What We Love
- The hotel's location on an island known for its natural beauty, corals and marine life
- An environmental commitment that does more than pay lip service to being green
- Indoor and outdoor showers in the villas
What To Know
- The resort is reachable only by boat, and transfers are not included in the rates; they’re an additional $29 per adult and $15 child each way
- Some of the beaches on Racha are accessible to day-trippers
- As it’s a private island, there’s no going out to experience Phuket’s nightlife
- Free WiFi
- Room Service
Whitewashed, contemporary villas located on Racha, a island off the coast of Phuket
A 25-minute speedboat ride from bustling Phuket, the Racha is an oasis of calm on a private island. Its 85 villas are studies in cool white linens, rich dark woods, and breathtaking views of the Andaman Sea. Relaxation and romance are the focuses here. The Anumba Spa facilities both, with four spacious VIP couple’s suites, all with air conditioning, terrazzo plunge pools, steam showers, outdoor rain showers and private changing areas. Multiple dining venues off Western and Thai fare, buffets, wood-fired pizzas, and cocktails accompanied by the house band.
In the Area
Once you’re on the private island there are many activities on hand, and plenty of ways to enjoy the island’s pristine natural beauty, especially underwater. There are five dive sites around the island, and the resort has a PADI five-star dive center with a three-meter-deep purpose-built instructional pool. Less intrepid guests can snorkel or gaze into the clear waters from a kayak. On land, they can tour the island by ATV, mountain bike, or foot. The resort also has a tennis court and fitness center.
How to Get There
This was our second time in The Racha, unbelievably amazing place!! Our villa was fantastic and outdoor shower...hmmm we really enjoyed. And the staff, they were so, so lovely. Always a nice smile and ready to help you.Very good breakfast, a good selection of Asian style dishes, a lot of fruits and fresh juices and bubbles of course : ) We never get bored during at 8 day stay, we snorkeling, canoeing, stand up paddle boarding, spa treatments and had a morning walk to up hill to see a breathtaking view and most of all relaxing by the beach and infinity pool. Huoh... so enjoyable .A big thank you to The Racha, we will see you again !!!
This is my 3rd time coming back to this resort and each time makes me liking the place so much! The beautiful beach, beautiful & well facilitated villas, privacy in the premises, quietness (beside touring time), warm and friendly staffs, reasonable food and wines..etc! And a romantic sunset! This time our villa had a private infinity pool with a great sound systems. Listing to summer deep house mix and drinking gin tonic by the pool during sunset with my husband was an unforgettable moment! Love love The Racha! I will stay longer for the next trip!
We enjoyed a seven-night stay at the Racha in January, beginning with a limo pickup at the Phuket airport (flying in from Bangkok). We were met by two staff members, Dak? and Chacha. Very pleasant one-hour ride to the pier, with cold towels and bottled water waiting for us. They also let us stop to buy some beer, which was fun to have in our room.
At the pier, the hotel has a very nice lounge with snacks, bathroom facilities and great staff. In the lounge, we registered for the hotel -- so no need to do it when we got to the island. We decided to have lunch at a food stand near the ocean -- we didn't see a lot of late-afternoon options for dining.
When it was time for us to leave, staff members guided all of the guests (walking) to a truck that took us down to the boat. The speedboat is new, feels like a high-speed yacht, and provided a pleasant 35-minute trip to the island. (A bit bumpy, they use an environmentally-friendly wave technology.)
The hotel staff greeted us with a cold drink and showed us to our room, where our luggage was waiting for us. We had chosen a deluxe suite with partial ocean view --- definitely worth paying a little more, we truly enjoyed being able to sit on the large balcony to ready, relax and have sunset drinks.
The hotel facilities are delightful --- three pools, chairs along the beach, lovely indoor areas, a spa and three restaurants. The first day, we decided to take advantage of the hotel's menu of activities --- starting with an island walk with Kamil, who led us to all the island beaches and secret places. Later, we had a delicious buffet breakfast enjoyed at outdoor tables overlooking the ocean.... and secured two beach chairs with an umbrella that provided shade almost all day (thanks to staff advice). We loved the beach chairs. The chairs are up high, above a wall, so we could see all the wild tourist activity on the beach and still have relative quiet. Like watching a movie. From about 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., people seemed to leave the water and go to lunch -- so that is when we swam. Sometimes we were swimming with the tourists, which was a cultural experience. Many of the day-trippers swim fully clothed (leggings and long-sleeved tops), with orange PFDs over that.... and along the beach, they walk carrying sun umbrellas. The water was calm and shallow, but many people were terrified, had obviously never been swimming in the ocean. The tourists leave about 3:30 p.m., so that is when we went snorkeling --- so many beautiful fish, clear water and the hotel provides equipment free of charge. (It was upsetting to see an Asian family feeding the fish -- the father throwing out the food, the kids delighting in it. Nice going, dad.)
After swimming in the ocean, we would usually head to the infinity pool -- which should be adults only. WIth just a few exceptions, that was the case. There is a children's pool in the garden area, but we didn't see that one.
I was also able to take advantage of the resort's yoga classes every morning, taught by Pear. Very professional, understandable instruction. Classes were small --- just a few of us each day, in a tranquil studio with a sea view. Hard to beat that. The yoga mats are washed each day, there is a complete set of props in the studio.
We enjoyed all of our dinners at the resort restaurants --- service was attentive and caring, food was excellent most of the time. (The exception was the "fine dining" restaurant on the rooftop which seems to be struggling with an identity -- some of the Continental offerings there were boring and not prepared to the high standards we'd found throughout the resort.) Breakfast buffets were always good and varied, we tried Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Western choices -- lots of fun to experiment. The staff was wonderful, always had my Chamomile tea waiting for me at the table.
An example of the unexpected level of service: At most of the restaurants, I could only eat half of the entree. The waiters would package the other half very neatly -- usually on a china plate with real heavy silverware, wrapped in a big cloth napkin. That would all be delivered to our room before we returned. That's a level of service we haven't experienced ANYWHERE else (and we have stayed at many five-stars).
And sitting at the beach or pool, staff members would come by with surprises -- little pieces of fruit, water spray for the face in a big ice bucket... or an offer to clean our sunglasses with fluid and a cloth. Just sweet things, something we don't see anywhere else.
The concern for the environment also impressed us. Water is being collected from all of the rooftops, to be used in showers or other places on the island. The well water is put in big glass bottles, and those bottles are left in the room (instead of the ubiquitous plastic ones we've seen all over Thailand and Laos). Toiletries are in ceramic containers, not little plastic ones. And the staff maintains 20 acres of diverse plants and trees to attract all those butterflies and birds.
Once a week, the resort hosts a management cocktail party for guests --- a time to ask questions, meet the people working for you.
An altogether excellent visit. The menu of the rooftop fine dining restaurant needs rethinking, but otherwise -- perfect.
I'm very suspicious of a lot of the reviews on this hotel because I had a very different experience from many the glowing accounts below. The hotel advertises itself as being on: 'one of the Andaman Sea’s most beautiful and pristine islands'. It is a long, long way from being pristine. It is covered in rubbish dumps and the nearby 'secluded beaches' are either in front of other holiday resorts or covered in detritus. As an environmentalist I found it very depressing! The day visitors who swarm over the hotel beach front every day leave masses of plastic litter which was floating in the sea when we had a late afternoon swim. Again, very depressing! One of the three swimming pools is part of a 'Club' catering to the day visitors and there were no towels for hotel guests once they had all left.
The hotel room itself was clean and pleasant but we could not sleep because of the noise of next door's air conditioning unit which backed onto our terrace. The terrace itself had no view.
The service and food (including breakfast) was extremely patchy and not 5 star. I usually rely on Trip Advisor reviews to help me choose some of the best hotels in the world. However this time I was really surprised how they did not represent reality. I'd really like it if other people who feel like me after their visit post a review to support me! The hotel should be encouraged to improve standards, deal with the litter (both on the beach and across the island) and put their guests first rather than pander to day visitors (yes I do understand they can't stop them coming but with their 'Club' they are now encouraging them and making money).
In short, if you are used to real 5 star luxury, go elsewhere.
Definitely a nice hotel in beautiful Koh Racha Yai island but not worth to pay over 300€/night and pay extra for compulsory speedboat to the island. So if you have lots of money to spend and don’t care about what things cost and what you get for the money definitely a place to stay!
Loved the ecological ideas of the hotel. Liked the sheets we got about plant and animal life on the island. Also the greeting letter with the reminder not to feed the fish and step on corals.
The hotel advertises it self to be a unique experience. That I don’t agree. It’s a nice experience but nothing unique or special. The island is special and surroundings but not the hotel.
Very pricy hotel also (food, drinks, spa). The resort is on an island and many say that is the reason it’s so pricy. But so was a luxury resort in Koh Lipe and in Koh Tao when I was there and it wasn’t so expensive. Here you pay 1500bahts/person for barbecue dinner and on everything you buy taxes are not included so add 17%! Drinks not included.
Also the taxi drivers charge extra when you come back from the island and know that here are some people with money! :D
Breakfast and food
Been on other luxury hotels lately and they have had fresh smoothie stations on breakfast where you can choose your fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs to make a sugar free healthy smoothie. That’s unique and special.
Not the same bread, cereals and concentrated juices that is been served in all the hotels around. Got a similar breakfast on a hotel in Thailand I paid 100€/night. Maybe food needs an update also.
Loved the sparkling wine in the breakfast. The cheeses were nice also. Again you see that half part of the breakfast is now designed to asiatic tourists. Don’t know about the quality and uniqueness because I’m not used to eat asiatic breakfast.
The barbecue food was nice. Had to eat so much because it was so expensive. :D
The hamburgers and pasta at the beach restaurant were ok but again nothing special.
Is spacious. White. Maybe needs a nicer decoration? Someone wrote that the hotel begins to be a little bit worn out and old fashioned and I agree. Bed was nice to sleep on but a little bit hard. The villas don’t have any view so don’t see the point using the veranda with wooden chairs and dull gray pillows.
Loved the idea again that you can choose the scent to bath gel and shampoo.
Safety deposit box works fine. Free umbrellas, mosquito repellent and a beach bag. The minibar hasn’t got anything special like sparkling wine. Just the same things that other hotels have.
Outside shower I liked. :)
Air conditioning works but has a bit loud noise.
Also more sockets to electricity when nowadays people need to charge telephones and iPads. Maybe a wireless charges when it’s a luxury hotel. :)
Works ok. You have to login every day. Some connection problems now and then.
Most of the time nice and quiet.
Again I don’t understand the compulsory round trips to the hotel. The lounge in Chalong Pier is nice, has air conditioning but again full of noises with small bored children picking up the scents to toiletries.
The place is perfect for snorkeling on the beach and diving. There are only three resorts on the island. Three minimarkets in a walking distance. No shopping possibilities. Few cheap seafood restaurants in the area.
I don’t know is this a permanent thing or just around Chinese New Year but the place was full of Chinese families. In my opinion this hotel is not designed for families with small children. One of the pool is Adults only but people don’t seem to understand this. Personnel have to come to explain this to folks all the time. Kids get bored when there isn’t much to do and get cranky and noisy.
No more nice and quiet snorkeling tours on the beaches. The main beach Ao Patok just next to the hotel has always been busy but now are the other beaches too.
Orange life jackets all around. The sad thing is to see corals been stepped on and fish around coral reefs fed just for fun. Fish and Crabs been chased and collected to plastic bags. Please be careful when snorkeling and diving! Just observe. Don’t touch!
The visit in 2016 was so nice and quiet. No there are ATVs and tractors delivering tourists from one beach to another. Nice and quiet at the evening time and early in the morning.
Lovely beach chairs and pool chairs. Towels ready on the chairs. The drinks tasted nice. A calling button on the tables if you need something.