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“Peaceful and relaxing”

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Khaolak Merlin Resort
Ranked #11 of 69 Hotels in Khao Lak
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
47 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Peaceful and relaxing”
Reviewed April 20, 2014

We stayed here for two weeks in April . We were very happy with the hotel, the room was nice , well equipped with hairdryer , safe , fridge although we could have done with more space for hanging clothes but we managed. Cleaned every day with beach towels left too as well as toiletries etc. Bed was a bit lumpy , think the mattress topper just needed a good shake out ! And the air con was a bit noisy but we had to have it on it was just too hot otherwise.
Our room was quite high up and a little way to the beach, we didn't mind but if you have a trouble walking up stairs them you may struggle a bit.
Breakfast was lovely, different things everyday in the hot area as well as the egg counter for omelettes and poached eggs etc. lots of bread and cakes too as well as cold meat and cheeses. Staff all friendly and helpful.
Free wifi in lounge area , only used it a couple of times .
We ate in the hotel when we arrived and also at the Thai buffet night which was lovely as we could try lots of different foods which were all delicious.
Lots of little restaurants around the hotel, we like Pete's bar and restaurant, turn right along the beach and you come to a little row of restaurants right at the end . The food was great here so much choice and the taste and quality was brilliant along with the prices, £12 for 2 courses each with 2/3 beers each.
The beach was beautiful at the Merlin, lovely walks in both directions, during our second week the high tide was very high and the waves came crashing right up to the edge of the hotel grass. The rest of the time it was fine for swimming in, so warm and clean.
The fact that no sunbeds are allowed on the beach makes it much nicer . There were plenty of sunbeds available in the hotel grounds, if you couldn't get an umbrella it was just as easy to move the sunbed under the many trees for some shade. Nicer actually as the umbrella s were all a bit on top of each other really.
We had a lovely relaxing chilled holiday here and would recommend this hotel. Not many children either !!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank konatraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Stafford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2014

stayed for 2 weeks all inclusive.food fab,drinks okay.staff are lovely and cant do enough for you.room4259 ok but not much hanging or draw space.beautiful beach and warm sea.wiifi only in lobby bar which is far too hot.there isnt a public area with air con and that was a real down side for us as it was around 34 + degrees and very humid so no where only room to get some respite.had a wonderful 2 weeks.not sure i would go back to this hotel.not a luxurious hotel and missing some of the extra touches that make it special.(was our 30th wedding anniversary) we had a great time though,met some lovely people.elephant trecking good fun,lady boy show was fun,patong good to visit for the day but i thought it was tacky and sleazy.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank fluffy62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2014 via mobile

We just had 6 magnificent nights here in a pool access room, with our two teenage girls. Well worth the extra expense for this room type as we had our own "private" pool with waterfall right off the balcony. These rooms are numbered around 3132 to 3145 and worth going for. Room itself was nice, although agree with previous comment that the mattress was a bit lumpy... But that was solved by asking for a "soft overlay". We found all the staff to be very friendly and ready to help. The 5 pools are all very well maintained. During our time, we found the beach to be excellent, not rough at all and no currents. The food was excellent at the places we visited within the resort, which included the main restaurant on Thai Buffet night, Beach bar, Verandah bar and even room service. The grounds are simply beautiful, with a very large grass area leading up to the beach. We used the free shuttle bus service to Khao Lak town a couple of times which our teenagers enjoyed to satisfy their shopping cravings.

This is our 4th trip to Thailand and the family voted this the best resort so far. Highly recommended.

Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Marfee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex, UK
Level Contributor
51 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2014 via mobile

Unfortunately this hotel did not live up to expectations. The hotel grounds are lovely and well kept.
The beach is the selling point, amazing. Turn left and you will find the best smoothie's in all of Thailand. Carry on walking for some great massage ladies, sarong sellers and a snack bar. The beach with its rocks is picture perfect.
Reception staff only get a 1 out of 10. The most unhelpful people I have meet on my trip in Thailand. Customer service training they have never heard of.
We stayed bed and breakfast and ate at the restaurants down in the town each night. Lots to choose from each night.
Plenty to choose from for breakfast, so never left hungry.
Breakfast staff smiled but plates did not get cleaned up very quickly, as sad as I am I timed it one morning and we had a pile of plates on our table for over 11 minutes, staff just kept walking past!
We had a room at the back of the hotel near pool number 4, never saw anyone use the pool. The room itself was clean and well presented, great little bath.
The bed was the most uncomfortable lumpy bed ever!! Wifi only available free in the bar, this hotel was the only one we stayed at on our trip that did not have total wifi in hotel for free.
Would I recommend this hotel, hard to say. The location and the beach are great. I would not stay again, plenty more hotels to stay at.
If you do stay here make sure you have lots of insect repellent.. You will need it!

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank essexlady1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Widnes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
125 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2014 via mobile

Stayed here for two weeks in March B&B and were upgraded to a pool access room. It's appropriately graded as a 4* hotel. Room was functional. We had twin beds which had very firm mattresses and quilts. A cotton top sheet would have been appreciated as the air con was quite noisy to leave on all night. The maid service was a bit hit and miss and sometimes under par. The staff are very helpful and friendly. Breakfast is plentiful and caters for everyone incl those who fancy shepherds pie to start their day!?!?
The pools are spotless and are cleaned of any tree debris by the pool cleaning staff. There are no issues with sunbeds which are plentiful and these are scattered around the grounds not in uniformed rows like a lot of the other hotels along this strip of beach.
The beach is nice however the sea gets rough and the currents are very strong. I would think twice about letting anyone young or frail go in.
The two best beach cafés for lunch are to the left of the hotel. Both sell fab fresh cooked Thai food, cold beers and fresh fruit shakes.
Bottled water and drinks at the hotel soon start to add up...the supermarkets in the village are MUCH cheaper.
There are plenty of restaurants in the village to chose from so if, like us, you are not all inclusive, you will not struggle to find fab food virtually on your doorstep.
A lot of people rate Mr Moo (along hotel beach to the right) for trips - we felt ripped off and were much better serviced by a guy at the bottom of the hill on the right in the middle of the row of shops. He supplied luxury travel on two occasions.
Trips - we were going to visit Phi Phi or the Similan Islands but were advised that these are very busy so instead we visited Tachai Island. Great snorkelling around the island, white sand and turquoise sea but there were still a lot of people visiting. We went to Patong one evening to see the sights of the Bangla Road....didn't realise table tennis was so popular with Thai ladies as we kept getting asked if we wished to see a ping pong show.....We didn't go but did see a Thai lady washing her ping pong balls in a jar in the ladies toilets ;-)
The last trip we did was Gobsmackingly amazing! Khao Sak National Park has Cheow Larn Lake. We went first to the elephant safari (my advice is swerve it...it's not that great...perhaps try the elephants in Khao Lak which come onto the beach by the hotel way over to the left). Then we went to feed the monkeys....again not so great. Stopped at a treehouse hotel for lunch...the tree house rooms looked very cosy and had aircon. Next stop was the lake where we picked up a long tail boat. The lake is VAST and jaw droppingly beautiful. After a trip around some of the lake we were taken to our lake cabin hotel. Our floating cabin was very new and had 4large beds. There was no air con and there is only electricity from 6.30pm-11pm. It was unbearably hot at night. Furthermore, it's an attraction for groups of young travellers and groups of people from Bangkok who, whilst we were there, drank large amounts of Thai whiskey and partied LOUDLY till around 3am!! Now comes the dilemma ..... We wished we had booked a treehouse instead of the lake cabin (because of the above) but if you do that you will not have the opportunity to do the lake at night by long tail boat, searching by torch light for monkeys whilst above you is the most magnificent night sky I have ever seen (excl the northern lights). Evening meal was very good and breakfast was adequate. The toilet/shower block were less than basic....that's if you use the toilets rather than just peeing off the side of your floating cabin like the 3 guys in the cabin next to us did!!
I still wouldn't have missed the trip to the lake....it's the most beautiful place I've ever been and I've done a lot of travelling.
Anyway, back to the hotel...in summary...it's a very nice 4* hotel if you want luxury 5* then book and pay for one! No major complaints from us....we had a lovely stay.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank ladybird2254
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tewkesbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2014

Stayed at the Merlin for two weeks from 1st - 14th March, and wished it had been longer. Can't really find fault in it. Yes, we have stayed in more luxurious hotels, and no, it's not five star, however it has a certain quality. Room was very good, and a bonus the bed was soooooo comfy, and we could walk out straight onto the patio and into one of the many pools.

There was a good mix of nationalities, and most of them were Scandinavian of some type (Finn, Swede etc) while we were there, with German, Austrian, French, Russian and Brits.

We stayed on a bed and breakfast basis, booked through Travelbag, and were glad that we did as there are so many good local restaurants within a half mile or so walk from the hotel, and we didn't feel tied to the hotel at mealtimes. Also it's nice to give the locals some trade, they lost so much after the Tsunami, and the restaurant owners were in the main brilliant cooks. More of these later.
The breakfast choice was excellent and plentiful, English, continental, Asian (I even had a plate of Sheperd's Pie one morning!!). We ate at the beach restaurant for 3 lunches, again the food was excellent, all of it, don't be put off experimenting - The Nasi Goreng (Indonesian spiced rice dish) was lush.
The other lunch times we walked to one of the beach "restaurants" (turn left along the beach) or the other way - right - to Peters bar or Jo Seafood.
We didn't have one single bad meal, and none of us had tummy upsets, we were a group of four, 2 couples, some meals were better than others but all very good.

Evening meals were tried in about seven or eight different restaurants, and then we went to our favourite three for the last three nights. These were 'Tip Top' - down the hill to the main road, turn left toward Khaolak and about 500 metres on the left hand side of the road. 'Mr Ju' next to Tip Top - Mr Ju did an amazing panacotta and fresh mango puree dessert, must try! And finally The Longtail bar and reaturant - to main road, turn right and about 200 metres on the right side of the road. As well as good food they did the bes My favourite was the Long Island Iced Tea, which they will make with diet coke if you want cocktails in the area, 99 baht - less than £2.
TIP - Although I love Thai food it can be very spicy, don't be put off. If you want Thai curry, Spicy noodles, Tom Yum soup, etc ask for 'not too spicy' and they will reduce the chilli. One night, as a break from Thai food, we had 4x fillet steaks in the hotel a'la carte restaurant, New Zealand 8oz fillets excellent, with all the works and only £10

Cornetto Ice creams from the stands or supermarkets were 80p each, Magnums £1. Cans of beer were easily and cheaply obtained from any of the small supermarkets, as was pop, lemonade, coke etc. Wine is coming down in price compared to a few years ago in Thailand, and you could get a reasonable bottle for around £10 or £17 for a large bottle. Used to buy these and take home to have a nightcap before we went to bed.

One thing to be aware of in this resort, things close fairly early. Restaurants are looking to close around 10.00 pm (bear in mind this was high season) and the hotel bar's last orders were at 11.30. However the place was so peaceful that we went pack to the room, we had a pool room with a little patio area outside, and we just sat and listened to the 'creature' noises having a nightcap. Most of the ground floor rooms have direct access to on pool or another, all of which you can swim in. There were about a dozen or so and all were kept very clean. I have seen comments about leaves being in the pools. This is in a jungle area! There are many trees and the leaves drop daily, and daily the staff clean the pool out. The pool wasn't unclean, it just had an accumulation of fresh leaves dropping daily, and then cleared - not a problem.

Sunloungers, there were plenty! You may have had to manoeuvre them to where you wanted but there was always plenty of natural shade to be had and you could find an empty sunlounger any time of the day, and the hotel was pretty full.

Beach was lovely, we caught taxis to other beaches which helps when there are four of you as you can split the cost, but if you can get a taxi (about £16 return, go to White Sands beach, and also to Memory Bar on Sunset beach where you must arrange for the taxi to come back and pick you up after sunset. Have a drink and a meal and watch the sun go down - lovely. You only have to pay the taxi after the return journey, so you know that they will pick you up on time, they were very reliable. Also had half a day in the National park (taxi again - but only a few pounds) and walked down to a lovely small beach, where you can get refreshments.

Taxi also to the market on Wednesday, superb street snacky food, and a well earned drink in Songs Bar where they advertise 'Mans Parking'! Good group on there as well. We didn't do any of the organised trips as we stayed in Karon Bay a few years back and did them all then so we mainly did our own thing using local taxis

Had a massage along the beach at Konol Corner (bar restaurant) a full hour body massage with oil 250 baht £5, very good.

BONUS FIND. Walk past Konol corner past the next rocks and there is a beach with about three restaurants on. About 600 metres forther on you can't go any further unless you are very good clambering over rocks. This is just past Cowboy bar. There are a few steps away from the beach with a little archway leading to more steps which at the top take you past some older bungalows on stilts built int an inlet in the sea, follow the path for a couple of hundred metres and you come to newer bungalows, a swimming pool and then a bar restaurant, again built on stilts, overlooking a lagoon with the most glorious view. If you can give this place a visit, even if only to have a drink and admire the view and soak up the tranquility. They do food there as well.

Excellent holiday, even the flight was great - flew Malaysian airlines on their A380 via Kuala Lumpur, economy class but we were upstairs so only about 10 rows economy, the first 3/4 upstairs is business class, so if ever booking this plane do try and get upstairs seat as getting on/off so much quicker as they board on both levels. Also three loos at the back for only 10 rows, and food comes more quickly. Only downer was that our flight back through Kuala Lumpur was after the plane went missing, but I would still fly Malaysian again, the planes and crew were excellent.

Well done Merlin Hotel, you deliver what you say!

Room Tip: All rooms very quiet, ground floor generally has patio access to a pool
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank MalcolmN53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2014

What an amazing hotel! We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at this hotel. The rooms were great, the spa treatments amazing and the breakfasts very good. This hotel is situated +- 4km out of Khao Lak. Motorbikes are for rent very close to the hotel if you want to drive into town by yourself. This hotel is situated right on the beach. There are also 2 x restaurants on site & we had great dinners there. The main pool has a bar in it & we spent a lot of time enjoying our cocktails and pizzas there. This hotel also caters for families with children. They also have a kiddies pool for the little ones.

Room Tip: Request rooms with direct access to pools as you will have your own little balcony directly into a p...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Gizelle-G2Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Khaolak Merlin Resort

Property: Khaolak Merlin Resort
Address: 7/7 Phetkasem Road, Khao Lak 82210, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Phang Nga Province > Khao Lak
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Khao Lak
#8 Spa Hotel in Khao Lak
#10 Luxury Hotel in Khao Lak
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Khao Lak
#14 Romantic Hotel in Khao Lak
#15 Family Hotel in Khao Lak
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Khaolak Merlin Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 236
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Khaolak Merlin Resort is a deluxe resort with style inspired by Thailand's rich culture, situated approximately 50 minutes away from Phuket International Airport yet set amongst peaceful tropical forest landscape and tranquil beaches. It has direct access to 190 meters of Khao Lak Beach front and is surrounded by 15 acres of lush tropical gardens. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Khaolak Merlin Khao Lak
Khaolak Merlin Hotel Khao Lak

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