From the bustling city of Bangkok (the city's actual shortened name is Krung Thep Maha Nakhon) to the famous beaches and resorts of Phuket and Koh Samui.
Khao Lak is located about 80km/50miles north of Phuket with a significant number of resorts along the beach.
It is popular as a transit area to Similan Islands for divers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Similan_Islands
Noted to be "one of the most famous diving sites in Thailand, and is noted as one of the top ten dive destinations in the world according to the National Geographic Society."
However, please note that visits are seasonal (from November to May) if one plans to visit the islands.
Otherwise, the beach is just as beautiful as Phuket, and without the crowd.
Why this resort?Simply because it is beautiful and quiet. Comes complete with animals including a gorgeous baby elephant named Namwan.
The ManagementCurrently under Starwood, Le Meridien, the resort is changing its management to Anantara in Jan 2014.
This was the main reason I went in the off-season, so that my status with SPG can be used.
Getting to the HotelAs forementioned, Khao Lak is a fair distance from the nearest airport located in Phuket, Thailand. (HKT)
We took the hotel transfer from the airport and traveled about 80 minutes with good traffic to the resort.
We passed by several small towns along the way, with Khao Lak town perhaps that little more developed due to the presence of nearby resorts.
The HotelThe official website of the hotel is http://www.lemeridienkhaolak.com/
Before reaching the lobby, one is greeted by this awesome structure.
The resort is huge and so is almost everything here.
|View of the resort at night|
There is an ATM at the lobby if needed as well as a guided tours shop.
|ATM at the lobby|
The Room (And Villas)We were given a Deluxe Suite which promised us "Transformation occurs daily in this 108-square-metre one bedroom suite located on the first and second floor. All five senses will be refreshed with the fragrant air and soothing views of the gardens and pool. Observe colourful birds darting within the lush foliage and small squirrels leaping between palm trees while relaxing on your balcony as the sun sinks. Curiosity and pleasure are awakened in our luxurious suite facilities, including the beautifully-appointed master bedroom with teak flooring and a four-poster king size bed, en-suite bathroom with rainforest shower stall plus bathtub, and dual vanities. The large living room features a kitchenette, dining area, and a half bathroom plus two daybeds, two armchairs, and a 42” flat screen TV."
The bathroom is really big and the wardrobes can be opened from the bedroom and also the bathroom side.
One problem I had was the position of the dial for the bathtub. The running water would hit the dial and splatter water all over.
The hotel is only up to 3 floors high and the view is not too great. The great question is.... why stay in your room?!
There are also several categories of villas scattered within the resort, from isolated lagoon views to premium and ocean-front ones.
|Entrance to private pool villas|
The Food and DrinksCafe Lilawadee
This is the place for breakfast but is otherwise closed for the rest of the day. The food and variety is rather good! It is located under the lobby on the ground floor.
You can also have pancakes with a drawing of an elephant.
This restaurant serves Thai food and is next to the lagoon with black swans swimming around and several fountains. A great place for dinner. However, it tends to be dimly lit and not ideal for groups and pictures.
This restaurant serves Italian Food in the evenings.
Bamboo Bar and Seafood Grill
This is sited on the beach and is a great place for lunch or simply for drinks to enjoy the view of the Andaman Sea. Food pales greatly in comparison to the scenery.
Kuk Kak Indian Restaurant And Twin Lake Pavilion
These are away from the beach on the other side of the resort and near a big lagoon (not for swimming).
This is simply the lobby bar and one is able to see the beach in the distance.
This would be the pool (lagoon) bar, located between the pool and the beach.
The PoolThe main pool is a huge extended lagoon that stretches from the Cafe Lilawadee/Lobby to Favola and then pass the Kid's club into a small connected pool.
A toddlers' pool is next to the kids' pool but the colour seems uninviting.
This would be the end of Part 1. Please do read Part 2 of this fabulous resort, especially of the animals here!