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“Extraordinary hotel in an extraordinary setting”

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Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Nong Thale
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Extraordinary hotel in an extraordinary setting”
Reviewed 27 November 2013

This hotel is one for the books. Not only is it in a stunningly beautiful setting, but the level of service here is six star. They cannot do enough for us, and have fulfilled all our requests iat an extraordinary level. Food is amazing, everything is reasonably priced, and the activities available fill all of our days. Cant wait to tell all our friends and colleagues. A must for five star lovers. Dont miss it.

Room Tip: Spend the money on the beach villas. Its worth every cent.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank johnmicalejr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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817 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (155)
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English first
St. Petersburg, Russia
Level 6 Contributor
380 reviews
265 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 694 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2013

We were staying this Ritz property for 4 days over my birthday.
The staff was excellent. Very polite, very helpful.
The food was below average. Good breakfast, average lunches (overpriced though), below average dinner in both the restaurants (and really expensive for the quality of food).
I had a birthday evening dinner in very nice roomy private cabin by the sea. The service was attentive, views were stunning, food just average, like everywhere for 50 THB for the dish. Our dinner for two costs almost 450 USD. No comments. Okay.
The pool amenities are very old with shame holes, used for years.
The room is simply fantastic, but "ocean view" not worth to pay more, it is just a little view. The bed is the best ever! Huge, overhuge!
The SPA experience is VERY poor. We are well-travelling guys and could able to find the very poor conditions and quality even for 200 THB. But it was costs over 3500. Skip it.
Okay, good property, but we didn't like it at all.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank alexzhdanov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2013

So…I scoured every review in the last two years before booking Phulay Bay for our honeymoon and our first time in Thailand as it had to be perfect. There were a few worrying reviews, but we hoped that given the majority were positive or even excellent, we booked. I’m big on reviews, so hold onto your hats – feel I need to return the favour of all those who took the time to share their experiences and help us decide on where we stayed.
I cannot go on enough about the friendliness of the staff. Maybe some people feel they are over attentive but have these people actually BEEN to Thailand?!…it’s their culture and they are genuinely a lovely people who try to make foreigners feel welcome, so not sure what these people are expecting. Kuhn Bell was our butler and he was very sweet and thoughtful. On our first night, it was my husband’s birthday and they put us in a private room, decorated with candles, brought us a cake and even sang happy birthday (so cute). We didn’t feel well, so they packed up all our food, including the cake so it would last for a few days in the fridge and took us back to our room to rest. They made it so easy for us when we felt guilty for not eating what they had prepared.
Management is great. They all made a concerted effort to introduce themselves. Anuj – The Head of Food and Beverage was SO lovely. Greeted us personally on arrival, gave us his card so we could call him for anything we needed, and checked in on us almost daily. The GM even came over to introduce herself and congratulate us on our marriage.
About the room…….AMAZING. Really don’t get the reviews about poor up-keep? Not a BLEMISH, and I’m pretty particular. It was absolutely spotless and they turned down our beds for us every night and gave us sweets, put flowers in the bath tub and lit incense and oils. Divine. In case you are worried about getting a run down one, we were in Villa 16 (think it’s featured in a lot of the professional photos). There is a decent sized dipping pool in the front for a midnight swim and it genuinely made us feel regal staying in this villa.
The bed….oh my god the bed. It is quite literally two California kings put together as one and then topped with an amazing mattress and cushions and it’s actually unreal to sleep in. We have spent a lot of money on our bed at home and up until this trip we couldn’t find better. This was better and then some. Given the sheets are also amazing it makes it hard to get out of in the morning.
The Spa – So so nice, clean and the massage was very professional and they seemed well trained. We didn’t however indulge in anything else, as it was really hard to justify the prices given how cheap massages are elsewhere. That being said, any other Ritz Carlton in the U.S. or UK would charge 2/3 times what they do (massage is about 60/70 pounds for an hour treatment at Phulay Bay which is very reasonable for a 5 star resort in my opinion), but I reckon they are missing the trick a little bit by not competing a bit more with the locals.
The Cons (yes, there are some).
The food – This was very hit and miss. I must reiterate the Thai restaurant is VERY VERY good and up to “Ritz Carlton standard” in my opinion, however I agree with a lot of the reviews on the Pizza and a few other things. We had lobster one night at our dining experience which is about a 300 dollar dinner (BEFORE drinks) and the tail was literally INEDIBLE. We are not super picky eaters but it was so tough I almost couldn’t get through it with the knife. We had to spit it out. I’ve never had something like this in my life with seafood. Disappointingly, even though we let them know this when they asked how things were, we didn’t even get a few complimentary drinks as an apology, which we were surprised about. Given management’s attentiveness and thoughtfulness, it would have been a nice gesture. The pizza was average at best but luckily one of their less expensive menu items. It was a bit shocking the Ritz Carlton can go wrong on a pizza. Overall, we were justifying staying on the property to eat after these first couple disappointments and the prices associated with it (i.e. 15 pounds (22-24 dollars for a burger) We were annoyed that it was 25 pounds (38-40 US dollars) round trip to get anywhere else to eat as we felt a little stranded. That being said, if you can swallow the taxi cost, there are some great restaurants 20 min away in Ao Nang (not sure I’m spelling this right), and one in particular called Carnivore, which is run by a Belgian owner who ships in the beef from Australia and its divine and a third of the cost of the hotel (but this is a different review). That being said – I must say again that the Thai restaurant is VERY good and seemed consistent as we had 3 Thai meals during our stay and all were great. Also we really enjoyed their burgers and fries and were at least justified in the cost.
The Hong Island picnic – COMPLETELY oversold in the brochure. This was part of our honeymoon package (so we did really pay for it in an all inclusive way). The picture in the ad is of an empty beach with a table set up and some pillows to lounge on and everything laid out beautifully. The reality: a crowded beach (we could barely find a spot to sit, but granted we did go later in the afternoon at peak time) a picnic basket with boxed up food and not so much as a cooler with ice. Our helper for the day came with us but genuinely spoke absolutely no English so we couldn’t even ask him what we could do there. He put some towels in the sand for us, handed us our basket and disappeared for the next few hours. We didn’t know what to do at the end of the day as he didn’t check on us once so packed it all up ourselves and walked it back towards the boat on the other side of the island. I’m not a snob…I’ll sit in the sand and eat my lunch, but I didn’t need to pay for this. Also, if you enjoy an alcoholic beverage when beaching it, you’ll have to stand in the queue and order it yourself as no one even asked if we wanted to pack this in advance so had to get it from the local “refreshment stand” which consists of a few guys which caters to the entire beach of people and only sells cans of soda, water, and beer and they ran out of beer after about an hour of us being there. On the plus side though, we got our own authentic little ‘long tail’ boat to be taken over in privately and this was a nice experience as we could come and go at our own time and were not governed by a tour. My suggestion if you go to Hong Island – bring a cooler and your own drinks and food and be prepared it’s not going to be a scene out of “the Beach” as it advertises.
The booking Guarantee – so we are not millionaires, but live comfortably and could indulge in this holiday as it was our honeymoon but when we arrived they wanted to hold 5,000 pounds (8,000 dollars) on our credit card in advance. This was actually a bit more than the total cost of our stay and package for the full five nights…huh?! Normally a “guarantee” is a portion of our stay and it even specified we paid on departure in our paperwork so not sure why the guarantee would be the full amount plus another about 500 pounds in incidentals up front. They quickly changed it to half this (around 2,000 pounds) and charged my account for that telling me I could pay the rest on departure. It worked out in the end but it made me feel awkward and feel there should be a set guarantee agreed in advance. Maybe rich people don’t blink at this kind of money, but we need to keep track of it at least and it was all a bit “fly by the seat of your pants”.
So pros and cons considered, overall – absolutely loved this place – and had a great time for our honeymoon. We would definitely come again and cannot thank the staff enough for their friendliness, but next time we’d probably plan a bit more time away from the resort and venture into some more pocket book friendly/good quality restaurants and bars.

Room Tip: Reserve Pool Villa 16 is probably the best pool villa - it even has a view of the sea and the pool i...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AMLondon31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2013

I was unsure of this place. But after receiving reassurance from Andaman Adventures that this is THE place to stay, we decided to listen and book. I was in awe of this place. Towering walls and trees gives this place an other worldly feel to it. Service here is impeccable and I could not find any fault at all. Rooms are jaw dropping gorgeous. One word of warning though. This resort is far from the town. For us, we loved it this way, but for people who want to head out to town at night, it is possible. However, coming back is a bit of a task. I will put images of this place up as soon as I can.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michael R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 November 2013

We have just got home after spending an amazing week at Phulay Bay and wish we were still there. After looking at multiple hotel options for our honeymoon we were recommended the Phulay Bay and boy do we think we chose well.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay there and were extremely well looked after by all the (many) staff - particularly our butler Kun Steve (thanks Steve!).

Our room was bigger than our house in London (we were fortunate enough to score an upgrade) and we had our own infinity pool looking out onto the bay. We felt like royalty for the whole week. Whoever the bathroom designer is for the Ritz needs a medal and we had what must be one of the largest beds in the world (no kidding).

We had one day trip scuba diving near Phi Phi and spent a morning out at the hotel's (semi) private Hong Island (which was fantastic in it's own right) - but the rest of the time we couldn't bring ourselves to leave the resort as we enjoyed it so much. Our holidays are usually action packed - either visiting tourist sites or mountain biking, hiking etc. However, we took the opportunity of our honeymoon to have a more relaxing pace.... and the poolside at Phulay Bay is just the place for it. Amazing scenery and great service.... from arranging the towels 'just so' in the poolside gazebo's to the complementary water, sunscreen and coconuts.

Okay, so there isn't a beach.... Hong Island more than makes up for it... and the pool then takes thing to a different level. If you're looking for a beachside hotel... there are plenty to choose from. Phulay has THE BEST pool I've ever seen... and you've still got the beach to look at. I'm generally a beach person... but had an absolute pleasure relaxing poolside.

We treated ourselves to a spa treatment too - and came out on cloud nine. My wife commented to the assistant manager Anuj that she loved the tea that was served... and he presented us with a bag of it on our departure. It's these small touches that really make a place stand out head and shoulders above the rest. We were also touched by the gestures during the week including daily evening treats on the bed and a lovely night where we came home to flowers, candles and a chilled bottle of wine wishing us happy honeymoon (nice touch Steve!).

People have commented here that the food is expensive... maybe. But we were only partially tempted to try elsewhere. The food is going to be more expensive than your average beach side restaurant - it's a Ritz people! We didn't find the food overly expensive - and especially not when considering what it was. We dined at each of the 3 restaurants and each meal was superb. The seafood grill was absolutely mind blowing. Maybe some people's expectations are unrealistic.... or maybe the Ritz has upped it's game. Whatever, we thought that the food was fantastic and we've dined in many high end restaurants around the globe.

I would definitely recommend making the most of the sunset bar and the Thai Mojitos - my favourite was the Lemoninga - really flavoursome and with a bit of kick to it. Each night was a spectacular sunset and we were even treated to a baby elephant on one of the evenings and complementary cocktails for the whole resort on the Thursday night.

We also enjoyed meeting the various people staying there and met some very interesting characters - a bunch of Canadian jet setters in the middle of their 22 day round the world trip, some fellow honeymooners from America and a English expat and his wife. Everyone staying at the hotel was friendly and welcoming - although it was a bit hard at times starting conversation with the Korean honeymooners in between their picture taking and due to language differences.... but they all looked as though they were enjoying their time as much as we were!

All in all - we are very glad that we decided to treat ourselves to a Ritz Honeymoon and Phulay Bay and all the staff have provided us with a magic memory for us to remember.

Definitely recommend!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank roamingfellowes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangalore
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 October 2013

We went to celebrate our 30 th Wedding Anniversary last week. While booking we had indicated about it and when we checked in the staff said we would have a memorable celebration. It was shocking to us that on that day nobody wished us and not even a cake was given. When we expressed our disappointment at the end of the day, they passed the buck among staff. But we were happy that next day they madeup for the goofup by decorating the room and giving us a cake. (But without a knife to cut).
Other disappointment was that inspite of our request while booking, there were no Indan vegetarian dishes for lunch or dinner. Daily we had to eat fried rice. Hence we had to go to AoNang 17 kms to eat Indian vegetarian food. Also they send you a mail for any special requests, none of the requests were attended to.

Plus points. - Rooms are huge and spacious. Service is good with having personal butler.
Breakfast has good variety. Spa is very good with excellent therapists.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gunda123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shanghai, China
1 review
Reviewed 27 October 2013

Last Summer, we had the opportunity and pleasure of visiting this magnificent reserve! It was indeed one of the best hotels that we have ever stayed in!!! The warm and genuine welcome from the staff and management, make us feel at home since the first beginning...We could not believe when we arrive in our villa. The room is extremely spacious with high ceiling an enormous bed. The gardens and private pool were great to disconnect and relax!!! From the rooftop of our villa, we were able to practice Yoga and enjoy breathtaking views all day long. Overall, the resort offers excellent food and beverage options!!!!! do not miss the Thaijitos and the sun set in their beach front bar!!!
This resort brings luxury to another level. We will definitely return!!!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Pico D
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 Luxury Hotel in Nong Thale
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Nong Thale
#1 Spa 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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