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“Excellent for a short retreat or romantic getaway, dining options need work”

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Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Nong Thale
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 February 2012

We have stayed here twice in the last six months and, while it is not perfect, we are big fans for the reasons below and will go again (note also the downsides relating to food & beverages). I would mostly recommend it for a private retreat or romantic getaway of a few days rather than a long holiday.

- exclusive retreat: the villas are as spacious and comfortable as homes (for urbanites like me at least) and there is so much personal space around the resort that it can feel like your own personal playground. And they understand the amount of intrusion you need: sometimes luxury is privacy. The staff are very eager to help and remembered our drink preferences for the minibar and breakfast faves from the previous visit but also left us alone when we wanted that.

- what's included: I can't put a price on the comfort I feel when every little thing I do is *not* counted and added to the bill. The boat excursions to Hong island, the airport pick up, the internet, the goodies in the room, the cooler of beverages and snacks at the pool, the kayaks, the little courtesies. More and more high end properties have abandoned this approach and moved to a la carte pricing for everything, which I dislike intensely.

- excellent facilities such as one of the best equipped and well maintained gyms I have seen in a resort. Keeping up with my training is critically important to me and here the gym is excellent.

- and, yes, breakfast! I don't understand the criticisms of other reviewers. This is definitely not a mass-market resort like a Hilton or Marriott with extensive stands of waffle-bakers and five kinds of sausages etc. It is selected, quite virtuous and all of extremely high quality. I like, in particular, the selection of fresh juices (carrot, beet, lemongrass), the homemade granolas and baked goods, and healthful stir-fried vegetables.

The negative points were the following:
The splendid isolation comes at a cost, which is that you are at the mercy of the in-house restaurants. As some have noted, they are very pricey and, more importantly, the food can be really disappointing. At the Thai restaurant in particular, we dined there four times and each time asked for proper Thai spicing (being accustomed to real Thai food) and they simply would not deliver. The F&B manager even got very defensive about it. The seafood restaurant served up incredibly fussy European-style dishes obviously trying to impress but some simply grilled local fresh fish would have impressed us more. Local dining options are, unfortunately, very limited unless you are prepared for a relatively long and expensive taxi ride.

Room Tip: Reserve pool villas have a charcoal grey tiled private lap pool in the garden that is not only refre...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank superdeluxe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 February 2012

I had good experiences with the Ritz, and this stay was one for my friends wedding therefore we didn't have a choice in the hotels as one of our rooming buddies was a brides maid. As I mentioned before the Ritz had been a top choice for me in numerous occasions therefore I was expecting a nice relaxing stay for my friends wedding...however we were in for a SURPRISE.

The reservation from the start was a struggle. The customer service we had gotten was so incredibly bad that our group of friends were appalled. For a 5-star hotel we were treated as a nuisance. It is not like we asked for much, as as our bride friend told us the reservation was made WAY ahead of schedule for the December wedding...and reservation initially made in June. With plenty of time left we figured there was not much we needed to worry about....we were way off. The wedding room deal gave EACH of us a massage for the reservation, but the customer service rep told us that it was not the case since we had gotten a room for 3 people. We paid extra to change the reservation for 3 people with an extra bed. That was the first issue...getting our point across that the THREE of us was staying in the room was a struggle. Then the Ritz getting back to us telling us that the massage was for only ONE person. I think the process was pretty much down hill from there. It was such a hassle to make them stick to their initial word that half way through two of us had almost lost our cool and screamed at the Hotel. However, instead stern yet very strong worded emails were exchanged with no avail. Out of the 20+ inquiries made we had gotten answers to about 3...which is less than 20% of our emails.

For those making contact from different time zones EMAIL is not a good way to go in terms of contacting these people. The do not answer at all....

The room itself was nice, the food over priced, and they even charged us for the breakfast which is supposed to be inclusive. They need to return the breakfast charges, but again like I said...contacting them is a really big ordeal without answers so we gave up on that. Also they charged us for an extra bed but we never got that either. If they can remedy these ridiculous charges and overcharges I think with an improvement in their service this would be a promising resort.

By the way DO NOT let me get started on the cleanliness of the bathrooms...the TUB was SO FILLED with mosquitos and bugs I was horrified. They just filled it up with water and flower petals...romance factor I guess if you cleaned it and then put in the water it would be nice for a couple but as a group of girls we were just like "wow" that is disgusting. They need to put more care into the cleaning.

Would I stay here again? Not likely...it was a 2-star resort service claiming to be 5-star. The stay itself was nice, but not something I would like to repeat.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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6  Thank Lucifel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2012

We have a great time at the Royal Suite 32!!!!!
Huge suite!!! Never seem something like this before!

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank pedropenna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2012

This is my first time to Thailand and also the first time experiencing a Ritz Carlton hotel and I was more than impressed with the hotel in its entirety. Firstly the staff are extremely helpful, friendly, polite and a joy to have around, the best service I have ever received from a hotel. Our villa was exceptional, the only down side being I would have preferred our plunge pool to be heated so as to take advantage of it at night time. Beautiful views, stunning pool area and wonderful food. The spa is truly excellently but I will agree quite highly priced which is a shame as I would happily have used it everyday!!!
Apart from this a perfect relaxing time and we will always now look to stay at a Ritz Carlton hotel first when we go on holiday in the future.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MissC721
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2012

We have just returned home from a wonderful holiday & we spent the last 6days in ritz carlton, which was the highlight of our trip however this resort is not perfect!
On arrival we were very unsure, as the whole hotel is painted purple & there is alot of concrete. However after seeing our amazing reserve villa with it's floor to ceiling window & huge bath we soon forgot about the colour of the outdoor walls.
I will go through the postives of the hotel first..
The staff are just wonderful, genuine, kind & they seem truly happy to work there. A special mention to our lovley butler ying, ying is what thailand is all about always smiling & very warm & thoughtful. Also mon the muy thai instructor was so professional & my boyfriend said his private muy thai classes were the best thing he has ever done on holiday.
The food in the thai restaurant was gorgeous, it was different to other thai food we have eaten, but easily the best meal of our holidays. The head chef had a genuine passion about thai food & is a pleasure to talk to.
The spa is so stylish & truly 5star luxury, even if you don't have a treatment you can use the hydro pool & steam rooms etc.
The rooms are huge & the bed is the best you will ever sleep in & huge.
Also there are a couple of hotels on the beach next to the hotel, we ate in both & the food was very good & very reasonable.
Hong island lagoon is breathtaking, so it's certainly worth a visit over there on the free boat provided.
The management are always visable & seem to be happy to take feedback (good or bad)

Ok now onto the not so good things..
We could not quite work out who would give the go ahead to open the first flagship beach reserve & spend millions upon millions of pounds in a location that does not have a beach & is next to a huge cement or mineral plant & when I say next door I mean you could actually canoe over to it in 2mins. You try & have your cocktail at the sunset bar & look straight ahead at the amazing rock formations but this huge tanker & pier constantly catches your eye.. it really is a shame.
Also the price of drinks is really expensive. We work hard for our money to go on nice holidays but £10 for a cocktail & £5 for a local beer makes us both feel ripped off.
The food is expensive but we thought the quality matched the price tag, but the drinks are just a ripoff.
Right our final negative experience are the excursions.the hotel have a glossy brochure recommending all different trips & local companies. We paid £60 for the sea kayaking half day trip to kayak through the caves. They actually took us both to a mangrove as the sea trip was cancelled (no one told us) this took 2 half hours to get there , we kayaked for 25mins then it took 1hour 45 mins to get back. On the way back the driver fell asleep at the wheel & thankgod my boyfriend seen him & screamed otherwise it could of been a whole different story. To apologise for this the hotel put us on a private boat trip the next day for a whole day trip with a english speaking guide, it worked out the guide did not speak one word of english so could therefore not understand were we wanted to go, he took us to the most awful tourist sites after 2 hours we gave up & asked to go back to the hotel (which he understood)
I think a hotel of this standard should be providing something alot more special than trips like this & it did leave quite a bad taste in our mouths.
Back to the positives. The hotel is truly luxurious with wonderful service & 70% breath taking views. But it does has a few flaws.

Room Tip: all rooms are amazing. possibly stay clear of the beach villa as it's not actually on a beach
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank ethan75
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 Luxury Hotel in Nong Thale
#1 Spa Hotel in Nong Thale
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Nong Thale
#2 Family Hotel in Nong Thale
#3 Romantic Hotel in Nong Thale
Price Range: $613 - $1,800 (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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