We stayed at this hotel in March for two weeks, This was our eighth visit to Thailand and our second to Khao Lak. Our previous visit to the area being in 2004 prior to the tsunami.
This is an excellent beach hotel, very modern and up to date, all the fittings are good and everything works; and therein lies my only real issue with the hotel. It seems to have lost the essence and character of Thailand somewhere along the way. Yes everything is efficient; from the breakfasts, the bar staff, the cleaning etc. but there is no charm and peacefulness about the place. You could be in Cuba, or Cyprus or Malaysia or Florida. I appreciate that it is all new but everything is a bit sterile and too much like a concrete block. It needs some softening up with bougainvillea, orchids and lilies, anything really to make it more Thai and less European.
Whilst we were at the resort we walked down to the Khaolak Bayfront resort (Just past Peter Bar up the beach) and walked up the hill to the reception desk, the whole ambience was different with an aura of tranquillity and calm which you expect in Thailand.
That all said, we did have an excellent holiday here, as already mentioned the rooms were large and modern, everything was spotlessly clean, the staff were all brilliant (especially Da, on the beach) and the beach towel policy (no reserving of sunbeds prior to 09:30) all contributed to a good holiday experience, it just felt a bit "corporate".
The biggest gripe we actually had was the lighting in the room. Even with all the lights on we were stumbling around in the gloom and reading was impossible.
Happy hour at the pool bar was good value, but the hotel food was a bit pricey (for Thailand) and not very good so most of the time we ate at Peter Bar (lunchtimes) or one of the three restaurants just outside the hotel (evening).
As a small point of interest, while we were in Thailand we ate Thai food for every meal except one day when we had a slight case of "travellers tummy". We therefore decided to eat some western food at the hotel and ordered a ham and cheese toastie at the beach restaurant. What came out was disgusting...it was two pieces of bread (not toast) with a piece of processed ham and cheese slapped between them. I'm sorry but if you are going to put this on the menu then at least buy a toasted sandwich maker, (they are £10 from Argos for pity's sake), or don't serve them at all.
As a general observation we would not return to Khaolak as it has become too touristy for us with most of the restaurants serving a sort of westernised version of Thai food, which misses out on the wonderful vibrant flavours which should be present and all the shops selling cheap touristy junk.
In conclusion this is a good hotel in a good location, I just think it could have been better somehow.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set on one of the finest beach front locations in Khaolak, Khao lak beach. Sensimar Khaolak Beachfront Resort is an extraordinary exclusive retreat, perfect for the discerning travelers who like to spend a tropical vacation in a relaxed and child-free environment. Its natural elegance, classic tropical beach charm and Malays-inspired Thai style set this resort apart from the rest.It is not just in vogue with couples or people on their honeymoon but also is a great option for parents looking for a romantic getaway and adult singles who seek to make new friends.Enjoy a well-earned, kid-free retreat amid the tropical beach landscape of Khaolak, or spice things up a little for shopping and nightlife of Khaolak Center (Bang La On). Everything you could possibly want in a tropical getaway is just a stone's throw away. ... more less
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