Luxury and mid-range resorts dominate the Railay beach hotel scene, and it’s certainly the magical kind of place that’s worth a splurge for a couple of nights
Railay Beach hotels are fairly limited in number due to the relatively small area available for building accommodation in the area. As such, demand is high and most places have upgraded in recent years leaving few real budget resorts or guesthouses.
Given Railay’s small size and ever-growing popularity, and it’s worth booking in advance especially during popular times (July/ August and Christmas / New Year) to ensure you get your first choice.
Here are our suggestions about the best places to stay on Railay Beach for high end to budget hotel categories. Each of these hotels get consistently good reviews from previous guests, but be sure to read them yourself to get a feel for each place and which one would suit you best
Luxury Railay Beach Hotels
Located at the heart of the Phranang Peninsular the Rayavadee is set amongst tropical gardens and coconut groves set against a backdrop of sheer cliffs. It is beautifully styled with 98 two story pavilions and 4 private villas bordered by three beaches.
They have gone to real trouble to create a place that merges with the gorgeous natural surroundings. As jungle lodges go this one is at the top end of luxury and it is incredibly peaceful apart from the occasional distressed bit of monkey screeching.
Dining wise the food is pretty good but essentially overpriced for what it is – as ever, you are paying for location.
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This place is best described as palatial. The rooms are spacious, clean and bright. Apart from the standard fittings, they also have huge, custom-built bathtubs. The hotel has a decent spa, which offers a complimentary 15-minute treatment.
The rooms range from deluxe to something as impressively named as a ‘presidential villa’ although there is actually no requirement to be a head of state to stay in it.
This is rivaled in grandeur only by something billed as the ‘Deluxe Elegant Room’, implying that the standard deluxe rooms are totally inelegant which is actually not the case since they too contain towels folded to look like swans and are actually very elegant indeed.
Bhu Nga Thani Resort and Spa is located on Railay East where it looks on to the preserved mangrove forest and the ocean beyond. It is a secluded location.
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Right on the beach with an absolutely fantastic swimming pool this hotel enjoys one of the most prime locations in the whole Krabi area. The rooms are huge and whilst the décor is not exactly imaginative, it is not cloying either.
The resort shows its age in some places – such as old-fashioned air-conditioning in some rooms, and quite weak water pressure at times – but it is generally a well kept and maintained property.
By law all towels on Railay most be folded to look like amorous swans and the Railay Village Resort is no exception.
The restaurant here is perfectly located to catch the sunset and whilst the service is a little slow, the food is serviceable.
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Mid-Range Railay Beach Hotels
Airy, bright and white this is one of the few Railay resorts with direct beachfront access, which makes it ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to have to walk to the beach even if it’s only 5 minutes away. The rooms are set within beautiful grounds and each room is divided in two with plenty of space and good facilities. Each room has its own terrace and is surrounded by trees and garden.
Food is quite hit and miss in the restaurant and also relatively expensive for Thailand – fairly inevitable for a place with a captive audience like Railay, but there are several alternatives nearby so it’s not a dealbreaker.
It is also perfectly located to allow access to the main shopping and restaurant strip that houses all the entertainment and nightlife although that is a fairly subdued affair on peaceful Railay.
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This hotel is designed with a vague nod to northern Thai ‘Lanna’ styling. This means that there is a lot of wood everywhere dotted with coloured silk soft furnishings. It all works rather well and the place has a real homely elegance and character, rather than feeling you are in some anonymous chain hotel.
The rooms are not overly luxurious but they are very spacious and some have decent-sized balconies too. It has a good pool with a Jacuzzi section. The restaurant does a nice line in healthy breakfasts with plenty of fruit and muesli.
Sunrise Tropical Resort is located on East Railay beach which is not that great for swimming, but it’s a brief walk to get to West Railay beach and Phra Nang beach.
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The Railay Great View has gone for a rustic look with Thai architecture and wooden style cottages and is nestled amongst hills and tropical greenery landscape. There are 27 rooms, with a kind of bamboo jungle lodge theme to them although all the amenities very modern indeed.
There is a problem at Railay Great View with noise. One is in close earshot of long tail boat parking so one can hear the revving of engines at early hours and there is also a contingent of simian hooligans (without any long tail boats) often living it up in the wee wee hours… But that’s jungles for you. Monkeys live in them.
The resort is up a hill a bit and getting to the rooms is a bit of a climb, but it’s a nice alternative to being right on the beach.
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Right on West Railay beach beside what passes for a main thoroughfare on Railay, the Sand Sea Resort is in an excellent location. In terms of facilities it is a solid option and the rooms are very large. The Sand Sea does not make any pretense towards being a luxury hotel but it provides the essentials.
The beachside restaurant is a real plus with great views and good seafood. You are also only a few steps away from plenty of other bar and dining options too.
The hotel is not without flaws though. The staff seem a little overworked and service is slow. Nor does the wifi work in all the rooms. What you are paying for here is location, but it is a pity they cannot fix these practical problems.
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This hotel is right in between the two beaches of Railay (Railay West and Railay East). It has a good pool and you also have access to the Railay Bay Resort pool, which is right on the beach, with great sunset views.
Being in the lee of a huge limestone karst, the Railay Princess resort enjoys a unique and atmospheric setting. You are also near the superb Phra Nang Beach, which is one of the finest stretches of sand in all of Thailand.
The Railay Princess Resort and Spa is currently being given an extreme makeover, so while it will retain the same location it should have more modern amenities and rooms once they’ve finished by the beginning of November 2012. Prices will no doubt increase with the improvements too.
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Cheap Railay Beach Hotels
Railay Phutawan Resort is really the only place where one can still find budget accommodation on Railay although it also has rooms that would be better classed as mid range.
Located on a high slope of the island, this is a nice change from the beach side hotels, although it is a bit of a hike to get there. It is a relaxing place with friendly staff.
They also run a cookery school within the hotel grounds. There is rock climbing nearby. You will need a torch for walking back to the hotel after dark. There is a bit of noise problem here since the resort is next to a bar with live music.
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Railay Beach Travel Guide
- Railay Beach: A Very Quick Travel Guide
- Railay Beach Beaches
- Things To Do In Railay Beach
- Railay Beach Hotels - Where To Stay
- Check Railay Beach Hotel Availability
- Railay Beach Map
- Railay Beach Daytrips
- Places To Eat In Railay Beach
- Railay Beach Nightlife
- How To Get To Railay Beach