Hi! I have just come back home after two weeks at The Khao Lak Emerald Beach Hotel. The hotel is perfectly OK. The rooms and villas are of high standard and naturally fully airconditionned. The beach is loooong and sandy white. The waves from the sea could sometimes during the day be pretty rough. Two big swimming pools plus quite few also for the children. Beach bar with western food plus naturally local Thai food. The main restaurant, The Lagoon Beach offers a buffe which after a few days becomes pretty boring and uninteresting.
Very friendly staff! Limited knowledge in English by most of the staff could sometimes create amusing confusion. Thai massage offered in a shady corner of the lawn, 300 bahts for a full hour of Thai massage!!
Every morning and afternoon the elephants are being lead from one field to another passing by on the beach straight in front of the Emerald premises. They willingly stop allowing for super photo opportunities.
Next door there are two other hotels, The Merlin and Las Brisas. These three are located quite separate from the rest of Khao Lak, 5 km away. TukTuk taxis are available outside the hotel, 150 Bahts to Khao Lak. Small shopping center with some bars located just outside main entrance of the hotel.
A hole in the wall bar, called Tiger Bar offers a very friendly service and excellent drinks at affordable prices!
The Navy Golf Course is just five minutes away by TukTuk. Fantastic!! 1.600 B's green fee + 200 for caddy and 600 for a cart. The course is actually excellent. Maybe not PGA standard but perfectly OK. Quite a lot of water. Greens are well kept and o´f high standard. Some holes, # 17 and 18 plus # 9 along the sea, fabolous / awesome views! The caddies are more friendly than proffesionally able to guide you. As I said this golf course is just 5 minutes away and The Emerald could actually easily be marketed as a golf hotel.
Khao Lak does not have much of a night life. The place closes basically down at around midnight, good or bad your choice naturally.
Plenty of local small rstaurants around the Emerald hotel with local Thai menus at very affordable prices. Two can easily dine for less than 1.000 Bahts and have lunch for 3-400! Unbelievable!
Be aware! There is an early morning hunt for sunbeds. You have to be on the beach latest by 7.30 to mark your preferred beds, (quite nice anyway since you'll meet the elephant parade).
Book rooms with sea view, the majority of the rooms have garden view which is not particularly "sexy".
Front row villas are disturbed by the other guests on the beach. 2nd row villas have private jaccuzzis, not a bad alternative.
When you walk southbound on the beach (to the north you can only walk about 500 m) you'll come to a small beach bar that offers beers, sodas and massage. Further souht you'll get to a small hotel and restaurant called Poseidon, Swedish management and they offer fantastic bungalows with sea view for prices you wouldn't believe. Very popular so book in advance.
Back again to The Emerald: The hotel opened I guess late last year and there are still som finetuning to implement but anyway the hotel lives up to the 5 star rating.
All in all, I give this place and hotel a score as high as 8 out of 10.