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“Back on Track” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Khao Lak Riverside Resort & Spa

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Khao Lak Riverside Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   67/167 Moo5 T. Khukak A. Takua Pha | Bang Niang Beach, Khao Lak 82190, Thailand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 60 Hotels in Khao Lak
Certificate of Excellence
Worthing, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Back on Track”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2014

Ja Thai, wife of owner who is very Ill now managing hotel very professionally.

Everything works efficiently, including breakfast, hot water, replacement of toiletries & minibar etc. etc.

If you need anything just ask Ja eg motorbike/ car hire, local info. Restaurants, bars & so on.

This is not Ramada or Marriott, this is a charming, peaceful Thai family run hotel, with delightful & helpful staff, with traditional Thai food & bars less than 5 minutes walk away on the beach, bring a torch!!

These people have been through a tough time. They have worked hard & sorted things out .

Room Tip: Only 27 rooms all good.
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  • Stayed March 2014, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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185 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
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Luton
Level Contributor
157 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

It is such a shame that this hotel is dropping down the trip advisor reviews as I am sure when it was number 1, it deserved it's position as it has a beautiful location, the rooms are modern but with some little Thai influence so you don't think you are anywhere in the world, the pool area is quiet and relaxing and the position of the hotel to the town area is just far enough out to have a bit of a stroll but not so far, you need a taxi.
The only reason we could see for the drop was the management. Unfortunately, one of the partners has had a stroke and this has as far as I can tell, left Bruno to manage which he is not doing very well at (mainly as previous reviews because he is permanently drinking!!!). The rooms are still cleaned and well presented but the minibar does not have everything listed, the toiletries are not replaced everyday and many people complained of having no hot water/lack of water pressure although this did not affect us. The information book in the room was in German and we were informed there were no more English ones available but we would be given one when it was available - it never materialised. The supposed weekly BBQ, Thai night etc never really happened - a BBQ did occur one night - Sunday even though it was advertised as Friday!!
Breakfast was as someone else has already said, a little like Fawlty Towers and although some days you could forgive them, some days it became very frustrating as you could see it was just down to poor management and lack of staff willingness to take responsibility.
It would take very little at this moment to get this hotel back up to it's number one position but if it continues in the same way, they may never redeem themselves. I would love to have taken over as I know many of the other English guests would as it is such a shame to see it fail.
If the hotel owners read any of their latest reviews, I hope that it pushes them into rectifying the problems they have and start to get it back to the number 1 position. I really do hope so because everything else is just perfect.
Just some helpful hints - ask for a mattress topper as the beds are really hard and an extra pillow and make sure you put dirty towels on the floor to get clean ones. Also, they don't have tea/coffee making facilities or irons so you may need to take these although they do offer a laundry facility but they ruined my blouse and a t-shirt!!!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2014

Booked a room at Khao Lak Riverside in August 2013 for our stay in Feb 2014.

My boyfriend and I never actually ended up sleeping at this hotel. Let me tell you why.

3 weeks before leaving for our holiday I email and ask for a transfer (as their website states they can arrange). One week later, still no reply. I email again. Still no reply... Starting to get anxious. In the week before we were starting our holiday I called the office 4 days in a row (between 9am-5pm Thai time) with no answer. 3 days prior to check-in someone finally answers the phone. I give him my details and flight number / time etc and ask him to read everything back to me (as English is very poor). I think "great, finally sorted, we're good to go". Imagine my surprise when we get to the airport and no one is there? We wait around for over an hour, try calling 3 times with no answer and no one shows up for us. Finally we get fed-up and pay for a taxi. I think "At least we'll get there and be able to shower and sleep after our 14 hours of travel - but I will have to have words with the manager about standing us up at the airport"... Well we get there close to midnight and what a surprise. It's all shut up. No one in reception, no intercom to speak with anyone, not even a security guard to speak to. Our driver looks at us with pity. I am almost in tears. We walk around the property for half an hour trying to find a way of alerting the owners that we are here (cabbie helping us and calling friends). I was just so furious. Worst customer experience of my life. Finally I give up and ask the driver if he could take us to Ramada next door.

We were lucky they had a room available for us otherwise we'd have been out on our butts for the night! We've called the booking website we got the Riverside through and they are organising a full refund. I have decided now though that it is a blessing in disguise because the Ramada is so nice we're gonna stay here the whole time (even though it's about $70 more a night).

In summary: Avoid Khao Lak Riverside at all costs. Seems like they're going down the drain if they can't even employ someone to answer the phones! Spend the extra money and go to the Ramada if you want similar location but much better quality / service / amenities- we can't praise them enough!

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
131 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

A wonderfully spacious hotel and grounds in the nicest possible location in front of the very best part of the beach - just wonderful!

The hotel is run in a laid-back style by owners Bruno and Nam (DO get Nam to book your taxi....) and is provides all that you could wish for in a delightful location right by the best part of the beach in Khao Lak. There are only 24 (?) rooms arranged around a large refreshing swimming pool and lawn so the hotel never seems to be busy.

Rooms are very spacious, more like suites, with excellent facilities and efficient aircon. Bruno kindly found us a "topper" for the bed which was as hard as is totally normal in Thailand... :-). Rooms on the first floor are really nice as you can have an overview of the pool and gardens.

Whilst the hotel offers a good snack menu, I must highlight the exceptionally good 4-6 local restaurants right on the beach front only 5 minutes walk from the hotel. all offer good Thai menus at very reasonable prices - we ate there every night.

Close by the hotel are several small supermarkets for all your needs, plus several laundries. There are many good restaurants 15 minutes walk from the hotel back towards the main part of town. An easy walk and one which will also take you to the 3-times weekly market on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday (look out for the stall selling cooked crickets, bamboo worms etc :-))

Bruno is a delightful "host" and always had a smile. We seemed to have some difficulty in sending and receiving emails to the hotel but as everything worked out it was not an issue - but just be aware :-)

Breakfast (very tasty) was a happy confusion as the staff seemed to seize our "I wonder if..." comments as being our food orders. This was never a problem but was occasionally hilarious!

If you go there we will envy you!!!!

Room Tip: NOTE!! If travelling to Phuket airport for an onward flight - do make sure that you leave the hotel...
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

Just returned from Khao Lak and a 10 days stay in this hotel. Whilst the hotel rooms are beautifully clean and well-appointed, the resort itself a haven of tranquility and perfect for the superb beach, together with access to excellent beach restaurants and massage huts, it does NOT deserve the 5 star TripAdvisor rating it currently enjoys. The resort is let down by poor and erratic management and training of staff and this is a great pity indeed.

The breakfast is good, but always a "Fawlty Towers" experience. Waiters were often delightfully chaotic and on several occasions our order was give to another table. If you are planning to get away for a day trip leaving at 08.30h, you are most unlikely to have been properly served or finished your food, even if you are the first to be seated at 08.00h. This was our experience. The beds are hard and we found them uncomfortable.

Our main problem was with the senior management whose customer care seemed inversely proportional to the amount of beer swigged in the reception area morning, noon and night, until the place was locked up around 9/10pm. He inspired little customer confidence, from our experiences. We were not met at the airport by a taxi, as we had requested in our email. Check in at 7pm was a shambles, as the room was seemingly "not ready" and we were asked to wait for "5 minutes" and then "another 5 minutes" with no offer of a drink after a long 20h+ long-haul journey. No paperwork was requested at all and the manager of this small hotel had no clue who we were. The bathroom light was never fixed during our entire stay and we gave up asking. We had no hot water in the room for over 48h and our complaints were answered with lame excuses and not even an apology. It was fixed only after I asked for a refund or suggested checking out to The Ramada next door. In the reception area we saw dirty dessert crockery left in situ for over 12h overnight and somebody's suitcase left unattended for a similar length of time - a reflection of laid-back attitudes which, whilst perhaps prevalent in Thailand are not appropriate for a hotel such as this. I doubt the Jacuzzi facility in the lovely pool will ever be fixed as this is a consistent comment in other reviews.

As a result, we cannot recommend this hotel to travellers who expect a hassle-free holiday, hence the average 3* rating. Such a terrible shame, as the hotel is otherwise a gem. If the owner/management continues in this vein I fear that deterioration in standards will be inevitable.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Cheshire
Level Contributor
52 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

Chose this oasis of calm after reading positive reviews and we were not disappointed. What a glorious and peaceful place to recharge the batteries after 7 week trip. What a position to gaze at the sea and the river. Location wise, it's a short walk to the beginning of shops and bars etc., but take a torch as the last bit of the road is totally dark. Another short stroll through the gardens brings you to the beach with bar/restaurant/massage shacks. Plop yourself down on a lounger and you will be served all day with drinks etc, and then eat like kings without breaking the bank! Again, if you are there at night, take a torch to get you back safely. The hotel room was spacious, squeaky clean and very comfortable. The bathroom was great and very quirky with the bath right up against the window so you can lazily bathe whilst enjoying the view. One little note is that I did not totally trust the window glass being like a one way mirror! Breakfast was fantastic, beautifully presented, loads of choice and everything super fresh. A couple of little niggles only; our room did not have a safe (was being repaired) and I would have enjoyed using the spa had the jaccuzzi not been broken and half full of rather unpleasant water. All in all a wonderful place to stay - we will be back!

Room Tip: First floor rooms in the main building for the best views of the river and the sea.
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

Stayed for 7 nights as part of a trip to celebrate my wife's 30th birthday and had a wonderfully relaxing week.

Advice I would give for people staying here is please, please don't come here expecting it to be the Mandarin Oriental. If you want a gym and business facilities in Bang Niang then book yourself into somewhere like the Ramada and pay up to 4 times the price.

Bruno and Nam (the owners) offer a genuine welcome and value for money in a local (non chain) business that is in a great location. Rooms are clean and well tended to, the only issue would be that the beds are a little hard but after a few days you soon get used to them. The beach is a short walk away and we had some of our best food of the trip in the beach hut restaurants for about 750 Baht for two people including drinks (£14!!!!)

If you ask nicely Nam might even show you her skills at carving fantastically intricate vegetable decorations that she does for the food.

All in all a very enjoyable week which didn't feel like you were staying at a hotel at all. More like and old friends very large house :)

Thanks Bruno and Nam.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Khao Lak Riverside Resort & Spa

Address: 67/167 Moo5 T. Khukak A. Takua Pha | Bang Niang Beach, Khao Lak 82190, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Phang Nga Province > Khao Lak
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 60 Hotels in Khao Lak
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Khao Lak Riverside Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Khao Lak Riverside Resort & Spa is located along Thailand’s beautiful west coast, 90 km from Phuket International Airport. Situated next to Bang Niang River, overlooking the unspoiled Bang Niang Bay and the sapphire Andaman sea just 80 meter from the golden sandy beach. A total of 27 rooms designed and built in Asian-style, are spaciously positioned on 7200 m2 that guarantees private and quiet atmosphere. All elegant deluxe double rooms are fully air conditioned with individual climate control, mini bar, Satellite television, in-room safe, bedroom with king size or twin beds, outdoor balcony with a splendid panoramic view over Bang Niang River and the Andaman Sea.Private washroom, bathroom amenities, hair dryer, shower cabin, hot and cold water, toilet and washbasin, bathtub with stunning river and ocean view. ... more   less 
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