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  The Rayavadee Hotel & Beach Resort, Krabi, Thailand
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An ideal eco-friendly getaway for nature loving Flashpackers.

Ironically it was our 20 year old son who had backpacked to Thailand last year and had spotted the hotel when he was staying next door.

"You have got to go there Mum and Dad, it's unlike anywhere else you've ever been."

So, following in our son’s footsteps, a short flight on Bangkok Airways takes us to Krabi, on the west coast of Southern Thailand. Our chauffeur whisks us through the town and then we board a posh speedboat to the second destination on the Mr & Mrs Smith hotel experts menu, the Rayavadee Hotel & Beach Resort.

From the moment we board the speedboat and land on the shores of the 26 acres of tropical forest, our hearts beat faster in anticipation of the wonders to follow.

This luxury eco-friendly resort is flanked by a triangle of three beaches: Nam Maeo, Railay and Phra Nang. Depending on the guide book the latter is rated number three in the world.

The Rayavadee (Land of the Princess), is the second hotel on our 'Flashpacker' trip to Thailand. It's a perfect romantic getaway for we gap year parents whose kid has flown the coop and an eco-traveller's magnet with over 300 flower and tree species.

*There is a monkey outside my Garden Pavilion, pressing his nose close to the glass, he stares at me through the window. We eyeball each other. Soon bored he scurries away into the darkness. However, we are happy to stay in our two storey forest dwelling, not the Goldilocks kind but more like a sexy little temple of meditation, where we discuss the meaning of life in the bathroom’s huge circular tub.

Rising early I have a sumptuous breakfast buffet at Raya dining, which of course is what you would expect from a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Philip speeds off to Phra Nang to photograph the beach looking as God intended, before the Chinese New Year crowds descend on the pristine powdery sand. They lunch on street food from the boats – tasty, fresh and quick. We take out time over Mai Tai’s and salads spectating from the terrace of Krua, the hotel’s beachfront bar and restaurant.

The Rayavadee Hotel & Beach Resort Photo Gallery

The Rayavadee Sunset Cruise and Thailand Island Hopping Trip

We take a Sunset Cruise on a Chinese junk with vibrant red sails. Gliding out to sea with an Italian honeymoon couple, we munch Thai titbits and drink wine.

Later our guide taps his watch and says the sun will set at six twenty. So cameras at the ready eight minutes later than predicted we snap the orange orb going to bed.

Not for us. We dress up and greet the moonlit night at the Rayavadees romantic Krua Phranang feasting on a traditional Thai Banquet.

The next day at the Rayavadee Spa I surrender to 105 minutes of intense pleasure: a Thai massage without oil. After the session I feel more comfortable in my body than I have done in many years.

Another day we take the Rayavadee island hopping trip accompanied by a German and Italian couple. We moor at Chicken Island where we snorkel and my Flashpacker husband communes on the beach with Joey; a flame-haired Australian backpacker from Melbourne.

Bamboo Island is the next island hop and this is truly Paradise...

A picnic is laid out on the beach and the six of us squat down on the white silky sand and tuck into a surprisingly tasty lunch. In the gentle breeze we are friends in harmony.

Spotting preparations for a Thai beach wedding my husband, always up for a romantic moment says, “Let’s get married again.”

Massimo our new best Italian friend, photographs us standing together at the alfresco altar. Our second Honeymoon; that is how I will always remember the Rayavadee.

Room rates at the Rayavadee start at £391 plus tax. We booked the hotel through Mr & Mrs Smith Boutique & Luxury Hotels Tel: 0845 034 0700. You don't have to be a member to book, but for an annual fee of £20 there are terrific offers, discounts and perks on the Smith hotel collection.


© Philip and Nina Saville, The 2012-15