10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"It's late honeymoon for me and my wife. It is great to be here. I like Phuket. But the island is the best part for my stay. I stay Jun15-17 with good weather. And I booked the Island Gateway Package for Superior Villa with Sea View. Excellnet Service with Benz and Speedboat Transportation. Excellent Room. Excellent Pool. Excellent Villa. Excellnet Spa. The SPA is ranked as No.4 in the island spa of world by Aisan SPA magazine. Excellent Food: It is the best Beef that I tasted in my life until now at Sunset Beach restraunant. Dream Dinner with the singer can sing Chinese Song. Dream Beach. The sand went into my clothing. And I can not wash it out. So tiny!!! So Whilte!!!"
- Travel date: 26th June 2006
Sleek Resort for romantic getaway
"Just spent 2 nights at The Racha. We paid the low season rate for seaview Deluxe villa (approx 7000 Baht per night) and we were super lucky to see the High Season weather of clear blue sky! The speedboat journey from Chalong Bay was smooth and took us about 35 mins. After reading mixed reviews, my expectation of the Racha was not that high until we arrived and we were blown away by the stunning beach and beautiful turquoise sea! I was generally impressed with the concept and the decor of the villa - very simple yet still very romantic. Shame I went with my friends (who also booked 2 other villas) so I didnt make the most of the bath, outdoor shower and the stylish balcony! For the room deisgn and cleanness, I would definitely rate it 10/10. The message at the spa was great - but the price was a little pricey for the treatment I got. The infinity pool was superb with underwater music! The food however, was moderate, but I didnt expect a michelin star quality at the Racha. The breakfast could also do with an improvement of providing more varieties. The service was above average, staff was attentive but I am more impressed with the service at other top resorts like Rayavadee in Krabi. The reason I'm not giving The Racha full mark is because I was not happy with the steps going up from the beach to my villa - which they were just pieces of wood. I thought the gardener could put more effort into tidying up the grass or perhaps grow more flowers. There were still some sand and construction tools lying around below some villas which may explain why we paid the low season rate! Anyway, that wasn't big deal for us and we hope those work will be done during the high season months. Overall, would recommend The Racha for people who are looking for a change of location. The view and the beach are definitely worth coming for!"
- Travel date: 14th June 2006
I've been twice & will return
"My wife & I stayed at the Racha for our honeymoon following a suggestion from a friend who had never been there but heard it was the next best thing! I've been to Phuket before and was little nervous. I had our travel agent book 7 nights for us in Oct 2004. I have to say that it is the BEST holiday I have ever had and I have very high standards after staying in some great hotels across Australia, North America, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. The rooms were great, service fantastic and food out of this world, it is REAL Thai food. It was so good I promised my wife we would go back there for our first wedding anniversery. So one year later to the day we were back there. This time for 10 nights. The spa had just opened, we swam and went snorking all day every day. The same staff were there again and in fact remembered us, which was a great touch. If you want a secluded Thai island, a long way from the tourist trap with great beaches, great snorkling, a great spa, to read books and be generally lazy it is perfect. The gym is also great and breakfast is awesome. Food is very cheap and of a high standard. The pool is a highlight, dinner on the roof top of the library, cocktails watching the sun set. I have no hesitation in recommending The Racha to anyone, I tell everyone of my friends to go there, a great experience and great value."
- Travel date: 11th June 2006
"Right...I just about had enough of the mixed reviews at The Racha. To put my review in perspective, I've been privileged to stay at many 5* hotels throughout the world. Also, we should be clear that the Racha is not on Phuket. It is a 45 min boat ride away. Which, for me, is a good thing. What a dump. (Except for the overpriced resorts that are there when compared to The Racha). The Racha attracted my fiancÃ©e and I due to their eco friendly bias. The hotel for example :- 1)Drill their own boreholes for freshwater. 2)Recycle that water for the plants. 3)Manage the Islandâs natives rubbish, 4)Generate their own electricity (via diesel but they have plans for solar generation). Lets not get me wrong, for me, a hotel has to be great regardless of its eco stance. And this hotel is great. The People are fantastic â they CANNOT do enough for you. The employees after all move to the island to work there. Spa â excellent Food â Very good. 3 restaurants and different price points. A couple of non hotel options too. Activities â well managed â diving, snorkelling, sailing, cycling etc. ("Kop" on the the Racha beach support guys - Saved my --- when I was awry on the Hobbie Cat - thanks again buddy - you'll remember me for sure!) DVDâs, TV, good sound system (that includes a speaker in the infinity pool). Itâs all good. We had the amazing pool villa at the end of the resort with separate living room building. See the piccies. Only downside maybe that the pool villas at the front of the resort have little privacy facing the bedroom (if you leave your curtains open). The pools remain very private. Pictured here also. Have a great stay!"
- Travel date: 29th April 2006
Super Nice but at a price.
"Just got back from a 5 night stay at the Racha and it was unbelievable. After being on Phuket for 6 nights we were looking forward to the more secluded surroundings of Racha island. when we arrived we were blown away by how nice this place is .. they have done it perfectly. we were shown to our room which was a standard villa and found the bed decorated with heart shaped flower pattern and the tub filled with flowers and some beautiful mood music playing. The villa was perfect .. we were more than happy with it .. the outdoor shower and tub are great and the king size bed really comfy. The bay that the resort sits in is really nice and you can snorkel right out front .. just watch for boats .. the kayaks can get you round to the next bay where there is more good snorkeling but you won't be alone for long as boats from all around drop people off frequently in both bays for snorkeling and for a meals at one of the resteraunts at a neighboring resort. The other side if the island is just as beautiful with more great snorkeling .. I recommend the on island snorkelling tour as Mr Golf your guide knows his way around every inch of the reef and can show you all the sea life around .. beware of stone fish they are out there and it's an instant end to your holiday if you step on one... The overall cost of things at the resort ie tours and meals is a bit high .. the mix of people that we came across here are either honeymooners or rich people, some with families. this place is not for everyone and the budget concious should have a think about it before they dive in. The resort run diving / snorkelling tours to near by Racha Noi which would be worth a look and when we were there they aquired 5 new ATV's in addition to the mountain bikes for touring the island. All in all a great place if you want to get away from the busy island of Phuket .. but there is no real seclusion here just a slower pace and very comfortable and enjoyable relaxing atmosphere."
- Travel date: 26th April 2006
"Amazing resort from the minute we entered the check in office at Chalong we felt pampered. You even chose your room fragrance before you arrive. We sped across to the island on a fast speed boat and were met by the manager and his staff. As the check was completed before we boarded the boat we were shown around the resort and taken to our room. We had booked a superior seaview and our semi-detached villa was not overlooked. Some of the villa rooms had a path in front of the patio. The room was lovely all white and minamalist with lovely lighting effects on the bed. The bathroom was fantastic and the outdoor rainshower was brilliant. there was also an indoor shower cubicle and the toilet was separated from the bathroom. Outdoors on the terrace was a built in sofa to lounge on and a table and chairs. The hotel is painted white and looks very clean and modern. The website does it justice. The grounds were beautiful and the only noise we encountered was the cacophony of the ciccadas. There was building work in one corner of the resort but this was by hand and no noise was heard. There are two swimming pools one on a roof top overlooking the sea and another at the top end of the hotel. We found it easy to get sunloungers and the staff brought us ice cold water and melon on sticks. The pool bar was good for lunches. The beach has lovely white sand but it was a bit of a shock when trying to get into the sea as there were stones and rocks to negotiate which was slightly tricky and would prove difficult for children. However it was easy to walk up the jetty and jump in! The hotel provides complimentary snorkelling equiptment which was great as the bay had a good variety of fish. The incoming trip boats did not disturb us as we did not sit on the beach and it was an interesting diversion to lie in the pool people watching. they are not allowed into the hotel or the grounds. The food in the hotel was excellent. There are three restaurants we used the beach restaurant which served lovely thai lunches and a barbecue selection in the evenings. I ate my favourite meal of the holidays here, a special thai spicy stir fried red snapper which the chef specially cooked for me on two evenings. The main restaurant had an outdoor thai buffet one night which was very good and even a thunderstorm failed to spoil it. It is worth getting a bike (complimentary) and exploring the island which will take under an hour. The next bay Siam Bay is beautiful and has a beach bar. There were a couple of beach bars by the resort and a small mini market to stock up on drinks. The staff were some of the friendliest we have met in Thailand and were very chatty. Nothing was too much trouble. My overall opinion was that The Racha is a lovely hotel with no negative points and I would reccomend it to anyone who wants a laid back relaxing holiday in beautiful surroundings."
- Travel date: 25th April 2006
great yes but a way off 5 star
"A point which has already been raised by previous reports is that the Racha has a wounderful web site and excellent reports in brochures as the new 5 star delux resort. If the reports were more accurate and referred to a beautiful 4 star resort I would have had less to write about. Our problem was arriving at the Racha after 6 nights at the four seasons hotel in Chiang Mai which is truely a 5 star hotel in every aspect (and I recommend very higly). In comparision the Racha was just not quite up to expectations. A previous report said that the towels were poor, yes this is true they are not your usualy fluffy bath sheets you may well expect. In fact they seemed to run out of hand towels on a frequent basis. Yes the bed linin was not your usual egyptian cotten. There was only one piece of soap between us for a week ! though plenty of bath gel. The food was good and the Al a carte resteraunt by the pool very good but it would have been better if the waiters had a wider understanding of english. Trying to explain that you wanted lamb pink not rare was a long conversation !!(it also took quite a long time to get reception to understand that the villa had no hot water one night.) As this the beach part of a 3 week trip to the fare east we considered that the beach was the biggest problem. The whole beach is covered by over 100 sun loungers and unberellas owned by local vendors. there are no sun beads owned by the hotel close to the sea so to go swimming you have to have a walk down from the hotel. During the day boat loads of trppers arrive 50 or 60 at a time . They only stay for an hour or so and then go on but the bay is more like a harbour with boats coming and going and quite dangerous if you have children in the sea. There is a loverly beach 15 minutes round the coast which is quite and well serviced with sunbeds and drinks ( cheaper than the hotel) but it was not what I expected. There are of course clues on the web and brochures that you will not see a full beach picture of the front of the hotel. Any way in summary we had a great stay and I will recommend the hotel but have realistic expectations. if you want super delux you will be dissapointed but otherwise yes its very well designed beautifull hotel and yes it is early days for the hotel."
- Travel date: 4th April 2006
"What an amazing location and experience! From the moment we arrived at The Racha we felt the "Posh" vibe. The villas are stunning, incredible decor, stylish bathroom fittings and comfortable beds. Each villa has a music hi-fi and television....be warned if you're staying in the semi-detached villas you can hear your neighbours audio! Despite the latter you won't be disappointed! It's all very feng shui! The food at all the restaurants is excellent and the staff are very attentive. The dive school is top standard. All the sites are easy and perfect for beginners. The Spa is fantastic. It's a little over priced but well worth it! It's an awesome, idyllic island but The Racha is not the only resort. It's quite a large island with two other resorts, various bars, restaurants and dive schools. So lots to explore! A top tip: we found a local Thai man on "the Racha beach" who has recently started a small eatery. He has three wooden candle lit tables, cooks fresh Snapper or Grouper - served with a simple salad and rice. Including a couple of of beers you'll pay around 700 Baht for two! We loved it and found it an occasional paradise escape from the 5star Racha. Overall a fantastic holiday. We will certainly go back...... highly recommended!"
- Travel date: 2nd March 2006
"We were met at Phuket airport by a limo and a pleasant driver who whisked us to Chalong Pier. The driver even telephoned ahead and asked the boat to wait for 10 mins until we arrived. As soon as we arrived at Chalong Pier we boarded an open-sided bus that took us out to the end of the pier. At the end of the pier we boarded the boat and put on our life jackets. After a very pleasant 40 mins boat journey we arrived at The Racha. Each guest was greeted by a Racha rep and taken straight to their villa. We had to complete our paper work at the reception before going to our villa as didn't have time to complete the paper work at Chalong Pier. The villa was breathtaking! It had fantastic views out across the bay and all the modern amenities that you could ask for. Our villa was very secluded and no-one who walked passed could see in. Some of the standard villas are right beside the paths that snake through the resort and if you have booked one of these then be prepared to have people walking past your villa. The Racha has two pools, the infinity edged pool as seen on their website and a newly built pool at the back of the resort. The new pool looked really nice but not many people used it as the path was still under construction around that area. The tennis court lay just beyond the new pool and it was also still under construction. All construction is being undertaken by hand to reduce the noise level. The breakfast was fantastic with a very wide choice of food. The service could get a little strecthed during the peak hours but nothing to complain about. The Racha has 3 restaurants, the Earth Cafe, the Fire Grill and the Sunset restaurant. The Sunset restaurant had a relaxed atmosphere set right on the beach and specialised in bbq seafood as well as meat. The Earth Cafe is The Racha's main restaurant serving a selection of reasonably priced Thai dishes along with some western fare. The Fire Grill seemed to aim itself at the more refined diner with a fine selection of western influenced dishes. We tried all three and I must admit that I can't find anything to complain about, yes I'd agree that the service could be slow at times but definitely not worth complaining about. If I was pushed to recommend one of the restaurants it would have to be the Fire Grill but if you are going for Thai then definitely the Earth Cafe. The Ice Bar was very quiet with very little atmosphere but offered free pool and reasonably priced drinks. The Racha offers a great selection of free non-motorised sports from snorkeling to mountain biking. The library has two decent PCs with internet access so you can keep in touch with the outside world. The gym is located inside the Spa complex and offers a good range of equipment and free weights. The airconditioning in the gym was useless to the extent that you had to go either early morning or evening. The Spa itself is beautifully set in the complex, we went for the traditional Thai massage which was superb with no sign of workmen! I can't see how anyone could see over the walls into the Spa. Every Friday night the management throw a free cocktail party on the roof of the library which is definitely worth attending. We were a bit dubious at first but thoroughly enjoyed it! It was interesting to talk to some of the management about the hotel and last years disaster. The Racha has about 200 staff who live in a complex just in behind the resort so they are never short of staff. One of the managers told me that they are working very hard to try and improve their staff but it will probably take time. I must admit that I couldn't fault the staff while we were there. On Saturday nights the Earth Cafe put on a Thai buffet with traditional Thai music. The food in the buffet was OK but we both really enjoyed the atmosphere. Sitting out on the edge of the beach listening to the waves and the Thai music was definitely a highlight. Although the beach outside the resort can become crowded with all the diver's coming on shore for lunch you'll still be able to find enough space. After 4pm the beach becomes more or less empty. After sunset take a stroll along the beach and you'll only be sharing it with the crabs! If you would like seclusion during the day then take the 5 min walk over to Siam Bay which really is empty most of the day. We couldn't fault The Racha and really enjoyed our stay. The food was excellent, the staff friendly and we found time to relax and wind down. Definitely highly recommended. We will return! ---"
- Travel date: 12th February 2006
"I'm a seasoned traveller and like to look for non-commercial hotels that offer something a bit more personal without thousands of guests. This place was great: - One of the best locations and a choice of several beaches - the pools were great - Accomodation was very good as well - the food in the restaurants was very good and the service good but could be improved in terms of awareness. The staff bent backwards to accomodate. I cannot recommend this place highly enough. It has become a benchmark by which I will judge other places."
- Travel date: 18th January 2006
The Racha is also called
- Racha Hotel
- racha hotel yai island
- racha yai island