The Haven Khao Lak, Thailand.
If you are looking for a relaxing holiday in the lap of luxury maybe The Haven Khao Lak. See the reviews on TripAdvisor.
The Haven Khao Lak is situated 1 hour north of Phuket International Airport in Thailand. It claims to have the largest saltwater pool in Thailand. Tam, my significant other and I were looking for, in the first place, a resort based break to be spoiled and pampered. Our flights were with Qatar Airways, and their Business Class offering is, in particular, always top-notch, so we arrived at the hotel feeling more than human.
The hotel has 110 rooms. We had booked an oceanfront jacuzzi villa with swim-up and were very pleased with our choice. It gave us a nice secluded feel and our jacuzzi, for instance, was a lovely addition to an already luxurious room.
The 8ft wide bed was one of the biggest I have ever stayed in. With this in mind, I wouldn’t want it any bigger as you would need some sort of semaphore system to communicate with your significant other.
There was plenty of space inside to spread out. The room, as can be seen, had a very big viewing window with chairs, a minibar with complimentary beer, coke and water, a small area with chair and table which I utilised as a desk and a bathroom with a great sized shower. The room was airconditioned with, of course, adequate controls to raise and lower the temperature.
Outside the room, our own private deck included sun loungers and parasol. The deck led, notably, to the infinity pool. We made use of the loungers daily, listening to the tropical birdsong, crashing waves and the occasional thud of a falling coconut with the tang of the sea in the air.
Bar and Dining
This is where I felt a little disappointed because the food was of an average standard. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad, to be sure, it just could have been better. As The Haven had got everything else so right, perhaps my expectations were too high? However, it doesn’t really matter as just 5 minutes walk away you can get some incredible authentic Thai food at great prices at Lays restaurant.
Breakfast, which was included in the price we paid, was a buffet style with a huge range of choices. The egg station was my favourite part when they would cook fresh eggs in the style of your choosing. I often went for a ham and mushroom omelette, freshly prepared and cooked while I waited.
The on-site restaurant in the evening offered a fair selection of both Thai and western dishes so even if Thai food is not your thing, other choices are available. I felt that the resort could have done with a higher-end restaurant though.
Lays restaurant was situated 5 minutes walk away and is really easy to find. It serves Thai food, of course, and they have a good selection of cocktails and drinks. My personal favourite was the Strawberry Daiquiri, which certainly must have counted for one of my five portions of fruit and veg per day!
As can be seen from the overhead view of The Haven, the infinity pool is massive. It is a saltwater pool, and for those who have only experienced chlorinated pools, it is not heavily salted like seawater.
The pool really is the centre piece of The Haven Khao Lak and we spent a lot of time in it. From our deck, for example, we had direct access with our own private steps to the infinity pool.
The beach was fabulous and surprisingly, had very few people on it. The sunsets were spectacular almost every night, see the picture below, for example! I spent a lot of time with my camera just taking pictures of nature’s marvellous spectacle. The beach was also the scene for morning yoga, not that I took part! Another key point, as the resort is situated at the end of a spit of land there is very little people traffic. The main sounds to be heard, for instance, are the crashing of the waves and the occasional ‘putt-putt’ of little fishing boats.
As long-time readers will know, Tam enjoys all forms of arts and crafts. The Haven offered a surprisingly good range of activities. Towel folding, water aerobics, Batik and Kratong were just a few of the activities on offer.
There was a complimentary shuttle bus from the hotel into town in the afternoon to access the local market for the obligatory souvenir shopping. I found that the massages in the hotel spa to be excellent, and Tam was impressed by her manicure. It is also worth noting the Haven has a well-equipped gym.
The Haven Khao Lak Conclusions
One thing worth knowing is that even though The Haven classes itself as an adults-only place, it considers adults to be 12 and up. It would, to be sure, be unfair to bring teenagers to The Haven. It is specifically geared to adults and there are really no facilities for younger guests. To explain, the closest thing we saw for teen interest was one pool table. We saw perhaps 2 or 3 ‘youngsters’ during our stay so it wasn’t really a problem.
The staff we found to be very helpful and of course, as this is Thailand, always smiling. I can’t comment on the other room types as, of course, we had no access to them. Some were apartments but from what I could see, most, if not all ground level places had access to the pools.
Prices, in this screenshot taken from the website in November 2017, can be seen below.
Our Oceanfront Jacuzzi room was in the region of £900 for the week. Other rooms, of course, will differ on pricing. This is, to emphasize, an independent review and as such are my own opinions and have not been sponsored by The Haven. This is what I spent my own money on, and was, in my opinion, money well spent. Click here for the TripAdvisor hotel page that compares all the deals currently on.