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“Simply the best holiday ...”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of The Racha

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The Racha
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Ko Racha Yai
Noosaville, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Simply the best holiday ...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2013 via mobile

We were fortunate enough to spend 14 days at the Racha in December 2013.
From the moment we arrived we knew we had found our "second home".
The location and ambience of the resort is simply breathtaking.
Forget about all the negative reviews about the beach being crowded etc....plenty of room for all !
The staff ,service and hospitality were first class....please take the time to introduce yourself to the staff ...they are warm and friendly and will go out of their way to assist .
Every morning we pinched ourselves at the wonder of Racha Resort...we came home fresh and rejuvenated and left our hearts at Racha.
Definitely back again next year !
A big thanks to Mr Bandid , Devan , Tony and the 3 girls from the cafe (Kea, Ning and Nee ) who made us feel so special and looked after us and our 1 year old twins so amazingly well.
There is so much to do at the Racha....just be creative and soak it up !
Brendan and Sophia



Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Brendan W
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
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English first
Sydney, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2013

Loved our stay at The Racha. We were looking for a quiet, relaxing, high end property on an amazing beach. Transportation in their luxurious car to/from Chalong Pier, an enjoyable boat ride to/from the island, quick & easy check-in with personal escort to our villa including property tour and room orientation. While the public beach was surprising busy during high season, we enjoyed the elevated beach lounges on hotel property, including hammocks, with bar service. Our other option was the main pool overlooking the beach to a beautiful water view as displayed on their website. For something different, we also went to Siam Bay just a short bike ride / easy walk - equally stunning beach. Excellent service from mgt and staff who genuinely care about making you happy.

Room Tip: Junior Pool Suites have ocean partial views, private pool in enclosed courtyard including lovely out...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Monica D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 December 2013

We really loved it, so great place and they have thought about everything. The string in the bathroom to hang close on which surprised me. Everything matches and the service are on a high level. Good breakfast.The beach is public and it was a little bit noice. The only thing which was disturbing was that the boats parked so close. they should have a line where the "bridge" ends I don't understand why they have to park so close the beach its not nice to swim close to the boats. They are only waiting so that they can do more out. And not so much russians

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank birdievargen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
australia
Level Contributor
141 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 December 2013 via mobile

We came here as a celebration for our daughter graduating high school. The resort organized a celebration cake to be ready at a lunch when we arrived and the food manager and resort manager later found us to wish her congratulations.
We really enjoyed our entire stay at the Racha. As long as your expectations are that the hotel is on a public beach to be shared with other people and boats. This did not bother us at all as we knew that in advance. There was still plenty of space to enjoy the beauty and swim and relax. We enjoyed renting floating mattresses from the vendors and massages from the local beach hut and having dinner at the cheap restaurant over looking the water.
We also had meals at The Racha which were very good and actually very well priced. Not much more than the local cheap place.
We had the most basic room type which we were very very happy with. We found the room to be very comfortable, large for a basic room and has a nice outdoor shower and large outdoor sitting area.
I had an unexpected minor medical problem here and thought I would need to return to phuket to see a dr to get medication. Luckily for me they had a very professional nurse who was able to give me the medication I needed. A big thank you for that!
One thing to note: this resort may be very difficult for elderly or disabled because of the transfers by boat and the pier that rolls up and down with the waves as you arrive and depart. Email the resort in advance to see what assistance they can provide for you.
I would def return to this stunning piece of the world if I ever get the chance and look forward to staying here again. Thank you Racha Resort for a lovely holiday.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Travelbugalug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 December 2013

Let me start by clarifying what I mean in the title of this review:

The Racha is a perfect base from which to take part in the activities that the island has to offer - basically, diving, which is precisely what we did for four days while we were there. We didn't use the Racha's own dive school, we used another school on the island, you can learn about it by reading my review of it on here.

If we hadn't been diving, I have no idea what we would have done, though. The island is very small, there is not much else to do, and there is a serious lack of beach space. Not the Racha's fault, but visitors should be aware. The main bay, Patok bay, resembles Benidorm in August for six hours a day, from 10am - 4pm. A Russian - Chinese version of Benidorm. It looks like the entire province of Guangdong and half of Moscow have relocated to the Racha's beach. An otherwise beautiful bay is overtaken by hundreds, perhaps thousands, of day-trippers paddling in the water, feeding the fish, dropping litter, and generally lowering the tone of the resort. Not to mention the shops and stalls set up to extract every ounce of cash from these daytrippers and the trashy deck chair mafia renting out 'their space'.

In addition, the daytrippers bring with them boats. Lots and lots of boats. When we dived the bay, it was imperative to carry an inflatable dive balloon and flag to warn of our presence. Although we generally dived this bay after a lot of the tourists had returned to Phuket, so it wasn't so bad.

I'm sorry to start with a negative, because this is beyond the Racha's control, and the Racha is a lovely resort, but anyone going there and spending $500 a night upwards on accommodation should be well prepared for what to expect. It's worth saying that the Racha does a good job of keeping the daytrippers out of the hotel. They also seem to employ someone with a photographic memory to remember who hotel guests are. No non-guests were sighted in the hotel, but equally no one ever asked us to show our key to gain access to the resort. So kudos to the 'security' guy! However, the simple fact is that the beach looks trashy, cheap, naff, however you want to describe it, simply because there are too many people, and too many deckchairs / sun loungers. And these deckchairs are still there when the tourists leave in the afternoon. I don't know how this can be resolved, but something needs to be done, as the over-crowding situation looks only set to get worse every year.

Speaking of loungers - i believe some of them belong to The Racha and are for their guests - but they are not clearly marked. I didn't use them myself, as I wouldn't want to hang out on that beach, but some kind of marking would be a good idea.

As for the other beaches, forget it, these are not beaches for sunbathing / hanging out on. Kon Kare and Ao Ter are small pebble beaches and are for snorkeling and diving. The sea was too choppy for snorkeling when we went, however, but that was fine as we were there to dive anyway. Siam Bay is in front of another hotel, and is nothing special. We went there at low tide and couldn't get into the water as the beach was full of dead coral and stones. Footwear is essential.

Moving on to the hotel itself. We spent the first night in a Deluxe room, as our preferred choice of room was not available on that day. I have to say that I would have been very disappointed if I had been staying the whole five nights in this room. It was most certainly not what I expect from a 11,600 baht ($350) a night room. There was nothing wrong with it as such, apart from the fact it appeared old and a little tired (eg scratch on the table, sticky residue by the TV - room 348, check it out, you will see what I mean), but it just didn't have the 'Ahhh' factor that I expect in that price range in Thailand. Fortunately, we had a Junior Pool Suite booked for the next four nights, and with the hotel's four nights for price of three offer, this worked out at the same price as the Deluxe room. And it was about TEN times as good. No comparison. The room was much newer, and was just more classy in every way. The pool is both a pool and a zen-like 'water feature' and you can't help but feel good when you look at it. The real coffee maker in the room was a welcome feature too. And the slightly hard bed wasn't a problem because they have a pillow and mattress menu and they converted it to a softer one immediately after making the phone call.

The only bad thing about the room, and I suspect this applies to most rooms, is that there is little privacy when the shutters on the windows / patio doors are open. You can feel a bit like a goldfish in a bowl. Unfortunately, given the architecture of the resort, I dont' think a lot can be done about this.

One thing that could be improved however is the living space outside the rooms. The balcony / patio, whatever you want to call it, is in desperate need of improved furniture. A pair of nice sun loungers on the patio, and a retractable awning to act as shelter from the sun, would make the world of difference. As it stands, the outdoor space is not somewhere you would wish to spend much time.

Service at the resort is first class, I had no complaints at all in any department, and was very pleased. The multi-national staff are all very pleasant, friendly, and efficient.

The F&B options are of good quality, although not excellent, just 'good'. The prices are predictably high, and for Thai food are absolutely extortionate. I think the hotel would do well to price its menus in USD, so that people who live in Thailand are not constantly in a state of shock when they see what they are being charged for basic Thai food. I understand that this is a fact of life in a resort, but one can't help but feel like they are taking advantage of a captive market, with few other options available on the island. (Other restaurants offer up Thai cuisine at highly inflated prices too, but not quite at The Racha's levels).

The most significant criticism I have of the F&B, however, is the fact that the menu at the Italian restaurant changes in the evening to some 'fine-dining' style menu. The lunchtime menu is brilliant - pizza and pasta etc. Reasonably priced, great quality. Loved it. But in the evening you can't get the same stuff! You are stuck with flambes and that kind of thing - it's ok for one evening in your stay, but I don't want to eat this kind of food all the time. (It was, also, i felt a little bit over-flavored / over-seasoned). There is more basic kind of food available in the evening at Earth Cafe, but I would prefer the whole lunchtime menu to be made available in the evening somewhere. Even if the prices have to go up in the evening, i would still chose this menu over the current offering!

I would also like to write a short note to the entertainment manager: A cover band hammering out a bastardised version of Gangnam Style on some amateur synthesiser at 150 decibels at 10pm is not my idea of sophisticated entertainment. I believe this kind of rubbish would go down well with many of the daytrippers, but not residents of The Racha. Even sitting at the seafood BBQ restaurant at the other end of the resort, I was unable to escape the cover band's noise pollution. Please invest in a new band, or at least ask them to play some better music at a more acceptable volume. By contrast, the two gents playing the guitars at the lobby bar were very charming and actually added to my enjoyment of the view, rather than making me wish I had ruptured my eardrums whilst diving thus rendering myself temporarily deaf. Thank you.

A couple of other small issues: it is virtually impossible to find your room on your first night, as all the rooms look the same, and there are no signs. The numbering system requires a PhD in advanced linear algebra to decipher, and you also need Superman's X-ray vision to see the number of the room you are walking past without walking right up to the side door with your torch and scaring the hell out of the occupents, who may possibly think you are Ko Racha's answer to Jack the Ripper coming to pay a visit. Also, there are lots of fruit flies enjoying the fruit and cold cuts at breakfast. Harmless, yes. Appetizing, hell no. As others have said, you need a cover to keep the flies off!

And please do not 'Thank me for highlighting some of your shortcomings' and then proceed to do nothing! Head down to Villa Market at Chalong on Phuket and BUY A COVER FOR THE FRUIT PLATES! Thank you.

Anyway, in conclusion, we had a great time, and if I'm ever back on Ko Racha, I will most definitely stay at The Racha. As you can see from the review, I have only minor complaints, apart from the crowded beach. I wish management luck in dealing with this issue, as unless a resolution is made soon, I fear the impact on the hotel will grow increasingly more negative each tourist season.

Room Tip: Spend a couple of baht extra and get a Junior Pool Suite, or more. Don't go Deluxe, it's a f...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank tony_newman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 December 2013

We stayed at The Racha in March 2011 and we loved it so much there. My partner and I travel a lot and my vacation in this resort was the best ever. From our arrival at the airport and our ride in a BMW limo to the harbor to the deluxe room we booked, everything went smooth and wonderfully. After 10 days spent in this paradise, we promised to come back as soon as possible. Exactly what we will do very soon, we've just booked our next trip at the Racha for our honeymoon in March and we are thrilled!!!!
I have to disagree with some comments posted here especially regarding the beach. Yes, the beach in front of the resort is public and welcome some tourists for a day trip and some Thai who want to enjoy the beauty of the site. Nothing wrong with that, we have to share the HEAVEN and I was actually feeling proud of "OUR BEACH" and feeling honored.After all, It meant we made the right choice to come here. In addition, the day trippers are usually here only for a few hours and I never felt annoyed. It's actually sometimes very entertaining.... Futhermore, there is a very very very beautiful beach a little bit further from the resort where you can find calm and serenity and where you will be probably.... the only ones. So not a big deal at all!!!
The staff was just amazing, so nice and helpful. The room (deluxe villa, the basic) was great and very clean. For our next trip, I upgrated for a Grand Deluxe Villa only because I would love a little bit of sea view but seriously if you are wondering what room to choose, the deluxe Villa works perfectly fine.
The food in the different restaurants is great and beautifully presented to you. The breakfast buffet is really good and the service perfect.
We got addicted to the spa and its massages which is awesome.
To sum up, seriously, there is nothing I didn't like and can't remember something I was disappointed with. Please, feel free to ask me if you have any question.

Room Tip: Deluxe room is perfectly fine and was beyond my expectations
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jeromeferrere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
64 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 November 2013

This island hotel enjoys a privileged location on one of the best beaches I've ever seen, the water is so clear you can see every particle of sand clearly. This is for me is the most significant attribute though the 5* hotel provides accommodations that live to the expectation and an MD (Mr. Devan) that gives it that personal touch you will remember.
We stayed in a double room suite villa with a pool, thinking that as with a friend couple we would both enjoy a great room and share the private pool and living area however our surprise was that there was a main room with pool access, views and all the perks and then there was a back room which was half the size and unimpressive. Putting this behind us very quickly we did enjoy the villa and other hotel installations, namely its larger pool and good food at its restaurants. Breakfast was just OK but a little disappointing in its offering for this type of hotel.
The beach is truly amazing with the whitest and finest sand I've seen in Thailand or possibly elsewhere and the water is pristine but this attracts a daily horde of island hoppers brought in by very loud boat operators that give the place a quite unattractive view for the hours (10-15) they invade it.
And the one feature I found a bit inconvenient is the limited choice of hotel transfers to Phuket pier specially considering one has to pay for them. I remember it was 3 in/out transfers a day which can leave you waiting at the pier accommodation on arrival or at the airport on departure for quite some time. In our case it was the former only as with the return, the MD sorted a solution out that worked just fine.
In summary, I do recommend this hotel for a few days stay specially if you are one to appreciate a beach and sea like nowhere before.
I went diving one day and the visibility was out of this world.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gullivertravels75
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, 25 November 2013
Dear Gullivertravels75:

We would like to thank you for having chosen the Racha in your recent stay and for your valuable comments. I would like to offer our sincere apologies for the disappointment you have expressed. Through each comment we receive, both positive and negative, we are able to seek knowledge and growth to better serve our guests.

Hopefully we will be seeing you here again soon for more memorable holidays and with improvements made with your invaluable feedback.

Kind regards,

Devan Bhaskaran
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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
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, Thailand

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