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“6 Stars...Perfect Vaction”

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Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Nong Thale
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 March 2011

My boyfriend and I recently returned from an unbelievable 3 night stay at Phuley Bay. I am originally from Thailand (but have lived in NYC for some time) so had my reservations about spending a small ~Thai~ fortune on this resort.
IT WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY.

It truly deserves its 6 Star Rating!

From the moment we were picked up from the marina (coming from another Island resort) the Ritz staff was tentative & friendly; greeting us with cold towels & water.

The moment you step onto the property you feel a sense of serenity. The gorgeous rich colors of the tropical perfectly manicured surroundings meets the opulent purples and gold symbolizing Thai Royalty are evident throughout. Upon our arrival we learned that we had been double, yes, double upgraded from our ocean pavilion to a Reserve Villa. **I did send an email requesting an upgrade and had my travel agent call as well, though I didn’t expect such a jump in room categories** Our seamless arrival process involved no “traditional” check-in, but greetings by one of the mangers, a welcome drink and fragrant traditional jasmine lay. Taking only moments, we were then whisked away to our Villa via golf cart.

THE ROOM: Exceeded my expectations. A 20+ meter infinity Lap pool, private outdoor terrace, outdoor tub, views of the ocean, first class bathroom & amenities and a bed literally made for a “king” or a giant! Opulent, yet very tastefully done; the room was the perfect fusion of traditional Thai elements (teak woods & hand paintings) with clean lines and a slight modern touch. Complimentary Mini bar of soda and beer were very much enjoyed. And the Nespresso machine in the AM was the perfect perk I needed to get me started each morning. The room is so comfortable and welcoming; it makes you never want to leave.

THE STAFF: Thai’s are known for their world class service and this is evident throughout the country, but at the Ritz they truly brought service to a new level. EVERYONE you encounter from your personal butler, the restaurant staff, grounds keepers, etc are by far the friendliest I’ve encountered at hotel, Ever. Everyone formally greets you whether you are walking to the beach or passing them on a golf cart (which if you don’t feel like walking, the staff will drive you anywhere on the property on a golf cart)

Special Thanks to Paul for being so helpful.

Special Thanks to our Butler JB for making our stay lovely, but most for truly making our last night so special & memorable. Celebrating a small anniversary while on our vacation, JB transformed our bathroom into a Romantic oasis. Complete with candles, wine, chocolates and rose pets (@ the Ritz’s compliments)

We had the pleasure of sitting with the manager over a cocktail hour she hosted. We learned about the concept of a “reserve” property and a bit of a background on the resort. With only 54 Villas, it was a $100+ plus million dollar project that took over 5 years to complete. An absolutely magnificent resort, there is a reason that Phuley Bay is the most expensive property in the Ritz portfolio. She was a complete delight to speak with & I could tell takes much pride in assuring that each and every guest has a memorable experience. The “invisible” service was PERFECT!

FOOD/DRINK: We ordered in Room service one night for dinner and it was wonderful. They do a great job making sure the food is delivered steaming hot and the food was very good. The menu could be a bit more diversified, but they were so kind as to allow me to order sashimi from the Breakfast menu…we were very pleased with our meal & to dine in the comforts of our gorgeous room. Eating by the pool was our favorite thing to do. Take over a cozy cabana and gaze into the “postcard” that is the Andaman Sea in front of you. Have a fresh coconut (it’s complimentary), eat some classic Thai “street food favorites” of Satay, Som tum and pad thai while drinking a Singha…Life doesn’t get much better!

Breakfast @ Jampoon: was included in our rate & thoroughly enjoyed each morning. Great selection of both Thai and western fare, there is no need to order off the menu. What is inclusive was way more than satisfactory!

Dinner at Lae Lay (seafood): we did this on our last night. And the food was very good. The views from the restaurant are magnificent, so I suggest going earlier to take them in.

FITNESS CENTER: For those who work out, this matters. We both are fitness enthusiast so utilized the facilities. Not huge, but new equipment and everything you need for a great workout. The cutest staff member saw that we were doing a bit of Muay Thai and joined in on some sparing.

SPECIAL THINGS: 2 words: Baby Elephant. Multiple times a week the resort brings a baby elephant (only 3 years old) from the elephant refuge down the street to play in front of the Chomtawan Bar. The staff provides bananas to feed him and there unless photo opportunities as you interact with this gentile giant. He’ll even play the harmonica, hoola-hoop from his trunk and play football (soccer) with you. I took my favorite photo of this trip with him in the foreground and gorgeous backdrop of Krabi’s unique limestone cliffs in the distance.

Beach trip: Since the resort is not located on an ideal “white sand” beach they offer day trips to gorgeous Hong Island that boasts picture perfect beaches. On the day we decided to take advantage of this, we were the only ones on this excursion. We took a private transfer via “longtail boat” (traditional Thai fishing vessel), with 2 Ritz staff members. They set up a beach spot for us and packed along snorkeling gear and water. It was the perfect ½ day excursion before settling back to the Pool.

OVERVIEW: though we are young (late 20’s and mid 30’s) we have had the pleasure of staying at beautiful high-end hotels. We came to the conclusion that this is our favorite, for so many reasons. I commented to the GM that this property is the only place where the Website does NOT do it justice. I think it maybe impossible to capture not only its beauty, but essence of tranquility in a photograph.

We will be hard pressed to top our stay at Phulay Bay. Though not an inexpensive destination, we decided the additional amenities/experiences far exceed expectations of even a hotel of this the price tag. From the room upgrades, inclusive breakfast, world class service, elephant interactions, private boating, and butler services it was a great value! We are looking forward to experiencing Phulay Bay again and the next Ritz Reserve property to open! And very well make them a staple in our travels.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank FashionTravelNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 March 2011

The hotel lived up to the hype and more. We stayed here for the first leg of our honeymoon which was possibly the most perfect spot in the world in March. You can't beat the privacy and serenity. The grounds are gorgeous and manicured. If a leaf falls onto the path, it is quickly swept up by a grounds worker. The service is phenomenal. Our butler was helpful as far is information regarding everything inside and outside of the resort. She carted us around in a golf cart as they do not want you to over exert yourself at all. Unfortunately, there was a storm during our stay and we did have to spend a decent amount of time in our room. However, we couldlnt have been more relaxed and catered to. The beds are unbelievable. They take up the entire room as they place two kings side by side and cover them with giant feather beds. Amazing! Hong Island is a must. The Ritz provides a free speed boat daily and the trip is about 20 minutes. The beach is quiet and private and the lagoon is breathtaking.

The ONLY downside is the food. The food is a 3 out of 10 while everything else is an 11. The food is not good and it is a fortune. Every meal is at least $150. Breakfast, lunch, a snack .. it's $150 USD and up. If the food was as amazing as everything else, the price would not matter but it just isn't. Other guests that we spoke to felt the same and went outside the grounds to eat many meals. There are plenty of options nearby, Thai and non-Thai, to make up for the unsavory menu items at the resort.

Recommendations:
-Tiger Cave: for good exercise and a spectacular view
-Ao Nang: a cute beach town with lots of bar and restaurant options
-Espa: the shower, sauna, pool, etc are amazing

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank megaferiat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2011

Me and my husband spent 5 wonderful days at the Phulay Bay Resort.
We had an upgrade from the ocean pavillon to a reserve villa (thanks for this again Estellita).
The resort was so beautiful and natural and the villas were outstanding, big and comfortable. The villa we had was about 150 sqm.
The bed was enormous (4x6 meters), a big bath tub in the middle of the villa and a big bathroom with separate shower and toilet. Outside of the villa we had a private pool and another bathing tub with a huge Zen Garden. All of this completely separated from the other villas so no one could look inside.

We had a personal butler. Her name is Aum - she was fantastic, lovely and very professional without beeing intrusive. I still miss her after 3 month left from the Phulay Bay.
What I really loved on this hotel was the outstanding staff (Hi Karen, Chang ;0). I never thought to find such a familiar atmosphere in a designed, modern and high class hotel like this. I think Estellita ,the General Manager, is doing a great job in not forcing the people to get some impersonal employees. The staff is great, lovely, friendly and as our butler Aum, not intrusive at all.

Further this, we had no problems at all with the english language.

They also have a huge Gym with the finest Technogym equipment!!!

The roomservice was outstanding, too. Everything in the villa and the resort was clean and the sheets were changed every day - (the bed was 4 x 6 meters !!!)

The Phulay Bay has 3 restaurant with fantastic food and beverages. The breakfast buffet was incredible. (see the pictures)

The only thing I´d claim was the missing white sandy beach, it´s not possible to go swimming. But they had a very nice beach lounge with chairs and beds you can relax on. But we knew this from the beginning so it wasn´t a problem for us at all.

Also nice, was our trip to Ao Nang (ca. 15 minutes by Taxi - arranged by Aum) there you have nice restaurants and stores. it´s worth a trip overthere.

You can also book some private boat tours, they come pick you up with the long tail boat directly at the beach in front of the hotel, and our butler Aum prepared towels, drinks and food for us for this trip.. Great!!

At our departure, the General Manager, our butler and some other managers came personally to say goodbye at 6 o´clock in the morning. I never experienced this before and I really appreciated this.

I really would like to say THANK YOU for this beautiful days in Phulay Bay. We´ll come back for sure.

Nina & Lars

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank monschterle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2011

This is a truly stunning property in Krabi and quite possibly the best hotel I've ever stayed in as far as accommodation and service. First of all, there are only about 50 villas on the property, all with assigned butlers (they usually share more than one villa, but their service is incredibly personal). This takes a page from the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok, the only other hotel that match's RC Phulay Bay in service in my opinion. Any concerns and questions are handled in an efficient and timely manner. Everyone, from the GM to the maids to the guys who give you towels, are there to make your experience one to remember.

The rooms are incredible. We rented two resort pavilion villas, the lowest category of room. It was amazing. The bed is a DOUBLE KING with a huge and beautiful bathroom AND an outdoor bath, shower and lounging area (very private as well). There are also large outdoor porches with some views of the water and great views of the artfully landscaped property. We came with our two children and one room is plenty big.

Not to be missed:
-Espa is very nice. Great lounge area-steamroom, sauna, plunge pool, raw bar.
-Pool is very nice size.
-Sunset drinks at the beach bar.
-Free boat service to Hong Island, a fun day trip-they even send a staff member to take care of you.
-Rent a boat and see all of Krabi's beauty in and out of the water.
-Ley Lay seafood restaurant
-Great Fitness Center
-Baby Elephant at Cocktail hour-the kids loved this.

To be honest, this place is really the ultimate Honeymoon/ Romantic getaway spot. However, they were terrific with our kids, and it is a very kid friendly place.

Nicely, while this place is expensive, you don't nickel and dimed for everything. Most things-like the mini bar and in room espresso maker as well as internet and breakfast are included with the room price.

The only drawback to the place is that there is not a great beach-this is why they have the shuttle to Hong Island-which has a beautiful beach. This is also why I strongly recommend renting a boat and going around Krabi. The scenery is stunning.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank bigteacher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2011

Phulay Bay is a hidden paradise in Krabi. Despite being close to touristic hot spots you will enjoy a absolutly calm resort given it only has 54 villas placed within a huge nicely designed parc. Truly outstanding is the butler service as your butler will take care of everything. Indeed the big watchout is that you will not have a nice long sandy beach straight at the hotel, but you also have fantastic overviews over the Andeman sea straight from the huge infinity pool. The hotel provides complimantay shuttle service to Hong Island where you need to pay the entrance fee as for every national parc in Thailand. Alternatively take a kayak and 15 minutes to the right comes a nice white sandy beach or rent a longtail boat for the day and go to even more amaying beaches around the islands, so its not a super big miss not to have a beach.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank weltenbummler001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2011

My wife and I had the pleasure of visiting Phulay Bay from Jan. 28th - Feb. 4th, with our 9-year old daughter. The pampering began when we arrived at Phuket airport and were collected by a car from the resort (we found this to be faster than waiting for a flight connection to Krabi airport). The luxury van was well-appointed, with a selection of chilled tropical fruit drinks, sodas, water, and snacks, as well as treats and DVDs for our daughter to watch during the drive to the Reserve (under 2 hours and an easy drive).
Upon arrival, we were greeted at the striking, massive entry pavilion (no check-in desk at the Reserve) by Marta, the hotel manager, and introduced to our private butler, JB, a lovely genie / assistant who will ensure all your needs and wishes are addressed. As our bags disappeared, we were whisked away by golf cart through the meticulously landscaped grounds which inspire a zen-like sense of well-being to our beautiful royal villa (#30). The opulent villa made a powerful impression as we entered the tall wooden gates to our own sanctuary: the villa was fronted with a private infinity pool overlooking the shore and stunning views of massive limestone rock formations rising out of the Andaman Sea---truly breathtaking! Inside, the spacious villa offered all the necessary high quality amenities, combined with scale designed to impress: double king-size bed (very comfortable---not too soft, which is sometimes the case at Ritz properties), separate room with oversized bathtub, huge bathroom / relaxation area, with his and her sinks and walk-in closets, plus an outside waterfall shower (a big hit with our daughter) and a quiet stone garden.

The "writing room" accommodated a roll-away bed for our daughter and we all enjoyed the privacy afforded by the sliding screen doors. It was our daughter's birthday and she was greeted with a series of thoughtful surprises: heart-shaped balloons, unique local flavor "signage" wishing her a happy birthday, candles, cookies, chocolates, and other treats. This really made her feel very special, as did JB's numerous treats and surprises each night throughout our stay.

In fact, one of the things we enjoyed most and will always remember about this trip is how we were all made to feel very special throughout our stay. The staff here will consistently do their best to accommodate (even anticipate) your requests. Our butler, JB, was noteworthy in that regard: she was an absolute delight, charming and thoughtful as she seamlessly "made things happen." Warm and friendly service (never intrusive) are the norm at Phulay Bay.

Much of the credit for this must go to General Manager Estelita Sebeto, a vision of loveliness, impeccably attired in her signature flowing dresses, who personifies Ritz Carlton excellence. Estelita radiates warmth and passion for her job, and this enthusiasm is pervasive and palpable throughout the Reserve. She is an exceptionally gracious host. The Executive Chef, Gaetan, is another fine example---he is outgoing, friendly,highly skilled, and will work to accommodate your off-menu requests---our daughter loved the pasta Alfredo.

On the topic of meals, as other reviewers have noted, there are typically two restaurants open each day; we certainly did not feel this was a limitation and enjoyed high quality meals throughout our stay, at the restaurants, poolside, and in-villa. Breakfasts were excellent with a fine selection----the pain au chocolat were particularly good and some of the best we've had anywhere in the world. For a special evening, try the private roof-top dinner under the star-filled sky at Lae Lay: chef will work with you to create your perfect dream meal. It was truly exceptional and very romantic.

Other random thoughts / observations:
- While there is no Kid's Club, per se, the Library has a variety of activities on tap to engage children of various ages; if you're interested, inquire in advance and they can share sample schedules (and you can also arrange for other activities outside of the scheduled events). Our daughter is quite independent and every morning she got up and went to the Library by herself and worked on various projects / crafts. She definitely had a great time and really liked the people (especially JB).
- The fitness center looked quite good, though we never got around to using it
- kayaking from the resort was complimentary and fun
- the longtail boat ride to Hong Island was definitely worth doing; you can see beautiful fish without even needing to snorkel and they will eat the bread (thoughtfully supplied by your butler) right from your hands!
- the swimming pool is large and supported by very helpful staff, with great views of the Andaman Sea
- Ao Nang isn't really worth seeing, unless you feel the need for a franchise hamburger, or a visit to Subway or Swensen's. The shops are generally cheap, frequented by a clientele comprised primarily of denizens of the local bar / surf scene. Not particularly threatening or uncomfortable to visit, but nothing new, either.
- My wife suggested we should return someday, just the two of us, as it is ideally suited to romantic getaways
- This is a wonderful place to visit if you're seeking a romantic getaway and you are comfortable staying primarily on the property (as we were).

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank Paul-Michael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2010

I have stayed at several over-the-top hotels, but this one is hands down the best. My wife and I stayed at this facility during our honeymoon tour of Thailand. We were fortunately upgraded to an ocean front suite with a private pool and cabana that overlooks out into the beach - perfect for sunsets.

There is no hotel lobby, but a wooden structure that the hotel managers (yes, managers) and several staff receive you with flowered leis and refreshing drinks in hand. After that you are whisked away via golf cart to your room.

Our bed as actually 2 king sized beds placed end to end. The bed was huge. The triangular throw pillows on the bed were a bit dirty which is why I can't give this hotel an "excellent" rating on cleanliness.

Yes, this resort is pricey, but in hindsight the service made it worthwhile. Case in point....

Our butler, Meow, assigned to our room, made our dive reservations which included transfer to and from the boat. My wife and I were a little taken back by the open air pick up truck that the dive shop used to pick us up. Fortunately the back of the pick up truck had a canopy and that it was a nice beautiful day. We didn't complain about the truck, but our butler caught wind of our reaction and picked us up after our dive with a driver, cold towels, and water. Now that is service!

To top it all off, after our dive we asked the driver to stop by a local restaurant that the butler had recommended. Since we had our butler with us, she recommended certain items at the restaurant that we would never have gotten without her being with us. We took our seafood feast back to the hotel where our butler plated our take-out meal in fine china and silverware in our attached patio. She even had one of her colleagues bring a LED candle light and mosquito repellant for our alfresco take-out meal. She even brought us drinks from out in-room refrigerator for out meal. We barely lifted a finger. Now that is service.

My wife enjoyed the seafood cockles so much from our alfresco take-out meal that she asked the butler to see if anyone was going into town to pick up a dish of cockles from the restaurant for her for lunch the next day. Unfortunately no one was going into town, but our butler managed to get 2 KG of the cockles and had one of the restaurant kitchens on the premises perfectly prepare it for her with Thai chili fish sauce for dipping. Now that is service.

As a step above and beyond, the resort brings in a baby elephant twice a week for guests to take photos with and to feed. The resort provided bananas for the guests to feed to the elephant.

The only drawback to the resort is the restaurant. The variety of the breakfast buffet was mediocre probably due to the small number of guests at the resort. However, the eggs are cooked perfectly per your order. The one MAJOR problem we had about our food was the club sandwich that we ordered pool side. The chicken in the sandwich was so overly cooked that it was harder than rock. For a $18+ club sandwich, you would expect perfection. I've had better prepared club sandwiches at the local deli...at 1/3 the price. Try avoid ordering food poolside. Ironically we met the food and beverage manager at the hotel twice - during check in and at the pool. We wished we could show him the dried out overcooked chicken in the club sandwiche, but he was no where to found at the time. I'll post the photo later.

Overall our stay at this resort was unforgettable (along with the over cooked chicken). I HIGHLY recommend this resort for you and a loved one!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank JohnnyRamma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Address: 111 Moo 3, Nong Thale, Krabi Town 81180, Thailand
Phone Number:
Region: Thailand > Krabi Province > Krabi Town > Nong Thale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Nong Thale
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Nong Thale
#1 Luxury Hotel in Nong Thale
#2 Family Hotel in Nong Thale
#3 Romantic Hotel in Nong Thale
Price Range: $547 - $1,737 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, invites you to experience your own secluded oasis at our luxury resort in Krabi, Thailand. Beyond the limestone mountains that rise from Thailand’s Andaman Sea, the virgin rainforests, and the ethereal beaches and crystal clear waterfalls, you will find a paradise that awaits - Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve. Our luxury waterfront hotel is one of the world’s most spellbinding destinations and one of the most glorious resorts in Thailand. Stay with us and embark on a voyage of discovery, at our retreat in Krabi, where the natural splendor and charm of the island blends blissfully with an aura of luxury and serenity. Guests access our luxurious sanctuary from Krabi or Phuket Airports, and they at once experience the thrill and convenience of our exotic Phulay Bay waterfront resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Phulay Bay, a Ritz Carlton Reserve Hotel Nong Thale
Ritz Carlton Krabi
Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve Krabi, Thailand

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