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“Lovely relaxing holiday” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Khaolak Merlin Resort

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Khaolak Merlin Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   7/7 Phetkasem Road, Khao Lak 82210, Thailand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #20 of 61 Hotels in Khao Lak
Certificate of Excellence
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Lovely relaxing holiday”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

We stayed at the Merlin Khaolak from 13th March until 23rd March. We had a lovely room overlooking pool 2. The hotel has many different pools dotted around the grounds of the resort. There is a wonderful jungle atmosphere with large trees, plants and flowers all through the resort. There are a lot of steps and slopes to get from the top of the resort to the bottom and this may be difficult for those with mobility difficulties, we found it a blessing as this was the only exercise we got whilst staying at the resort. The beach is one of the nicest we have seen in Thailand and the sea is simply gorgeous, very clear and very warm.
We only ate twice in the hotel and this was at lunch at the beach bar. The food is adequate, a mixture of thai ,burgers and pizzas but I would recommend taking a short stroll along the beach(out of the hotel and right) to eat cheaper and nicer traditional thai food, we also walked into the area outside the hotel that I liked to refer to as the village where all the restaurants were happy to serve a lunch as small or large as you liked.

There is approx. 12 restaurants in the village and about 6 different bars, we found this more than adequate to cater to all our needs. The food is all of a similar quality and very tasty, but the service does vary. We particularly liked 999kitchen, which was just out of the village on the main road and Mali which serves both Thai and indian food and is just past the 4 tailors shops.
Our favourite bar was The Blackjack bar which did cocktails for 100baht., but the service was also good at the tiger bar,just a the bottom of the slope opposite the entrance to the emerald hotel.

We did get a taxi into Khaolak centre for a change of scenery this will cost you 150baht. There are many restaurants, shops/stalls and supermarkets in the centre and its well worth well worth a trip in. We also visited Bang Niang market, 250baht in a taxi, it gives you a real local feel, with stalls selling meat,Fish,veg as well as the requisite tourist items. There are also a myriad of cooked food stalls selling very cheap satay chicken,squid etc.
All taxis can be picked up in the village and all are set prices.

All in all we loved this hotel and would return, the only downside that I could find was that British tourists don't seem to have found this hotel unlike the Germans and the Swedish.
Oh and weather was superb throughout our stay.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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462 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (88)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Aldershot, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

From jungle to beach delightful.

We staid at the Merlin for two weeks until 10th March.
After 24 hours traveling we arrived early our room was not ready, the reception staff altered our accommodation and we were in another room within 20 minutes.
They put us in room 3222 an upstairs room overlooking the pool by the restaurant. We thought it might be noises but it proved the opposite very quiet with delightful views through the tropical landscape. Another benefit being close to the bar we were able to get free wifi on the balcony.
The room was large and airy, with a control panel for a/c fan and lighting, a good size bathroom with walk in shower and sicken bath. The maid service was excellent.

Breakfast was a buffet selection with two egg stations, a very good selection covering local and European tastes. The waiter staff kept your table clear and topped up you tea and coffee efficiently, they really work hard and are so polite, it's great to be greeted by a smile in the morning.

The grounds of the hotel are in a tropical jungle stile with various pools and water features, the ground maintenance staff work hard in a low key manner to ensure this theme works.
The sun beds are on a lawn in front of the beach, they are a bit dated but serve there purpose. The hotel is occupied 98% German so the towels go out early in the morning, tried going down after breakfast but most of the beds had towels on, in the end had to go and put towels on us beds before breakfast. This is the only area I think the management should control. Plus a lck of sun beds when the hotel is fully occupied.

We did not eat in the hotel opting to eat locally. If you stroll out of the hotel and down the hill to the village there are many restaurants, our favourites were the Bamboo, Maleevan across the main road good traditions food a lot of locals eat here. Also as you come out to the main road there is a restaurant on the right hand side can't remember name but very good, also do a mean cocktail.

Used the local taxis to go into KhaoLak centre a few nights ate at Smile had a good meal and at Joe's steak house twice very good but ate from their thai menu and Walkers inn just at the beginning of the town very good.

Beaches, the beach at the hotel is great turn right and walk about 15 minutes to the start of jungle, turn left and you can walk for 30 minutes passing great little beach shacks offering good priced food drinks and massage. If you turn left and walk around the bay at approx 10.45 the elephants are trekking along the beach.

We did a few trips, used the hotel echo lak travel to go to James Bond Island excellent
day out, taking in sea canoeing, floating village spend some time exploring the back alleys to see how they live, And the golden Buddha in a cave.

For our other trips we used Mr Moo a great guy you can get to him by turning left on the beach and walk for ten minutes then about 50 yards inland. He will put together what you want and is very knowledgable with reasonable prices.
Went to the Similan islands for the day, please go the colour of the water is turquoise
and the beaches pure white sand all with good snorkelling, it gets a bit busy in the afternoon but well worth the trip, you stop at two islands for the beaches and another two for snorkelling
Went to Chiewlaan lake for the day with our own guide, a very early start but once there the scenery is like stepping back in time to Jurrasic Park. You travel around the lake by long tail boat, the lake covers 165 sqr kl, you also do a jungle walk and a ride on bamboo raft to visit limestone caves. The topographic vista of the lake and tree covered limestone hills is majestic.

Took a taxi to Bang Niag market very interesting local market, also agree with another trip advisor review the banana pancakes are great. While there cross the main road and visit the wreck of the police launch washed inland by the surname, now being transformed into a national monument. We walked from here to the beach and it brings home the power of the sunami.

From the hotel if you go to the village then turn right onto the main road about 800yds is a turning on the left to the Tom pling waterfall a out 15 mins walk up the road worth a look, you will pass a small Zoo on the right, keep walking and you will come to a mahout
with two elephants. We arranged to go late one afternoon for an hours trek. I think
the elephant wanted to stop and indulge in fresh food but she went on tracks that you would not think possible for such a large animal. The mahout was more interested in using my camera to take photo's running of in front to get to vantage points, great fun. We did buy her some bananas's on the return.

All in all a great holiday, thanks to all the staff at the Merlin.

Also used Phuket Shuttle for transfers to and from the airport all flawless Thank you.

Room Tip: superior rooms on the second floor have a very high wooden ceiling that gives a colonial feel to the...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oudenaarde, Belgium
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

We stayed here 6 days, 3° week of January 2012. This hotel did a nice job trying to create a jungle atmosphere with lots of different vegetation (everything grows there, amazing) and waterfall pools, very nice indeed. Our standard room was perfect, with a big bathroom and it was absolutely spotlessly clean. We had a nice balcony overlooking the upper pool, near the main restaurant where breakfast was served as well. Breakfast was good, no freshly squeezed juices but lots of fruit, a separate “egg-pavilion” where you could have your eggs done in every way you wish, lots of cold and hot stuff. I have seen better breakfast buffets but it was certainly good enough for us.
Each afternoon, around 3.30 pm we had a fantastic giant cricket concert for free. Amazing how much decibels those small creatures produce. I measured 75 DB with an Ipad Application but it seemed much louder. It can go on for half an hour or 3 quarters of an hour. I liked it, but not everybody did. Luckily, crickets need their night rest as well.
Good point for this hotel : many longchairs available at the beach side and drinks are not too much overpriced.
We only had dinner once inside the hotel, at the restaurant at the beach side. Quite good but a bit too much tourist food. There was a Polynesian show going on. Women dancing with their bra-coconut shells and men making strange sounds and moves as well…also tourist food. We loved to dine outside the hotel, better and cheaper. We especially loved a small restaurant (the last one when you get on the main road at the right side) where a young Thai couple were really doing their utmost to deliver good quality and service. Our first dinner there with a cocktail to start with, a huge bowl of delicious soup, a main dish, 2 beers and a tea was only at 840 BHT for us both. You can’t beat that and it was so good. We also had once a giant lobster there of 1,1 kg at 1200 BHT. Really party time here.
When you get out of the hotel and you go down the hill (200 meter) the first bar you will find is “Tiger Bar”, Good music if you are between 40 and 60 and nice atmosphere till late at night in the open air.
We made many trips. I shouldn’t make too much publicity about his…our favorite one was “Little Amazon” which we were able to do in a small boat with our own guide. So different then the-full-with-lifejackets-packed big tourists boats who spoil the whole Amazon-atmosphere. We were able to book this with Ariane at “Beautiful Khaolak.com” who also organized our private cooking lessons and elephant trip. Excellent service..

For wheelchair users, the hotel is built on a small hill side. If you don’t have assistance, it is a serious sport exercise to wheel from the beachside to the main restaurant and reception. There were ramps everywhere and they were, in general, well made, but it is quite a job. If you do have assistance, then you need to help a lot as well if you don’t want to lose your assistant. Our room and bathroom was excellent for wheelchair use. On the same level as breakfast area. (Room 3124) They have another wheelchair accessible room : N°3122.

Room Tip: Wheelchair accessibility in rooms 3122 & 3124
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterborough, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

We spent 14 nights here and had the most relaxing time. The staff are wonderful - nothing is too much trouble. Big thanks to Gina for arranging taxis etc - she is very helpful and entertaining! Excellent choice at breakfast and the tea is very good. As English abroad, we love our tea and this was the best we had. Our room was lovely but would recommend a higher floor room as the last night we had children in the room above and it was quite noisy but as we were going home it didn't bother us. The only thing I missed were dressing gowns in the room and also an iron but that's the only criticism. Lots of places to eat and drink along the beach and so cheap. Nothing better than sitting having a cool beer and snack at lunchtime for about £5/6 - amazing. If you go to Lanna's snack bar on the beach you can watch the elephants come on the beach - my husband fed them bananas. Quite an experience. Although the hotel food is very good, we ate at Jo's Seafood restaurants which is wonderful. Staff friendly and again cheap Hotel book taxis for you into Khao Lak itself - Smile restaurant is a must. We will definitely return.

Room Tip: Go for a higher room - less noise and better views. Rooms 3240, 3241, 3242 and 3243 are best.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013 via mobile

Service, service, service! From the moment you arrive till the moment you leave, you will feel the warm Thai hospitality. Staff is genuinely friendly and will make your stay relaxing and pleasant. Grounds are breathtaking, very open and gives feeling of seclusion. Steps to beaches and pools. The open air patio with 180 views of ocean is spectacular place to chill and enjoy a cocktail or cold singha.... Paradise awaits you here...

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

We have just spent 10 nights at this hotel and I don't think I can find much to fault. Our room was lovely, on a top floor as we had requested, and as it was at the back of the hotel it was very quiet.The staff were lovely and kept the place spotless. The breakfasts were excellent, probably the best that we have come across in recent years.We had one lunch at the hotel that was ok but eating out was nicer and cheaper.All the restaurants outside were very good and cheap, apart from the Italian, where I was ill after a meal there. I then stuck to Thai food and was fine the whole time. As mentioned by others the hotel guest were mostly Germans, we did not hear another English voice while we were there, and they did like to get their towels on the sun loungers early in the morning! However, we tended to stay by one of the pools at the rear of the hotel and this was lovely and peaceful, with at most 10 people there. The beach was beautiful and I would highly recommend having a massage there overlooking the ocean. Heaven! We absolutely loved our time at the Merlin and would not hesitate to recommend it.

Room Tip: Ask for a top floor room at the back of the hotel.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monmouth, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

We've just returned from 10 days at the Merlin and can recommend it highly. It won't be to everyone's taste so here are a few points that may help:

Room: Having read the reviews, we'd asked for a quiet room on a high floor and that's what we got. Looking out over a shaded courtyard (not much a view) it was one of those most newly built, in 'modern Asian' rather than 'rustic' style, spacious and with all mod cons. Excellent.
(While the hotel is built into a hillside, if needed it's possible to avoid many steps other than those up to the room as there are sloping paths in most places.)

Guests: The hotel was full, but with large grounds and many accommodation blocks, it didn't seem so. I'd say the average guest age was 50ish, with a good number of children and younger families largely occupied in the children's pool and playground area away from the main sunlounger area. Most of the guests were northern or eastern european (with a large variety of languages), including a small number of british and irish. This mix suited us well.

Beach: A long half-mile stretch of fine sand, with three large rocks visible at low tide. (The person in an earlier review who said it was not possible to get into the sea because of the very rocky beach must surely have been at a different hotel.) Lovely warm water, but slightly shelving getting into the sea on times, gets deep quite quickly and some strongish currents when the tide is turning. Fine for adult swimmers but non-swimmers and children would need supervision. For keen snorkellers, unfortunately no marine life whatsoever (and more positively, no jellyfish either when we were there).

No sunloungers are allowed on the beach but there are many in the large garden area just next to it. Those nearest to the beach are regimented and close together, but others are scattered around the grounds. The grounds are 'jungle style' with many mature plants and trees, winding waterchannels and about 5 swimming pools. (The waterchannels would benefit from the removal of fallen leaves but the leaves elsewhere add to the 'wild' rather than 'manicured' feel.)

Food: Breakfast in the hotel was excellent with a large choice. Some reviewers have commented that dirty plates are cleared away quickly - they are, but in a polite and unobtrusive way. Dinner was very good also - we tried both hotel restaurants. Lunch was very disappointing though (think motorway services) so after one sampling we gave it a miss.

As you might expect, there are also a good variety of places to eat nearby - in the village (out of hotel front door and a few hundred yards to left) or along the beach (out of hotel at rear and along to the right). Of the many Thai restaurants we tried, we liked best Jo's Seafood (nearly to end of beach on right) or the Ruan Thai (out of village to the main road, turn right and then nearly immediately on right). We ate twice also to Luciano's pizzeria and restaurant in the village and this was best of all, comparing very well to those we've been to both in Italy or the UK.

Excursions: there are lots bookable either via the hotel or from numerous places in the village, many involving elephant trekking or trips to islands. But we'd highly recommend one that needs to be booked directly by phone/email either before you arrive or from the hotel. This is a full-day cruise on the June Bahtra 'junk' and a longtail boat (see details at www.asian-oasis.com) which was excellent, with only a small number of passengers (14 when we went), a friendly crew and very good views, food and all-round experience. One small point to note though is that swimming time in the afternoon is straight off the boat into the sea and not at an island as stated.

Wifi: Not available free in rooms but accessible at the Lobby Bar, where there are also some fixed internet terminals. Speed generally good other than when a large number of guests decide to stream football matches to their ipads at the same time..

Bar: The doubling up of the bar as the wifi area means that it usually full of people staring into their devices while sipping drinks, which makes for a quiet atmosphere and often a shortage of space. The entertainment consists of a single, very good, singer/guitar player who is in the Lobby Bar most evenings. Meanwhile there are 'theme nights' in one or other of the hotel restaurants several times a week - the theme being largely about the food rather than entertainment.

Overall the Merlin is a very good, fairly quiet hotel giving value-for-money: we very much liked it. Recommended if this is what you're looking for.

Room Tip: Higher floor towards front of hotel are quieter and block 2 there seems to be most recent.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Khaolak Merlin Resort

Address: 7/7 Phetkasem Road, Khao Lak 82210, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Phang Nga Province > Khao Lak
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Khao Lak
#13 Spa Hotel in Khao Lak
#14 Romantic Hotel in Khao Lak
#16 Family Hotel in Khao Lak
#17 Luxury Hotel in Khao Lak
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Khaolak Merlin Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 236
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Khaolak Merlin Resort is a deluxe resort with style inspired by Thailand's rich culture, situated approximately 50 minutes away from Phuket International Airport yet set amongst peaceful tropical forest landscape and tranquil beaches. It has direct access to 190 meters of Khao Lak Beach front and is surrounded by 15 acres of lush tropical gardens. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Khaolak Merlin Khao Lak
Khaolak Merlin Hotel Khao Lak

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