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Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Phranang Peninsula, the Rayavadee hotel sits within tropical gardens dotted with swaying palms, and encircled by towering limestone pinnacles.
Accessible only by boat, arriving at the Rayavadee feels like you've stumbled across a Thai village on the emerald shores of the Andaman, where no building is higher than a palm tree.
There are 98 Pavilions, and four luxury villas within the coconut grove at Rayavadee, with options to suit both couples and families. Pavilion bedrooms lead through to en suite bathrooms, with both bath and shower, whilst on the ground floor a spacious lounge or second bedroom opens out on to a private terrace. Upgrading Pavilions brings open air lounges (with space for a private BBQ dinner), outdoor Jacuzzi's, or private hydro plunge pools.
Four villas are individually designed, and located from the beachfront to a cliff top hideaway. Villas offer two or three bedrooms, some with plunge pools, and others with private butler service.
There are a range of dining options at Rayavadee including Raya Dining, where breakfast is served. Come evening, it's the place for international cuisine, from succulent lobster, to rack of lamb. Further along the moonlit path to Phranang Beach is Krua Phranang, a Thai restaurant overlooking the beach, limestone cliffs and distant islands, whilst Raitalay Terrace offers a menu of tempting international favourites and cocktails in a stylish beachside setting. The Grotto is - as the name suggests - a limestone cave by Phranang Beach, where guests can enjoy dinner with their toes in the sand.
The Rayavadee Spa boasts therapies inspired by ancient Thai healing traditions. The usual spoiling facials, scrubs and wraps are offered, but the Thai Boran massage is our choice, which focuses on 'Sen Seb', the 10 meridian lines of the body, for revived flexibility and energy flow.
The three beaches around Rayavadee are public beaches, and so they can be popular with day trip visitors, but for us this is the perfect time to head out to explore. Island hop through the bay and limestone pinnacles, equipped with snorkel or scuba gear, or explore tropical mangrove forest by kayak. For active guests, hikes to inland waterfalls, and even rock climbing can be arranged, for those with a head for heights. For the more sedate, recline on a lounger by the hotel pool, retreat to the spa, or simply curl up with a good book and a chilled juice on your terrace. Come late afternoon, the day trippers will have left you to your own little haven. More fool them.