In general, had a wonderful time! Very inviting welcome on a hot day arrival - a cold towel and fresh cold juice while you fill the paperwork. Villa was huge with a king size bed, reading/lounge nook by the window, daybed (possibly a bed for a small adult or child) also looking out a floor to ceiling window, sleeping and general area was on a platform on wooden/parquet floor which was polished and squeaky clean. Pillows smell clean (many of these seaside resorts don’t clean well) and were soft and fluffy. Mattress, like many said about beds in Thailand, a little on the hard side but I had no problem.
Separate dressing/changing area has a dresser with basic tea/coffee complimentary, electric Thermas (the housekeeping refill it everyday) with hot water. Nice extra touch include free 4 in-house bottled water and an electric mosquito repellent buzzing device and a box of new tabs that you insert into it and then plug into the wall. Plenty of room to move about for a family if there are more than 2 of you but do check with them for occupancy – they charge accordingly. There is also a folder with maps and info of the place. Pool towels complimentary.
Two closets with umbrellas (useful esp during the rainy season), bathrobes, safe deposit box, hairdryer. Dressing area opens to the generous bathroom through a pair of wooden doors that are beautifully carved and locks from both inside and out. Bathroom has a tall window with roman blinds that allows looking in to the bedroom. Floor, very clean, has fairly new aqua marine tiles and has separate washing, shower, toilet. No dirty corners or mold on walls, typically found in even very nice hotels. A modern sink on wooden counter – not very practical. Nice design throughout with glass block walls, natural light from outside etc. Complimentary basic amenities are daily replenished into ceramic bottles; the shower gel has an intoxicating perfumed jasmine aroma.
The entire villa has a central control lighting pad next to the bed. A mini bar (I didn’t know it was there until my last day) is hidden under the TV console.
Private balcony/sitting area has outside mood lighting and 2 comfy chairs to lay back. Overlooking the gardens/ pond (which have no fish or water – probably a leak?).
It seemed like when it was last renovated, they added the in-room key feature which automatically shuts/turn on the lighting for the whole room but they didn’t connect to the AC which means, you can technically leave your AC on using the remote control even if you are not in the room/ when the room key isn’t inserted in the key slot. Good for summers but bad for environment!
Breakfast was just average, tasty for international but below for Thai standard with Continental funfare like juices and sweet breads, fresh fruits, egg station plus a small offering of Thai style hot dishes over chafing (the congee was so delicious!!). The quality was nothing to shout about but they do try to vary over the days so it is not identical every morning. Starts at 6.30am till 11am? Great for those who like to get out early for trips. A buffet like this with service is probably value around 500B minimum so factor that into your cost when planning to spend on your room.
The villa looked fairly recent, except for a few blemishes, if one is to be picky. Eg no room slippers – very common in Asian hotels, chipped ceramic shower decanter, chipped candle diffuser by the sink and there are no candles or essence oil to go with – you would expect that is provided since they display the diffuser by the sink. In nice resorts, this is lit when you arrive. Under the AC (which is very strong), a small pool of water that results from the drippings of the AC so if you happen to put your luggage on that spot before noticing the drips, everything gets wet. Around the AC area, the entire ceiling about 1X2m is moldy….. so don’t look up. One of the lamp shades was not working. Tricky getting the front door locked - does not slide close probably with the lock; frustrating if you are in a hurry come and go.
Housekeeping was not thorough – my very clean floor was clean only on day 1. On consecutive days, they don’t necessarily clean the floors well and miss spots – even in the bathroom where it is obvious where dirt and grime collects. They also ran out of hand towels to replace – so they remove the dirty towels and leave you with none until you call for replacement.
The swimming pool is free form shaped, generous for the number of guests during off season– enough room in pool and sun beds to go around but I can imagine would be too crowded during peak season. Has a privacy shrub that separates from the public who walks on the path but being elevated, you can see them and the waters beyond. Outdoor shower was perfect. Water was refreshing esp when compared with salt water. Pool was sometimes dirty, not skimmed for leaves etc for days in a row. Although there is no strict checking of guests that enter the hotel compound, i did recognize everyone at the pool were house guests.
Lush landscaping – a balance between manicured shrubs and natural wild array of matured trees and ferns and flowers sprinkled throughout the compound, even the garden walkways feature stonework that reflects the workmanship and pride of Thai people.
Service of wait staff was lukewarm. But at reception, they were friendly when you attempt to make the effort. Bellhop was always smiling and helpful. Prices on menu were hotel rates – if you hop a few doors to the left, many restaurant options that’ll be half the price. Of course, you can’t beat the convenience dining in the hotel. If you go right of the hotel, you will be at the 5 star resort of Rayavadee. Worth a meal there (try Thai restaurant) to treat yourself on the last day to experience true Thai hospitality (it would give the word “service” a whole new level).
Best value food in Railey is a local family joint I found called “Local Thai Food” tucked away in the middle of a path less used by tourists. Must try: cereal deep fried prawns – 60B for a plate, you can’t go wrong. i cook Thai food and i have to say they have some of the best green/massamam curry around. Only a few tables so go early to avoid waiting. Ask around for directions.
“Last Bar” has decent food with good prices and every night at 10pm, a free spectacular and stunning fireball show that will leave your mouth wide open. The guys work hard (to prepare their tricks and tools) and are not paid by the bar so tipping is appreciated, no matter how small.
I booked through Agoda and got an early special deal plus off peak rates. I knew the chalet room would be newly renovated by the time I arrived so I jumped on it. However, because they were behind on their scheduled date of completion when I arrived, they offered me a free upgrade to Villa Bungalow (they didn’t even tell me when I checked in so was a nice surprise when I found out). I gave a 4 star rating for my experience in a Villa for what I had paid for a Chalet room. I had noted “good value” because of my incidental free upgrade. I wouldn’t have paid the full price for the Villa room because of the small misses and the price competition against what is available in the vicinity and the hit and miss service. In return, I put up with the ongoing construction noise. I was traveling alone and rock climbing/ out all day so that was no issue for me as they start work after 9am and end by the evenings when I return. The chalet room that I would have stayed was 5 steps (closest) to the swimming pool and if you are on the second floor, it has marvelous view over the water. Sunset is on the other side of Railey. Agoda office in Thailand was also very helpful to assist me in shifting my reservation – I have a feeling it’s a Thai thing, and that Agoda local agency elsewhere wouldn’t be as accommodating.
There is no beach on East Railey, but I personally found the views of the mangrove trees (certain parts cleared for more clear views) against a backdrop of longtail boats (can be noisy) over moving waters, very pleasing. There isn’t strong sewage smell right at the hotel, not where you dine, but not far from where you would walk to get to your hotel, you would pass the garbage collection point with ungainly sights of huge heaps of black plastic bags on trolleys, often spilling over, waiting to be disposed (off the peninsula?). I was in Railey several times more than a decade ago, and refuse wasn’t such a problem but one has to recognize the fact that it has retained much of its charm despite the development and expansion of resorts, bars, restaurants etc to accommodate more visitors, side effects are inevitable. Where did the garbage come from? Tourists like us. We brought and helped created the problem to an otherwise sleeping and quiet little place where only locals live. When a village like this sort has figured a way to manage more efficiently, then you’re probably going to expect much higher costs and strangely but usually, the laid back atmosphere disappears along with that…
On weekends, bigger ferries arrive, carrying loads of local Thai tourists from all parts of Thailand as Railey is also marketed as a destination within Thailand. This adds to traffic (think hundreds of people trying to pass each other on a narrow pathway next to the waters) everywhere but at the same time boosts local economy.
Railey is very small and the nice beaches around are only mins of leisure walk away. Even if you have a family, it is easy for young kids to walk and get around. I met many families with children at breakfast in Sunrise. I stayed here because I want to be very near to one of the climbing sites. I can see thru my binoculars from the breakfast dining areas, what my buddies are climbing at “1,2,3” (a climbing site).
Full moon is fun – tides get really high and pull really far at low but this means you lose your perfect strip of beach during the day for tanning, if that is your goal.
If you arrive on the West, it is an easy 10 min, paved, walk with a backpack to Sunrise but I am sure you can call ahead, if you have a mobile, for the porter’s help if you have luggages that are hard to carry. The hotel also has pick up service from airport. For your return trip back the airport, use one of the local agencies as they book for less: Best way to do if there are 2 or more of you, you share a boat with others but get a private land transport to the airport.
Book everything else at the local agencies – they depart almost daily for trips to the nearby sight-seeing place. For rockclimbing, it’s cheaper to get a package/instructor at Tonsai, if you are beginner. Gear also rents cheaper there. If you don’t want to bother the 15min trek to Tonsai, see Tex at Tex Rock Climbing (1 min from Sunrise) and they can supply and equip you all you need. For my 2 cents worth on Tonsai and best value accommodation, see Garden View Resort.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sunrise Tropical Resort, an exclusive resort on Railay East Beach. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sunrise Tropical Hotel Railay Beach
- Sunrise Tropical Krabi
- Sunrise Tropical Resort Railay Beach, Krabi, Thailand