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Reviewed 16 February 2013

First off, I have to tell you we never stayed here. So why am I giving it one star? It's for their unconscionable 'bait & switch' tactics. Briefly, our family of 5 had made reservations for 2 rooms months earlier, complete with fully paid deposit, based on the reviews here on tripadvisor. A day before we were to arrive, we emailed them for confirmation and were told everything was in order and they were looking forward to our arrival. Upon arriving the next day, we were told that they had overbooked, that they had meant to email us but forgot, and that they were moving us to another hotel. They refunded our deposit and loaded us into a golf cart for the short ride to another hotel, under the same ownership, just down the hill. This is where it starts to get interesting. The new hotel (heavily weighted 'terrible' on this site) is nothing more than a glorified hostel which we never would have booked in the first place. Having not paid for our rooms yet (saying we were going to find an ATM to avoid the 3% credit card surcharge), we gulped hard and set off hoping to find some sort of alternative. Keep in mind this was a couple of days before Christmas (slightly analogous to Joseph and Mary minus the impending miracle) and we expected everywhere to be booked, which it was. We ended up at a third hotel, a short walk away with a cheaper, cleaner and much more palatable demeanor. While we were pondering our situation at hotel #2, we observed 2 more golf cart arrivals from Phutawan Resort, dropping off their transfers. They were identified by their 'deer-in-the-headlights' facial expressions. So, here's what you should know: if you make a reservation, they will eagerly accept your deposit; if you confirm your reservation beforehand, they will tell you 'come on down, can't wait to meet you'; but as you are climbing that last steep hill toward check-in, I only have this to say - keep your fingers crossed.

Date of stay: December 2012
Trip type: Travelled with family
6  Thank tydoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 1 February 2013

We stayed in the Phutawan resort for two nights (actually, when we first saw the resort and Railay town, we were about to leave right away, but we stayed because of the nice beach, Hat Phra Nang).
Railay seems to have a higher price level compared to the rest of Krabi Province, so we were okay with the 2000 THB per night incl. breakfast.. First the receptionist said it would be 2100 per night but when we asked for a discount he instantly said he could give it to us for 1800 (excl. breakfast). Esp since the "lonely planet" recommended the hotel as top choice in Railay we thought that it was a pretty good deal...
At first sight, the resort looks really nice (and maybe until a few years ago, it was a great place to stay, for sure) but the closer you look the more flaws you'll find...
First off: My boyfriend cracked through the verandah floor right in front of our door (knee-deep!) when he set foot on it. When we told the receptionist he said he would inform the carpenter - some time..
The bathroom was obviously attached to the bungalow in retrospect. It didn't have a proper roof (that's probably where two geckos entered the bungalow) and didn't look nice at all, yet the sanitation worked fine and it was clean.
Overall, the rooms a pretty spacious, however it looked as if there hadn't been a guest for weeks (nor a cleaning lady - it was not really dirty but kind of dusty).
The TV in the room looks pretty neat and except for the Thai programs it offers an English movie channel - but it stopped working after the first day. More annoyingly, the internet didn't work at all during our stay - even though the receptionist told us someone was about to fix it right away..
The breakfast at the restaurant was ok for the price (we paid 200 THB more for the room to have the breakfast included): You can choose from different breakfast sets (American, Continental, etc.) which include fruits, coffee/tea, juice, egg/muesli/pancake and toast. So it's pretty opulent. The food was ok (though I wouldn't recommend the muesli - I'm actually not sure what it was... but the pancake and the omlette were good). The floor of the restaurant was pretty dirty, though.
In the "lonely planet" the kitchen at Phutawan Resort was praised for its great meals - but nowadays they only open for breakfast. Actually, behind the restaurant, some buildings seemed to have burnt down or fallen apart - maybe that's what used to be the renowned kitchen...
Overall, it seemed like the resort had been closed for a while until it started to fall apart - and now it got reopened by youngsters who didn't invest any money but just run it until you can't live there anymore..

Date of stay: January 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JuliaR842
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 27 January 2013 via mobile

The position of the resort complex is fantastic, sat above the beautiful bay up in a natural amphitheatre of limestone cliffs..stunning! As the resort is set above Railay beach and up in the trees the constant breeze is a joy!
The rooms are small and the bathrooms in need of attention and a clean! Passable as room only used as a base and storeroom.The resort has over sold itself to get the overpriced tarrif to match the pictutes! Huh!
Where the problem really starts is the staff. You feel as if you are a pain in their side and their lives would be better if you were not there..thats hospitality folks!! Breakfast was a real joy..served by odd staff mincing around with total distain for the guests and not even a twisted smile only a sour grimace . I did not see a smile the whole time i was there except when there was a mix up with a lost passport and wallet..laughed then until i delivered a cold speech that wiped only smile away! Stayed in worst just a miserable atmosphere.

Date of stay: January 2013
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Thank matt1805
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 19 January 2013

I just came back from an incredible experience in Thailand, even having such a horrible experience in this hotel. I was with two friends for 4 nights at the sea view suite (4K Bahts/night). From the website it seemed as a great deal, amazing room and view for a low price. However, our experience in this place could not have been worse.

To start, the room was falling to pieces. Bathroom was worse than a cheap dirty hostel one (have pictures to prove). The shower didn't work, neither did the toilet. Lamps were burned out and the room was never clean.

What would a normal client do? Ask the reception for a repair man, but now comes the worst part. The staff was extremely rude at all times. No exception. They were aggressive and said they could do nothing and it would be better if we left. During our stay there, we avoided even seeing them when we went out. If we were not in a far away beach where no one spoke english, we would have called the police to straight things out and give a proper response to such a petulant staff.

Even worse was the staff at the restaurant. Unmotivated staff served a crappy breakfast. completely dirty kitchen. After the first day we decided to eat out the other mornings.

Well, Thailand is a wonderful place and we had a great time. This resort could not ruin our experience and also we found other great places and people to even this out.

Room tip: Not in this place
Date of stay: January 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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2  Thank Diogo O
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 6 January 2013

After spending a week reading every review from T.A. and lonely planet, as well as friends personal experiences, we decided to choose Phutawan over the other resorts for a week vacation over xmas. Because of such great reviews from the past, I am inclined to think that the management has been replaced or there are new owners here - This place was the worst hotel I have ever stayed at, outside of a nightmare in Bratislava that I wont go into.
We arrived and were showed our rooms - clean and in order. Until my girlfriend opened the bathroom. the bathroom stank like pungent mould. We have visited almost 20 countries in the last 5 years and stayed at some dodgy places, but this was a smell on a different level. The bathroom taps were so corroded, we wouldnt touch them without napkins.the shower head was falling off the wall. The manager was extrememly unfriendly when we asked if we could change, and refused right away. Thankfully, Lookpad,the reception girl, (who along with one other person at the reception and the room cleaners are the only friendly people at this place) found a room and told the boss they could change us. We were changed the next day to a room with a much better smelling bathroom. But smelly sheets and a garbage in the bathroom that hadnt been cleaned out (normally not a big deal, but in thailand you dont flush your used t.p. down the toilet, you leave it in the garbage can - catch my drift?)
Somewhat satisfied with our room, we now move onto the restaurant which Lonely planet lists as its top choice on Railay. Its listed as serving Breakfest Lunch and Dinner, but after inquiring why no one was there, they told us that its shut down because they dont have enough employees. Its just open for us valued hotel guests for breakfests! which consists of cold eggs (yes, I got there right at opening. the eggs are cold - a half hour later they are warm after being put over a flame in the buffet. this leads me to believe they are yesterdays eggs they reheat). the staff at the breakfest "restaurant" are the most unmotivated unfriendly people I met in our 2 weeks in thailand. We would greet them with a hello in thai, and say thank you in thai after ordering which they would then stare, scowl, and walk away. Im not making this up! it was like they were angry that they had to work there! For 5 days we ate there, and for 5 days they never got close to our order right. We would order stuff and wait a half hour until something completely different came out. Coffee arrived one day 30 minutes after we finished eating, after asking 3 times. we gave up on the 5th day and ate somewhere else.
We are also in the process of inquiring with expedia as to the "special fee" we had to pay for the "mandatory new years buffet dinner" that was part of the booking over new years. the manager said they couldn't help us, their restaurant wasn't having a new years dinner anymore, even though we were forced to pay in advance, and that it was between expedia and us.
Anything else I can think of? Horrible staff (except for Lookpad and the guy that worked at reception), stinking rooms, worse food. there was also the bar 20 meters away that decided to host a full moon party that no one showed up to, but still paid their imported D.J.s to play house music at insane volumes until 5am one night - but in all fairness it was just one time and the hotel staff did repeatdly ask them to shut it off. There was a french family the next morning in tears because they were so angry screaming at the staff of the bar and the hotel. That was a sight!
In order to be fair, I heard that other resorts are quite dirty in the east area, and the cleaning staff after the first day did a great job of cleaning our rooms. the view is great, and the grounds are well gardened. thats the pros
When we left the staff was all standing in the area, and we said goodbye in Thai and smiled. They all did the same, except for the Manager who couldn't even say a friendly goodbye, not a word. I am not a complaining person. As my girlfriend can attest, I take it way too easy with bad service, unfriendliness, dirty rooms, etc. As my other reviews show as well, I am not the type to unfairly complain about a place. But this place deserves the one star rating im giving it. Horrible.

Date of stay: December 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank lucanusr
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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