Rayavadee

Krabi & Koh Lanta, Thailand
Book from GBP Book from £291 per night

A piece of paradise in Krabi, where Thai-style villas lie among tropical jungle, three beaches and the shimmering Andaman Sea

A piece of paradise in Krabi, where Thai-style villas lie among tropical jungle, three beaches and the shimmering Andaman Sea

In Thailand’s far south, on a slim stretch of coastline crowded with coconut palms, lies the exotic Rayavadee - a place where nature knows no bounds. Three powdery beaches - Railay, Ao Nammao and Phranang - carve out the resort’s pristine perimeter, protected by the Krabi Marine National Park, while Krabi's iconic gnarled limestone karsts watch on from above. Macaques and langurs swing from branches, butterflies flit between flowers. And down in the shallow waters, vivid reefs burst with life. It’s a rare, beautiful and fragile ecosystem that the Rayavadee works hard to protect.

The only way here is by speed boat: your private ride to paradise. Forest paths lead you to smart villas and pavilions, each peeping out from behind a swathe of thick foliage – 26 acres of it no less. There are four different restaurants to dine at, some set right on the sands, all serving food with tropical flavours and wild produce plucked fresh from the forest – mangoes, coconuts and tamarinds feature heavily. Kids could do crafting or cookery classes while adults chill out at the spa. And anyone can grab a kayak, paddling through the mangroves to secret caves or isolated coves. We're so excited to get washed up here.

Highs

  • The spectacular location, sandwiched between three pearly-white beaches, tropical jungle and Krabi’s iconic limestone cliffs
  • Huge praise for the staff – and private butlers if you’re staying in a villa
  • Great for couples (spa, romantic meals, magical sunsets) and families alike (family villas, kids’ activities, variety of restaurants)
  • The jungle surroundings provide habitats for all manner of tropical flora and fauna, including monkeys and edible plants used in the cooking
  • Fun for all: diving, kayaking, island-hopping by speedboat, waterfalls, cookery classes

Lows

  • The spa will be closed for refurbishments from June to mid-July 2024, but treatments will be offered in Raitalay Villa instead
  • The stunning beaches are tourist attractions and can get busy with day-trippers between the hours of 10-4
  • Larger than most i-escape hotels – and we hear it’s easy to get lost within the resort
  • Beware of the monkeys – they might jump on your roof so best to keep windows and doors closed
  • Boat transfers from Krabi are not included, so extras can add up (on top of already high room prices)
  • The WiFi is patchy, but who needs it in paradise?

Best time to go

The tropical climate means air and sea temperatures are warm here year-round (high 20s). November to April is dry season so is arguably the best time to visit. May to October is the rainy season, but this is when the jungle and the forested cliffs look their most dazzling, in shades of bright emerald.

Our top tips

The Raitalay Terrace is the place to be at sunset - make the most of happy hour and sip fruity daiquiris as the sky turns fiery red.

Great for...

Beach
Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Beach Resort
  • 94 pavilions, 7 villas
  • Restaurants (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Tennis Court
Room:

Rooms

Dotted among the tropical gardens are 94 pavilions and 7 villas, all a short walk from Railay and Phranang Beaches. They are traditionally Thai in design, with domed roofs, airy living spaces and lots of shiny polished wood.

The Pavilions have two storeys and a mushroom-like design. Styling is classic – think day beds, chunky writing desks and wide, shuttered windows. Some Pavilions open out to furnished terraces, others have private pools, and the larger ones are family-sized with one double and one twin bedroom. Bathrooms are generous and all have giant baths and separate showers.

Villas are bigger and come with the added luxury of private butler service. Family villas sleep 4-5; Phranang villas sleep 6-9 and are set right on the beachfront, so you get sea views too. All of the villas have private swimming pools.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe box
  • WiFi

Eating

You’re pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to dining here. There are four different restaurants scattered around the resort – some for casual dining, others for romantic candle-lit affairs.

Breakfast is served at Raya Dining, and we hear it’s knockout. Egg dishes range from pancakes to shakshuka, or if you're feeling ravenous you could have them sunny-side up with steak on the side. There are savoury Thai dishes too – perhaps Chinese rice porridge with ginger and meat, or Spicy Sichuan style noodles. And if you’re still stuffed from the previous night’s meal, lighter options include buddha bowls and chia seed pudding.

We’d pick Raitalay Terrace for lunch, as it’s situated right next to the swimming pool, with views over Railay Beach. Choose from salads, hot pots, fresh seafood and meat curries. There’s a decent veggie menu too.

Over at Phranang Beach, Krua Phranang is the place for romantic alfresco dining (Thai curries and stir-fries) beneath starry skies. While The Grotto, which shelters in the shade of a limestone cliff, offers a Twilight Set Dinner at sunset – you’ll need to pre-order your choice and reserve your table beforehand.

For an evening tipple, the street leading off Railay Beach has a selection of laid-back bars and rum shacks.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Kids' meals
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • It’s not often you get a hotel fringed by three spectacular beaches; spend a day on each of Railay, Ao Nammao and Phranang. For conservation reasons, sunloungers are not permitted, so bring a towel to lie on
  • Head out on one of the hotel’s speedboats to the Phi Phi Islands, famous for their emerald cliffs, caves and colourful reefs
  • Other boat trips include snorkelling excursions around Poda Island or a romantic castaway experience on Bamboo Island
  • Krabi’s craggy peaks are perfect for rock climbing. The overhangs, stalactites and knobbly surfaces of the cliff face are not for the faint-hearted, but the views from the top are a spectacular reward
  • Land excursions take you deep into nature; try the trip to Klong Thom’s Emerald Pool and hot spring, famous for its healing waters
  • Spend a day in Krabi: start at the food market, visit the Buddhist Tiger Cave Temple, and have a Thai lunch at a local restaurant
  • For a dose of Thai culture, join a Rayavadee cookery class to learn the art of authentic Thai cooking using exotic herbs and aromatic spices. Fruit carving and garland weaving classes are also on offer

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being
  • Wildlife
  • Windsurfing

Kids

It's rare to find a place that caters to kids as much as it does to adults - especially one in such a dreamy setting - but the Rayavadee strikes the perfect balance. While you bliss out in paradise, they can choose from a range of kid-friendly activities (cooking, tennis, arts and crafts), or play on the beach, or swim in the pool. There are Family Pavilions and Family Villas too, and a range of dining options for fussy eaters.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The Family Villas and Family Pavillions each sleep 4-5 in two bedrooms. The villas come with butlers, and some have private pools too. If you're a big family, the Phranang Villas have three bedrooms and can sleep up to 9. All the pavilions can fit one extra bed.

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available, Family Rooms

Babysitting:

Baby sitters available

Children's meals:

  • Kids' menus with Western options at the restaurants
  • High chairs

Kids Activities on site:

Complimentary kids activities at the resort include:

  • Kids yoga
  • Kids Thai boxing
  • Sand sculpting
  • Arts & crafts
  • Kids cooking
  • Tennis
  • Garden discovery

Families Should Know:

The pool is unfenced

Distances:

  • Airport: 45 minutes (Krabi)
  • Grocery shop: 5 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Rayavadee is situated on the coast of Krabi's beautiful Phranang Peninsula, in southern Thailand. The resort is only accessible by boat.

By Air:
Krabi is the closest airport and is served by internal flights from Bangkok (a flying time of 80 minutes). You could also fly to Phuket and arrange an airport transfer via the hotel from there.

From the Airport:
A hotel representative will meet you and transfer you by van or car to their private pier (20 minutes from Krabi Airport, 2hrs 15 from Phuket Airport). You'll then take a speed boat (20 minutes) to Rayavadee.

By Ferry:
If you want to make your own way to the resort, the Ao Nang Princess Ferry operates between Krabi and Phuket, Phi Phi and Koh Lanta Islands. The ferry usually stops at Railay Beach (depending on tides), where a hotel representative will meet you. You'll then take a long-tail boat to the resort. Be aware that, when you come ashore, you will need to wade in shallow water.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Krabi 28.0 km KBV
  • Phuket 150.0 km HKT

Other:

  • Beach 0.1 km
  • Shops 1.0 km
  • Restaurant 1.0 km

Rates for Rayavadee

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