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“Wonderful” 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 #21 of 60 Hotels in Khao Lak
4.5 of 5 stars 386 Reviews
Chesterfield, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Wonderful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

The Merlin is a fabulous hotel that strikes the perfect balance between luxury and relaxation. It is luxurious without being pompous and pretentious. The communal areas are stunning, with a classic Thai feel to them. They are all open-sided and surrounded by lush gardens with streams running through them. The pools blend beautifully into the landscaped gardens and nowhere feels built-up or crowded. The beach is stunning and, because loungers are not allowed on it, it is deserted and wonderful to walk along. The sea is tidal and so waves can be large at times. This isn't ideal for families with small children. The bedrooms are immaculate and modern, with lovely bathrooms and ours overlooked one of the stunning pools. Rooms are cleaned daily, with fresh sheets and towels (including beach). The service is friendly and efficient throughout the resort. The hotel taxi service is excellent and no more expensive than any other. The bars and beachfront snack-bar were all reasonably priced and, although more expensive than outside the hotel, not so much that we felt the need to go out during the day to eat elsewhere. We didn't eat in the restaurant other than at breakfast but this was very good, with a changing choice of dishes everyday on top of the usual breakfast staples. Outside the hotel there is a small cluster of shops and restaurants which provided adequate choice for evening meals. Our favourite was Roy Yim, which is an incredibly friendly family-run restaurant with a pleasant terrace and excellent Thai food. Dinner for 5, with plenty of cocktails and beer, was about £40. We tend to order around 5-7 dishes to share, plus rice, so this was amazing value. We followed recommendations and booked our tours through Mr Moo. These were far cheaper than anywhere else and were outstanding. We were the only people on both our tours so we had amazing expriences, especially the elephant trek, where we got to swim and play with our elephants in a lake for about 20 minutes - an amazing family experience. As we went in low season there wasn't much diving available in Khao Lak due to the Similans being closed. The hotel has an agreement with IQ dive (the only centre open!) but we weren't happy with their service so we approached `Superdive' in Phuket. They were fantastic and arranged 2 incredible 3-dive days in Phi Phi and Racha Noi/Racha Yai. Even with taxi fares to/from Phuket, they were significantly cheaper than IQ dive so we would recommend them highly. The Merlin is a lovely hotel in a great location and we had a fabulous holiday.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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386 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (68)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

Just come back from a 2 week holiday in Khao Lak and was very happy and impressed by the Merlin Resort. Rooms are good, breakfast buffet is great, and the landscaping of the resort is excellent loved the pools! If you eat in the evening there, the food is good and not too expensive - in fact a few of the restaurants we went to outside the hotel were similar prices. Average is around £3-£4 per dish.

We were both very sad to leave the Merlin Resort and we have vowed to come back!

A couple of tips here:

Airport cabs - BOSS CABS all the way - 1,000 bht is half or under what other taxi companies will charge and service is good.

Local cabs inc hotel - all seem to be the same - 150 or 250 bht depending how far along the main Khao Lak strip you are going (it's around 10km end to end).

Tours - the Khao Lak Eco tours that have a desk in the hotel are more expensive compare to some. The lady said it's because a lot don't have insurance but the others we looked at seemed to. Tours in general are not as good a value in Thailand as accommodation and food - £50 each average. Did the James Bond Island trip through the Khao Lak Eco Tours which cost about £100 for 2 of us. Word of warning - Don't bother. James Bond Island is just the biggest and busiest tourist trap I've ever seen. The 'Traditional Floating Village' experience is indeed an experience. You arrive from JB island, are marched into a big eating hall, served a mass produced and pretty bland meal and then you are shuffled through the maze of stalls and back onto the boat - no way of looking around the place! On the plus side of the day, the scenery on the way to JB Island is amazing!

Massage - Hotel Spa is expensive even with the 30% and subsequent 50% discount. Try the massage place on the corner next to supermarket and cab rank - 300bht for an hour...or 250bht if you go again.

Phuket - should you wish to go for a day out then get the bus - only 100bht each way as opposed to 2,500bht in a cab. The bus journey is a bit longer but for the sake of 30 mins and nearly £50 each way it's worth it...and it's air conditioned.

  • Stayed August 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Napier, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for the last 3 nights of our holiday in Thailand. We had just had 8 nights at the Merlin Beach Resort in Patong and were transported to the Khaolak Merlin Resort about an hours drive north of the International Airport. The resort is on the side of a hill and slopes down to the beach. There are many steps and paths that take you in all directions around the resort. We were lucky enough to have booked a pool access room. Our pool was one of a very large swimming pool that was divided into smaller pools by large boulders, as it cascaded down the hill to the main pool at the bottom. It was very pretty and the water overflowed down the rocks making little waterfalls for part of the day, as later on the pump wasturned off. The room was quite large. It had a very large bathroom with the suitcase stand and wardrobe situated in here also. There was another small room with a writing desk and a unit that contained a bar fridge and jug on top. There was a small dining table and flat screen TV. We had fantastic weather here and enjoyed relaxing in the pools and on the loungers overlooking the beach. The sea was even warmer to swim in than the pools.
I highly recommend booking any day trips through Mr Moo. Go out the hotel lobby to the front and walk down the hill where you need to turn right past the small village and walk until you reach the main road. Turn left and walk about 300m along the main road until you see the sign for Jo’s Seafood. Turn left down this little road that heads back towards the beach. You will see Mr Moo on your left. You can then walk back along the beach to the resort. We booked the Elephant trekking tour that he recommended and the whole day was fantastic. We were picked up at 8am and there was only one other lovely couple from Holland with us. My husband got to sit up in the front passenger seat and the driver chatted away telling him all sorts of interesting information about the area. After visiting a local market we were driven over 100km to the Khao Sok National Park. Here we went on an hour long elephant trek. We even got to ride the elephant on its head the natural way. A little on further down the road we were paddled down the Koh Sok River for 45mins in inflatable canoes. We saw turtles sunning themselves on rocks beside the river. A delicious Thai lunch was waiting for us as we landed on the river bank. There were lots of other stops and complimentary drinks including coke, water and beer were offered all day. We didn’t return until around 6pm. It was a brilliant day seeing the natural beauty of the area.
I also highly recommend the Kanlaya Restaurant in the little village by the resort. Just $NZ19 for a lovely meal and drinks, plus free appetizer and pineapple slices to finish with.
Although the resort was beautiful we probably wouldn’t stay here again as it was too quiet at this time of the year for us. We love meeting new people, but unfortunately there were no other English speaking guests that we were aware of staying here at the time. All Europeans. However this would be a fantastic place to stay in the high season with its beautiful beach and pools if you just want to relax at the resort.

Room Tip: Pool access rooms are lovely.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 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
    • 4 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.
glasgow
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

We booked Khao Lak Merlin for the 2nd leg of our Honeymoon and booked our transfers through 'Boss'.
We arrived and were checked in quickly and shown to our soon, despite this being our honeymoon (which the hotel knew about) we had a standard room which was okay - with absolutely no view - apart from other rooms. We had a few problems in our room, shower screen was broken for the full 2 weeks and despite us reporting this it was never fixed. Pillows were really lumpy and uncomfortable and again, despite asking for different ones we never received them!
Breakfast was great with a great selection although very much catered for German guests. We ate at the hotel a few times for lunch etc and the food was okay but pretty expensive for what we had, much better to take a walk down to the few shops/restaurants. Most days after the beach we would go to the bar for a fruit shake and use the free wi-fi which was only available in the bar. I had purchased a few of the wi-fi vouchers but the reception was intermitant at best.
The beach was lovely although you had to be up at around 6am to get a sunbed - which we never were, although one day we were lucky enough to stumble upon 2 free beds and lay down to relax. After dozing off I was awoken by a German man who was shouting that I had stolen his sunbed.....
If you are going into the main part of Khao Lak you can get a taxi from the reception area of the hotel, this is then charged to your room. Around halfway through our holiday we decided to settle our room bill and pay cash from then on. When checking out of the hotel we were presented with this bill and asked to pay - luckily enough I had kept the receipt and could show that this was already paid!
All in all it was a nice hotel but too many flaws to make it perfect.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

There isn't one thing i can fault this hotel about. Its a beautiful hotel, in a beautiful, unspoilt area of Thailand. The room we stayed in was perfect, always kept spotless. There was an amazing selection of food at breakfast and in an evening and we ordered room service a few evenings which was amazing as well.
There was loads of trips to book on to from the hotel at reasonable prices and TukTuk's waiting just outside the hotel ready to take you into the small centre of Khao lak if you wanted.
One of the best holidays and most beautiful hotels i have stayed in so far...

  • Stayed August 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
    • 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.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

We stayed for 8 nights at the Merlin in Khao lak and I can't find a bad word to say about it. Khao lak is 1hr north of Phuket airport and as soon as you arrive it is too easy to relax.
The grounds are beautiful and the kids loved having 5 swimming pools to try out!
The staff are lovely and the service is excellent. The rooms are 5 star and did I mention how beautiful the grounds are.
Breakfast was outstanding and a good walk along the beach was required to make room for more great thai food.
We had 4 rainy days and the rest were fine, but the rain didn't stop us going for a dip in the pools.
Overall a very relaxing stay.
Outside of the hotel in the village there are a few good places to eat as well as lot's of places to get a massage; my wifes tip was the Lovely massage .
For the best food in the area we got a taxi into Khoa lak and kept going back to Hill Tribe.
The Tutle sanctury is a must and a trip to the waterfalls and white sand beach is also a must.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ardglass, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

I stayed for one week from 6/6/13 to 13/6/13 in room 2301 overlooking the old spa pool.
The room was very modern and recently built and kept spotless by the maid.
All the staff were beautiful and very attentive. Nothing was too much trouble.
I had breakfast every day and ate dinner on a few occasions in the hotel.The food was excellent.
I would agree with previous reviews that the local restaurants, Bamboo and Roy Yim, were better value.
The bar in the hotel was a little expensive compared to the local bars.
The hotel fronts onto the beach which again is beautiful and not crowded.
There is a beach bar about 300 mts along the beach to the left of the hotel that serves beautiful ice cold drinks.
I would recommend Mr Moo tours along the beach to the right of the hotel. Ask for tours operated by Mr Char - the Khao Lak tour guide. Excellent

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 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 4
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
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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:
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Khao Lak
#9 Romantic Hotel in Khao Lak
#13 Spa Hotel in Khao Lak
#16 Luxury Hotel in Khao Lak
#16 Family Hotel in Khao Lak
#17 On the Beach 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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