Thai Paradise: Rayavadee Resort
Rayavadee Resort. This Thai paradise is set between three idyllic beaches with endless views of the towering limestone cliffs. Getting here is easy, as the staff takes care of everything for you so that you can start relaxing as soon as possible.
And relax, we did. We relaxed in our private villa listening to the jungle sounds, including a family of monkeys swinging from tree to tree (and sometimes sliding down our roof). We relaxed by the big blue infinity pool which seemed to stretch right out into the calm turquoise seas. And then we relaxed at the resorts many seaside restaurants watching the longtail boats come and go.
When we were finished relaxing, we went kayaking along the limestone cliffs from Phra Nang beach and shopped in the markets on Railay beach, sipping from chilled coconuts and enjoying pad thai out of a hollowed pineapple. For our excursion, we took a speed boat to the famous Phi Phi islands and picnicked on a private beach. Needless to say, our experience was, not only relaxing, but totally divine.
After an early morning flight from Chiang Mai, our driver picked us up from the small Krabi airport in a comfortable black van with leather seats, cold bottled water, and refreshing towelettes. He drove us about thirty minutes to a dock where we were picked up by a speed boat. A twenty minute leisurely ride later, we landed right on the beach and were escorted into a spacious lobby shaped like a large villa. The staff greeted us with a lovely coconut cocktail and another round of fresh towelettes. At this time, we confirmed our excursion to the Phi Phi islands and were given a tour of the resort.
Finally, we arrived at our villa with a gorgeous view of Railay beach and the breathtaking infinity pool. The two story villa opened into a cozy living room with a half bath. Up the winding stairs, we found the bedroom dominated by a comfy king bed, large wardrobe, and desk overlooking the luscious jungle foliage. The larger upstairs bathroom provided a deep soaking tub, shower, and heavenly smelling, all natural bath products.
We quickly made our way to the infinity pool and spent most days in wonder, saying to each other "I can't believe we're here!" The views are completely stunning and I think I was in shock for at least the first two days. The first beach that I mentioned is for boats coming to and from the resort. The two other beaches, Railay and Phra Nang, are public beaches where tourists typically arrive via longtail boats to enjoy the iconic views.
On Railay beach, the resort hosts a relaxed Thai restaurant called Raitalay Terrace which offers unobstructed beach views, or there is a small public market where you can find affordable restaurants and quick bar bites. I can recommend the chilled coconuts, ice cream, flatbread pizza and pad Thai in a hollowed pineapple from the market restaurant. There are also several booths for booking activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, rock climbing and long tail boat tours. Keep in mind though that for Rayavadee guests, kayaking and snorkeling is free via Phra Nang beach.
On Phra Nang beach, the view of the limestone rock formations is incredible, especially at sunset. Here you can kayak in and out of the various sea caves or around to Railay beach, although it is further than it looks. There is also a fertility temple in the Princess Cave where phallus offerings make for an interesting sight. On the classier side of the beach, there is a resort restaurant called The Grotto, which is appropriately named for its location in a shallow cave with a gorgeous sea view.
For breakfast, the resort offers a delicious buffet in the main restaurant by the lobby which includes hot Western and Asian style dishes with a beautiful assortment of local fruit and juices. If you sit on the patio you will likely have some entertainment from the monkeys in the trees. This was our favorite meal here, so we tried to fill up in the mornings. I also recommend the tea time in the afternoons. There are several flavorful teas to choose from which are accompanied by a fun variety of small plates.
To this day, Dan still says this is his favorite place that we have been. Rayavadee is a gorgeous retreat for honeymooners, couples, and even families or large groups which can be accommodated in larger villas with private plunge pools. You can book directly on their site or via the Asian based online retailer Agoda.com.
Thank you, Rayavadee for a luxurious and memorable stay!