Trip Report – An Amazing Thailand Hotel in Railay Beach – Sand Sea Resort

This is part seven of a thirteen part trip report from my third and most recent trip back to Thailand and includes what I think might be my favorite hotel in Thailand – the Sand Sea Resort located in beautiful Railay Beach.

This is a non-chain hotel, though I did earn Hotels.com Welcome Rewards points. There are no major hotels located on the peninsula (accessed via boat from Krabi) and the rate was reasonable enough ($76 per night..though this can be considered expensive for the island if you are comfortable staying at a property that is more like a motel).

Arriving at night via water to the beach in front of the hotel was amazing. All we could see where these huge limestone cliffs above us and lanterns floating in the air. Pretty magical. 

Check-in was easy and they took us in golf carts to our rooms.

Yes, the room doesn’t exactly compare to the W Retreat Koh Samui, but for the location this is extremely luxurious…plus you should be outside most of your time in Railay Beach anyway.  There was strong wifi, a flat-screen, a great shower, and a balcony.

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The bathroom…

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The beach in front of the hotel by night…

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Waking up in the morning we got to explore the property in daylight, starting with the free buffet breakfast. Omelette and smoothie stations…

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But how could you sit at breakfast when this was right down the steps…

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Several TripAdvisor reviewers complain of the noise from the long-tail boats. While I surely would have loved the location even more without the distraction, we didn’t find it that bothersome (look at those views).  The water is calm and warm and if you need some shade you can hop in the hotel pool located right beyond the beach (this was key).

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The balcony off the room in daylight:

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One of the more interesting things when visiting in Feb-March is that the water completely disappears around 3:30pm. From too deep to stand to not a drop of water in just a few hours. It’s a bit of a disappointment when you aren’t aware ahead of time and don’t properly plan your day (we would have gotten in the water a lot earlier that first day). Anyway, we headed back to the pool and the hotel staff informed us that the water usually returned around 6pm (we found it to be more like 7:30-8pm).  Lesson learned, we got outside earlier the next few days. You’ll also want to remember this if you need to take a boat back to Krabi for your flight.

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Overall I really loved the hotel for the following reasons:

  • Location (doesn’t get any better) and I’d guess no matter where you stay you’ll love Railay Beach.
  • For a tiny peninsula, I found the room to be more than comfortable, I’d say it was even modern (especially compared to the other hotels in the area). More importantly, the room was extremely clean.
  • The staff at the hotel were friendly and helpful. There’s an on-site restaurant and convenience store. Note that alcohol is not served at either but there are plenty of restaurants and shops where you can find drinks.
  • The pool is fantastic and great for shade or to cool down (even from the sea water).

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