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“Big WOW factor in appearance that didn't deliver!!!” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Racha

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The Racha
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Ko Racha Yai
Melb, Australia
Level Contributor
99 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“Big WOW factor in appearance that didn't deliver!!!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2012

We stayed for four nights at The Racha, and upon arrival there was a big "WOW!!" as our first impression!
HOWEVER - to start.... upon our arrival, it was very disorganised, we were going to have to wait for our room for nearly three hours for it to be ready, but then it did get sorted out unlike other arriving guests.
Arriving at the room - these were very, very impressive, we loved the room!!!! (And a special thanks to Billy for giving us the inside info on the hotel and really made an effort to make us feel welcome!!!) The room was fantastic, very spacious, all modern and white as per the website, an outdoor shower, big bathroom, great air-cond and amenities, everything had been thought of... inc Wifi, Inhouse movies ( 120 to choose from), and 24 hour room service, etc, etc. The rooms had everything covered! We loved the room, and certainly returning to the beautiful villa... it was a fantastic to return to after a day on the beach and could not be faulted!!!
The elements of our stay that let The Racha Hotel down were as follows:-
1) there was no outside restaurant that had any ambience - there is one outside restaurant that had 12 tables or thereabouts near the beach, but it was either quiet or completely booked out at nights. The one night that we did dine there,, we felt it was overpriced, with a restrictive and poor selection on the menu. It didn't have any ambience, lighting, quiet music, (except for the annoying roving band playing to guests looking for tips). This restaurant was not an enjoyable experience.
2) there is another dining area - a restaurant that's inside a big bunker-style building in the centre of the resort..... it's a stark white concrete building, fully lit up inside, with air-conditioning and no atmosphere inside what so ever... we refused to dine here - we haven't travelled all the way to Thailand to sit inside a concrete bunker and eat dinner - we wanted to sit in an atmosphere that took on board some evening lighting, the waves washing in, some quiet music, and some great Thai food. We felt that this was a big let-down to the resort and because we were stuck here - there weren't many other options to eat dinner other than nearby cheaper resort over at The Raya, which at least had tables set up over the water and Thai food. We were very disappointed with this main restaurant and felt it let down our experience at nights and for dinner.
We also found another restaurant at Siam beach which was very romantic with white-linen flowing against a backdrop of the waves, whilst seated on the sand, and candlelight. This restaurant was happy to pick us up and drop us off by car at the Racha for our dinner booking as walking may take 20 mins and may be a big difficult for some in the darkened track.
3) Breakfast - see point two above - we were also forced to have breakfast in this bunker building - we had no choice other than to attend the "Bunker building" where breakfast felt very confined, with a limited buffet and tables that were far too close to other guests, with only six outside tables, and the remainder inside the air-conditioned building. Due to the close confines of this area, most guests remained quiet throughout breakfast, and there was definitely a stale atmosphere. We weren't impressed with the limited buffet breakfast options and felt that the breakfast was mainly catering to the asian cuisine with very few options other than eggs.
Also, it should be noted that most of the guests were of Japanese, Chinese and Korean decent and so the breakfast offer/selection of foods seemed to mainly catered to that majority.
4) The pretty beach outside of the hotel is a public beach, which we approve of because all beaches in thailand are amazing and should be shared....HOWEVER - there are over 30 boats of 'daytrippers" arriving, with each boat holding more than 30 people per boat, that arrive between 12noon and 4pm each day flooding the beach daily, leaving their rubbish behind. We should mention that these boats wait whilst the daytrippers venture off, so they fill the little bay, and most days we could count more than 30 boats... and they also block the swimming area, making it unsafe for snorkelling and swimming too far from shore. Please note that we spent the afternoons picking up their left-behind water bottles, plastic bags and hotel staff were blind to this fact!!! If this is to continue happening, the Racha hotel should take more responsibility and place rubbins bins around the entrances to the beach, particularly at the end of the floating pier as the daytrippers leave to board their boats again.
This influx of daytrippers every day is exhausting and ruins the ambience of the beach, as there are just too many "cruise companies" cashing in on this particular tiny island. To avoid this influx of hundreds of people daily - try walking 15 minutes to the boatless SIAM BEACH behind the Racha Hotel and you'll find a pristine paradise with white sand, turquoise warm water and less people filling up the beach!!! ( And less rubbish!).
5) Our departure was pretty empty, as no-one seemed to care that we had stayed, let alone wish us goodbye or even to enquire as to how our stay was... we paid up, and that was that.... we didn't feel any hospitality from the staff when checking in or when checking out. It was a sad way to end our stay, but we were happy to be continuing our holiday elsewhere.

The main criticism is the lack of personalbility and ambience with this hotel. A truly beautiful hotel, with great rooms/villas and grounds, and an amazing view of a sunset (and we had been recommended and referred to stay there by friends).... but to our dissappointment, The Racha Hotel lacked something, and the hotel can't rest on its beauty and appearance alone!!

Room Tip: Check out Siam beach on the other side of the island - 15 minute - it's PARADISE!!! There is ot...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Noodlesam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (151)
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
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English first
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2012

I'm in love with The Racha and Racha island. Beautiful hotel on the fantastic beach. Nice modern style room. Wonderful common area : restaurant, pool, etc. Lovely breakfast with outdoor seatings and seaview. Guests can also use beach club (next door) facility. The island has one of the best beach in Thailand - good for swimming and snorkling. The only downpoint is that it can be quite busy on the beach during the day with people arriving with tour boats. Transportation to and from the hotel is perfectly arranged. Thanks for the great holidays and we definitely will be back!

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sunan_S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riyadh
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2012

The place is beautiful and very quiet island.. but Service is not good, I had waited 2.30 Hr after arrival to check in.. Transport rate on the speedboat from/to Racah island/Phuket is high: 1800 BHT for one way..
Price of meals are Expensive: the average price of lunch or dinner for two persons is 3000 BHT.
The beach is not a special for hotel guests and receives visitors all the day.
Rooms are good, and entertainment available in the room.

Room Tip: 2 days Enough for island
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Yasser A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2012

The Racha has it all - the perfect mix of beautiful beachfront, great pool, amazing spa, and all the relaxation or activity you want. We loved being able to walk down to the beach, grab some fins and snorkels (or borrow a sea kayak), and explore the cove on our own schedule.
From 9am to 3pm there's a crush of tourists (coming from Phuket?) that make the stretch of beach in front of the resort really crowded and kind of unappealing, but we took that time to lay by the pool and relax. After tourists have cleared out for the day, the beach is virtually abandoned and is a great place to watch the sunset.
The staff was super-friendly and helpful without being obtrusive. I had an absolutely amazing facial and massage at the spa - they even somehow came and found us to tell us there had been a cancellation that would allow them to provide my services at a time that I preferred.
Although we went on our honeymoon, we imagine it would be a great place to take a family trip as well as there are so many options for activities.

The only downside: They had this roving mariachi band in the evenings that seemed to move between the two restaurants at the resort. They were loud and seemed to be playing for tips - we left one of the restaurants one night rather than have to hear them play for our whole dinner. They were just getting started playing at our restaurant as we were leaving the second night...and thank goodness. It just added a level of cheesiness that didn't need to be there...it took away from the experience.

Room Tip: Get a villa with a private plunge pool
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travelingwithmike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level Contributor
60 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2012

I am finding this review a bit difficult to write because my hubby and I LOVED The Racha, enjoyed it thoroughly and would have to loved to stay there longer. However, our travelmates had some legitimate criticisms which I will review at the end.

RESORT: The Racha is gorgeous and exactly as presented in the pictures. It is a white washed paradise with clean lines and beautiful beaches. To our taste, it exudes understated elegance. Our grand deluxe (an upgrade as an SLH member) was incredible. I was literally jumping up and down after touring through our balcony, bedroom, and the gorgeous bathroom. (Be careful stepping from the outdoor shower onto the marble tiles in the bathroom - it can be very slippery.) The infinity pool was great to splash around in; most enjoyable before noon before the lunch crowd arrives. The Anumba Spa was also a treat. We had an hour long thai massage, the best massage I had in Thailand. There was a small library with computer access and a fitness centre as well. The 3 restaurants are expensive by Thai standards but definitely cheaper than what I pay at home. The food was tasty and generous in portions. The Water Sports Centre was helpful and had us fitted with snorkel gear in a snap. On the whole, we encountered courteous, friendly staff and loved the service we received.

ISLAND: Patok Bay, where The Racha is located is very pretty, with or without the crowds. But with so many other lovely beaches to explore, we simply skipped Patok Bay between 10-3 to avoid the tour groups and enjoyed it at breakfast/sunset instead. Siam Beach is a sweeping stretch of beach just 10 minutes' walk away. Ter Bay and Kon Kare bay are further (15-20 min) but are smaller coves with amazing snorkelling, easy to access from the beach. The paths are paved leading out of the resort, but become dirt/gravel roads further out. It is marked, but best explored in the day time.

TRANSFERS: The logistics of transportation were an issue, but it doesn't need to be. The Racha provides 3 transfers to Chalong (9:00, 12:00, 16:00) and 3 transfers to Racha (11:30, 14:00, 17:00). Because we were only able to afford one night's luxury, we wanted to get onto the island as early as possible to enjoy it. We discovered that Raya Divers does pick up and transfer to Koh Racha each day at 9am (along with their normal snorkel tour, which gets off at the same floating dock). It costs 800 baht one way, the same as all Koh Racha hotels. Arriving early meant we couldn't have our rooms until 2pm, but it was smoothly managed by the front desk. They held our luggage and transferred them when our rooms were ready. No hassle and very helpful. We could already start using their facilities and explore the island. For departure we boarded Racha's own speedboat, which was admittedly a nicer boat with lovely hospitality. Once at Chalong, an abundance of taxis were waiting at the drop off point and we caught one to the airport for 500 baht. Lastly, I wouldn't have thought twice about the plastic floating jetty, but I'll address it since it's been complained about. It is reasonably stable and quite wide (6 feet). For those who are not sure-footed, walk down the middle and don't carry valuables. There are plenty of people assisting, especially if you ride in with The Racha boat.

Our friends felt that The Racha did not measure up fully to the 5 star resort experience, though they did very much enjoy their stay. At this price point, the expectation was nothing short of perfect. The staff were so meticulous with aesthetics (perfecting table settings, lining up chairs) that they sometimes forgot customer service. For instance, they were surprised when the chair they pulled up for their belongings was removed without a word. It made more sense when the waiter came back with a chair that matched the neighbouring furniture, but an explanation would have been appreciated. The internet, though strong in our room, was fickle in theirs. Lastly, during dinner at the grill, the generator failed a half a dozen times, which took out the buildings around us as well. We ended up eating in the dark and it did dampen the mood. (The staff were quick to get candles and LED lamps on our tables). I believe this was a one-off event and I am sure The Racha will address this.

In the end, The Racha is an incredible experience. In my eyes, this is one of the best hotels I've ever stayed at, something uniquely different in Phuket and a true getaway.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank hykwok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheRacha, General Manager at The Racha, responded to this review, 9 April 2012
Dear "Hykwok":

Thank you very much for your kind comments about The Racha and we are very glad to hear that you and your husband enjoyed your stay with us.

We sincerely apologize for the incident involving the intermittent power outage which we encountered recently. Being located on a remote island, we have to generate our own electricity at the resort using diesel powered generators. Recently, our diesel fuel supplier sent us a batch of contaminated fuel. This caused our diesel power generators to shut down intermittently. Our Engineering Department worked around the clock to rectify the situation and the fuel tanks have since been cleaned and the problem rectified. You are correct in saying that this was a one-off incident and our Director of Engineering has since taken extra precaution to ensure this does not happen again.

We greatly appreciate your taking the time to share with us your comments and we look forward to welcoming you back to The Racha again.


Kind Regards,
Gerard Tan
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Racha

Property: The Racha
Address: 42/12-13 Moo 5 Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83130, Thailand
Phone Number:
Region: Thailand > Phuket > Ko Racha Yai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Ko Racha Yai
Price range (per night): ₹ 15,483 - ₹ 48,019
Hotel Class:5 star — The Racha 5*
Number of rooms: 85
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just 12 miles south of Phuket on Racha Yai island, The Racha is Thailand's premier deluxe island hideaway. Set on a pristine white-powdery beach and surrounded by the dazzling turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea, this five star resort features 70 stylish villas offering the ultimate in luxurious comfort, from private pool villas with underwater music, to a very unique 5-storey Lighthouse Pool Villa with an observation deck offering panoramic views around the island. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Racha Hotel Ko Racha Yai
Racha Hotel Yai Island
Racha Yai Island
Racha Phuket
The Racha Ko Racha Yai, Phuket

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