Great for: Romance
What is it? Resort
Will set you back: THB 10200 – 46000
A one-of-a-kind destination. The Racha is on the small island of Koh Racha Yai, one of the Andaman Seas’s most beautiful islands and is accessibly only by sea – a James Bond-esque 30 minute speedboat trip from Phuket, arranged by the resort and exclusive to Racha guests. Before you even make it to the boat, though, you are off to a luxurious start during the check-in process at Krabi. You are welcomed by Racha staff, and asked to select your favourite from three beautiful fragrances, which will become the scent that will be used in all of the bathroom products in your room at The Racha. A clever idea by this resort, not only because your stay instantly feels personalized and intimate, but also because ever since my stay at The Racha, any whiff of that familiar fragrance is a memory trigger and takes me back to my sensory Racha experience… they really have thought of everything. Arriving on the petite shores of Koh Racha, the water is a brilliant blue and the sand a blinding white – it’s the stuff of travel brochures. With another short commute by van across the small island, you arrive at the secluded luxury that is The Racha.
The Racha is a sprawling resort on one corner of the island, with rooms and villas strategically positioned to make the most of the breathtaking beach view. Everywhere you look, there is a palette of green, blue and the brightest white imaginable. These crisp, square-shaped buildings remind me of the architecture in Greece, while the whole outlook of the resort is clean, fresh and minimalist. However, the stunning natural landscape ensures that the resort feels warm and welcoming. There is perfectly manicured green lawn so you can happily wander around barefoot, which you will likely want to do as soon as you see the beach, on the doorstep of the resort, all in its pristine and perfect glory. The design of the resort itself is very beautiful and walking around the resort grounds is a lovely and relaxing exercise in itself.
I’m all for a firm mattress, just ask my chiropractor, but The Racha takes back support to a whole new level. I’ve noticed that incredibly hard mattresses are commonp in many Asian hotels, but it still didn’t prepare me for the less than comfortable sleeping experience at The Racha, which was a shame. However on a positive note, The Racha does offer a pillow menu, so pillow comfort won’t be a problem. The bathroom was the hero of our room at The Racha, being oversized and luxurious. The shower is wonderful, the spa bath perfect for unwinding and of course your personally-selected fragranced shower products ensure you always feel spoilt.
The beautiful beach that The Racha guests have easy access to is a public beach, which is something for guests to keep in mind. You will always find room to lie on the loungers on the sand, however be aware that the locals that manage the loungers charge for their use – also common in Asia however we had hoped this would be included in the premium pricetag for staying at The Resort. We opted for lazing up on the lawn area’s loungers instead, which are exclusive and complementary to The Racha guests, and you can’t go wrong with the loungers by the two infinity pools that are absolutely divine and overlook the ocean.
The rooms include a coffee machine but ours was quite difficult to work, even with assistance from housekeeping, and so despite being coffee lovers it was left unused. Each day there are activities and evening dining event options (such as all-you-can-eat seafood barbecue), as well as free yoga classes every couple of mornings which take place in the yoga room next to the gym, both of which face the stunning view. There are also tennis and basketball courts and a library.
The spa, although beautiful, doesn’t quite live up to the rest of the resort, though. I opted for a massage and found the experience fairly forgettable. The highlight is the design once again, with a gorgeous stepping-stone and pond pathway leading you to to the spa rooms.
The housekeeping is exceptional at The Racha, complete with a turn-down service each night and a gorgeous little “goodnight” quote. The service throughout the resort is top-notch, polite and friendly. We spoke to the owner during our stay and that evening we received a complementary bottle of wine to enjoy on the deck, which was a nice touch.
The dining is one of the few elements of the Racha experience that isn’t five star, however this is often the case at island resorts due to the logistics of getting quality produce to the island. There are three restaurants and three bars, and the food was tasty enough however not at the level I would expect for a five star luxury resort such as The Racha. Breakfast is included and is a buffet every morning, which is always a bonus when on holiday.
Koh Racha is a small but beautiful island that you can explore in only a few hours. There are a couple of other types of accommodation on the island, but none that are at the level of The Racha. You can find a few local Thai places to eat at on your travels, and will stumble across a number of other beautiful beaches ideal for swimming and snorkelling. The environment has retained its untarnished, natural beauty, which only adds to the magic of The Racha. Book your stay at The Racha here!
An exclusive beachside escape with all the luxury trimmings