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Le Meridien Khao Lak Beach & Spa Resort

The Le Meridien Khao Lak is located app. ten kilometers north of Khao Lak and 75 minutes by car from Phuket airport.

The hotel is and roughly 700 meters drive from the main street in a huge garden. The hotel consists of two wings the “Family Wing” on the left side and the “Spa Wing” on the right side with the central check in building between the two wings.

The check in building is an open hall with the check in area on the right side and a car rental desk on the other side. Several lounge chairs and a terrace with more chairs and tables were available. Here one got free wireless access to the internet. Staff is helpful in locating a near plug to power the laptop and assisting with a adapter for a plug.

The pool villas are located on the left side between the “Family Wing” and the beach while the Lagoon Villas are more on the right side. There are two huge pools in front of the “Family Wing” and another smaller pool in front of the “Spa Wing”.

The kids club is  in front of the “Family Wing” on an ‘island’ in a pool surrounded by a lazy river and several water fountains. The other pool is closer to the beach with a Jacuzzi part in it.

The Spa Pool is close to the Spa and several signs are requesting guests to be quieter at this part and children are only allowed it they are accompanied by the parents.

Near this pool is the small but well equipped gym. From my point of view, this gym is quite small considering seize of the hotel. I assume the gym could become crowded in peak time. During our stay, I have been there mostly without another guest, as there were not many people staying in the hotel during our visit and therefore I have had no problem to use the machines I wanted to use. At the gym one could also get a mountain bike (for free) to cycle through the nearby or not-so-nearby area. I have had a bike for a day and discovered the area and can say, the mtb are in very good condition and it was quite fun (but off course exhausting) to cycle the hilly area between the hotel and Khao Lak.

The Spa has a reception area in the basement of the Spa Wing, while the appointments are done in one of the Spa Villas. Several different types of massages are available. Staff was friendly, but from my personal view the massage at the InterContinental in Bali had been better. I would not say the one I got here was bad; it was just not as good as the one in Bali. During our stay, there was a promotion where one got 25% off the price of the most massages since it was low season.

Several restaurants were available, though during our stay in the low season not every restaurant was open every day.
The “Lilawadee” is the coffee shop of the hotel. Breakfast is served there between 6:30 and 10:30. One could sit on the covered terrace or inside and staff was a mixture of attentive and not noticing one had finished or simply forgot your order. But that was depending on who was serving and at least the members of staff who were there every day was attentive and try to do their best.
The breakfast had a great selection of different types of fruit, Sushi, Thai dishes and eggs prepared a la order by a cook. Rolls, croissant and bread were available as well as several different types of pastries. Jam and marmalade, cheese and sausages and different types of juices were place on the buffet. Tea and coffee were brought by staff.
“Lilawadee” restaurant was also open in the evening between 18:30 and 22:30 with International and Thai cuisine. The quality was okay. Prices were between 200 and 250 THB excl. taxes for a main course.

“Bangsak Grill” was open from 11:00 and 22:30 (but not daily) and served were steaks and fish or of the grill. Also available were pizzas. It was also serving the guests laying at the pool or the beach.

“Baan Thai” is located near the Spa near the lagoon and decorated in Thai style and served Thai cuisine. The wine list had several Australian and New Zealand wines on it, open wines were also available. The meals we have had were okay, though we both had better and less expensive food in Thailand and also in hotels. “Baan Thai” was open on several days in the week in the evening between 18:30 and 22:30.

“Bamboo Bar” is the other option serving the beach and pool guests. Snacks and soft drinks as well as cocktails were served. The drinks were brought in plastic glasses, but such of high quality. Staff several rounds and asking guests at the beach and pool if they like something to drink. I think, they don’t do this during peak season.

Opposite the main entrance is the “Kukkak” restaurant serving steaks and Indian cuisine. Open only in the evening between 18:30 and 22:30 and from Thursday to Sunday with a terrace overlooking the sea in front of the hotel. The adjacent bar is open till 01:00 and this is the place where in peak season a little bit of high life may take place.

Aside is “Twin Lake Pavilion”, where one can get Korean and Japanese dishes and with the same opening days and time than “Kukkak”.

The beach is not so big, it definitively not a place to lie on the back but under palms on a smaller area between pool and beach. The sea is sometimes were rough and swimming might not always possible. One can walk on the beach. Massages are also available on the beach. During the day every now and then cold towels were provided and fresh fruit were brought for free.

Several water sports (mainly surfing) are available.

In the evening between 18:00 and 21:00 a shuttle service to Khao Lak is offered for a fee through the car rental agency.

A business center and meeting rooms are available.

Stay: 14 - 20 May 2007 (2 x 3 nights)
visited on Pazifikhopping 2007

Arrival Date: 14 May 2007
Departure Date: 20 May 2007
Room type booked: Pool Villa
Rate Plan: UGX Promotion Rate 3=2
Room Number: 018
Room Rate: 50 USD (+ tax and service charge, incl. breakfast)

Status of Guest Program: SPG Gold

I had prebooked a transfer in the hotel limousine between Phuket airport and the hotel and therefore was friendly greeted by the agent at the airport. He took care of my luggage and called the driver to arrive at the arrival driveway. Luggage in the car and soon we were on our way to the hotel. The driver drove not that fast and much civilised though a bit faster than allowed, which was okay for me.

As we arrived at the hotel staff took care of my luggage while I was accompanied to the check in. Check –in was done at one of the lounge chairs instead of the regular check – in desk. A guava juice and a cold towel were brought while check-in staff prepared everything for me. With the room key came a map of the resort and the opening days and hours or the restaurant and the spa, gym and business centre. So I learned I got 20% off of food & beverage and 25% of spa treatments.

As check-in was done I was brought with a cart to my lobby and the villa and its feature were explained to me.

The villa was very nice. After one entered the villa one was standing in the open corridor. On the left side is the room while on the right side are the wardrobe, which could be opened from the floor and from the bathroom.

The bathroom was on the left side and had of one washbasin on each side with a toilet on one and a shower on the other side and the bath between them. The open air shower could be reached through the shower cabin. Bath was oval and big. The bathroom was nicely decorated with beige and blue tiles. Every evening a perfumed candle was placed there.

The usual Le Meridien bathroom amenities were available and in addition a shaving kit and toothbrush. Usually one washbasin was equipped with male and the other with female amenities.

In the corridor opposite the entrance to the bathroom were the minibar and the tea and coffee facilities in a sideboard which had the function to divide the corridor from the rest of the room.

The room was equipped with a double bed on the backside of the sideboard. On the left side was the flat TV with DVD player. The DVD player had also the function of a hi-fi system for the room and the loudspeaker in the bathroom. On the left side was the desk with a cordless phone and LAN port. Opposite the bed was a table with a sofa. It was very nice to open the window behind the sofa and enjoy the air from outside.

The interior was nice and the design a bit minimalistic which not much decoration. Seize of the room was okay, though I have stayed in bigger rooms, but this villa has had for sure the biggest bathroom on all my stays. The furniture was Asian inspired, but not a direct Thai style interior. A bit of the hotel furniture one get in many hotels in Asia. I discovered several stains and scratches on the wall and on the floor after a closer look, but nothing really worse.
The bed was comfortable.

The air condition could be set on an automatic mode, meaning it runs only if necessary. The air condition was silent and not noisy and worked quite fine. As there was a fan in the ceiling (the villa had a high roof) one did not need the a/c at all.

A safe (big enough to store one laptop) was available.

In the garden were a small pool with a Jacuzzi, a shower two chairs and a massage pavilion. The pool had lights, so a swim in the evening was possible.

Housekeeping was okay. They sometimes were very late but had done their job quite good. Amenities were replaced on a daily basis and also towels were replaced daily and also during the turn down service in the evening. Newspaper arrived not before 14:00, because papers arrived by post during the morning. Two umbrellas and two ‘beach bags’ for the visit at the beach were in the wardrobe. Water bottles were restocked daily through housekeeping and while the turn down service was done.

We had a very nice and relaxing stay in this villa and I could imagine returning to this resort soon. The privacy of a pool villa is nice if you want to relax, but since the resort was quite empty there was not really a need for a villa. Not only once were we the only guests using the pool. If you want to relax and do not much of thing in the area, this is the ideal place, esp. during off peak time. If one is looking for a bit of entertainment, this is the wrong place and I suggest staying in Phuket.