After a couple of days in lovely Bangkok, it is time for us to move some place else.
Next stop: Phuket.
We are staying one week in Khao Lak followed by another week near Patong.
Last time we were in Khao Lak must have been 11 years ago.
Back then we stayed at the Briza resort, where we enjoyed a room with direct pool access for the very first time.
Sure there must be some newer recently built resorts around here with similar swim up rooms?
That is how we decided to stay at the Grand Mercure Khao Lak.
Not only for their lovely looking pool access rooms, the massive 5 star reviews really made us dream.
How was it?
Let’s find out!
We paid for our stay at the Grand Mercure Khao Lak and didn’t get or ask anything in return for this review.
We made a video of our stay at the Grand Mercure Khao Lak.
You can watch it here:
Grand Mercure Khao Lak, Thailand
Our Thai Airways flight from Bangkok to Phuket lands at Phuket International Airport around 11am.
We grab our luggage and head for exit 2 where an I Can Phuket representative is waiting for us.
She calls the driver and 10 minutes later we hop into a comfortable car, ready to begin the 90 minute ride to our next hotel.
As we pull up to the hotel entrance, a hotel employee greets us and takes charge of our luggage. A front desk employee invites us to sit down and brings us a refreshing cold towel and a cold drink.
Receptionist Belle introduces herself, asks for our passports and completes our checkin.
She informs us that our room is ready.
Before she sees us to our room, the very kind Belle takes us on a short tour of the Grand Mercure Khao Lak in a shuttle and gives us extra information about the hotel and meal times.
Belle drops us off in front of our room 3104.
We booked a deluxe room with pool access, breakfast included.
Total cost for 7 nights is 73 686 bath, which is $2176 or $310 per night.
Five minutes later another staff member delivers our suitcases.
We decide to explore our room and the resort first, unpacking can wait.
The rooms on the website looked quite spacious already, and that is not a lie. Our room is large, and looks very comfortable at first glance.
Watch our video from 2:00 onwards to see what our room looks like exactly.
The kingsize bed is the eye catcher here, it is huge and looks very comfortable with fluffy pillows.
The room is nicely decorated with black and white colors mixed with warmer tones such as wood and orange – almost golden lighting and details, and then the colourful cough in the corner.
The bright light flowing in from the large sliding glass door and the small windows on either side of the bed make this room extra lively, crisp and enjoyable.
On both sides of the bed is a bedside table, and a USB charging port and a power socket (see later which type).
The tiled floor is cold to the touch – thank god for that in this climate.
Swim up terrace
Rooms located in the swim up area have their own private terrace and a sunken seating.
Only people staying in these ground floor rooms have direct access to this swimming pool.
As we mentioned before, this direct pool access was the main reason why we decided to stay at the Grand Mercure Khao Lak.
And it was fantastic – definitely worth it.
What a joy to go for a quiet and refreshing swim in the early morning, and just throughout the day to stay cool in the heat.
We absolutely loved it.
One word of advice about the swim up rooms: one side has sun practically all day long, where the other side is mostly in the shade.
Luc can’t cope with direct sunlight that well, but our balcony was located on the sunny side of the pool. What a pity to stay inside all the time if you have such a lovely balcony outside!
So on our second day we explained our issue with Yaya at the reception and asked if there was any way we could be relocated to a room on the opposite side – which she took care of right away.
The next day receptionists Belle and Prince did their utmost to help us move from room 3104 to room 3120.
Watch our video from 6:47 onwards to see what the swim up balcony looks like.
Back to the room.
As you step inside, on your left side is a long bench, large enough to pack and unpack 2 suitcases at the same time. Above it are plenty of drawers, but they are very high and hard to reach if you are not tall.
The wardrobe contains an ironing board and iron, an umbrella, flashlight, 2 bathrobes, 2 pairs of soft slippers, a safe and a laundry bag and price list. More clothes hangers would have been welcome.
A hairdryer is in one of the drawers below.
On the opposite side of the wardrobe is a little tea and coffee corner.
Here you can find a kettle, the minibar price list, instant coffee, tea bags, sugar, coffee creamer powder, 2 coffee cups and 2 complimentary bottles of still water. These bottles will be restocked daily (you can also find more of these free water bottles in the bathroom).
In the cupboard is a bottle opener, 2 wine glasses and fridge with minibar that contains beer, soft drinks, still water and sparkling water.
The bathroom is very spacious and comfortable.
Light flows in from the window behind the mirror.
The vanity has one large sink.
Provided amenities are hand soap, body lotion, shower cap, sanitary bag, cotton buds and cotton pads, a comb and a box of Kleenex.
The bottles of water are complimentary and restocked daily.
The towels were soft and fluffy and changed daily.
The large rain shower was absolutely great, instant hot or cold water and the water pressure was excellent. The 3 bath products were very fragrant and enjoyable.
All the power sockets in the bedroom and bathroom are suitable for 2 round pin plugs.
The 2 round pin plug (also called the Europlug) is a flat, two-pole, round-pin domestic AC power plug, rated for voltages up to 250 V and currents up to 2.5 A.
Restaurants and bar
Breakfast is served daily at the Patio restaurant from 6:30am until 10:30am.
There is plenty of inside and outside seating.
We read on Tripadvisor that some people were complaining about having to queue for some time before getting a table. We never had that problem and were always able to find a free table right away, even after 9am when it gets very busy.
A staff member will greet you, ask for your room number and wish you a pleasant breakfast.
You might also meet Lance here, Grand Mercure Khao Lak’s general manager.
Watch our video from 10:25 onwards to see what the breakfast looks like.
So what about the breakfast, did we like it?
We loved the variety and choice of the breakfast buffet and the live cooking stations. A healthy mixture or European and Western flavors and treats. The freshness of the ingredients was excellent.
Oh, and the coffee was to die for, strong and hot.
So what can you expect for breakfast?
Fresh fruits, a salad bar, charcuterie and cheese, yogurt, breakfast cereal, jams.
The bread counter has a selection of bread rolls, Danish pastry, croissants, muffins and toast.
The hot buffet have items such as fried rice, fried noodles, vegetables in oyster sauce, steamed dumplings, a Thai soup, chicken or pork sausages, tomatoes, deep fried potatoes, fried eggs, waffles, French toast and pancakes.
At the live cooking station you can order eggs any style. There is also the egg of the day, a special that changes daily. We loved the panang curry omelet and the stir fried chicken and Thai basil with poached egg.
Noodle soup is also prepared on the spot: choose your type of noodle, protein and vegetables. Delicious!
We had everything we needed in the morning, top notch breakfast.
The breakfast staff behind the stations and in the breakfast room were very friendly, attentive and super fast. The cleaning staff would also work very hard to clear and clean the tables, and prepare them for the next hungry guests. You can definitely see and feel that this place is very well managed.
We were very impressed!
For lunch you can either go to the à la carte Green Mango restaurant or go for a bar snack at the Soak pool bar.
The à la carte menu at the Green Mango is the same for lunch and dinner.
So here again at the Grand Mercure Khao Lak there are 2 options for dinner.
The Green Mango à la carte restaurant, or the dinner buffet at the Patio buffet restaurant.
The buffet is open from 7pm onwards and changes daily. Themes were Italian, Thai and East Meets West for instance. Prices are 599 to 699 baht per person, kids under 6 eat for free, 7 to 12 year olds eat for half price.
We preferred to go to the Green Mango or eat at one of the beach restaurants next door.
Watch our video from 12:16 onwards to see what the the Green Mango looks like.
The Green Mango is fantastic, the meals we had here were absolutely delicious and very reasonably priced as well.
On the menu are salads (150 to 400 baht), soups (150 to 300 baht), Thai dishes (200 to 380 baht), burgers and sandwiches (330 to 480 baht), beef, chicken and fish from the grill, pasta (250 to 360 baht) and pizza (290 to 590 baht).
We loved the tom yam goong, crab curry, Thai fern salad and the pork belly stew. The classic mango stick rice (180 baht) was to die for.
Spa and gym
Opposite the Patio restaurant are the Pan spa and gym.
Watch our video from 14:00 onwards to see what the spa and gym look like.
Swimming pool and Soak pool bar
There are 2 swimming pool areas.
One swimming pool is located right behind the reception area.
It is a very quiet place, with just a handful of sun beds.
Before we changed rooms, we would come here to find a shady spot to relax and work.
A very nice place to be!
Watch our video from 7:41 onwards to see more about the swimming pools at Grand Mercure Khao Lak.
The main swimming pool is located at the end of the resort.
This is a very lively pool where you can also find the kid’s club, small kids pool and the Soak pool bar.
The sun beds and bali beds were always packed with guests.
You can find more sun beds and umbrellas on the beach.
As we had our swim up room with private balcony, we never felt the need to find a place somewhere else for the day.
However there were certainly not enough beds and umbrellas for everyone – on the beach and around the swimming pool, considering that this resort has 195 rooms in total.
We also found the beach and the main pool area not so spic and span as the other areas of the resort. Certainly the grass on the beach is only a reminder of better times. Management should reconsider the way this is designed and organized very urgently.
The internet connection at the Grand Mercure Khao Lak was very fast all over the hotel.
You can exchange foreign currency at the hotel’s reception.
The nearest ATM is at the Graceland resort next door, a 5 minute walk from the Grand Mercure Khao Lak hotel.
The Grand Mercure Khao Lak is located in a narrow little street where you can find a couple of very simple Thai restaurants and massage parlours.
A few steps from the hotel entrance is a tiny mini market that sells cold drinks and a couple of sweet and savory snacks such as biscuits and crisps.
On the beach you can find lovely beach restaurants and bars that open around noon until late at night. We loved the atmosphere, the good food and the very friendly locals.
You can also find a few spots that do your laundry for 80 baht per kilo.
Would we go back to Grand Mercure Khao Lak?
Yes, we would definitely come back here.
The location is great, the room is beautiful and very comfortable, and we felt pampered and taken care of by the very professional and hands on staff.
One day we had a blocked shower drain, called reception and 5 minutes later a plumber arrived and took care of the problem.
After we checked into our room on the first day, Luc was somewhat overwhelmed by the outside heat, so we called for a shuttle to take us to the beach and again someone showed up within minutes.
The way the reception staff handled our request for another room was outstanding and exemplary.
Hats off, what an exceptional professionalism!
Would we recommend Grand Mercure Khao Lak?
We definitely recommend Grand Mercure Khao Lak.
The swim up rooms are totally worth the extra money.
- beautiful and well managed resort
- fantastic swim-up rooms
- large room
- spacious shower
- extremely attentive and friendly staff
- shuttle service
- delicious and varied breakfast
- excellent restaurant
- located on a beautiful beach
- not enough sun beds and umbrellas
- small swimming pool area
- hotel’s beach area is messy
Grand Mercure Khao Lak
71 Moo 7
Bang Muang Takuapa District Phang Nga
82190 Khao Lak
You can book here: Grand Mercure Khao Lak
We paid for our stay at the Grand Mercure Khao Lak and didn’t get or ask anything in return for this review.