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“Warm and family-oriented luxury resort.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa

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JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   41/12 Moo 3, Khuk Khak Beach, Khao Lak 82190, Thailand   |  
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Ranked #6 of 60 hotels in Khao Lak
Houston, Texas
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Warm and family-oriented luxury resort.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2012

Beautiful location, quiet and less traffic than any beach resort. It was isolated from all the other hotels around Khao Lak center (town center). It has it own clinic staffed with a nurse onsite. If you need to get a doctor, it can be arranged. It has a child care nursery, you could drop off your children for a fee, while you went dipping in the sea. Tennis court, squash court, sauna, spa, sandwich store, all within reach in the resort. Swimming pool swirled around the entire hotel, easily access from your balcony - very nice. Most of the lower ground rooms, you're basically just walk into the pool - very smart design. It also has a big children pool, where water slide specifically design for children. Beach access just a few yard away from the main swimming pool, walking distance. It also has variety of restaurants to choose from within the resort. ATM machine is available though may have to check with the receptionist if local currency is available, sometimes they ran out pretty quick. Free Wi-Fi for the entire hotel. Overall, I think it is the best resort in Khao Lak. Pricey but very nice, you really get what you pay for.

Room Tip: Get the ground floor room close access into the swimming pool. Basically the swimming pool can be ac...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (439)
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Blacksburg, Virginia
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2012

As usual with JW Marriott hotels you get what you pay for. A five star resort about 1 hour drive north of Phuket airport. The resort consists of town houses connected around the huge swimming pool. The rooms are spacious and clean. The service is excellent. Easy check in and check out. The pool access rooms are great and more enjoyable than those in level 1 or level 2 rooms. The beach is clean and nice for swimming, walking and watching the sun set. It takes about 10 min drive to the Kao Lak city. There are some shops outside the hotel. There are also massage, tours agents, taxi and restaurants on the beach but not belonging to the hotel. I must say that most the guests are from Germany, north Europe and Russia. One problem during breakfast as there are some tables empty and the waitress said all tables are taken. Next day one waitress say ok to sit on a table (inside, we know we will not be given outside table) and another waitress (her name is Mew) says it is reserved, when I tell her there must be no reservation for breakfast tables she said ok you can sit!!! Management should watch for “breakfast table reservation!”

Room Tip: pool Access is more convenient.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2012

We have stayed in a number of hotels that call themselves 5* but don't quite make the grade. This was not one of them. The facilities at this hotel were stunning - especially the connected pools and the beach. The breakfast was definitely worth getting up for - fantastic selection of foods and freshly made juice. The gym equipment was top notch (in-fact all the facilities were excellent). Couple of negatives: first, the resort is very quiet at night - most things seem to empty at about 10.30pm!; second, the on site food and beverages are VERY expensive for Thailand. That being said, the hotel offers a seafood buffet on a Friday night and that is worth every penny - all you can eat fresh lobster, crab, mussels, tiger prawns and a selection of fish - not to be missed! For lunch/dinners I would check out the restaurants at either side of the hotel on the beach - much better value and cocktails are equally as good.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2012

Our stay at JW Marriott Khao Lak was mostly great. The resort area was great, and I'd really recommend the Pool view room. A massive maze of connected pools available directly from your room, delicious!

The beach is lovely as well, beautifully prepped (I assume), nice beach chairs and decent supplies.

The 'but' is given for various service flaws, which shouldn't really occur at a 5 star hotel like this. House keeping, in particular, seemed pretty lax, and messages passed on to the front desk about things needed to get done in the room simply weren't acted upon. The food was adequate, but not great. We ended up having many of our meals at local restaurants down the beach!

Some things to improve upon, then, but still a great stay.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2012

I'm sorry the JW Marriott was nice but definately not a world-class resort. The breakfast buffet was great, the pool was nice, the people were friendly but the service was lacking and some of the staff were dishonest.

Let's start with the communication. My family and I were already planning a vacation to Thailand when I spotted the travelzoo deal. Although I would never have thought to go so far north as khao lak i thought the room rate was reasonable so we decided to give JW a try. We noticed that there was no 1-800 number to call for reservations. My sister tried skype - the connection was so bad that both calls dropped. Finally we decided just to book our reservation online. I emailed and asked to reserve a taxi. One person emailed back and asked for a flight number. I emailed back with the flight number and asked for a confirmation. No reply. I emailed again. No reply again. Finally, the day before I was to fly into Phuket I emailed all the email addresses I could possibly find and asked if somebody could please confirm that there will be a taxi driver waiting for us. Lo and behold, Khao Lak was surprised - they never got wind that I had asked to reserve a taxi! Apparently the folks in Thailand Global Reservations never forwarded them my request! Imagine what I would have done if I had waited at the airport 12 am for a no show ride? This made me mad.

Point of Failure #1 - Make sure your guests have an easy way to communicate, pay for a 1-800 number, and do not make it your guests' responsibility to follow up on reservations. It raises their blood pressure.

When we got to the resort at 1 in the morning, the lady at the check out counter come by and said that she noticed for one of the nights we booked a regular room instead of a pool access room. She asked if we would like to pay for an upgrade. Now I've traveled a lot in my last 10 years and this is the first time I've ever been asked to pay for an upgrade. I've been given many, many complimentary upgrades but never asked to pay for one. Since it was only going to be for one night, my husband and I shrugged and signed the form but in retrospect, I think that asking for more money is a terrible first impression a customer can have of a hotel.

Point of Failure #2 - Never ask your guests for more money, it's a terrible first impression. Either you offer a free upgrade or don't offer anything at all.

The "selling of rooms" was not unique to us. The next day when my sister's family flew in and checked in they asked if she would to pay for an upgraded room as well. After an hour or so of talking to the sales people, visiting rooms, etc. she was sold on the nicer room and was willing to pay for upgrade. Unfortunately, however, the rooms were not ready! We waited... and waited ... and waited ... And we find out that apparently the rooms would not be ready until 5pm! Why offer to sell a room you don't have available? When my sister got to the room, there was no welcome fruit, the facilities were not clean (brown rot on the bottom of the amenities), the windows were never washed, the furniture was broken. and the phones didn't work. She was told that the drawers were not broken they were just modified to be computer "laptop desks". Their offered solution - why don't we forget we ever tried to sell you a different room and you just go back to their original pool access room. That's when my sister flew off the handle - they had just wasted our entire day!

Point of Failure #3 - If your guest is unhappy with the room, offer them a different room or offer fair compensation.

Point of Failure #4 - Never lie to your guests to cover up mistakes. Your guests are not stupid and lying will tick them off further.

When we finally got past the reservation fiasco (when they saw steam coming from my sister's ears, they offered to move her a different room the next day and to cancel the charges for the upgrade), we went to the Thai restaurant to claim our complimentary Thai dinner. They asked if we had our travel zoo voucher. "No ... ", we replied. They had taken our voucher at the front desk! We ended up waiting for an hour while they went to look up proof of our voucher. We weren't even offered to be seated at a table! The phones at the restaurant were broken so they made my husband go next door to call the front desk. Why oh why do you make your guests relinquish their voucher at the front desk and then make it hard for them to use it? Same thing happened at the spa - they asked for the voucher we reliquished at the front desk. If you know your guests need their voucher, photo-copy it and give it back to them or better yet, send a list guests who check in with a voucher to your spa and restaurant, notifying them that these guests will be coming.

Point of Failure #5 - The last thing your guests want is to experience is stress on a vacation. Make things easier by communicating clearly to all people involved.

My family and I travel a LOT and unfortunately this was not a relaxing, stress-free vacation for us. The facilities are beautiful, the jacuzzi beds were great, and the beach was really nice but there were enough noticeably annoying things that happened that left a sour after-thought. The best hotels in my opinion are those that bend over backwards in service and unfortunately JW Khao Lak has a ways to go.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2012

We stayed 4 nights here and because we used rewards for part of our stay, we had to switch rooms halfway through our stay. First room was nice and had pool access which was absolutely wonderful. The room smelled fine, no complaints.

Bad: Second room was stinky. The A/C had been running when we entered and the room smelled a bit off. We returned the next day when the A/C wasn't on and the room smelled horrible. My husband honestly wondered if something had died under the bed. Due to the late hour and our busy schedule the next day, we didn't ask for a room change, which was a really bad idea. We awoke to the nastiest smell. Obviously the maids should have noticed the foul smell when cleaning and given us a different room or something. It left a really bad taste in my mouth. And smell in my nose for that matter.

Goods: Pool is amazing! Walking from the second floor was long and confusing (perhaps our location) so I highly recommend the pool access rooms, and I'm thrifty and normally wouldn't say that : ) We found beach chairs, but yes, we did reserve them after breakfast for a few minutes while we changed. The signs state that you can only hold a chair for one hour, but we weren't around int he afternoon so I'm not sure if the chairs are difficult to find then.

Buffet breakfast was wonderful with the smoothies, etc. Beach is nice location, although the resort is not close to anything if that matters to you. We didn't try any other food on location but did try a restaurant on the beach to the left of the resort (if you are looking at the ocean) and it was the worst pad thai. Seriously old oil or something.

For tours we did the Similan Snorkeling through Fantastic which was just ok. Way too many people (not just our boat, but the million other boats that were there) and I grew tired of the ladyboy routine after the first 10 minutes. Disappointing snorkeling for somewhere that is touted as SOOOO wonderful. We did see some pretty fish and a few schools, but nothing super special. A friend of mine went to Phuket and said the snorkeling on the bay side had beautiful coral whereas the coral here was lacking.

Cheow Lan lake was amazingly beautiful. We scheduled a private tour through Narin at the Andaman Bar (next to the resort on the beach) and it was perfect. We were the only people on our long tail boat, one of two groups at lunch/swimming in the lake, only people in the cave, and wouldn't do it any other way. The other tour I saw kayaks as well, but we skipped that due to time constraints. Narin could probably arrange for that as well. Beautiful!! If we had more time in Khao Lak I definitely would've stayed a night on the lake in a floating house. On the way home we stopped at the Sunday market in Takua Pa and Narin bought some Thai treats and food for us to try. The night market was something we didn't plan for and was a real highlight as it wasn't too touristy.

We did another private tour through Narin (yay!) to James Bond Island and arrived later in the day. We were the only tourists on the island and were treated to coconuts on our arrival back to the boat. Wonderful. I highly recommend going this route if you don't enjoy masses of tourists. Unfortunately, the tide was low and the island wasn't really an island, which I wasn't expecting.

For anyone interested in the private tours, Narin's contact info is ----- or ----- He didn't give excessive amounts of information about the scenery or anything, but was happy to answer all my questions. Prices were reasonable, just slightly more than the group tours I had seen advertised. Someone else mentioned him on this forum and I'm so glad.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2012

There is a lot of potential for this hotel and I can see why it has great reviews here... BUT if you are coming with young kids (toddlers), handicapped, trouble walking far, etc, then I would caution you on staying here.

It seems as if this place would be kid friendly-- kid pool separate from other pools, small climbing gym/slide outdoors, kids club, kids welcomed in the restaurants, etc but this property showed me that just because you have such facilities doesnt make it easy or seamless or fun.

# 1-- no elevators anywhere.
Even if you are on the ground floor, you have to take a few steps up/down to get on bridges or other pathways to walk to ocean/pool/restaurants. This is not easy if you are using a stroller. I'm pregnant and have a toddler so it made it very difficult for me. One mom told me how much her body ached from lifting so much. So it is a lot of walking-- great if you are fit, able or interested in a little exercise.

# 2-- other reviewers said great for families... I actually think its best for older couples (saw so many over 50+age couples enjoying their time), or families with much older kids. I felt the guests hated sharing with young families, and the staredowns were constant. and I didn't get that impression at all from JW Phuket (which is more kid friendly). Another family at kids club expressed the same thing. My husband felt like they wanted to dissuade young families from coming, without expliciting saying so because you don't want to turn away business or promote such a thing.

# 3-- staff isnt that knowledgeable
--I heard many others on site complain of this, esp of the English. For me, my complaints were minor compared to what they had to say (simple things such as person working a breakfast area had no idea what certain breakfast items are). I don't understand why the staff are not trained to help with pathways with least amount/no stairs... no one knew how to help me get around due to lack of elevator, with the exception of carrying the stroller for me... which backfired a couple of times because some other staff would take that helper away from me to help some other guest complaining about something. That was annoying and rude.

# 4-- Kids Club
I actually like the facility more than JW Phuket's kids club-- looks nicer, brighter, has more climbing activities and more toys. And they promote more activities (e.g. make a bookmark or a card while you are there) BUT, I felt the staff was less engaging with the kids than at JW Phuket, and some staff seemed so bored to be there.

Overall, I doubt I would return soon, but I can see its potential. How fun to have a long and winding pool-- you can swim 3KM before returning to your starting point. There is a late check out lounge convenient for showers, etc if your flight is later in the day. The DELI area is not that great- JW Phuket is MUCH BETTER in this regard, but at least its there. This hotel has better meal deals than JW Phuket (buffets, etc). We enjoyed the japanese buffet and our meal at the Mediterranean restaurant (but the acoustics of the band is terrible). We actually didn't have issues getting 2-3 lounge chairs by the beach at various times, though yes, at breakfast time you can see they all get reserved fast.

Rooms are much more dated and worn out than at JW Phuket which look fresher, newer (and Khao Lak property has only been a Marriott property a couple of years). The JW Khao Lak roofs need some painting or repair, its making the overall property look a bit unkept. You don't get daily fruit as you do at JW Phuket (or at least we didn't, and I have Marriott status... I thought perhaps it was due to different category ... Khao Lak is a 5, PHuket is a 6). I did like the beach better here than at Mai Khao (Phuket). No elephant roaming around here as there is at JW Phuket or Le Meridien Khao Lak.

Taxi stand just outside of hotel entrance advertises 1300 THB for airport ride. We were able to get it for 1200; khao lak centre has booths of people offering 1000 THB.

There are a couple of bars, restaurants (italian, thai), massage place, convenience store just outside the entrance. Swim goggles at the convenience store was 100 THB.... store within the hotel was 1300 THB I think.... whoa on that mark up!

Left/ride side of beach of resort has quite a few stalls of massages, food, drinks and touring info.

Room Tip: First floor for pool access + less stairs to get anywhere. Second floor has easy access to lobby (w...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa

Address: 41/12 Moo 3, Khuk Khak Beach, Khao Lak 82190, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Phang Nga Province > Khao Lak
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Khao Lak
#4 Romantic Hotel in Khao Lak
#4 Spa Hotel in Khao Lak
#5 Luxury Hotel in Khao Lak
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Khao Lak
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover the treasures of Khao Lak at JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort and Spa. The pristine white sand beach stretches for miles, melting into the exquisite azure waters of the Andaman Sea. This is Khao Lak, Thailand - a hidden paradise of sun, sea and sand, as well as lush tropical greenery, granite mountains and stunning waterfalls. The vast landscaped area within the resort grounds makes the resort an ideal outdoor venue for incentives or themed events, weddings or product launches. At Marriott Hotels and Resorts®, it's our mission to make every business trip a pleasure and every vacation a trip of a lifetime. Enjoy amenity-filled guest rooms, superb dining, and exemplary meeting facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jw Marriott Khao Lak Hotel Khao Lak
Jw Marriott Khao Lak Resort And Spa
Cher Fah Hotel
Cher Fah Resort

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