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“Mixed feelings”

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Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach
Ranked #15 of 338 Hotels in Patong
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 1, 2008

We stayed here 8 nights. The resort is probably 5km out of Patong with a serious hill intervening, so it is a shuttle bus or taxi/tuk-tuk trip into/out of town if you plan to leave the premises. This means you're not as connected with the hustle & bustle of Patong, which isn't a bad thing.

As others have mentioned, it is a large resort with 3 pools, several restaurants and own beachfront. The pools are the big seller for the place.

First impressions for us weren’t good – we arrived around 10pm and reception shares the lobby with a cabaret act at that time of night – couldn’t hear a word the poor woman was saying. But reception staff were invariably helpful and friendly.

Rooms were OK - comfortable, above average size & well maintained. I’d consider it about 3.5 star by Australian standards. All rooms seem to have a balcony or (for ground floor) direct access to pool area. Room has a kettle and bar fridge. In room safe (60 baht/day charge). Internet is available in room via the TV for a fee. If you want to use your own laptop or one of the resort’s PCs this is available for a fee in the games room. (150 baht/hr or 450/day I think – rate at Internet cafes in town was 1 baht/min). No self-serve laundry facilities on site, but laundry service for a fee (40 baht for a pair of undies). Rooms were serviced each day and the staff did a good job.

Others have mentioned limited English of staff - we didn’t find that to be a major problem, but what was of greater concern is that several times we asked staff for directions to different facilities & were given wrong info. I suspect a lot are fairly new & are turned loose with minimal briefing.

Prices in the resort are comparatively expensive. We ate at the hotel buffet one night, pretty basic & 2 of the 4 of us came down with food poisoning. We steered clear of buffets after that, either ordered off the menu (which was good) or ate at some of the several restaurants nearby offsite (which were also good and considerably cheaper).

A big plus was the included breakfast which was good, with a good selection of cereals, breads, fruit & cooked food.

We're not "pool people" so overall, we wouldn’t choose to stay here again, but we wouldn’t be too concerned if we had to.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank ActRegular_traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 30, 2008

The hotel was amazing we had seen photos before we went on our holiday and we knew it was beautiful but when we got there it was better then the photos showed. My girlfriend and I spent our first day just exploring the hotel coz there was that much to do. The buffet breakfast was great with great views. The staff at the hotel were perfect and were always willing to help when they could. I would recomend a pool access room if you can afford it, your room backs onto a lagoon pool which is pretty much only used by people with them rooms they are great. The only bad thing about the hotel is the prices for a drink but we found a bar on the beach near the restaurant he was a really nice thai guy names Jackie. We went down there everyday to have a drink with him he told us all about thailand. things to do and see he was very helpful and i recommend you to go say hello and if you like snorkling you can hire the euipment from him and snorkle at the hotels beach were you will find lovely fish.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Lukie_07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2008

This was our third visit to this resort and after previous amazing stays, this time we left a little disappointed.

Our main area of concern was with the change in quality of staff within the resort. Most barely spoke English (a vast change from previous experiences) and some showed little interest in providing services to guests. We have heard that the resort has suffered from high level staff changeovers and it appears that this has affected the quality of services provided.

Upon arrival, we were not greeted with the usual cold towel or complimentary cocktail, but instead handed a coupon to redeem the cocktail ourselves. We had to remind the reception staff that all of our group (9) had previously stayed at the resort, up to six prior occasions, to receive the usual discount cards. The rooms provided for the group were separted from each other (completely different wings) even though the resort did not appear to be fully booked.

The food within the resort was also not of the usual high standard. I recall telling friends that the best Italian food I had ever eaten was at the La Gondola Restaurant within the resort, but unfortunately the standard of food from this restaurant is now bland and overpriced. The loss of the seafood restaurant was another disappointment, with the replacement restaurant, At the Sea again providing bland and overpriced meals. On the positive side of the food, breakfasts were still amazing, the Thai restaurant was worth the money, and Little Tiger, even though getting extremely crowded was magnificent ! Little Tiger is a must visit for anyone staying at the resort, or even Phuket !

The facilities in the resort were of their usual high standard with the 3 amazing pools (spotlessly clean) and spacious clean rooms. My suggestion to anyone staying at this resort is to book a room on the top level of block 1 or 2 (rooms 1401 - 1410, 2402 - 2408) for the best views of the ocean / pool. The palm trees surrounding the lower rooms are now blocking most of the views.

Tuk Tuk / Taxis have also pounced on the fact that the resort is away from Patong and other attractions, increasing their fares from the resort and not willing to barter on return trips.

Unfortunately the free shuttle bus does not run very regularly so you are forced to pay the tuk tuk / taxis what they want.

Overall, we had an enjoyable holiday, but the standard of this resort, where it was once the best on Phuket, has lowered significantly. There are now other resorts in the area who provide similar facilities, greater customer service and a better value for money than Merlin Beach Resort. We also found a few of the old staff working at these other locations and if they treat guests the way that they used to at Merlin, we will follow them to their new locations (Amari Coral has most of them).

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank chook70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2008

This resort is absolutely INCREDIBLE!!!!!!! We had the best and most relaxing time staying here. The pools are ridiculously amazing and it was the hardest thing to leave them on our final day! There are 3 all up. I called one the 'venice' pool because it was all channels weaving in and around these garden islands. Our room looked over this pool, it was SO GOOD!!! We stayed in a superior room which is at the lower end of the price range but it was unbelievable! was fairly big, had a massive king size bed, really nice bathroom and a balcony that looked over the pool. All the staff were incredibly nice and our room was always immaculate when we got back from going out for the day. The buffet breakfast, never seen so much yummy food in my life!!!! So much food, so little time!!!! I would recommend the Merlin as a place to stay for anyone, it truly is so relaxing that you completely forget about everything else while your there. As soon as I got back home, it was maybe 2-3 days before I was back in the travel agent wanting to book and go again!!!

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Oz_S_88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2008

We spent 10 lovely nights at the Merlin Beach Resort in a Deluxe room. When we arrived we were given a fresh cooling cloth, and a refreshing fruit punch cocktail, and were greeted with smiles of warmth by the staff at the resort.

We were then given our key cards for our rooms, and were a little disappointed as we had requested an Interconnecting room as we had 2 rooms, one for us and one for our kids, and we emailed the Reservation officer and the Manager a few weeks earlier, however none of the 2 requests were fullfilled. We requested interconnecting 2 rooms, and pool and ocean views, however we had been given the worst rooms in the block.
We were given the last 2 rooms in the row on the 3rd floor, we had views of half the pool and a large wall from the block next door on the right hand side (very unattractive)... It covered the ocean and a large portion of the pool.. I wouldnt consider these rooms to be of the Deluxe category, they should be charging the lower rate for these rooms, the Superior room rate.. We did mention this to the reception desk, and they looked into the computer but unfortunately could not locate any available interconnecting rooms in a better location or even in this location, they were all fully booked. We asked to then speak to the Manager, and he came out and we politely mentioned our request, but he seemed disinterested, he just said sorry we are fully booked at this time. He ignored my mention of email requests.
Anyway we quickly go over it, and started to make the most of the resort, as it was beautiful in every other way.. Then 4 days into our holiday we noticed the resort was slowly emptying, there were fewer people in the Pools and the breakfast room, so we went back to the reception desk and asked again if there were any availabilities for interconnecting rooms and for a better view, and lucky for us there was. They moved us to the 4th floor in interconnecting rooms, with gorgeous uninterupted views of the pool and the ocean. It was worth the packing and unpacking all over again.. We spent the next 6 nights in the rooms we had originally requested and were very happy and content with that !
I have to say the language barrier occasionally did get very frustrating, as most of the staff in this resort understand very little English, so it can get quite frustrating repeating yourself and trying to express what you want at times..
I have to compliment the housekeeping staff, they were wonderful, they thoroughly cleaned our rooms every day prompty and supplied us with a bottle of drinking water each. We used the resort complimentary water to brush our teeth. The safe in the room was great, it fit quite alot in it. I did previously read in the reviews about dishonest housekeeping staff and stealing from peoples rooms, but we did not experience any of that in the resort. On our last day, I handed a half full bottle of 'YSL' perfume, to my housekeeper as a gift as she complimented its smell the day before, and I said to her this is for you as a thank you gift, and she bowed and smiled from ear to ear, she was so appreciative and happy, it actually bought tears to my eyes.. ..We made sure we left her a tip everyday for her days work in our room, as I hear they are on extremely low wages.

The pools at this resort were absolutaly beautiful, I have never seen such gorgeous pools, there were 3 all up. One pool belongs to the pool access rooms, which were in a private area, we walked over a few times and had a look, they were private and more secluded, very appropriate for honeymooners or just couples wanting privacy and seclusion.
The other 2 pools connect to each other at a point. One has a great pool bar, where you can casually swim over and have a refreshing drink in the water, it was lovely .
I dont think the Merlin Beach resort would have been rated a 4.5 star without these amazing pools, they definetaly are the main feautures of this resort !

The breakfast at the resort was plentiful and had a good variety of food, cereal, fruit, pastries, breads (many types), there were a couple of chefs waiting to cook your eggs any which way you desired, pouched, omellette, fried.. any which way , while you wait !

We ate at the Italian restaurant one night, "La Gondala", it was very average food, and overpriced .. Another night we ate at the Asian Buffet night, and it was aweful, we were not impressed and it was overpriced, it cost 650thb per adult, approximately $25 Aud, and we walked away hungry and disappointed. We also tried the Thai restaurant one night, "Chang Thai", and found it to be the best restaurant in the resort, the food was tasty but not the best Thai meal we had in Phuket, just the better one in the resort.. We enjoyed the lunches by the pool, especially the BLT sandwiches,the pizzas and the hamburgers were all very tasty and worth ordering, we enjoyed them every time!

The resorts shuttle bus that takes you into Patong, is great if you can organise yourself and be there on time to catch it.. We only took it once. We enjoyed taking the Tuk Tuk into Patong, and it was so much fun and cost 200-250 thb each way..

Patong was great for a bit of action, but it was dirty and crowded, we were pleased we didnt stay in Patong. We just popped in and out as we pleased and did some shopping or ate dinner a few times while there..

The "Goodview restaurant", which is located up the hill out of the resort on Tri Trang beach, on the left hand side, is a great place to eat at. We ate there one night and ate quite well, and all our meals were fullfilling and extremely cheap. We paid about $55 Aud, and had 4 main meals, 2 shared entrees, 2 soft drinks each child, 2 beers for my husband and 2 cocktails for myself.. That was very good value, normally here you would pay that just for the 2 meals and drinks, so we were impressed, not only by the price but also by the quality of the food they served us !
We also had a few massages just under the restaurant in the "Goodview" massage huts !..They were magnificent, and only cost us 250baht each, my husband and I were so impressed we left them a 100thb tip every time.

The Phi Phi Island speedboat day tour is a great, a worth while tour to do. You not only get to go to Phi Phi island, but have stopovers at Maya Bay (where then movie "Beach", was filmed) and Monkey beach, where you get to feed the monkeys on the beach.You also have the chance to snorkel and lunch is provided for you at Phi Phi island resort. It is a value for money tour as you do so much more than just visit one place ! They only allow about 25 people per speedboat, so it is not overcrowded or uncomfortable.
Elephant Trecking was also another unforgettable half day tour, we did the "Siam Safari" one. It is highly recommended !

I have to mention the resort lacks good nightly entertainment, they have a band that plays every night in the bar near the lobby, but the music is aweful, and out of tune.. We sat there a few times to have an after dinner drink as there was no where else to go for one after dinner in the resort, but never lasted more than 1 drink, we preferred to sit on our balcony than have to listen to the band singing to Elvis or bad versions of ACDC songs..

As for us staying at this resort again, maybe not ! ...Why??.. Because we would like to stay closer to Kata beach next time. We visited Kata Beach one day, and the beach was just splendid there, one of the most beautiful beaches I have seen. The atmosphere was great too, there were restaurants, shops and bars near most of the resorts, but it wasnt as crowded and dirty as Patong, so it would be a better option for us, as we like a good beach, some shopping and to be able to venture out of the resort to eat occasionally ! ..

Overall the 'Merlin beach resort', was a beautiful resort, that caters well for everyone, couples, families and singles.. However if youre after a place with a great beach upfront or shops at walking distance, then this may not be the place for you..

If you have any other questions regarding the resort or the tours, please ask , I will be happy to answer them..

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with family
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4  Thank Tigerlilly2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2008

We booked to go to Thailand for our Honeymoon staying a few days in the north in Chang Mai which was amazing then the 2 weeks in Phuket staying in the Merlin.

We had a fantastic stay............ the hotel is stunning and certainly one of the nicest we have stayed in. Rooms are spacious, clean, tidy and nicely decorated. We had a beautiful sea view room as had upgraded and watching the sun glistening over the water was stunning each day.

Staff were always cheerful and willing to help at all times, providing excellent service. Check in and check out was painless and quick!

As for the pools what can i say?............................FAB

The shuttle bus they run in to Patong is great and we used this nearly every evening as it is quite a bit cheaper in Patong than staying at the hotel. Lots to do and see in Patong with loads of restaurants, pubs, bars, clubs, shops etc etc.......Just watch out for the iguanas on the street at night with their owners.....not a fan!

If you get the chance take a trip to Phi Phi island and of course Fantasea a lovely Thai experience.
We had already elephant trekked in Chang Mai so didnt in Phuket but heard that it was very good and reasonable.

Overall the perfect romantic setting for a honeymoon and with equally loads to do to keep you occupied too.

Without a doubt would return to Thailand and would also stay in the Merlin Beach 100% again!....Merlin we miss you!

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank BennettGrist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2008

Just returned yesterday and already planning next trip!! Merlin Beach Resort was wonderful. We were a group of 3 adults and 3 children with interconnecting rooms and the rooms were great. We were a bit concerned about the beds reading the comments on the hard beds but they were fine. By the time you get home from a day of shopping, daily outings etc you are so exhausted that you will sleep anywhere. It was a pleasure to return to the hotel. Well keep resort, own private beach however we did not swim in it as a bit rocky when tide was out but why would you swim in it when you have 3 stunning pools to swim in. Food was a bit pricey compared to restaurants in Patong however it is very hot during the day so we found the best time to go shopping was in late afternoon and have dinner in Patong. Free shuttle bus was also good. Too far to walk into Patong but was good as it was right away from the chaos. We ate mostly at the little restaurant on top of the hill called little tiger. We also discovered a restaurant on Tri-Trang beach about 5 minutes walk from entrance to Merlin. (turn left out of Merlin and wald 5 minutes. You can see the beach fro the lobby.

I would recommend Merlin to anyone. I would not stay anywhere else. Staff were freindly and welcoming. The biggest thing I was impressed with was one night my son was sick and housekeeping asked me to leave the bathroom while they cleaned it thouroughly!!!! I would have done it myself but they insisted....very impressed. If you are like me and wondering if this really is the right place to stay.....dont worry.....you will love it!!!

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with family
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5  Thank NewZealandShells
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach

Address: 99 Muen-Ngern Road | Tri-Trang Beach, Phuket, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand (Formerly Merlin Beach Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Kathu > Patong
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Patong
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Patong
#10 Spa Hotel in Patong
#13 Luxury Hotel in Patong
#13 Family Hotel in Patong
#15 Romantic Hotel in Patong
Price Range: $129 - $453 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach 5*
Number of rooms: 414
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set among forested mountains and lush, tropical landscaped gardens, serenity awaits at Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach. Located on a beautiful secluded stretch of white sandy Tri-Trang Beach, our resort in Phuket, Thailand boasts its own reef and stylish accommodation. We are the ultimate destination for individual travelers, families, weddings and MICE. Three beautifully appointed swimming pools, modern fitness facilities, kids club, Spa & a wide variety of food & beverage. Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach has an outstanding activity program for all ages offering extensive options for the most discerning traveler. The resort's own house reef offers guests colorful underwater adventures (snorkeling and diving) without ever leaving the property. It is also home to Phuket's first sanctuary for butterflies, a unique conservation project aimed at increasing the native butterfly population. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Merlin Beach Hotel Patong
Merlin Beach Resort Phuket
Hotel Merlin Beach
Beach Merlin Resort
Beach Merlin Phuket Resort
Merlin Beach Phuket
Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach Patong

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