BOOKING: We booked direct with the hotel - after checking all of the specials available on the internet and through booking sites, we emailed the manager directly and were offered the same rate as on AsiaRooms. We booked a GardenVilla.
ARRIVAL: We chose to book the private airport transfer, it was well worth it! Our flight was more than 2 hours late arriving and the driver was their with a huge smile and a cold bottle of water. Whilst the ride would be a little hair raising for some (Thai roads and drivers are a little Russian roulette!) having driven in Milan and Rome it didn't bother us.
SERVICE: Like in all of Thailand, the service is outstanding. The people are happy to have you there and look after you. The staff actually enjoy their jobs (the Spanish should take note, what service actually means!)
ROOMS: Whilst the GardenVilla we booked was excellent - spacious, clean, great position - once we ventured down toward the beach - we noticed that the Beach Villas were vacant! We called the front desk and asked for an upgrade. We were offered a great upgrade price and moved straight away.
The BeachFront Villa was to die for:-) The rooms - yes they have some wear and tear - but it was a great size and had everything we needed and more. The private pool and garden were a huge bonus - we loved that you could open or close the huge front doors. And for the price (in Euro) the value was outstanding! We were in a resort - but totally alone, loved it.
FOOD: OK so I have to honest here - the breakfast was really very good. The food was fresh and service was good and the staff plesant. BUT.... it is hotel food. So at the end of the day - to eat out for dinner, we decided to dine away from the hotel. Not that their food was bad - but we were able to enjoy better traditional food and drinks for a much better price off resort.
Saying that - we did book the private dinner for our anniversary - this could not be faulted. The staff set up our table overlooking the beach at the front of our villa and we had a wonderful 4 course meal, wine and champagne, with outstanding service and a view to die for and all for under €150!
MY TIP: TIP THE STAFF! I lost count of the number of rude and vulgar people we encountered at the resort, people that clearly left their manners at home. (mostly German tourists! grr) Wages in Thailand are minimal and a small tip 20-50bht can go a long way and it greatly appreciated. Tipping is not required, but if you receive good service - then take the opportunity to tip that person. It is perhaps a personal thing - but I feel good service should be rewarded, never expected. (like in the US - where great service or not - you must tip)
Bugs - yes the bugs are around - head down the road outside the resort and grab yourself some mosquito coils, they work like a charm!
THE BAD: Forget the cooking course - it is more a cooking demonstration that a cooking course. Whilst you get to eat a huge amount of food and the head Chef was lovely - I love to cook - so this demonstration was just not my thing. For 1500 bht, its not a lot - but still I walked away somewhat disappointed.
Facials - they had a spa special, so I went for a deluxe facial - it was not bad - but it was not great either. It lacked the something special. For the special price it was OK - but if I had paid full price, then I would have been upset.
OVERALL: We loved out stay at Mukdara - the BeachVilla was a wonderful sanctuary and the perfect place to relax and unwind. The staff are attentive and friendly and whilst their English is limited - learn a few basic words in Thai, tip a little, relax and enjoy your stay. The location was good, the beach lovely - we did't care that the beach lounges were not ON the beach - (the beach in Thailand is public property by the way) so having the lounges on the resort property stops the harassment of sellers. But eat off resort, their are some great local places to eat - head down the beach and enjoy something at one of the huts on the beach or head off resort and enjoy (but beware) one of the many restaurants Khao Lak has to offer. If you are looking for good Thai food, we can recommend Nom's Family Restaurant and Khao Niau.
WOULD I GO BACK? Yes sure. I would stay here again, between Christmas and New Year the resort was very quiet so they had many specials. If you can travel outside of peak times - then its a great place to relax whilst getting a great deal.
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- Also Known As:
- Mukdara Beach Villa Hotel Khao Lak
- Mukdara Beach Hotel
- Mukdara Beach Khao Lak