Has anyone ever stayed at Rayavadee. I think it is situation on Railey beach and Pranang Cave beach. Is this a nice area to stay?
It is a beautiful beach but is packed from morning to late afternoon with day trippers and longtail boats coming and going all day.
Yes I've stayed at the Rayavadee (twice). Its is undoubtedly one of the most stunning locations and beaches in Thailand. There are 3 beaches the first being East Railay (where you land by speedboat). This is a mangrove beach and not really for swimming. The other two (West Railay and Pranang) are lovely beaches with stunning limestone rock formations. Ten years ago, this was an unspoilt tropical paradise, now sadly as the previous posters says, the world and his mother has found it. Pranang in particular is over run with day trippers and loud smelly long tailed and speedboats during the day. It still paradise but only before 9am and after 5pm. During peak season you literally struggle to find a square inch of sand. In Low season its not so bad.
All of this has destroyed the local coral, made the water polluted and the beach dirty as many of the day trippers just dump their rubbish on the beach. For me though the worst thing was the noise from the local backpacker joints and the Rastafarian bars. Loud pounding techno music pumping out from late afternoon through until the wee hours (3am and beyond most nights). Because of the limestone cliffs this music echos through some parts of the resort. If you're booking a pavilion, make sure its as close to Pranang as possible as these pavilions are the furthest away from the noisy bars and you can't really hear the music in this area. Those closest to the restaurant on East Railay suffer the worst from the music noise at night. I would look at the most recent reviews on how loud the music is.
Sadly, although it used to be one of my favourite hotels I wouldn't return. You pay high prices for a hotel that still bills itself as an unspoilt, tranquil tropical paradise but the local noisy backpacker bars and the hundreds of day trippers have ensured it just isn't that anymore. If however, you don' mind crowds and aren't bothered by noise, it would still be worth a visit as it is visually stunning.
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