From the first time we arrived, James Bond style, in the hotel’s speed boat and were then driven by golf buggy to our two storey, deluxe pavilion, the Rayavadee Hotel in Krabi has been our favourite hotel in the world. We have stayed in many fabulous hotels since then and have made return trips to the Rayavadee – it still remains firmly entrenched in the number one spot. For us, the Rayavadee Hotel in Krabi can be summed up in one word – nirvana.
Rayavadee Hotel, 214 Moo 2, Tumbon Ao-Nang, Amphur Muang, Krabi
There is no doubt that the Rayavadee’s location is what makes it so unique. Accessible only by boat, the hotel is in the heart of the Phranang Peninsular on the cusp of three heavenly beaches, backed by dramatic limestone cliffs and surrounded by Langur monkey-filled mangrove forest. Public areas are in exquisitely tasteful, traditional Thai design featuring teak and Rattan and every care is taken to respect the perfect balance of the surroundings. The whole hotel is so furtively designed and placed in order to minimise the impact of its presence on the surroundings that it’s almost impossible to photograph it from the outside. The service is flawless, combining consummate professionalism with a genuinely warm and friendly welcome.
The hotel’s 98 pavilions nestle discreetly amongst 26 acres of coconut groves and gently manicured gardens, each one enjoying seclusion and privacy. The buildings are all teak in contemporary Thai design and circular in construction to reflect the shape of the limestone pillars that signature the landscape. The ground floor has a teak swing recliner on which to lie and just watch and listen to your surroundings while upstairs, a bed the size of my bedroom adjoins a Jacuzzi en suite with walk-in shower, and dressing gowns so soft they should have a tog rating.
The infinity swimming pool beckons from within its coconut palm surroundings with a jaw-dropping view over the Andaman Sea. When I need to go to my happy place, it’s to here that my mind travels. The main restaurant serves gourmet international cuisine in its stylish dining room and terrace but our favourite dining experience is at the two storey, Krua Phranang Thai restaurant at Phranang Beach which is just fabulous. There’s also a wonderful cave set with candlelit tables where you can wiggle your toes in the soft sand beneath your feet and watch the sun sink over Phranang Beach.
Prices at the Rayavadee Hotel in Krabi start from €438 plus tax per night for deluxe pavilion, breakfast and car and boat transfers from Krabi airport.
Andrea (Andy) Montgomery is a freelance travel writer and co-owner of Buzz Trips and The Real Tenerife series of travel websites. Published in The Telegraph, The Independent, Wexas Traveller, Thomas Cook Travel Magazine, EasyJet Traveller Magazine, you can read her latest content on Google+