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Khao Lak Riverside Resort & Spa
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Reviews (206)
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27 - 32 of 206 reviews
Reviewed 25 May 2014

Stayed here in Feb 2014. Had a fabulous time and thought the location and the beach restaurants were excellent.Delayed writing this review to hope for some good news about Bruno, but so far none. I agree with all the previous reviewers that it is a real shame that this hotel is slipping down the rankings. If the joint owner presently suffering from his stroke can fully recover I think they will get back to number 1. Sitting in the gardens at the side of the river watching kingfishers and herons is truly wonderful. With the beach such a short walk away, evening dining is such a pleasure, something we did on most days. We had no problems with our room which was in the main building facing the sea, sitting on our balcony sipping G&T's while watching the sunset was magical. Would consider returning next year if the owner situation gets back to it's previous high standard. Will be watching !!!

Room Tip: Try to get in the main building
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Brentony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2014

We booked this hotel last year when it was top spot on the Trip Advisor ratings. Since then, it seems to have had its fair share of traumas. Firstly, Marcus, the owner, had a stroke, then the family had to get rid of the manager, Bruno, because he allegedly, drank too much and ran the hotel down. But now, Marcus's wife Ja, has taken the reins with the help of her sister and extended family and they're getting the place back on the right track. We had an airport transfer, booked through the hotel. The taxi driver was at the airport with our names on a card. We had a great welcome when we arrived, shown to our lovely rooms, which were on the 2nd floor with views of the pool and the beach. They were spacious, very clean, loads of storage space. Breakfast was lovely, as much tea, coffee, juice , toast as you wanted, with a choice of various breakfast options as well, cooked fresh. We used to sit on the terrace early evening for a couple of Singhas before we went down the town or went to eat on beach for the night. Its a shame none of the other guests used the bar as it was great quiet place for a drink , early evening. Only a short walk to the beach, but do need a torch at night, as its very dark, going across a bit of a no mans land, with a bit of rubbish to get across. The restaurants on the beach were lovely, reasonably priced, not open late, so need to be eating by about 8.30pm at the latest. One late bar on that stretch with late live music called Thai Bar. The only snag we had during our stay, was the pool. When we arrived it was green, it hadn't been cleaned for a while, but true to her word, Ja was sorting it out, which she did. Helped by her brother in law, who scrubbed it for 2 days, then they had it treated, the pool was brought back to normal, and by the last couple of days of our stay, we could swim in it. They just need to keep on top of it now. Could maybe do with a couple more decent sun umbrellas for some shade by the pool. But Ja, bless her, had got the place up and running normally again. We hope they keep up the good work, because would love to stay there again.

Room Tip: Go for a larger room located on the second floor, with lovely views. Worth the extra money.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank lazychris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed at this hotel for a couple of nights, when we were evacuated from our live-aboard trip due to rough weather. Long story short, we arrived in Bang Niang around 18h and were both still feeling rather seasick and therefore just needed to get to a hotel as quick as possible. So whilst we had a quick dinner at a seaside restaurant we went online and found this hotel - which was rated no. 1 at the time - and decided to book because of the affordable price.

We arrived at the hotel around 21 and were greated by the Swiss owner (Marcus or Bruno) who was very kind. He showed us to our room which was on the second floor. The room was absolutely beautiful. Bright, clean and spacious. It had a nice balcony overlooking the pool, river and the sea - the view is perfect from almost every room, I would guess.

The bathroom was superb as well.

The breakfast is a la carte and prepared as you order. We had real juices - not the concentrate thing you get elsewhere in most resorts. I can especially recommend the big, juicy panpakes and fruit salads!

The only things we didn't like were...
- The younger male waiters seemed like they came straight from Fawlty Towers! Their English was bad, they consequently got our orders wrong or mixed up, and they were quite clumsy. But I suppose this was primarily due to a lack of training.

- Sadly, the only owner (or manager) present was sitting around drinking beers and smoking all day. He wasn't super serviceminded and it seemed like he had forgotten he was running a hotel and not a pub...

- The smaller upper pools that normaly led the water to the big pool through big pots were not running at the time we were there. In fact they were empty, and it took some of the "shine" off the otherwise beautiful pool area.

I can definitely recommend this hotel, if you don't want to stay at a big, noisy resort in the middle of everything. In fact this place is somewhat secluded - but in a good way.
Also, this is by no means a resort. It didn't bother us, but you might get dissapointed if that's what you are expecting...
We liked in and would like to come back some day - but the owners need to see to some changes in the management style...

Room Tip: The rooms on the second or third floor have a better view.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Dea J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2014

Our stay at Khao Lak Riverside Resort did not get off to the most auspicious start. Like a previous reviewer, we arrived late at night to find the resort locked and barred and in total darkness. We hammered, we called, we telephoned and finally roused a guest who was pleasant and sympathetic but who was unable to help further. After a journey of some 23 hours we were shattered, so we gave up and our long-suffering taxi driver took us first to The Ramada, next door, which was full and finally to La Flora where we spent the night.
The next morning, after breakfast and in clean, uncrumpled clothes, we walked along the beach, back to The Riverside. The helpful guest from the previous night had explained our situation to Bruno, the owner who was looking out for us when we arrived. He was welcoming and most apologetic but explained that he had received no notification from AsiaRooms of our booking. We had all of our paperwork, but the hotel had not been notified. But no matter, fortunately a room was available.
Bruno rapidly summoned a taxi to take us back to La Flora to collect our luggage and very soon we were settled into our room at The Riverside. And what a room it was... second floor, acres of space, with beautiful views from the front across the lawns, the tidal river basin and down to the beach. Windows at the side also gave us views of the river, and the green hills beyond. Very different from views of pretty much nothing at La Flora! The room was large and airy, the bathroom with its sunken bath was fun and the shower was perfectly fine. We never had problems with hot water or any of the plumbing.
The room safe never did work, there was a bulb missing from the balcony light, but on the other hand there was lots of storage and the beds were typically firm but comfy and clean. There was also a refrigerator and tea/coffee making facilities plus a rack for drying swimwear on the balcony.... I always like one of those! Plenty of towels too, including clean beach towels every morning.
Breakfast on the hotel’s terrace was a delight. All prepared to order with a good selection of muesli, yogurts, fruits and the standard cooked fare. Ja, who also manages the Chom Talay restaurant, was clearly in charge and everything ran smoothly. The hotel can provide evening meals if guests book in advance, but over time the owners have found that everyone tends to eat at one of the six delightful beach restaurants on the stretch of sand nearest the hotel.
The Riverside occupies an enviable piece of Khao Lak real estate and I imagine that none of the bigger hotels on Bang Niang Beach have such great views. It’s also very quiet and peaceful, no rush for sun-beds around this pool as there’s plenty of space for all. I know that Marcus is recovering from a severe stroke and that Bruno is not a well man, but everyone is pulling together. Their wives, Ja and Nam have housekeeping and catering firmly under control and the staff are pleasant and efficient. I loved the way the message was sent to housekeeping that we were at breakfast, so that our room was serviced whilst we ate.
After we’d been in Khao Lak for a while, we found out from the Tripadvisor forums that around about the time of our booking new fibre optic cables were being laid in the area and the internet lost connectivity. Many email accounts were affected, so this might explain why the details of our booking didn’t get through. I’m so pleased that we went back to The Riverside and didn’t allow our unfortunate arrival to put us off... I’m also very thankful that, despite the missing booking, there was a room for us. I love Thailand but don’t often visit the same resorts twice. For the Riverside I intend to make an exception and can’t wait to go back next year!

Room Tip: All rooms have good views but the best are from the higher floors in the main building.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Dilymy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2014

We stayed here a couple of years ago when everything was superb; so we were a bit puzzled by our rather chaotic arrival, then sad to discover that Marcus (co-owner and organiser) has been recovering from a stroke.
Shortly after we arrived Marcus' wife Ja took over the day to day running of the hotel, with support from Marcus (his speech is recovered so he is able to advise her). As a result we saw a dramatic improvement in the day to day running of the hotel (staff meetings led by Ja, work on the pool and gardens, checking feedback from ourselves and other guests). In short it's still a gorgeous place to stay, lovely grounds right next to the beach - with superb subsets and a choice of delicious food outlets. The staff are lovely and things are getting back to normal ie high standards.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank ianw33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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