We are a family of 3 (2 adults and 1 seven y.o. son) who travel frequently and extensively throughout the world. We have just returned from a 14 night stay at this resort and had thoroughly researched our trip on TA prior to booking. We were very happy with all of our choices based on what we had read on this site. Hence, we wanted to give our feedback on our trip. We had a Deluxe room overlooking the resort's beach (which I requested when I booked). Room was very comfortable and very clean, not 'luxurious' but fine for a family holiday. In our opinion, rooms with a view to the beach/sea were the nicest . The Merlin provided a great base for us as a family with its 3 very large pools and access to quieter beaches than those we saw at Patong, Kata, Karon and Nai Harn (the latter, although pretty, were lined with many rows of beach lounges/umbrellas and packed with tourists). The beach directly situated at the resort, as mentioned in other reviews, was a little rocky although still swimmable, but was lots of fun for our son who explored the rock pools and found all sorts of sea creatures! Massages, pedicures and laundry are all available at both ends of this beach and were cheap and very good (The ladies at 'Good View Massage' to the left as you enter the beach were just lovely) All 3 of us had regular massages there. The other beach is a 5 min walk out the front of Merlin, and down a dirt road to 'Tri Trang Beach'. We spent a whole day there, rented sun lounges, had lunch at the beach cafe, and our son spent hours playing with and feeding the 'resident' gibbon. Also good massage hut at the southern end of beach! Back to the Merlin - at the end of the resort's beach and up the steep walkway is 'Little Tiger Restaurant' - we ate there twice, both times lucky enough to sit at the front corner table and watch the beatiful sunsets - food was great, service was very friendly.
Restaurants at the resort were fine but you do need to venture out to Patong and other places if your stay is a longer one as menu would get a little repetative. The buffet breakfast had a very large selection, food was fresh and nicely presented, we found it to be fine. One of the restaurants we tried in Patong was the 'Sea Hag' - highly recommend - I had the best yellow prawn curry there that I have ever had, and all very cheap. Transport into Patong (or any of the other resort areas) we thought to be very inexpensive (250 baht to Patong, about 350-400 baht to Kata/Karon) and easily accessible (right outside front of resort) so eating out in other areas was not a problem for us. As others have mentioned, there is a free hotel shuttle to Patong, but it doesn't go all that frequently, although we did use it once or twice when it fitted with our plans. It drops and picks up from the Merlin Patong Hotel, which is the 'sister' hotel to Merlin Beach, so guests can use pools and facilities at both these resorts. We spent a day in Patong shopping etc. and, given the heat, use of this facility was a god-send to swim and cool off during the day (remember to take a red hotel towel with you from Merlin Beach front desk) Of the two hotels, Merlin Beach Resort is definitely nicer - larger, in good repair, more picturesque overlooking the sea, beautiful gardens and much better pools. The pools we have to say were sensational, our son had hours of fun in them as they're huge and there's many areas to explore etc. The two main pools consist of a toddlers and children's activity pool, the other being a more relaxed pool with swim up bar. The third pool in the Busakorn Wing was shady and quiet and had a huge waterfall and two spas if you wanted to relax away from it all. It was never a problem for us to get sun lounges at any of the pools and we never felt overcrowded. I also had a treatment at the Resort's Spa (massage and thai herbal facial) which as well worth it. We chose to do a few tours during our stay, but did not book any through the resort. Transfers for tours are no problem from Merlin Beach. All our tours were booked before we left Australia after looking on TA for ideas. We did two day trips with 'Simba Sea Trips' - one out to Phang Nga Bay, the second to the Phi Phi Islands. 'Simba' came highly recommended on TA and we were not disappointed. Both trips were fabulous, our son was thrilled with the experience as were we. Both were with Jenny (owner of the business) on her very comfortable speed boat, with only 14 people all together. Trips were very personal, well-organised and safe, food and drinks were plentiful and all included, as was snorkelling gear etc. If we had to decide between the two trips, we would choose Phi Phi - snorkelling was great - our son was mesmerised. We also did an overnight trip to Khao Sok National Park and Chieow Laan Lake. This was the highlight of our trip - the lake is beautiful and we chose to stay overnight there in the floating rafthouses - what an experience for us all. Waking up to the sounds of the Thai jungle and seeing the stillness of the lake at dawn is a memory we will all keep with us for a long time. We went with Limestone Lake Tours, which included transfers from the hotel for the 2.5 hour drive to the Lake, longtail boat rides and transfers, overnight accomm in Rafthouses, jungle walk, lake canoeing, all meals and fresh drinking water, and 2 hr elephant trek. Accomm. is basic (mattress on floor of a bamboo, floating hut) but that's part of the unique experience. We did the Elephant trek as an option in Khao Sok but in hindsight wouldn't again - I didn't like the experienc of seeing elephants used in this way. There are other options that can be taken instead with this tour. We also hired a private driver for a whole day to take us around the island (paid 1100 baht for 8 hours) His vehice was immaculate and air conditioned. We went to Phuket Town, the Big Buddha, all the Viewpoints, Nai Harn beach (where we stopped and had lunch at one of the many quaint beach front cafes followed by a ncouple of hours swimming at the beach), Kata (where we took our son to Dino Minigolf and looked around the town), through Karon and back to the Merlin. This was a great and relaxed way to see a good part of the rest of the island. We chose not to go to Fantasea - thought it was overpriced and there were better things to experience in Phuket.
TO SUM UP
Merlin Beach Resort is a great choice if you:
- want to be away from the 'madness' of Patong, but still accessible by Tuk Tuk
- have a family that loves pools and swimming
- like a resort that has an 'open', uncrowded atmosphere
- are not focussed on doing lots of shopping
- don't mind catching transport to restaurants and markets etc.
Merlin Beach Resort is not the best choice if you:
- want a large, swimming/sunbathing beach at your doorstep
- want a totally 'luxurious' 5 star experience
- want to be able to come and go from your hotel to restaurants and shops by foot
We loved our stay here and were very satisfied. We wanted to be accessible to Patong for shopping and eating as it was our first trip to Phuket. If we return to Phuket in future, we would like to try either Nai Harn or Kata as a base. Nai Harn, although busy, had a very appealing, quaint, village feel to it, and everything was within walking/moped distance from the hotels. Kata also had a village atmosphere to it, and again shops and restaurants outside the resort were easy to access.
Enjoy your trip!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set among forested mountains and lush, tropical landscaped gardens, serenity awaits at Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach. Located on a beautiful secluded stretch of white sandy Tri-Trang Beach, our resort in Phuket, Thailand boasts its own reef and stylish accommodation. We are the ultimate destination for individual travelers, families, weddings and MICE. Three beautifully appointed swimming pools, modern fitness facilities, kids club, Spa & a wide variety of food & beverage. Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach has an outstanding activity program for all ages offering extensive options for the most discerning traveler. The resort's own house reef offers guests colorful underwater adventures (snorkeling and diving) without ever leaving the property. It is also home to Phuket's first sanctuary for butterflies, a unique conservation project aimed at increasing the native butterfly population. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Merlin Beach Hotel Patong
- Merlin Beach Resort Phuket
- Hotel Merlin Beach
- Beach Merlin Resort
- Beach Merlin Phuket Resort
- Merlin Beach Phuket
- Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach Patong