Tuesday 20 December 2022

The Rayavadee in Ao Nang, Krabi

 There are times in your life when you walk into a place and know that you’re about to experience something extraordinary.

The Rayavadee in Ao Nang in Krabi is one of those places. Your first glimpse of the resort is from the gleaming white speedboat that picks you up from Krabi town and delivers you across a calm, green sea to the shores of the resort. When you step down from the deck, you are welcomed with a traditional Thai floral garland and led into the lobby for a refreshing lime and coconut drink, complete with orchid garnish and a lemongrass-scented cold towel.

Because we are here on a press trip, Khun Lisa from the events team takes us through a brief orientation of the 26-acre property and then we are whisked through a tropical garden on a white golf buggy (or ‘boogie’ as the Northern English guests call them, much to our amusement).

Two-story Deluxe Pavilion offers fully-equipped, spacious
accommodation and stylish, tropical decor with polished wood

When I am shown around my spa villa, I get that gleeful, giggly feeling that I used to get over birthday party games when I was a kid. The bed is the size of an inner city studio apartment, the bathroom has brass fittings fashioned into branches, leaves and birds and the view from the plantation-shuttered window is over craggy cliffs and a languid sea.

Out the back of my two-storey villa, there is an outdoor spa surrounded by decking that looks a little bit ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ in the sense that it just cries out for debauchery. Back in the frostily climate-controlled room, there is a cornucopia of fresh fruit, orchids and marigolds scattered around the room and a general sense of nature encroaching in a pleasurably wild way.

The spa villa has a day bed housed in a tiki hut outside the door and there is the choice of an infinity pool or tepid saline sea no more than 50m from the front door.

This place looks exactly like the brochures. No re-touching. No foul smells that disturb the perfection. Everything is exactly as you imagine it will be, but with that undeniable fairy magic that accompanies arriving somewhere that meets your overblown expectations.  

Emma Gardiner

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