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“beautiful and tranquil”

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JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Mai Khao
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“beautiful and tranquil”
Reviewed 14 April 2010

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.

R

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Rexetersg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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uk
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
92 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 198 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2010

The hotel and its ground are very impressive with a fantastic location on a beautiful beach. We are vacation owners and swapped for this resort, the villas themselves were to a high standard. The hotel itself is isolated with just a small shopping area about 5 mins walk away with a bar and a cafe. Eating in the hotel was very expensive, but the food was good. There are a couple of local food places on the edge of the beach which were reasonably priced with excellent food. Our main complaint about this hotel was the cleanliness of some of the public areas, particularly the toilets in the aqua bar and by the swimming pools, often they were dirty with no paper towels, having complained twice little changed. The attitude of the staff was variable, reception particularly unfriendly and unhelpful, but bar and restaurant staff were very good. Whenever you asked to speak to a manager they were reluctant to find one and even when they did they were useless. So in all a lovely hotel, but for a JW Marriott, which is their top brand it was lacking in both service standards and cleanliness.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank docajenk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2010

We had high expectations of this resort from research and friends recommendations...and I'm glad to say that the JW Marriott exceeded those expectations.

The greats...
- The pools are fantastic, huge, clean, lots of things to keeps kids entertained for hours. Also although we stayed over the busy Easter period the pools where big enough to cope and didn’t feel at all crowded. The kids especially like the free icy poles throughout the day. There are lots of pool chairs and we always managed to find one however there was the usual situation of a hat, towel and book on most of he chairs by 9am but know one about!!
- The service. With so many friendly and attentive staff the service was excellent
- The food. With about 6 different restaurants to choose from this was great. We tried all except the Italian. Highlight was the buffet breakfast in the Marriott cafe and the informal Siam deli.
- The beach is picture perfect, however is ok for adults to swim but wouldn’t take young kids into the sea.
- Free (2 minutes) shuttle to turtle village & Marriott sister hotel. Cheaper food and supermarket and access to another great hotel pool.

The not so greats...
- Its a long way from, well anywhere... about an hours drive to Phuket town. As a family on a fairly short break this was not an issue, however if you wanted to do more tours this would be a drag.
- The food and drinks were not exactly cheap, but with few places outside the resort to eat...what can you do?
- Lots of kids. Again fine for use but if you’re a single couple looking for a quite break maybe consider options.

Some learning’s...

- Don’t book hotel transfer from the airport. Red and yellow taxi's are available at the airport and are a lot cheaper (300baht)
- Don’t book buffet breakfast. We have been caught out previously with no alternatives for breakfast except the hotels so we booked. The Siam cafe has great pastries etc you don’t need to commit to the full buffet breakfast every day!

Overall I would strongly recommend the JW Marriott as a fantastic family resort.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank h0ught0b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Basel
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2010

To be fair, what was positive about JWM:
- Bedroom
- Breakfast buffet

Now, why we would never go there again and do not recommend JWM to anyone:
- If you want to experience the traditional Thai hospitality, avoid the place (or go across the street to the Anantara http://phuket.anantara.com)
- Staff is arrogant, not helpful and stingy; it’s all about money… what else in a 5* hotel
- Reception staff is incompetent and gives conflicting statements
- Internet is outrageously expensive (THB640 for 24 hours, THB3’200 for 7 days; discontinuation not possible)
- Infrastructure for a pram (and definitely for a wheelchair) a catastrophe (only a few elevators, but stairs everywhere)
- No baby phone devices, but very costly baby sitters
- Typical US style hotel chain… ergo, too many US guests
- Very remote and no access to the local people (instead of enjoying typical Thai cuisine for a max. THB1’500 (2 adults and 2 kids) in one of these lovely beach restaurants, one is bound to book a table through a central restaurant reservation desk at least 24 hours in advance to “experience” high priced Western kitchen lacking almost everything which is uniquely Thai)

Our advise, go one * lower and further south the island… you will have a heck of a Thai experience!

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank SwissBohemian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2010

We stayed at the JW Marriott for about 10 days, and really enjoyed our time there.

Like a few of the other reviewers have said, there were quite a lot of kids, but there were always quiet spots to escape to.

The service was great, the rooms were nice, and there was a good mix of restaurants to choose from, including a great Thai restaurant and an amazing breakfast.

And there are a couple of great golf courses nearby, if you're a golfer. But if you're playing, tee off by 8 to avoid being baked in the sun.

Finally, there was heavy rain for half an hour at about 4pm each day. Not a problem, if you're expecting it. And it all dries up quickly.

Overall, the hotel just had a really nice feel to it. I'd happily recommend it.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank jonatmille
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2010

We were expecting the place to be overrun with kids at Easter time and as a couple without kids, we were bracing ourselves for the worst. Surprisingly, we did not experience too much noise. Perhaps our room was located away from the Vacation Club? Our room was relatively good value - pay for 2 nights, get 1 night free. Not sure that it would be worth paying full price... The rooms were decent and the beds were comfy. Poolside was always crowded and we couldn't understand why people flocked to the pool when you could be by the beach which was lovely! The water was warm and clear (remember to wear lots of sunscreen!) - the only downside is there is ample shade before 1pm but not in the afternoon.

Reservations at dinner are a must. Although I saw them turn people away when the restaurant was only half-full for the whole night (obviously people booking then not turning up). We took a 500 baht taxi in the hope of eating authentic local food outside but after visiting one place, it was still touristy so it wasn't worth trekking outside. I guess we were hoping for 'night market' style food but that was at least 45 mins drive away! We didn't have breakfast included and so avoided the crowds with a lovely relaxed coffee at the Siam Deli instead (great idea to have the casual option). Happy hour is pretty good value at the bars except the lobby bar.

Do pick up your welcome gift upon arrival, we waited until check-out and the vouchers could only be used during the stay so not much point when leaving. The 400 baht beach massage is also pretty good value.

All in all, the resort itself is fantastic for families and kids. For a very short weekend away (and a free night), it was fine but I think I would like to try one of the many other Thai resorts next time.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Glamanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2010

we stayed here for the long easter weekend. it was fully booked and felt really crowded. people were everywhere and the halls and pools were full of kids. it was not relaxing... and finding a spot near the pools was tricky. forget finding a relaxing one.
you are very "captive" at this hotel, as it is isolated. therefore you are basically forced to stay and eat there. getting a reservation at a reasonable hour at the restaurants was challenging. food is overpriced and mediocre. and they have cheesy guitar players singing "la bamba" going from table to table. felt like a tourist trap most times. we preferred eating at the casual Siam deli.
they do not have a single free wireless hotspot there and charge about USD 10 for an hour of net access. that is unacceptable and a rip off.
service overall was ok but disappointing as i think they were overwhelmed due to peak occupancy. the thais are always smiling and so friendly so its tolerable, but marriott has some work to do in this department.
the beach is really very nice, which explains why they selected this location. the grounds too are nicely kept,but the pools felt dirty. the room was fine, as would be expected of a 5* resort at this pricepoint; large with comfy bed, but tiny balcony and really nothing to write home about when compared to any other place in this category around asia.
i like small boutique hotels, so choosing the marriot in a peak period with all it's "vacation club" time-share loving crowd and its legions of screaming kids was a clear mistake. If you like that scene and being serenaded with "la bamba" at overpriced eateries, you'll love it here. if you are looking for something more relaxing, charming and non-generic, you may want to look around some more.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Teresias
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa

Property: JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
Address: 231 Moo 3, Mai Khao, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Phuket > Thalang District > Mai Khao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Mai Khao
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Mai Khao
#3 Spa Hotel in Mai Khao
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Mai Khao
#3 Luxury Hotel in Mai Khao
#4 Family Hotel in Mai Khao
#5 Romantic Hotel in Mai Khao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:5 star — JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 265
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

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