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Please help me choose between 2 hotel options

los angeles
Level Contributor
20 posts
7 reviews
Please help me choose between 2 hotel options

My husband and I are traveling to Khao Lak in early December for our anniversary. We are trying to decide between 2 hotels.

For about the same price, I can either book a deluxe pool view room at Le Meridien (discounted by using starwood points), or I can book a lakeside/lagoon villa at the Haadson Resort.

Both hotels seem to have advantages. The luxury and large pool/facilities appeal to me at Le Meridien. But I am also very drawn to having our own villa at the Haadson, plus I like the thought of a boutique hotel that has a bit more "soul." My only concern is that the room and facilities will be sparse and not have the little touches/ambiance that make an upscale hotels so enjoyable.

I know I'm contradicting myself... that's why I can't decide!!

Any advice?

For some background info, we are mid-30s, no kids, and just want to relax, do daytrips to other islands, ride bikes, eat thai food, stroll on the beach, etc.

Thanks for your help. :)

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
1. Re: Please help me choose between 2 hotel options

Both are excellent resorts. I've stayed at Le Meridien twice but only toured the Haadson to view it for future reference. I've enjoyed many times though the location of the Haadson on lovely Bang Sak Beach and the prmenade with its handful of local restaurants where you can dine al fresco overlookin the beach and ocean - wonderful at sunset, so a must even if you decide on Le Meridie. You can walk between the two along the beach (a good two hours!) but a taxi is cheap and only 10 minutes.

The Le Meridien is much bigger and on, what I and many others tink is the best beach in khao Lak, the beautiful Pak Weeb beach. There are restaurants on the beach within walking distance, the excellent Rim Lay about 200 metres walk away, then 3 more on Aow Thong (Whit Sand) Beach just around the headland by the neighbouring Similana then our favourite beach restaurant a further 800 metres or so past the Sarojin, the Boatyard. There are also a couple of local restaurants on the highway outside the entrance to Le M.

The DeLuxe Pool View rooms are the best, particularl the top floor, centre block overlooking the Le spa pool and facing the ocean. Great for enjoying that G&T at Sunset. Request one in that location before you go.

Both resorts should meet your intentions and you will need a taxi or shuttle to the centre of Khao Lak at Bang La On where most of the restaurant, bars and shops are located. There are loads of tour/dive shops there too for day trips and snorkeling at the fabulous Similan or Surin Islands. The LeM provides bikes, don't know about the Sarojin but I'm sure a member with more intimate knowledge of that resort will provide that and other information in due course.

I mut say I prefer Le Merdien but that is because in our case "familiarity breeds content". :)

Cape Panwa, Thailand
Level Contributor
3,063 posts
120 reviews
2. Re: Please help me choose between 2 hotel options

Hello,

You have chosen two very good hotels and it is difficult to choose between them as they will both have different things in their favour.

I personally would favour the LM as i think the beach in this spot is really beautifull.They also have plenty of sun loungers on the fringe of the beach and two pontoons in the sea.You have better access to other dining options from the LM 100baht by hotel shuttle into Bang La On in the evening and also the local restaurants on the beach that Arandara mentioned .Also they have great facilities nearly all free apart from the hobby cats ie sea kayaks, windsurfing, mountain bikes.I also have a preference for the room allocation that Arandora has mentioned.

The Haadson ia a lovely boutique resort but if you want to go anywhere it will cost you more from here. The beach is often very quiet and secluded and not as many sunloungers you quite often see people just laying on the beach here with just a sunbed pad. The restaurants on the promenade my favourite being the Kontongscu are often frequented by the locals especially on a weekend.I did manage the one day to walk from LM down to here and it is about a 1.5 to 2 hour walk. I only saw a few fishermen halfway along. I must admit i was ready for a lovely cool beer when i reached the prom as i foolishly attempted it without my bottle of water.My hubby when in Khao Lak you will allways see kayaking from the LM up to Bangsak and then he flakes out on the beach up there for about 2 hours.

Which ever hotel you choose you will have a fantastic time. They are both fantastic hotels so you will not make a wrong choice with either.

Julie

Phang Nga, Thailand
Level Contributor
331 posts
1 review
3. Re: Please help me choose between 2 hotel options

You have chosen two hotels which are, in my opinion, very different. You will probably have enough information about Le Meridien from previous and future postings. So here is some information about The Haadson, from personal experience after several visits.

The Haadson is, in my opinion, a 4* hotel and is one of the smallest and most intimate hotels in Khao Lak. It’s unlike any other hotel in the area. It may not have the grandeur of some chain hotels, but this is definitely to its advantage. It’s located about a 15 minute drive north of Khao Lak ‘centre’ but does run a shuttle bus at specific times. It’s located just across a small road from Bangsak beach, which is one of the best in the area. You can often have the whole beach to yourself, as far as the eye can see. The hotel has an area of sunbeds both on the beach and around the pool. The beach road is very quiet and at weekends is popular with local families on a day trip from Takuapa. This adds to the ‘soul’ of the location. Next to the hotel and at a second ‘promenade’ a few hundred metres away, are several beach front restaurants so all are within walking distance. The nearest supermarket is just south of the hotel turn on highway 4 about 1km away.

The hotel is a unique, architect designed establishment, which makes it stand out from the ‘chain’ type hotels. The villas are either on the island or lakeside, the only difference is that the lakeside (lagoon) villas have an outdoor bath whereas the island villas have an outdoor shower. The water pressure is quite low, so you will find that the bath does take some time to fill. The rooms are elegantly furnished and meticulously maintained, as are the gardens. The bathrooms are probably less luxurious than for example Le Meridien (where I have experienced a deluxe pool villa) but are never the less, very good. One thing to note is due to the plumbing, as you cannot place paper in the toilet, but have to put it in a basket instead.

The hotel offers massage treatments in one of the pavilions overlooking the lake, but has no gym. There are pieces of exercise ‘equipment’ located on the promenade a short walk away, but be prepared for comments from passers by if you use these (complimentary of course). The hotel has a main restaurant, overlooking the sea and a pool bar for both drinks and snacks. The restaurant is very good and is perfect for cocktails at sunset. Try the December Breeze or Haadson Mai-Tai.

The hotel pool is quite small, but in keeping with a hotel of this size. It has an infinity edge which faces the sea, so give a nice effect, particularly at sunset.

The hotel rents out bikes from reception for trips locally and arranges day trips through a local tour company, who I can personally recommend. You can also arrange a hire car from reception which can be delivered to the hotel. There is a small library with two computers for internet access and wi-fi throughout the resort, although this is chargeable.

The hotel staff and management are excellent and attentive, but in a discreet manner, so less ‘in your face’ than at other hotels.

Based on your demographic, I would recommend The Haadson. It offers a perfect balance of facilities and nature, in a unique location.

If you would like any photographs or any other specific information, please PM me with your email address.

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
4. Re: Please help me choose between 2 hotel options

Do you not have a link to a public album of photos of the Haadson? It would help Khao Lak in general and the Haadson in particular if prospective visitors were able to see photos to supplement the excellent detailed ingormation provided. It doesn't have to be your album, of course, just as long as it is freely available.

Phang Nga, Thailand
Level Contributor
331 posts
1 review
5. Re: Please help me choose between 2 hotel options

Forum members will find the official Haadson photo gallery here-

haadsonresort.com/index.php…

Alternatively, I recently found this German website which features some additional official photographs-

www.khaolakforum.de/index.php…

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
6. Re: Please help me choose between 2 hotel options

Sanuksanan,

My apologies I mistook you for a revious longstanding member of this forum and fellow English speaker on the German forum under a different "nom de plume."

los angeles
Level Contributor
20 posts
7 reviews
7. Re: Please help me choose between 2 hotel options

Wow, I really appreciate your insightful responses. Thank you.

I was trying to book everything yesterday so I just went ahead and booked LM b/c that was the place I had the most info on. But now I think I've changed my mind. The LM looks amazing, similar to places I've stayed in Hawaii and Mexico. But for this trip, I want something distinctly Thai, so I think I'll switch to the Haadson.

I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and post them on the site. Thanks all!

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
20 posts
8. Re: Please help me choose between 2 hotel options

Hi LadyMuck

Great minds think alike ... I have been considering both LM and Haadson also for a combined trip to Phuket & Khao Lak late Nov/early Dec. Did you end up changing to Haadson?

I am leaning towards LM at the moment but definitely a hard choice, as others have said I figure that either choice will be a good one.

We will have to travel from Khao Lak to Phuket to get our flight to Singapore which will be about 10.30 in the morning. Is anyone able to tell me how long we should allow to get from LM to Phuket airport ... is it just over an hour from there? I am assuming that the Haadson is further north so would take us longer so that might be a factor in our final decision (I hate getting up early!!).

I will prob have a million other questions once I have actually booked flights and hotels so I apologise in advance!!

Phang Nga, Thailand
Level Contributor
331 posts
1 review
9. Re: Please help me choose between 2 hotel options

Yes, allow at least one hour from LM to Phuket airport and 1 hour 15 minutes from The Haadson. When approaching the airport take the road which runs alongside the runway and gets to the terminal building from the north. That way you save a little time.

los angeles
Level Contributor
20 posts
7 reviews
10. Re: Please help me choose between 2 hotel options

Hi OzzieGirl,

We will be there at the same time! My husband and I will arrive in Bangkok end of Nov, then on to Chiang Mai for a few days, then Khao Lak. We only have 11 days total so there will be a lot of planes, trains and automobiles in our future. :)

I haven't switched my reservation yet but I think I'm changing to the Haadson. If I had kids I'd probably stay at LM for the pools, activities, etc. But since it's just the 2 of us, I'm looking for a place that's more unique. And more personalized service. I'm sure LM is gorgeous--I may regret my decision once I see it! But really my goal for this trip (my first time in Thailand) is to have a more authentic experience, if that makes any sense. And the idea of a villa appeals to me--I just can't afford that at LM.

Good luck in all of your trip planning!!

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