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“Beach chairs from small operators around the island have been removed but there are some big business operators who are still taking advantage from the beach,” said a villager who did not want to be named. “It is not fair.
“I have talked to a member of the resort staff who told me that they have to put the beach loungers out because they are included in the resort’s guest package.”
However, a Meridien official, speaking today with The Phuket News under condition of anonymity, said the hotel has no policy to put sun loungers on the beach.
He said that the hotel provides umbrellas for hotel guests but these are free of charge and are removable. They are put on the beach only on request.
“We follow the policy of the provincial committee agreement by removing all permanent umbrellas that used to be on the beach.
“Now we provide portable umbrellas at the request of our guests, while the beach loungers are placed on the lawn [on Meridien land], next to the beach,” said the official.
Karon Nui beach is bounded at the ends by steep hillside and along the length of it by the resort, but the official was quick to note, “People who are not hotel guests can reach the beach freely.”
Today there were no Meridien loungers on the beach – all were on the lawn. The Phuket News was unable to confirm whether they had been moved as a result of the locals’ complaint.