At the beginning of July, the team of The Guide Phuket ventured to Krabi to explore the beautiful sunsets and other incredible activities offered by the Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, as we were invited to celebrate the soft re-opening of the resort in the post-Covid era.
It was a not-so-long drive from our beloved island, approximately three hours and thirty minutes before we reached Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, a mere 20 kilometers from the resort town of Ao Nang, in Krabi.
As soon as we arrived at the Ritz-Carlton, the Front Office staff escorted us to a giant pagoda nestled in the middle of an artificial pond, where the General Manager, Anthony Smekens, greeted us and introduced himself, while the gong resonated twice to announce the arrival of the new guests.
It took a couple of minutes for our dedicated butler, K. Pin, to drive us with the buggy to our private villa, where she explained to us all the amenities that were available to us during our stay.
We stayed in a Reserve Pool Villa Sea View, a 352 sqm. accommodation that comprises a private swimming pool at the front, an outdoor bathtub in the Japanese garden at the back, and an indoor bathtub pavillion accessible from the main bedroom. In addition, a large walk-in closet and bathroom are located between the bedroom and the zen garden.
After a well-deserved lunch at Plai Fah, the international restaurant located by the main swimming pool of the Ritz-Carlton Phulay Bay, we decided to spend the afternoon wandering the resort and its sumptuous gardens, reminiscent of a scene from The Lord of the Rings. They did a fantastic job keeping the environment as natural as possible, keeping the various streams of water and other centenary trees.
The staff was kind enough to let us see some of the other room categories, as we were curious if all of them had similar decor or were different. The best answer is: all the villas share a sense of grandeur thanks to their high ceiling and interesting art placed in each and every corner, but there are different enough to justify a second or third visit in another room category.
In the evening, we were invited to Jampoon Restaurant, Ritz-Carlton Reserve Phulay Bay’s all-day dining, which provides a varied offering of Mediterranean-inspired and Western cuisine, presented in an intimate, contemporary setting. We ordered the melt-in-the-mouth beef Massaman, made using slow-cooked Wagyu beef and sweet potatoes, the chicken Satay, as well as the Laab Tod Moo, an Issan specialty made with pork and other local ingredients.
After such a pleasurable dinner, it was time to head back to our luxurious villa and to call it a night. Our butler kindly escorted us back and asked us about our breakfast preferences for the next morning. We settled on early breakfast, as we wanted to explore the island of Koh Hong in the morning, a complimentary activity from the resort. We chose to mix their continental breakfast with some Asian delicacies, just to bring a touch of heat to their delicious pastries and hash browns.
As efficient as a Swiss watch, the team has dressed up the outside table at the requested time and let us know our meal was served by gently tapping on the window. We devoured each item with such pleasure, as we could really taste the freshness of each product, from the pastries to the mustard and their tantalizing bacon and eggs.
At 8:00 am, our butler informed us that the buggy was ready to pick us up to lead us to the pier, which is located right in front of Chomtawan, the beach lounge, where a local fisherman was waiting to accompany us to Koh Hong, a 20-minute ride from the resort.
It took our boat captain approximately 20 minutes to reach the shores of Koh Hong, a small island that is part of the Than Bok Khorani National Park. Upon arrival, a guard from the national park took our temperature and helped us cross the pier to reach the white sandy beach.
As we were the first persons to reach the island, there were no footprints in the sand and the water was crystal clear, with the occasional schools of fish that would delight the amateurs of snorkeling.
Once you have enough of sunbathing, you can always explore the short trail, which lasts approximately 30 minutes and runs through the small jungle at the back of the beach. Be careful though, as the fauna was isolated from civilization for the past few months, so you may stumble upon local animals and insects, like the beautiful spider we caught on our way in. Before midday, we decided to head back to the resort, as a group of other tourists arrived on the island, but not before visiting a secluded lagoon on the other side of the island.
Before we left the hotel, we decided to explore The Spa, which is located at the center of the resort. In addition to a plethora of traditional treatments and massages, the venue offers several rooms for you to explore, such as the vitality pool, which is a thermal pool and therapeutic head showers, a state-of-the-art sauna with unobstructed views over the gardens, and a separate hammam, with lights on the ceiling representing the stars. They even have a relaxation room with soft music and the most comfortable pillows.
Until October 31, 2020, Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve offers an incredible promotion to make your stay even more perfect; automatic upgrade, flexible check-in and check-out, late breakfast until 1:00 pm, complimentary spa for couples. Make sure to check out their website at www.ritzcarlton.com/PhulayBay or give them a call at +66 75 628 111. You can also search for phulaybayreserve on social media.