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Khao Lak Emerald Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #40 of 69 Hotels in Khao Lak
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375 reviews from our community

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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2008

We booked 5 days through Agoda so that we could get a foothold in the area and then either rebook for longer at this hotel or move somewhere we preferred after checking out the area. The beach is superb and very quiet.

I have to say we don't really like big resort hotels that much. This hotel would have to have been pretty amazing to get us to love it and in this price range that would be unlikely. The other two positive reviews there have been so far are a fair reflection of what to expect. The staff were friendly but still being trained and communication was difficult. You're on your own.

The rooms were nicely furnished and comfortable. Big enough plus an OK bathroom - no separate shower which always disappoints me. A wider choice of satellite channels than we got at other places too. We really didn't think much of the food at dinner. Catering for large numbers is pretty difficult I guess. We were given free vouchers for it because they were still opening and we didn't use them after a couple of nights. The Thai food in the local restaurants is good and cheap. There are about 4 or 5 within walking distance.

The worst part was the off-key cabaret band warbling western cover versions in the corner. Why do they do that? Does anyone really like it? It was laughably bad but our fellow (mostly Scandinavian) guests (on package deals) were too polite to throw food or cutlery. I felt sorry for everyone including the band. OK I'm a bit of a music snob. Breakfast was alright.

Overall it's a nice place with nice public areas but there was'nt a 'scene' at the bar after dinner. A bit boring if you like to meet people. If you're happy in big resorts you'll probably like it well enough. The garden is going to be beautiful.

We moved to the Luckanawadee resort which is two hotels up the beach, paid less and were absolutely thrilled. Only problem - they only have 9 rooms and 2 are pricey bungalows.

  • Liked — Comfortable room and good free satellite channels
  • Disliked — We booked 'seaview' room and had to stand on tip toes to see a tiny glimpse of the sea
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2 Thank philbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2008

What a totally awful place. The food was bad and the service nonexcisting. The staff smile a lot but we think it is to hide their inefficiency and lack of English. It all looks nice and it is all new. But some things miss anyway. We were told that you could exchange money, book tours, eat lunch and have drinks at the beach, and have internet access, none of that was there. Salt for the boring and cold food, beachchairs (100 chairs and 350 guests), umbrellas on the beach and peace were not there either. The rooms are very noicy and the hotel full of children so do not expect to relaxe. If you want to eat somewhere else there are two other restaurants, otherwise you have to pay 6 euros to go into Khao lak center. The center offers a few more restaurants but little else. It is a typical dirty, expensive and boring tourist place. All in all a terrible and very expensive holiday, we will never go to Thailand again.

  • Liked — the beach
  • Disliked — the hotel
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
5 Thank giosDenmark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Khao Lak hotels

Turku, Finland
Level Contributor
65 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2008

Our stay at Khao Lak Emerald Beach resort was from 1st Jan to 15th Jan 2008, two adults travelling in search for good quality resort in a peaceful place. This was our first trip to Thailand. For those who look for quick summary; good quality was quite not there yet but the location is perfect if you are looking for peace and time to rest. Above average -rating comes from their hard work as things were improving every day even if all the services were still not ready when we left back home.

The Emerald Beach resort is adjacent to Merlin resort and the Briza was just advertizing their pre-opening on the other side of the Emerald Beach resort. There still are tsunami ruined houses in the adjacent deserted lot. Taxi/shuttle to Khao Lak village takes 10 minutes, just under 1 hour to Phuket airport or less than 10 minutes to Tap Lamu harbour where boats to Similan islands leave.

Rooms and buildings:
Our room was 3rd floor Superior Lagoon View in the first building. We might have been the first quests in the room as some of the items were never used. The room had twin beds (those could be moved together), table + 2 chairs, plenty of closets and drawers, air-conditioning, telephone, TV, electronic safe, hairdryer, minibar + refrigerator and tea & coffee making equipment. Bathroom had both bath and shower and the bathrobes were nice extra. Balcony view was to the Lagoon and a glimpse of the sea could just be seen behind the seaside villas. If I compare the quality of this room to European or American rooms, I give a good grade with a note that not everything is made with same quality (i.e. not all things matched together, paint splashes were here and there, the tiling was not laid perfectly everywhere, etc.) but none of these issues would hurt me and I accepted them to be the Thai way of doing.

There were 4 buildings (3 floors high) with lagoon or pool or seaside view rooms, but just two of them looked to be in use. Furnitures were still being installed to many rooms, but the buildings looked to be ready. Closest to sea are the Seaside Villas which all looked to be occupied and I assume were all completely ready. Note that some of the villas are behind each other, so the view might not be what you expect. Also the deck chairs area is just in front of the villas before the sea and people hang out there from 9 am to 6 pm pretty much all the time, right on your backyard, so to say.

In the main building where the reseption is some services were not open. The lobby, reception and small bar were functioning but it looked like a gift shop was on its way to one of the empty rooms and the way to the Spa side was completely blocked as this side of the building was still being built. The restaurant is located in between the main building and the first building with rooms. Restaurant seemed to be open from breakfast to dinner non-stop. There was just this one restaurant in the resort and we were wondering if it truly can service all customers when all the rooms are in use. By the Lagoon there was a grill but there was just some tables, not enough for any kind of breakfast or dinner service with tens of customers.

The garden and the beach:
The garden is beautiful and it was still being worked on during our stay. The gardeners planted hundreds of plants and worked there every day to improve the area. It is going to be very beautiful when the plants have grown. All the paths were ready and nicely located in the area. The lagoon shrank during our stay as it is said to be natural lagoon and when it did not rain, there was very little water flowing in. This made the tsunami damages more visible, as from the bottom of the lagoon the piles of rubbish from destroyed buildings started to show when water level went down. We did not figure out why the lagoon was not cleaned before the resort was being built, but in a way it was just a reminder of how small a person is in front of the nature.

The beach was close to 2 kilometers long and with only Merlin hotel and Emerald Beach hotel quests using it, there never was any kind of congestion. The hotels are not allowed to bring the deck chairs to the beach, so the sand was totally free for walking, playing and enjoying the sun. The sea breeze was nice and swimming was easy with no heavy waves or currents. There was close to nothing to see with snorkel so just swimming it was. You can walk at the end of the 'own" beach and continue directly with another where the Poseidon hotel is located to make it more kilometers one way.

Each hotel has the deck chair in their garden and the sand starts just after the row of chairs. In Emerald Beach hotel there was a competition for the chairs and it looked like the management had underestimated the needs - there just were too little chairs for the amount of people. When walking on the beach on front of the Merlin resort we saw that there always was room to take a chair, any time of day which should have been the situation also in Emerald Beach. Hopefully they have fixed this already.

There were 2 pools in the resort; in the Lagoon area there is a pool for families to use, at least there the children and parents were every day. Another pool is just on the beach with direct view to the sea, most of the adults spent their time here. Also the deck chairs are located near to this pool. 'Pool bar' was here, but not a building, more like a desk and a refrigerator, maybe the building is coming later. Foods could be ordered to the area and they were delivered from the main restaurant. Also the beach towels were available here, 1 per person for a day.

We had half board i.e. breakfast and dinner included in the room price. The routine was same every day: both meals were available from buffet where there are hot servings, cold servings, drinks and bread available. Both sets had also a grill service, in the morning it was an egg station and in the evening they brought in a grill with changing menu. Servings during breakfast were: egg station (omelets made on order), bacon, sausages, rice, potato, meat, tomato/vegetables, toast, roll, cheese, cold cuts, cereals, joghurt, juice, water, coffee/tea and fruits of the season. Most of the items were there every day, some changed but always there was enough to eat.

The restaurant advertises dinner from 6pm but not all the foods are ready, may be that nothing is ready by that time. It is closer to 7pm when they start to bring foods out from the kitchen. For dinners there was: grill station with every day changing menu (did not repeat a meal during 2 weeks!) rice, 1-2 different meats, fish/seafood, soup, vegetables, potato, salads (several), fresh fruit of the season and some kind of dessert. The food changed every day and again there was always enough to eat. Note that the drinks during dinner are not included: a small bottle of water cost 70 baht (compared to shop price 10 baht). They offer to place the bill to your room but it can be payed directly too, if you request.

Buffet food quality was okay, there were some foods which were really good but were served only once or twice during our stay. It was always unknown what was served that night. Breakfast was almost the same every day and it would have been lovely to have some changes.

The Emerald Beach resort services:
The reception was open any time we needed it, check in and check out were very efficient. Unfortunately even if they advertise that tours can be requested the only answer we had: 'could you contact your own travel agent for arrangements'. We decided to vote with our feet and walked 2 minutes to Merlin resort which had excellent tour desk with excellent service and booked our trips there. Worked perfectly.

The hotel had a free shuttle (brand new cars with air conditioning) once a day in the afternoon to Khao Lak village and back 2,5 hours later. Reservation is required in advance with reception.

The internet service works with pre-paid (e.g. 100 baht for 30 minutes) code which you get from the reception. The computers were new and connection was just fine, no problems there whatsoever. The internet room is located in the main building. Some quests had their own laptops and were requesting codes for longer use, this too seemed to be possible.

The room service in Emerald Beach was excellent as were the foods ordered from the kitchen. The servings were good size and placed beautifully with decorations. The orders arrived always quickly and the menu was very reasonably priced. This I can recommend to try - but remember to ask to cut down on the chili if you are not absolutely sure that you can eat spicy or very, very spicy food.

The housekeeping worked fine but several times they arrived only in the afternoon or did not have all the items with them. The cleanliness was good all the time, but sometimes they took our towels and brought clean ones only several hours later or did not have e.g. soap to leave in the room at all. We had to call reception to ask for things in several occasions and I think that the lack of stuff was management miscalculation, not the fault of the housekeeping.

The Spa was/is advertised in the hotel website and we were disappointed to find out that was not open at all. Later we heard that it is supposed to be open in February but I don't know how reliable this estimate is. Again we voted and went to the Merlin Spa which truly was nothing less than excellent; service was just perfect, all the details and quality in the spa everywhere was impeccable. They had quite high prices listed but with 30% discount they gave this was well worth the money. We took thai massage first and later returned for 3 hour massages & facial combination - the Merlin spa we can warmly recommend.

There is no real shopping near to the hotel, some in Khao Lak and all the biggest shops in Phuket island. However, in the building opposite the Emerald Beach hotel there are a couple of small kiosks with water, snacks and some daily consumer goods, also a couple of local tour desks and one tailor. Taxi drivers are waiting on the side of the road or you can walk to the Merlin hotel were Hertz offers both rental cars and limousine service (a car with a driver). Merlin also has a gift shop and another tailor service. We rented a car with a driver for a day to go around Phuket island which was just a perfect solution for us. Car was air conditioned, very clean and the driver spoke English, we agreed a route together and were able to see all we had planned with no worries about the traffic.

Things to be prepared for in the resort:
First, accept that Thai way of doing things is different from European or American standards. Then you can read these below with an open mind.

Not all the staff understands English and this can happen anywhere in the resort. They smile and say 'yes, yes' but be prepared to repeat your request when they bring you something you originally did not ask for. A tip: take a picture of the thing you need or bring a brochure etc. if you can, it helps a lot!

Look carefully that the food in the restaurant buffet is warm. It happened almost daily that the heaters of the hot food were either not lighted or then they were extinguished by wind and nobody came to light them again. Cold food on our plates had to be tossed aside several times. Grill was our favorite for this reason, too!

Prepare to take cold showers. Warm water was an exception in the shower. Again we suspect the reason to be that the management was not prepared properly to meet the water consumption. Luckily the temperature outside is hot, so you can live with cool water. In addition to this, the plumbing work might need some adjustment as sometimes it was just impossible to flush the toilet and this seemed to be a problem in several locations. If this happened, we just had to wait and try again in a minute and yet again later. At the end, it worked always. Hope they look at our feedback and can fix both of these quickly.

If you want to sleep early, be sure to book a room further away from the restaurant. Evening program in the restaurant goes on until 10pm and the music comes to the rooms in the first building. Our room was in the far end of the hallway of the first building and we could hear a little of the music and other sounds but it did not disturb us.

And finally; verify what the texts in posters in the resort say. In the restaurant they kept an advertisement of happy hour from 4pm to 6 pm and quickly served drinks to customers. Then when they check came, they said 'sorry, happy hour only in the beach bar, full price here'. We went for it and saw several other customers being amazed by it - and when we requested this from the management, they said 'we will look at it'. However, nothing changed in 2 weeks so when we left the customers still were being promised an happy hour with no note of 'beach bar only'. Check this kind of things first to avoid surprises.

Final thoughts after 2 weeks home
Yes, this was the perfect location for us - almost empty beach, very little people around us, nature close to the hotel and the buildings and surroundings at the Emerald Beach resort above the criteria we have for good enough quality. Peace and privacy we wanted and that we got. Even if there were some flaws at the hotel and in the services, we could live with everything keeping in mind that those were peanuts compared to any real problems in life. We already saw things being improved every day and trust that this continues until the resort truly has the 4-star quality they aim to be.

  • Liked — Cleanliness, furnishings, privacy
  • Disliked — Loud air conditioning
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8 Thank Lumihiutale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Copenhagen, Denmark
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2008

We have just returned after 2 weeks at the Emerald. I was searching this site for reviews before we left, but, as others have mentioned, none were available since the hotel has just begun operations. So here is the first!
The hotel has is located on the south beach, it's in fact the second-but-last hotel in the whole Khao Lak strech of beaches. This means a perfect location if you want more secluded/original beach "feeling" - just head southwards, after you pass the next hotel you'll have the beach more or less to yourselves. After app. 500 meters youl'll find a cosy beach bar/massage (Kamel's corner), followed by another 500m perfect beach.
The south beach is a small cluster some 5-7 min. in taxi from the Khao Lak centre with 2 other hotels in operation, one more to open soon, and a post-tsunami ruin just besides the Emerald. There are both restaurants, travel agents, and a tailor here, likewise it's close to one of the elephant trekkings. Otherwise, there is very litlle action.
The hotel itself is, obviously, sparkling new and of pretty high standard. We stayed in one of the beach villas which are very nice. Half of them (beach front) have unimpeded view of the Sea, the rest (beach view) placed behind and askew to these but also with very nice views, and some with a private jacuzzi. None are actually ON the beach, in front is either a big lawn with sunchairs or one of the pools. If staying in a villa I would consider the pros and cons of the ones closest to the Sea -of course you get a magnificent view, but on the other hand very little privacy since all other hotel guest are sun-bathing in front of you. I would opt for either the beach view, or the beach front which are in front of the lawn (villa 1-4) - not in front of the pool which is really close to the villas.
The hotel rooms are very big also, situated either towards the Sea, towards a nice lagoon/pool area, or towards a road. The first two are very good locations - I would avoid the third since it is a rather dull view (and also looking directly at the hotel ruin mentioned above).
As mentioned, the hotel is brand new. The downside of this is, that you - if you are going anytime soon - shouldn't expect everything to be perfect. The Spa is not in operations yet, the pool bar area was being built during our stay, extensive planting is taking place etc. Most importantly, however, this also means that the staff is not yet "run in" and that service in general does not operate that smoothly. We especially saw this during the X-mas and New Year parties where there were quite large logistical problems with the food and drinks. However, the staff's atitude is very positive and helpful - especially towards kids - and I'm sure the rest will follow once they gain some experience.
Some words about the food: Quite fine breakfast, a nice lunch menu (but with VERY long wait times from the beach bar since the pool bar/kitchen is not ready yet), and a somewhat dull evening buffet. Don't despair, there are tons of places you can go for good and cheap food (try Poo just up on the main road) once you tire of the buffet. And speaking of looking outside the hotel: Get your laundry done in the travel agency - cum - dry cleaners just around the corner, it's both fast, cheap and good.

We have already decided we will go back in a year's time. All the small start-up problems are surely gone by then (in fact, with the speed we saw, much sooner than that) , and what remains is a very, very, good hotel in a very, very good location.

  • Stayed December 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
12 Thank floff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Khao Lak Emerald Beach Resort & Spa

Property: Khao Lak Emerald Beach Resort & Spa
Address: 7/10 Moo 2, Ban Khaolak | Lamkean Subdistrict, Thai Muang District, Khao Lak 82210, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Phang Nga Province > Khao Lak
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#27 Spa Hotel in Khao Lak
#28 On the Beach Hotel in Khao Lak
#29 Luxury Hotel in Khao Lak
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Khao Lak Emerald Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 270
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Also Known As:
Khao Lak Emerald Beach Resort And Spa
Khao Lak Emerald Beach Hotel Khao Lak

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