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!!
- 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