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Reviewed 22 February 2012

I am going to write a review based on the fact that this hotel was rated as a 4+/5 star hotel by the charter agents we had to choose from. We traveled to Koh Lanta in mid February expecting it to be a relatively quiet island, but not THAT quiet. The restaurants were at best half full, and everything closed around 10pm, including bars. Still, beautiful place, and fantastic people. But now, the hotel. As a 4-5 star hotel, you expect the service to be close to perfect, as well as everything else, so I'm going to write about the stuff that didn't work so good for us, and maybe RW can learn from those things. Everything else than these things were great!

Hotel Facilities: 4,5****
Rawi Warin promotes itself with a bar and a night club/disco, although the disco were not open one single day during our stay. The bar was always empty because of the extremely high prices compared to neighbouring bars/resorts, so everyone used those instead. This was also the case with the laundry service. For one bag with shirts/shorts/socks etc, the hotel wanted to charge us 2500B, but the laundry across the street did it for 160B. That's just stupid. Still, beautiful hotel and common areas.

Pools / Beach: 3,5***
The pools were great, but, and this is a big but, the sunbeds were horriffic. The beds on the beach had matresses with imitated leather covers which were fine, but the pool area had old matresses with torn up cloth covers which really looked shabby and not inviting at all. PLEASE GET NEW ONES. This really reduces the overall quality feel of the pool area. The beach was very nice at high tide, but at low tide it's only rocks. To amend for this the hotel has built a long pier and a seawater pool at the end which worked fine. The thing that baffles me is why they haven't cleared the rocks? It would have taken a barge and a digger 2 days max to remove all the rocks and make this beach into a real 5*****. As it is, it's useless half the day.

Rooms: 3***
Ok, I know we are in a tropical country, and I should expect some bugs, but really, if you want to be a 5***** hotel, cockroaches in the rooms really isn't good enough. This isn't hard. Just seal all the cracks and holes, and build the rooms and bungalows properly, and you won't get that sort of bugs inside. Also, there were quite a bit of ants in our room, not big ones, those stayed outside on the porch, but small ones. This is stuff that can't be hard to pick up by the staff who cleans the rooms. Yet, still there they are. Oh, and I hope you like sleeping on hard beds. These were like sleeping on a granite floor. And as in every other hotel in the world, the AC, which you need to have on during the night will blow cold air directly into your face while sleeping. I don't know about the rest of you, but a draft in my face while sleeping is kryptonite for my health.

Food:3***
Don't get me wrong, the food was ok, breakfast was good, but dinner incredibly over priced. A dinner cost from 700-2500B per person. Down the street the same meal cost max 250B at other resorts and restaurants, but you could get away fine with 150B for a delicious meal.

Service/Staff: 4*****
I would so have loved to give them 5***** here, because the staff is super friendly and they really really try to help you with everything. As long as they understand what you're saying. But that's the thing, the level of Thais' english is really poor, not only in Lanta, but all over the country. That being said, we met some Thais who mastered it well, and those people shouldn't be working in a 2** restaurant down the road, they should be working at the Rawi Warin. But my advice to the hotel management is: Don't hire anyone else, give your staff English-lessons, because the people at the Rawi Warin are great!

Room Tip: Go for the bungalows/rooms in seperate buildings. The villas with own pools are incredibly expensive, and low value for money, unless you have an infinite ammount of it.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank TordisPaasen
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 Tordis Paasen,

First thank you for your review and comments. The comments has been vital input in the new management teams effort to change many things at the resorts. I will try and address some of the issues that the management team and I have changed based on your comments.

Food & Beverage:

First, of all we have changed our whole concept for Food and beverage to ensure that our quality is higher than normal and still at very competitive prices which they wasn't before. We are introducing a beach bar with both happy hour and competitive prices. This will be located at the beach to give a perfect spot for a sunset drink and dinner.

Renovation of sunbeds and towels. The resort has been going through a renovation of all sunbeds, parasols, tables and new towels has been bought in order to ensure that everything is comfortable for our guests. our main pool area has further been renovated and made to be a an O2 pool in order to ensure that it is more clean than what you find in ordinary pools.

Pest control and cockroaches. We have significantly improved our pest control. Off course in order to as much as possible to ensure that our guests do not shre the room with them, but also because cockroaches creates serious damage to all constructions. We try to be very proactive in relation to pests, but we also ask our guests to report if the see cockroaches so that we can take appropriate action, in a more reactive way. All this said we do try to be a reasonable ecological resort and this works against our efforts to keep the resort completely clean from cockroaches, because all animals will be drawn towards clean and unpolluted areas.

Staff English is a significant problem especially in Koh Lanta. We have a policy of being as social responsible as possible, this means that we will hire local staff and try and train them up to get a proper English level. This is a constant issue and we are working with it every day.

Again thank you for your time and effort.

Kind regards

Jesper Doepping
General Manager

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Reviewed 5 February 2012

Overall, we really enjoyed Koh Lanta and our stay at Ravi Warin went very well.

They have a great property and the room we stayed in was overall nice and clean. Also, the bathroom was first-rate. However, there were a lot of steps to get up to the room (a nice work-out I guess), and the golf carts to give you a ride were not always available.

The breakfast every morning was phenomenal.

The infinity pool was great (I know I read some mixed reviews before going) and had no issues with crowds nor suntan lotion in the pool.

I did read some issues with service, and while we had no major troubles, I did notice some abruptness at times. But hard to tell if they were just trying to leave us alone, or a little rude. This was particularly noticeable at the restaurant at the hotel restaurant one night.

One issue we did have was the travel agent within the hotel. She seemed to offer us a travel deal at a much higher price than we could get outside the hotel, and when we decided to take a taxi to the city of Saladan, she pushed a pricier car service onto us (and misled us by saying a taxi costs 400 baht to the city center, when it is max 300 baht). Also, she did not mention the hotel takes 100 baht fee for the car service. Not a big deal, but annoying and a little sketchy.

Anyways, for the $$, seemed like a great value. Not many Americans stay here (seemed a lot from Britain and Sweden), but that was no issue at all.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank amitrockon
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 taking out time to evaluate the resort. Your comments has been very important for the new management team in order to provide better service in the future. Just to mention a few of the issues we have dealt with based on your review see below.

Golf carts and tuk tuk service is being significantly improved in order to ensure that they are available at all times for our guests. The way to the room is not long but up a very high hill.

the new management team do believe that we in the restaurant has had some service issues in the past and we have started a significant change to the service provided, through training and recruiting. Our guest must never be left alone or dont know if they are being ignored.

Kind regards

Jesper Doepping
General Manager

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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
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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

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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
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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

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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
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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
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