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Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach
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Reviewed May 3, 2010

I would say that the best thing this hotel offers is the pool which has two pools merging into each other and a third pool, yes a third pool, separate in a more secluded setting. The private beach is not as stunning as some I've been to in the UK and Carribean as it is quite rocky when the tide is out but it does have golden sand and is clean. You don't really need it though as the pools are fantastic. The deepest part is 1.4m and there is a jacuzzi in the middle, bar and water fountains etc.

There are a variety of restaurants to choose from to eat any time of the day as well as a few bars to relax in. There is a bar with a few PCs offering internet, plus a couple of pool tables and the best thing is the air con as you need it, especially in April. They serve food there too.

The room we stayed in, rm 324, was a deluxe room on the top floor. Good sized room with a balcony overlooking the pool. Didn't go on the balcony much except to hang washing as it was too hot to sit out and enjoy the evening air. The air con is pretty noisy though but I am a light sleeper. A few Thai Singha lagers sorted that problem out though.

The evening entertainment during happy hour and later on (til about 11pm) is pretty basic and not our taste (we are late 30s, early 40s). The hotel need to review their acts they hire I reckon. It is pretty typical of those types of hotels though I would imagine and a few cocktails are necessary to alleviate the pain that the singer puts on his audience. Go for the drinks and then head back to your room/take a cab into Patong!

The resort is about 5 mins in a taxi which costs around 200 baht if you cross the road to where there are private taxis (rather than using the hotel service which charge more). Once in Patong you will be glad that you stayed further away because it is a very busy place but has a lot of character and variety day and night. Lots of bars and clubs in the evening to cater for all ages, as well as rock bands doing covers. Go to Rock City - they have air con and although a bit pricier for dirnks, is a good night out. There are loads of restaurants catering for all tastes and we went twice to a place called La Diva which is off one of the main roads. The food there is very good and the staff are friendly and attentive. Make sure you haggle good and proper with the tuk tuk drivers and cab drivers as they will insist you pay 300 baht to get home but don't pay more than 250 baht.

Day trips - we went on a couple of boat trips. First on a speedboat that takes about forty people to Maya Beah on Pi Pi Island (the beach where Leo Di Caprio sat in the film The Beach in the 90s). A beautiful small beach but you have to block out all your fellow tourist buddies to imagine it deserted and peaceful. We still got some good shots though. You get to go to other beaches too and see monkeys and then sit on a small island for an hour or so on Kai Beach. Drinking a Singha beer or two whilst getting a tan. Happy days.

We went on another trip on a small ferry to Pha Nga Bay and travelled through masses of small islands which was beautiful, as well as canoeing through nooks in caves to get to lagoons with rainforest type terraine. Amazing. The final part of the trip was to the James Bond Island as it is known as. Apparently a scene from one of the classic films, The Man With The Golden Gun, was filmed there. There is a large rock in the middle of the water which is iconic on all the postcards and pictures you see in Thailand. It is worth going to see but again push all your fellow travellers out of your camera shot!

We went to Fantasea in Phuket one night to see a show which was on the lines of a circus show/theatre. Quite good but don't bother with the pre-show dinner as not worth the money. There are things to do beforehand though like elephant rides and shopping. It is worth a visit if you are with young kids or in a bigger group I reckon.

We also went on an elephant ride one boiling hot afternoon which was an experience and a half. A 15 minute trek on the back of an elephant whilst it climbed down a steep slope into a small stream and then back up another hill. The baby elephant in the pen was so cute and you were allowed to feed it and its mum. I'd skip the trips that take you out on canoes and show you the ox and monkeys. A bit too dull especially in the heat.

Make sure you book your trips with the tour guides in Patong as they are cheaper than the hotels. We must have saved £100 in total by doing that for all the four trips we went on.

The main beach in Patong is pretty relaxing during the day and busier during sun set. It was good to come down to the water to have the sea breeze cool us down. You can jet ski and do other standard water sports too.

Have a great holiday - we did!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Senoritawoody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2010

Had just 4 nts here on 2 wk Thai Trip , could not fault it for the value, bfast VGood , buffet expansive not as good as the Centara Grand Bangkok but adequate, location seems to be an issue for posters, but we found it nice as it was away from the carnage of Patong and it only costs 10Aus Taxi to get over there. Anyway most days we were doing things like, Phuket Zoo or Phi Phi Is tours etc. So it was not an issue .Shopping one day in patong only. On front beach there are two massage huts either end of beach which cost around the 10-25 Aus for treatment 1 hr. There is a nice Restaurant up the hill , not attached to Merlin at all. My wife got into a lovely Yellow Curry Whole fish which was very big for about 600 baht , viz $20 we had to help her but it was worth it. !! the beach is nice low tide exposes coral rocks but there is plenty of white/ white sand higher up for kids to play in , it is not a problem. the pools were grweat with Island bar, beers around $5, you pay for Islands. !! The Resort is quite big with lots of areas we did not sample. There are 2 Bfast areas you can pick from. The rooms were very nice / clean we had no issues. Most have good views. But who wants to live in a room when you are in a new place. A couple of Resort shops for items including silk stuff. Would go back but we liked the feel of Karon / Kata when we did a day trip over that way . We had a beaut lunch at Sthrn end Karon beach , right on the beach. cost about 130 baht with big feed . Singhas etc for all. Would stay there for a week no worries. Phi Phi is amazing, well worth a day trip but beware of your transport over, get the fast cat which takes about 25 min only. Shopping over there also not bad. Diving is good but a l.ot of damaged coral noticed. You could also take a long boat to the Beach scene form "The Beach" seemed popular but we only cruised past. Might be worth a look. Anyway that is it. Hot as Hell generally April, but the Beer is always cold.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank CHRISVINY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2010

I have just returned from my 2nd trip to this resort this time with my 14yr old daughter. We loved it. The staff were very helpful, massages on the beach were great along with the manicures. We used the girls to the right in the yellow shirts. It was an easy taxi ride into Patong and we also organised a driver for the day to take us to the zoo, shopping and old Phuket town, great value at approx $40. We also walked to Tri Trang and had a great meal on the beach. Our room was very quiet even if it was over looking the pool access rooms above the bar. I will definately stay again and recommend it to anyone. Also while in Phuket you must try SNUBA at Rachai Island it was fantastic very clear water with hepas of marine life....

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank lp-james
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2010

We stayed at Merlin Beach Resort for 4 nights. We knew it was a bit out of Patong but we were fine with that. We booked a Superior Room because we thought we wouldnt be at the hotel much, always off to Patong. We found the room to be very cramped in compared to the other places we stayed in Thailand. You could hear everything you neighbour seemed to be doing. The air conditioning was so loud at night, it stopped us from sleeping. Pools were ok nice and big. Staff i found were unfriendly and a bit rude. We felt more like a number then a guest.
We ate at the restaurants twice, was ok nothing special. The buffett breakfast was quite average compared to other hotels. We mostly ate and drank across the road at the beach, the best beach bar/ restaurant so yummy. There's massages there to so relaxing.
If you can take up the free shuttle bus, saves a lot on taxi's. Also if you walk out of the hotel down to the road the taxi service there is 250BHT. Hotel is 300BHT. Well in Patong def bargain the tuk tuk drivers the cheapest was 200BHT back to hotel.
To sum up probally great for a family holiday, but not for a couple holiday.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Niss22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2010

I found the location of this hotel so bad that I had to move hotels. I went with my sister and as two young girls I found it very unsafe and in the middle of no where.
If a holiday where all you need is a pool then this ok but if like us you want to go to the beach and so on this hotel is too far away from Patong. Whats more the free shuttle bus is not regular and only comes a few times a day. There are no shops or restaurant near the hotel, therefore you can't even get a bottle of water unless you buy the over priced water at the hotel. Getting a taxi late at night from Patong back to the Merlin is also very scary as it is in such a bad location.
Young girls should not stay here!!!

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Ali013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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