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Merlin Resort or Nang Thong Bay 1 Resort - I can't decide?!!

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Victoria, Australia
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Merlin Resort or Nang Thong Bay 1 Resort - I can't decide?!!

I need help trying to decide whether to stay at the Merlin Resort or the Nang Thong Bay 1 Resort.

We will travelling as a family of 4 with 2 boys ages 6 & 9 in early July (monsoon season).

Up until now I was set on Merlin (& have it tentatively booked).

But after regularly looking at the forums & reviews I keep seeing NTBR1 get mentioned and recommended. Plus there is a significant price difference between the two resorts.

At the Merlin we have to have 2 rooms - which is going to cost us 1800 Baht per room per night = $120 approx (Aussie Dollar), where as at the NTBR1 we can get a family 2 bedroom apartment for 1500 Baht per night = $50 approx per night.

We will be coming to Khao Lak for a 5 night stay after spending 7 nights in Phuket.

We are looking for a place to stay that has beautiful garden surroundings and nice beach nearby to walk along and kids to play around the edge & sand etc... ( we realise beach not safe to swim in during Monsoon season), must have good pools for the kids (I know that Merlin has slides too that sound gr8), kid friendly resort & facilities, walking distance to some restaurants & shopping is a bonus, but not fussed if we have to get a taxi - but don't want to be too isolated.

So anyway, if anyone can provide me with any other pros or cons about either resort to help me make a definate decision PLEASE!!

Thanks, Bec :)

Poulton Le Fylde...
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for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
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1. Re: Merlin Resort or Nang Thong Bay 1 Resort - I can't decide?!!

The two resorts and their locations are entirely different. The Merlin is a large, once the largest resort in Khao Lak, located on Khao Lak (South) Beach the first Khao Lak beach you reach coming from Phuket and before you go over the mountain into Khao Lak proper. It has different types of accommodation and great facilities for kids, so popular with children. There is a large grassed area at the front overlooking the beach filled with loungers as well as around the pools. Loungers are not allowed on this beach (as with the rest of Khao Lak and, in theory, with the rest of Thailand)and it is separated from it by a promenade that fronts the adjacent resorts. This is a bay but the sea gets rough and it shelves quite sharply so care needs to be taken at all times, not just in the Wet Season. It is a great walking beach though as you can walk to the left and along the adjoining largely deserted Poseidon Beach which enjoys some wonderful views out to sea. You can dine at the restaurants of the adjacent resorts as well as independent ones nearby and upto and on the highway, most of which remain open in July. The main township of Bang La On is 10 - 15 minutes over the mountain by taxi or shuttle. Pics of Khao Lak Beach at https:/…

The Nang Thong Bay Resort (or NTBR1 as it is often referred to as opposed to the NTBR2 which is the nearby sister Nang Thong Beach Resort) is a much smaller typically Thai style, mainly bungalow resort with hotel type rooms in the Apartment House at the rear which includes the family apartments. It has beautiful grounds with loungers on them and fronting the beach. It has an excellent beachfront restaurant and you are at the bottom of the road leading directly about 10 minutes walk away to the centre of Bang La On. Its pool is not as large or children's facilities as extensive as the Merlin but you are not really comparing like with like.

Although the beach at this point isn't IMO quite as nice as Khao Lak Beach, you can walk either way, to the left and across a rocky headland on to Sunset Beach, and to the right along largely empty areas all the way to Bang Niang Beach.

Pics of Nang Thong Beach at https:/…

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Merlin Resort or Nang Thong Bay 1 Resort - I can't decide?!!

We were in Nang Thong Bay Resort last week and totally enjoyed our stay there, but I would rather stay at Nang Thong Beach Resort which belongs to the same company, as it is newer and in a better spot although only 300 meters down the road. Prices are the same for both. Plenty of restaurants on the main road and hotel provides free transport by golf carts.

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Merlin Resort or Nang Thong Bay 1 Resort - I can't decide?!!

We were in Nang Thong Bay Resort last week and totally enjoyed our stay there, but I would rather stay at Nang Thong Beach Resort which belongs to the same company, as it is newer and in a better spot although only 300 meters down the road. Prices are the same for both. Plenty of restaurants on the main road and hotel provides free transport by golf carts.

Perth, Australia
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4. Re: Merlin Resort or Nang Thong Bay 1 Resort - I can't decide?!!

Thanks for the tip !! We were deciding between Nang Thong # 1 & 2 the other day and managed to get a room standard room for 3 nights ----- and here we are.

As clem2 says , it's a nice place.

Edited: 18 March 2012, 04:41
AUSTRALIA
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5. Re: Merlin Resort or Nang Thong Bay 1 Resort - I can't decide?!!

becstar we have booked into NTB 1 from the 1st July until th 12th may see you there.

The family suite is quite large at NTB1 had a look last year it is a shame that they dont have interconnecting rooms closer to the water but in saying that it still isnt far to go. We have been twice in July and the beach has been fine for a swim and also a game of cricket (with a piece of driftwood and the seeds that are on the beach) .

Kids can make their own fun anywhere.

Victoria, Australia
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6. Re: Merlin Resort or Nang Thong Bay 1 Resort - I can't decide?!!

Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I realise that the two resorts are completely different (hence the price difference too).

I think at this stage, seeing as we have already got the Merlin tentatively booked - the deposit is not due until May, we will just sit on it for now & see how the cashflow goes between now & then.

BUT having said that, another thought I am having is that maybe we could split our stay at both??!!

But this might be a bit silly, seeing as we are only going to be in Khao Lak for 5 nights & we are already booked to stay 1 night at Our Jungle House treehouse resort in Khao Sok NP....

Do you think it would be too much moving around if we did 2n @ Merlin, then 1n & OJH, then 2n @ NTBR1???

(Our original plans based on staying at Merlin were that we would either keep our 5 night booking at Merlin & leave our luggage in our room while we did our 1n @ OJH (which of course means we are paying for 1n accom that we are not using), or we also have the option of splitting our stay there with 2n then check out & come back again for 2n after our treehouse stay - so based on the split, we could probably justify staying somewhere else for the other 2 nights??!!)

What do you reckon guys???

wales
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7. Re: Merlin Resort or Nang Thong Bay 1 Resort - I can't decide?!!

Hi Becstar..

Well just to add another little thought for you, we stayed at NTBR 1 from the 3rd March 2012 (same time as Clem2) it was our original plan to stay for 1 week, however we loved the place so much we stayed for the whole of our holidays, leaving just 2 days ago.....Our only regret is that because we decided to extend our stay, the beach bungalow that we had for the 1st week was not available for the second, so we moved to the Apartment Block, don't get me wrong the rooms were wonderful- but the bungalows are worth the extra, and have a small grassed area right in front of the bungalow where the boys can play while you 'chill' on the veranda and still see them - the standard rooms would not offer this opportunity.

Anyway the point I'm trying to make is if you decide on NTBR 1, then book the beach bungalow, you won't be disappointed- the question is, is the room big enough fo 4? Well its slightly larger than a standard hotel room, so personally I'd say yes..

Happy Planning Ian & Dawn.

8. Re: Merlin Resort or Nang Thong Bay 1 Resort - I can't decide?!!

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