We have arrived at the JW Mariott immediately after New Year's and after staying at the fabulous Shangri La Hotel in Bangkok so the expectations were high. The hotel is located next to the most beautiful and quiet beach of Phuket about 15 minuted away from the airport. The location is somewhat secluded and, if you would like to experience the local restaurants and bars in Phuket or any other busy area, as a matter of fact, you will have to travel about 45 minutes to an hour by car. Thus, my advice, if you choose this hotel and you want to visit the island you need to rent a car.The rooms are spacious, nicely furnished and with many facilities. One of the first things we have noticed was that, during a very busy period such as the New Year's Holidays the hotel does not cope with the number of guests. We have to stand in line for 15-20 min on a number of occsasions at the breakfast just to get a table and on two consecutive days they ran out of beach towels. The hotel has a few restaurants that have very awkard opening hours (12-15 pm for lunch or 18-22 for dinner) which is really unfortunate for a hotel this size as not only that it tends to get crowded and overbooked but also very challenging for the staff. As far as the restaurats and bars are concerned JW Mariott is has, by all means, the MOST EXPENSIVE food and drinks on the Phuket island, none of them living up to expectation, as a matter of fact. It's ridiculous how much you can pay for a steak at lunchtime (1500m BAHT - 45 USD) or just a cocktail by the pool (400 BAHT - 12 USD). Compare it to any other resort on the island and you will see that it is aprox 60% more expensive than the most expensive one. On the other hand, the staff of the hotel is insufficient, almost none of them speak English at all and they are totally untrained for a 5 star hotel level of service. Also, speaking about food and drinks, we were very surprised to see that the hotel does not serve freshly squeezed juices for breakfast but rather has a large selection of canned ones! This in a place that is fruit paradise and where fruits cost almost nothing. Honestly, I've stayed at some 4 star hotels that serve at least freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast and this at the open bar, without having to ask for it expressly.
The other thing that bothered us were the prices for the day trips and activities outside the resort much much higher than the ones that you can get from any local tourist office.
In any case, we have stayed at the Renaissance Hotel (also a Mariott group hotel) in Koh Samui two years ago and I can say that it was way over the JW Mariott, at least in terms of service, quality of food and prices. Also, if you have to chose between Phuket and Koh Samui, I high recommend to chose Samui - it s just better.
As a conclusion, good overall experience at the hotel, nice beach (public beach by the way), nice tennis courts, large and well designed swimming pools. On the other hand, far from all or any action, as a matter of fact, insufficient and untrained staff, ridiculous prices for food and drinks.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa is set in lush tropical gardens, with 17 kms of natural beachfront. Fifteen minutes north of the airport, our Phuket resort's grounds comprise 265 spacious rooms including 13 suites, all facing towards the Andaman Sea. Facilities include eleven restaurants and bars, Thai cooking school, three magnificent pools, full-service Mandara Spa, on-site turtle shelter, shopping arcade, activities-packed kids club including on-site turtle shelter. The fitness center includes two tennis courts, yoga sala. Golf available nearby. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jw Marriott Phuket Hotel Mai Khao
- Jw Marriott Phuket Resort And Spa
- Jw Marriott Mai Khao
- Marriott Phuket
- Phuket Marriott
- JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa Mai Khao