Firstly I want to apologise that I haven't written a review earlier as this is our 3rd stay at this beautiful resort and fifth time in Khao Lak. Overall this review will reflect what we have experienced on all our 3 visits to the hotel, the first visit December 2009, next Jan/Feb 2011 and now Dec/Jan 2013/14. We are a family of 5 with 3 kids aged 6,4 and 2.
The hotel is located about 10min out of Khao Lak and has a superb location on the best beach in the area. It's surrounded by a well maintained beautiful garden with a main pool with pool bar and including a small kids pool and there is an adult only pool which is a good spot for an amazing sunset views. In the garden there is also a Thai massage area where you get excellent massages from some amazing ladies for a small amount of money. I had one every other day and my two favourites were the Aloe Vera Massage and the Foot Massage. Even my 4 and 7 year olds enjoyed having a massage as well as getting beads in their hair. The hotel also has a Spa within the hotel main complex which I also recommend. I personally preferred the outdoor garden one. Staff at the hotel are very friendly and accommodating and always there to help. Some have limited English language, which I see some others have complained about in their reviews. But for us this was not a big issue or a problem.
The last 2 times we stayed in the Orchid deluxe room on the ground floor in the Orchid wing. The room was of a good size considering we needed five beds for 2 adults and 3 kids. The room was nicely decorated and the bathroom had a good size bath and separate shower with good pressure (you don't find that everywhere). Minibar with cold beer and soft drinks was very reasonably priced, almost the price you would pay at the local supermarket in Khao Lak. The only thing I would have liked was some kind of drawers so we could have unpacked some of our clothes out of our suitcases. Didn't use the laundry services this time but used it before and all nicely washed and ironed with same day delivery if sent off early.
The beach is excellent and not very busy as there are only a few hotels on this stretch of beach. There are no water-sport activities or annoying touts on the beach to disturb you. If memory serves me right I think the beach is listed as protected so all these activities are illegal. If you walk down the beach to the left when facing the water you will find a couple of beach restaurants (15-20 min walk depending on your pace) with excellent food. Had some of the best fish I have ever tasted in Thailand, try the Barracuda fillet at the Sunset Bar. They also have excellent barbecued fresh prawns.
The hotel has two restaurant areas. The first is in the main hotel building and primarily used for breakfast and some times for dinner. The hotel breakfast is good and has all the essential from beautiful fresh fruit (Mango, Pineapple, Watermelon, Papaya...), eggs made to order, thai dishes, cheeses, cold-cuts and a good selection of bread. The only thing I really miss is good coffee but saying that I have hardly ever come across great coffee in Thailand. The other restaurant Verve 29 is close by the beach and used for lunch and dinner. Food here is a mix of Thai and International. The thai food is really good and reasonably priced. For lunch I would recommend the Thai spicy seafood or prawn salad as well as the fish or shrimp cakes. Also some of the international dishes are very nice. I highly recommend the sea-bass fillet.
We also had the pleasure of participating in the New Years Eve party at the resort and what a fantastic night! It was all setup at the beach with excellent Thai and international dishes, a lot of beautiful grilled seafood and meats. Good shows on the stage, the kids loved it. Everyone got floating lanterns which looked amazing when they all got sent up. Fireworks was one of the best ones I have ever seen. One thing that was a bit concerning was all the handheld fireworks which were quite dangerous.
To go into the town you can easily get a taxi from the hotel with Mr Nop. It costs 50baht each way and runs every hour in the evening. You can also personally arrange for him to take you anywhere in the Khao Lak area, for instance to White Sand Beach about 7km away- which is well worth the trip. Khao Lak is a great small town full of families pushing strollers. All the restaurants have baby high chairs and are very accommodating with strollers. It has a safe feel to it which we love as we have always been there with young children. The market, located half way between Khao Lak and the hotel, is great and also well worth a visit!
When I compare the Orchid with the Ramada Khao Lak Resort (ranked nr 4 in Khao Lak) where we stayed in January 2012 I would give the Orchid a higher rating even though this is only a 3*star rated resort and Ramada being a 5*star. At the Orchid the rooms and food are better and much cheaper, and the beach is nicer. Although you may get better service at the Ramada (ie. someone to pick up your towel if you drop it!), the Orchid has a much more relaxed and laid back atmosphere. It's great value for money especially when you book directly with the hotel and get the package including New Years Eve party and some free dinners as well as free airport transfer and 20% of purchases from the restaurants and the pool bar.
If there is one thing I think is missing at the resort it's some sort of activities for kids. There were a lot of younger children staying at the resort at the same time as us so maybe an indoor playroom and an outdoor playground would be good.
We absolutely love the Orchid and we will definitely be back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A 3+ Star resort is located on the long Khuk Khak Beach in Khao Lak, run by the local family from Takuapa. We are 10 mins by shuttle bus to Khao Lak Center. The shuttle bus run every hour in the evening (2 times a day free of charge, other time costs 50 Baht/Person/Way) ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Khaolak Orchid Beach Hotel Khao Lak
- Hotel Khaolak Orchid Beach