If ‘Fantasy Island’ were real, this would be it. A 30-minute boat ride away from their executive boarding lounge at Chalong pier, this is a true getaway from the hustle and bustle of popular resort-land, Phuket.
The Racha is an eco-luxury beach resort, fringed by the powdery, sandy beach at Batok Bay, complete with impossibly perfect turquoise water, a hotspot for snorkelling and diving enthusiasts. While by day you may share the bay with day trippers looking for a slice of marine paradise, by 3pm, the place is entirely yours. That’s if you’re inclined to leave your luxurious villa, of course. Our enormous home away from home with gorgeous garden and private plunge pool was just one of 85 private retreats, blending minimalist elegance with the ultimate in comforts. Plus there are some great, quirky touches – like an illustrated ocean creature guide left on your bed at night; unique scents of choice that linger magically around you throughout your stay; and the ‘do not disturb’ sign that’s actually a beanie-baby sea-turtle or octopus.
For sheer indulgence, one could opt for the property’s top-end villas (mansions) or even its own converted lighthouse, strategically located to deliver unfathomably beautiful views.
There isn’t much else on the island, so you’re at the mercy of the resort when it comes to food and beverage, but we weren’t disappointed. On the whole, the service at the Racha could be much sharper and speedier in our humble opinion, but when you’re experiencing the ultimate laid-back vibe, sometimes you’re not that fussed.