JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
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TravelPod Member ReviewsJW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa Mai Khao
the resort was huge and our 2 bedroom suite included a full kitchen and laundry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
The scenery of this resort is amazing - everywhere you look it is picture perfect. Our 2 bedroom villa and terrace overlook a jungle of green vegetation and is the ultimate in relaxation. The staff is friendly and polite, the service is some of the best I have experienced. The rooms are clean and the amenities are top notch.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa Mai Khao
Last year(2004) we went to phuket for our honeymoon and we found out very soon how privileged we were! from the moment you enter into the resort you feel that you are in heaven! The entrance and the lobby was totally tropic. Soft sofas everywhere, employers smiling all the time, check-in fantastic. the room was very luxurius with everything you could desire- soft pillows, orthopedic matresses, bathrobes made of the finest cotton, flowers everywhere, slippers, bath salts, toothbrushes and dental cream, sponges, shampoo,etc. the latest technology equipments (fast internet connection, stereo t.v. set, radio, satelite programs etc.every morning a basket full of tropical fruits and ice cubes, also complimentary cofee and tea making facilities as well as 2 bottles of mineral water every day. the swimming pool was the best spot. actually there were two pools with beach bars, open air jacuzzi and the most important: employers very polite and friendly. the restaurant great. the one we loved most was the italian tratoria, it was as if you were somewhere in Italy. breakfast was excellent fresh tropical juices and fruits as well as the classic bakon eggs ham etc. everything was perfect as only in asia you can feel relaxed and so luxurious. Nothing was too much to ask! the spa facilities is something you definetely must try! it was our first vacations in asia we had such a lovely time that we are going back again this summer to malaysia and singapore. in some years we 'll surely go again to jw marriott. Imagine i am from a country that is very touristic (greece) but in comparison to Asia, Greece is stiil in the middle ages as much as for holidays! We highly recomend marriott as the finest resort in phuket.
I went here for a two week holiday with my girlfriend and could have stayed forever!
The hotel is almsot completely alone, being the sole hotel in the national park that covers most of the northern end of Phuket island so it's not for those looking for a nightlife.
The rooms were great (we had a suite in the second week) and were scrubbed incredibly clean. They had a marvellous mix of old and new and some neeat features like the sliding doors that closed off the bathroom but that could be opened so you could both sit in the bath and watch TV or watch the sun going down!
From the minute we received our cocnut coktails as we got off the shuttlebus, the staff were happy, eager to pleasec and deferential in the way that only Thai people can be. Every day we came back to our room find the room cleaned and a towel or two twisted into the shape of an elephant or monkey with lotus blossom eyes and toe-nails.
There were some 7 restaurants of differing themes and two swimming pool with the ocean only 50m across the private beach. The views across the bay were stunning and you could walk and walk along the beaches and hardly ever see anyone else.
The level of service was indulgent. Sunbathers around the pool were treated to iced water every few minutes, slices of water melon to keep them refreshed and hot towels if they wanted to moisten up.
The gym was well equiped and the inclusive 2-hour massage experience was a marvellous treat. The gardens and architecture (pre0Tsunami) were a treat to behold albeit, as someone else has commented, a bit like Disneyworl in places)
All in all it was a hugely enjoyable stay, I'd recommend it.
Resort is new with nice big rooms with an attractive bathroom.
There are 2 different swimming pools near the beach that are nice to swim in.
The Spa is awfully good and highly recommended.
The service was excellent and the staff were helpful when it came to choosing what sort of day-trips to do.
The food including Thai and Italian food was pretty good.
The waves at the beach are however quite powerful so the beach is not that suitable for swimming.
Thai Disney, if that's what you want
Just returned from three weeks in Thailand. The last week was spent at the Phuket Beach Club, which is part of the Marriott. It was the least satisfying part of a wonderful trip; not because of any problems with the hotel, but because what it tries to be is not what we wanted. (In fairness, let me also add that it rained throughout our stay, so we were not able to take advantage of a number of activities.)
Let me start with the positives -- as noted here, the staff are attentive, friendly, fairly fluent in English and gracious beyond belief. The property is lovely, with a strong Thai design that makes maximum use of its location through an open air lobby, plenty of seaviews from the public areas, dense vegitation full of birds, etc. Our two-bedroom villa was larger than my apartment, which is 1,000 square feet, and came complete with a patio large enough for a table for four. My first reaction to seeing the villa was to want to throw a dinner party; it's that beautful and inviting. The hotel offers multiple recreation acitivities and spa treatments; two pools; three restaurants and a business center.
Finally, I cannot say enough about the staff of La Cucina, the Italian restaurant on the property. We ate there 4 times during our stay and on our second vist they greeted us by name and remembered our drinks. The staff was fun and friendly but always completely professional, and the food was superb. At out last dinner (just before we went to the airport) they opened 15 minutes early for us and each staff member stopped by to wish us well. It was an exceptional example of warmth and service.
Now to our problem. The Marriott resort is very isolated and is, I think, designed to offer western tourists a taste of Thailand without pushing them too far out of their comfort zone. The staff are all in uniforms based on native dress that, to me, came across as costumes. It was a bit much to begin with, but what really did me in was seeing a member of the housekeeping staff having to carry supplies on a bamboo pole with two baskets on the ends -- it kept with the atmosphere, even if a cart would have been easier and more efficient. That's when I realized it was like a Thai Disney, or a cruise ship, in which everything was carefully tailored to create a specific impression, rather than reflect reality. Instead of a street market, for example, the resort has set aside a space where a handful of local vendors are allowed to display their wares on carefully designed carts -- it's all very, very tasteful and totally unlike any real Thai market. The restaurants have plenty of western options and, as one chef admitted to me, they've been told to spice foods for western tongues, rather than cook them with traditional Thai heat.
Above all else, the Marriott is a goldmine. Unless you have your own car, or are willing to spend an hour getting to Phuket or Patong, you are utterly reliant of the Marriott for everything, and that's how they like it.
The prices are very, very high for food, beverage, snacks and service. It's where they make most of their profit, because you have no other options. They match the prices of a 5 star US hotel, but given that they're in Thailand, the profit margin is huge. Examples: I paid US$3 for a single scoop of ice cream that cost me 50 cents in Bangkok; another $3 for a Coke that costs about 20 cents elsewhere; and $10 or more for a simple Thai lunch that would cost between $3-4 anywhere else in the country. Internet access costs about $12 an hour, when a day earlier, I'd paid $1.50 in Karon Beach.
While I could afford the prices, what bugged me was knowing that the resort's isolation was what allowed them to price things so far out of the market. Even the little deli was full of the sort of expensive tea sets and hand-cut potato chips that allowed them to charge a small fortune rather than provide a more realistic (and affordable) alternative. Had this been my first stop in Thailand, I might not have realized how out of line the prices were; since it was my last stop, I knew immediately that I was paying an enormous luxury tax for being at the Marriott. Despite it's wonderful staff and beautiful facilities, it wasn't worth the cost.
It is a western hotel in an Asian country, fronting on a lovely beach (where you can rarely swim) and set in lush tropical grounds. Yes, it's far away from the crass commercialism of Patong, and that might be a good thing. It's also, however, far away from any real sense of Thailand or its people. I traveled halfway around the world to see the country, and meet its people. Had I only stayed at the Marriott, neither would have happened.
If you want a private tropical getaway, and are willing to pay 5 star western rates, you'll be happy at the Marriott. If you want to see Thailand, meet its people, taste its food and experience its culture, give the Marriott a miss.
I agree with the previous reviews! The resort was lovely in every way. The reflecting pool makes for a stunning welcome when you arrive, and the staff immediately shower you with a really refreshing welcome drink and cold towel. The swimming pools are well constructed, with the wonderful kids pool tucked away at one end where parents can sunbathe while watching them. But it's also linked to the deeper infinity pool, where you can lazily drift watching the sun set into the ocean, or, if you're feeling energetic, do laps. Rooms were very well appointed, staff friendly and helpful. Food was quite nice, reasonably priced for a hotel of this standard, and as a previous reviewer mentioned, happy hour from 5.30pm till sundown was great -- you can slowly sip 2 drinks for the price of 1 while you watch the sunset. Kids club room looked like great fun. Siam Deli was a really good option if you want a nice cheap lunch or snack. All in all, highly recommended. But please remember it's quite a distance from Patong (or for that matter, anywhere else on the island) so if you're looking for nightlife, shopping etc this is not the place to go.
What a place!
Imagine being by an incredible pool, in view of a beautiful deserted beach in the distance, when a hotel employee comes by with a basket with two bananas for each guest sunning themselves. The whole experience was like that, everyone catering to your every need, kindly. The room was beautiful, with Thai motifs, and even your own medition area. The bathtub was large enough for two+ people, with salts and candles. The lobby, etc. was beautiful too, with a reflecting pool with torches in the evening. The food was quite good too and not outrageously expensive.
This review won't be objective I am afraid: How could you criticize a resort where at check in you are upgraded to a 100 m2 suite with 50 m2 terrace with sea view while being offered a welcome cocktail and flowers necklaces? How about a 17 km beach where you really feel like you are the watching the sunset on a deserted island? In such a touristic part of Thailand, you would have expected crowded beaches, that wasn t the case, we had the feeling that we had the entire beach for the two of us, and that really makes a difference when you see nobody on the beach and you don t even see the hotel which is hidden behind the trees.
The staff was really nice and always smiling to you. The restaurants offer a good variety of asian and seafood dishes at quite reasonable prices.
Actually the Marriott is the only resort in the north of Phuket and although the beach is not made of white sand and that you are actually far away from the nightlife of Patong. It is such a fantastic place to relax that you don t feel like you need to go anywhere else.
We had an amazing time there and were really depressed to leave. I would highly recommend!
Stayed there for 3 nites (11/27 to 11/29/2004) and we were quite pleased. Booked a deluxe seaview through our agent for about USD220 which was an alright deal. It turns out that the rooms are so far away from the sea that it's not really much of a "seaview" but the view may be slightly more open than "garden view" so take your pick. Car from the airport to the Marriott was baht 400 per car. Very nice lobby area and it's very much a tropical Thai resort kind of feeling. Gave us free lime sodas as our welcome drink, plus some orchid leis. There is a fantastic fountain/pool area next to the lobby. The building is laid out in a "U" shape with the lobby in the lower center part, and assorted restaurants/facilities on the left and right "arm" parts (with the open top part of the "U" facing the ocean). The resort is a bit of a sprawl and our room was at the end of the right arm and a moderate hike from the lobby. The room was nice, very big, with a little patio (with table and 2 chairs), little deck inside with Thai futon kinda things in the window area for you to lounge in, nice bathroom, and nice bed. Very nice quality in the tropical Thai style of decor. Checked out the pool and it was great. Not massive but it's interesting, the deck chairs have great views of the ocean (way better than the room views) and there is a kiddy-pool area which is much shallower. Drinks are provided by the poolside bar. Crowd is assorted, quite nice people and a handful of Japanese girls to add some cheer and giggles. We wandered around a bit more and it's not that easy to find your way around. There is WAY TOO MUCH vegetation and not enough good direction signs, you may get lost at night (seriously). They should have done it like the Ritz Carlton Kapalua and razed all the trees in the middle of the resort area to give the guests some easier access. Anyway, a handful of shops on the lower level. We did the Spa thing.. it was fantastic but it is located in the lower left part of the "U" so you should keep this in mind coz it is quite a moderate walk if your room is in the upper right part of the "U". We were in a couples spa suite... steam room, couples outdoor showers, outdoor relaxation sala to cool down after steam, couple-sized aromatic bath, and then two massage beds. Very good massage technique. Not cheap, but it's good value. We would do it again. Had a pizza as room service from the Cucina italian restaurant... 250 baht and it was very good, highly recommended. We didn't try the sushi bar but lots of other guests were there. DO NOT BOTHER with that ridiculous special event dining area with live music. That is overpriced (900 baht per head) and just to eat food from portable carts?! BUT... the complete gem of the Marriott resort... the Sala Rim Talay seafood restaurant. Utterly the most fabulous Thai seafood in Phuket. Fresh seafood that you can pick (our favorite was softshell crab). They cook it any way you like. Fantastic fantastic seafood and curry. Fantastic satay. Fantastic noodles. To be honest, we would stay at the Marriott again for this restaurant. Very friendly staff. Nice atmosphere. Make a reservation coz you don't want to be rejected. Softshell crab is good, deep fried squid is good, tiger prawns in red curry is good, phad thai and tom yum gung were good... actually they were great! As for the beach, that was quite nice with lots of beach chairs and also some beach massage ladies. Didn't do the massage but the sunset was very nice here. Not sure about snorkelling though (I don't think so). But now we get to the main downside of the Marriott Phuket... location. It's a great little standalone resort but the place is so far away from everything else. Bus to Patong @ 100 baht per head but the bus only leaves at 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm. Returns from Patong one hour after those. Ride takes almost an hour to get from hotel to Patong. Rush hour is said to be horrendously bad. In comparison, the RItz Carlton Kapalua had their own shuttle bus leaving every hour, for US$2, and that was a very nice ride coz of the scenery.. but you don't really want to be stuck on the Phuket highway for a half hour or hour just to get to Patong. The alternative is a Baht 700 taxi. Luckily there is good food at the Sala Rim Talay and other restaurants at the hotel so you don't have to go to town for food. So to sum it up... nice decor, nice room, decent service, good food (excellent if you like Thai seafood), pretty good facilities, but a really sucky location. If you can survive just on the hotel facilities alone (warning, the pool is not that big and there is not that much for kids to do, and I dunno if you can snorkel at the beach).. then this is pretty good. For us, we may come back simply for the Sala Rim Talay restaurant but we will also look at alternatives such as Laguna area resorts (closer to civilization) or Patong boutique hotels or perhaps even hotels down south like Boathouse or Kata Thani .
We have just spent 8 nights at the JW on Phuket and loved every minute of it! The hotel is beautiful as are the grounds, the staff are attentive (to the point of being a little too much at times!), and they really can't do too much for you. The location is great as it's far from the crowds that are concentrated on certain parts of Phuket, but there is a shuttle which takes you into town, although it's not complementary, it's at a cost of 100 baht per person, bookable in advance. We did feel a little isolated and wished that we brought our licences so that we could have hired a car, but the hotel was stunning so most of the time we were happy by the pool. There are two pools, the main one, plus what's known as the north pool, which we preferred. It's smaller and has double sun longers. The hotel and villas were full and there's no way you'll get a lounger unless you leave a book or some other item on them at around 07:30 in the morning. We were really peaved by this method as often you'd arrive at 09:00 and 95% of the longers had personal items on them and the owners didn't turn up until lunchtime - we complained about this practice, and were advised that there were 150 loungers and we worked out that at full capacity, you're looking at around 700 people! - so there's a real issue here... The food was excellent, but all very expensive when you take into consideration the costs to eat out locally at very good restaurants. The best value was happy hour (2 for 1 at 17:30). In addition we liked the Siam Deli for breakfast, a nice muffin and a latte was enough for us and much more cost effective. We would say that a 10% service charge was charged on everything where a person was involved, so for example you would choose your muffin, put it on a plate yourself, go to the counter to order a coffee, they take the plate, ask where you;re sitting, then bring out your muffin and the coffee and charge 10% for something you could have done yourself! We resented this and so had our breakfast to go and sat on the beach instead! The spa was stunning, we had a two hour couples treatment, and thoroughly enjoyed it - good value compared to Europe, but pricey based on the fact that there was a 1 hour beach masage for 300 baht (£4, or $7). The rooms stunning, and very comfortable including hi-speed internet access if you have your laptop for 642 baht / day (£8.50 / $19), a well stocked mini bar, nice toiletries too. We chose to upgrade to a terrace room which gave us an additional terrace directly onto the garden with our own sun loungers (well used when the pool was stacked out!). All in all we had a great time to the point where we bought two weeks at the adjacent beach club! Lessons learnt though - think about hiring a car if you want to get out and about (we spent over £75 on the hotel's car service!), they offer you a bottle of Evian when you sit down for lunch/dinner at the table which is an excess cost as there is complimentary iced water provided, and make sure you get out there and reserve your lounger if you want to stand any chance of lazing by the pool.
JW and Marriott Beach Club share the same entrance. A beautiful reception, and a partial open air front lobby area. Three pools are connected facing the Adaman Sea. Literally a beach front property. Water is so so. Not as clear as Phi Phi, but you'll be lucky to run into more than a handful of people on a morning walk. Hotel provides kayak, wind surfing, etc equipment free of charge. Great staff.
On site restaurants were wonderful, specially the brunch buffet. Seaside restaurant was also excellent. Not much to do off property. If you get lucky and find it, there's this little (tiny) beachside restaurant within a ten minute walk from the hotel. From the pool area, walk towards the beach, and head in the direction of the Beach club. Keep walking next to the water for at least 7-10 minutes. You will find a wonderful surprise of a restaurant. It's more like a roadside food stand. Never mind the looks, the food is awesome. Well worth the search. If you need help, try asking the staff, or the beachside massage therapists. By the way, you can get an hour massage for $5. Anyway, the restaurant. You can eat there, very scenic ocean view. Sit at a table or on the floor with mats. You will only see locals at this restaurant. Surprisingly, they have menu's in English. You'll be lucky if your entire bill is over $10 for a party of four including beers. If you are staying at JW or the Beach Club, go there.
Hotel is quite a distance from Patong or Phuket City (which is a good thing). Complimentary shuttle provided by hotel to go to Patong or Phuket City 3 times per day. Reservations in advanced are required.
Rooms are awesome! Teak everywhere. Bathrooms have both tub, and glass showers that open up to the living area. Courtyard view showed the lush landscape.
Only drawback was the cost. It can get pretty pricey here. Drinks by the pool were close to $10 a pop. But for a luxury hotel, this place is it. Everyone had a warm smile.
TripAdvisor Reviews JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa Mai Khao
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