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
- Handicap Accessible
- 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
We arrived at The Racha with high expectations in part because of the money we paid (really, a lot + the pricey compulsory boat transfer), in part because of the reviews we read. Unfortunately, we were really disappointed.
Was there anything catastrophic during our stay? No. But so many things didn't quite work out that, in the end, our time there was just average which is not acceptable given the fact that we chose a 5 star, luxury resort.
First of all, we got to the Racha Lounge at Chalong Pier and a Racha employee told us that, basically, the room we booked (deluxe villa) was nothing special and that we definitely should upgrade it with, allegedly, a much better room (grand deluxe villa) for a "special" price. Result: we accepted the "offer" just to find out, once we arrived at the Racha, that the upgraded room was in the corner of the resort with a view on the wall of the next-door villa. We immediately protested and the receptionist (a very nice girl from Indonesia) told us that they had just another room left in the same category, on the hill but, at least, with an open view, so we moved there.
The resort is located on an exceptional beach with white sand and crystal clear water. Very, very nice except for the fact that every single day a massive number of boats (usually a lot > than 50) with many hundreds of people (the majority Chinese) would literally pour in on the beach so that you can choose between trying to go for a swim between a sea of people screaming, using megaphones, loud music, and boats roaring. Or going to other beaches of the island where, clearly, no service is provided: so you pay a lot of money for something you can't really enjoy since in the afternoon when they leave, the low tide makes it almost impossible to go for a swim. (Btw, I do know that in Thailand beaches are public, but the fact that the only beach invaded by day-trippers is the one in front of The Racha made me think....)
Another aspect is the general quality of the service: besides 2 really nice and professional girls at the reception (one from the Philippines, the other one from Indonesia) the others didn't reflect the smiling Thai people we met during our previous visits to Koh Lanta, Phi Phi Island, Bangkok, etc. It looks like they don't care about customers' satisfaction (in fact, at check out, no one even bothered to ask feedback on our stay).
Breakfast: not bad but nothing special, very limited variety of food + eating with a cat staring at you every single day it's not what I expected from a luxury resort.
Restaurant: average, definitely had better food in the restaurants outside the resort.
Bar: you ask for coconut water and they tell you it's over??? Like, you are surrounded by trees full of coconuts...are you kidding me? It's like being at the North Pole and being told they're out of ice!
The villa: I definitely had better experiences in other resorts in Thailand for half the price. The room is big but the door wouldn't open half of the time; the window, the walls everything looked shabby. The upgrade was so not worth it.
Honestly, I didn't find this place to be a 5-star, luxury resort at all. We chose The Racha expecting a relaxing, zen, classy experience but none of it was the case.
Would I recommend it? Well, only if it cost less than 1/2 the price we paid: it's not worth it a cent more.
Stayed at suite 102 ... Absolutely stunning!
Food was great (try the steak) the Italien Chef knows how to cook.
If time to spare do a tour of the of the "Backoffice", learn about waste recycling, solar energy and much more ... Very educational
Great stay and great weather
Excellent service by staff and check in was smooth. Speedboat ride took only 30min to reach and the lounge provided refreshments.
Our luggage were taken care by the staff and transferred to our villa upon arrival. Bed was very comfortable and clean. Breakfast was also good. The beach in front was crowded with day visitors but they will be gone by evening time. Beach is clean but waves were strong during our visit. Snorkeling also can be done off the beach.
Just a comment,it was difficult to balance on the floating jetty when there is strong waves.