Hotel Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort review: Thailand's biggest hotel pool a highlight

Our rating

4 out of 5

Highlights

A beautiful setting and an impressive pool on the doorstep of some of Thailand's most stunning islands.

Lowlights

Minor service slip-ups and the beach is not particularly exciting.

The location

Sitting on the edge of the Andaman Sea in one of Thailand's most beautiful spots, the Sofitel is a self-contained resort some distance away from downtown Krabi, but with ease of access to the region's beautiful islands via longboat operators on the resort's doorstep.

The space

The Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra is vast, with a total of 276 rooms and suites spread across a whopping 120 acres (485,623 sqm) including the golf course.. The resort is home to the largest hotel swimming pool in Thailand, a huge, lagoon-style space containing 7000 square metres of water, with a swim-up bar and jacuzzi. And surrounding it are 300 sunbeds. As a bonus, despite the size of the pool, there is a separate one for kids. Next to the resort is a lush, nine-hole golf course.

Comfort factor

My ground-floor room is spacious, well appointed and very comfortable. A sliding door allows me on to my terrace but from here I can take a short walk through the gardens directly to the giant pool. The classic wood furnishings and floorboards make the room feel cosy and more European than Asian. The bathroom is large and features a powerful shower – perfect to wash off the dirt as I've arrived here from a sweaty six-day cycling trip. Toiletries are from L'Occitane.

The only black mark is that the kettle from my room is missing so I can't make a cup of tea. I call guest services, who tell me they will bring one, but it never arrives.

The food

The resort offers a good range of dining options, with three restaurants plus a cafe and a pool bar that also does food. Of the restaurants, Maya offers a variety of cuisines while White Lotus is Thai fare. However, having spent the past week eating nothing but Thai food, I opt for a meal at the Italian-themed Ristorante Venezia. The minestrone soup is fresh and light, if a little bland, but the capricciosa wood-fired pizza is delicious, with a thin crust and not the slightest hint of oiliness or sogginess. The dough is fresh and you can watch it being made before your eyes near the entry.

The buffet breakfast at Maya offers a huge selection of options of both Western and Asian influence and the standard is excellent.

Stepping out

With the enormous pool, there's no real need to leave the resort and go to the beach (other than to watch the stunning sunsets), which is just as well as the beach here is a little rough, with rocks and broken coral.

Not that this really matters: the beautiful islands of the Andaman are on your doorstep. Simply walk across the road from the resort to the beach and you'll find a number of longboat operators offering day trips. As I'm pressed for time, I can only visit one: Hong Island. Though it's one of the more popular options and therefore quite busy, it's still a stunning place: white-sand beaches surrounded by the limestone cliffs the region is famous for.

The verdict

With its huge pool and vast size, the Hotel Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra is a good option for those seeking the seclusion of a self-contained resort holiday while still enjoying the nearby islands.

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How to get there

Thai Airways flies to Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth with connecting flights to Krabi (about one hour's flight). A taxi to the resort from Krabi Airport costs about 900 baht.

Essentials

Rooms start from THB3385 ($136) a night. 200 Moo 3 T. Nongtalay, A. Muang Krabi, Krabi, Thailand. Phone: +66 75 627 800. See the Accor hotels website for details.

The writer stayed as a guest of the Hotel Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort.

See also: Krabi: Asia's stand-out tropical wonder
See also: The ultimate baby-friendly resort in Phuket