We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Merlin/Ramada/NangThongBay1or2/Cousin - which best 4 family?

Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
795 posts
20 reviews
Merlin/Ramada/NangThongBay1or2/Cousin - which best 4 family?

Hi All!

We are a family of 4 with 2 boys ages 7 & 9 interested in staying in Khao Lak next year around July.

Looking for a resort/hotel that has good pools for kids, close to nice beach, easy walking distance to restaurants and shopping.

I have been reading lots of good reviews about all of the above resorts & they all look just great, but I still can't decide which would be better.

So your opinions would be great please :)

Thanks, Bec.

Milan, Italy
Level Contributor
4,773 posts
11 reviews
1. Re: Merlin/Ramada/NangThongBay1or2/Cousin - which best 4 family?

I would avoid the ones on Bang Niang beach, the other beaches are much nicer.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Ko Pha Ngan
Level Contributor
2,068 posts
4 reviews
2. Re: Merlin/Ramada/NangThongBay1or2/Cousin - which best 4 family?

First, you should be aware the July is monsoon season on the andaman side and sometimes the sea is too rough to actually enjoy. The Gulf coast of Thailand is more ideal for this.

However, Khao Lak can still be enjoyed in July, but be aware that it could rain a lot. But it also can be hot and sunny, there is no way to know this ahead of time.

As for a resort, Bang Niang and Nang Thong beaches have the most restaurants and shops, which would mean that Merlin is probably not the best place for you and your family, especially in July. I think Ramada is a lovely resort and it would be my top pick of the bunch.

What is your budget?

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
5,819 posts
67 reviews
3. Re: Merlin/Ramada/NangThongBay1or2/Cousin - which best 4 family?

Hi Becs

Merlin is my top pick for a family resort, followed closely by Ramada for location and more shops etc outside resort than at Merlin, but I have a soft spot for all the Merlin resorts haha

Ramada is a lovely resort too and only about 10 min drive south into Khao Lak town (also known as Bang La On) but still has plenty of everything outside of the resort too,( more than Merlin), Bang Niang is the 2nd biggest township of KL and a lovely beach too (all the beaches are lovely haha)

we were at Merlin 2 years running in Sept (still low season) and had a great time both times,weather was great, beach is beautiful, most restaurants shops etc were open every day (only beach bar closed this year) Joe's seafood restaurant was (and still is) our favourite open everyday and night, suprisingly, quite a few people around too for low season, only 10 min shuttle or taxi into town 150bhat, it is in a small area with about 8-10 restaurants around, money changer, chemist, 7/11 type stores, massage, laundry, tour kiosks, couple shops and still too many tailors haha but they don't bother you

Nang Thong Bay Resort is lovely but pools not as big as at Merlin,(still nice pool though) beachfront bungalows are nice, only few min walk up the hill to main road in the main town so very good for location,but IMO,beach not as nice as South Khao Lak where Merlin is, or Bang Niang beach where Ramada is located, not that it is horrible or anything just not as nice


Cousin is a smaller bunglaow resort a street back from the beach in Bang Niang

maybe it will depend on your budget and which gives best offer

whichever you choose I am sure that you will have a great stay in Khao Lak

happy planning :-)

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
164 posts
58 reviews
4. Re: Merlin/Ramada/NangThongBay1or2/Cousin - which best 4 family?

Hi Bec

I agree with mossy The Merlin is a lovely family resort, with great pools for the kids to play in, we have stayed there 5 times now and will be back in April (cant come quick enough)

But it is monsoon season and you have to take this into account, which means the ocean will be rough.

There are still plenty of shops, restuarants and bars around the Merlin that will be open, or take a quick taxi ride into Bang La On10 min away.

South Khoa Lak is a beautiful area, I sure when you decide you will love where ever you stay, our profile pic is of the beach outside the Merlin :)

Edited: 24 November 2011, 02:27
Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
795 posts
20 reviews
5. Re: Merlin/Ramada/NangThongBay1or2/Cousin - which best 4 family?

Thanks guys, yeah they all look great & have different things going for them. I think it will end up coming down to price in the end tho.....

6. Re: Merlin/Ramada/NangThongBay1or2/Cousin - which best 4 family?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 26 November 2012, 15:48
Get answers to your questions about Khao Lak