If you’re planning your next holiday, but not sure yet where to head – let me make it easy for you. Go to Phuket. Stay at The Racha.
The Racha is an experience from start to end. The hotel itself is located on Racha Island, a 30-minute speedboat ride from the main Phuket island. This is perfect if you want an island holiday but want to avoid the crowd and hipsters that usually flock Phuket island.
Check-in is at the at the hotel’s lounge at Chalong Bay – from where you will catch the speedboat. We were greeted with cold juice as the staff took our luggage and ID to check us in. We were also given a free upgrade, our villa number and asked to choose a scent for our room (we had 3 options and chose lemongrass).
The speedboat ride was pleasant enough. The boat is covered and there is seating space for all. Arriving at the resort will surely take your breath away.
Once again we were welcomed with a cold drink. Then escorted to our villa and reunited with our bags. The hotel grounds are rather large – still we had a room with a view of the ocean. The room was everything you would expect of a luxury resort – big bed, great bathroom with bathtub, wardrobe, TV with free cable and a great selection of movies on demand (all at no extra charge), organic bath products (so I hear, there is no real way to verify I suppose), free water. And yes, our villa smelled like lemongrass, just as we had chosen.
But here is where The Racha sets itself apart – the thoughtfulness. There is a free beach bag and beach slippers so you don’t have to get your fancy ones sandy. Outside the villa, there is a pretty pot with ladle filled with water to wash off sandy feet – lest you drag that sand into your beautiful room. There are no standard times for housekeeping to make up your room. At every meal you have at the hotel, staff will ask for your room number as soon as you arrive. This is communicated to housekeeping so they make up your room while you’re away and it is always perfect when you get back (unless of course you’ve got this little guy in this box).
The hotel has 3 restaurants to choose from, offering both Thai and western fare and both a casual experience and fine dining. The menu’s change for lunch and dinner so you won’t be bored by the restaurants. We enjoyed lots of basil chicken, red curry and pizzas. There is also a cute little ice cream parlor. And a bar overlooking the ocean. Of course, the island has a few other options outside the hotel grounds but we found ourselves so pleased by both the food and atmosphere at The Racha that we didn’t feel like venturing much.
The beach, which fronts the hotel, is more than decent. The sand is white and water crystal clear. There are day trippers who visit the island but the earliest boats arrive at 11am and leave by around 3pm. Other than that, the beach belongs to guests of The Racha. It really doesn’t get unpleasantly crowded during these times and there are sun beds reserved only for guests of the hotel. But if the crowd is bothersome to you, this is the perfect time to venture to the other bays on the island all of which are between 15 to 40mins walking distance from hotel grounds. Day trip boats do not stop at these bays so they remain very quiet. Snorkeling here can be better than at the seas fronting the hotel. And you can just carry along the free snorkeling gear, life jackets and beach towels provided by The Racha. Or you can simply lounge at one of the pools at the hotel.
There is much else to enjoy at The Racha (spa, free yoga lessons, biking etc) and at the island but we’ll leave this to you to discover when you make your trip.
P.S. This is not a sponsored post. We really loved it this much!
(Photos by The Racha and my sister. Much love to my amazing sister who wrote this for us.)