After 6 days in Phuket we didn't think Khao Lak could beat it - how wrong were we?! On arrival we met Darren, the guest relations manager who was from Engand - it was really nice having someone who could speak to us properly and he gave us lots of advice on places to go and things to see. He gave us a map and marked off the best waterfall, and basically answered every question we had! He also gave us a spare room card so we could keep the air con on, which was a massive blessing!! Throughout our stay, whenever we saw Darren he would always make time to speak with us and help us out with anything we needed. We then met DJ (James) who worked on the front desk. He was the nicest, most amazing person we've ever met! Very polite and always full of compliments, and his English was outstanding! We looked forward to going to the lobby just to speak with him!
We were taken to our hotel suite (which turned out to be one of the best rooms in the hotel because of the view!) - we were expecting a room and an en suite, but were completely surprised to find that we had a living room, bedroom, bathroom and a big terrace with the most amazing view of the beach! We arrived just after the 'tourist season', so the resort was lovely and quiet! The beach has to be the best beach we've ever seen, there were signs making people aware of the jelly fish, but unless you swam right out, they weren't really a threat - plus if they did sting, there was always someone on hand close to the beach to help out!
The pools were great, and again, most days there was no one else there! The breakfast was absolutely lovely and had tiny perks that our hotels in Bangkok and Phuket didn't have - Lurpack butter, sweetners and a better selection of fruit, bread and yoghurts. We ate at the hotel for 3 of our nights, and each time the meals were outstanding and excellent quality (and the price was extremely reasonable) - the best Calzone I've tried and the steak was amazing! As were the omelletes for breakfast, we didn't think they would beat the ones we had in Phuket but somehow these were even better!
The Otter Bar was always very quiet - happy hour was 7pm-8pm and most nights we would go, just for the view of the ocean really! There were a lot of insects everywhere, but the staff members were on hand with repellent! The catering manager Tu was such a friendly and happy person, he couldn't do anything more for us! He even bought us a drink on our last day, which we thought was so lovely of him, and because we were leaving at 6am, he made sure there was a breakfast box waiting at reception for us so we didn't go hungry! On day 4 our fridge decided to pack up, and all our ice melted and our drinks were all warm. We spoke with DJ on the front desk, and by the evening we had a new fridge in our room - excellent service!
Just outside the hotel to the left is a bar simply called 'The Bar' - be prepared to take insect spray, but with cocktails at 99b and great music, definitely a must if you're on your way back to the hotel!
We hired mopeds for 4 of the 6 days (from another amazing person Fern) and got to explore Khao Lak. We paid 250b a day, which works out less than £4! We went up Chong Fa Waterfalls (and I fell all the way down, broke my camera and was covered in bruises, but all worth it!), swam with elephants in a lagoon by Posiedon Bungalows, horse riding, went to the evening market which was great - but the one place that really hit home was the Tsunami Museum. We found the memorial park on day 2, and there is the police boat there, and we thought that was it. It wasn't until the 4th day that we found the actual museum in a shop about 200 metres up the road. It was so upsetting watching the videos that showed what the locals and tourists had to go through, we can't believe how happy and friendly they are after that!
All in all, Khao Lak was the best, life changing experience we've ever had, and we are already saving to come back to Kantary Beach next year! We have been home a few days now and already feeling 'homesick' and miss Kantary Beach and the staff!