Having watched progress on the completion and opening of the new luxury Cher Fah Resort (formerly Sofitel Magic Lagoon destroyed by the 2004 Tsunami, relaunched as the Kempinski, then Rixos and "finally" Cher Fah), yesterday we decided to have a look around. There are still finishing touches being applied but to say that we were impressed is an understatement. From the minute you walk into the fully enclosed (unusual for a Khao Lak resort), air-conditioned and beautifully furnished Reception you cannot fail to be impressed by this superb, albeit belated, addition to Khao Lak's top end resorts.
The fact that the member of staff who gave us our tour announced that in a few months it will officially become the J W Marriott Cher Fah with a new General Manger and Executive Chef coming from the J W M Beijing attests to the quality and intentions of this resort.
There are 298 rooms set either side of the huge central pool that runs the full length of the resort down to the pool front lounger positions with a "river" pool running around the perimeter and allowing guests in the ground floor pool access rooms direct entry into this river and enables them to swim around the resort or between various locations or into the main pool. There are only 3 floors with the first and second floors being identically furnished and equipped to the same very high standards of the ground floor rooms. Instead of pool access they have a large patio with loungers and a balcony suspended over the ground floor furnished with a huge settee with new-tech, waterproof and fade proof materials.
Inside a huge king-size bed with expensive cotton fitments, a large flat screen multi-media entertainment system including computer/internet access via the supplied keyboard or direct connection for laptops. A large bathroom with jacuzzi bath and shower, expensively and beautifully furnished, completes these far from standard Deluxe rooms.
There are some studios and larger duplex suites also.
There are four restaurants, Thai, Lebanese, Mediterranean and large multi-purpose, together with a snack/smoothie café and 11 bars throughout the site. A business centre, tennis courts, very large Spa (nearing completion) with beauty salon, shops and, importantly for families, a fully equipped and staffed kiddies club completes, I think, the very impressive facilities.
Perhaps, though the most impressive feature though is that there is a separate wing of the resort specifically designed for disabled guests with access made and rooms equipped accordingly.
Best Available Rates at the moment through booking direct at firstname.lastname@example.org or through its website at http://www.cherfah.com/ range from 7,500 (4,500)baht for a Deluxe Room, 8,750 (5,500) for Pool Access to 14,500 (10,500)baht for an Executive Suite. Lower prices are from 16th April - 31st October and includes full breakfast tax and charges. Not cheap but luxury like this never is!
The resort already features on many on-line booking sites, some at cheaper prices (e.g. AsiaRooms)and no doubt will be in major mass tourist brochures soon, if not already.
I rather think this latest name is going to stick.