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Amanpuri or Rayavadee in November??

Old Mar 29th, 2006, 07:09 AM
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Amanpuri or Rayavadee in November??

Does anyone have a view on how these hotels compare? We have narrowed our search to these 2 hotels for 4-5 days after touring Bangkok, the North and Siem Reap. We are looking for a beautiful room and beach, pampering, great food and relaxation. Night life is not an issue. Diving and boating would be a plus. Tripadvisor has some negatives on each and wondering whether any of you have experienced both. Thanks.
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 08:32 AM
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I haven't experienced both hotels, so I can't compare, however, I recently stayed at Rayavadee and it was heaven... I don't know what the weather would be like in November though - it may be the rainy season at that time... I wrote a somewhat detailed report of Rayavadee in my trip report (in progress) - titled: Honeymoon in SE Asia trip report.. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask... Ken
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 10:32 PM
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I have not stayed at the Rayavadee, but am a huge fan of the Amanpuri, and was very surprised to read in your post that there would be ANY negative reviews on the Amanpuri, so I took a look at tripadvisor. Well there was only one negative review, and one comment about prices, so I wouldn't say the reviews were negative, and I personally would take comfort in the fact that 12 of the 13 reviews were absolutely glowing. Even the person who commented on being surprised at some of the prices had a good experience. For the negative reviewer, I agree that the Banyan is a very nice hotel, however its beach is NOT as pretty nor nearly as private (you will get hawkers which IMO are not at all condusive to relaxing) and there are basically no beach views from any of the rooms or villas, which would seem to rule out this hotel for you. (I gather from reading posts on Rayavadee that the rather public beach there has similar problems with hawkers, etc.) I think I would also agree with her on the spa, the Banyan's spa is very good, and I think the Aman is not really as good. I think you may be able to use the Banyan's spa if spa treatments are really important to you.

You can't dive or really even snorkel from the beach, you have to go to outlying islands where there is quite spectacular diving and snorkeling. However, this is true for all Phuket resorts, there is no good diving or even snorkeling from the beach, albeit the Aman has a little bit of snorkeling from its beach. You can use the Aman's boat, or hire your own (see my reccos below if you want to hire your own.) The Aman's teak boat is quite amazing, pricey but quite an experience.

I agree with the above poster that November has a good chance of being rainy and what is more as it is the end of the rainy season, the waters will be a bit churned, making water clarity a bit poorer, esp for diving. This may not be the best month to go to Phuket if you are serious about diving, but if just for one or two dives and then some R&R I would say it is OK if you don't mind some rainy afternoons or days. If you are towards the end of November, then you are much better off, as chance of rain is less and waters will have calmed a bit as well.

I have used both the charter companies below for boat charters in Phuket. The first does day charters only, the second does live aboards and day charters. I would recco both of them:

Phuket Leisure Co Ltd
Phuket Boat Lagoon
Thepkrasattri Road Koh Kaew
Muang, Phuket
Tel:66-76-273-328
Fax:66-76-239-559
e-mail: [email protected]
website: http://www.limestoneadventures.com

Thai Marine Leisure
Yacht charters & Yacht Brokerage
c/o Phuket Boat Lagoon
20/7-8, Moo 2, Tambon Koh Kaew
Phuket 83200, Thailand
Tel: 66-76-239 111, or 66-76 273 320 or 66-76-273 321
Fax: (66-76) 238 974
e-mail: [email protected], or [email protected]
website: thaimarine.com


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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 10:53 PM
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I have not stayed at either but have seen both and here are my impressions. Amanpuri is on a small hill at the end of a long, lovely, quiet beach shared with one other hotel the Chedi, which though not as luxurious as Amanpuri, is still very upscale & quiet and would give you other dining options. The Pavillions at the Rayavadee are in a forest setting, an ocean view would be very difficult. The beach & the scenery at Rayavadee are gorgeous, but you will be sharing this with many many backpackers & package tourists staying on Raillay & Ao Nang and many many longtail boats coming & going & many many food and souvenir vendors. We have only been there at high season-January & February, so November may have fewer people, fewer boats, & fewer vendors.
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Old Mar 30th, 2006, 09:27 AM
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Thanks for your helpful replies.
Cicerone--I think I saw more negatives on Amanpuri in this forum (in several other threads) than in tripadvisor. I am a big Aman fan in general so was surprised to see the negatives. However, the discussions about the beaches at the 2 resorts have me now back thinking Aman is the way to go.
Since this will be at the back end of our trip (probably last week in November), I'm hoping the rains will be gone and the water calmed down. (Diving is only a plus not the reason for the trip). I thought the rainy season ended in Phuket at the end of October and wonder now whether to rethink this and move it to first part of the year. Any thoughts??
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Old Mar 30th, 2006, 11:38 AM
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We've been to Phuket several times in late November and never saw a drop of rain. We liked Krabi better than Phuket. We did stay at the Chedi, which is next to the Amanpuri. Very secluded, perhaps too much. I would not agonize too much. Either will be a great hotel and the weather will be essentially the same. Do note that if you switch to the first week of 2007, things will be considerably more crowded.
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Old Mar 30th, 2006, 12:12 PM
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We stayed at Rayavadee three years ago, after considering Amanpuri among other hotels. We chose Rayavadee for the following reasons:

Railey Beach looked like a more interesting location.

For the price of the basic room at Amanpuri, we had a room with private pool, fenced in area, bkfst and dinner, free minibar and massages daily.

We did not find the public aspect of the beach too distracting. Keep in mind it is a "park", so they don't allow chairs on the beach. Rayavadee has a great area set up adjacent to the beach with very comfortable day beds and great service.

The scenery in Railey is amazing. At night the whole area is very quiet once the longtails and day tourists leave. We rented the hotel's junk for a day of beachhopping and snorkling. Had a cook, waiter, activity director and captain all to ourselves.

The rooms themselves are nice, but not in the same league as other places we stayed (Oriental, Four Seasons
Chiang Mai).

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Old Mar 30th, 2006, 05:46 PM
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Dec/Jan/Feb is absolutely the best time in all the places on your list as there is little or no rainfall and temps are a little bit cooler (all relative in the countries you are visiting really), but the latter part of November should be generally OK, you probably will get a bit of rain, but not the deluges of the rainier months. If diving is not the purpose of Phuket/Krabi I think you will be fine as well, I just mentioned the water clarity issue in case you really intended the trip as a diving trip exclusively. I don't know that I would say you should re-schedule your whole trip for Jan/Feb, and you will find higher prices probably in Jan/Feb in terms of hotels and airfare as it is the high season, so I am not sure it is worth it. Chinese New Year is around Feb 18 in 2007 an interesting time to be in Asia (not so much in Thailand and Cambodia so maybe not so important to you), prices would be up again in Phuket/Krabi at that time of year.
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