First of all - if I could give this hotel 4.5 out of 5, I probably would. We stayed here for 10 nights over New Year. Our arrival went very smoothly and we were shown to our bungalow quickly. We booked a Deluxe Bungalow through Hayes and Jarvis but we were actually given the grade above - Deluxe Beachfront Bungalow (number 110), which had a gorgeous view of the beach and, even better, direct access to the swimming pool behind the bungalow, through the outdoor bathroom. This was an unexpected bonus! It was very peaceful and laid back, even though it was peak season. The pool was generally very quiet and the bigger pool close to the beach restaurant seemed even quieter a lot of the time. However, there was a lot of sun lounger reserving going on, with people putting towels down before 8:00 AM. The hotel does say on notices that this is not allowed but I guess it is difficult to stop it.
The bungalow was lovely - a little bit rustic but big, clean and light. The bed was very comfortable, if you like you like very hard beds - which we do. My only, very small, complaint would be that there was hardly any storage space for clothes. But this is a small matter in the grand scheme of things! Another small gripe - the air conditioning wouldn't get cold enough for my liking and a lot of the cold air maybe escaped through the patio doors which didn't close very well. But no major complaints at all. Overall we were really very happy with our room.
We went on a room and breakfast basis, which I would recommend highly. The breakfast was good, with plenty of choice and lovely made to order omelettes and waffles. We occasionally ate at the beach bar/restaurant at lunch times. The food and service were fine but it’s a lot more expensive than taking a walk into town or up the beach to a nearby bar (Peter’s – just past The Wanaburee). We only ate at the hotel on our first evening. Again, the food was fine but we prefer to try new places. We thoroughly enjoyed two meals at “Smile” – excellent food but, as the reviews for it say, expect quite slow service. I must also mention “Monkey Bar” where we enjoyed a fair few drinks many evenings. There is a huge amount of choice of restaurants within a 15 minute walk (or a quick taxi ride).
The location of the resort is excellent – you feel surrounded by jungle on one side, lovely beach on the other and not far from bars, restaurants and shops.
We went on a few trips; Similian Islands, James Bond Island and Koh Tachai. The trip to the Similians was a little disappointing as the snorkelling was, at best, below average and, at times, rubbish. This was perhaps our own fault as we went with a dive boat, which maybe took us to dive sites for the divers, rather than decent snorkelling sites. So, if you want to go snorkelling, make sure the trip is dedicated to snorkellers. Also the main island that we went to (number 8) was incredibly busy with speedboats etc and you only have a tiny space roped off for swimming. The trip to Koh Tachai was far better. It was run by a company called LoveAndaman. The guide was excellent, the beach was beautiful (far less crowded) and the snorkelling was far, far better. The trip to James Bond Island was ok. The scenery is stunning but be prepared for crowds. We were taken to the fishing village for lunch. The lunch was good but the villagers do not fish any more – there was a large market selling, in my opinion, mainly tat e.g. sarongs, t-shirts and hundreds of shells! However, even worse than the shells was the fact that many dried out and inflated porcupine fish were on sale - not impressed! But, on a more positive note, it was interesting to walk around and catch glimpses into how the villagers live and the local school.
I would definitely recommend the Khao Lak Resort. I think that it offered excellent value for money. The staff were wonderful and the service was always first class. They worked incredibly hard preparing for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, which apart from some cringeworthy games and enforced fun, were fantastic.
Perfect place for a relaxing and peaceful escape from the cold, grey winter!
Upgrade to a Deluxe Bungalow or Deluxe Beachfront Bungalow, if you can.
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC