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.
- 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