Traveling with my wife and two young children, I had been hesitant to stay in Phuket since it's not the most family-friendly location. However, the JW is about as far from the notorious parts of Phuket as one can get. It's the only hotel along a stretch of white sand beach that borders a protected nature reserve. It is possible to be the only person on the beach here.
The JW was everything one would expect in a resort. The restaurants had excellent food, particularly the Italian restaurant and the breakfast buffet. The downstairs cafe also had delicious food at lower prices. The enormous pool is shaped creatively and in different segments to appeal to various ages of children and adults. It can be hard to find your kids at times around the numerous nooks and crannies so if they are not good swimmers, you will have to keep a close eye on them. The pool also closes early in the evening to discourage any disturbances. The staff was professional and responsive. One morning we were supposed to be picked up for a snorkeling trip, but unbeknownst to us and the hotel staff which had booked the trip for us, the trip had been cancelled. The hotel staff called and had them arrange a private boat for us and we were picked up shortly thereafter.
Our room was spacious and gorgeous, with a small balcony that overlooked the pool and fauna and had a partial view of the ocean. There were two double beds (if I remember correctly) plus a little reading nook by the window that the staff made into a sleeping area for the kids. The room felt a bit dark at times, but I'm not sure if that was particular to the location of this room or a general issue.
Since we were looking for a quiet place on the beach in Phuket, the JW was ideal for us but it may not be if you want a different experience. For one, this is a resort so you won't find local culture, unearth exciting new places, or be amused by the unexpected surprises that make travel fun. Second, definitely don't stay here if you want the night life for which Phuket is reputed. You would be miserable here. Third, it took us about 30 minutes to get to the marina for our snorkeling trip. If you plan to do a lot trips that require driving into the downtown area, staying way up north at the JW could get tedious.
On a final note of full disclosure, I used Marriott points to stay at this hotel so I had to rate it a 5 for value because I didn't have to pay for it and I'm not even sure what the rate would have been.
- 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 Resort And Spa
- Jw Marriott Phuket Hotel Mai Khao
- Jw Marriott Mai Khao
- Marriott Phuket
- Phuket Marriott
- JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa Mai Khao