Three stunning beachfront resorts in amazing beach locations in Krabi

How to find the lowest hotel rates on Krabi - BOOK DIRECT
We identify hotels that guarantee, in writing, to discount below the best available on-line rates for guests who book directly with the hotel. This cuts out middlemen and saves money for both guest and hotel – and we take no commission.
See the GUARANTEE list on the Krabi or Thailand pages, then contact hotels directly via the e-mail box on the hotel page.
The Guarantee list is separate from the hotels below.

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Despite that Krabi has only a few beaches, and very few true beachfront hotels, this province holds a few of Thailand's top, or most spectacular beach resorts – all beachfront, of course. Again, it’s all due to Krabi's amazing geography where vertical walls of karst rock fall directly in azure seas, often with strips of sandy beach trimming the edges and creating postcard-perfect scenes of tropical paradise.
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While Krabi’s three most famous beaches – Railay, Phra Nang and Ao Nang – get quite crowded in the peak season, the three amazing resorts featured here have carved out tranquil niches where their guests can lock out the rest of the world and truly chill out in near isolation. One of these three, Centara Grand, is seen from afar, clinging to its rock wall, by thousands of visitors as they take the boat ride between Ao Nang and Railay beaches. The other two, however, are barely seen. The little of Rayavadee that is seen by visitors on Phra Nang Beach gives no real clue about the veritable paradise within. And while a road winds around the back wall of the Ritz-Carlton, those passing by again get no clue to what lies inside.
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So where Krabi falls short in the small number of resorts really on a beach, it makes up for it in the dramatic impact that these three world-winners bring to the province.
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Centara Grand Krabi - tight against a vertical rock wall in Ao Nang

The thousands of people who depart Ao Nang Beach each day in the peak season heading for Railay Beach get a real surprise just two minutes into their boat journey. There to the left, in a shallow indentation in a vast wall of rock, a hotel appears to be plastered vertically against the cliff face. Though it shares part of Ao Nang’s own bay, this little beach and its hotel remain unseen until you get to look back from the ocean.
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The daily parade of longtail boats passes some hundreds of metres out, leaving the hotel guests in peace and giving the passers-by the impression the hotel is flat against stone. In fact some low hills are squeezed between the sand and rockface, giving just enough space for the hotel to rise in terraces, and a little room by the beach for green lawns.
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If the view of Centara Grand Krabi is spectacular from the outside, the opposite view from inside comes close to the proverbial breath-taking. Here the guest is ever aware of the hundreds of metres of rock wall towering over his shoulder. A rock wall dominates all views to the north and south, while the vista directly out into the Andaman is dotted by islands of all sizes, near and far – framed by coconut palms, for the most part.
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All rooms, which run up the lower levels of the cliff, enjoy these spectacular vistas. The views from the main swimming pool, shadowed again by the rock wall behind, are equally awe-inspiring. The beachfront has been left as open as is possible in the limited space, allowing guests to relax under trees by the beach while absorbing the grandeur of the surroundings. No matter where you look, it’s always the amazing geography that catches both vision and imagination. The architects made excellent use of the amazing geography here.
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We leave our photos to do the rest of the work here, showing just how stunning the views in all directions really are.
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Is this the most the most spectacular hotel location in Krabi? If so, it’s a top contender for the most amazing hotel location in Thailand. Perhaps the only other possible contender for that title is the establishment that follows.
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Rayavadee Resort - hidden in a magical world of cliffs and jungle

One hotel with three beaches?

While many so-called beach hotels don't really have a beach at all, Rayavadee Resort has the amazing luxury of fronting onto three different beaches, with two of those being among the most spectacular in Thailand. Many people call these two, Railay Beach and Phra Nang Beach, the most beautiful in Thailand, with both having been selected for lists naming the world's most beautiful beaches.
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Rayavadee’s dream location get's even more spectacular when we see the sheer rock walls painting the southern backdrop and the rock-stack pinnacles rising from lush foliage to create fantasy landscapes in all other directions.
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Our beach map shows the huge area that Rayavadee occupies, almost equal in size to the total area of all other resorts in Railay. The peninsula on which this resort luxuriates is cut off from the world by vast walls of rock, with the only access view boat. But again Rayavadee has the advantage of excellent location, for its back beach is sheltered throughout the year, providing all-weather entry and exit.
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Rayavadee’s owners also have to be commended for thinking as much about the environment as profits when developing the resort – or much more about preserving the amazing environment. All neighbouring beach hotels have crammed in as many bungalows and rooms as their space will allow – while not breaking the lower-than-the-coconuts building code. But Rayavadee’s large luxury bungalows have been spread widely through a coconut plantation lush with gardens and lawns. It’s spacious, it’s green and it’s supremely relaxing.
Both of Rayavadee’s frontages on Railay and Phra Nang Beaches have been left in an almost completely natural state. Looking at Phra Nang Beach from the water gives the impression of an undeveloped beach, save for a single, unobtrusive restaurant visible by the sand. At Railay three other beach hotels with frontages are clearly visible, while Rayavadee remains near hidden by pisonia and other varied beach trees’

Rayavadee guests have to put up with Phra Nang Beach being invaded by a few thousand tourists each morning during the peak season. For a few hours the beach is lined with speed boats and the sands crowded with wandering, selfie-shooting tourists. But resort guests are isolated by the thick line of beach trees, and have expansive grounds and facilities inside their veritable tropical paradise. By mid-afternoon the speed boats are gone, the beach returns to its tranquil self and guests get to enjoy its best hours in peace and quiet as the sun slides into the Andaman Sea.
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Phulay Bay Ritz-Carlton Reserve - the first of its kind in the world

When a famous resort chain like Ritz-Carlton chose the beaches of Krabi as the location to launch a new global brand, we know there must be something special here. Today that special location at the south end of Tub Khaek Beach is graced by an especially beautiful resort, the Ritz-Carlton's first-ever 'Reserve' brand resort.
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While this resort arrived too late to claim a location as spectacular as those of the Rayavadee or Centara, it has a very peaceful location on one of Krabi's most peaceful beaches with a spectacular view over strangely-shaped, offshore islands.
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Location aside, the outstanding feature of Phulay Bay is the design, the creation of one of Bangkok's top Thai architects. We leave the photos to do the rest of the talking about architecture and design.
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by John Everingham
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Want help? E-mail John E, who has photographed 1,100+ beachfront hotels in this site and most beaches in Thailand, for help finding the perfect beach and beachfront hotel. john@beachf.com