West Railay, Thailand
The day we were to arrive in Railay we called Railei Beach Club and asked to rent a house for just two nights instead of their three night minimum and we checked in hours later! I don’t know if we would have been so lucky in high season but it worked out for us in late November.
I was so intrigued by Railei Beach Club’s story as it reminded me so much of the premise of The Beach (which I’m sure is intentional). Whether it’s true or not, it’s an enchanting story and I went along with it.
Railei Beach Club, excerpt from History of RBC:
“It was two explorers with an interest in nature who found ‘The Beach’ back in 1985. They realized that this would be an eminent place to contemplate life and what is more, they also realized it could easily be a lonesome place as there was not a single dwelling on either side of the peninsula. [Which really puts into perspective how much tourism can change a place. I would have loved to see it back then!] So, they set out with a few friends with whom one could shoot the breeze at sunset. Hence, like-minded souls among their friends were offered a slice of paradise and a “Club House” was built to accommodate those who had not yet built their own. Homes were constructed by a colourful character named Chang Thai, and in those days, quality wood was still available. The hippie community of world travelers had also discovered the beauty of the place and a few simple but terrific restaurants sprang up along the beach. Over time the character of Railay community has, of course, changed. Everybody wants development, but nobody wants change. We see more tourists and hear more boats, but we have better comfort, services, fancier restaurants and an airport. To many, Railei Beach Club hasn’t changed much in 20 years and has preserved its spirit , beautiful nature, wildlife, huge space and privacy. Come and enjoy as the owners have chosen to rent their homes and share this slice of paradise.”
Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this community? Even if it’s just for two nights.
24 privately owned houses and 9 guest wings are spread out over the property’s 17 acres. Each house has it’s own charm but they are all traditional Thai style homes that take advantage of the beautiful nature surrounding them. Think huge wraparound porches, lots of windows and my favorite part- outdoor showers! All of the homes are just a short walk to beautiful West Railay Beach. The homes range from one to four bedrooms, sleeping two to eight people. Six of the homes have A/C in the bedrooms. The rest have plenty of fans and when you open all the doors and windows it’s comfortable (at least in late November it was) and honestly it just adds to the whole experience. The beds also have mosquito nets! We used these mosquito repellent bracelets and they worked for me for close to 24 hours. Once I noticed I was starting to get bit I put a new bracelet on.
At night you can visit “The Sunset Bar” which faces the beach to enjoy cocktails as you watch the sunset (obviously). We never made it to the bar but we did love that they had a fridge full of beers and drinks that was operated via an honor system. You can take whatever you need and just make a note in the book to add it to your rooms tab. This was great when we were getting back from exploring or waiting on our crew to get ready for the night.
Railai Beach Club also offers private in-house chefs, grocery shopping, massages, kayak rentals, beach chairs, fresh drinks and ice, etc. I believe the cut off for ordering a private dinner is mid-morning so make plans ahead of time if this is something you want to do. It’s definitely on my to-do list next time I visit!
The staff was super friendly and helpful! At check-in they provide you with a map of the area and attractions to visit. This was extremely helpful and made our time on Railay so easy and special- from exploring caves to beautiful viewpoints. The staff are always willing to make recommendations and help you with whatever you need. They can also arrange excursions like a highly recommended cruise which includes drinks, meals, snorkeling and a nighttime swim with bioluminescent plankton! This fills up quickly so book it at least a day or two in advance. Also on my to-do list for next time!
We stayed in Baan View Kaow 24 which has A/C on the main floor of the house where we had two bedrooms. I slept in the upstairs loft on the third floor but was never uncomfortable without the A/C thanks to the fans provided.
Now for the grand tour!!!
Baan View Kaow 24, The Yard
The Bottom Floor featured two hammocks to relax in, an outdoor kitchen, dining table, a full bathroom and my absolute favorite part of the whole house…
… the outdoor shower!
Jet lag had me up around four or five a.m. but I loved waiting until the sun was just starting to come up to go downstairs for the most peaceful shower ever. Outside in the jungle, listening for monkeys in the trees and enjoying the sound of the waves in the distance was no less than magical. That outdoor shower is seriously one of my fondest memories of Thailand. It was my alone time with nature where I could really reflect on and enjoy how beautiful Thailand was. Now I have dreams of having my own one day.
On our second morning at Railai Beach Club we woke up early to catch the sunrise on the beach and as everyone was putting their swimsuits on a group of monkeys came swinging into the trees in our backyard. We sat on our porch and watched in amazement as they played and climbed and swung around. It was another one of my favorite memories from our trip. Aside from the occasional runner we had West Railay Beach to ourselves that morning.
The Main Floor of the house had a large living room, two bedrooms and another full bathroom.
To get to the loft you had to climb a steep set of stairs where you would find two more beds.
- The location is perfect! West Railay Beach is more secluded than East Railay and more beautiful. With only a few places to stay on the West Railay it can feel like you have the whole beach to yourselves at times – like sunrise!
- The staff is topnotch and willing to help with anything you may need.
- The homes are gorgeous, unique and true to Thai style.
- You get to stay amongst nature!
If I had to pick one place to go back to in Thailand it would be Railai Beach Club! I loved everything about it and recommend it and Railay to everyone I know going to Thailand.
Where is your favorite place you’ve ever stayed?! Let me know so I can add it to my list!