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“Much day tourist”

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Ban Raya Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Ko Racha Yai
Reviewed 5 April 2013

A little bit run down and to much people during day, occupying the little beach. The restaurant was a bit boring, go to Coco at Lha bay instead. The reef is a bit dead because of the high temperature in the sea. Many speedboats get to close to the beach and drops an anker on the corrals. Nice and quiet during the evening.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Roger N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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25 - 31 of 123 reviews

A Holiday Lettings verified reviewer
Skanderborg, Denmark
Reviewed 1 April 2013

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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Thank A Holiday Lettings verified reviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed 17 March 2013

After we made the booking with Agoda, we tried to arrange the transfer from Phuket with the hotel. However, we couldn't find the hotel's email address anywhere whether it's on Agoda's booking confirmation or the hotel's website. The only way to contact the hotel is a phone number shown on Agoda's booking confirmation page. As a result, we decided to call the hotel two days before our arrival after we've landed in Phuket.

So we called Ban Raya and told them our hotel name and address in Phuket. They told us that round trip transfer will cost $1100 baht per person payable on arrival which we agreed. And then they said they will send someone to pick us up at our hotel at 7:45am on our arrival day.
On the arrival day, we waited at our hotel lobby from 7:40am but no one showed up after 30 minutes so we decided to give the hotel a call. Nobody picked up after 4 or 5 attempts. It was only until around 8:50am that someone finally picked up our call. This time, the person on the phone speaks very limited English, so we decided to seek help from our Phuket hotel’s Thai receptionist and asked her to explain our situation with Ban Raya’s staff. After we told them our hotel name and booking number, they took five minutes to call us back and admitted that they had forgot about booking but will arrange a taxi to pick us up asap.

Within 10 minutes or so, a private car arrived at the hotel and drove us to the port. At this point, my girlfriend and I thought we can finally enjoy our island getaway but then….

Immediately when we stepped out of the car, two men and one lady came up to us and ordered us to pay the driver $600 baht. We refused to, and explained to them that we had arranged the roundtrip transfer with the hotel at $1100 baht per person and will pay the hotel upon check-in. One of the men got agitated and said “No no no, this is private transfer so you have to pay $600 baht to the driver and the boat ride to the hotel will cost $1100 baht per person ONE WAY”. We were shocked but at the same time we knew they were trying to scam us. Another man was less agitated and asked us “who did you book the hotel with?” I replied, “Agoda but we called the hotel to arrange for the transfer”. We then asked the guy to call the hotel on his mobile, which he did, but then someone who barely speaks any English picked up the phone and there was no way I can possibly understand anything she said on the phone. Then the man just hung up the phone and said to us ”You have to decide whether you want to take the boat ride or not because the boat is leaving and won’t be waiting for you and there’s no more boat ride until tomorrow”. At this point we still do not know who these people are but we were just extremely upset that this had happened. Just when we felt that we should just cancel the trip and not let these scammers get what they want, someone named Adam with a pink Ban Raya T shirt showed up. We explained our situation again to him, and after he spoke in Thai to the scammers, they immediately acted like “oh I see…” Adam then paid $500 baht to the driver ($600 is probably the tourist price) and asked us to board the speedboat immediately.
So we eventually arrived at the hotel and paid the agreed upon $1100 roundtrip transfer at the check-in counter.

During our 3 day stay at the resort, we find the staff attitude to be extremely poor. No one carries any smile with the exception of our server at the hotel restaurant and the housekeeper, whom we tipped generously. A young lady at the “logo shop” (a hotel run grocery shop next to the reception area where you rent your beach towel and snorkeling gear) was shockingly rude. Throughout our three day encounter with her, she definitely succeeded in trying to make us feel as unwelcome as possible.

On the day of our departure, after we got back to Phuket, we were shocked yet again. The driver of the mini bus that has a Ban Raya logo on it is the agitated man who tried to scam us on the first day. This time, he acted like a different person, polite and asked each hotel guest which hotel we stayed at. (There was group of around 10 hotel guests all going back to Patong area) Thankfully this time we arrived back at our hotel without any unexpected event. However, this got me thinking, whether the scam on the first day was done systematically to certain hotel guests regularly or is it really only a onetime event.

I have to say, most people would have paid the double price plus the additional 600 baht to the driver given the way those scammers surround you and pressure you with the impression that if you missed the boat, your holiday is ruined. The only reason I managed to stay persistent is only because of my experience in dealing with Thai scammers during my previous visits to Thailand.

Overall, we would not recommend Ban Raya to anyone. True, KonKare Bay next to the resort is probably the best snorkeling site on the island, but you can easily access the bay from other resort as well. We love Raya Island, but we regret our decision to pick Ban Raya over the similar priced Rayaburi resort.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Raffy12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2013

Of the three resorts on Raya Island, this one seems to be the least expensive and the furthest from the boat dock at Patok Beach. When arriving at the island, someone from this hotel was waiting to greet me and the other new arrivals and provided transportation to the hotel via a small trailor pulled by a small tractor. However, after check-in, we mostly had to walk to the two sandy beaches, taking about 15 minutes.

The free breakfast was welcome and contrary to what I had been told, dinner costs were reasonable.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Steve D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2012

After a very bumpy journey via speedboat to reach the island, our first impressions of the resort was that we had better like what was there- as there is not many other choices within easy reach.

We stayed in one of the cheaper rooms without aircon. The room itself was ok, it had everything we needed and certainly nothing more. The resort itself it ok, beautiful swimming pool & very quiet setting. The staff were ok, not overly friendly, but helped when you asked. If you want nothing more than to laze in the sun and have the occasional splash in the pool or snorkel then this place is for you.

We could not have stayed much longer than this mostly because the food was consistently AWFUL. The food hall reminded us of a school camp, the entertainment was dire and the food- whether it was breakfast, lunch or dinner was not tasty, cheap or very plain. Food is something that is very important to us & we were considering hosting our wedding here, so perhaps we were more critical than most. We ended up having the rest of our meals at the very expensive 5 star hotel up the road.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank L H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2012

We are a family of four divers, who holiday to dive, but still expect a fair level of pampering and comfort, good food, comfy bed and a swimming pool. This was our first visit to Thailand.

The resort:
Set on the East side of the Island away from the crowds on Patok Beach. Beautiful setting amongst the trees with a gentle sloping lawns down to Konkare bay where there is a pebble covered beach and some fairly good snorkelling.

The pool is large and in good condition and was not too crowded during our stay. The rooms are well appointed and depending on your selection, have air con all day or only during the night. We went for the latter and it was fine.

The reception area it modest with a large open plan bar- dining area. The breakfast is quite adequate and the lunch and dinner selection's include western and Thai foods that are reasonably priced, compared to Phuket.

Staff are all very humble and friendly and happy to tend to your needs. NOTE! Part of the bread and butter income for the resort, as with almost all resorts on the island, is the daily storm of “Day Visitors”. At Ban Raya, a group of 50 to 100 day visitors pour in just before lunch and are gone by about 3pm. At first we were a bit shocked at this but it had little to no impact on our stay.

There is a spa, shop, library and dive centre near reception.

The Diving:
Raya Dive Centre is situated next to the Ban Raya Resort and Spa's reception area and is family owned and managed by Nana , Ton and Bao.

GREAT SERVICE!

Ton, Nana and Bao are Marine Scientist's and are positive and passionate about their environment. They run a friendly, organised and professional centre and their knowledge of all things 'SEA', adds a wonderful dimension to the whole experience.

They are not linked to 'RAYA divers' who are in Patok Bay. The names caused some confusion for us when we were doing our research before booking. Although their web site IS www.rayadivers.com Make sure that you are communicating with Nana or Bao.

Weather conditions were not great, so we were restricted to diving around Ko Racha Yai and did not get to one of the areas best sites on Racha Noi. However, the diving was very good. We did not expected this of Thailand, other than possibly The Similan Islands. The diving included two wrecks, coral nursery sites, huge brain corals and large schools of fish with plenty in between. Definitely worth more than one visit. Check out http://www.rayadives.com/latest-news for the short video or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE8O5N-ZKuM for the 10min version.

Friendly, professional and passionate about the environment. A wonderful holiday dive trip.

Well Done Raya Dive Centre and Thank you Nana and Ton (sorry about the late review)

We will see you again soon.........................


Conclusion:
All in all a very pleasant stay at a modest resort with a FANTASTIC dive centre.

Room Tip: Some rooms have air con all day, others only during the night. We went for the latter and it was fin...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank vAardt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2012

I spend 8 nights here at standard room 48. If you have a shorter stay you should consider a higher quality of the room. Standard rooms are ok - basic with a small terrace and even a cable TV. These rooms have no AC.

Maybe ( I hope) I was unlucky to have room 48 - the "last" room of the resort. It is ok for a longer stay when you don´t stay at your room except for sleeping BUT it is next to the horse ranch and bushes of trees that are full of these very loud local insects. They had so loud concert many time a day so you can´t even sit on the terrace during that time !!

The breakfast is excellent and varied, pool area is so beautiful !! and the resort beach Kon Kare is excellent for snorkeling and diving. I can highly recommend resort´s diving center - local Thai owned Raya Dive Center, very professional and friendly service, one of the best service I have had around diving world !!

I had only one dinner at the Ban Raya restaurant - very very slow service and not very tasteful so I had rest of my dinner elsewhere. During the day time I can recommend a mango or coconut shake - quality/ price excellent ! Had also one combo massage here - service and massage was excellent but since this a on the island - double or even triple price compared to the mainland.

If you stay here for a short time - consider a better room than standard ,I find slow service at the restaurant but - beautiful pool and nice beach for snorkeling and diving !! ( please use that Raya Dive Center - excellent !! ), peaceful location away from the jetty. Nice resort for relax.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank tarja_kihnia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ban Raya Resort & Spa

Address: 7/26 Moo 3, Tumbol Rassada | Muang District, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Phuket > Ko Racha Yai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Ko Racha Yai
Price Range: £70 - £102 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ban Raya Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 48
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Also Known As:
Ban Raya Hotel Rawai
Ban Raya Resort And Spa
Ban Raya Resort & Spa Ko Racha Yai, Phuket, Thailand

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