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.
- 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