It has been a few years since we were last in Thailand but we went to Khaolak in February and we enjoyed both the area and the hotel.
The hotel is lovely - beautiful grounds, lush, green and well maintained. There are ponds and areas of standing water but they neither smell nor attract mosquitoes so I don't see the problem (in fact we didn't see a mossie in two weeks). The blocks of rooms are built in thai style and are spread among the grounds to give a feeling of space. We had a siam room which was huge and beautifully decorated. The floors are wood as is most of the furniture. The sofa and chairs are aubergine and the soft furnitings around the room are finished in green silk. The bathroom was modern, has a shower cubicle as well as a shower over the bath and is all dark tiles and glass. Lovely. The shower is one of the best we have come across in a hotel anywhere - good water pressure all the time. The room contains a hairdryer, mini bar, fridge, kettle and bathrobe and beach towels. There is a safe for each room though it was located in reception. That would be my only niggle as I prefer the safe in the room - it makes it easier when I want to change jewellery. Having said that I often left rings and earrings and on occasion my phone and i pod lying around in the room . I can't imagine that security is a problem here!
We didn't have dinner in the hotel so I can't comment on that but breakfast had a wide selection of local and international dishes including the egg and pancake station. The beach bar at lunchtime also had a variety of thai and western food and different specials each day. It was a tad expensive compared to the town (though this is only to be expected) but the portions were, frankly, huge.
The main bar near reception serves excellet coffee and has two computers which are free for guests to use.
There is a spa and gym but we didn't use them so can't comment.
The beach has two parts, a rocky area with a grass lawn containing sunbeds and shades and a long, long stretch of beautiful beach in front of the swimming pools - also full of sunbeds and shades. The bar is between these two areas. We tended to stay on the lawned area as we like exploring all the rockpools for crabs and little fish. We were told that the hotel was at full capacity but it never felt crowded and we never had a problem getting a sunbed where we wanted one or a table at lunchtime.
The hotel is well situated, within a five minute walk of the town. There are 2 or 3 restaurants directly across the road from the Laguna. They tend to serve the higher class hotels (there are a number in this area) and are therefore more expensive than those in the main part of town but the food is good and I had a very useful discussion with the cook in one of them which will change my green curry forever. Also well worth a visit is Walkers. Walkers is a bar and restaurant with a few rooms for backpackers. It is half way between the hotel and the town. It is run by a British man and his Thai wife and the breakfast rivals mine (and mine is good). Where they get their supplies I don't know but we have never had back bacon in the far east before and although there is a menu if you ask for something off menu they will do their best to make it. He even boasted of having Yorkshire tea. I think a lot of the ex-pats in the area hang out here. ~They also have a large screen TV to show those sporting events you just can't miss.
I imagine the town is smaller and quieter than say Phuket or Koh Samui but still has plenty going on. The area is very popular with backpackers as well as those of us on a two week trip so makes for an eclectic mix. Walk along the main road and you can find a huge variety of restaurants and bars catering to every taste. We even found a pub - The Happy Snapper - which has live music at the weekend. There are tailors, pharmacys, mini marts, opticians(?) laundry services, dive schools, vehicle hire, travel agents and trip organisers, banks and ATM's and lots of shops and stalls selling the usual tourist stuff. There is even a twice weekly market in a neighbouring area a short taxi ride away. It is not party town and the majority of places close down at around 11pm though a couple of the bars felt like they would stay open until the last person left.
There are lots of options for trips into the local area - elephant trekking, temples, jungle and waterfall excursions, James Bond island, fishing etc. So much to do.. so little time...
We did our first liveaboard in the Similans. We always dive when on holiday but not for the whole holiday and have never been sure about a seven day and night liveaboard as we like to do other things and we usually spread the days of diving so we don't get bored by spending to much time on the beach. Khaolak was ideal as there are any number of dive schools to choose from - offering a variety of options for day diving or liveaboards. We chose three days two nights and did 10 dives and this was perfect for us. We didn't dive the same site twice, cruising around the islands was fun and the diving was fab with a wide variety of fish and corals. Would definately recommend the diving here.
For us the hotel was an ideal base to explore a great area. Lovely hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Khaolak Laguna Resort is located on an area of 12 acres on the beachfront of Khaolak. Only 80 Kms from Phuket Airport. The Resort is in classical Oriental Style in the embrace of nature. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Khaolak Laguna Hotel Khao Lak
- Hotel Khaolak Laguna