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“paradise” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Racha

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The Racha
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Ko Racha Yai
victoria
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 2012

currently staying here on our honeymoon and loving every minute. We have used all the facilities, ATV, BMX bikes, snorkelling, kayaking, gym and spa and eaten at all the restaurants and used all the pools everything has been amazing we are hoping to come back again!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank j r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (156)
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2012

Je ne sais quoi

If you know this French phrase, and have stayed at The Racha before, you’ll fully agree with me that this resort tucked away on an island off Phuket does have that sort of indescribable attractiveness about it, summed up in that one single phrase.

From the get-go, the service rendered by the staff at The Racha has been impeccable. Thanks to Shawn Poon, Mr Daniel Lim (MD of The Racha) and Mr Gerard Tan (GM of The Racha), we managed to secure last minute reservations at this lovely resort a week-and-a-half before our arrival from Singapore. Our emails were answered swiftly within a matter of hours and our queries met with adequate explanations. Due to prior work commitments, we were able to fly into Phuket on the night of 18th Feb 2012 (Saturday) and as such, The Racha made arrangements for us to stay at the Millenium Patong for a night before our speed boat out to The Racha the next day. After 3 days of to-fro emails, we were good to go!

Despite the pouring rain when we arrived in Phuket, we were greeted with beautiful sunshine the next day as we got ready to be picked up by the transport provided by The Racha to ferry us to Chalong Pier for our speedboat. Unfortunately, due to a miscommunication amongst the staff at The Racha, our transport failed to turn up at the scheduled time of 12:30 pm. Instead, we only found out about this glitch when we called up The Racha’s mainland reception after twenty minutes of waiting in vain. (This is probably one of two gripes I may have about this otherwise beautiful place and its people; I will expound on the second later.) We managed to find our own transport to The Racha’s reception at Chalong pier, which the establishment took the initiative to pick up the cabby fare. After some cold towels and refreshing welcome drinks, we bundled up into the speed boat which brought us to Racha Yai Island.

After 30 minutes of smooth travel across the waters, we reached the jetty and was greeted with more sunshine AND tonnes of tourists dotting the lovely beach just in front of the resort. So here’s my second grouse of this otherwise perfect trip – the many tourists on day-trips to Racha Yai island robs the resort of its exclusivity and taints the sandy white beach that is Batok Bay. Of course, there was no misrepresentation here – I knew fully well that the beach was open to public and was semi-prepared mentally for this. Yet, the visual display of sunburned bodies, some topless, scattered across the beach on mismatched deck chairs was a rude shock to my aesthetic nature. I must admit, this sight was the reason I stayed away from the beach that day and chose to lounge by the pool with my travel buddies instead. I needed time getting used to this.

As we were travelling in a group of 3 girls and 2 guys, we were happy to have adjoining Deluxe villas prepared for us. We were welcomed to the resort by Bandid (the front desk manager I presume) and more cool towels and chilled punch to take away some of the tropical heat. Our luggage was brought up to the villas without hesitation and we ascended up the slopes to our villas with ipod in hand. Our rooms were warmly lit and the white sheets nicely pressed. It was evident in the layout of the room that the establishment paid a lot of attention to detail – down to the little frog sitting on the bedside table. A lovely bottle of red was left in the boys’ room, courtesy of Gerard, the GM. Despite the initial grouses, our day was on its way to a lovely start.

Eager to visit the famed infinity pool, we got changed and headed straight for the pool about 100 metres from our villa. A pity the sky got rather cloudy and we didn’t get much of a tan. But the pool was rather quiet and we managed to get 5 deck chairs to lounge on, in front of the Earth café. Wifi was a little patchy but then again, the whole purpose of the trip was to get away from work and social dalliances back in the city! We visited the Fire Grill (which is actually the Earth café transformed at night) and I must praise the restaurant for its lamb chops which were done to perfection (although there was a bit of trepidation when the waiter didn’t understand that I wanted my lamb MEDIUM and repeatedly asked me if I’ll like medium well or medium rare). Having met some fellow Singaporeans earlier, we followed up with some after dinner drinks to the Ice Bar. The caiprioska and capirinha, amongst other lovely drinks like the lemongrass martini, were mixed very well! There were some cosy couches placed in the alfresco area which we didn’t have a chance to enjoy due to our large group size.

The highlights of our second day most definitely were the trip to the Anumba Spa and the welcome drinks and canapés in the evening. After a late night of drinks, we woke up rather late and had only 15 minutes to grab breakfast! The spread was lovely – I am a fan of plain greek yoghurt but the strawberry one at The Racha was really yummy! Bits of real strawberry pickled the yoghurt and I was sold. We decided to get spa massage packages for us all – the boys enjoyed the men’s spa package whilst the girls got pampered with the Marine Getaway spa package. I love how the spa is beautifully illuminated by natural light and the designers stayed away from dusty heavy curtains that most other spas are fond of, in keeping with the environmental concept of the place. The spa manager, Joy, made sure we were all well taken care of and for this I’m grateful. Our spa session began with a steam session, followed by a lovely yoghurt scrub that smelled of everything delicious and yummy. As I washed off the scrub, I felt surrounded by this lovely scent of walnut, avocado, yoghurt, granola mixed with a little bit of lemongrass. I felt positively yummy enough to eat! The massage was equally good – my therapist paid attention to the tense upper and lower back muscles of mine and extra kneading done to ease the tension in these areas. All without my asking!

By the time it was done, I was ready for bed … at 4 pm! After a quick shuteye, I finally got up to meet the rest by the pool and was glad I did! There was a canapés+drinks reception atop the roof above the library hosted by the GM Mr Gerard Tan – just the kind I love. Set against a natural backdrop of a lovely sunset, there were conversations abound. The guests at this resort are truly international – there were Koreans, Australians, Austrians, a lovely couple from Lincolnshire, Bulgarians, Russian, Americans, Germans and of course, our group of Singaporeans! Being the ever wonderful host, Gerard the GM made an effort to get to know and mingle with each and every group present. Kudos to Mark the chef who kept re-filling our canapé table with more yummies. We finished off the evening thereafter with a seafood dinner by the barbeque restaurant out by the beach which was pretty good. The tiger prawns were HUGE and were really fresh. I must really recommend the tiger prawn vermicelli which was positively delish!

That evening, we were invited over to the GM villa for after dinner drinks. There, we got to meet more of the staff on a more intimate level – there was the birthday boy who turned 42 (in charge of housekeeping), Joy the spa manager, Oh or Ho the financial controller, and the head of engineering. The lovely evening was peppered with conversations and laughter, any tension easily eased by a glass of Johnny Walker on the rocks or a tall glass of white wine. The manner in which Gerard interacted with his staff deserved much respect – there were just the right proportions of respect, deference to the boss and mutual trust. The staff felt comfortable enough to be themselves and unwind after a long day in the home of the boss – a rare gem of a boss for the employed. It must be extremely trying to manage a place so detached from any other form of infrastructure, such as water and electricity – a luxury that the hotels on the mainland take for granted – and I must say, combined with the passion of the owner (Mr Daniel Lim), the team at The Racha have done a splendid job under the guidance of Gerard. If you should be tracking (which I did prior to this trip), the reviews of this resort have only started pouring in after 2007, the year when Mr Gerard Tan took over the reins of this solitary but solid stallion of an establishment.

We couldn’t bear to leave the place, which I eventually had to yesterday. But not before snorkeling out at Batok beach and enjoying the warm kisses of the sun’s rays on my back. I left The Racha with more than a tan and a positive glow; I left the island with my heart back in villa 346, back with the Anumba Spa and the lovely staff of The Racha. Indeed this trip gave me more than I’d expected – my body was refreshed, my mind completely recharged with thoughts of those amazing conversations I had with my travel buddies and new friends made at the resort and my soul willing the body to return back to this mortal paradise … Thank you to Mr Daniel Lim, Mr Gerard Tan, Bandid, Joy, Oh/Ho and to the many resort staff who made this trip so memorable and pleasant.

It’s the je ne sais quoi feeling. (:

- Doc Janice

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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Janice L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2012

My husband and I tacked on 6 nights to the end of a busy holiday in Phuket and koh samui. It was the perfect end to our holiday. Pure relaxation.

We stayed in a deluxe villa and it really was all we needed. We got a deal on agoda otherwise we wouldn't have been able to afford it. I thought that we would be missing out by staying in the most basic room but we were in villa 312 and had a little sea view and it was in excellent proximity to everything. I also thought that the outdoor shower was great. So refreshing on a humid day.

All restaurants are of high standard serving delicious, fresh food (and I am quite picky with my food) All restaurants differ in price but as it is on a secluded island it is pricey ranging anywhere from $25 aud- $150aud total and we did expect this but it did come as a shock after our stay in Phuket where everything is very cheap.

As others mentioned, there are lots of boat trippers that come to the island but it didnt bother us and the hotel staff kept visitors out of the grounds. All staff members were fabulous and friendly.Buffet breakfast was sufficient and all food was fresh. Coffee was good.

My only criticism of the hotel is that all activities are VERY expensive. A trip to James bond island will set you back $240 aud/ person where you could get this for $40 aud/head in Phuket. We wanted to do an island trip but it was out of our price range. We did however, do the sunset ATV ride which worked out to be $78 aud/couple for an hour. Expensive, but was a good way to see the island and the husband enjoyed the activity time. The free movies on the tv were appreciated.

We loved our stay and hope to return one day.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kathryn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beaulieu, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2012

We spent 12 nights at this fantastic resort over Christmas and New Year and had a really memorable time.
We had looked at several options in Thailand and chose The Racha because it looked to be a fairly tranquil yet modern ‘barefoot’ destination, away from the masses and pollution on Phuket. We had read about the 45 minute boat trip to get to the island so were not surprised when asked to don life jackets and were warned that it might be a little rough in the bay – if you don’t like boat trips don’t chose to visit an island that you can only reach by boat!! All the little touches made the difference, cold towels and water in our private transfer from Phuket airport to the reception by the quay – the cooling drinks offered when we arrived on the island – and being shown straight to our villa without the usual check in hassle all made a favourable impression.
Our Grand Deluxe Villa had sea glimpses when we arrived - on our return to the villa that evening the gardeners had come and trimmed down some of the foliage so that our view was improved! This really set the tone for the service over the rest of our stay. The staff, to a person, so friendly and helpful. There were little gifts left on our bed every night, fab tunes on the complimentary ipod to listen to, fresh fruit in our villa every day, complimentary bottles of wine... The Christmas Eve dinner on the lawns, with wonderful food, fireworks, and lanterns on our first night, set the tone for what was an amazing holiday. The attention to detail, friendly staff (from the poolside waiter who remembered our favourite cocktails to the general manager who made such an effort to make us welcome, stopping by in the bar or on the beach for a chat). We enjoyed several treatments in the beautiful spa, and took our pick each day between the 'garden' pool (where we were often the only guests), the infinity pool overlooking the beach, or beachside loungers reserved for hotel guests.
What a privilege to be staying in such a unique and picturesque setting that day trippers want to come and spend time enjoying it too! We did visit Patong on Phuket for some retail therapy but could not wait to get back to The Racha. We enjoyed people watching each day, but when we tired of that, what a bonus to find another stunning, and less populated beach, a five minute walk from the hotel.
The food here is not mentioned by many reviewers: we were stunned by the freshness, choice and quality of everything we ate! I love cooking and can be quite critical of poor food standards but each meal we had was freshly made, carefully cooked to order and served with considerable pride and attention to detail. Wonderful. Although most of the wine list appeared at first glance to be at the (wrong) edge of our budget, we were guided by the bar staff and soon found bottles that were affordable and drinkable – The Racha ‘own label’ house whites and red were surprisingly good (the red was left in our villa as a gift and, when we drank it another one replaced it the next day!) The daily breakfast buffet was easily one of the best I’ve ever experienced (certainly with the widest choice of foods to cater for visitors from all over the globe).
The New Year's Eve gala was a triumph - spectacular displays of food and stations with chefs ready to make anything to order from a spicy Thai salad to lobster Thermidor. The staff had rehearsed hard and gave us a very entertaining ‘variety’ show. The house band accompanied them. The fireworks at midnight, and being able to see the New Year in, barefoot in the sand, on this beautiful island’s shore, were particular highlights.

We saved hard for a special holiday – our first proper trip together – and wanted to ‘get away’ from all the hassle and bad weather in England over Christmas and New Year; we will not be able to take a holiday like this again for a long time. It was worth every penny. Thank you everyone at The Racha for a truly memorable start to 2012. We’ll be back one day – we hope.
Richard & Alex xx

Room Tip: Reserve a Grand Deluxe and ask for a sea view at the time of booking. Some of the 'original'...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RJF63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chesterfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2012

We have just spent 7 nights in a sea view villa. The villa was absolutely stunning with every amenity such as flat screen 40" tv enormous DVD library and very up to date. The staff were very courteous and made you feel like millionaires, all under the guidance of the GM Mr. Tan and his deputy Bandid. I saw them both carrying out checks of villas, pools, restaurants and ensuring the quality of service for guests. The managers cocktail party was an excellent idea and brought guest and staff together. We will definitely return next year.
David and Barbara

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank David C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Racha

Property: The Racha
Address: 42/12-13 Moo 5 Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83130, Thailand
Phone Number:
Region: Thailand > Phuket > Ko Racha Yai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Ko Racha Yai
Price range (per night): RM1,014 - RM2,263
Hotel Class:5 star — The Racha 5*
Number of rooms: 85
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just 12 miles south of Phuket on Racha Yai island, The Racha is Thailand's premier deluxe island hideaway. Set on a pristine white-powdery beach and surrounded by the dazzling turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea, this five star resort features 70 stylish villas offering the ultimate in luxurious comfort, from private pool villas with underwater music, to a very unique 5-storey Lighthouse Pool Villa with an observation deck offering panoramic views around the island. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Racha Hotel Ko Racha Yai
Racha Hotel Yai Island
Racha Yai Island
Racha Phuket
The Racha Ko Racha Yai, Phuket, Thailand

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