resort provided bananas for the guests to feed to the elephant.

The only drawback to the resort is the restaurant. The variety of the breakfast buffet was mediocre probably due to the small number of guests at the resort. However, the eggs are cooked perfectly per your order. The one MAJOR problem we had about our food was the club sandwich that we ordered pool side. The chicken in the sandwich was so overly cooked that it was harder than rock. For a $18+ club sandwich, you would expect perfection. I've had better prepared club sandwiches at the local deli...at 1/3 the price. Try avoid ordering food poolside. Ironically we met the food and beverage manager at the hotel twice - during check in and at the pool. We wished we could show him the dried out overcooked chicken in the club sandwiche, but he was no where to found at the time. I'll post the photo later.

Overall our stay at this resort was unforgettable (along with the over cooked chicken). I HIGHLY recommend this resort for you and a loved one!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JohnnyRamma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2010

I spent 5 days in this hotel with my significant other.
Our private butler (JB, thank you so much!) and the whole hotel staff made everything to make our stay at Phulay Bay incredible.
We are used to travel a lot in 5star hotels and we are quite picky but Phulay Bay was beyond our expectations.
We got married there and had the most perfect, relaxing, and blissful wedding you can imagine.

+:
- private butler
- very kind and thoughtful staff, takes time to talk and make you feel special
- we got an upgrade
- amazing villas, all very different and large
- good food
- very nice pool and pool bar
- quiet and relaxing, very few kids
- only 54 rooms and the resort is so big that it looks like there are even fewer

-:
- the beach is not very nice for swimming, but with our private pool and the very large form-free pool of the hotel we were perfectly fine
- room service can be improved

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Astartee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
malta
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2010

Just to be clear, this review is relevant for somebody accustomed and expecting a 5 Star experience so comments should be taken accordingly...

THE GOOD
- As people have commented the service is first class and the personal butler we had catered to our needs beyond our expectations.
- The pool is great, large and maintained well. Nice beds surrounding it, although you have to wake up early.
- Sunsets at bar are breathtaking
- Gym was good with great selection of equipment
- Entrance to reception at hotel is amazing

THE BAD
- Breakfast is not great, in fact some of the food was shocking considering the brand.
- I laughed when another reviewer said they tripped on step at breakfast area, until I tripped and so did my wife.
- Quality issues within beach villa. You could see poor plumbing connections, safe didn't work, and other examples of poor quality control.
- Stubbed my toe several times on the stone walkways. Although visually pleasant, the stone tiles with large spaces and raises caused me to jam my toes and shed blood more than once. Luckily the staff had quick access to first aid (perhaps it happens frequently).
- Beach Villa has almost no seaview
- Guests required to pay for boat trip to nearby Hong Island which has the only decent beach.

THE UGLY
- The resort beach is not swimmable, and staff would tell you this. This makes a beach villa sort of pointless (especially since you also have almost no seaview).
- I really wanted to swim in the sea, so I scrambled over the rocks and foliage of resort to check out the adjacent beach (at high tide you cant walk on sand). I turned around after seeing so much garbage on sand and floating in water it turned me off completely.
- If you turn your head left you see some industrial workings. I asked the staff, and it is a loading area where the local mine dumps ore into ships. Not my idea of Paradise.

FINAL NOTE
When I think of a brand like Ritz Carlton I think of the best that money can buy, and one is paying serious money for this experience. Although the people were wonderful and service exceptional, the location makes no sense to me. When I arrive at a 5 Star beach resort and I'm told I can't swim in the sea, I feel tricked. I learned that all the good beaches are on islands. If I was managing this resort I would supply free boat trips and do everything possible to make sure people get to a real beach quickly. I'd also try to repair the immediate beach for swimming but maybe that is not possible. If you just want to stay in your room and swim in resort pools you will be happy.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank thechalk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Market, Maryland
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2010

My husband and I spent a week of our honeymoon at this resort in late June and it was absolutely amazing. We had high expectations of this new Ritz Carlton Reserve property, but the resort far exceeded all of our expectations!

We stayed in Royal Villa 30 and when our fabulous butler Meaw was showing us around the villa, I literally had tears in my eyes at the thought of getting to spend a week in this gorgeous villa! We had our own private, huge infinity pool overlooking the Andaman Sea with the most breathtaking views of the limestone rock formations in the Sea. Our villa had a relaxation room with whirlpool, a writing room, beautiful his & hers bathrooms, an enormous bed, and a beautiful outdoor shower pavilion – absolute paradise!

While at the resort, we enjoyed a wonderful couples massage at the spa (ESPA). The setting of the spa was so tranquil and relaxing – a must-do for anyone staying at Phulay Bay. We spent a lot of the time during the day at the gorgeous main pool of the hotel. As soon as we arrived each day, the wonderful staff would set us up in a cabana with fresh coconut, cold water, and cool towels – paradise!

As hard as it was to leave the paradise of this resort, we did go on a few excursions that Meaw set up for us that I would highly recommend – elephant trekking, a longtail boat ride to Hong Island, and the 4 island tour in Krabi. When our butler saw that it was raining a lot at Phulay Bay, she called the excursion company just to check on us to see if we were getting soaked on our tour – but luckily we had beautiful weather just 30 minutes away! We also enjoyed it when a baby elephant came to visit the resort one afternoon – she was so well trained and it was so much fun to watch her and feed bananas to her!

The food at this resort was wonderful! By far the most elaborate and delicious breakfast we have ever experienced! The fresh local fruits were a treat every morning as well – so much better than what you can get in the States! We asked our waiter if they had mangosteen (coming from the States, we had never tried it), and the following mornings he would bring us out a plate full of fresh mangosteen, even though it wasn’t being served on the buffet! We ate most of our meals at the Thai restaurant and were impressed with everything we ordered – especially the Tom Kha Gai soup & Panang Beef! On our last evening, the 2 of us had a 5-course dinner in the private dining room pavilion of the Thai restaurant located at the end of a pier near the water – what a wonderful & romantic way to spend our last evening at the resort and the food was exceptional!

We have so many amazing pictures of the 2 of us from our honeymoon, because our butler was always offering to take pictures of us, so it was nice not to have to bug strangers to take our picture all the time! She even took a lot of pictures with her own camera and set up a slideshow with a digital picture frame in our villa on our last day (and put them all on a DVD for us to take home with us)!

To sum it up – our trip could not have been more amazing or spectacular! In addition to the beautiful scenery and our breathtaking villa, the personalized service of our butler made this the trip of a lifetime!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jennifer_p_18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 30, 2010

We stayed at the Ritz for one part of our honeymoon at the end of August. I remember reading one review before we left that said the gentleman’s wife cried upon leaving- I now completely understand why. This resort was wonderland. When we arrived we were greeted by a group of 5 staffers- one of which was there simply to hold an umbrella over my head. We were informed that we were upgraded from a resort room to a Reserve Villa and introduced to our outstanding butler Aum. The entrance to the hotel just adds to the wonder in that you literally walk on water upon entering, there are simply little pavers which stick out slightly above the clear pool beneath you. At night the entrance is eliminated by over 2000 candles which reflect off the water like little crystals.

After our introduction Aum showed us to a large golf cart which whisked us away to our private villa. The drive was lovely because the resort incorporated so much nature that it was if you were in the Garden of Eden instead of a resort. All the villas have a private entrance marked by large wooden doors that disappear into tall shrubs, we made our way through the maze of courtyards, fountains and sculptures until finally reaching our front door. Aum pulled a large (13ft tall or more) sliding glass door to reveal what I was told was a bed- but it looked more like a safety balloon tight walkers have. To say it was large was an understatement. I was kind of hoping it would rain one day so we could spend 24 hours in that “bed”. The bathroom was nothing short of a masterpiece. The custom shaped claw-foot tub as the centerpiece and it was highlighted by a vaulted ceiling sporting a skylight that mimicked the shape of the tub. The fact that the tub was surrounds by mirrors helped the pure romance factor in a tasteful way. The shower was another oasis technically inside but the glass windows/walls made it feel like you were bathing outside in the sunlight. Finally, the outdoor bath was quite large carved out of a lovely stone and the water poured from the mouths of two bronze dragons which flanked it on either side. On our last night Aum setup a lovely outdoor bath complete with a million candles and flower petals. We also had an outdoor area which included 2 huge daybeds (king sized) and private infinite pool.

The beach was set up by the sunset bar and there were no cheap loungers but instead large cabaña beds which a staff member quickly made up with fresh towels as soon as you approached. The view was stunning and we often commented on our favorite rock formation. Once the tide went out you could walk to a couple of the closer rock formations and go seashell hunting. As the tide came in every morning I swam with bright colored fish, huge prawns and tons of crabs. The design of the sunset bar is truly ingenious because it is at the perfect angle to enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. One night a baby elephant even stopped by.

The infinite pool is again surreal in that it’s quite large and lined with comfy cabanas which all share a stunning view of the sea. The cabanas are even larger then those found by the beach and they come with a cooler filled with ice, coconuts and water all for free. Lunch poolside is a truly rich experience 3 staffers come with bed trays of delightful cuisine so that you may lay back and enjoy the view while dinning in your cabana. We often ate and slept here throughout the day.

Looking for more relaxation there is a library/coffee house on the site where you can relax and use the computers or read a book , looked more like an antique tree house mixed with an English smoking room.

The restaurants were top notch, we tried each one; breakfast was good but it was $100 for 2 ppl (not that great!) That is the only complaint, it was just ridiculous. Breakfast was the most expensive meal of the day everyday. lol. The seafood restaurant has the coolest décor the outside deck is actually an infinite pool. The Thai place had amazing service. Never had a bad meal.

Now to the staff. The entire staff was professional and helpful granted there were only 9 rooms occupied while we were there, but if I even thought I wanted something ‘boom’ it was there. Also everyone spoke great English. Mr. A at the sunset bar was so kind and showed me the mountain fish – a natural steam runs through the entire resort so all the fish you see swimming around come down from the mountains. Our butler Aum was a mind reading goddess. She left little sweets around the room everyday, kept fresh flowers everywhere, drove us around the entire resort day/night, and recommended and arranged everything and anything we wanted. One day around 1pm after laying in the sun all morning I decided a bath would be great. I returned to the room to find a freshly drawn bubble bath complete with flower petals and in scents. Now, I know she really can’t read minds but that was too weird. She also arrived to take us to dinner with freshly cut flowers that she picked herself- making my husband look good although he had nothing to do with it. Everyday she surprised us with something pleasantly new and unexpected.

We also booked a longtail boat to take us around to Hong Island- best trip ever ! We went to deserted beaches and swam with schools of brightly colored fish. We took a nature hike and explored lagoons, lunch was included and Aum packed all the essentials needed we only showed up- all for $80. Upon leaving we were sent off by the general manager (whom looked more like a super model) who personally bids farewell to guests to make sure their stay was pleasant. A guest relations representative not only accompanied us to the airport with the driver but unloaded our bags, helped us check in for our flight and refused to leave our side until we got into the security line. The experience was something I never thought I would have the pleasure of living and we are already planning a trip back.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Jenna A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 27, 2010

We couldn't have picked a better honeymoon hotel. First and foremost, the service here was exceptional. Everyone at Phulay Bay went out of their way to make sure our stay was perfect. The wonderful service started with our arrival, when we were met with a refreshing welcome tea and introduced to our butler, Jacky (who is the best!). After we took a tour of the resort grounds, we checked into our room. We had originally booked a resort pavilion, but were upgraded to a reserve villa. And wow, what an upgrade! The villa was nothing short of unbelievable. Enormous bed, beautiful indoor bath, private infinity pool, outdoor bath, and lovely rooftop view. In sum, the villa was ideal for a romantic getaway. The rest of Phulay Bay's amenities were equally amazing--delicious food and drinks at all of the restaurants and a fantastic spa with incredible service.

But the service is what set this villa apart. The butler and other staff were constantly attentive to us, without being intrusive. We loved talking to them and were constantly greeted with smiles. Also, when our six-course, romantic dinner had to be moved inside (albeit to a nice, private room) because of rain, the staff made sure that we had another opportunity on our last night to dine alone on the rooftop of one of the hotel's restaurants. They took a picture of us that night and gave it in a frame to us as we left! We were really touched by that detail, and that was just one of the many examples of the quality of service at Phulay Bay. Our butler Jacky was particularly amazing. He even wrote out a list of things for us to do in Chiang Mai, since we were going there after Krabi.

The only flaw, in our opinion, was that the breakfast was expensive ($40 or so each), if it was not included in your room package. We don't really prefer to eat a big breakfast, so we wished there was a lighter breakfast option (say, one croissant and coffee) at a more reasonable price.

But we absolutely loved our stay at Phulay Bay, and we would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat! We would love to go back again, maybe for a special anniversary trip!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SpencerMae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Property: Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Address: 111 Moo 3, Nong Thale, Krabi Town 81180, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Krabi Province > Krabi Town > Nong Thale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access 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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Nong Thale
#1 Luxury Hotel in Nong Thale
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Nong Thale
#3 Family Hotel in Nong Thale
#3 Romantic Hotel in Nong Thale
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, invites you to experience your own secluded oasis at our luxury resort in Krabi, Thailand. Beyond the limestone mountains that rise from Thailand’s Andaman Sea, the virgin rainforests, and the ethereal beaches and crystal clear waterfalls, you will find a paradise that awaits - Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve. Our luxury waterfront hotel is one of the world’s most spellbinding destinations and one of the most glorious resorts in Thailand. Stay with us and embark on a voyage of discovery, at our retreat in Krabi, where the natural splendor and charm of the island blends blissfully with an aura of luxury and serenity. Guests access our luxurious sanctuary from Krabi or Phuket Airports, and they at once experience the thrill and convenience of our exotic Phulay Bay waterfront resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Phulay Bay, a Ritz Carlton Reserve Hotel Nong Thale
Ritz Carlton Krabi
Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve Krabi, Thailand

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