Apsara Beachfront Resort and Villa
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
quiet holiday in khao lak
"As it was low season there were only a few rooms occupied and it was very quiet. The staff was one of the friendliest I've every had, thex wanted you to fulfil every wish. The room was really spacious and always clean. The food was really good, although they hadn't many thai dishes on the cart. I really want to recommandate this hotel to everyone!"
- Travel date: Fri 15th of October 2010
Great location for a secluded honeymoon, lovely staff but such a shame about the French dominance!
"We stayed at Apsaras for our honeymoon over Christmas and New Year. From reading past reviews we were a little apprehensive at what we were going to find on arrival. However we were not dissappointed, and soon realised many of the comments we had read were either overly harsh or hard to understand where they had come from. The staff were extremely friendly when we arrived, and continued that way over our entire stay. The hotel is in a secluded, quiet area, which isn't for everyone, but is what we had wanted for our honeymoon. It is far away from all the very touristy areas, which was really great. The beach was very picturesque (not the same as what we had read on other reviews about it being dirty!), and the views across the ocean were fantastic. The hotel itself was quite a stylish building, immaculately clean and right on the beach - literally. Our room was big and had a great view, and we were greeted with rose petals on our bed which was a nice touch. Unfortunately they had mindlessly placed us in a room sandwiched between two families with very young children, and we were woken up at 6am to the sound of a screaming baby on our first morning. In the end we had to get up and head out because the noise didn't stop. Later in the afternoon we were chilling on our balcony to the sound of the waves when the kids on the other side of us started throwing a tantrum on their balcony. The crying baby woke us up again the next morning at which point we couldn't take it anymore - this was not our idea of a relaxing honeymoon! We complained to the staff, who checked the rooms and realised we had a good point. We asked to be moved and they helpfully looked for another room for us. We were moved very promptly the same afternoon with very little hassle - everything was moved for us, and the room we were given was fantastic (if a little better than our first one!). We were very impressed with the way the management dealt with the situation. The rest of our stay was very relaxing and comfortable.
The food in the restaurant was dissappointing - not enough emphasis on Thai food strangely. The buffet was mostly western food so we did not eat there during our stay. The Zeus bar was much better, nice food but didn't have enough range as they weren't the main restaurant so had a smaller menu. We luckily spotted a restaurant on the beach across the stream (which wasn't a problem crossing during low tide - water came up to your knees at the deepest point). We were so pleased to have found this place so early on in our stay as the food was amazing, with a massive menu - all Thai, very cheap and we went there everyday. There were other thai family run restaurants along the main road by the Tsunami memorial which were very good. We ate there in the evenings, and enjoyed the freshly caught fish you could pick yourself!
We booked some really fun trips through the hotel, Ruk Talay travel which had an office on site. We went to the Similian islands and Koh Phi Phi for snorkeling day trips. We would recommend going to the ruk talay office to see the trips available. The other thing we booked at the hotel was a Thai cooking class. This was fantasic and so much fun. We firstly got taken around the hotel herb garden to learn about the ingredients we were using. One of the hotel chefs then taught us how to make some really tasty thai dishes (we chose a 3 course menu from a choice of 4 menu options). It was only the two of us doing it, cooking outside (next to the kinnaree restaurant), and we even got presented with certificates at the end (nice touch!) and then had a sit down three course meal from what we had made. The staff had set a table aside and brought us drinks - it was a really fun morning. We got the impression that people don't request this very much in the hotel as it isn't very well promoted, but we would really recommend asking about it. We are now making the dishes we learn't back at home and they have been very well received by our friends!
You can get very good thai massages in the hotel spa if you want a bit of pampering. You can also get cheaper ones in the sunbathing area which are amazing but not for the faint hearted - they straighten you out to say the least!!
Our trip was just what we wanted and we left feeling sad to leave but with happy memories of a perfect honeymoon. The one unfortunate point we have to make is the French issue - like so many others have mentioned quite accurately on here. It is such a shame the hotel has a deal with a large French tour operator, and the French groups really dominate the hotel. Very loud activites, including sometimes activities in the pool so you couldn't go in, loud french music, loud french reps - sometimes we joked that if we shut our eyes we could easily have been in France. The restaurant was part of the all inclusive deal so most of the groups ate the western food in there. The pool area was overtaken, and basically the other sunbathing area consisted of every other nationality trying to stay away from the noise. I think if we weren't in a bit of a honeymoon bubble it may have really affected our stay, but luckily we just got on with our own thing and stayed away from the french entertainment area. Even the new years gala dinner had prioritised the french tourists with the whole main area in front of the stage reserved for them. All the non French were on the side tables, watching in amusement at the french announcements and very odd french disco which occured in the middle of the evening. The hotel really needs to think about its other guests, otherwise they risk alienating other customers.
Overall fantastic hotel, they just need to get the balance right - it should be Thai focussed, not french focussed."
- Travel date: Mon 22nd of March 2010
If you speak French stay here
"Glad we only stayed three nights. Over the last three weeks my wife and I traveled throughout Thailand and Cambodia and had many great experiences. Unfortunately this hotel was our last stop. We are English speaking Canadians, and this hotel only caters to French all inclusive tours, the hotel may disagree with this point buy Iâm afraid itâs true, 99% French on the beach towel register. The signs are in French, the recreation staff speak French, and the music is in French. Iâm sorry but we came to Thailand to experience Thai not French.
The food is mediocre and compared to other locations is priced far too high. Drinks are small and ridiculously priced. The hotel room was plain with the main feature in the room being a window looking into the shower and toilet from the bed. There were a variety of small issues with the room needing repair as well as the hotel in general. My recommendation is, if you donât speak French stay somewhere else. There are many great 4 star hotels in Thailand to explore, this is not on of them."
- Travel date: Sat 13th of March 2010
Unfortunately, NOT the place for a honeymoon
"What's good about Apsaras? Zeus Bar with it's service and food. As well as rooms and location, if you like relaxing atmosphere.
What's bad about Apsaras? The annoying French groups and their entertainment teams! As well as the buffet restaurant; level of quality is below a highway stop...
As 90% of the guests stays at all-inclusive treatment, you might expect the horrible all-day-long buffets you might know from Turkey and Egypt.
If you look for an excellent place to stay, e.g. like we hoped for our honeymoon, than book another location than Apsaras."
- Travel date: Thu 24th of December 2009
Lovely Resort but too far out of town
"We have visited Thailand over 12 times over the past few years all in the monsoon season...all our trips are researched well before we go and we are always sad to leave however staying at the Apsaras Resort for two weeks was an experience to say the least....everything was unavailable and was going to be available next month !!!! I had checked before we went that there were taxi's on site and that there was a shuttle bus from the Resort to town and that there were the usual activities etc... email came back everything I had asked was OK...sure there was a shuttle bus each day it left at 11.15am and returned at 4.30pm only one a day...no taxi's or Tuk Tuks were on site we had to ring each time we needed one everything had to be planned you could not just do things on the spur of the moment...No activities at the Resort were operating, no outside bars including the pool bar ( we had pool access room) so this was dissapointing...the water slide was closed...THE MINI BAR WAS EMPTY...it was so far out of town that these things need to be available...The management of this Resort need to think about this, if they are going to shut these things down in the off season they should just close the hotel down instead of ruining peoples holidays...The Resort is a lovely Resort but is on a stinky beach, the best beach was over the other side of a creek which you had to wade through, the tide flowed quite quickly and this was difficult to do...the water source was also questionable...the staff were very friendly but were hard to communicate with as they understood very little English...the rooms were clean and quite spacious...breakfast was OK a bit same same...no other restaurants within 15km...take my advise give this place a big miss...we couldn't wait to move to our next destination in Phuket."
- Travel date: Sun 22nd of November 2009
Very Keen to get everything right but shoot themselves in the foot
"We were told the hotel is locally owned by Thais. Wonderful location on beach
.Stayed for 10 days, wonderful check in lovely room, well appointed spotless and with good facilities. Room sea views cursed by the ZEUS Bar built right in front of them to block all but the horizon. (See Pic 3) Why in Gods name not to one side??
The bed was very hard indeed and pillows uncomfortable and inadequate. but tolerable. After a couple of days we realised the room doors did not seal well and admitted small, silent, hungry mosquitoes, millions of which awaited us each night and left a cnstellation of infected, weeping, itchy bites on unprotected flesh (SEE PIC 2) while many lizards ran over the roof and wlls above us feasting on them. One lizard was in our room looking for a meal one night having walked in under the door through the large gap. Room laundry was only used once but was fast and efficient if expensive. You put it in a laundry bag provided and it is returned polythene wrapped ironed and spotless.
Hotel food - breakfast buffet excellent without fail. Evening meals generally very good if limited menu. one evening (Monday - chef off?) two of 5 meals were awful and returned uneaten in one case and 1/3 eaten in the other. Waitress asked why and I told her it was horrible. She smiled sweetly, said ok and went off with them. Nothing else happened and they were charged for in full on the bill. We paid for peace as it was pointless trying to argue with someone who really didn't understand us. Going elsewhere meant a taxi as nothing else was within 40 mins walk of the Apsaras. it is a dead end about 2 mils from the nearest village. Internet acess slow, expensive and XP. based.
Room TV channels limited to news or Thai.
Miles of beach but several rivers carrying raw, untreated sewage into the sea along the beach (SEE PIC 1) Go sea swimming with care.
The rest of the guests 85 percent German and a couple of Yanks.
Staff very kind and most helpful, overall enjoyed it very much. The night before we left one of our children dropped and broke a tea service cup when the hot tea spilled and scalded his finger. We carefully picked up the bits and left them in the bin.
On departure day we left very early and so I checked - out the night before and paid by card for incidentals. We were again stopped by the reception staff as we left and presented with a demand for 50 baht for the broken cup and a further amount for the missing laundry bag (which had never been returned when the laundry came back!) To be accused of theft of a laundy bag and charged for an innocent cup breakage when leaving a four star hotel was for me a first. In the ten minutes between our leaving the room and saying goodbye at the desk, a staff member had been dispached to the room to perform a thorough inventory check. We explained to the staff about the bag and they reluctantly accepted our explanation. We paid for the broken cup and left with a thoroughly soured impression of what we thought was a nice hotel. ...............Shame."
- Travel date: Tue 1st of September 2009
"Myself and partner stayed 12 nights at the Apsaras .We hired a car from Budget picked it up at the airport .it took about 90 mins to get to the hotel ,I found driving in this area fine just keep an eye out for the bikes . When we got to the hotel we were met by a chap who parked the car for us whilst we checked in .we were give a a cool flannel and a fruit drink .when we got to the our cases were already there.we had a pool access room,which was nice and clean .as mentioned a previous review the mattress were very hard.a small fridge in the helped for putting drinks in .we had a problem eith the air con and the maintenance were at our room within minutes of calling.We found the hotel ground nice and plenty of sunbeds around the pool and looking over the ocean .We found staff very polite and curtious and helpful. Breakfast was good and we had a couple of evening meals at the hotel very nice and the service excellent .one evening we had two bottles of beer one bottle of wine starter and main which came to 2200 bhat approx Â£44 .we found the drinks in the hotel bars were expensive ,glass wine and small beer 400 bhat approx Â£8.the location of the hotel is about 3-4 kilometre from the main road and a further 5 to khao lak .we found having the car gave us the flexibility of getting about to see things in the area but if its just relaxing in the hotel for your stay the hotel is great for that ."
- Travel date: Tue 19th of May 2009
Nice room but not the others
"We stayed in Deluxe Seaview , on the 2nd floor, for two nights at Apsaras. The room is very nice. Roomy and romantic. However, we were quite disappointed for the view. We expected sea view from Deluxe Seaview but our view is concealed by coconut tree. We couldn't see a thing except a bunch of coconuts and leaves.
Beach there is not so good. It is long and wide but sand is not white and quite dirty. The resort is quite far from tourist attractions but would be a good choice for those who want to just chill out and dine in at the resort.
We received excellent services from couple of staff but others seem to prefer serving all national guests but not Thais. We could notice different services."
- Travel date: Sun 10th of May 2009
Great service and great rooms but a bit off and a bit expensive.
"Went to Apsaras to work as a personal assistent to a woman (and friend) that is paralysed from the neck down due to sickness.
We stayed in rooms on the first floor with seaview, they were excellent with wonderful view of the sunset. The rooms were perfectly cleaned every day but I would have wanted them to fresh up the bathrooms a bit. They were clean but in the corners and between the bricks mould had started to make the white black... You cant take that away with soap so it was clean but needed to be taken care of.
The staff was extremely helpful to us and provided us with ramps without us asking for it in order to create access with our wheelchair. They helped us to fix small problems that occured during the stay, all taken care of within 30 minutes.
The poolarea was ok, the pool always clean and wellkept, the sunbeds in good shape. The war of sunbeds didnt seem to be a problem.
The beach is fantastic but a bit shallow in my standards.
The breakfastbuffÃ© was great. Perfectly served with a good mix of ingredients.
We never took the dinnerbuffÃ© but friends of ours said it was very good but expensive depending on how much alkohol you consume. The more the better value...
All the public toilets were clean an wellkept.
The food and drinks were to expensive in my standards. It was at least double the price compared to other restaurants in Khao Lak and that I find expensive. I think they would benefit if they lowered their prices. Many of their guests went to eat at other places and I think their prices was one of the reasons. We only had food once but the reason for us was mainly that we want to discover Thailand not that the hotel was bad in any way.
The hotel has some kind of deal with a French travelagent so they will have 150 of 192 rooms soon. They have a system of all inclusive with some or all of these guest and they arrange a lot of activites for those guests. I am not sure other guests are welcome but when I asked if I could join it was no problem.
So there are a lot of french people on this hotel and they were not that keen in speaking english which is sad cause most of them didnt even try.
The staff was excellent but could use a lesson in english. But what they lack in english they compensate in everything else.
The restaurants were good and the beach restaurant had a very nice location but a bit expensive. Two drinks costed 540 baht which is easy twice the cost of other places.
The travelagent at RukTravel helped us with advice many times, she was very nice and friendly. When we asked for good restaurants we ended up at really nice restaurants that the thaipeople themselves used. Very nice and autentic.
The hotel is situated almost 5 km from the mainroad and it is about 1 km to the nearest supermarket (1) or restaurants (3). This is the mainreason why I wouldnt recommend this hotel to all my friends but to those who want calm and quiet and just want to hang out at the hotel and a nice beach/pool.
All in all it is a nice wellkept hotel with nice friendly helpful staff."
- Travel date: Tue 24th of March 2009
"I stayed there over Christmas / New Year and was not at all impressed. It is definately a case of you get what you pay for.
Service was very shoddy and haphazard and the resort was not entirely finished when we were there. This may have changed by now, but I wouldn't count on it.
The pool on the beachfront is the size of a bathtub and it hotel itself is not on a very pretty stretch of beach. The hotel is also built next to a gully where the water runs to the back of the hotel and the resulting smell of sewage is ever present and overwhelming......and that's outdoors
I had to change rooms three times due to the horrific sewage smell comiming up the drains in the bathroom. I eventually had to put disinfectant down the drain several times a day to mask the smell.
The food is very average and very limited, particularly breakfast and the lunch menu.
Location wise it is a long way out of town and takes about 15-20mins to get to Khao Lak. It is well off the main road that goes into Khao lak (probably 10mins after the turn off)
I have stayed at Le Meridien several times and highly recommend it. However, it is a lot more expensive than Apsaras. Depending on your price range I would look at Ramada, La Flora or Le Meridien.
Stay away from Apsaras."
- Travel date: Wed 17th of September 2008