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Phuket’s Le Meridien plays down “private beach’ accusations by villagers

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort today denied accusations by local villagers that it is claiming the beach at Karon Noi Bay for itself, and explained that the sun-loungers and umbrellas on the beach in front of the resort are provided free for hotel guests.

Local villagers led by Aroonsri Klanma, village chief of Karon Moo 1, filed a complaint with police on Monday. They alleged that the resort was providing sun-loungers and beach umbrellas on the beach, disregarding the ongoing ban on all beach vendors from providing such services to tourists (story here).

“The villagers have misunderstood what they’ve seen,” a representative from the resort’s senior management team told the Phuket Gazette today.

“The sun-loungers and umbrellas are kept on the hotel’s premises, right beside the beach, and if any of our guests would like to use them, our staff are happy to assist in setting up the chairs and umbrellas for them.

“The service is provided free for our guests.”

The representative also denied that the resort was attempting to claim the beach for itself.

“We have always abided by the beach cleanup campaign,” he said. “The chairs and umbrellas which the locals have seen are not permanently set up. It is a service which we provide to our hotel guests, so they can borrow them to use at the beach.”

The hotel representative said Ms Aroonsri has already been informed of the situation.

“During our discussions with Ms Aroonsri, we agreed to remove one row of the sun-loungers and umbrellas that were set up near the beach to make sure there is more room on the sand and make sure people clearly understand that they are not set up on the actual beach,” he explained.

However, Ms Aroonsri threatened to press charges and file a complaint with Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong if the resort made any attempt to claim the beach as “private”.

“We don’t want locals to think that we are taking advantage of them,” countered the representative.

“The resort even participates in programs that benefit locals, such as Karon Municipality activities and helping with cleaning up the beaches in the Karon area.

“The beach is a public place, it is not for only our guests to have access to and use.”

— Khumpee Prasertphol


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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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