The Mercure Hideaway Resort in Bailan, 2km south of Lonely Beach, which, to my mind, tends to fall into the ‘Why stay here when there are better located alternatives?’ classification. And then I see the room rates and know the answer. It’s often much cheaper than other resorts of a similar standard.
Some people are big fans of the Mercure brand and I am sure they won’t be disappointed. There’s good service and bright, airy rooms. But there is no aspect of this resort that really stands out as being truly 4 star and neither does it have an outstanding location which would thus elevate the resort onto any ‘must stay at’ list.
The interiors of the guest rooms and the standard of the staff as as good as you will find on the island. The rooms are all about soft furnishings, light wood and contemporary furniture. Maybe a bit too ‘Ikea’ for some.
The beach looks perfect at high tide, but looks a muddy, stony mess at low tide – as it is artificial. You won’t be doing much swimming in the sea. But fortunately the pool is large and the pool deck houses a couple of jacuzzis so you can watch the tide recede whilst relaxing with your loved one. And there are also the pool access rooms at the rear of the resort which have a nice lap pool.
Outside the resort you will be stuck for things to occupy you or spend money on. There are a handful of backpacker hut resorts plus a few roadside restaurants but no souvenir shops – other than a couple in the resort itself. That in itself could be a bonus for anyone wanting to avoid roadsides covered in shops selling souvenir junk.
But if you want a beach you can walk along at low tide. Or want to swim in the sea. Or want to easily be able to get to other beaches for a night out. Then there are better alternatives. But they can be nearly 50% more expensive.
Having said that, it’s a very good choice for a short, peaceful getaway. And when it’s often possible to grab a room during High Season for under 2,000 Baht/night it’s definitely value for money.