I must admit to being a little nervous about this property after reading some of the recent negative reviews. However, we were pleasantly surprised at the great service, and experienced only a few minor issues. (I have yet to stay at any hotel or resort that gets every single thing just right - and so tend not to expect absolute perfection).
We were greatly promptly on arrival and booked in fairly efficiently (whilst we drank our complimentary juices). Our deluxe room was one of the highest and furthest from the pool, and did not have a view. The balcony was shaded by trees and there were a few mosquitoes. It was also a twin room rather than a king bed. Interestingly they had remembered the extra bed for our son and the room was completely set up for 3 people (3 towels, 3 robes, 3 bottles of water etc). This is a rare thing as we usually have to ask for all of this, despite always booking for 3 people. We asked to be moved to a king bed deluxe room, but were advised that there were none available until the following day.
We agreed to move the next day and were pleased that we did as our new room was in a great location (up behind the spa complex) and had a nice view from the balcony. (We had to ring them for the extra bed, towel, robe etc - but nothing is ever perfect in the hotel world is it?!) I guess the hint here is to double and then triple check you are getting the room set up you have booked for. Most of the deluxe rooms are further from the facilities than the other room categories. We had no problems with the stairs and steep paths.
The breakfast buffet was very nice - more than enough to keep us happy. We had drinks twice at the wave bar, taking advantage of their "happy hour" on cocktails and beers. The service was a tiny bit slow but there was only one staff member working the bar (and only 4 other guests). We ate dinner at the hotel only once, but found ourselves in a nearly empty restaurant. With only two other tables to attend to, the staff gave prompt and friendly service. The food was very nice and arrived at a suitable interval after ordering. Perhaps the recent terrible experiences of other trip advisor members was due to the busy Christmas / New year period? We always eat fairly early (6.30 ish) and this is probably a good strategy. Perhaps the other guests all descended on the restaurant at 8.30 pm? Who knows!
We were starting to wonder if the hotel was empty until we went down to breakfast on the first morning. All the other guests had come out of the woodwork, and had also already been to the pool to "reserve" a lounge chair with a towel! Be warned - lounge chairs were in short supply by mid morning. As Australians we found the behaviour of other guests at the pool area quite interesting. We referred to it as the "swedish BBQ"! Legions of bikini wearing scandanavians spent hours, and in many cases all day, re-frying the previous day's sunburn. I haven't seen so many seriously sunburnt faces and bodies (including children) since the 1980's. I am sure our hat and t-shirt wearing, sun screen applying and shade sitting behaviour was just as baffling to them - we got a few strange looks!
Anyway - other than the slightly disconcerting sun baking enthusiasm of our fellow guests, it was very easy to enjoy a quiet and relaxing morning at the pool. The predominantly northern european crowd were quiet and laid back, with well behaved children. Not a single noisy, rude or drunk yobbo to be seen! Another warning though - the main pool is quite deep, and would be unsuited to young / non swimming children. The small pool on the lower level is very shallow.
The beach immediately in front of the hotel is not suitable for swimming at low tide due to exposed rocks, but is fine for a dip at high tide. It is only a few metres to the hotel next door for an easy alternative dinner venue. Getting to the main restaurant strip further along the beach involves crossing a creek (not recommended in the dark) and a reasonable walk. A better alternative is taking a taxi tuk tuk from outside the hotel to the "Rasta Baby" bar and walking on to the main Klong Nin beach from there. There are plenty of lovely beach front restaurants and bars going south from here.
Finally I must comment on the staff who were universally warm and friendly. On a number of occasions we saw staff taking people's babies for a cuddle and a play to give the parents a break. We also saw staff playing ball games with guests.
All in all it was a quiet, green and very pleasant place to stay. Coming to this southern part of the island is worth the effort as it seemed more lush and scenic, with quieter roads and fewer tourists.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Rawi Warin Resort & Spa offers a luxurious escape from the stresses of the modern world. Situated on 34 rai of land, into the foothills of the Koh Lanta Yai and overlooking the crystal waters of Klong Tob Bay, this beautiful, award-winning resort offers a choice of rooms, each with its own distinct style and ambience, numerous sports activities, superb dining options and private swimming pools. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Rawi Warin Hotel Ko Lanta
- Rawi Warin Resort And Spa
- Rawi Warin Resort & Spa Ko Lanta, Krabi