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“Perfect for quiet vacation” 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 62 Hotels in Khao Lak
Warsaw, Poland
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Perfect for quiet vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2013

I stayed (family 2+1 and some friends) at the Merlin Resort for a week just at the begining of the season. The hotel staff was working on preparing the premisses for the tourists that were about to come.

Hotel is located outside Khao Lak in the rain forrest. It cosists of several bulidings (mostly with two floors) hidden in the trees and bushes. It has an exotic Asian atmosphere. If you leave your balcony door open at night you will hear a concert of cicadas and frogs all night long and birds singing in the morning - just if you were sleeping in the middle on a jungle. Unforgettable.

The room was very nice, Asian- Thai cozy style (some rooms were refuribished and have a more modern design) with a pool view. The only few little things I didn't like about the room were: noisy aircon and two giant roaches I had to chase (but I understand that it is hard to keep them out in such a place) and dampness in the room itself. We had two geckos living with us and helping us get rid of mosquitos.

Food served at the hotel is outstanding - especially Thai cuisine. As the hotel was not very occupied we had a chance to experience preset Thai menu at dinners for a few days which was absolutelu delicious, Buffet set up was opened in the middle of our stay and it was also great. Every other night dinner was served by the beach.

Merlin Resort alos offers European food such as pizza, spaghetti etc at the restaurants by the beach. Prices are not high compering to hotel prices all over the world.

Wifi connection is available only as the lobby bar which nowadays is quite unusual but on the other hand it was a great experience to be unplugged most of the time.

There is a number of pools at the hotel. The pool our room was located at was empty for the whole week we stayed at the Merlin Resort.

Hotel staff is very helpful and welcoming.

I recommed to try a real Thai "restaurant" located two minutes away on the beach outside the hotel (going left). Food prices are extremely low, great welcoming staff. It was our favourite lunch spot.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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419 reviews from our community

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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 (79)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Seon, Switzerland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013

It was the second time we stayed at Merlin Khaolak and we will come back. It is an very good place to stay for relaxing beach-time. But there is one thing the Merlin should do: Get free wifi at the room. There is free wifi at the lobby but in the year 2013 a place like the Merlin Resort should also have it in the room.
The room was very beautiful an as we had Pool acces room there was always the posibility to have a nice swimm in the pool bevor going to sleep. If we had a wish it was fulfilled immediatily and the staff was very friendly.

Room Tip: If you like to book a room with pool acces, book it on "the old wing" because the pool the...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
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Swindon, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

We stayed at Merlin 6-16 Oct in an upper floor Superior Room with balcony no 4217 overlooking meandering steams and surrounded by large trees, flora and fauna. There had been a storm before we arrived and it rained quite heavily on and off for the first three days and the beach and resort therefore we're not looking their best with large waves and little opportunity to swim in the sea. There was work on the beach, but whether that was as a result of the stormy weather or general remedial works by the hotel I can't say, which may have spoilt some guests stay, however it was only for one day, with other tidying up work going on around the resort for the remainder of our stay in readiness for high season I suspect. This did not detract from our enjoyment of the resort which is beautiful and by far the nicest hotel in close proximity. We could not fault the staff all of whom were polite, helpful and courteous at all times. We stayed half board as we were not sure how many of the local restaurants may be open at that time of year. We were not disappointed with the food which was plentiful and of a very good standard with the option of both European and Thai fixed menus and a la carte. Breakfast was excellent too with many options to choose from. Our room was large with a very comfortable bed and air conditioning that worked and was kept very clean by the hardworking team of housemaids. The beach is beautiful especially to the right where the jungle meets the ocean and there are a couple of bars and restaurants and a massage place to the left, all of which are worth a visit with great views of the beach whilst drinking a beer or having a cocktail or massage. If you go out the front of the hotel and turn left you will see the local restaurants and other hotels and taxi rank. Continue on to the main road, turn left and you will see 5 elephants that are part of an elephant trekking business. The mahouts are happy for you to take pineapples and bananas to help feed these wonderful female elephants, who range from 29 to 40 yrs of age, and they will give you information about each of them and you can book direct with them for various treks. Go over and say hi to gay and maurina (that's two of the elephants names, although I am sure not spelt correctly). This is a predominantly German guest hotel, although there were also English, French, Australian and Russian guests, all of which I think made an interesting mix of nationalities. In my experience German guests expect a high standard, which is fine by me. We did not find it hard to find a sun lounger either near the beach or at any of the pools. In fact one day we had one large pool all to ourselves. The hotel accommodated all our requests including a higher floor room, and lunch the last day as we arrived too late for dinner the first night and were very helpful when we requested a late checkout, allowing us to stay in the room until 3.00pm at no extra charge, which really gave us the opportunity to do more on our last day. All in all we were very happy with the hotel and would return.

Room Tip: As far as I could tell there were only half a dozen rooms that had a beach view and the remainder ei...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Manchester
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

The other half and I stayed at the Merlin between the 24th Sep and 8th Oct 2013 to have a 2 week get away from it all and dip our toes into the Far East before we embark on some proper travelling in the area.
We booked with Hayes & Jarvis and opted for the Merlin over La Flora based on the more jungaly feel that the hotel had, the comments on TA and the comments made by the H&J agent. We are unsure whether we should have booked La Flora.
Firstly, the Khao Lak Merlin should be renamed the Berlin Merlin, the place is swarming with Germans. Not that we have a problem with German folk, it was just that we were one of two Brits and we think one Aussie couple that were in the hotel making us feel very isolated but that withstanding they were just SO RUDE. Rude to us, rude to the wonderful Thai staff. These people have no decorum whatsoever. They take over, are loud and obnoxious (even when returning home a party of them were dictating to the check in staff at Phuket airport where they and their mates were going to be seated!!) and have absolutely no regard for anyone but themselves. oh and get up early to get your towel on a sunbed, there are very few to be had (god knows what happens in peak season) and they are taken first thing. Annoyingly, we saw groups who had taken beds but not used them flitting around the village and eating out whislt their beds were secured but unused. Anyway, that aside the Merlin cant help it if they stay there.
Secondly, the Merlin was undergoing extensive room renovation works. This would not have been so bad (there was a bit of knocking and banging) had it not been for the horrific fumes given off by some kind of varnish or mastic they were using. As the weather was quite bad when we were there, we were sometimes stuck in the room, the fumes were caught in the windless quadrangle our room looked out onto which meant that your eyes and throat were burning after a few minutes so the balcony was rendered useless. This applied to the whirlpool and swimming pool in this area.
In addition, the beach was also being 'repaired' which meant a tracked JCB was up and down most of the day rebuilding a wall, ding drainage work and adding sand. The hotel did offer a free evening buffet as recompense for this but we didn't go to Thailand to be half board and to be honest, enduring the Germans at breakfast was bad enough without adding dinner into the mix ! We are more disappointed with H&J over this as we feel that they had plenty of time from us making the booking to departing to let us know what was going on and therefor giving us the choice to change hotels.
All of that said, it is a lovely hotel. Maintenance of the pools and gardens could be better but the rooms are spotless and well looked after and the staff are absolutely some of the nicest and best we have encountered when travelling.
The spa is lovely, but you can have just as nice a massage at the Dok Bua opposite the Black Jack Bar in the village. The ladies are absolutely lovely and prices start at 250bht.
Eating out in the village we tried the Bamboo and Roy Yims - both very good but there are better places further up the road in 'town' at Bang Niang near the Tsunami Museum and Police Boat.
on the beach just outside the Merlin is a great little place - turn left and head about 100m along the beach and there is a little shack - they serve the best fruit shakes you will ever taste ! Turn right along the beach head past Mr Moos and the Joe' seafood place you get to the jungle and huge rocks - a lovely freshwater stream flows into the sea here and you can paddle in the cool water.
Taxi's into Bang Niang are set at 250bht which was the same price as the hotel taxi. The journey is about 10 minutes.
The night market there is on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday with Saturday being the better day - don't forget to bargain!
Just before the police boat on the same side of the road is Hill Tribes - the best Thai food we ate all holiday and a must go to restaurant - sit in one of the bamboo huts crossed legged on cushions FAB!. Between the boat and the Tsunami museum is a lovely restaurant called Takieang - very nice Thai food and very reasonable with lovely staff. Opposite the Tsunami museum and to the right of the 7eleven shop is the Bang Niang beach road. head down there for about 5 mins walk and on the left opposite the Bavarian House is the Rusty Pelican - fabulous mexican food and a laid back bar serving fabulous frozen margaritas and cold cold beer! Made a change from Thai food without the fall back pizza! A bit further along the road is the Mali (much better than the one in the village near the Merlin), excellent food there but not a patch on Hill Tribes for Thai. If you fancy a much longer walk head down this road to the bottom, follow it to the right and head along this road till you reach the Case de la Flora hotel on the left, directly opposite is the Ing Fah bar/restaurant. This is really nice, pricier than the other bars but you get molecular cocktails which are amazing (about 350 bht rather than 100-200bht elsewhere for a standard cocktail). The food was Thai or Japanese tapas or basis Thai street food but we chose not to eat there.
If the weather is hot and dry, as you walk into the village from the Merlin, pay attention to the brook and the jungle on the right - if your lucky the fireflies will be out ! They are truly spectacular, little balls of fire that just gently glide around!
Head down to the main road and turn right, walk for about 50m and there is an elephant trekking place over the road. We didn't trek with them but we fed the elephants with bananas on a few days - the guys there told us about all of their elephants, how old they all were, how long they live, what they eat, their names etc and they let us feed them and take pictures - no charge (very different the middle east and Africa!)
The tailors in the village are a bit of a pain and I can imagine in high season they are a nuisance - we just politely said no thank you but unfortunately this was said everytime you pass. As the weeks went on, different people appeared and some started to get more insistent - standing in front of you when you were walking past etc. They are not even Thai which was equally as annoying - adopt the German approach, walk past and completely ignore them, worked for them !
Trips are available all over - we booked with the chap next to Armani tailors and the mini mart - we did Phi PHi. Waste of time. The first drop off was swimming in a limestone cove - far to many boats and people for comfort. The second drop Maya Beach (where The Beach was filmed) was closed for clean up work before high season and the third drop on Phi Phi included a dirty restaurant where no one but the chinese ate and a crowded beach complete with deck chairs and brollies which was more reminiscent of Benidorm than the Far east was a completely crowded pointless waste of money. Those who paid double what we had with their tour operators had the same trip - how gutted would you be !
All in all not bad, but could have been so much better with so little effort.

Room Tip: Don't bother with a pool access room if you think your going to get a private pool because you d...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

Amazing place definitely a yes to stay here!!
The room was large, well furnished, large bed with good standard of bedding.
Bath room was a glass enclosed capsule in the room. There were blinds on the glass walls if you wanted privacy. Separate shower, massive bath, and normal sink & toilet. Bath & pool towels were provided in the room.
The whole place was designed like a mini village, courtyards with swimming pools and streams everywhere. Plants, trees and flowers everywhere. The key holder has a map on it....and we needed it.
The hotel slops downwards to the beach with stairs, ramps and little wooden bridges everywhere.
I think it is ok for disabled and pushchairs if you don't mind pushing back up the ramps afterwards. There were disabled toilets available so I guess they must have rooms for disabled too. I didnt see any disabled access to any pools. One pool I saw did have concrete steps the rest were metal step ladders.
The food was very good, buffet style breakfast and dinner. A good mixture of western and Thai. We were offered dinner during our stay due to workmen on the beach ( putting up reinforcement wall ) didn't really affect us but dinner was a nice touch.
The spa was more uk prices, but the staff were well trained and services were good. Outside the Hotel units offering treatments were hit and miss to the quality of the treatment.
Free wifi in the lounge otherwise it was fairly expensive in the room about £10 for 3 hours ( if I remember correctly)
We both really enjoyed our stay here, it is pure bliss, quiet and well designed with friendly professional staff.

  • Stayed September 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chittaway Bay, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

What a beautiful place. We hope to come back soon. We went a few yrs after the tsunami and there was not a lot around. The staff were fantastic and very helpful. Beautiful beaches, even wild elephants! Very quiet, peaceful place.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

Where to begin... We read the reviews thinking that this would be a good place to stay. Unfortunately not. I've been to Thailand over 20 times and this was one of the worst experiences I've had. The room was pretty good. Spacious and well appointed. But the bed was really lumpy!! I booked a superior room which I didn't expect much of. What I didn't expect was to be stuck right up the back of the resort as far from all the amenities as you could get. My GF asked if we could be relocated and were told that wasn't possible. Given it was low season, we found this a bit poor. As it turned out the place was under renovation with many rooms being worked on. Still, there wasn't even an option given to pay to upgrade. No attempt was made to make things better. The resort beach front was also undergoing restoration due to heavy seas washing away most of the beach. While you can't do much about mother nature it was pretty disappointing given the reviews about how lovely the beach was. The resort did try to make up for it by offering a free buffet dinner, but prior notice would have been appreciated. As with many beaches I've been to in Thailand it was also dirty. How about employing some people to clean up the beach? Alas we lasted 3 nights before checking out and heading for Phuket.

We also thought that there would be more eating options down by the water. Mr Moo for your tours is found by turning right when you get to the beach, not left. We organized a tour to Chiew Lan Lake in Khao Sok National Park. It was really good (despite costing a bit). They organized for an exclusive tour and we couldn't have been happier with our guide, Khun Sili. A long but memorable day! Also you can walk to the Ton Pling waterfall from the resort if you're looking for something to do.

Room Tip: Pay a bit more and go for a room closer to the amenities.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
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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:
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Khao Lak
#12 Romantic Hotel in Khao Lak
#13 Spa Hotel in Khao Lak
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Khao Lak
#16 Luxury Hotel in Khao Lak
#19 Family 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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