The Best Hotels in Railay Beach

Rayavadee is the most luxurious of the resorts in the postcard-perfect paradise of Railay Beach
Rayavadee is the most luxurious of the resorts in the postcard-perfect paradise of Railay Beach | Courtesy of Rayavadee / Expedia

Krabi’s island-like Railay Beach peninsula is about as dreamy as southern Thailand gets. Swaying palms, wide stretches of white sand and warm azure waters – plus a renowned rock-climbing scene – make it a postcard-perfect paradise. It’s a short hop from Ao Nang, but soaring limestone cliffs cut it off from the rest of the mainland, so the only way in is by boat – adding an enticing seclusion. From bargain bungalows to splurge-worthy ultra-luxe resorts, these Railay Beach hotels, all bookable on Culture Trip, are where it’s at.

1. Avatar Railay

Resort

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Courtesy of Avatar Railay / Expedia

Typical of the upmarket move that has swept the Railay peninsula in recent years, Avatar in Railay East is fronted by posh dark-wood signage that looks particularly stunning framed by the gorgeous limestone karst landscape behind it. Plush, contemporary rooms are set around a particularly attractive central pool, and some have direct pool access, while others have floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto large balconies and, beyond that, an expanse of resplendent natural greenery.

2. Rayavadee

Resort, Hotel

Two round, wooden bungalows in the jungly grounds of the Rayavadee, with a blue-tiled rectangular pool in front
Courtesy of Rayavadee / Expedia
Rooms at five-star Rayavadee aren’t cheap, but if you’ve got cash to splash then this is the place to do it. The resort is set on gorgeous Railay West, and the expansive grounds stretch across the peninsula to Railay East. This is easily the glitziest Railay Beach resort: from no-expense-spared rooms (some with private pools) to beautifully manicured grounds, an on-site gym and spa and four high-end restaurants.

3. Railay Bay Resort and Spa

Resort

Guest room at the Railway Bay Resort & Spa
Courtesy of Railway Bay Resort and Spa / Expedia

Large-scale Railay Bay Resort & Spa, on popular Railay West beach, has 141 rooms in traditional Thai style, well appointed with modern amenities. Rooms stretch across a number of categories that make them convenient for various types of travellers, and feature handsome dark-wood interiors and large French doors that open onto gorgeous garden views. The best rooms have private pools, while there’s also an on-site pool, seafront restaurant and spa.

4. Sand Sea Resort

Resort

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Courtesy of Sand Sea Resort / Expedia

One of the most affordable options on Railay West, Sand Sea Resort offers the chance to holiday on Railay’s (ordinarily) priciest stretch of white sand without splashing a whole bunch of cash. Decor here might be on the more dated and somewhat less imaginative side in parts, but it’s still a comfortable stay – plus there’s a decent-sized swimming pool, and the best rooms offer sea views. There’s also a spa and gym, and the all-day beachfront restaurant specialises in grilled seafood dishes.

5. Tonsai Bay Resort

Resort

Guest rooms at the Tonsai Bay Resort
Courtesy of Tonsai Bay Resort / Expedia

One of the more comfortable stays on Ao Tonsai beach, Tonsai Bay Resort has 72 rooms. Set both in conventional buildings and free-standing and semi-detached bungalows, these are among the only lodgings on this stretch of beach with air conditioning. That also means you can expect more well-appointed, hotel-style luxuries than are common elsewhere around here. In addition to the well-tended gardens, there’s an all-day beachfront restaurant, while Thai massages, laundry services and kayak rentals are also available.

6. Rapala Rock Wood Resort

Resort

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Courtesy of Rapala Rock Wood Resort / Expedia

This long-running, cheap-as-chips spot on Railay East might be stretching things by calling itself a “resort”, but it has certainly stood the test of time. Stay here to make your budget last: add a modicum of comfort by opting for one of the fan-cooled rooms with private cold-water bathrooms, or really go as cheap as it gets and plump for a basic room with shared facilities. Either way, the place is surprisingly well kept for the price range, and you’re not too far from the sand. There’s also a hot tub-sized pool and on-site restaurant.

7. Railay Phutawan Resort

Resort

Guest room at the Railay Phutawan Resort.
Courtesy of Railay Phutawan Resort / Expedia

Previously known as the Railay Highland Resort, this Railay East property is some way from the sand, but the trade-off is worth it for both lower rates and a gorgeous pool that offers views over the coast below. Comfortable, air-conditioned and well-appointed rooms range from those in uniform blocks to elegant freestanding bungalows, but things are stylish throughout. Other facilities at the Railay Phutawan Resort include a large, bright and attractively designed open-air restaurant.

8. Anyavee Railay Resort

Resort

Anyavee Railay Resort
Courtesy of Anyavee Railay Resort / Expedia

Long-running Anyavee Railay Resort, on more affordable Railay East, is a large, older but nevertheless well-kept and comfortable property – a solid option even during the high season. All rooms are air-conditioned, and are set in a mixture of two-storey buildings and stand-alone bungalows dotted around a vibrant garden with a lovely infinity-edge pool offering beach views.

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