A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
What it is
A 54-villa and pavilion paradise on lush-seafront grounds, with a bi-level infinity pool and a rainforest spa.
What it isn't
Hands off. Staffers are trained to pamper (to name but one example: you’ll be offered fruit kebabs and sunglass polishing by the pool.)
What we think
When Ritz-Carlton hired local starchitect Lek Bunnag to design Phulay Bay, they made an instant statement: this would be far from resort-business-as-usual. The property is frequently ranked among the best hotels in Asia, and no wonder: you’ll find your butler is on call 24-hours; your villa flanked by private gardens; your closet a walk-in that Imelda Marcos and her bajillion shoes would find satisfactory. The smallest villa is a whopping 3,788 square feet; villas are still expansive at a minimum of 1,162 square feet (that’s larger than most Manhattan apartments). Whatever you choose, expect Thai silk robes, your own terrace, a deep soaking tub, and marble lined bathroom with a rainforest shower head. The five on-site restaurants are just as luxe; you can tuck into yellowfin tuna crispy tart and snow fish paella while overlooking the sea at Lae Lay, or a simple pancetta wood fired pizza by the pool at Plai Fah.
You're here because
You loathe pulling your wallet out on vacation, so the fact that this property is inclusive of buffet breakfasts, non-alcoholic mini bar drinks and breezy shuttle boat rides to Hong Kong Island makes your shoulders drop.
You’ve been to spas that played jungle sounds. You’ve never been to one that sat open to the actual jungle. Here, you find yourself drifting to sleep as your facialist plies you with caviar (really) and pearl powder. When you awake, you’re not sure if your radiance can be attributed to the treatment or the restorative sleep, so you immediately book the same treatment for your last day to be sure.
Restaurants & Bars
Sri Tramg – Traditional southern Thai dining experience with contemporary style
Jampoon – International restaurant with home style cooking offering diverse selection of western dishes
Lae Lay – Seafood Grill Located on beachfront of Phulay Bay with breathtaking Andaman Ocean views
Plai Fah – Pool Side Restaurant with relaxed culinary dining
Raw – Spa Café
Chom Tawan – Sunset Lounge with upbeat lounge bar music and candle lamps placed randomly around the area.
Thai Children Music Band and traditional dancing
Traditional Thai creations
Mini Olympics competitions
Games and entertainment
Baby elephant visit
Kids baking class
A half an hour drive from Krabi Airport (or 20 minutes via chopper from Phuket). You’ll want to beeline to local watering hole The Hilltop at dusk, worth the 25 minute drive to sup on grilled Andaman lobster as the sky turns pink over Nopparat Thara beach.