We spent one night in a bungalow here, and six in a larger villa. It was an utterly charming spot, set in a rustic, slightly over-grown garden that was filled with birdsong from morning until night. Hard beds, but a warm welcome, and very likeable ambience and staff, from check-in until our transfer to Phuket Airport.
Krathom Khaolak Resort is excellently located in the middle of Baan Bang La On, with several possible routes to the beach, and the shops and restaurants are all close at hand, yet without causing intrusive noise. We felt quite at home here, and I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone who isn’t drawn by the allure of beachfront luxury or “the all-inclusive gated-community resort experience”.
The bungalow on our first night was quite comfortable, though a little on the small side, and the steps down to the bathroom might be an inconvenience to some. The wood and stone villas were nicely appointed, though with a shortage of electric sockets (these days one travels with so many widgets and gadgets and devices that require recharging that having just two or three plugs free - and that includes unplugging the TV - is inevitably going to cause problems, especially as the usual key-in-the-slot systems mean the power is turned off when you are away).
Lighting in the bathroom did not make shaving or putting on make-up particularly easy, but in all other respects the room was perfectly serviceable and very good value. Good shower pressure. The spacious balcony/terrace had chairs and a table and lines to hang washing. The fridge was useful, with complimentary bottles of water each day, but there were no tea & coffee making facilities.
A very decent breakfast was also included in the room rate, with a special mention necessary for the freshly-squeezed (or at least that’s how it TASTED to me) orange juice that would have put many five-star hotels to shame. A small matter perhaps, but very welcome. Pleasant service, too.
The swimming pool was perfectly adequate (water was admittedly a bit cloudy on a couple of days), and it would have been even better were it not for a few Teutonic guests who insisted on keeping up the old Germanic stereotype of leaving towels draped on lounge-chairs from dawn until dusk, thereby reducing the available places for others who were actually there. It was reassuring to see that some of their fellow countrymen (many of the guests were from Germany) found this boorish habit just as infuriating as we did, and they actually said so, quite loudly.
Finally, I do not mean to criticise Trip Advisor, but something does not compute when all the reviews of a hotel or restaurant are positive (ten times four out of five for this place at the time of writing), and yet it languishes towards the bottom of the listings, below establishments that have been royally savaged by some dissatisfied reviewers. I can only assume it has something to do with the absolute number of reviews. Hopefully adding this positive one will help turn things around, as the Krathom Khaolak Resort is good value and it has an honesty and an all-round niceness about it that deserves better treatment.
Many thanks to all for a pleasant stay!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A place for nature lovers and those seeking tranquility and complete relaxation. Located on the azure Andaman coastline of Thailand, it appears the wonderful scenic surroundings both seashore and forests. A long stretch of beautiful beach, with the background of tropical plants and evergreen forest of "Khaolak-Lamru National Park", makes Khaolak a unique paradise for tourists. Being ideally situated, Khaolak offers plenty of activities and natural attractions such as the famous "Similan Islands" and "Surin Islands",one of the world top ten dive sites. ... more less
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