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All reviews personal butler the reserve sunset bar butler service beach villa ocean pavilion hong island thai restaurant double king sri trang private pool indoor bath bao biggest bed andaman sea whisked away executive chef
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Reviewed March 26, 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 March 24, 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 March 22, 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 February 27, 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 February 19, 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
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