The hotel is located on the island of Racha Yai, one hour’s drive from the airport followed by a 30-minute wind-in-your-hair speedboat ride from Chalong pier in the south of Phuket. The island is known for its sensational white beaches and kaleidoscopic reefs and is a popular spot for divers and day-trippers, which means it can get exceptionally busy, particularly over the high-season (December to March).
Address: 42/12-13 Moo 5, Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83130, Thailand.
Style & character
A series of sugar cube-like buildings are scattered across 20 acres of tropical gardens leading down to a shimmering white beach. The look is simple and smart throughout: clean lines, stripes of dark wood and rattan furnishing scattered with frangipani trees, pretty patios and twirling parasols. The atmosphere is easy-breezy with most guests contentedly lolling on loungers, pinã colada in hand.
Service & facilities
The Racha’s star attraction is its superlative location, hugging an impossibly blue bay fringed by brilliant-white baby-soft sands. Unfortunately, its beauty can hardly be seen between 10am and 4pm when flotillas of boats and armies of snorkellers and sunbathers descend. As a quieter alternative, the hotel provides sun loungers lined-up just above the beach, as well as three different swimming pools (including a tucked-away ‘silent’ pool). There’s also a watersports centre with free-to-use kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, complimentary twice-daily yoga classes and a tranquil spa. Diving and ATV tours of the island can also be arranged for a reasonable fee.
Despite being a hive of activity during the day, the Racha’s spectacular sunrises, sunsets and starry nights will be pretty much all yours. Service was erratic, veering between pleasant (at the pool, spa and sports centre) to glaringly disinterested (at breakfast and the Sunset beach bar).
- Fitness centre
- Room service
The Racha has 85 villas, 30 of which have private pools, positioned along flower-lined lanes discreetly hidden away from view. Interiors are simple and soothing, predominantly white – white walls, glacial-white floors and huge puffy white beds – with rambling honeymoon-worthy bathrooms, outdoor showers and garden space. Welcome touches include Nespresso machines, Bose sound docks and a huge catalogue of free movies.
Food & drink
The Racha has three restaurants, all of which were disappointing. Breakfast, served in the ground-level Earth Cafe, was a tired buffet of limp bacon, greasy sausages and soggy eggs Benedict topped with sour hollandaise. The snacks and Thai cuisine served at the thatched-roof Sunset restaurant was either overcooked or under-flavoured, more akin to something you might find in a staff canteen. And while the rooftop Mediterranean restaurant Fire Grill was an improvement, it still fell far short of the five-star mark.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Children are welcome but it’s a very romantic resort better suited to smoochy couples.
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