We stayed at this hotel in the lowest of low season, yet it was full. Indeed, on arrival, the reception staff sought to relocate us to their sister hotel next door, the Bhandari, which is rather less comfortable, in our opinion. We refused, since we had booked 3 months in advance, and were apologetically upgraded. Thank you.
So what makes the resort so popular? Well, it is clearly tied up with a major provider of package deals to Europe. And it is essentially an adults-only hotel, with no one under 12 years old permitted. It is also stunningly well designed, with all rooms located around a beautiful L-shaped pool complex. The rooms are very tastefully decorated with space and grace in both room and ensuite. The restaurant is also a high point. The main pavilion is a beautiful hardwood structure with a soaring ceiling and wonderful carved timber panels, along with impressive lighting and Thai artworks. It’s simply a joy to eat there and enjoy the ambience. The food is also excellent. We were so pleased with the variety and quality of the Thai food and wine that we ate there each night of our stay. The breakfasts were similarly outstanding. This is a great kitchen.
However, on the downside, the hotel is patronised almost exclusively by those who choose to ‘reserve’ their chosen sun loungers long before breakfast by placing towels on them - and who smoke heavily in the restaurant. I can honestly say that I’ve never eaten in a restaurant anywhere with more people smoking in it. We were also appalled to find that some guests filled private drinks bottles from the selection of breakfast juices to take away each morning. It is hard to imagine more anti-social behaviour than some we observed during our time here. For that reason alone, I doubt if we would return. Naturally, the wonderfully gracious and helpful Thai staff always seek to avoid conflict and let these boorish people get away with behaviour that is simply unacceptable in any civilised resort.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Khaolak Oriental Resort is an Oriental Style resort situated on Nang Thong beach, the sister hotel of Khaolak Bhandari Resort & Spa! The hotel is reserved for An Adult hotel only. No child under 12 y is allowed to stay. ... more less
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