First Stop in Thailand – Sheraton Krabi Hotel

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This post is part of a larger trip report from my 17 day trip to Thailand (Krabi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Bangkok) and Hong Kong!

  1. Using Miles to Book Flights on American Airlines Home from Hong Kong
  2. Using Miles to Book Flights on Continental to Thailand
  3. Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort Review
  4. Thailand Beaches Day 1: Phi Phi Excursion
  5. Thailand Beaches Day 2 & 4: Railey Beach
  6. Thailand Beaches Day 3: Hong Island
  7. Massages and Dining in Ao Nang, Krabi
  8. Northern Thailand – First Stop Chiang Mai
  9. Three Day Trek and the Golden Triangle
  10. Spending New Years Eve in Chiang Mai
  11. Wandering Around Chiang Mai
  12. Le Meridien Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai Hotel Review
  13. Aloft Bangkok Hotel Review
  14. Temples, Activities, and Dinning in Bangkok
  15. Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel Review
  16. Things to do in Hong Kong
  17. A Day in Macau

The Sheraton Krabi Hotel was our first stop on our trip to Thailand.  We stayed here for 5 nights and redeemed 28,000 Starwood points. This hotel is a category 3, so 7,000 points per night, and as all SPG redemptions, the 5th night is free. This was a great redemption as we stayed here over Christmas and the rate was going for over $200 a night. This valued each point at about 3.7 cents per point, which is pretty decent!

We arrived at the hotel around 1pm and spent the rest of the day at the resort. This was our only “resort” day as all of the other days we were out and about visiting other islands. Walking into the hotel you definitely get that “resort” feel. It has a really nice outside lobby and fairly large grounds. Since we were there during Christmas week they were 100% booked, but you would have never known. The resort never felt crowded. There are about a total of 165 guest rooms and 6 suites. However, they were in the midst of renovating one of the towers, which included 3 of the suites. While I was not upgraded (I was Gold at the time), I really think all of the rooms are exactly the same, aside from the suites. Every room looks into the hotel grounds and you can get a glimpse of the water. Each room has a patio or balcony, depending on what floor you are on. The rooms are further back from the water and with only three floors, no rooms have a full ocean view (except the suites). It was nice knowing that there were no parking lot views. There are also golf carts with drivers who will take you around the resort, if needed. It is not necessary at all, but nice to know that option exists.

Hotel Lobby

The golf cards that will take you to your room – totally unnecessaryOne of the hotel buildings – all are looking out to the hotel grounds and you enter around the back

Location

The resort is located in the same area as the Sofitel and the Ritz Carlton. While the location of this hotel is extremely quiet, it is far from the main part of town, Ao Nang. Depending on what you are looking for, the location can be a huge positive or negative. If you are looking for a quiet, remote getaway, while primarily just enjoying the hotel, then the location is great. Personally, I was not a fan of the location, as it was far from town and expensive to get to. Ao Nang contained more of the nightlife with restaurants and walking streets. It was also the launching area to get to Railey Beach (more on that in a later post). It was only a 15-20 minute ride, but could get pricey. The hotel ran a shuttle and charged 200 baht per person round-trip ($7). The shuttle also did not run as often as I’d expect. The first shuttle in the morning did not leave till 10am. The last return from Ao Nang was at 10:30pm. While the shuttles are limited, it is much more preferable as a taxi will set you back 500 baht one-way ($17).

The Sheraton is probably nicer than any hotel you’d get in Ao Nang, however, there did seem to be a few nice resorts in town. So it really depends on what you are looking for.

Dining Options

I am not a huge fan of eating at a hotel restaurant, especially when in another country. We actually did not eat any of my meals at the hotel as we prefer a more authentic meal.

However, there were many dining options. For breakfast, there was one restaurant where you could get a buffet for 600 baht per person ($20) or order a la carte. Upon check in, the hotel only tells you about the buffet option, but if you go to the restaurant you can ask for the a la carte menu.

The swim up pool bar also offered food, which we did eat/drink at a few times. While the food was obviously much more expensive than the food vendors right outside of the hotel, it was still cheap, especially compared to your typical Starwood hotel. Beer was about $5, cocktails $7, and food ranged between $5-$10.

Right outside of the hotel is a pretty decent size village with many food options. There is a 7-11 where we got breakfast each morning for about $1. There are also many cafes and dinner options. A pretty decent restaurant right across from the hotel is called “The Terrace.” This was an open aired restaurant and had a nice atmosphere.  We actually ate here twice. While the Ritz Carlton is much nicer than the Sheraton (from what I’ve heard and the fact that it is one of their reserve properties) the location of the Sheraton was much better. The little village right outside was a huge plus and the Ritz (nor any of the other hotels in the area I believe) do not have this convenience.

This area is right across the street from the Sheraton entrance. 

Swim up bar – they made some great cocktails!

Pool and Beach

There are two infinity pools at the hotel, one for adults and one for kids. Neither were too large, but were still nice.

From the beach you can also hire a private long tail boat to take you to many of the islands. A private long tail boat, however, can get  a little pricey, but if you have a full family could definitely be worth it.

Infinity pool

Lounging in cabanas around the pool

Lounge chairs at the beach. We actually did not spend any time at this beach as it is not nearly as nice as some of the other beaches/islands in the area!

Water activities by the beach. If you are gold or platinum member you get an hour free of kayaking. This is also where you can arrange a long tail boat to visit some of the other islands.

Rooms

The standard rooms were absolutely fine – a decent size bedroom and bathroom, nothing too special, but we didn’t spend much time in the room. I really do believe all of the rooms are exactly the same.

Bedroom with a little changing area to the right of the bar. We were on the first floor so had a patio (that we never even used)

Bathroom with double sinks. There was also a clothing line in the tub to hang your bathing suites – always an added bonus!

 

Club Lounge

There is a club lounge right off of the lobby. Platinum members receive complimentary access. There is also the option to pay for access at 2,200 baht per day ($73). Since I was a few nights shy of earning my platinum status and was not going to pay a ridiculous amount, I did not have access to the lounge. There looked to be a smaller buffet breakfast in the morning and appetizers in the evening. I personally do not believe paying for the lounge access at this resort is worth it, especially since it did not look too special and there are many dining options right outside of the resort.

Internet Access

Since this is a Sheraton, there is a link@Sheraton business center with unlimited free computer and internet access. You are also able to connect your own device to their free wifi in the lobby. In the business center there were four computers for use and were typically always available. The network would crash every so often and automatically log you out of the computer. This was semi-annoying, but what can you do.  I thought this was a great perk that the hotel offered.

Getting There

Krabi does not have nearly as many direct stops at Phuket, which makes it a little more remote. From Bangkok, however, there are multiple flights throughout the day, or if you are coming from the north, you can fly into Phuket and it is about an hour and 45 minute taxi ride (assuming no major rain storms). The hotel itself is about 25 minutes from the Krabi airport and costs 700 baht to get to (about $23). The hotel shuttle is much more expensive and there is no reason to reserve this shuttle as there are a million taxis outside.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, this was a decent hotel. While I did not fully utilize the amenities, it was a really nice resort. While I enjoyed the hotel and the grounds, for my traveling style, I would have preferred to stay closer to the town just for the convenience to the other islands. I actually would have probably split it up and stayed right on some of the islands as they were beautiful! For those that want to just relax at a nice resort and do not care about being on the go, this is a great place to stay and use your points!

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Comments

  1. stayed at this property a few years ago. jealous.
    the town of krabi is beautiful and fun to walk around in esp around sunset as it faces south.
    the fish restaurants that are all piled up on the west side of the town are pretty good too.
    good memories. thanks for sharing.

  2. We had a five night stay last year. We stayed shortly after the filming of Hangover 2 wrapped up there. We found the restaurants and cafes outside of the property to be a welcome departure from the cuisine at the resort, especially from the point of view of price. We took advantage of the laundry ladies and the Thai massage adjacent to the property as well. As a Gold, we used the kayaks every day we were on property, they were little used, it appeared, and although we were only supposed to have them for one hour (afternoon only), that was not enforced. We did a couple of off site activities, one arranged by the resort, a day long scuba/snorkel trip, which was arranged by the Dive shop, and a 1/2 day kayak trip which we arranged ourselves, with a local company. Keep in mind, if you use the resort for any similar arrangements, there is the usual resort markup. We were primarily there to chill, and so did not do a lot. This trip was a three week trip, and it was nice to have this resort interlude, on an otherwise pretty hectic trip. While not truly a high end resort, it was just fine for what we needed.

    • @D – Sounds like a great 5 night vacation! I agree with the restaurants outside the resort, very good and super cheap!

  3. My wife and I and a couple of friends stayed at the Sheraton Krabi last month. We rented a car to get around Krabi because we know the Sheraton would be away from most attractions. It was a good decision since Ao Nang’s night life would be too much to our liking. I agree with most people that this is not high-end resort, but a decent one. The property is massive, and the service is great.

    I would recommend anyone who visit Krabi to eat at Wang Sai seafood restaurant in Ao Nang. We love the view and the food was great.

    • @Tommy – I agree with your take on Krabi. It was by no means as high-end as some of your other starwood beach properties, it was a perfect choice and a good decision when using points.

  4. While it sounds like you had a nice trip, compared to all the other properties I’ve seen in the Phuket/Krabi area (including the JW Marriott I stayed at last December), this has to be the lowest quality resort out of them all. Again, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a wonderful time, but after seeing these pictures, and reading your review, I am 100% certain there are many better hotel options (that are very inexpensive) in the area.

    • @JP – Agreed, but… there are no other options with points (unless you completely splurge with the Ritz Phulay Bay) in Krabi. From doing some research and talking to others, I am glad with my decision on Krabi over Phuket.

    • @Tomek – I would suggest reaching out to the hotel directly to see if it is handycap accessible. They were very responsive when I emailed them about my stay a few years ago.

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