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.

Laguna vs. Merlin and Sunset vs. Palm Beach?

Vantaa, Finland
Level Contributor
10 posts
38 reviews
Save Topic
Laguna vs. Merlin and Sunset vs. Palm Beach?

We're family with 3yrs old son planning to spend our Christmas holidays in Khao Lak. We are dividing our stay between two hotels as this way we get the trip with cheaper price from the agency.

1st week: Khaolak Laguna Resort or Khaolak Merlin Resort?

Merlin sounds quite praised in reviews, but I'm still thinking that would Laguna suit us better as it's in walking distance to centre and minimarkets and I've got an impression that also pools might be more child-friendly in Laguna.

2nd week: Khaolak Sunset Resort or Khao Lak Palm Beach Resort?

Sunset is at the moment on top as reservation can be cancelled without charges, with Palm beach no (at least via Booking.com). In Palm Beach resort we could stay in bungalows which we cannot do in first week, idea which I personally love. But it doesn't have any pool for kids, although one review said it's suitable for children also. So we would need to spend lot of time in beach (doesn't sound bad at all, not saying that). Also we could schedule our boat trips etc. for latter week. Still wondering if I dare to make a binding reservation... According to reviews Sunset also beats Palm beach in better service. I guess both are occupied mostly by German senior citizens no so difference in that sense.

england
Level Contributor
1 post
261 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Laguna vs. Merlin and Sunset vs. Palm Beach?

Can only comment on the Laguna as returned from the hotel yesterday. Although we traveled as a couple I did notice that children were very welcome and the staff very friendly towards them. There is a pool section especially for young children.There was no problems whatsoever that we saw. throughly recommend this four star resort!!! Would go back in an instant..... a perfect holiday. As you have said it is a few minutes walk from the hotel to shops restaurants etc. Hope you enjoy your holidays.

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Laguna vs. Merlin and Sunset vs. Palm Beach?

The Merlin and the Laguna Resort are both children friendly resorts with very good facilities for kids. The Merlin is located on Khao Lak Beach, one of just a handful of resorts on this bay just before you go over the mountain into Bang la On, the main town, about 10-15 minutes by taxi. The Laguna is at the bottom of the highway over the mountain at the entrance to Bang la On. The Merlin has a better beach location.

The Palm Beach and Sunset Resorts are both on Sunset Beach which is the beach from the top of the highway finishing at the Laguna Resort. I would have said that the Palm Beach is a slightly better resort than the Sunset which is great value but perhaps in need of a refurbishment.

" Also we could schedule our boat trips etc. for latter week." What exactly do you mean by this?

Vantaa, Finland
Level Contributor
10 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Laguna vs. Merlin and Sunset vs. Palm Beach?

By boat trips I mean that we wouldn't be spending so much time at the hotel, so pool area or the second hotel wouldn't play that big role.

Damn this is difficult... :D I just read that Merlin also has free shuttle bus service not only to Bang la On but also to Phuket town and Patong Beach. On the other hand I read from one culinarist's blog that they thought that food at Laguna was the best and for example beat their own hotel's (Seaview) food. From Merlin's food I haven't read complains but I've got the image that it's not worth its price and many people eat at close-by restaurants in Khao Lak beach. But at Merlin there's also Komol's quite close ;)

Laguna sounds really good, child friendly and especially as it's close to centre, but will spending both weeks in quite same area (Laguna and Palm Beach / Sunset) be boring? Well, moving from one to another would be quite easy, perhaps no need for taxi even ;)

How about Merlin, are there good minimarkets in that area? Arandora's comment about better beach location of Merlin sounds interesting. I have to admit that in pictures taken from sea Merlin looks better, even though Laguna has some nice rocks at the beach to explore. Haven't also noticed water slide in Laguna pool area pictures...

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Laguna vs. Merlin and Sunset vs. Palm Beach?

Most people book breakfast at most at any resort in Khao Lak as there is such a wide choice of great restaurants offering a variety of cuisines all probably cheaper (and better in some cases) than the resorts own restaurant. Certainly beverages are cheaper at local restaurants.

The Merlin is located on Khao Lak (South) beach which is the first beach area you reach coming from Khao Lak. There are just a handful of resorts on a promenade alongside the beach, some having beachfront restaurants which you can use and there are other local restaurants nearby and further up the beach as well as inland on either side of the highway, a 10-15 minute walk away. There are also some local shops and mini-marts.

This area is separated by a headland and a mountain (large hill really) from the main township of Bang La On where most restaurants, bars and shops are to be found and is about 10-15 mins by shuttle/taxi. From the summit of the mountain various resorts line the hillside and Sunset Beach including the Sunset and Palm Beach resorts with the Laguna being the first resort on the border of Sunset and Nang Thong Beaches. See main map of Khao Lak at khaolakyellowpages.com/wordpress/…

The Sunset and Palm Beach are next door to each other towards the top of the hill probably about 750 metres from the Laguna. I certainly wouldn't want to carry luggage up there and taxi would probably be only 200-250 baht anyway.

As regards would staying in one area be too boring, I'm the last to advise on that as we stay 5 months in Bang Niang! :-)

rehovot
Level Contributor
46 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Laguna vs. Merlin and Sunset vs. Palm Beach?

The Sunset and Palm Beach have a lot of stairs, so any time you want to go to the city you have to climb and then quite a walk. the way back will be harder up hill.

so don't change hotels stay at the same one, or take one week at the laguna and one week at merlin or choose one in bang niang.

Orchid Beach Resort is nice foe kids and cheaper so with that money you can rent a car and be free to go where ever you want.

rehovot
Level Contributor
46 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Laguna vs. Merlin and Sunset vs. Palm Beach?

the Emerald Resort is next to Marlin and its god for kids, has the same beach, lays in flat area while the Merlin is up hill , and is cheaper.

in Asparas is a kid club and they have shows in the evening, that's if you rent a car. the sea is not deep so it is great for little kids.

Vantaa, Finland
Level Contributor
10 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Laguna vs. Merlin and Sunset vs. Palm Beach?

Thanks for good ideas. However we're quite limited to options I mentioned in my first post as I'm talking about week before and after Xmas. Price for the 1st week (including flights) will be ~3600€ (either in Laguna or Merlin) and the accommodation from Booking.com in Sunset / Palm Beach ~600-800€ for the 2nd week. Spending second week in same resort or in similar, available ones would double the price and I don't see any sense in that.. Even this budget of ~4000-5000 € (170k THB) for 2 week for 2 adults and 1 child seems quite high to me, but of course one needs to remember that this is almost the peakest of peak season there.

Well, I did just find from other agency option in Emerald with 850€. So perhaps we need to consider paying a bit more of the Xmas week and thus spending 1st week in Laguna and 2nd in Emerald... I was available to find also week in Apsaras with about the same price but for some reason I'm not that much into that area, for me it looks a bit too sandy and boring in the pics, dunno why. And still staying in a bungalow in in a smaller resort like Palm Beach sounds also quite tempting.

Does anyone have experience if latestays.com or such have any reasonable offerings in beach resorts during peak period (Xmas)?

rehovot
Level Contributor
46 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Laguna vs. Merlin and Sunset vs. Palm Beach?

the best bungalows on some beach as palm beach ,are in khao lak resort (in my opinion)

they have the longest stretch of beach so you will find easy shaded places.

but go for the bungalows not the main building.

Edited: 18 August 2012, 17:38
Vantaa, Finland
Level Contributor
10 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Laguna vs. Merlin and Sunset vs. Palm Beach?

Emerald is now out of options. I've read too many reviews of rooms smelling moldy and with my husband being a bit asthmatic we don't want to take that risk.

So I'll probably confirm my reservation to Laguna today so that we can spend 1st week closer to Bang la On centre and I'll keep 2nd week reservations in Booking.com open for both Sunset and Kantary.

Goteborg, Sweden
Level Contributor
62 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Laguna vs. Merlin and Sunset vs. Palm Beach?

Khao Lak is normaly very heavy booked during x-mas, I would not take a chance and hope for something cheap through latestays.com. I would definately avoid Emerald (which you already have) and I'm not a big fan of Sunset either. A bungalow at Palm Beach sound like the nicest option by far, but of course there is a small risk involved when you cannot cancel the booking. If Sunset and Palm Beach and dominated by German seniors Kantary is equally dominated by screaming Swedish kids.

For a hotel which a nice beach location there is La-Own, I haven´t stayed there myself so I don´t know how children-friendly it is.

Get answers to your questions about Khao Lak
Recent Conversations