JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
What We Love
- Three pools give families and couples their own swimming areas
- Ginja cooking classes sample the flavors and techniques of Pan-Asian cuisine
- Convenient location 10 miles from Phuket airport
What To Know
- The resort is kid-friendly, and has special offerings for couples
- No pets are permitted
- WiFi is extra
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Located on Mai Khao Beach with superb views of the Andaman Sea, the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa is full of Thai charm and personality, and its three expansive pools cater to kids and couples alike. Guestrooms have polished hardwood or tile floors, plush bedding and marble baths stocked with high-end toiletries, while suites have private Thai Salas and endless sea views. Of the property’s 11 dining and bar venues, Cucina has been touted as the spot for the country’s best Italian fare, serving palate-pleasing meals like handmade gnocchi pasta with braised lamb shank ragout, lemon skin and rosemary oil. Most restaurants and bars are open late, but 24-hour room service means midnight snacks are welcome, too. Don’t skip the top-rated Mandara Spa, where guests are pampered with treatments such as the “four hand” signature massage blending Japanese Shiatsu, Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi other techniques from Thailand, Sweden and Bali.
In the Area
Families will find plenty of onsite activities with circus and trapeze training, Batik painting, Thai dancing and movie screenings, while Thai Ginja cooking courses are a full-day diversion for all ages. Beyond the resort, Phuket ranks as a top snorkel and dive destination, so hit the water on a guided tour; your concierge can arrange a bespoke full- or half-day excursion. Among the must-sees, visit the Phi Phi Islands for a scenic photo-op, or check out the Similan Islands, one of Phuket’s best-known attractions. Phuket’s largest Buddhist temple, Wat Chalong, is also worth a visit, and nearby Patong Beach offers ample shopping and nightlife along a lively swath of shoreline.
How to Get There
I deliberately chose Mai Khao beach because it is away from the tourist areas like Patong, Karon, etc. So since I decided to stay in a resort for my whole holiday, I needed to find a big one as I wouldn't be bored staying in there all day, JW Marriott became my choice.
It only took 20 mins from airport to the resort, which was very convenient. I was greeted by Nikki at front desk, whom was very aware of what’s happening in Hong Kong right now that I was very touched by it. She was also aware of my birthday next day and arranged a group of staff coming to my room singing birthday song to me and gave me a birthday card and cake. I felt the warmth and hospitality strongly especially I was travelling alone.
The room I stayed is exactly what I saw on the photo. It’s very spacious, I especially like the bathroom. Although the room/resort is not as “chic” / “modern” as some new resorts, I like its Thai and home style.
The first day I arrived was raining, but it didn’t matter, there’re a nice gym and a beautiful spa to go. I was too lazy to go outside for dinner that I ordered room service, which had many choices including western and thai food. Room service was not expensive at all, I actually ordered again the day after.
Morning breakfast at Marriott cafe was nice too, many food choices and the staff were very nice too, especially Tan whom was serving my table. I would never forget his smile and service.
Since it’s summer holiday, most are family with kids. I totally understood that but it’s quite noisy at the main pool and south pool. Luckily, there’s a quiet north pool that I could really enjoy myself. Anyway, I think I will visit the resort again during low season to try to experience a more quiet atmosphere.
Things to be improved:
1. Since it's a big resort, there were many people checking-in or out at the same time, it took me over 15 minutes to do both. Although there are 4-5 counters, only 2 were open.
2. Brown rusty water coming out from the tap. When I filled up the bathtub, I was hesitating whether I should jump into it.
This was a 3 night package booked through Luxury Escapes. If you have an upcoming booking, I strongly recommend you cancel while you can. First off, check in took forever. There were only 2 people attending at peak check in time. Second, the resort is really run down. You can see the lack of attention to detail at every turn. Same goes for the rooms - especially the bathrooms which are grim.
You receive a letter at 4pm each day telling you which of the restaurants you can eat your dinner at each night. There is no choice, just a set menu. The free flow beer is not chilled and you are limited to 2 hours of drinks with your meal. Wine is not included.
Luxury Escapes have always been brilliant in the past, but this is definitely a dud, and en expensive one at that.
I selected JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa partly because I was in the Marriott network and partly because I wanted a location where staying on the resort wouldn't be a hardship. I enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and didn't think this would be a family free-for-all. I also expected to encounter less guests as this was both off-season and 'Monsoon Season'. I also did not select the 'breakfast' package. The resort is an hour or so away from Patong Beach, but its ocean more secluded location was welcomed. The beach was not quite the idyllic picture painted in the materials. This was partly due to a constant heavy surf (red flags out every day) and partly due the small beach erosion.
The service, staff, room and amenities were 5 star quality.
1. Public Facilities:
The resorts facilities were excellent. After about a 20 minute drive from the airport you arrive - passing some lesser resorts until you reach the front gate and security guard. Pass that you reach greeting area and lobby. Check in was easy and you're offered a discount on money exchange (it essentially cancels out the 10% VAT you are going to encounter with every purchase). After check-in, you're escorted your room. Throughout the resort pots are water filled with flowers and lilies in beautiful arrangements - the smells were pleasant. The walking paths of the resort were a pleasure to walk and as expected there is a temple through the lagoon.
There were multiple pools. All kept immaculately clean. The Buddhist aesthetic was evident and quite welcomed.
The small lobby fronts a wonderful infinity pools that has two of the regular restaurants on either side.
2. Private Facilities & Quarters
The room (single king sized bed) had partial sea-view and a small patio. The bathroom was very large with separate shower and tub. The interior was full of high end fixtures and furniture. The bed and linen were fresh, soft and of high quality. THe staff preps each room twice daily - much appreciated. The room utilized regular keys and a standard in closet safe. The television was medium sized 42" and well placed.
The Spa (by wife) was very relaxing. I enjoyed a hour massage. I am a Spa/Message regular at home and this was a normal experience. But i suggest you take advantage of the outdoor massage ladies who dot the resorts beachfront. 500 baht ($15 USD) and you are treated to a true Thai massage for an hour with the sounds of birds and crashing waves. After a few days I was able to get the husband to join me for a couples massage and he was quite satisfied afterwards.
The beach was beautiful. It does not suffer from seaweed or debris. But as I indicated before swimming was prohibited (red flags everywhere) and there were multiple signs warning of jellyfish. Again, this was 'monsoon season' so keep that in mind when reading this. Nevertheless, is easy to walk the beach undisturbed. The waves remained strong and constant, but not overwhelming.
The staff were professional and very pleasant. Your are made to feel welcomed and appreciated. They made every efforts to make sure your needs are met. You are always greeted with a large smile and often by name. There are 3 main beach-side bars and the staff were pleasant, if busy.
Room service was as expected. The food arrived timely and it was evident that effort was made in its preparation and presentation. The variety was quite extensive given the number of eateries on premises. Wifi was excellent (and included). The 'business facilities did have a color printer/copier and computer access with a single machine.
The location is in Mai Khao. There is a free shuttle bus that will take you to a small shopping area right off the resort (think mini-mall) that also has a 7-11. You will quickly realize that 7-11 is the dominant retailer in the area (and actually in Thailand generally) There are elephant and monkey exhibits nearby - but I did not take part in what I personally think borders on exploitation.
This will be your everyday breakfast location and probably most used dinner location. The breakfast included buffet offerings as well as menu offerings (their eggs/omlets were the most lines formed during the mornings). The buffet is full of traditional Thai offerings and was a pleasure to experience. For dinner, there selection was fine and actually tasty.
This is your traditional Thai eatery. Wonderfully made dishes with all the right touches. If you are adventurous you will find something new to enjoy.
Please have at least one dinner meal here. The service is great as usual. This is their 'Italian' eatery and it was fine.
This is your steakhouse that actually had quality.
Kabuki - Japanese Cuisine Theatre:
Think Benihana and you know what you are in for. Our experience was less than stellar with the 'theatre' portion, though we both believe our chef was still learning the ropes/routine. But the food was more than acceptable ... it was fresh and tasty.
Think of an upscale Deli that able to serve Thai cuisine as well as burgers and fries and you have an idea of the experience. We lunched here often and I always enjoyed their coconut ice-cream as a dessert.
Rim Nam Pool Bar:
Standard drinks and finger food.
Sala Sawasdee Lobby Bar:
Upscale bar experience with many nights offering live entertainment.
Ginja Cook Cooking School & Out of the Blue Splash:
We either did not have the time for Out of the Blue Splash or the desire to try out not Ginja Cook Cooking School so I cannot give any reviews for those locations.
Room Tip: Ask where you room is located in reference to the property... as you may have long walks either to the beach area or the eateries.