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Reviewed 27 January 2012

Nice hotel, nice surroundings but horrible service,
All the staff tells you yes but do NO!!
Please if you can spare the money go to The Pimalai or Layana resort.
Pimalai is by far number one, everything there is top notch!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank Monique v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rawiwarinkrabi, General Manager at Rawi Warin Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 31 August 2012

Dear Monique,

First thank you for using your time to evaluate our resort. Your comments has been very useful for the new management in our effort to change our whole concept of service.

We have started a significant training program and continued on the job training of real service and we do believe that we are becoming very competitive.

Kind regards

Jesper Doepping
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2012

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.

Room Tip: If booking a deluxe room, ask for a balcony with a view, and be prepared for a short steep walk.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Thank melscottmax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rawiwarinkrabi, General Manager at Rawi Warin Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 31 August 2012

Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for your comments and your evaluation. It has been very useful for us in trying to improve teh service provided.

You will be pleased to know that we are changing our F&B concept so that we still keep a very high level of quality but to much more competitive prices.

Kind regards

Jesper Doepping
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2012

Beautiful hotel on a very quiet beach location. Many steps to climb if you get located in the top part of the hotel but there is a small bus that takes you up to your room from reception throughout the day/night.

Breakfast was amazing, free wifi in room all staff very helpful.

Just one complaint I had my shoes stolen out of the room the night before leaving which was very disappointing for a 5 star hotel. I have been visiting Thailand for 13 years and never had anything taken from the room.

Room Tip: Room 706 very high
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Thank tracylynch01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rawiwarinkrabi, General Manager at Rawi Warin Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 31 August 2012

Dear Tracy,

Thank you for your time and effort to evaluate our resort. It has been an important input into the new managements effort to improve our service.

I will have to say that we are looking into how we can prevent shoes or other property to be stolen from guests. In general I think must of us who have been working and visiting Thailand for many years knows that in general the crime level is extremely low, however, Thailand is also changing and we unfortunately have taken this case as a sign that we need to better ensure that these things can't happen. For this reason we are looking over our security procedures.

Kind regards

Jesper Doepping
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2012

We have spent 10 days in the sunset view villa over New Years eve 2011/2012. The villa is beautifully located on the hill side with a magnificent view over the sea. Arriving on the 31th we attended the compulsory dinner at the pool side. The staff seemed overwhelmed with the event- drinks were forgotten, tables mixed up and the buffet was rather average with no love for details. We left the dinner at 10 pm to celebrate at a different location on the beach.

The next day it was raining and obviously most of the guests stayed at the hotel, we ordered room service and it took them after several complaints over 2 Hours to finally bring us a cold soup with half of the order missing.

The pool is not hygienic. Layers of sun lotion ( I'm guessing it must be sun lotion) are swimming on the surface.

There are indeed better hotels on Ko lanta, were the luxury resort seeks to meet the guests expectations.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank Stephanie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rawiwarinkrabi, General Manager at Rawi Warin Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 31 August 2012

Dear Reviewer,

First thank you for using time and effort to evaluate our resort. The new management team and I have used your comments to improve both the side and the service provided.

First of all we finish our main pool renovation on the 3rd of September this year. We are primarily changing the cleaning system from a traditional clorine based system to an oxone system. Together with this comes a much improved cleaning system for the water in the main pool.

We have changed our whole service concept because it was not sufficient nor effective when having larger groups. This means that we in the future and today will be able to handle large and small group of customers.

Once again thank you for your constructive critic.

Kind regards

Jesper Doepping
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2012

It could have been perfect…

… but the absolute lack of management spoils it.

Overall Impression:
We were there for New Years 2011/2012, travelling with two young kids.
All in all, the experience was ok. In honesty, I had to re-write this review after the amazing first impressions, as days passed by and we got more and more disappointed with the (lack) of management in all areas.

Basically, the hotel has EVERYTHING going for it, the location and the buildings are stunning, the staff is very kind and goes out of their way to make you feel special, the rooms are beautifully furnished, very clean and spacious , all set within impeccably kept gardens and a rather special pond. HOWEVER, the absolute LACK of management in all areas means that your stay is always at a dangerous balancing point weather to be a disaster or not.

It is an utter shame, because it could have been perfect, and at the end, it just left a taste of disappointment and somewhat of a rip off. In my opinion, all it needs is a serious, well trained and WELL PAID general manager to efficiently coordinate the already very nice and willing staff. Hope that happens in the future, or it really stands no chance to compete in the big league and price range is currently catering for.

Activities & Spa
The resort is very well equipped with a big and modern gym, tennis courts, water sports and dive center, playroom, video game room and even its own cinema! WiFi is free, it is a bit slow, but works.
The spa is very pleasant and treatments were good. Outside the hotel you can get massages virtually anywhere for a fraction of the cost, but obviously, the experience is not to be compared.

Rooms & Facilities
Rawi Warin is fairly new build resort (4-5 yrs), designed with a very charming and rather successful combination of Balinese, Thai and Japanese concepts.
There is an absolutely breathtaking pond and landscaped gardens ‘dancing’ around all the buildings, making the public spaces interesting whilst preserving privacy.

Part of the resort is build on the hill side with all public areas are on the ‘ground’ level, but there are several rooms build on the ‘higher’ grounds.
That means essentially two things for the rooms on the slope: most have amazing ocean views, but IT IS QUITE A HIKE!
The higher rooms are over 300 steps up from reception, and although the hotel has several golf carts to take you up and down, I would not recommend the rooms for people with young kids or mobility issues. If you are travelling as a couple, that is entirely different, as the higher rooms can be very private and have an amazing view. Whatever the case, send the hotel a note before hand, the staff is so eager to please they will most likely recommend the best room for you anyway.

The resort is located by the beach, and at that particular stretch, the beach is secluded on one side by rocks, but not totally isolated, so you get the best of both worlds.
The beach and the ocean are very clean, sand is golden and soft (not powder though. Is rather rocky to swim at the edge of the water, so the hotel has build a very clever ‘walkway’ into the ocean ending in a ‘secluded’ area that forms a nice natural ocean pool. Very cool feature and ideal for wonderful pictures at sunset.

There are three swimming pools in the resort: The main pool is set in two levels, with an infinity edge at the higher level and a cascading water feature into the lower level. There are two other pools, one on the higher part of the resort (closed at the time we were there, Dec 11) and a smaller one along the pond rooms 103-166.

The resort is big, but it is harmoniously build alongside the gentle slope and covered by manicured gardens. Most of the rooms feel individual and private.

The rooms are big and airy, ours had two massive queen beds where 4 could sleep comfortably. Bathrooms are spacious and well designed, with a bath and separate shower area. All rooms have their private balcony, mini bar, DVD and a TV with a good choice of channels in English/French.

We had originally booked deluxe rooms, those are set on the higher part of the resort, and not ideal for families with young kids – specially if they feel rather sleepy and not so keen to ‘hike’ after dinner! So we spoke with the staff, and
decided to ‘upgrade’ to the ‘pond rooms’, located on the ‘ground’ level.
If you like peace and quiet, I recommend the pond rooms 103 to 166 that are set on a secluded area, overlooking one of the smallest pools. 182 onwards have amazing views of the main pond, main pool and the beach.
If you have the budget, just book one of the surreal beach villas, literally ON THE BEACH, or set high on the slope for “Greece-like” views, both with their own private infinity edge pool, totally idyllic…

Food and Drinks
Breakfast buffet was above average with a big selection of warm dishes (including main meals as gnocchi and chicken soup for the ‘all nighters’), fresh fruits, breads, fresh pancakes and others. Very poor choice of cheeses, in case you are a fan.
Other foods in the resort are naturally more expensive than outside, but not overly so to put you off completely.

Hotel Restaurant
Unfortunately this is where the experience at Rawi Warin falls from a 4star to a 2star tops. There is only one restaurant in the hotel open in the evenings, with a sensible, but a bit boring menu of both Thai and European dishes, and a good kids menu. Food quality was overall very good, and the Thai dishes were excellent. Unfortunately the service is ABISMO and the kitchen/management seem to find IMPOSSIBLE to get the orders right or in time. We tried the restaurant for 2 nights, and in both, we waited for over 2:30hrs to get a simple spaghetti with butter to the kids! In the meanwhile, we watched as guests shouted, complained and left the place without paying after waiting for hours!
We had really little flexibility because of our young kids, and felt ‘trapped’.
It was surreal to watch as orders get mixed up, and over half a dozen meals stood waiting to be served for over 1hr, as staff runs around clueless with absolute no idea of what to do or any management at all.

During the over 2hrs we stayed both times, we had to order DRINKS over 8 times, and at the end, I had to go to the bar myself to get a simple order of 2 coca colas for my kids. The most upsetting is that staff continues to smile and nod as we repeat 5, 6, times the same order, but we have the impression they don’t understand a word we are saying, as the minutes/hours go by and we remain without cutlery, food or drinks. General manager is even worse, the man was there the WHOLE time, and kept apologizing, but DID NOTHING to get the situation right. It was painful to watch, one the most absurd situations of my life, a 2 star hotel would have done better.

Room service was even WORSE! After the FIASCO at the restaurant, we thought, maybe room service is the way out. So we ordered food for the kids(again, very simple, plain spaghetti with butter and coca cola) and over 7 calls to REPEAT the order and 2 hours later, we were told they ‘had a made a mistake’. The worst was that every time I called to check on the order (more or less every 20 min), I was told “on its way madam, 5 minutes now”. It was appalling. At the end we had to go to the 7/11 next door to buy cup noodles for the kids.
Again, general management was simply non existent, and when we complained, it felt like talking to a wall.

Koh Lanta
Is a breath of fresh air if you are overwhelmed with the typical overcrowded Thailand holiday experience’of the likes of Phuket, Samui, Krabi and other ‘beaten track’ places. Is much less populated and known, and although there are plenty of resorts to choose from, you don’t necessarily have the feeling you are ‘swarmed’ by tourists all the time. Still, is not ‘isolated; and there are plenty of restaurants and facilities (ATMs, scooter rentals, shops, pharmacies…) mostly located at the one main road that crosses the island.

Koh Lanta is a good 2hour+ trip from Krabi, with two ferry crossings, so not so easy to get to. In my view, it remains totally worth it if you are looking for a more charming, relaxed but still full of ‘thai flavour’ holiday. From Koh Lanta you can still reach Phi Phi and other islands on a 40-50min speed boat ride, as well as Railay in Krabi. There are plenty of tour operators ready to pick you up at your hotel for diving, snorkeling, elephant safari and other tours.

Outings & Tips : Restaurants

Don’t miss the restaurant TIME FOR LIME. Is a short ride away (less than £4) and the tasting menu had some of the best thai food we have ever tasted anywhere in the planet. The restaurant is located by the ocean, is owned by an European eradicated in Thailand for the past 20 years (so you can expect really well trained staff and standards). The ingredients are top quality, and they have also a cooking school running every night, worth checking it out if you are into it. Closed on Mondays.

If you walk along the hotel beach (don’t be put off by the little stream of water on the left hand side, even my 4 yr old could cross it), there are a myriad of restaurant and bars to choose from at anything from 10 to 30 min walk. The beach is long, so you won’t be short of choices.
We were very disappointed with Otto (food was awful and service painful) and whatever you do, don’t go to ROI THAI – you have been warned.

New Years Eve – A TOTAL MISS!!!!
Oh my, this was very painful indeed. We were advised that a ‘compulsory’ gala dinner was to be paid by all guests, and the price was very high for any standards at USD150, but for Thailand, it was simply HUGE. Anyway, we hoped for the best, but unfortunately, were sorely disappointed. The food was nothing special, really, just large quantities of their own restaurant menu, and a very poor salad buffet, with a ridiculously bad dessert buffet, NOT A SINGLE one was edible, seriously, it was shocking how they could get it so wrong, with melted ice cream pools, panna cottas that looked like they had been crushed by a car, and a horrendous new year cake that not only looked foul, but tasted like lard!
The worst was to find out that with a price tag as such, NOT A SINGLE drink was included, NOT EVEN WATER…
As for the ‘entertainment’, oh, my, it was painful to watch. It looked like most of the ‘acts’ had been improvised, and some where so bad, people just thought they were pranks… only they weren’t!
We felt so outraged, we could have gotten into the best hotel in the island and drunk ourselves silly with Champagne for that price tag, and all we had was a night of average food and horrendous music.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Tatatraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rawiwarinkrabi, General Manager at Rawi Warin Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 31 August 2012

Dear Reviewer,

First of all a great thank you for the comprehensive review that you have provided. We the completely new management team has used this review a lot for action plan to completely revamp the service level and the F&B area in particular.

F&B area we have completely redone the menu's and the pricing. We believe that we now can offer a competitive both in quality and price menu compared to other obtions around Koh Lanta. We believe that we are offering competitive pricing on all items from the pool side bar to the restaurants. In the Future we will have restaurant and eating facilities at night in several areas. At the beach after 7:30 pm, at the exisiting restaurants and on top of the bakery.

We have urther strengthen our internal transport support so that especially small kids or people who do not want to make the walk to the rooms will be transported all the way.

Once again thank you for taking the time to evaluate the Resort it has been really helpfull.

Kind regards

Jesper Doepping
general Manager

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