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Reviewed February 1, 2013

The Khao Lak Riverside Resort is, in my opinion, not really a "resort", but definitely a serene, beautiful property.
The rooms are large, all with beautiful views and super clean and well appointed. The bed was one of the hardest I've ever slept on though, like a plank with fine linens?
The entire property is very, very well kept - almost clinical. You can see that from the photos, I think.
As alluded to in other reviews, interactions with the owner Markus can be ... awkward. You get the sense that Markus is managing you, but not in a positive way. Bruno was sweet enough to offer to drive me to the doctor's office when I arrived sick, which I really appreciated as a single traveller. Also, I had an evening flight and Markus was kind enough to give me a late check out - I really appreciated that too :)
It doesn't front the nicest beach in the area, so I was told when I asked around. I thought the beach was dirty - twigs and rocks and stuff. Not white sand or soft, not clear blue/green water. If you are there for a week or more, and have time to walk or take a taxi or shuttle to other beaches, it shouldn't be an issue. I also had to take a 150 baht taxi to the town when I wanted to do anything off property (eat, shop, be out and about with other people). The cost wasn't a big deal though, and the taxis are everywhere and friendly. It's just a little removed from main areas. Frankly, I found it way too hot to walk that far!
I would recommend this resort for older couples who love the pool and just want to relax on their own.

Date of stay: January 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
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Thank jabulani26
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

We stayed 5 nights here. We did not want to leave! We loved this quiet elegant respite especially after spending the previous 3 days in Bangkok. The staff here make sure everthing is perfect for you. They helped us with all arrangements. The beaches in the area are good hard sand for walking. They are lined with restaurants bars massage huts etc. Low key and mellow. The village is a 10minute walk to access more shops bars and food. The food at the motel was amazing. We could easily have just stayed there but made ourselves go out and try other places. We would definately go back and stay here again.

Date of stay: January 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank CatherineN677
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed January 19, 2013

We chose this hotel because it was rated #1 on Trip Advisor. There are a lot of positives about it, and only a few neutral/negative. I will start with the positives: the property is very well kept, beautiful, and peaceful (with minor exception being some tree removal occurring on an adjacent lot, which is a temporary situation, but might also indicate that future construction may be in the works?). There's a view of the beach, and it's less than 5 minute walk to be in the water, though it's across a dirt path adjacent to the river, and then through some other beachfront establishments. The rooms are done in a VERY European style, with beautiful wood, European style beds (i.e. king bed is two separate mattresses positioned adjacent to one another). The bathroom is very nice, and the floors are a nice tile throughout. There is air-conditioning, but it keeps the room a modest comfortable, not freezing, which is fine.

The pool was fantastic, and is a highlight of the establishment. WARM and clean, and long enough to actually swim laps if you were so inclined. The main building with reception and a dining area is also pleasant with indoor and outdoor seating. The breakfast, which we had included, was very good, with many selections ranging from egg dishes to fruits and cereals. Quality ingredients. Strong excellent coffee, as well.

It's about a 10 minute walk to the section of Bang Niang where many of the restaurants are located. Part of this is on a fairly secluded dark road, but it felt safe. You should note that though this entire region is called Khao Lak, there are actually three distinct areas of Khao Lak that are spread out over a course of 5-10 miles along the main highway. If you want to go to a restaurant that's in one of the other areas of town, you will likely pay 300 BHT ($10 US) each way for your taxi. This doesn't sound like much, but it means you'll probably spend more on the taxi than on your actual meal. The point here is that you should be prepared for this, since not everything you may want will be walking distance.

Now for the neutral/negatives. I'll start with the ones that are more objective. The beds are not soft. This is probably the style, as opposed to being a quality issue, but if you're expecting pillowy luxury like a Hilton hotel, this is not that. The water pressure in the bathroom was marginal. I respect the desire to conserve water, but when you're done with a massage and covered with oils, or have spent the day in the ocean and are coated in salt, sometimes you really want to feel like you're getting very clean, and it was tough to get that with our shower.

Finally, some negatives that we experienced which maybe only apply to some. We didn't feel incredibly comfortable with the hosts. Markus and Bruno were polite and cordial, and they attended to the questions we had, and were even willing to accommodate a late checkout, which we appreciated. But we just felt slightly awkward in our interactions with them. We tried to ask for some recommendations of local restaurants on the first day, and the only one that we were able to elicit from Markus was for his wife's restaurant on the beach. The sense we had was that we were not going to get much more information than that, so we didn't push the question, and resorted to Trip Advisor to help us with our decisions. His wife's restaurant did have some of the best spring rolls that we ate on the entire trip, but the curry and soup that we ordered did not measure up to the other dining experiences we've had here in Thailand.

In terms of the overall experience, we still feel positive about our stay here, and we can recommend it. One of the other reviewers mentioned that there is more of a bed and breakfast feel than hotel or resort, and I would echo that sentiment. But, as one can expect at B&Bs, the dynamic between hosts and guests may be a factor.

Date of stay: January 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Bob S
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed January 11, 2013

Situated way down a quiet lane off the main road, though still walking distance from some shops and retaurants. The finish and quality of the hotel could not be faulted, akin to much more expensive hotels. The rooms were beautifully presented and included dressing gowns and the fluffiest slippers, very clean with high quality bathrooms. The sunken bath facing the sea was just perfect (and welcome after three days on a liveaboard) and Service however was a little patchy. On arrival our luggage sat in the middle of drive for about 10 mins. Meet and greet was a little slow as there was no one at all in sight , not a single guest or staff which made us feel a little eerie as if we had stumbled into a intriging but deserted film set. Once the manager/owner appeared, service was great, but the slightly clinical ambiance remained. Although you have a clear view of the sea the hotel does not directly front the beach, you have to walk 3 mins along a small public path, past a small tidal creek where the local fishermen moor their boats and through the beach restaurants. We quite enjoyed this walk but some might find it less convenient. The beachfront bars and restaurants are locally run, very friendly and laid back. the beach is not crowded with stunning views. We ate at 'my friend' beach restaurant which had excellent food at very reasonable prices. The food did take a long time to arrive as it was full but we were sent complimentary garlic bread to compensate, but be patient it is well worth it. Overall the hotel delivered what we wanted a lovely place to chill out, relax and recover from our exhilarating dive trip and we would definitely return. Only one niggle was breakfast which serves from 8.am (early starts on request) which was a la carte which is good, but also a la carte pricing which is less good. We spent more on breakfast than we did on our beach meal incl drinks! . That said food was good especially the fluffy pancake, it was just a pity we had to rush it as we had a taxi waiting to take us to the airport.

Room tip: Choose a room with a sunken bath on the first floor facing the sea
Date of stay: December 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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Thank Bonvoyagenewmalden
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed December 26, 2012 via mobile

We definitely enjoyed our stay in riverside resort. Beach and town at a walking distance (but thru a not so nice path, moody and quite dirty). The resort itself has big spotless rooms and pool. Service is not of a resort standing but we didn't care as we do prefer this kind of more casual approach. Food is good but you need to order in advance if you want to eat in house which option we didn't use has there are really good restaurants nearby. The only thing is that the ac was a bit awkward and noisy.

Date of stay: December 2012
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Thank ichtar
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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