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Reviewed February 18, 2018

Our third holiday vacation to Thailand, this time deciding on Khoa Lak for a quiter stay as compared to Khoa Samui where we've been before. Picked this hotel after reading other TA reviews and reading between the lines, and it turned out to be a very good choice for our 3 week stay.
Booked a Deluxe Garden room (room 136) which turned out to be the 2nd room nearest the swimming pool and beach front restaurant (Pad Thai). At first we were a little concerned as to levels of noise and privacy, but there was no problem at all. The design of the gardens, the hedges and bushes is very clever in the way all of the ground levels rooms are shielded from view. No hotel room is perfect, and the only comments we have are that the bathrooms are just too dark. The lighting is inadequate so trying to see to shave or apply make up in the mirror is not great. Personally I would have shot the interior designer as the colours are just too dark. Also the room TV had the usual news channels (boring - you're trying to escape the outseide world when on vacation) had Discovery Channel, but the sound rarely worked on that channel.
However, all of this you can ignore given the very comfortable and huge beds, good quality pillows and duvet, superb wet-room style shower, huge wardrobe and plenty of drawers to hold your clothing. Every day an essential oils burner was filled with citronella scented water and fresh candle installed and lit. Most days this was re-filled and curtains drawn by the staff. Cleaning was performed daily without incident and to a very good standard.

Breakfast was a self service buffet afair with a choice of almost everything. We found the English style somewhat bland with almost no taste to either the bacon nor the freshly cooked omlettes. How you can possibly cook an omlette that basically tastes of absolutely nothing I'm not sure, but they managed it here. Instead we opted for the salads which were very good especially the "spicy" dishes that were amazing. Just seems a bit odd having this for breakfast. Saying that, you could even get Massaman Curry and rice if you wanted it!

We dined at the Pad Thai restaurant a couple of times and could not fault the food. OK, it's more expensive than a short walk down the beach to a selection of food shacks, but for a hotel the prices are very reasonable and again service is excellent.

If you stay bed and breakfast as we did, and you don't want to venture into the town (excellent transfer service run by the hotel, although the last return journey is 8.30pm so not an option for a decent night out), there are a variety of small restaurants (beach shacks is a better description) just outside the hotel a short walk away down the beach. There are 3 to the right as you come out of the hotel past the sunbeds. We found the first nearest the hotel relatively expensive with pretty poor to blatanly bad service. You're far better off turning left and taking a 15min walk to a collection of small restaurants/shacks of which there are about 8 or 9. By far the best is Coco Beach (see my review of this for more info) which is the 2nd in the first strip of restaurants you find, accessed via some interesting wooden bridges. The food here is excellent and fantastic prices too.

Swimming pool is great and well maintained. There are 2 gently sloping ramps into the pool with anti-split matting underfoot which was reassuring. However forget the pool, just get in the sea and enjoy the wonderfully warm water and gentle waves. The beach here is fantastic, quiet, no water sports to speak of so no jet ski's, just a very long beach of wonderful sand. Take a walk at night armed with a hotel supplied torch and marvel at the numerous hermit crabs wandering around everywhere.

Sunbeds are free and there are just about enough of them. However we have the usual 7.00am brigade armed with towels "reserving" sunbeds together with people using one bed to lie on and another to place their clothes and bags on! There was a letter from the hotel management asking people to not do this, but still it happened. It would be far better if the staff looking after the beach area were instructed to monitor this behaviour and remove towels to stop it. The hotel also provide beach towels without charge, deposit or limits. It's such a pity to see people take a fresh towel, roll it up to use as a head-rest for a couple of hours, and then return it into the 'dirty/used" bin. The hotel must spend a small fortune on laundry charges for the number of towels they get through daily.

As others have said, the best thing by far in this hotel are the staff. All of them without exception are very friendly, polite, smiling, hard working and will do anything for you. Many thanks to Gambum at breakfast time for the many coffee servings and wonderful service.

The gardens are immaculate and superbly maintained by some very friendly and couterous gardeners - the hotel should be proud of these guys are it does make the whole hotel area feel very well maintained, lush and green. We even spotted a small humming bird (I think) which had made a hanging nest in a small palm bush just beyond the path to our room. Not often you see that!

Overall we really enjoyed our stay and would recommend it to others.

Room Tip: Worth paying a bit more for the "deluxe" rooms as you get much more space.
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Andrew H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManathaiKhaolak_GM, General Manager at MANATHAI Khao Lak, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2018

Dear Andrew H,
Thanks so much for your comprehensive review, which I hope TA readers will find informative. It is very heartening to receive such a detailed and positive review, particularly from someone who spent three weeks with us. Your kind words about our staff are also appreciated by myself and the staff. Thanks also for the recommendation. Ms Gambun and the rest of us hope that we'll see you here again sometime soon.
Best regards

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Reviewed February 17, 2018

The Manathai is a medium sized property on the northern edge of Khoa Lak. It is situated on a relatively deserted stretch of beach, the perfect getaway. The property is beautiful, grounds are immaculate, staff are fantastic and helpful and the place has a relaxed laid back vibe. The rooms are spacious and well designed, breakfast buffet is great with both asian and western options, and they start at 6:30 so you can still get breakfast before heading off on tours. There are a number of cheap restaurants within easy walk on the beach, but the Manathai also provides good value lunch options. A very relaxing destination away from the crowds.

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank unstoppabell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManathaiKhaolak_GM, General Manager at MANATHAI Khao Lak, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2018

Dear unstoppabell,
Thanks for the really nice review and rating. We are very pleased that you had such a great time here, and thanks for mentioning our fantastic staff. We hope that you'll return for another relaxing stay.
(love your name, btw)
Best regards/John G.

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Reviewed February 17, 2018 via mobile

I wanted to stay in Phuket but our tour company couldn’t get the hotel we wanted, this was a fall back option but it did not disappoint.
Trying to find reception when we arrived was a bit random but it was late, could do with some signage.
Service and hospitality was exceptional they were willing to go above and beyond. The token fruit given out around the pool in the afternoon was a lovely touch.
Breakfast was varied and I could have eaten it all.
Located on the beach with a local bar and restaurant next door was ideal. We only had a few days here at the end of our holiday but could happily have spent weeks here.

Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
3  Thank Elizabeth F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManathaiKhaolak_GM, General Manager at MANATHAI Khao Lak, responded to this reviewResponded February 23, 2018

Dear Elizabeth F,
Thanks for the nice review, and I'm happy that although we were a fallback option you enjoyed your stay with us. Hope that next time we'll be your first choice. Thanks again.
Best regards/John G.

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Reviewed February 14, 2018

Every single member of the staff were excellent and I can't praise them highly enough. The food at breakfast (4 hours opening time) is excellent too. Italian night was not well attended so short on atmosphere but again excellent food

Downsides ? We had to move rooms as our Garden room was damp. The reception staff don't deny this, gave us a dehumidifier for our 2nd night then moved us to the second floor. Much better.

Only other comment is that the kids pool has no shelter / shade from the sun until around 4pm making it unusable for most of the day

Room Tip: Avoid Garden rooms
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank JohnHRugby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManathaiKhaolak_GM, General Manager at MANATHAI Khao Lak, responded to this reviewResponded February 23, 2018

Dear JohnHRugby,
Thanks for the taking the time to review, and thanks particularly for singling out our staff for special mention. We all hope that you'll return some day.
Best regards/John G.

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Reviewed February 13, 2018

I loved this place! The staff were top notch, I really felt like I was treated like royalty here. They went out of their way to make sure everything was comfortable and perfect for us. TRUST me, pay extra for the villa, it is SO worth it! The beach is so amazing, miles of white sand and no crowds like Kata beach had. With the villa you also get free shuttle to town. Thank you Manathai!

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank j8887
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManathaiKhaolak_GM, General Manager at MANATHAI Khao Lak, responded to this reviewResponded February 23, 2018

Dear j8887,
Thanks for the great review and rating. Happy that you enjoyed your stay in a Villa so much, and we hope to see you here again next time you require an "amazing week in paradise".
Best regards/John G.

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