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similana & baan khaolak booking advice

washington, dc
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similana & baan khaolak booking advice

our current plan is to stay a week (our last week in thailand) in khao lak in early april '08 - 5 nights @ the similana (can't wait to beachcomb) and 2 @ baan khaolak (a little splurge). ?s that i'd welcome some feedback on are:

should we book on their websites directly or go through one of the "aggregators" such as asiarooms.com?

once we book, can we/is it appropriate to negotiate a lower rate once we arrive? or, what's the best strategy to get the "best" rate given that we'll be there at a quieter time?

reviews of both spots are favorable but what do you think about moving to baan khaolak for our last 2 nights?

thanks much in advance for your feedback...

Poulton Le Fylde...
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for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
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1. Re: similana & baan khaolak booking advice

Hi,

April marks the changeover from High (Dry) to Low (Wet) season but hotels and consolidators/aggregators differ as to whether changeover is 1st of April, during or end. AsiaRooms, I know uses 1st April and generally I've found offers best advance rates.

However, though I booked lasy year with AsiaRooms, I am aware from comments on various forums that all goes well with them so long as once you have a confirmation you don't try and change/cancel it. Your credit card is also charged 100% up front so if you book with them or anyone else who takes full payment or indeed a deposit, I would think you would be unable to do anything when you arrive - other than cancel and lose the full amount! Turning up without a reservation is also risky as it does not always guarantee "best rate available anywhere" just "best rate hotel will give you on the spot, take it or leave it".

In any event, certainly the advance rates for the Similana are so low, any saving on the day, I'm sure would only be marginal. The Baan Khaom Lak is only in its first full season and is getting excellent reviews so again a ceratainty of advance booking mkight be advisable.

Bear in mind also that Easter falls in April (not sure when in '08 as does Songkran, hence why prices tend to remain higher and this period popular.

As for last 2 nights, personally I'm not sure whether the pack/unpack/repack/relocate is worth it for, efeectively, 1 full day. You'll no doubt be going into central Khao Lak where the BKL is situated during your stay at the Similana, so the area will not be new to you.

If you want a little splurge on a more upscale room for last 2 nights, have you considered the Sarojin (small,luxury, boutique), next door to your left or Le Meridien (large, luxury, but many room types), next door to your right?

Hope this has helped and not complicated?

washington, dc
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2. Re: similana & baan khaolak booking advice

thx arandora.

nope, wasn't too confusing. i've read a lot about which bungalows are better at similana (was thinking 'bout beach-front but now have been switched on to the benefits of the deluxe chalets and that certain chalet #s offer better views and privacy). so, my ? is: if i book through someone such asiarooms.com, can i specify (and untimately reserve/get) a specific deluxe chalet. if not, then i'll probably book directly on similana's website.

hear you on moving to bkl. yes, had considered le meridien and sarojin. le meridien is too big for our tastes. and, while the sarojin is nice and small, at this point, the $ is a bit steep.

had wanted to be in chiang mai for budhist new year (mid april) but also want to be able to enjoy beach before rain and wind cloud waters etc (according to what i've read, climate at beach can start to change in mid-april). also, had thought about doing this month-long trip in march (don't want to be in high tourist season). if you or anyone else have any thoughts on timing, welcome it...we're flexible. i've got another post out there w/our itinerary if case you're interested.

thanks again...abby/dcblondie

Brisbane
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3. Re: similana & baan khaolak booking advice

Arandora really hit the nail on the head with regard to the seasons/pricing.

My only comment would be that in more "remote" areas (outside Patong/Kata/Karon PhiPhi and Lanta) you are more likely to get the low season prices from April 1 (or April 16 to 20 in some cases). But if you realy wanted to stay in these more popular areas or in a place like " Sarojin".. booking after May 1 would give you more "bang for your bucks".

The only issue or disappointment I've ever had with AsiaRooms is that at times their almost too good to be true prices are not always available at the time when I want to book.

HotelTravel, AsiaTravel, Sawadee and others have better payment/cancellation policy.. but rarely as cheap pricing.

As Arandora points out... they are fine if you don't need to make changes along the way... but can be trouble if you do.

Adelaide, Australia
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4. Re: similana & baan khaolak booking advice

If you do a search on TA for best room at similana (or something similar) you should find the info, or alternatively contact Ted Karma who is a member of this forum who stays at the Similana regularly. There was a discussion on the best rooms last year. I think it is the deluxe that are the best from memory but Ted Karma will be able to tell you the exact numbers of the room....

Try the search first. We were originally going to book thru Sawadee but if you want a particular room I would book direct with the resort to ensure preference on a room number

Reet x

Phuket
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5. Re: similana & baan khaolak booking advice

Similana is a great place - I like the "Deluxe Chalets" on the hillside over looking the sea - great views and a lot of privacy. Almost right on the beach but less privacy are the beach front villas/bungalows. Nice, but to me, not as much character.

www.KhaoLakLovers.com uses the Sawadee booking system - but is good to check around for the best prices. Generally, once you are booked they aren't going to let you negotiate the price.

The Similana and the Baan Khao Lak both have their strengths and visiting both is a good idea.

washington, dc
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6. Re: similana & baan khaolak booking advice

many thx to all for the most recent feedback. yes, i had read ted karma's info on similana's best seaview deluxe chalets and that's what swayed me away from the beachfront ones.

i'll scope out the price scene on the various websites mentioned for both similana and bkl (will try to stay at bkl longer than 2 nights). but, first i gotta get our free airline tix nailed down (that's gonna be a challenge). then, can book the rest of the itinerary and hopefully not have to deal w/changes.

tedkarma or others...which is your favorite of the deluxe chalets at similana? (think your input said #s 4-6 were the best in terms of view and privacy).

for bkl, am thinking about beach front or seaview villa/cottage. any thoughts on this?

again, thx. dcblondie/abby

Phuket
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7. Re: similana & baan khaolak booking advice

I think maybe 3,4,5,6 are the best - I can't remember which one is the library (maybe 3?) - but those chalets are on the front row - past that they are set too far back on the hillside and have limited views. Maximum privacy go for 5 and 6 out at the end of the walk way - but still not more than a minute or two from the restaurant and beach.

8. Re: similana & baan khaolak booking advice

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