Is there anything more time-consuming during travel planning than searching for the perfect accommodations? Don’t get me wrong, I truly love this part of planning a vacation, but it does take a lot of time to sort through each and every property in our budget before finally making a decision. It might seem a little silly to spend hours searching for something we’re hardly going to do more than sleep in, but for me, a good night’s sleep and waking up in a place that puts me in a good mood every morning is well worth the time and effort put in to find it. That being said, sometimes it is a relief to have limited places to choose from which was the case in Railay, Thailand.
Railay is a small peninsula in the Krabi province of Thailand sporting mostly wild jungle (which separates it from the mainland), but also several world-class beaches. Because of its small size, Railay only has a couple dozen different resorts and hotels which made my job of finding the right one a whole lot easier! With a maximum budget of $100/night and our preference towards a villa or cottage, we were able to settle fairly quickly on what looked like the perfect place for us in Railay – Railay Phutawan Resort.
Railay Phutawan Resort
Sweet-smelling frangipani blooms. Koi fish swimming lazily in ponds. Luscious jungle. Emerald green mountains. Rugged cliffs. And a view of the sea. Welcome to paradise!
Tucked away in the cliffs in East Railay, Railay Phutawan Resort feels like a private tropical hideaway. With its location somewhat secluded from the rest of Railay, the resort offers guests a quieter, more peaceful atmosphere with far less people. But don’t worry, it’s not that secluded. The beaches are only a 10-minute walk away and the popular restaurants and shops on Walking Street are even closer.
Related Post: 4 Amazing Beaches To Visit In Railay, Thailand
There are three main common areas within Railay Phutawan Resort – the three-story restaurant and bar area which is also where breakfast is served every morning, a smaller rooftop terrace situated above and behind the resort’s reception area with stunning views over the cliffs and sparkling waters of the Andaman Sea below, and the adjacent infinity pool which is almost worth booking a room here for alone. Railay Phutawan Resort might not be beach-side, but it still offers one heck of a view from sunrise to sunset!
Cottages at Railay Phutawan Resort
The main draw for us at Railay Phutawan Resort (besides the pool) was that they offered private cottages. Being a terribly light sleeper, I tend to prefer staying in places where I don’t have to share walls with other guests so that it’s quieter. Cottages and bungalows generally offer a bit more space, too – a bonus for us since we almost always travel as a family and stay in the same room!
We booked a Superior Cottage at Railay Phutawan Resort and superior it was! At least in size, anyway. Even with all of our luggage spread out and an extra bed brought in for Lexie, we still had plenty of room. Besides the main bedroom, we also had a separate dressing room and a large open-air bathroom. While the room itself was a little sparsely decorated, it was still very comfortable and provided everything we needed – free WiFi, a cozy bed, a mini-fridge stocked with plenty of water (same prices as what you’ll find in the shops), and a TV. (Although, the TV only had one English channel, so if you’re planning on spending extra time in your room, I suggest bringing a laptop with movies or Netflix.)
Some of the cottages at the resort have better views than others, so if a good view is important to you, I recommend requesting that at booking. We hadn’t and found ourselves situated right next to the reception area and pool which was no big deal in the end, but a pretty view would have been awfully nice. Especially since every cottage comes with something I’ve always wanted on my own house…
A front porch! Even though our porch just overlooked the resort’s offices, I still sat out there every morning and drank a cup of tea. A couple mornings I even had visitors of the feathered, egg-laying variety, which were actually the only noises we ever heard while staying at the resort. It’s practically unheard of for me to get a good night’s sleep every night of a vacation, but I got plenty of zzz’s here thanks to how quiet it was.
Double & Family Rooms at Railay Phutawan Resort
If a standard hotel room is more your style, Railay Phutawan Resort offers those, too. They come with the same amenities as the cottages and are situated in a small, two-story block overlooking the pool. The greatest benefit to choosing one of these rooms is the view. Can you imagine waking up every morning and drawing back the curtains to a view of Railay’s rugged mountains with the turquoise waters of the sea lapping at their base?
Yeah, I can’t either because I didn’t stay in them. Ha! But it’s the same view all guests can enjoy from the pool, and I do know for a fact how gorgeous that is. (Still glad I chose the privacy of the cottages, though.) If you’re traveling as a family and need more space and beds than the cottages provide, the resort also offers an enormous 60 square meter room that should do the trick.
Breakfast at Railay Phutawan Resort
I go back and forth on whether I prefer staying in hotels and resorts when traveling or booking Airbnbs, but the one thing that keeps me returning to hotels is the buffet breakfast. I am all about a good buffet, and breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so when you put those two things together, it’s pretty hard for me to resist.
Breakfast at Railay Phutawan Resort is served every morning on the top floor of the resort’s restaurant. Breakfast was included in our room rate, but can also be paid for separately if you prefer. If you go early enough, the sunlight streaming in over the tables as it rises from behind the giant cliff the restaurant butts up against is a beautiful sight to have breakfast to. This is also a great time to watch the rock climbers as they scale the steep cliff from the school below.
As for the food, breakfast was an all-you-can-eat mixture of western and Asian dishes with plenty of fresh fruit, fruit juices, and coffee and tea. We stayed for five nights and every morning there were different dishes to choose from. While I do love noodles and fried rice, my tastebuds haven’t quite adapted to eating those things in the morning yet, so I generally stuck with the western choices every morning. All of the food was delicious, but we did learn the earlier you can grab breakfast the better. For one, it gets a little too hot once the sun is fully up, but also the flies get much worse the later in the morning you go!
Sunrise at Railay Phutawan Resort
Getting to breakfast early won’t be a problem though if you got up for sunrise, which I totally recommend you do if you’re staying at Railay Phutawan Resort. Since the resort is located in East Railay and faces the sea towards the east, it’s in a prime position for catching those delicate early morning sunrise colors. If you don’t have a room that faces the sea, you’ll find a perfect view from the pool. A dip in the infinity pool and a gorgeous sunrise seems like a pretty good way to start the day to me! We managed to catch the sunrise in Railay two out of three mornings, which is pretty good for people on vacation, I think.
Other Things to Know
Railay Phutawan Resort offers airport transfers to and from Krabi airport. I highly recommend you use this service especially on your way to the resort. It cost us around $38 USD one-way for our family of three which is more than you’ll pay if you take the bus and hire a long-tail boat yourself, but it cut out the stress of trying to do all of that ourselves.
The closest beach to the resort is East Railay Beach, but when the tide is in, there really isn’t much beach to speak of, so you’ll probably enjoy visiting West Railay Beach, a 10-minute walk away, quite a bit more.
Besides the beaches, the resort is also quite close to Diamond Cave. There is a fee to get in, but it’s worth a visit to see what Railay’s limestone cliffs look like from the inside.
Like the rest of Railay, Railay Phutawan Resort is subject to the occasional monkey invasion. They seem to especially like the path that leads to the resort from Walking Street, so just be aware and don’t carry small objects (especially food) in your hands. They won’t hesitate to grab it from you!
For a complete guide to Railay, including how to get there, when to go, where to eat, and things to do and see, check out The Ultimate Travel Guide To Railay, Thailand!
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