There is no doubt that this a 5 Star resort, excellent facilities especially if you are travelling with children.
1. The beach was excellent and very clean and despite the time of year the ocean was good for swimming and safe in my opinion, a little bit choppy but the children did enjoy this.
2. The breakfast room and location was superb with ocean views and the range of food was both vast and of good quality.
3. The swimming pool again was great, do go for a pool access room if you want to frequent the pool regularly, however if you are looking for a bit more seclusion the rooms on the upper floors have great balcony areas to catch a sunset.
4. I would strongly recommend watching a sunset or two, with westerly location this was a magical time of day with the backdrop of the hotel.
5. There is a beach area with mini soccer and beach volleyball which the children loved.
6. The hotel has a decent gym with a great instructor who held different classes each morning, two tennis courts and a squash court with all equipment available to rent and very reasonable prices. Mountain bikes available to rent too.
7. Free Internet around the whole hotel and a decent speed.
8. Pool bars were good, though the cocktails seemed a bit weak and could have done with a bit more of a kick.
I would recommend the Czar Bar for happy hour cocktails for an alternative location for cocktails.
9. Good sized rooms, very comfortable beds and room service was excellent.
10. There could have been a larger dining option for evening meals within the hotel, but there are a number of options just on the beach outside the hotel to dine. (Take mosquito repellent) Also the hotel provides a shuttle bus into Khao Lak centre where you will find a whole host of additional well priced dining options.
11. There are some areas of the hotel that need some maintenance especially the painting that is required in a few parts of the hotel.
Great location and I am sure you will agree that this is what you would expect from all 5 star establishments. So what set it aside for me? This is the second JW Marriott I have stayed at (Mumbai was the other) to put it simply it is the staff and the exceptional service.
On this visit it was more about the level of service I got when something went wrong, during one of the days there was an exceptional large thunderstorm which led to a leak in one of the rooms above ours, the water eventually started trickling into my room. Irina Sevestyanova the duty manager was exceptional, she must have taken at least two hours out of her day to ensure that our party that had 3 rooms were all relocated to another part of the hotel with adjacent rooms and before doing this showed us the rooms, made sure we were happy with them. Helped with the move and compensated us for the trouble, she checked in with us regularly for the next 24 hours to ensure that there were no further problems. An excellent member of staff and very customer focused. That said I have to say that all the staff from the breakfast chef making the omelettes to the maids all ensured a high level of customer service.