The name checks out
Seclusion seekers should check out Railay Great View, occupying both sides of Railay East’s northern headland.
On paper the location looks poor, but when arriving you find a beautiful setting that affords vistas in multiple directions along with a terrific infinity pool and a path leading down the back slope to a hidden beach that faces south to Ao Nammao.
Built on both sides of the headland, some of the large woven-bamboo cabanas require an awful lot of steps to reach, often rewarding the effort with the best views from cushioned chairs on spacious decks. Tree branches drape over decks of some rooms, blocking the views but resulting in more privacy. Set on tall brick stilts, all rooms are freestanding with no big room blocks to speak of.
Inside you get an elegant natural style with hardwood accents, vaulted ceilings and mosquito nets draped over cushy beds. Wood-and-glass front doors can be opened to let the breeze in. The usual mod-cons (fridge, TV, WiFi, coffee/tea facilities) are included along with smart extras like umbrella, flip-flops, torch and large safe. Spacious brushed-concrete bathrooms sport rain showerheads and ceramic basin sinks to go with glazed-glass sunroofs.
Around the property you’ll find lounge chairs on a spacious deck fronting the pool, plus the small spa, restaurant, bar and stairs leading down to a private beach facing back towards the mainland. The water off this beach was as calm as can be when we last visited. The only way to reach it is by boat or by walking through the resort, so almost no visitors to Railay make it there unless staying at Great View.
We think Great View is ideal for couples looking to take it easy. Families with small children should beware of the seaside walkway with no railings that leads to the resort. Also keep in mind that accessing the resort can be exhausting, starting with the long entrance staircase that leads to additional stairways to reception and all of the rooms. Don’t stay here if you’re not into steps.
While the location is beautiful, it can also be annoying if you like to go out after dark. Expect a 1.5-kilometre walk to Haad Phra Nang and Railay West, with the nearest independent restaurants and bars found a half-kilometre away. Nearby Tew Lay Bar is a good option for a change of scenery if you stay at Great View.
Tie-dye-shirted staffers are not overly friendly but they were quick to show us some rooms when we last swung through. They jump between here and Railay Garden View Resort, a cheaper spot that’s run by the same group and located nearby on the way back towards civilisation.
Address: Far northern end of Railay East
T: (075) 819 472-3; (075) 818 168;
Coordinates (for GPS): 98º50'53.75" E, 8º0'47.1" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 1,500B to 4,000B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Bungalow air-con private bathroom||1,800 baht||3,150 baht|
|Deluxe bungalow||2,300 baht||4,500 baht|
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
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