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“Great hotel.”

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Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Nong Thale
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great hotel.”
Reviewed 11 September 2011

We stayed here in August 2011 in the least expensive room (I believe it's called a Resort Villa). We really enjoyed our three night stay, and as other people have said we were more than happy with the size and quality of the room.

The next category Ocean view Villas are above the Resort Villas and are actually smaller as they lose the large rear garden and outdoor bath, Reserve Villas are larger and have a pool and the Royal Villa (which our butler took us to) have a private pool and are directly on the beach.

There are only around 50 rooms in the property, August is low season but I think even at full occupancy it would seem very private. We often had the main pool to ourselves, and at most saw 2 other couples when we were out.

I was expecting the food to be pretty bad as per previous reviews, maybe because of this I thought the food was okay, but it is quite expensive (burger $30). Breakfast is just okay as well, nothing to exciting.

Beach bar is great at sunset, loved the 4 meter bed in our room, and Yin our butler was great as well.

I would recommend this hotel for people looking for a luxurious relaxed hotel. Please be aware however that the resort is quite remote, you can't really walk to any bars/restaurants outside hotel and the main town is about 35 mins away.

That didn't bother us however - highly recommended.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank dunraven77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (156)
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English first
Houston, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2011

I have traveled all over the world and stayed in hotels and resorts in 40 countries but I have never stayed in place as nice as Phulay Bay. The service is the best I have experienced (I just stayed at the Oriental in Bangkok and the Four Seasons in Hong Kong on this trip as well) anywhere in the world. The check in process was wonderful and the butler service was terrific. Our butler Tanya unpacked and organized all of our belongings and took care of our side trips, dinner reservations and car service.

The grounds of the resort are meticulously maintained and our Reserve Villa was also not only large but very well cleaned and organized every day. The gym was a good size for a resort of this caliber and the restaurants offered good (but not great food). The pool was beautiful and the pool service in our cabana was fabulous.

We will never forget the beautiful sunsets on the beach every evening (along with a cocktail of course !)

We will be back !

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Std63nyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2011

My 4 days stay at Phulay Bay was blend of sheer beauty and luxury!It is by far the best resort that we have stayed at.As we entered the resort there is no reception but podium surrounded by water .On the periphery are 2000 odd candles that are lit up every night.The staff including the manager greets you,you have a welcome drink and head straight to your room.We stayed in the Royal Villa replete with an infinity pool and an outdoor jacuzzi overlooking the beautiful sea dotted with the limestone cliffs.The views are unmatched.We had to tear ourselves away from the beauty and tranquility of our Villa and Hotel to go into town and do other things.IT was worth every penny.
The service is impeccable even though sometimes one has to struggle to make them understand in english.We had a butler who would organize everything for us from cars ,to yoga classes to ferry rides and totally spoilt us.The area is so huge that we felt that there was hardly anyone living on the property but you would know only at breakfast that the hotel was full to 75%of its capacity.The only area they can probably improve is the food which was decent but not wow.The breakfast buffet is limited and never changes.They provide free shuttle to a neighboring island for swimming since this is rocky beach.I wish they also provide snorkelling equipment and a light snack to make it wholesome.
We thoroughly enjoyed the stay .Even our kids 11yrs and 9yrs didn't want to come back inspite of the fact there weren't too many kiddy things to do.I would definitely recommend Phulay Bay for the beautifully constructed and landscaped resort.Nearly takes your breath away!

Room Tip: Royal Villa ...simply splendid
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GurmeetB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level 6 Contributor
299 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 385 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2011

This was our second visit to Krabi. First trip was 13 years ago when there was no airport. We had to travel 3 hours by car from Phuket airport then a 1/2 hour humpy boat ride to a Krabi Resort. The shell-cemetery at that time was so amazing. We decided to go back to Krabi as attracted by the Ritz- Carlton brand.

We stayed 5 nights at the Reserve Villa, set in beautiful landscape; the room was really huge with a round sofa sitting at the centre of dressing/ closet area. During day time, I found it hard to decide where I should rest to read a book… porch in front of villa or sala at the backyard or soak myself in outdoor bathtub with flower petals or put my legs in the front yard small plunge pool. Appreciated the complimentary well-stock mini-bar and snacks, the full range of TV channels which no resort could offer, esp. in March when the whole world were concerning the Tsunami in Japan (on NHK) and keeping my eyes on HK stock market (on Now TV).

Walking to the Main pool through a rock path by the side of our Villa 19 was mind smoothing, as it was set on a beautiful greenery landscape, felt like a scene in “Sound of Music” but a miniature version. The main pool got decent size for a real swim, with 4 posters beach day-beds and free sips of young coconut. Although it was low season, we waited for other guests to leave before we could get onto one of the few day-beds. I wonder what would be like in high season.

We had 2 spa treatments at ESPA, both were excellent. Thai massage was done in outdoor area of treatment room overlooking the lush of garden. On the next day, we returned for the oil massage done in air-conditioned indoor.

Nice shuttle boat ride to nearby Hong Island, the boatman showed us the astonishing island cave and emerald waters but snorkeling was not that appealing.
The most surprising act of the house-keeping team was putting toothpaste onto each toothbrush each night before we returned from dinner!

Things let us down:
Our butler, JB left us waiting for at least half hour in the sun for buggy pick-up from restaurant, claiming she was looking for us in pool area. Another night, buggy pick-up supposed to be at 8pm, after a 20 mins wait, we saw her driving by and replied us operator told her pick-up time was 8:30pm and no apology from her. On the last day of our stay, she told us there was free ride to nearby local restaurant but the booking was full already. There were lemon slices in the mini-bar, I wrote a note to JB requesting some lime pieces. They were only present on first day, then still only lemon on 2nd day, even lemon was not replenished on 3rd day.
JB showed us the menu of Lae Lay Pavilion suggesting us to go there for dinner as it had our favourite French dishes and fresh seafood. We had big expectation but when we got there, we were astonished to find out the menu were totally different and seafood was unavailable. The executive chef and manager came out to apologize that we were given an old menu by JB.

Things to appreciate:
Heartfelt thanks to the Executive Chef, Gaetan who had specially asked for our preferences and prepared us a fabulous seafood dinner afterwards! The team showed a warm farewell to guests leaving the resort, and we were taken to the airport by a resort’s new luxurious and comfy van.

Further comments:
Amenities: So impressive…manicure set in leather case and many more…
Room rate: The resort is charging a very high 50% of the original room rate for the 3rd person staying in same villa.
Food: We had chicken curry 3 times, all tasted different with inconsistent chef cooking style.
Plunge Pool: Why is it so small for Reserve Villa? We had to request to have it clean up the debris by house-keeping before use.
Room-service: The staff returned 2 phones calls to confirm the order, when the 4 dishes arrived, 2 were still wrong.

Overall: A very nice resort but some staff need more coaching.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank GGHolliday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hong kong
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2011

I stayed at phulay bay ritz for 5 nights as an anniversary gift to my boyfriend. I booked this resort despite the price (3x all other 5star resorts in the area) after reading the raving reviews on tripadvisor. I wanted the perfect romantic getaway....

The rooms were truly beautiful - we spent the first 4hours in one of the beach villas till our resort pavillion room was ready. The beach villa was well appointed, but a bit small considering it is a higher category room than the pavilion rooms. The room itself was lovely with a nice outdoor bath. The pool at the front of the villa was basically the size of a hot tub, with only enough room to just sit in the cold water...
Our resort pavilion room was fit for a king... or giants! the bed was HUGE and the ceilings were ridiculously high. The pictures on the website do not do this room justice as the large bed throws off your size perception of the rest of the room. The bathroom was also amazing - the shower room had 2 shower heads, and there was an indoor tub AND an outdoor tub!!

Now why am I giving this rating while raving about the awesome rooms? Well...quite a few things dragged down my overall experience...

1) mosquitoes - When we arrived there were none, and we were very, very careful about letting any in... however, the cleaning staff who were too lazy to open and close the (huge) door, invited many bloodsuckers (and a moth) into our villa. We caught them in the act of doing this, and were pretty upset about being eaten alive due to their laziness. did NOT expect this from a five star resort.

2) food - Some of the reviews mentioned the resort has good food... Maybe quality goes down during shoulder season? The food was frankly average at best and very overpriced. I would not mind paying these prices if the food was decent, but quality just wasn't there!!

3) remote location - I don't mind remote locations if there is access to good food... but unfortunately we had to venture out for enjoyable meals. roundtrip to aonang (ard 15min away) was 1.2k baht.... times 2 if you want to chill at your resort during the day but want decent lunch and dinner.

4) service - This was VERY mixed. We had excellent service from our butler who could not do enough for us.... but all other service we experienced was HORRIBLE. Example: I sent an email requesting an early check in (11am) a few days prior to arrival. I got a response saying check in is 2pm, but they would try to accommodate my request subject to availability (fair enough). When we arrived, we were told our room would not be available till that EVENING!!!! They let us wait in the higher category beach villa till our room was ready, but given we had to move out in several hours, we could not unpack, relax, or unwind. The confusing part was that due to shoulder season, the resort was not even half full....

5) leaving the resort - We had an early flight to catch so had our butler arrange a taxi for 5:30 am the next morning. The taxi did not show up. Not our butler's fault, but staff on duty in the morning were very unhelpful.... I asked them 10min after the pick up time to call another cab or to arrange a hotel car (even if we had to pay more), but they insisted on chasing up the no-show cab first.... It took them 40min to sort this all out while we sat on our suitcases and waited... luckily we caught our flight, but the last thing I wanted was to feel stressed out at the end of a luxury vacation!!!

Maybe we were just unlucky...

Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
9 Thank yamachika
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 21 July 2011

We stayed here for the first 5 days of our honeymoon and it was fantastic. Liked it better than the Four Seasons Chiang Mai and Samui. We got lucky with great weather during the rainy season, apparently the week before wasn't as nice near Krabi, but it was more than that. The pool area and scenery are spectacular, the pool is so big it's like a lake, and every few days a baby elephant visits the bar area. The hotel offers free shuttle service to a nearby island that makes a great morning or afternoon trip. Overall, the staff was very pleasant, friendly and helpful. The room was great, our bed was enormous and so comfortable. The hotel grounds are exceptionally well kept and landscaped. Definitely gonna be hard to beat this hotel as far as beach destinations.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank djbyrdman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2011

First of all the positives: This is a stunning resort with amazing views and is a very unique and new concept in its design. Set on a huge area (I believe over 30 acres) each villa is assigned its own butler (but the butler is actually responsible for up to 7 rooms at any one time). Our butler was Joy and she was really lovely. The staff are incredibly sweet and could not be more helpful. The pool is great and is infinity style and you can relax in it whilst looking at the wonderful view of the ocean. The hotel offers daily trips on their long tail boat to Hong island as they do not have a beach that you can use. It is extremely peaceful and tranquil in this hotel and I would not say is suitable for children as there really is very little to do. On a negative note I must say that if you stay longer than a few days it can get slightly boring as there is very little to do. An area that could really be improved is breakfast. Having stayed in many luxury resorts my husband and I have had some incredible breakfast experiences.....this really is not one of them. The breakfast is good but lacks variety and is just not special enough for this kind of resort. The basics are missing like hash browns, pork sausages, mushrooms, waffles and pancakes. They should offer champagne or something to make it have that extra special touch. They just do not make the most out of this time and it really could have amazing impact but it really doesn't and we were bored quite quickly of it. The restaurants are ok; the thai restaurant was very good but we were disappointed by the seafood one which serves mediocre food. We had amazing meals outside of the hotel in Ao Nang; places such as Krua thara - which was exceptional at a fraction of the price and whilst we do not mind paying for good food, when the quality is not there, you begin to resent paying those prices. Another major issue is the menu on room service and at the pool bar. It just isn't varied or comprehensive enough and there just isn't (from our perspective - western travellers) enough on there. This is a big problem when you are staying in such a remote resort. There is also no evening entertainment or anything that gives you that special holiday feeling. We stayed during the low season, but still we expected something. The resort was so quiet and you barely see anyone!
All in all a beautiful hotel with lovely staff (a big shout out to A who makes fantastic cocktails) but there are some obvious negatives that, if addressed, will make this resort truly exceptional (which we know it can be!) Recommend for couples wanting a quiet time and a taste of luxury.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Natalie78_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Property: Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Address: 111 Moo 3, Nong Thale, Krabi Town 81180, Thailand
Phone Number:
Region: Thailand > Krabi Province > Krabi Town > Nong Thale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Nong Thale
#1 Spa Hotel in Nong Thale
#1 Luxury Hotel in Nong Thale
#3 Family Hotel in Nong Thale
#3 Romantic Hotel in Nong Thale
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, invites you to experience your own secluded oasis at our luxury resort in Krabi, Thailand. Beyond the limestone mountains that rise from Thailand’s Andaman Sea, the virgin rainforests, and the ethereal beaches and crystal clear waterfalls, you will find a paradise that awaits - Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve. Our luxury waterfront hotel is one of the world’s most spellbinding destinations and one of the most glorious resorts in Thailand. Stay with us and embark on a voyage of discovery, at our retreat in Krabi, where the natural splendor and charm of the island blends blissfully with an aura of luxury and serenity. Guests access our luxurious sanctuary from Krabi or Phuket Airports, and they at once experience the thrill and convenience of our exotic Phulay Bay waterfront resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Phulay Bay, a Ritz Carlton Reserve Hotel Nong Thale
Ritz Carlton Krabi
Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve Krabi, Thailand

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