I stayed in a Villa room (7127) for four weeks during July/Aug. 2014.
Here is a map of The Leaf -
It is fairly accurate but not exactly 'to scale'. South is top, north bottom, east left and west right.
All room types have basically the same decor/furnishings. The Chalet rooms, being newly constructed, have all new fixtures, and more natural light (more windows) than the other room types. The Superior, Deluxe & Villa (ex-Andaburi) rooms have built-in air conditioning units that some people may find a little noisy (it didn't bother me). The Chalet rooms have wall-mounted air con units (that I think) would be 'whisper quiet'. The Chalet rooms are grouped around the Leaf Pool. This 'upper' area of the resort is more open - not as much vegetation - and for lack of a better word... stark. The 'centre' of the resort is the Fun Pool with it's swim-up pool bar in the 'lower' (ex-Andaburi) area to which most people gravitate. That being said, it is a small resort, and only a matter of a few yards (meters) between the 'upper' and 'lower' areas of the resort. There is not much difference between the Superior and Deluxe rooms except the Deluxe rooms are slightly larger (2 sq. m.) and have better, in-room chairs (padded). The bathrooms in Superior & Deluxe rooms are exactly the same. The Chalet rooms have a bigger shower, and Villa rooms have a huge shower. Villa and Chalet room showers have skylights. Lighting in the bathroom was good with lights on each side of the mirror. The five, Deluxe rooms are located on the far corners of the two, 2 & 3-story 'blocks' north of the Fun Pool. The verandas on the 1st floor rooms in these blocks have access to the grounds. The verandas on the 1st floor rooms in the three 'blocks' (all Superior rooms) south of the Fun Pool are not open to the grounds (you must go out the door and 'around').
While some of the Villas immediately alongside the Fun Pool are physically closer to the pool than ones located at the ends, you have slightly farther to walk to the pool (and can't really see the pool) because of the gardens and layout of the paths. From my veranda, I could see almost the whole 'pool area'; and it is about 15m to the swim-up Pool Bar & the 0.60m-deep Children's Pool (not pictured) south end of the Fun Pool. Most (3/4) of the pool is 1.20m deep and a quarter (north west corner - bottom right of the pool on the map) is 1.80m deep. Access to the pool is from either end or the Sila Spa side - you cannot access the pool from the 'villa side' because of the bushes and trees.
The Leaf Pool is uniformly 1.24m deep with a black-tiled 'wading area' (0.36m deep) on the east side.
The Rice Barn restaurant can be accessed from the resort 'end'... or the main road (I never used the lobby/reception entrance to go in & out of the resort... unless I was coming back late at night and the road entrance was shut & locked). It offers Thai and Western food. You can order food at the Pool Bar and have it delivered to to the Fun Pool during the day. The breakfast buffet (food and service) is very good; and it has everything a 'normal' person could possibly want including an egg station - cooked to order.
The Sila Spa currently (July/Aug 2014) has 'specials'. Among others, a 60-minute Thai Massage is 350 baht (buy 5, get a 6th 'free'); and a 60-minute Oil Massage is 1000 baht (buy 1, get 1 'free'). I never used the spa, so can't comment on the services. There is a small exercise room in the Spa with four (if I remember correctly... I didn't use it), new machines.
Unless you're a Luddite, bring a multi-outlet electrical plug/extension cord. There is only one (universal) outlet at the desk (at least in The Villas) and no outlet in the bathroom. In a pinch, you can unplug the 'table lamps' (under the bedside tables) on either side of the bed. There is a USB jack on the side of the TV (above the desk and fridge cabinet) that you can use to charge a cell phone etc. Also bring a washcloth / face cloth if you use one. Housekeeping does fantastic job and supplies daily: bar soap, shower gel, shampoo, ear buds/Q-tips, shower caps, 2 bath towels, 2 hand towels, a bathmat and 2 pool towels (no idiotic 'sign out')... but no washcloths.
The room fridge is empty (no exorbitantly-priced minibar items). Melon Minimart (with coin-op laundry), a 7/11 and Khao Lak Supermart are all located within a block of the resort on the main road. As is: a pharmacy, clinic, dentists a book store and souvenir & scooter rental shops. There are several restaurants in the immediate vicinity. For really good, fresh, inexpensive Thai food and 45 baht beer (Singha, Leo & Chang), I recommend DDee Coffee House (next to Raya Divers) about 7 meters south of the Rice Barn entrance.
I could find NO fault with The Leaf. The rooms, pools and grounds are... immaculate. Service from ALL staff was excellent. They are friendly (but not familiar) and obviously well trained – they remember guests' individual idiosyncrasies... and never once did I see anyone 'playing' with their cell phone (that drives me crazy).
Yes, it's a 500m walk to the beach (but it's almost as far – 400m - from the 'cheap' rooms at the back of The Sands). However, you are not paying beachfront prices.
To 'sum it up', The Leaf offers quality (everything), with great service and fantastic value for the money. I will certainly be back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- If you're a nature lover looking to relax at a budget resort within a convenient location, Khao Lak's The Leaf on The Sands is the perfect place for you! On a flatland embraced by hundreds of tropical trees and plant species, this resort is suitable for travelers of all ages.Enjoy the sounds of exotic birdsongs while cooling off in the sparkling pool as you soak up the sun. Relax all day with an ice cold drink at hand; enjoy a nature walk to the beach-- what holiday can be better?The Leaf is located in Khao Lak center, 5 minutes from Nang Thong beach ... more less
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