Luxe Stay: Rayavadee in Krabi, Thailand

As Thailand continues to dominate wanderlust, the well-travelled might wonder, is there anything new for me? In a destination known for its beaches and island adventures, Rayavadee seems like a world away from it all. The Krabi sanctuary breaks away from Thailand’s cosmopolitan nightlife, crowds, and bikes.

Read also: Guy’s Guide: Forget Phuket. Krabi Should Be Your Next Thai Destination

As first impressions go, Rayavadee is captivating

The idea for a secluded escape leans towards Alex Garland’s vision of ‘The Beach’, one he described in his fiction debut as quote “You fish, swim, eat, laze around, and everyone’s so friendly. It’s such simple stuff, but… If I could stop the world and restart life, put the clock back, I think I’d restart it like this. For everyone.” Glaringly obvious is the lack of a price tag, but surprisingly, a night rate for two starts at about USD 400. 


First, you’ll have to take a flight to Krabi International Airport or, a two-hour drive from Phuket. And then to reach the resort, a speedboat ride from the Krabi pier. The 26 acres of a jungle maze is surrounded by three beaches; Nam Maeo, Railay and Phra Nang. Rayavadee itself is flanked by limestone cliffs straight out of a postcard. Nothing much is of contrast here. In fact, every aspect of the resort down to its pavilions and villas seem to appear as though they’ve all flourished together.


Huge bathtubs are fitted into all pavilion types

The rooms: For the solo or coupled guests, there are the Deluxe and Terrace Pavilions. Accommodating up to four guests is the Family Pavilion, or for just a splash more of your holiday fund; the same pavilion with a pool. All villas are double-storey and boast a spacious, nature-soaked design with strong Thai influence.


What to do:

  • Just cruise. Take a very memorable Sunset Cruise aboard the Pla Luang, on a restored Siamese vessel built more than a century ago. Cruise the coast of the scenic Phranang Peninsula as you gaze upon views of the beautiful curtain cliffs and beaches in one swoop. 
  • Go island hopping. If you want to do the bare minimum in trip planning without missing out on anything worthwhile, sign up for a day of island hopping. Rayavadee plans their own island hopping excursions for groups, where you can snorkel, eat fresh seafood on the white sand beaches, mingle with other guests and simply enjoy island life at its finest.
Home to more than 300 flower and tree species


  • Who says you can’t still shop? Just because you’re thrown into seclusion doesn’t mean you’ve escaped the retail temptation. Rayavadee has a charming boutique shopping centre peppered with souvenirs by local artisans and the usual sarongs, totes and sandals.
  • How to spend a day in. And if it’s raining outside, have a spa day. Then there’s the activities centre and games room with a billiards table, table tennis, as well as a library. Thailand’s rainy season is made up of afternoon shower storms that pass quickly, so if you plan your day just right, you’ll still manage to sweat it out at the gym, or on the tennis and squash court.
  • Get fancy. Taking the lead in Thailand’s unique culinary scene are the four luxury on-site dining options. Grotto is one place you have to try out — how often do you get to dine inside a limestone cavern with your feet in the sand? Once you’ve checked that off, there are three more; Raya Dining for breakfast, Krua Phranang for beachside dining and Raitalay Terrace for tea by the pool. Every restaurant has a bar with a different signature drink, so why not try all four and pick your favourite?

Nomad rating: 5/5
Most memorable: Dining at Grotto
We’d recommend it for: Popping the question (no pressure)

I’ll take it

Diandra Soliano

Our resident Wander Woman with a passion for languages, big cities and bronzer. When she's not listening to The Smiths a little too loudly at the office (after hours!), she can be found singing along to the soundtrack of Les Miserables with her two cats for an audience.

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