banyan tree, amanpuri or rayavadee?

Old Nov 24th, 2003, 01:46 PM
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banyan tree, amanpuri or rayavadee?

We are spending our honeymoon in thailand in October and are trying to figure out where we should stay in the south. We want something romantic, private, with great massage and utterly Thai. Which of the above three places would you recommend for four or five nights? (We also going to Chiang Mai where we will stay in the Regent and the Westin and then to Bankok where we wil stay at the Penninsula.) Thank you!!!!
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Old Nov 24th, 2003, 02:53 PM
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We are considering a similar trip for next year. Since we are Aman junkies, the Amanpuri is a must for us. But because the ocean view rooms are very expensive, we are considering combining the Amanpuri with either Banyan Tree or Rayavadee to help offset the cost.

Here's what I've been able to gather. The Rayavadee has a beautiful setting but you have to walk a ways to see the water/beach and the beach is public and can get crowded. The Rayavadee also does not offer any type of ocean view accomodation.

The Banyan Tree is located around a lagoon with several other resorts so I'm not sure how secluded it would feel. It is a very touristed part of Phuket. And the lagoon view rooms look like they have slightly obstructed views.

If service, privacy and spectacular setting matter most to you, Amanpuri should be your choice.
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Old Nov 24th, 2003, 10:09 PM
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Weather in October for Phuket and krabi will probably be heavy rain. October ( as proved in no uncertain terms this year ) is a real 'messy' month. Towards end October rain is very heavy Koh Samui side but can be equally heavy Phuket/krabi side.
Having said that if it is early October then koh Samui would be a safer bet weatherwise and if it is the end of October then krabi/Phuket.
I am not a fan of the Laguna area of Phuket, all toop 'false' for my liking. I woukld perhaps just to compare take a look at the Pimalai on Koh lanta and the Tubkaak near krabi. These are not on the scale ( or price ) of those you mentioned but are probably more authentic Thai than what could be called the Pseudo-Thai of many other places. You have plenty of time to plan but it's a great idea to get organised.
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Old Nov 24th, 2003, 10:13 PM
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PS You can find some good links, maps and information for those places in Phuket by checking the online edition of the local Phuket Newspaper

http://www.phuketgazette.net

( You always get a not found message, just click refresh and it comes up )
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Old Nov 29th, 2003, 07:03 AM
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Amanpuri is undoubtedly the best among the three. Banyan Tree is nice but nothing exceptional - our stay there last year resembled a generic Four Seasons experience, namely, luxurious but uneventful. Two of my colleagues have stayed at Rayavadee and they said it's rather overrated. According to them, the staff was a bit snobbish. Being an Aman fan myself, I'd pay the premium to stay at Amanpuri.

Regent Chiang Mai is gorgeous - the best landscape design I've seen in my life. Peninsula Bangkok is an exceptional property as well - much better than the Oriental, in my opinion.

Have fun in Thailand!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2003, 01:15 AM
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Hi. We just returned from visiting Krabi. We did not stay at the Rayavadee, but we did go there twice. The approach by boat was fantastic, like a tropical dream, but once we were up close it faded a little. This area is very busy. The Rayavadee separates itself with a wall and security, but it is not isolated and private. Both beach areas are crowded and dirty. I have heard the hotel itself and the service is great though. They have their own boat shuttle which is nice.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2003, 06:49 AM
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We had the same dillema when planning our trip last year. If you search the archives, I posted a trip report in February. I was able to get a room at Rayavadee with a private pool, food, minibar and massages for the price of the cheapest room at Amanpuri so we did that. The setting at Rayavadee is spectacular, food is good but not great and we found the service to be excellent. After coming from the Regent Chiang Mai the accomodations at Rayavadee while spacious, were not nearly as nice.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2003, 04:37 PM
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You can't go past Aman resorts they are pure luxury. They are pricey, so if you need to save on a couple of nights stay at the Chedi which is next door.
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Old Dec 4th, 2003, 02:18 AM
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I have stayed three times at the Rayavadee and in my opinion this place can't be rated high enough. The main attraction is the absolutely stunning setting which you will never find on Phuket. The accomodation is very spacious and a recent make-over have made them really nice. I'm sure the rooms can't compete with the Aman resort but I believe they will satisfy even the more difficult visitor. This place is pure romance and the staff is great. I'm not a big fan of Phuket as I find it too touristic. I would definitely recommend Rayavadee. Last year, I also went to the Regent in Chiang Mai which is also a great place. Especially the Spa. It's very difficult to compare the Regent and the Rayavadee as they are very different. I love both places but the Rayavadee is to me the best
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