Welcome to Khaolak Merlin Resort
The time has finally come for you to travel to Thailand, your dream vacation destination. You imagine yourself staying at a luxurious resort next to the beach with a breathtaking view of nature as you begin to make your travel plan. Nevertheless, as an environmentally conscious individual, you want a hotel in a natural setting, that offers luxury, comfort, and entertainment while also being environmentally friendly and sustainable. And for these precise reasons, you found yourself enjoying your vacation at Khaolak Merlin Resort, a sustainable hotel in Phang-nga, Thailand.
Situated an hour away from Phuket International Airport, overlooking the vast Andaman sea, and is within walking distance to Khaolak-Lam Ru national park, Khaolak Merlin Resort is a resort unlike any others in Phang-nga. From the moment the workers broke the ground two decades ago, the intentions of the owners were to preserve all the big trees in the area, even before “eco-friendly” became a buzzword. Hence, the map of the resort is like that of a maze, the rooms and facilities were designed around the iconic Banyan and Siamese Rosewood trees instead of bulldozing through the landscape to build this home away from home for their guests. The water treatment system put in place at the resort uses microbes which cleanse the water and enable the resort to recycle all water used (yes, this includes the water from your bathroom). The final product of the recycled water can be seen in the Emerald pool which provides a small fresh water habitat for local amphibians and is used by the staff for gardening.
Passing on across three generations, this family-run resort has focused even more on sustainable efforts to ensure a continuous conservation of the region’s wild flora and fauna. His agenda includes adopting sustainability practices such as installing refillable soap and shampoo dispensers to help curb the plastic waste pollution, and inviting two local environmental foundations, The Big Trees Projects and Love Wildlife Foundation, to partner with the resort as consultants on all things nature. The partnership led to a resort-wide mapping of the trees, as well as the survey of wildlife, where everybody from the crawly little beetles to the majestic hooting residential owls were accounted for. This initial survey suggested that there are more than a hundred species of plants and more than 160 species of animals living peacefully in the resort, including the endangered slow loris, which has become a pride of the staff and a joy for guests who are lucky enough to spot one during a night stroll.
Eco-conscious and fun activities for all
Khaolak Merlin Resort has various nature-inspired activities available for its guests to participate in. Signs around the resort that briefly explained the resort’s fluffy, feathery, and scaly inhabitants are parts of the Stamp Rally, an easy way to get to know your surroundings and earn the Khaolak Merlin Resort certificate. Other adventurous family favorites are the Treasured Tree treasure hunt, the Night Safari, and the Morning Bird Watch. If you are more of an art and craft type, fear not, the resort also offers tie dye handkerchief using natural color from vegetable peels, fabric printing from leaves, and many others for you to enjoy during your stay.
Although these activities may seem like just fun and games, they were skillfully crafted by the curriculum developer at Love Wildlife Foundation to be ethical, respectful to nature, and filled with messages that will spark the participants’ curiosity about this mysterious world. For example, the Night Safari mentioned above, allows the guests to spy on local wildlife without disturbing or baiting them and provides the guests with fun facts about local wildlife and the threats they face, as well as actions we can take to protect them.
Supporting scientific research
Behind the scenes, Khaolak Merlin Resort staff are participating in a citizen science program to help conservationists by collecting data regarding the sightings of wild slow loris in the resort. Recently, the resort also hosted an international graduate student, researching wild slow loris behavior, with hope that the study can be used to help slow loris one day.
One thing that is already helping save the lives of slow lorises and countless other animals though, is the rope bridges visible from the lobby area. Upon learning that “wildlife corridor” is effective in preventing roadkills, rope bridges were set up to connect trees in and outside the resort so that wildlife can bypass the road when crossing the boundaries. The future plan is to set up a camera next to the rope. Who knows, maybe one day, you may even be able to log on to spy on the wildlife activities at the bridge anytime they want to!
Sustainable souvenirs that help wildlife!
To further support the partnered non profit foundations, the resort has opened a sustainable lifestyle gift shop in the spa building, featuring items like bamboo toothbrush, biodegradable soap-scrub, cloth menstrual, and t-shirts. All profits are going toward the partnered foundations.
Holding on to the belief that every guest can be a great conservationist and staying true to the eco-conscious principle to conserve the abundance biodiversity in the resort rather than commercialize it, Khaolak Merlin Resort has provided the tourism industry a prove that it is possible to respecting and caring for this blue planet we called home without sacrificing the impeccable levels of service, luxury, and comfort that travelers yearn for.