Khaolak Merlin Resort4.0 out of 5.0
Recent guest reviews
Hi all our first visit to Thailand and the merlin resort,couldn't have made a better choice of hotel for what we wanted , total relaxation,the hotel is superbly laid out ,very clean and tidy ,the staff are extremely friendly and nothing is too much trouble for them .the food is of the highest quality,we ate at the al a carte most nights where the menu is first class , the food is first class , the buffet is also of a very high standard.having said that if your staying half board there are plenty of really good restaurants within ten minutes walk of the hotel ,entertainment wise not a lot going on but this is what we wanted .all in all a fabulous hotel, you will not be disappointed.
We have just returned to the UK after spending 2 fabulous weeks at the Merlin Resort and myself, wife and our 12 year daughter have had a "wonderful" time. This resort is calming and beautiful in every way. The food from breakfast, lunches and dinner were all fantastic and the oriental buffets were amazing! The rooms and pools were spotless and the staff were lovely. This is a place to totally chill out and enjoy the tropical feel and abundance of Thailand!!! We will return in the future...touch wood!
Well what can I say that hasn't already been said. This place is amazing. Ok there are little things that need to be done to make it pristine but hey it's got character. We had a pool swim up room 3147 fabulous by the restaurant near the beach. It was overcast and rained much of our first week April 2nd to 8th April. But that's not the hotels fault. Great choice of food at brekki. Again for dinner the buffets were great and we weren't all inclusive. Staff are so great again eager to clear anything empty on your table but so friendly. We had our 12 year old son with us and he's fussy to say the least. But they let us have the buffet and cooked him something from the a la cart menu once or twice. So even cater for the difficult customers with a smile. Fi we miss you. The grounds are beautiful. Beach is amazing. When tides in its deep don't go expecting you little ones to paddle safely in calm clear waters. Seems the sea changes daily sometimes it's calm and sometimes it has big waves. It's so warm In The sea warmer than the pool. Not really any entertainment except some buffet shows with dancing. So don't stay here if you want lively nights it's to quiet but I like quite. Again not the hotels fault but the building work next door is noisy. It drove me mad a couple of times. But it stopped for their new year and peace reined once more.
we really enjoyed our 2 weeks at Khoa Lak Merlin.check in was quick and all the staff were pleasant.The room was very nice and looking at the layout of the grounds i would imagine there is no particular advantage to any block or level the only difference would be the distance from the (lovely) beach.The accomodation and swimming pools are set amoungst trees and big leafed plants giving a 'jungle' feel which were kept very clean without an army of gardeners.The food was very good with both restaurants alternating a la Carte and buffet and themes.about 80% of the guests were German so that meant dawn patrol with the sunbed towels but no problem at the Merlin as there are plenty of sunbeds.we never rushed in the morning,casual breakfast then sunbed,always found a pair.we liked a light lunch at the beach bar tables.The lobby bar was nicely laidout but a little soul-less and under used.we were all inclusive so we've little idea of food/drink costs.no place is perfect and we look forward to going back but minor cons worth mentioning:- (1) theres a big difference in levels between the back of the grounds and the beach so guests would need a modicum of fitness/mobility (2) site is slightly isolated (3) new hotel being built right next door (finished nov 2018) but we barely heard any noise etc (4) as is often the case in Thai hotels the spirits in the bars were often nasty vietnamese/few premium brands.(5)little in the way of entertainment on site.all in all it has much going for it and i'd certainly say give it a go.
As the title suggests this really is a tropical paradise. It is an hours drive from phuket airport along a good road offering a glimpse of the type on scenery that awaits you. The last part of the drive once you leave the main road takes you through the small high street then up a hill past stinking rubbish left out by another hotel and onto the Merlin frontage which is all rather uninspiring. You are then ushered into the main lobby of the hotel, given a cold drink and key cards etc. It is then that you leave the reception to be shown to your room that a staggering beautiful tropical paradise opens up to you. The Merlin is built on the side of a hill and the rooms are expertly built around the jungle scenery which is truly breathtaking. As you make your way down the property several pools will be found in openings in the forest. It all then opens out on to a large level and more open grassed area with all the sunbeds and a jaw dropping seafront with an immense sandy beach with the start of a forested national park to the right and miles of unspoilt beach to the left. We were in room 4217 which had jungle views from the balcony. The room was kept immaculately clean by the maid, had the most comfortable bed and pillows I have ever experienced in a hotel, good air con and fan, well equipped bathroom with hairdryer bath and shower, a small mini bar which had enough room to put few of your own drinks if you didn't want to pay for them, and great balcony to take in the amazing view and weird and wonderful jungle sounds especially at night oh and even umbreallas for the tropical rain showers. Fresh pool towels are brought to your room each evening. The rooms plug sockets accept the standard European adapters. Wifi is free, generally good and covers all areas all the way down to the beach, we could even use Spotify and YouTube etc for streaming a lot of the time. We went on the b&b basis, but they also offer half board plus, full board plus or all inclusive. On our first week we only ate breakfast in the hotel which again is exceptional offering a wide range of foods to cover for all tastes and is eaten near the top of the resort next to a pool and delightful scenery. We had our lunches on the beach to the left at My Friends which offers good basic Thai food cooked from a rather run down shack, but was cheap and an experience! At night we ate in the small high street or took a taxi into Khao Lak town for a couple of quid. All meals were generally of a good quality and we didn't suffer from any form of upset stomachs even though we ate all types of food including street food from the Biang Niang night market held on mon,wed and Saturday. After the first week we decided to try diner from the alacarte menu at the hotel which is more expensive than going out. All I can say is that it is worth it, because after that we ate in the hotel for the rest of the holiday because all the food is perfectly prepared including international dishes or local cuisine and we found to be of superior quality to the outside restaurants. With the vat and service charge it probably equates to about 30% more than the local restaurants. Main meals range in Khao Lak from about £2 to £14 depending where and what you eat with Thai cuisine being far the cheapest. We are not big drinkers, but if you like a tipple or wine which is £5 a glass at the Hotel then a more inclusive option may be the way to go. The only trips we done while there was the elephant riding, river rafting and waterfall. This is a day trip offered at the Hotel and various other places which includes lunch but which would have come to about £175 for myself, wife and 11 year old daughter. The Big tip here is to do all the parts independently which we did over 3 days and for less than half of the price because it is all local. If you go to the end of the high street and turn right on the main road you can walk about 200m until you come to a turning on your left. This takes you to first the elephant safari on your right which you can walk in and pay about £20 each for and hours ride in the jungle up steep slopes! Which is great. I checked on the elephants before paying and they all looked in good condition and well kept. If you don't think this is very pc then you can opt for elephant bathing at another local sanctuary instead of riding them. If you carry on up the road past the elephant safari you will come to the Tom Pling waterfall which is free to enter and you can swim in the pool beneath the waterfall which is refreshing!! And the small small fish nibble at your feet which is not unpleasant but makes you jump initially lol. One word of warning make sure you take mozzie repellant to the elephant and waterfall as we didn't and were bitten death. To do the river bamboo rafting which is a blast book a taxi from the hotel reception which cost only £6 return and which by she way is the same price as the taxi rank down the road but uses cars rather than open backed jeeps. The rafting is about 3 miles out of town and there are 2 or 3 different companies along the Khao Sok river offering rafting. We ended up using the last one furthest up the river at this was the quietest. It cost £10 each for about an hours rafting which was great as weren't part of the large excursions going out in 20 rafts at a time which is not a very intimate experience. The trip meanders down the slow river through the jungle with the odd bit of faster white water and we even stopped off at a deep pool for a swim and go on rope swing over the water, we even saw a couple of snakes coiled up in the tree branches. Overall we had a fantastic holiday and would definitely return to the Merlin in a heartbeat. It was our first trip to Thailand and what I haven't mentioned is the staff at the Merlin and the Thai people in general. We had the best service from the most friendly nation of people I have so far come across and is the final thumbs up from me.
What a beautifull place. What a nice and polite management and staff. They all made me feel at home within minutes. What a nice food and all in a wonderfull surrounding. It was a second visit after my first visit just after te 2004 Tsunami. Great that it was possible to have my 'commander' room again.
We visited khao lak merlin resort at the end of February 2017 with Thomson on an all inclusive basis. The hotel, accommodation and food were excellent but just be aware that the mini bar in the room is not part of the package. The staff were all lovely and the food amazing. We booked an overnight trip to the Phi Phi islands which is well worth the money, canoeing, snorkelling and relaxation all part of the package as was the fantastic speedboat ride to the various islands, Also had a half day trip to the elephant sanctuary where you can get hands on in the river washing them - amazing experience. We would highly recommend the hotel as it was clean and relaxing making a great holiday. Thank you all the staff at Merlin.
Myself and my husband stayed here for a week during March 2017 and had a wonderful time. The hotel and its grounds are just beautiful. This is a large hotel but the accommodation is somewhat “hidden” by the gardens, with plenty of trees and shrubs throughout the resort, giving a rather intimate feel. Room We had a ground floor room near pool 2 and the jacuzzi and on entering, it certainly had the wow factor. The rooms are tastefully decorated, with an amazing bathroom including a lovely bath tub. There are windows between the room and the bathroom, but blinds are included should you wish for some privacy. The beds are extremely comfortable, but the pillows a little firm for our liking. The service provided by the maids is excellent and our room was spotless on arrival and throughout our stay. You are provided with beach towels in your room and these are changed daily, a nice touch and preferable to having to get towels from a towel station which is usual at most hotels. I suspect this approach also reduces the quantity of towels that are washed each day so also good for the environment. There is a mini bar in the room, but we didn’t use it as the prices were extortionate. However, the hotel provides bottled water daily which is free of charge. Pools / gardens There are 4 pools, with the biggest and most popular being pools 1 and 3. The pools include a number of waterfalls, making the most of the incline on which the resort sits. The grounds staff work tirelessly keeping the resort looking beautiful. The trees do result in leaves and flowers drifting in to the pools, but this all adds to the charm of the resort. However, the pools are regularly cleaned and it is simply amazing that the resort is kept immaculately clean. There are a small number of beds by each pool (so certainly not overcrowded), with a larger number of beds on the lawned area leading to the beach. Most people seem to prefer the lawned area, but our preference is to sit by a pool and we were always able to find a couple of beds with a sun shade. The only minor frustration is that a lot of the beds are wooden and while comfortable, they are extremely heavy to manoeuvre – luckily I had my husband to position my bed for me! The resort is on a slight hill down toward the beach, which means there are a lot of steps, but there are also slopes for the less mobile. If you do have mobility issues, you should carefully consider where on the resort you would like your room to be..… near the lobby and breakfast area with a walk to the pools and beaches, or near the pools with a walk toward the lobby. Food / places to eat Breakfast is delicious with plenty of choice. The fresh bread is amazing and the egg and pancake stations are fantastic. We only ate at the hotel once on a lunch time (and the food was fine) and never on an evening as there are so many delightful restaurants to eat nearby at a fraction of the price. The area outside the hotel contains a number of shops, restaurants and bars, useful for buying supplies and enjoying the varied cuisine. The tailors are keen to sell you their wares, but are not a nuisance and will happily leave you alone if you decline their invite, however, they will say hello to you each time you pass. We ate at many of the local restaurants, with our favourite being Ruan Thai Kitchen; we didn’t enjoy My Ju which rates highly on Trip Advisor. Most restaurants give you fruit following your meal and some give a shot of liquer. Black Jack bar is nice for enjoying a few pre or post meal drinks and they do lovely cocktails. One thing to note is that most of the restaurants’ toilet facilities are quite basic, but always clean. I’m sure this won’t be to everyone’s liking, but this is Thailand after all and just part of the experience. If you walk along the beach, there are 2 places immediately next door on either side where you can get good food and drinks much cheaper than at the hotel. We often visited these places for a lunchtime snack if we didn’t fancy walking out the front of the hotel. In summary, we had an amazing week at the Merlin and would definitely recommend it. The staff are extremely friendly and provide a high level of service. We moved onto Krabi for our second week in Thailand and although we stayed at a higher rated hotel, we much preferred the Merlin.
We holidayed here as a family of 4. We chose the AI package, we do feel this needs a little work (i.e. The mini bar fridge contents should be free to AI customers and certain fancy cocktails/Irish coffees) They do leave 2 complimentary bottles of water in your room each day and coffee/tea but some days you just fancy a beer when your aftersun is soaking in! When you've paid AI it should be included...you can go and fetch one from the bar but we didn't feel like going back out. I wouldn't let this put you off AI if you get a good price as the food is so good! If you only stay B&B it does work out expensive for meals in the hotel but there are a few restaurant & street vendors on the nearby-we didn't try these with being AI. The cleanliness was really good, the staff work so hard in all areas. The pools were being cleaned about 6.30-7am and leaves being swept up. The hotel grounds are lovely, full of trees and fauna with many pools. The food was fantastic-every meal. The fish & chips and lunch or dinner was fab. Fillet steak every night (if you opted for a la carte) cooked perfect every time we had it. The buffet options were lovely each time too. A good base for touring that area of Thailand. We booked our trips independently other than the exotic fishing which we booked with the staff in the hotel. We visited 3 markets, the best was Bang Niang (10-15 min taxi ride about 350 baht) The hotel taxi is good to use, they charge it to your room and don't charge much more. (Good if it's raining) However the taxi rank at the bottom of the street is always open and is a little cheaper. Our holiday was made lovely by the care and attention of all the staff. Thai people really are some of the nicest people you could meet.
We have just got home from a great 2 week stay at the Merlin. Couldn't fault anything from the friendly staff to the cleanliness of the rooms and the resort in general. Always spare sunbeds either round the pools or on the grassy area. If you wanted an umbrella for the shade, an obliging attendant was always on hand to put one up for you - no trouble. We went all-inclusive and the food was delicious - always plenty and a good varied menu. There are plenty of pools at the hotel and all in fantastic surroundings. We came across different things nearly every day whilst just walking in the grounds of the hotel. The staff were so friendly and couldn't do enough for you - Thai people are great! Beach is good and you can have good walks along the coastline. Only a short taxi ride into Khao Lak centre where you can find the usual bars and shops. All in all, a great trip and looking forward to returning some day.
Reviews from Trip Advisor
89% of guests recommend this hotelTotal of 810 reviews