Rayavadee hotel overlooks the Andaman Sea from the Krabi coastline in Thailand, perched at the tip of the Phranang Peninsula. It has a spa and four restaurants serving authentic Thai food and colourful cocktails to enjoy with an ocean view from the terrace. So far, so Thailand holiday resort. But what if we told you this Thailand holiday resort laid claim to the most scenic backdrop in the country?
Live the Thai life
Scenic doesn’t do Rayavadee hotel justice, actually. Picturesque? Photogenic? Cinematic… Hollywood was sufficiently impressed by neighbouring Koh Phi Phi’s natural charm for it to be chosen as the backdrop to 90s hit movie The Beach, so cinematic does feel a bit more suitable an adjective. But still, it doesn’t come close to accurately describing Thailand’s most scenic hotel. The beauty of Rayavadee’s backdrop simply transcends language. There are no words; indeed, your jaw will be on the floor when you see it so you won’t be able to speak anyway.
Limestone karsts shrouded in jungle greenery, jutting dramatically out of the sea; piercing blue waters, white-gold sands, Jurassic-looking flora, 250 types of ferns and herbal trees… All serenaded by a chorus of tropical birdsong and the hooting calls of spectacled langur monkeys, with the lightly lapping waves on the shore in the near distance. The scene, once digested – once your eyes are back in their sockets – will last long in the memory. But not before one or two pinch-yourself moments.
Not exactly untouched, the grounds surrounding Thailand’s most scenic hotel benefit from manicured gardens and infinity pools to blend in seamlessly with their natural attributes. Reinforcing this fidelity to nature, albeit via the contrast of contemporary architecture, is Rayavadee’s quirky design. Accommodations are in the bungalow style, dotted around the 26-acre site like woodland cabins. They number 98, alongside four rustic-chic villas whose round shape, domed roofs and two-storey floorplan give them a distinct, almost playful, character. Open plan, with outdoor space for barbeques and parties, the units also boast secluded Jacuzzis. The overall effect is a space that is at once social and private.
Fans of Thai takeaways at home will no doubt love the freshly aromatic flavours of this famous cuisine. But unless you’ve savoured this food at the source, you might be unaware of its true potential. Grab a table at Rayavadee’s Raya Lounge for contemporary Thai favourites in an open air setting with live music each evening. The Grotto, meanwhile, showcases the limestone karst scenery in all its glory for atmospheric lunches or sunset barbecue dinners. With its tempting snacks and signature cocktails, Raitalay Terrace enjoys a casual ambience adjacent to the resort’s free-from swimming pool – the go-to place for a sundowner or light bite. And for catch-of-the-day seafood and more traditional Thai cooking, stroll the moonlit paths to pretty Phra Nang Beach; the perfect combination of great food and stunning scenery – how fitting for Thailand’s most scenic hotel.