Apologies for splitting the review, but there is so much to write about this resort that 1 post would be way too long!
The ServiceThe hotel is top-notch in service.
There was not a single hiccup during my stay and everyone was warm and helpful.
As with all things, incidents are unavoidable, but this stay was practically prefect.
Pick up at the airport was prompt and the ride was smooth.
A flower bracelet was given to every guest on entering the lobby.
Checking in was really easy and fast and we were given a good offer for a villa upgrade but we did not accept. The staff also showed us to our room and gave a thorough introduction.
Housekeeping was great and I particularly liked the folded elephant napkins.
The General Manager Mr RUUD HULSCHER also gave us a card and he made it a point to meet us before we checked out of the resort.
In addition, he sent an email some time later to thank us for staying!
The AnimalsThere are a few animals at the resort.
We saw a dog which hangs out at the beach. It only approaches after the guests have signed the bill.
Sadly I did not manage to get a picture of it.
A cat, which hangs out mainly at the spa, but I also saw it at the beach.
Maybe it works part-time at the spa like this cat.
Some black swans, at the lagoon next to Baan Thai.
There is also a deer park near the entrance of the resort.
All the deer turned to look at me when I approached. Guess they do not have many visitors...
The star of the resort has to be the baby (female) elephant. Her name is Namwan.
She would kiss you with her trunk and pose with a leg up.
Pass her a tip and she would bow to thank you for it!
|Namwan with her trainer|
Khao Lak TownThe nearest town is about 10 to 15 mins away by the hotel transport (small fee required).
You can get some food and massage here. There is also a new supermarket for groceries.
There was this nice massage shop with folded napkins as well.
Seems that folding napkins is a culture here.
There is also a roadside store selling a variant of the "Indian pancake"
After visiting the town, one can take the hotel transport back or get a 'taxi' (a pickup) to get back to the hotel.
The GymThe gym is rather small for such a big resort. The gym classes were poorly received and often cancelled. I presume most people on a holiday do not really exercise much.
The (Le) SpaThis is one of the hightlights of the resort!
The reception is in the main building. Foot massage may be done in a room behind the reception as well.
|Cold towel and drink while waiting for treatment|
The treatment rooms are off the main building.
The therapist will bring you to one of the small villas for your treatment!
The rooms are simply beautiful. The therapists usually speak good English so communication should not be an issue.
The spa also has its own pool, which is off-limits to children.
The BeachThe beach at Khao Lak faces the Andaman Sea, so the view is comparable to Phuket.
The water is not so great and seems really muddy at times.
The great advantage of Khao Lak is the quietness, allowing one to really enjoy the sea and beach with minimal noise and disturbance.
For the kids!There is a kids' club located at one end of the main lagoon as described in Part 1 and a small swing near Cafe Lilawadee as well.
Other FacilitiesThis resort is huge!
The range of facilities is simply astonishing.
There's a bicycle rental, archery range, mini-golf, driving range, boxing ring and tennis courts.
The ShopsThere is a small shop along the road which I think the mini-mart used to be as well but has since moved to the main building.
I bought a cap from the shops since the resort is leaving Le Meridien. -sad-
The DecorationsThe hotel is also filled with many traditional items in various places.
I particularly like this structure in the middle of the resort as well, especially when the fire is lit at night.
For the Newly wedsA lagoon with a chapel and a small open space for wedding vows is located on the side away from the beach.
In SummaryThe resort is fully deserving of being one of the best in Thailand.
I'm quite sad it is leaving Starwood.
Perhaps the biggest letdown would be the relative lack of food choices.
Be sure to look for Namwan if you ever visit!